Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Net Yaroze on PS1 – we need YOU

The Net Yaroze project started in March 1997 and was Sony’s attempt to allow bedroom coding for the PS1, making it something of a predecessor to Microsoft’s Xbox Live Indie Games. And it worked, because on many months in the UK there was a free full Yaroze game given away with the demo of Official PlayStation Magazine, and some were astoundingly good – almost commercial quality (almost). Sadly it only came to my attention after the fact that Sony closed the official servers and members forum in July 2009, destroying all the archives of what had been created. Worse still, I’ve discovered that dozens of quality games, which never found release on OPM’s demos, have potentially been lost forever. Our only hope to archive this slice of history in its entirety, is if former members happen to have downloaded and still have some of these files... And so I present to you an incomplete list of every Yaroze game ever. Much like Derboo's entry on Korean doujin, we need to expand awareness of this before it vanishes.

The Official PlayStation Magazine with demo was too expensive for me to buy when at high-school, but luckily a friend had a subscription. Every month it became our ritual that he would get his mag, play the demo extensively for a few days while regaling classmates about its content, and then he would lend it to each of us in turn – the main draw of this was never the actual game demos, but the Yaroze games, since if you were lucky you’d have a full game sometimes on par with a NES or even SNES title. Many were also multiplayer! Sometimes the Yaroze wasn't very good, but it was still fun to discuss. I’m told the US never had Yaroze games on its OPM demos, which is a shame since you were really missing out on something awesome.

It’s important to understand the atmosphere of the era, a time a when games were changing rapidly. Previously this kind of bedroom coded content was limited to home computers such as the C64 or Amiga, or perhaps even further back the Famicom with its version of BASIC.

To see homebrew on the leading console was quite exciting. Universities were ordering Yaroze kits to teach game design courses, while teenagers with coding experience could order one for home use. The quoted price was a fairly high barrier to entry (about $750), especially since you also needed a decent PC and internet connection, but I heard reports from more than one person that after sending the cheque and receiving their Yaroze, Sony never bothered to deposit the money, meaning they essentially got to make games for free.

From what I can tell Yaroze members had access to a private server and forum to trade creations as they were being worked on, and when a game was completed, and if it impressed Sony, it was selected for European demo distribution. Not every game made it, and so there were plenty which were exclusive to this private forum. Speaking with former coders it appears to have been a fun little club, with members trying to outdo each other and sometimes sharing assets. For a full list of the OPM demos and their Yaroze contents (plus scans of the demo covers), this website appears comprehensive.

The above is only a fraction of the games which were actually developed though. Several years ago when I first dabbled in Torrents I found a download for a 53-in-1 Yaroze compilation, obviously hacked from what was available. The title proudly proclaims: Fixed by Freefall of Paradox. Considering how several of the games within weren’t on the demos, Freefall must have had access to games which had only been privately distributed. At the time I’d wrongly assumed it contained all Yaroze games.

A few years later I stumbled across another download, this time for 83 games. It contained many missing from the previous collection, but it also lacked three which were previously available: a Legend of Zelda clone, a program titled Goomba Bros which wouldn’t load, and a vertical 2D shmup called Rayfire.

In recent months I contacted some former Yaroze members, and it became evident that even the 83 compilation was missing a lot of games, some of which ended up on the final send-off demo on issue 108 of OPM. After several months of searching and begging, someone finally donated me a copy of this demo, allowing me to compile a reasonable list of all Yaroze games.

Numbers in brackets after the name indicate which issue of OPM they were featured in, though this isn’t 100% comprehensive. The selection of games which repeatedly ended up on demos is strange, since Incredible Coneman isn't that great (it's an extremely slow polygon Pacman clone). Whereas games like Hover Racing (not to be mixed up with Hover Car Racing) don’t appear to have ended up on a demo at all, despite being an extremely competent F-Zero / Wipeout clone. Many games are also not so great, so I’ve put (!!!) next to my favourites in case you’re keen to try some. Not that I want to criticise the users, since managing to complete a game is an tremendous achievment - and for many, this would have been their first major project.

