July 6, 2016

One issues that arose during our early development discussions is whether or not we should include games that were currently only available in Japan when looking at inspiration in our “1987”.

In our time frame the games we would be playing that were available in North America would have been;

  • Ice Climber (1985)
  • Kung-Fu (1985)
  • Super Mario Bros. (1985)
  • Urban Champion (1986)
  • Ninja Kid (1986)
  • Ghosts ‘n Goblins (1986)
  • Chubby Cherub (1986)
  • Commando (1986)
  • Gradius (1986)
  • Gauntlet (1987)
  • Trojan (1987)
  • Castlevania (1987)
  • Rygar (1987)
  • Athena (1987)

We had to introduce a cut-off point for when stuff would have to stop being inspirational, something reasonable and realistic. Development for our game was happening in “1987” with a “1988” release date, so to us a reasonable cut-off point was Mid-1987. Which then brought up the question, Should we include currently Japan Only games in this time frame. Being that we are a North America development studio the answer leaned towards ‘No’, we wouldn’t have had access to those games… or would we? Today importing games in easy and is as simple as signing onto eBay, back in the 80’s… we’ll we weren’t sure.

So after doing some heavy research (It took more time then we like to admit) we finally found some people who were able to confirm, yes importing Famicom games did exist in North America, it was rare but for the very few people out there who didn’t want to wait a year plus for the newest games to be released in North America or in our situation developers who wanted to have a leg up on what the next trends would be there were sources to import games into North America. Now we couldn’t find out how much this cost, but it’s safe to say it would have cost a pretty penny.

An advantage to including imports into our equation is like I said before give us a leg up on what the next trends would be. At this point in time Japan was way ahead of everyone when it came to developing console games, so IF a North American developer was looking to compete in the console gaming market it would make sense that they would look at what was in the pipeline to hit the US market in the year. A developer could develop a game that uses some of these “new” ideas and be quick to the market.

After some discussion we decided that yes we will include a few games in our inspirational bag, thou we are only going to pick a few games from the ‘current’ Famicom Only library. Games that were text heavy like ‘Dragon Quest’ would not be included, and we gave ourselves the cut off of August 1986, unlike the North America library where we could go into early 1987. The reason for this is because importing back then would have cost a lot and would have taken some time to get over here. So only having a few games imported in would have made sense, but having a large library would not.

With the inclusion of Famicom Only games our selection grew to include;

  • Metroid (1986)
  • The Legend of Zelda (1986)
  • Super Mario Bros. 2 (1986)
  • Kid Icarus (1986)
  • The Goonies (1986)
  • The Legend of Kage (1986)
  • Hokuto no Ken (1986)
Got comments? Post them here!