Translations from Game Lab Vol. 199 -- March 2012 Issue

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Photo Caption (right): "It's Nostalgic!"

Mana-Sama's Nostalgic Game Inferno

~Part 12~

Mana's Hardware Collection

Color TV Game 6
Company: Nintendo
Release Date: June 1, 1977
Price: 9,800 yen

Casette Vision
Company: Epoch Co., Ltd.
Release Date: June 30, 1981
Price: 15,000 yen
*Price includes an AC adapter

Pioneers Who Opened up the History of Home Use Video Games

The shock of playing games at home that were played when going out

This time let's start out introducing the first time I encountered a game console. To some extent it was Nintendo's "Color TV Game 6" (TV Game 6 for short). I remember……the image of when my parents bought it for me. The console itself had 6 kinds of built in games without having to inserting or changing out cassettes. 9,800 yen was a reasonable price decision, and it was quite diffused on its own.

Speaking of the fundamental games [that came with it], on the main screen two people could compete on a tennis field, playing an extremely simple version of Tennis, and the other built in games were Basketball and Hockey. You could play single or double for each game, which added up to all 6 types. Although they were only a little different, in reality you played them all the same way. Although you could say it was like a bad version of ATARI's "PON", it was like…… you could play "PON" in your house, well, thats how I remember being able to play it.

Usually TV programs streamed through a CRT, so games were projected that way so you no longer could only play them when going out. Because of those circumstances, my childlike mind was extremely excited. Being able to play video games at home was so cool! I was moved that I could control a real world of my own within the 2 dimensional virtual world and walk into a mysterious personal experience by absorbing myself into games.

To my digression though, in regards to the TV Game 6, the high-end "Color TV Game 15" also existed. It had 15 types of games built in. Furthermore, it cost 15,000 yen because it came with a detachable controller.

The face of the Cassette Vision was not a plumber, but a lumber jack

The next was profoundly memorable, but a striking debut was achieved in 1981, Epoch Co.'s "Cassette Vision". Since I didn't own this machine at that time, I would go to my cousin's house and play it.

On the Cassette Vision I received a shock from the game "Kikori no Yosaku". You only had to do 2 simple things; cut down trees while avoiding charging wild boars, bird poop, and earthworms that came out of the ground. However, this was extremely difficult. Compared to the Famicon that was brought into the market later on, there weren't many colors and the pixels were also big, so you couldn't say the graphics were especially beautiful, but with Yosaku drawn with such big pixels you can't say it brought about an atmosphere of soliloquy.

I remember "Kikori no Yosaku" being the Cassette Video's mascot just like "The Mario Brothers" for the Famicon.

The Fatal Blow for 4 way operated consoles

Just like the name "Cassette Vision" indicates, you could play games with a Cassette ROM. A characteristic of it was that the CPU was not in the interior of the console itself, but the CPU was specifically designed to be equipped in the cassettes. Also, the controller had a joystick that only moved left and right with buttons, and was configured by a dial. The problem with the joystick was it was alright at that time for games like "Kikori no Yosaku" and "Invaders", but later when "Pakpak Monster" was released (It was like a bad version of "Pacman") I had a hard time playing! If going in 4 directions wasn't too advanced they shouldn't have made the joystick to only go left and right. After all, you could use the 4 horizontal buttons to go in any direction, so I used that as my last resort. It was so hard to control it was like torture, you couldn't even flat out turn corners. It seems Epoch did not produce a machine with the future in mind…….

None the less, game consoles after the Cassette Vision certainly enquired about "What was ideal" for the importance of the machines. Released in 1983, the famicon which everyone knows very well came out with its best input, the "cross key", so its possible to say that was born from the Cassette Vision. It was comfortable to play "Pacman" with the cross key!

Only 4 days after the release of the famicon, Epoch Co. came out with it's successor on July 19, 1983, the "Cassette Vision Jr." But they made it without any changes to the left right joystick (What are you doing Epoch!), making them suffer a huge loss because of the famicon's much better controller. Following in July 1984, they (probably) in a rush invested in a better controller for the "Super Cassette Vision" but it was already too late! The Famicon kept its stronghold without any damage, and Epoch was erased from the home use game console industry.


In 1979 "Breakout" was released from Nintendo which I was engrossed with at that time. It was a video game where colored blocks would build up on the screen in 6 beautiful colors, and while it was simple I remember it was very addictive like "Tetris". The Moi dix Mois 10 year anniversary has started! I'm looking forward to your participation. For details check out the HP. (Mana)

Translations by Sarah @