Monday, April 22, 2013

Dark Age of JRPGs (3): Danchizuma no Yuuwaku 団地妻の誘惑 - PC-88, PC-98, FM-7 (1983)

Japan being Japan, you knew it was only a matter of time until the first "erotic" game would show up in this column. Koei's third entry in the genre, after The Dragon & Princess and Khufu-Ou no Himitsu, roughly translates to "Housewife Temptation" and proudly proclaims the "Strawberry Porno Game Series." Despite the label, it's actually not much of a porn game, though, no more than the first Leisure Suit Larry was. The player assumes the role of a door-to-door salesman who set himself the noble goal to not only sell his goods to all female inhabitants of a huge appartment complex, but apparently also to have sex with them while he's there.

At the beginning the player gets to roll the protagonist's stats. The first two are health and intelligence, which get reduced for pretty much every action taken in the game, but can be recharged slightly with some random items found on the floor. Then follows the amount of money one start the game with, virility needed to engage in the sex scenes, and oddly the difficulty of fights. There's also a stat I cannot decipher, but in the game it changes to "skin," which is another name for condom in Japanese.

Walking around the appartment floor, the would-be Casanova is randomly attacked by ghosts or gangsters, all there is to do here is keep pressing (A)ttack and waiting for the results. Victory earns a pityful amount of money, but it is never worth the damage taken. The random healing items the "hero" can (T)ake from the floor are equally impotent, so keeping health and intelligence in check is a constant uphill struggle.

Really all you got to do is pick a door, (K)nock for a random number of times that is not indicated anywhere, then say (H)ello and (O)pen the door after the woman inside has asked you in.

Facing the lady of the house, the righ part of the screen gives a description of her like "Hostess," "Housewife," "Women's College Student," "OL" or "Turkish Woman" - I'm sure the latter two are some indecent Japanese 80s slang words. Below that is a value for her looks, followed by her age. All these values, including the visual representation in the middle, are randomized each time the game is played.

The ways to interact with the ladies are unfortunately very limited; you can (P)ay them a set amount of money, try to (S)ell something or try to commence (F)ucking - yep, that's what the command is called, no pretense here. When you type one of the latter, chances are you just get thrown out, but it may also result in a sex scene. (S)ell is actually pretty weird, cause it either prompts to type in an amount - which almost always results in getting shown the door, too - or answer yes or no, where yes means sex.

So this is all the glorious eroticism of Danchizuma no Yuuaku - all you see are two pairs of legs that shiver occasionally, and you're told to "Hit RETURN to flash !!!" It's not quite clear whether the key has to be pressed rapidly or rhythmically, but it seems that if one makes the blue graph rise too quickly, it just starts plummeting down. The "Your Angle" stat in the lower right corner might have to do something with it, cause it changes for every scene.

After the pitiful scene the player is awarded a score, which is negative most of the time. The act also consumes virility and money, even when the game claims one has just earned some ten thousand-something yen. Getting in debt actually isn't much of an issue, though. The (P)ay command is not available anymore, but otherwise the game just goes on. The "skin" value also decreases when there is no sex scene. Are condoms what the guy is actually selling?

There is a staircase that seems to lead to the second floor, but it is unaccessible, supposedly until one has sold enough crap to the women in all seven appartements on the first. Given the rapid pace with which the stats go down, however, the task seems pretty much impossible, bare any hidden strategies that might be lost to us. Below are a few of the women you can meet in the appartment complex. There's a Japanese page that also shows some bikini girls and a bearded crossdresser(?), but I never met those.

FM-7 version cover:


  1. "OL" is slang for "office lady," and generally refers to a woman in a low-ranking office position---it can be considered a rough female equivalent to "salaryman," though the stereotypes surrounding each are quite different. OLs are typically portrayed as wistful and bored with their jobs (and, not uncommonly, young and attractive), so they're perfect fodder for a game like this.

    As for "Turkish woman," I have no clue.
    It also feels weird that everything in the game is written in katakana, but I suppose that's just a function of the technology.