On hacked 83 compilation:

3D Breakout Game
3D Demo
Alien Looter
A Bob
(!!!) Adventure Game (44, 77, 108)
Appointed Station
Bendy Demo
Between The Eyes (42, 87, 92)
Blitter Boy Operation: Monster Hall (40, 42, 92, 108)
Blockz (77)
Bouncer 2 (supposedly 29 but actually 30, 42, 92, 108)
Car Demo
Car Racing
Cat Game
(!!!) Clone (27, 42, 87, 92)
(!!!) Decaying Orbit (49, 108)
(!!!) Dog Tale (28)
Fatal Fantasy VII
Feedback Demo
Flag Demo
Funky Beans
Gas Girl
(!!!) Gravitation (34, 42, 86, 92, 108)
(!!!) Haunted Maze (38, 42, 83, 92)
(!!!) Hover Racing (aka: Hover120, different to Hover Car Racing, more like F-Zero)
(!!!) Hover Car Racing (not to be confused with the above; 35, 42, 92)
Incredible Coneman (32, 42, 92)
Invaders From Mars!
(!!!) Katapila (107)
Laydion Limit Breaker
(!!!) Magic Forest
Mah Jongg (39, 42, 79, 88, 92)
Manic Miner
Nana Tan
Net Yaroze Intro
Opera Of Destruction (48, 77)
One on One
Pandora's Box (45, 77)
Ping Ping (107)
(!!!) Psychon (37, 42, 92)
Pune Yaroze
Pushy 11b (37, 42, 87, 92, 108)
RC Race
(!!!) Robot Ron (82, 86, 108)
(!!!) Rocks 'n' Gems (33, 42, 77, 82, 86, 91, 92)
Roller (108)
Sam The Boulder Man
Second Offence Demo
Snowball Fight (77, 108)
Sound 2 Light
Sphere (83)
Squeak (106)
Super Bub (43, 77, 81, 91, 108)
Super Ramp Skater
Tan Tank
TankX (49, 108)
(!!!) Terra Incognita (31, 42, 88, 92)
(!!!) Time Slip (48, 106, 108)
Total Soccer (41, 42, 83, 86, 92, 108)
Tunnel Demo (26)
(!!!) Ver.T (awesome 2D shmup)
Video Poker Simulator (46)
Yaroze Rally (77)

Exclusive to older 53 compilation:

Rayfire (2D shmup)
Super Goomba Bros (doesn’t work)
Zelda (a simple Zelda port/clone)

Games on OPM Demo 108

(!!!) Down
(!!!) INVS (also OPM 88)
(!!!) Samsaric Asymptote
Yarozians (also OPM 82)

Samsaric Asymptote


Banjo Invaders
Break 3D
Car G1
Connect 4
DX1 (hori shmup by Marc Lambert)
Hipower Battles
Kamix+ (previously Tetixx)
Pssst (OPM 77)
Sandstorm (Omar Metwally)
Stars Wars (beat-em-up by Marc Lambert)
Surf Game (OPM 77, 91)
Tokui Waza (Omar Metwally)
Tokui Waza 2
Track N No Field (Steven Lewis)
Yakata (aka: Super Mansion, released 18/4/97, by ~hecpsx / Sato)

And these are just the games which I know exist but aren't available, the number which I don't know about is theoretically infinite. Do you know of a Yaroze game which exists but isn't on this list? Post in the comments!

As you can see there are at least 20 games which cannot be played. These definitely existed, since there are clips of them on Youtube, and I’ve managed to find archived TXT files pertaining to their distribution on the private Yaroze forum. The most annoying omission for me is Yakata, aka Super Mansion, since it appears to be a polygonal Resident Evil clone, without the combat. It looks great anyway, and it was distributed among members, since I managed to find an internet archive of the accompanying text file for the game, complete with instructions for loading it on Yaroze hardware. But not the game itself!

So here is my plea. The world of Net Yaroze is on the brink of being forgotten and lost forever. Sony closed all archives of it. Universities in recent years have been selling off their Yaroze equipment complete with all discs. Few websites talk about it and those that did are now dead – a lot of stuff I had to get via the Wayback machine! And despite the valiant efforts of hackers, there are still titles not included in the compilations. Beyond the tragedy of losing unique data, is the sad fact that we’re not praising or discussing what it represented. People criticise Sony for so much, and yet here they were, allowing anyone to create games for their leading hardware. Sure it was limited compared to the official dev kit, but it was something.

