After a stellar debut year, the Nintendo moved into 1987 emboldened with high hopes for its disk add-on peripheral. The Famicom Disk System would begin its second year with a bang; with Nintendo releasing their most ambitious title to date.
Released on January 14th, The Legend of Zelda 2: Link no Bouken was the first ever Disk System exclusive sequel to a Disk System exclusive release. From that high water mark, third party developers and publishers would run rampant over the next 12 months, making 1987 the single most prolific year for Disk System releases in the peripheral’s short history.
With 1987 being the peak year in terms of release volume, the overall variety of games released is predictably varied with such notable releases as Dracula II: Noroi no Fūin (Castlevania II; Simon’s Quest), Eggerland (an entry in the Adventures of Lolo series), Nintendo’s disk exclusive Zelda sequel, Falsion, and Super Lode Runner to name a few.
Post ’87, The Disk System began an abrupt decline in 1988 culminating in the last trickle of games being released in 1989 through about 1992.
The third mahjong game released for the Famicom platform, Professional Mahjongg Gokuu brought some new and fairly impressive twists and innovations to what could be considered the first wave of mahjong games to sweep the 8-bit Nintendo platform.
A port of a popular 8-bit Atari computer game, Electrician curiously never saw a North American release for the Nintendo Entertainment System, which is strange considering it was ported from an original game by designed David Brunch at American software developer Synapse Software. Continue reading →
The second title in the WaveJack series, Kieta Princess was an early attempt at an open world style video game. Given the significant technical limitations of the Famicom hardware, the end result is predictably a misfire.
A port of the famous British micro computer title developed by the studio that would go on to become Rare, Knight Lore stands as a gleaming example of home video game innovation that unfortunately never saw a North American release.
Another example of a heralded Nintendo franchise that began on the Disk System, Hikari Shinwa (known outside of Japan as Kid Icarus) is a concise adventure platformer that, despite its age, is still highly playable and highly regarded even today.
Nintendo wasn’t the only company that launched popular franchises on the Disk System. Like Konami with Castlevania, HummingBirdSoft’s first Deep Dungeon entry saw a dual release on both the Disk System and the MSX computing standard, and was also the first RPG released on Nintendo’s disk-based platform. Continue reading →
Most notable for being the first release of the Square Co. Ltd. headed publishing group DOG (Disk Original Group), Suishou no Ryuu is a mostly forgettable text adventure with obtuse controls and a few scenes of impressive animation, all of which is walled up behind the familiar language barrier indicative of the genre.
Predating BattleBots by well over a decade, this truly bizarre simulation title has you designing, building and training robots to battle to the death against one and other. If that sounds like an interesting video game concept, rest assured; because it truly is not.