Saturday, August 20, 2011

Update 8/20 - El Dorado Denki, Jigoku no Renshuu Mondai, Satazius, Hermie Hopperhead, Astal

Today's one of those updates where I alienate pretty much everyone in favor of following my own obtuse interests. When I was on vacation I found a series of books that detailed, in depth, numerous early Japanese computer adventure and RPGs, which I find fascinating. For now, I've featured two of the more interesting ones: El Dorado Denki, published by Enix back in 1985, which features a copious helping of Amazonian catgirls (NSFW warning on this one), and Jigoku no Renshuu Mondai, where you play as an angel exploring hell and meet up with famous celebrities like John Lennon, Marilyn Monroe and someone who appears to be Jesus. Hmm. (We also have a whole classification of games where you explore hell.) It's also been awhile since we've covered any doujin stuff, so here's a review of Satazius, a Gradius-inspired shooter that also takes several pages out of other classic shooters. It was also one of the only non-Touhou doujin games I could still find on store shelves everywhere. I have nothing against the games, technically, but it sort of feels like a plague over there.

Coincidentally, we have two more articles that fit into a vague theme: Astal, from Sega, and Hermie Hopperhead, from Sony. Both are 2D sidescrollers released in the early days of each party's respective 32-bit systems to demonstrate their sprite handling capabilities. Astal flopped and no one has heard from him again, while Sony never even bothered to bring Hermie to America, despite the many protests by the magazine Die Hard Game Fan. Admittedly, neither game is brilliant, although Astal is quite pretty. And we're catching up with the 21st Century Pinball article, adding pages 3 and 4 (there will be 8 total), including a look at the splendid Pinball World. Your Weekly Kusoge is Blomby Car, an overhead arcade racer with a puzzling name from some company no one has heard of. It's not an abjectly terrible game, but it does have a hilariously tenuous grasp on important things like "color" and "physics" which make it feel somewhat odd.

Also, the fine folks at Adventure Classic Gaming posted an interview with me about the adventure game book you see advertised at the top. It's mostly about the adventure game scene as it was then and is now, but also details some of the history behind the site, too.

Finally, we'd like to pay our respects to composer Ryu Umemoto, who unfortunately passed away earlier this week at a young age of 37. Although he had been composing for a long time, scoring adventure titles like YU-NO and Eve Burst Error, he had only recently found international recognition with his works on Cave games like Espgaluda II Black Label, Akai Katana, Nin2-Jump, and Mushihime-sama Futari Ver 1.5. His contributions to the video game music scene will be sorely missed, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family.


  1. If you get a chance I'd be interested in learning more about the series of books you mention!

  2. What John said. Specifically, can you link to the or entries for these books? I might want to buy them for myself...

  3. I'll probably write about them in the future, but here are the links to Amazon. I'm missing the 4th volume on the AVG/RPG line, but it's out of stock there too.

  4. Wouldn't Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne count as a 'exploring hell' game? Sort of. Amala Labyrinth is basically designed to be representative of the underworld.