If you’re a Yaroze coder and you’ve got the games in the missing list, talk about them. Take screen grabs. Archive them online. Talk about the games not on the list! Let the world know about them. Even if you’re a curious bystander to all this, play some of the games. Write about them. Make blog entries. Preserve the knowledge online. I’ve started by compiling a list, so make use of it, expand it, add to it, help it to grow (at the very least somebody add it to Wikipedia, because their page as per usual Wikipedia standards, is woefully inadequate).

Save the Yaroze.

I had considered writing a major HG101 article on every Yaroze game, with three screens for each and a mini-review, since there exists nothing like that currently, but seeing this huge list, and the many titles I’m missing, I don’t think I’ll be able to do this. It’s just way too much for one man.

I did find a series of forum topics attempting this, but it seems to have pattered out before completion (only 5 of 8 parts were completed) and for the most part lacked images. Sadly, the author is also extremely and unnecessarily negative – he appears to hate Yaroze with extreme prejudice, and so I’m not going to link to his AVGN-style ramblings. Yes, a lot of games are bad, but a lot are awesome and have some great ideas.

For those who’ve never experienced the Yaroze, I recommend it. The hacked compilations are online, hosted by Megaupload, and work fine on a chipped PS1 and reasonably well via emulator after some plugin tweaking. It’s now perhaps not as easy to appreciate their low-budget charms as it was back in 1999, but some of them are still worthwhile. Terra Incognita plays like a 3D Landstalker clone and is all kinds of awesome – it’s also now available for iPad for like a dollar. Haunted Maze is something I’d pay $6 for on PSN today it is so good (make sure to use an analogue controller!). Timeslip I’d also pay for - it’s the best time travel game ever made, and I’m not BSing (it’s now been ported to XBLIG and I highly recommend everyone check out at least the trial version - they even updated the visuals!). Samsaric Asymptote has a weird name but is a super cool retro shooter. Decaying Orbit takes planet landing to an all new level, while Down is more addictive than it should be (all you do is drop down a tunnel avoiding the descending spiked ceiling, but damn, it works!).

For more info check out Yaroze Scene:

It’s a dead website, but the owner kindly links to the Wayback archived version of it, with many of the images still available.

I should add... If any hackers feel capable, I'm willing to provide the files for the games missing from the 83 compilation (that is from the 53 compilation and 108 demo) in order to create a new and definitive compilation. They seem to be stored in a mixture of EXE and FPC file formats. In an ideal world we would be able to find the games from the rather large MISSING list, and create the ultimate compilation containing absolutely everything.


  1. I remember yaroze from those demo disks. none of the game were any good though, downloaded an iso of all the games made (probs same you played) and struggled to find anything good (3d pacman, baulderdash, a micromachine racing type game).

    xbox arcade is a bit like a sequel to it i guess (or the games section of newgrounds).

  2. wow Sketcz, what an amazing post. Thank you so much for this. I've been interested in the topic for a long time, but never did any extensive research. Living in the US, those UK OPM demo's weren't something I was fully aware of -- at least not to such an extent.

  3. I first heard about Net Yaroze a year ago thanks to a (scathing :P) Something Awful LP. It's definitely an interesting slice of gaming history, and one worth preserving given the explosion of indie gaming in the last few years. It's almost unbelievable to me that there was a thriving community of developers given the indie scene was virtually unheard of at the time. How far we've come since then!

    Admittedly the only game that really interests me is Terra Incognita, a clear Landstalker clone. I have a huge soft spot for isometric action RPGs, so I'm glad to see it's been re-released. I could have sworn there was a PC release of Terra Incognita, too, but I can't seem to find it now.

  4. Great article! But i did not quite understand where these games where included? Can i find them on some demo discs? What is this "hacked 83 compilation" that you listed first. Is this disc released?

  5. There was a PC version - I managed to grab it off the Wayback archives by checking out the team's now dead website (they were all hired by Square I believe and one now works on FF Crystal Chronicles I think). If you can't find it, I can put it online when I'm back on my regular PC, assuming I remember.

    Terra was probably the most accomplished of all, but others are pretty slick too. Rocks n Gems is another really good one.

