Translations from Game Lab Vol. 190 -- June 2011 Issue

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Image caption (bottom right): PC Engine LOVE!

Mana-Sama's Nostalgic game inferno Part 3: CD-ROM²

Company: NEC Home Electronics
Release Date: December 4, 1988
Price: 59,000 yen
(Sold as a bundle)

In the early days of the PC Engine there is a piece of work I cannot forget, the PC Engine's first RPG "Jaseiken Necromancer". In this game you could slice the monsters with a weapon and red blood would come spraying out! Now days thats considered nothing, but since the founding Famicon was intended for children, such harsh depictions were restricted and games didn't have blood spewing up until then. I said "I have been waiting for something like this!" because this was something very exciting for me who likes horror.

By doing various things, the PC Engine group at that time was taking the lead before others with their leading edge items that they put out on the market. So as for game consoles, they released the world's first CD usage in media, the "CD-ROM²"!

Promptly the CD medium was paid attention to in the CD-ROM². Furthermore the CD-ROM² used the form and docking of the PC Engine, so it seemed like a trial method for Mecha fans. After all, the entire CD-ROM² was concealed within a cover & an attached handle; it was like a brief case so even Salarymen wouldn't feel out of place、and carrying such a stylish (?) "Mobile Console" exhibited a whole new style.

I don't know how many people actually carried it around, but the Famicon was different. The games aren't only for children but I wouldn't go as far as saying it was a "stylish adult leading edge item" when I think about it. Although at the time it was for children (laughs).

At that time I didn't own a CD component, but with the PC Engine CD-ROM² combination unit I could listen to music. At the period of the Famicon's height, I was intoxicated with with the advanced sensation of listening to CDs on a game console.

I digress, but my first encounter with a CD-ROM² game was Noripii's "Kagami no kuni no Legend" (Lit translation 'The Legend of Mirror Land'). Noripii's photos manifested on the game screen and when the CD's music started playing I received quite a shock because this was certainly not something that could be presented on the Famicon's small capacity ROM cassette. "The era of gaming is changing," I was shivering with such a gaming revolution. By the way, as for "Kagami no Kuni no Legend," I was not particularly a fan of Noripii so I almost never played it.

However, Although CD-ROM² was included with the PC Engine, its image intended for maniacs could not be swept away, and thus the famicon's strong hold conquering place in the market was easily destroyed.

In regards to such circumstances, I thought "These game graphics are amazing!" and took decisive action with the PC Engine's propagation actions. Everyone I showed it to would say "The picture is beautiful!" but they were satisfied with the famicon and never really expressed any desire to switch over to the PC Engine. Its too bad.

Well, I didn't completely switch over either, I was just an expert in both fields of the Famicon and PC Engine. Both consoles have their good qualities.

Underneath the PC Engine group's idea was a "core plan" and so they successfully continued to come out various successful items. Ahh, there is still so much more I want to talk about! ……but I have reached the ending limit.

Having said that, let's meet again next month.

Translations by Sarah @

† Noripii - I just wanted to add a short annotation about this for those wondering who Noripii is. Apparently 'Noripii' is the nickname of an actress/pop singing idol in the late 80's-90's whose real name is Noriko Sakai. Mana's first CD-ROM² game was based off of her, so I think hes implying in this article that hes a little embarrassed to mention it because its a girly game.