  2. OL = Office Lady (i.e. secretary)
    トルコ嬢 = Turkish girl, a legal prostitute who engages in non-penetrative sex.

  3. I believe "OL" is short for "office lady", at least that's what it means when my cousin who was raised in Hong Kong uses it and the trainer class it refers to Japanese version of Pokémon Black and White.

  4. Pretty cool this "Dark Age of JRPGs" series!

    Look at the cover of this game! Hahahaha! Hilarious!
    Unfortunately this game doesn't seem to be those that amuse me.

    About the quote: "'OL' or 'Turkish Woman' - I'm sure the latter two are some indecent Japanese 80s slang words", well, OL is an abbreviation for Office Lady. I don't know if there were any pejorative meaning for the word, but I think not.
    About the "Turkish Woman" (トルコ嬢 Torukojō), you're right. It's a slang for prostitute. The words refers to the masseuses of Turkish baths (now Soaplands), which also did some "extra services".

  5. OL likely stands for Office Lady (a generic office worker, secretary, or possibly an "office mother").

    I have no clue about "Turkish Woman", though.

  6. "OL" is innocuous, an abbreviation for "office lady," which is the Xena to the salaryman's Hercules. No idea about "Turkish woman," though.

  7. Very interesting series of articles. Not just because it deals with a part of Japanese RPG history there's little information about that's easy to find, but also because it shows that a company like Koei, that's been around since seemingly forever, took a while to find its identity it's currently most known for (or was known for before Dynasty Warriors started getting real popular).

    By the way, the "OL" and "Turkish Woman" are most likely literal. OL stands for "Office Lady" and is a female office workers who does miscellaneous jobs like taking phone calls, bringing coffee to the boss (and squeezing out the dishrag in said coffee) and getting sexually harassed by said boss.
    As for the Turkish woman, there's a large enough Turkish presence in Japan to get its own (short) Wikipedia article:
    You can actually see some traces of this in Akihabara, where there's a bunch of donerkebab stands and a Turkish restaurant.

  8. Hey guys do you think OL might stand for Office Lady? I don't think anyone's brought this up yet!

  9. One sad misconception about an OL (most likely highlighted by this game and many other media at the time, even persisting up to the present) is that the main reason they even bother with these menial desk jobs despite the crap conditions and paltry compensation is the prospect of snagging a man in the same workplace, getting married, then quitting office work and settling down as a housewife.

    It may be true part of the time, but that isn't always the case. Nevertheless, that's pretty much why they get sexually harassed a lot... plenty of Japanese men have been brought up with said image of the OL.

  10. Could "Turkish Woman" also refer to the hairy one? It's a bit of a common stereotype, something which Japanese games of this era weren't often sensitive to.

    Not saying I endorse that view in any way personally, just that it's a likely explanation. The prostitute stuff makes sense too, though, especially if it translates. Perhaps it's a double meaning? Perhaps I'm way the heck off base?

    On a related note, with as much dialog as we have of stereotypes in Western games, I'd really love to see an in-depth article on stereotypes in popular media from Japan. Some of them are obvious, like Square's Tom Sawyer and all the many games that featured Little Black Sambo style art. And characters like Tiffany in Rival Schools, that play the part of a dumb white foreigner that speaks broken 1st grade-level Japanese. There's plenty more out there, I'm sure, and although they're often disrespectful and sometimes awful, it's still a fascinating window into how an extremely homogenized first world country views of the rest of us.

  11. Moderation is in effect, so no one could see the replies until they were posted.

  12. Bearded Woman = ニューハーフ/New-half which is a term for transvestites.

  13. For those following from the previous entry, we found Genma Taisen:

    In fact, we also found a video with clear box shot and gameplay:

  14. OL is for Office Lady.

  15. I actually did a lot of research/collecting related to this subject years ago, and had planned to write about it as well, but ultimately I'm just too lazy. Anyway, I do have a lot of resources on hand (complete runs of the early Japanese computer game mags and books, etc.), so if you're looking for more info on these types of games, I might be able to help. Just let me know if you're interested.