    I'm sure there's dozens I've missed off those lists.

  6. I remember Blitter Boy, the robotron style arena-shooter/baby rescuer. That was incredibly well put together.

  7. @thermoptic
    In the list, if a game has a number next to it in brackets, you can find that game on that number of Official PlayStation Magazine. For example Katapila is on the demo given away with issue 107.

    If you can't get hold of the demo discs (and many games were not on the demos), you can download a hacked compilation. Basically someone took all the games from various demos and from the private member's server, and made his own custom ISO which you can burn and boot in a PS1 system.

    Type the following in Google to get what you need:
    "83 in 1 net yaroze"

    Download the file off Megaupload. Load the ISO via PS1 emulator, or burn and boot on a modded system.

    I don't know where the 53 compilation is these days (I got that nearly a decade ago?). And disc 108 of the Euro Demo is extremely rare. My favourite was Official Playstation Magazine issue 42, which had about 12 really great Yaroze games on it. My friend actually gave me that disc for free!

    If any hackers feel they're capable, I can provide the standalone files for the Yaroze games exclusive to disc 108, and the 53 compilation, so we can create a new, updated compilation.

  8. This is an awesome post on an amazing blog! I'm going to subscribe :]

  9. Well Now we have XBOX Live Indie Games

  10. Epic post Sketcz, god how I wanted a Net Yaroze back in the day! I was too young to care that you could make your own games with it, I just saw that it was a black Playstation and I had to have it! That Terra Incognitio game looks hella awesome.

  11. Complete overview / reviews of every game would be so amazing! Even if you can't really do it all at once or alone, just start with a few games and have it snowball.

  12. About that Ver.T game you have I think its just a test game so any one know if there was full release its from japan and has a Japanese title be for the ver.t in the name.

  13. Good point regarding Ver.T. When I first looked for it, the font was garbled on several websites, but a quick google brings up the following - not sure how accurate it is.


    New Rodefajeena Shooting

    No idea what the middle word is.

  14. Sketcz, archive all of those into a rar file and upload it to filevo. Link it here so others can archive it, you can also try posting it on snesorama for somebody to turn into a working PSX disc.

    More people need to have this stuff.

  15. Apparently there's a program called ISO Buster that will turn them into an PSX ISO.

  16. Nice post, Sketcz. I remember playing some Yaroze games from a few OPM demo discs that I had back in the day (mainly Terra Incognita). Interesting times.

    By the way, the Windows port of Terra Incognita used demo MIDIs from some Sound Blaster card instead of the original soundtrack. Any idea why?

  17. Here is a RAR with the files mentioned by the author, from the two different discs. It would seem the 53 disc had games not accessible from the menu when booted, such as HSFK, which is in the entirely missing list. Plus it has others not even listed here. Hopefully these can all be made use of. No mention of Yakata though.

    Spread it around, pass it to the left hand side, share it with your mates, post it anywhere you please, just make sure it's archived.

    Filename: Yaroze Extras.rar
    Size: 22.1 Mb
    Short Link:

    Download Link

  18. Hope Paradox find this rare games soon :(

  19. Great to see that Yaroze is getting the love it deserves - my story is almost the same as the OP's. I got my issue of OPM every month, and rushed home to play the Yaroze game straight away.

    Rocks n Gems was the all-time greatest, in my humble opinion.

  20. Sketcz, I know you have my email man. If the DEFINITIVE Yaroze compilation is ever completed... please send my way.

  21. This is code for gameshark to get past the keycard check on the net yaroze boot disc :)

    8006FF90 0000

    8006FF92 0000

    8006FF88 0000

    8006FF8A 0000

  22. Sketcz, great post. The euro demo 42 has some great yaroze games, but i love the 86. Robot ron, Gravitation, Total soccer, Between the eyes(yaroze on euro demo 87), Pushy 2(i love this game. euro demo 87)and Rocks n Gems. i love them.

  23. Just about to start developing on the Yaroze myself, a little late I know but for nostalgia's sake!

  24. Guys you can get my complete Net Yaroze Games Collection Here:

    The ENTIRELY MISSING some one have it, but i don't have it.

