Translations from Game Lab Vol. 204 -- August 2012 Issue

Click thumbnails for full size images

Photo caption (page 2, upper left corner): The shuttle's outer box filled with lethargy. Although it was geared towards children, it didn't at all have a high quality feeling.
Mana caption (page 2, right side): Unique form!

Mana-Sama's Nostalgic Game inferno

~Part 17~

Mana's Hardware Collection

PC Engine Shuttle

Company: NEC Home Electronics
Release Date: November 22, 1989
Retail Price: 18,800 yen

PC Engine Super Graphics

Company: NEC Home Electronics
Release Date: December 8, 1989
Retail Price: 39,800 yen

For Children and for Adults, the PC Engine Shows Diverse Intelligence

For a little while now on here I've been taking up my memories of arcade and LSI game systems. This time how about we go back to my origins and talk about game consoles that haven't been spoken about in a long time.

The popular version of the PC engine completely geared towards children

Speaking of origins, I could talk all night on here about the PC Engine series. Anyhow, the core concept of this ambitious hardware was to be pitched into several markets.

First of all I'd like touch on the space shuttle appearance of the machine PC Engine Shuttle. This machine was targeted for lower age ranges, so augment-ability was pushed aside in order to restrain the price of the entry model.

The space shuttle motif appearance was aimed towards kids so they would think "Cool~! I want that~!!". However, when I speak of my own direct impressions of it, although I own it as part of my console collection I was never all that attracted to it at the time. Maybe it was because I wasn't a child by then…….

Even so, I should think about the PC Engine's unique design.

First of all, the body had a double wing appearance which made quite an impact. I remember the form had parts of the ATARI jaguar, but the color was more like a toy, so it failed in having a high class feeling to it. However, maybe it had a toy-like appearance because it was aimed towards children.

I often thought the design of the transparent cover that opened and closed at the part where you inserted the Hu card resembled a cockpit. Aside from that, I'm sure the rite of inserting the Hu card into the body got kids excited as they did it. Also, the radiator slits on the surface were an innovative and interesting part of the design.

However, I never heard much talk about the sales of PC Engine Shuttle. As part of the core concept, maybe they should have said it was purely specialized to comprise its entire goal towards children.

I digress, but it was disappointing to see such a terrible and ugly design on the outer box. It was disappointing how it even rivaled the usage of the image of the Dream Cast's managing director, Yukawa to add an individualistic touch. I wish they had refined it by using more of a space feel to make the best of the shuttle ambiance.

Carrying the core user's expectations on their backs……

Continuing on, I'll introduce something that was a change from the aim towards children, a developed with an aim towards Game otaku and core users-- the PC Engine Super Graphics.

I have vivid memories even now of how excited I was about it when it first appeared. Its because the PC Engine was strengthened with a graphics chip making it the highest quality machine with the best images.

That time was an era when I had wanted to see complete reproductions of arcade games. When the Super Graphics was released I wasn't the only user in ecstasy thinking "This is something I've been waiting for".

In its appearance, for the feeling of a profound production, the PC Engine was crowned with its name because its design resembled a machine's engine. It has a bit of a rough feeling to it, so certainly when people saw it it gave them the impression it was made for boys.

I love the series "Ghosts 'n Goblins," so I wanted to buy it in order to play the "Ghouls 'n Ghosts" series! The Mega Drive released "Ghouls 'n Ghosts" too, but in order to keep the machine specs low, things like the background were simplified so it didn't have a very sufficient quality. However, the Super Graphics version of "Ghouls 'n Ghosts" closely resembled the arcade game which made me a little bit emotional. "From here on out the age of super graphics is coming!" so I believed, but as a result only 5 games were released with the Super Graphics software support, leading it to poor results. Looking back at the history of gaming, wasn't the software support of 5 games a little too small of an amount in the first place? Even in spite of the price rise to 39,800 yen, you could only splurge on 5 games. "This isn't catching on at all," I said as I shed tears.

The short life of the next generation machine came to an end, and at that time I received an immense shock. However, I persuade myself by saying "I'm happy I got to play "Ghouls 'n Ghosts" for even 10 minutes. It was the best machine!"

Footnote: Have you listened to the Moi dix Mois 10 year anniversary album "Reprise"? Also, this coming November 2 we will be meeting at Akasaka BLITZ for the live titled "Fragments of Philosophy Chapter 5 Sacred Abyss Deep Sanctuary II". The performance of ZIZ lead by Kozi will be included and Yu~ki will appear as our special guest! Further more, Mana, Kozi, and Yu~ki will do a session together!! By all means, please come. (Mana)

Translations by: Sarah @