  16. By the way, just to clarify - by "these types of games" I meant early Japanese computer RPG/adventure games in general, not hentai games. I realize that might have come out sounding a bit wrong, considering the game featured in this particular article...

    What I was trying to get at is that I spent a lot of time researching the early/mid 80s Japanese PC gaming scene a number of years ago, and amassed a large collection of vintage magazines, books, etc. related to the subject. I originally intended to create a web page or blog devoted to it, but was too lazy to ever get around to actually doing it. So, if you feel some of this information might be useful to you, please just let me know and I'll see if I can offer any help. Sorry if I wasn't too clear originally.

  17. Do you have anything that was published before 1985? Are the magazines in scanned form or actual print copies?

    1. Hi derboo,

      Yes, most of my Japanese computer mags are pre '85 (whereas almost all of my Japanese console mags are post '85, as that's when they started publishing those).

      I have complete sets of Login from '83-early '85, Comptiq from '83-'85, Yuugekishu from '84'-'85 (a very obscure mag that extensively covered RPGs), Beep (started in late '84), as well as random issues of other mags from that period, like Technopolis, Popcom, Micom Games, etc. I also have all of the rare computer game related books from that era, like the Pasocom Game Ranking Book (from '83) and Akira Yamashita's (writer from Micom BASIC) earliest "AVG & RPG" books, which have complete catalogs of all the Japanese Adventure and RPG games released up to that point. Also, I have the original "PC-88 Game no Sekai" CD-ROM that Y. Romi put out years ago. It has tons of stuff that was never on the website, including an extensive history of Japanese computer RPGs that's really useful.

      I own all of this stuff as original print copies, none of it is scanned. Most of the early Japanese computer mags were square-bound (and really tight), so scanning might be a bit problematic, but I could take digital pictures or translate specific articles, etc. I'm actually planning to do a "Chrontendo" style blog in the future using my Famicom/console mag collection to go through Japanese game history, but that will be easier as almost all of those are regular staple-bound magazines.

      Anyway, just let me know if you're interested in any of this stuff. I'd be glad to help, as I've always been fascinated with this stuff and I think it's great that someone's finally shedding some light on the subject.

  18. Hmm, if you ever find the time to grab photos of the table of content for some mags, that'd be rad. Also, any advertisements or reviews that can confirm X1 versions of early titles (as the only thorough Japanese database for the system I could find online starts with June 1985) and any info in general pertaining to the games I'm introducing here would be quite welcome. You can contact me at samuel [at] hardcoregaming101 [dot] net

  19. Here's a translation of the stats screen:

    1: Your physical strength (アナタノ タイリョク - anata no tairyoku)
    2: Your intelligence (アナタノ チセイ - anata no chisei)
    3: Your money (アナタノ ショシキン - anata no shojikin)
    4: Today's quota (キョウ ノ ノルマ - kyou no noruma)
    5: Your energy (アナタノ セイリョク - anata no seiryoku)
    6: Strength of the obstruction (ボウガイシャ ノ ツヨサ - bougaisha no tsuyosa)

    Note: ノルマ is "norma", a loanword from Russian that means "quota".

  20. During 80's, I remember going to shop after school and rent some games, get back home and copied them to CASETTE TAPES lol (renting disk games was expensive but casettes were cheaper).
    There was only a small signboard on the street and the shop itself was located deep inside an old dirty building so it had a kind of illegal/underground feeling hanging around there.
    And yes, I even saw this 'Danchizuma' game sitting on the shelf with other obscure porn games hehe...
    My 1st PC was FM-7 but later accquired MSX, PC-8801, PC-9801 and X68000 for gaming but JP gov eventually BANNED the rental of PC games (but strangely, not console games) and that practically ended my gaming life for JP games and moved on to imported IBM dos games instead in early 90's.

    And now that I play those games again on emulators, I really really really regret throwing away hundereds of mags like login, comptiq, popcom, asocom, basic magazine, msxfan etc because they all had tons of stuffs like walkthroughs, maps, tricks, tips, whatever for those games.

    Anyway, thx for interesting article and sorry for the ranting.