    Have fun ^^

  25. This takes me back... I had a letter printed in OPM 40 extolling the virtues of Net Yaroze. Frightfully embarrassing to read my 13-year-old self writing a letter, and as with many retro games, modern tech makes them almost irrelevant, but I stand by what I said - they were great, and that they were free made them even better. I still never completed Terra Incognito though. Mind you, I still have that on disc...

  26. i have a complete archive of the official UK,US and JAP sony memebers sites, took a dump of it before the forums were closed..

    1. Hi man can you please share to use the complete archive please?
      We need that rare games!

  27. Hello to everybody, some years ago i found the original source of psychon on a web site, i think it was the author's site.
    Since i can't find that site again, I paste it here:

  28. My little yaroze-gameplay on yt:
    ignore my post before... ctl+c and ctl+v... its so difficult.....

  29. Okay I have a question, I am a huge fan of Net Yaroze and Tan Tank is one of my favourite games, I understand the 83 Compilation is a hack, So can I burn the hack onto a Blank CD or is there already an official Playstation disc with the 83 on it. If I could find one, I would pay you happily!

  30. And on my last post, The Main Games I require are Hover Car Racing, Tan Tank, Snowball Fight, Haunted Maze, Adventure Game, Psychon and Rayfire. Those are my favourites but the best are Hover Car Racing and Tan Tank!! :-)

  31. Just a note to say that the updated version of Timeslip is now available as a free download for Windows. There's a download link here:

  32. yaroze-vid from me ... if u want u can present here
    its from a german opm:

  33. I have also been looking for information regarding Net Yaroze games I've been looking for Super Mansion and found information of it possibly being published on Volume 1, Issue 4 of Playstation Underground as listed here: and with possible screenshots here:

  34. Found it!!!

    Super Mansion can be downlaoded from here:

    So can several others.

    Doesn't work in emulators sadly.

    1. I think you need siocons, a Net-Yaroze compiler for run it.
      I saw it was called in the file YAKATA.BAT

    2. siocons is the tool to upload files over the serial connection on a yaroze.
      use eco2exe to patch and convert the game to run on an emulator/burn on a disc.

    3. oh, forgot about libps.exe - you need that from the yaroze boot disc and it should be loaded into memory first at 0x80100000 if i remember correctly. I'm sure one of the available emulators will let you do such things, but I have no idea really.

  35. It's Japanese name is:





     HYPER PlayStation REMIX 8月号

    開発時期 1996年11月

    1. Hi there, I just stumbled upon this post having followed a link from Kotaku to your new "15 years later" post on Gamasutra. I made Breakdown (in your missing games section). I haven't looked at my yaroze stuff in a while but I think I still have the files (I spent a little time trying to get it running on the PSP emulator, though it didn't play too will without analogue support!), and may even have some of the others sitting on an old hard-drive somewhere, I will take a look when I get home.

    2. I have that demos. But it don´t have all. We miss a lot!

  36. Hey, found my way here via the recent Gamasutra article about Net Yaroze. I'm the creator of Decaying Orbit. Great stuff and brings back a lot of memories. I still have my Yaroze sitting in my closet. Some day it would be fun to get it up and running again.

  37. I used to be a suscriber to PlayStation Underground in the U.S. (SCEA's official on-PS1-CD magazine, something like a digital version of Nintendo Power with demos), and I can tell you that they definitely included Net Yaroze games. I remember the hovercar one, that 3D shmup, Funky Beans, and Super Mansion pretty vividly, but I can't remember if it's something that they did across multiple issues or not. For all of the active European development on the Net Yaroze, I don't remember many European games being included on ours.

    Sketcz, if you want, I can dig out my copy of Vol. 1, Issue 4 to see if Yakata/Super Mansion is playable on an emulator in its PS Underground incarnation.

  38. I remember Super Mansion being pretty fun, but a bit confusing to play between the controls and the text being in Japanese.

  39. does anyone have access to all the archives from snesorama now the site is dead?

    1. Someone have but don´t wanna share, by permission from the authors.


  40. What do you think about the release of those games without asking the authors? They care about or as been forget it? Can someone answer me this question?

  41. does anyone got 'haunted maze' to run without a glitch under the bbs3 emulator?
    got the same problem but glitches start on lvl 1.

