Gaming History 101

Know Your Roots

Posts Tagged ‘turbografx 16

Video: Keith Courage in Alpha Zones Retrospective

leave a comment »

A look back at the origins of the PC-Engine, its Western counterpart the Turbografx-16, and the pack-in title Keith Courage in Alpha Zones.

There is also an accompanying livestream that can be viewed here or by following the link in the card at the end of the video.

Written by Fred Rojas

February 1, 2017 at 3:00 pm

Podcast: Are You One of Us?

with 2 comments

tg16_post

This week Fred flies solo to discuss the short live but highly coveted niche console the Turbografx-16.  With an 8-bit processor and a 16-bit graphics card this Japan-centric console by NEC only hung around for 4-5 years but has a cult following almost as intense as Sega.  This episode covers its release, different versions, Japanese counterpart the PC Engine, and of course the expensive CD expansion and games.


Download this episode (right click and save)

Subscribe: RSS iTunes Google Podbean

Written by Fred Rojas

August 21, 2013 at 11:00 am

Day 10

leave a comment »

On the tenth day of Christmas my memories gave to me…

10 Turbografx-16 Cards!

I know the picture has more than 10 games, but I just recently found a bunch of old Turbografx-16 games from my youth and I don’t have all of the original “big 10”, sue me.  Back in 1992 Toys R Us decided it was high time to get rid of the Turbografx-16 and clearance priced both the console and the games.  I’m fairly certain the console dropped down to $49.99 and I know the games were all $9.99.  I had no idea what the heck a Turbografx-16 was but the graphics definitely looked like Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo so I grabbed it and five games for Christmas.  This was an even bigger deal when you consider that my Toys R Us only had 10 games for the console.  I was hoping that I could find other stores or places downtown (I lived in a suburb of Chicago) but to no avail.  After two weeks of searching I finally gave up and decided to ask for the other five games for my birthday to at least have my strong 10 game collection.

That ended up being one of the most worthwhile Christmas gifts I could have possibly asked for.  The back of the box was adorned with games I had never heard of, like Bloody Wolf, that looked absolutely amazing.  Unfortunately, I was limited to just the 10 games I could find but many of those were gems of the console: Keith Courage in Alpha Zones (pack-in), Legendary Axe, Splatterhouse, Devil’s Crush, Pac-Land, Vigilante, Aeroblasters, Bonk’s Adventure, Victory Run, and of course J.J. & Jeff made up my collection.  Being only ten years old and getting my hands on a game like Splatterhouse, an action title where your character looks like Jason from the Friday the 13th series and explores a haunted house, I was blown away.  Additionally the Turbografx-16 had a strong Japanese influence, so all games looked very cartoony and covered topics like graphic violence and adult situations.

I spent most of 1993 playing Turbografx-16 at home, but with my obsession with Mortal Kombat for Christmas the next year, my Genesis became the main console of my life after that.  For the longest time the Turbografx-16 remained a vague memory gathering dust in my closet (much like my Wii was a year ago).  I ended up selling off the console in college but the box containing my games remained untouched in my parent’s basement, which had more than tripled by the time I was 20.  I recently found the games and picked up a used Turbografx-16 and upon that first boot-up of Keith Courage in Alpha Zones it was like being a kid again.  I had no idea what a great part of gaming history I had stumbled upon for Christmas ’92.

<- Go back to the ninth day                                      Go on to the eleventh day ->

Generation Gap Pt. 3: 16-Bit

leave a comment »

By 1989 the NES was a powerhouse not to be reckoned with.  Sure, there were other consoles out there, but if you were doing home gaming it was predominantly on the NES.  That is, until Sega introduced the first 16-bit system to the market.  Billed as the Genesis (Mega Drive in other regions, but due to an US copyright it was renamed to the Genesis), Sega hit the ground running bringing near-perfect arcade ports of popular titles like Golden Axe and Altered Beast.  This spawned the popular “Genesis does what Nintendon’t” campaign, the onslaught of the console wars, and the second true generation of consoles since the crash.  For those simply wondering what 16-bit (and other “bits”) means is the type of processor working within the system at a given speed (think “Pentium 4” for a basic comparison).

16-bit Generation (1989 – 1999)

Sega Genesis – Launch Price: $189.99 – Released: 1989
It came literally out of nowhere.  Back then the only place to purchase Nintendo games in the Chicago suburbs was Toys R Us – you’d go see a slew of Nintendo box art in closed plastic sleeves, remove a ticket with a large price on it, and take it up to a booth that was enclosed and caged like a casino redemption.  There wasn’t a “video game” section, just a “Nintendo” section, because at that time Nintendo was synonymous with video game (and for my grandparents, it still is).  On that faithful summer day in August 1989 I walked into the Nintendo section and a slot was missing from the game display, replaced by a big blue logo that read “Sega” and a television that had a commercial playing.  In the commercial games like Golden Axe were getting compared to Bionic Commando, a truly unfair comparison from a graphics standpoint alone, despite hindsight revealing Bionic Commando the better title.  This upbeat guy was chanting “Genesis…” and a bold deep voice finished the sentence “Does!” as the commercial cross-cut the great visuals of Sega’s new console versus Nintendo’s clearly dated NES.  Then my eyes wandered down to the price: $189.99 – available soon!  I immediately forgot about it.

Read the rest of this entry »