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Japanese Vintage Computer Collection

その他のFM Townsのゲームソフト

A while back I started to think I should make an effort to not include western games in this website. I have a few for various reasons, but basically most people reading this already know those games. For example, who needs me to talk about King's Quest V? But it's slightly unique because it's fully Japanese voice-acted. I mean, you can't hear that on my website, but it is a uniquely Japanese aspect of the game. Or these couple of MS-DOS games. But I'm playing them on my J3100, which has an orange plasma screen, adding a new twist to it when played on that particular Japanese computer, even if the end result isn't exactly Japanese. But anyway, I was thinking I should really stop including western games going forward.

But then I got Battle Chess for FM Towns. And I thought, I gotta include that in the site, right? But maybe not... it's exactly the same as we played in MS-DOS way back when, no? Well, it's sort of the same. My memory is a bit fuzzy but I don't recall it looking so... amazing. The graphics seemed so much nicer. And they added a great soundtrack, with a background song playing while you think about your next play, and then when you make your move, each piece has its own music. I double-checked my memory on YouTube and for sure this game was much better than the version I played in America. Until I scrolled down to the "Enhanced CD-ROM edition" of Battle Chess. I didn't know about that release! The game graphics certainly impress, and animation is really smooth.

Of course, the movement and battle animations are still there. First group is blue knight takes red bishop, second is red castling, third is blue queen obliterating red queen, and finally blue king smiting red pawn.

So I thought this version must surely be based on the Enhanced CD-ROM release, but it doesn't say so in the title. On the back of the box, however, they talk about the Japanese team that ported the game to the FM Towns, and how they added all the above features. So I think in actuality, the reverse is true. This team made their own unique FM Towns version, and that version became what we call the Enhanced CD-ROM edition (minus Japanese content, I imagine).

In addition to sprucing up the multimedia, they decided to add a tutorial, fully voiced, in both English and Japanese. But much to my surprise, the tutorial wasn't the typical dry "move this piece this way" type of tutorial, it was pretty engaging. Each piece walked onto the screen and introduced themselves and talked about their history within the origins of chess, and each piece had their own distinct personality (the rook is hyper-masculine, the pawn sounds down on his luck and gloomy about his future). And elements of humor pop up throughout the tutorial.

When you boot up your FM Towns with the CD-ROM in the drive, you are first dumped in Towns OS. You can choose from four options, play the game or watch the tutorial, and either of those are available in Japanese or English. Interestingly, they don't put English names on the English version icons! I guess they weren't too worried about native English speakers getting their hands on the FM Towns version. If you choose to play the game in Japanese mode, the menus are in Japanese. I don't think much else changes about the game. The second menu is choosing my favorite option... computer vs. computer; I just want to watch the animations!

その他のFM Townsのゲームソフト

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