  42. Super Mansion runs fine in emulators from the PS Underground issue, BTW. Now that I actually know a little Japanese, that helped me a little, but I still got stuck about 20 minutes in.

  43. E-motion (kinetic puzzle game) is still available for mod-chipped PS1 or emulator at

  44. Wow, is this ancient post still getting replies? I should probably try to convert it into a forum topic on the HG101 forums, to make it a bit easier to find.

    Hello to all the Yaroze authors who stumble across it - and thank you, for the work put into these great games.

    If anyone wants to dig out disks and share them, by all means feels free. You don't need to ask if I'm interested, since I'm sure there are many others out there with an interest in Yaroze.

    As for sharing author's Yaroze games without permission, the general view I got from all the interviewees is that they're just really happy that people are still interested in their games. Only TimeSlip and a couple of others are actually being sold on modern systems, so I don't think there's any harm in sharing what were basically free games anyway.

    Remember, these games were originally shared on the Yaroze servers, and everyone involved was always keen to get wider attention beyond their private group, so share away! I'm confident most Yaroze authors would be pleased at such a thing.

  45. I've a question regarding those Net Yaroze games working on stock PS1 consoles.

    Is it possible to write new Net Yaroze games and burn them on a disc, so they may be played on a modded PS1 console?

  46. A message for Sketcz - I'm a freelance writer looking to put together a major article about Net Yaroze games. I'd love to talk to you about the project. Is there an e-mail address I can contact you at? Mine is

  47. Just replied to your email. :)

  48. We miss only 11 games :P

    I forget Connect 4!


  49. I wish Sony would contact the owners of these games and see if they could make a free Yaroze pack downloadable from the PS3 store. I've got the old OPSM disks, but it'd be better if I could just install the games direct on the PS3.

    In a similar vien, what about YABASIC? There was quite a scene for that back in the day on the PS2.

  50. Soon or Later we have the final version of Net Yaroze, but a few games are not added, because some dev's are already deleted or missed from the old sony dev. website.
    It's a shame but we can´t do better then this...
    Very soon the latest CD-ROM with...

    These are screenshots of Jeff and Yaroid...

  51. It's ALIVE!

    Missing ZX-1 on this list, and a few are obscure from the devs still not released.
    100 new games and demos!

  52. List Missing 80 Games, Press Select button in the menu to acess the list.

    1 File Missing
    36 are missing
    35 Never Released
    5 Works only on Yaroze PSX
    3 need a tiny fix.

    If you have it, please don´t be afraid to send it.

  53. Hey all, for those that might still check in here, I did eventually find an old "working" version of Breakdown. contains a PSX-EXE that will run in ePSXe 1.2.0 if you play around with the plugins a bit. contains an eboot for the PSP emulator. (With no analog stick, its not all that playable though).

    I never managed to get my other "game" Drum 'n' Race working on emulators, but maybe I will find the time to look into it one day.

  54. I remember quite a few of those games.. mainly from OPM demo discs. Some where actually quite addictive despite there lack of graphics, i remember a game called 'Adventure Game' by Robert Swan, that game was very basic, blocky.. slightly annoying but funny & it could of been an amazing game if 'tweaked' a little (the music was good tho).

    is quite good interview that tells us a lot about the 'legendary', 'Fabled' & expensive Net Yaroze.

  55. From PSM issue 3. Has a few pictures and description of:
    The Appointed Station

  56. Terra Incognita - PSM issue 1

  57. TERRA INCOGNITA review

    yaroze games list

  58. I got my NY out since the 90s and Im working on a 3d game in my spare time.... Its still a bitch to do 3d on... If you don't know... Imagine a 386 with a 1st gen 3d card!
    But that's all part of the fun...

    As of the games on the server... I would call most of them games but more demos.. But most just uploaded a screen shot of what they're doing.. And never completing it..
    Good post.
    gwald @xpcoin

  59. Thanks to google we have less information from the pass including wayback machine.

  60. Dan from ie interviews let the domain expire and deleted his tweeter acc.

    They were on archive, until his domain was squated by a reseller with a robot.txt, removing it from archive and search cache everyone.

    I contacted for a copy, I got a reply but then nothing.

    I eventually came back and I made a copy, since then haven't put it back so I uploaded it here:

    gwald @xpcoin