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I love the look of PC98 games aka the Anime PC game machine

Barajas_201

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Apr 30, 2014
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OMG this looks so good. Any pixel artist/indie dev know how this is done? How does that level of transparency work?
 

Krejlooc

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OMG this looks so good. Any pixel artist/indie dev know how this is done? How does that level of transparency work?
It's not transparency, the images are interlaced. The even field is of one image, the odd field is of another. It's just another type of dithering. The way artists would do stuff like this is with routines in art editors that would combine images this way. That way they could draw one image, then draw another, and have the computer handle the blend. It just looks like it's transparent because you're looking at it from far away, almost like taking in a pointillism painting.

If you zoom in and out with your browser, you can zoom in far enough to see the individual lines of pixels, and as you zoom in and out you'll get the tell-tale interlacing artifacts.
 
Sep 11, 2011
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Digan no Maseki (1988) is a pretty interesting RPG with some great art.
The day more people learn about this game, and how singularly cool and unusual it was coming from a light novel writer and a few programmers who did a mech wargame previously, will be strange and hilarious. Naoyuki Kato's one of the best fantasy artists in Japan and no one seems to discuss his works, let alone Suemi's or Tanno's.
 
Sep 11, 2011
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Sharp X1 brought us some cool stuff.



Buuma (demos the X1's simple PCG (character generator) allowing for pseudo-sprites), Mukau (published by Pax Softnica years before they worked for Nintendo), X1, 1985



Produce (a distant precursor to the Deception series), dB-SOFT, X1, 1987



Parallel World Sophia, YMCAT/Dempa, X1, 1987
 

Barajas_201

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Apr 30, 2014
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It's not transparency, the images are interlaced. The even field is of one image, the odd field is of another. It's just another type of dithering. The way artists would do stuff like this is with routines in art editors that would combine images this way. That way they could draw one image, then draw another, and have the computer handle the blend. It just looks like it's transparent because you're looking at it from far away, almost like taking in a pointillism painting.

If you zoom in and out with your browser, you can zoom in far enough to see the individual lines of pixels, and as you zoom in and out you'll get the tell-tale interlacing artifacts.
Mind blown. I thought there were 3 layers of images but its just one :O
 

hampig

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I started development on a game around this style last year in September. I was unable to do the style justice and have since moved to a different style though. One day though.
 

Aeana

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Digan no Maseki (1988) is a pretty interesting RPG with some great art.



I tried to play this when I was 9 years old and I was very, very confused a lot of the time. My reading level wasn't quite up to snuff at the time. I didn't connect it to GDLeen until much later, when I was going through my stuff and saw the logo on it (GDLeen was something I got into a fair few years later) and it's been on my list of games to revisit for quite a while.
 
Sep 11, 2011
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These all LOOK amazing, but are any of them so incredible that they need to be played?
Enough that I get paralysis of choice thinking of which ones I can and should recommend. Go to Project EGG and look through its library for some idea, then sign up to download and legally emulate a ton of great Japanese PC games (on Windows, haven't tried using it in WINE). Keep in mind, though EGG's selection is limited.

Usually I make GIFs of the games I'm able to play a lot of with very limited Japanese language knowledge/experience, so I recommend looking at those to get an idea of the variety of games you can find and play.
 

Jazz573

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Enough that I get paralysis of choice thinking of which ones I can and should recommend. Go to Project EGG and look through its library for some idea, then sign up to download and legally emulate a ton of great Japanese PC games (on Windows, haven't tried using it in WINE). Keep in mind, though EGG's selection is limited.

Usually I make GIFs of the games I'm able to play a lot of with very limited Japanese language knowledge/experience, so I recommend looking at those to get an idea of the variety of games you can find and play.
Especially limited on the English site. Fortunately it's all one account for both English and Japanese and also for the rest of Amusement Center, like the ACMall and EGG Music.
 
Sep 18, 2015
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The higher the resolution, the better the dithering effect.
I remember toying with dithering in Deluxe Paint 2.
Looked kind of terrible in resolutions lower than 640x480.
 

Aeana

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These all LOOK amazing, but are any of them so incredible that they need to be played?
All of Falcom's PC98 stuff is great.


Brandish VT intro shots:


The PC98 versions of Legend of Heroes 3 and 4 are also my favorites still to this day, although they don't have a lot of fancy full screen art, they're just nice looking games.



As for non-Falcom stuff, the PC98 version of Xak 3 also has the highest quality art portraits of all of the versions, which I think kinda goes along with this thread. It's a pretty great action RPG.

 

Tizoc

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Pc-xx games are some of the most exotic games ive always wanted to play
Plus dat anime art is superb
Can we get some sharp x pc games screenshots too?
 

Trojita

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Feb 9, 2009
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All of Falcom's PC98 stuff is great.


Brandish VT intro shots:




The PC98 versions of Legend of Heroes 3 and 4 are also my favorites still to this day, although they don't have a lot of fancy full screen art, they're just nice looking games.





As for non-Falcom stuff, the PC98 version of Xak 3 also has the highest quality art portraits of all of the versions, which I think kinda goes along with this thread. It's a pretty great action RPG.
Man those LoH screenshots look so comfy.
 
Sep 11, 2011
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I guess I should mention: I don't know any Japanese.
The original Brandish is easy to understand if you experiment with keyboard controls and don't fret over what the shopkeepers are saying (I had to look up Japanese text transcriptions of puzzle hints to proceed though, look here when you need them). You'll have to find the best way to use mouse for certain actions while moving/strafing and attacking using the keyboard, but it's not a hard game (nor easy). Tons of great arcade shooter games came out for J-PCs, usually on the Sharp X68k but also on PC-98 and earlier. I bet a number of dungeon-crawlers are playable too. Overall getting into J-PC games w/o Japanese knowledge has already barred VNs and xRPGs off from me, at least until later, which means I have to investigate more often.

As for non-Falcom stuff, the PC98 version of Xak 3 also has the highest quality art portraits of all of the versions, which I think kinda goes along with this thread. It's a pretty great action RPG.
Hyakkimaru's character art for this and Illusion City is awesome. Micro Cabin lived the dream back in the early-1990s, starting with Xak and continuing with stuff like NIRGENDS and Riglord Saga.
 

Jazz573

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YU-NO. It's translated. A VN-point and click hybrid, amazing stuff. One of the best games I played last year, I ended up clocking 10 hours daily on it.
I loved it. But it definitely isn't for everyone. Was a bit bothered that just about every scene with a female has an upskirt shot. But the game is still overall great.
 

Funyarinpa

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Jul 8, 2014
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I loved it. But it definitely isn't for everyone. Was a bit bothered that just about every scene with a female has an upskirt shot. But the game is still overall great.
Eh, didn't bother me too much since I just ended up crediting it to the game's art style (and I really liked the art to be honest lol).
 

Sinople

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Nov 15, 2009
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This thread reminds me of the Enix adventure/visual novel games. It's a real shame S-E acts as if they never existed and don't release them on EGG even though there's already the arguably inferior Square's attempts at the genre (Death Trap, Will, Alpha).
Some examples:
Zarth (1984)

JESUS (1987)


Angelus (1988)


Burning Point (1989)


Misty Blue (1990)



Dragoon En Regalia said:
The day more people learn about this game, and how singularly cool and unusual it was coming from a light novel writer and a few programmers who did a mech wargame previously, will be strange and hilarious. Naoyuki Kato's one of the best fantasy artists in Japan and no one seems to discuss his works, let alone Suemi's or Tanno's.
Yep, I especially love Jun Suemi's illustrations. I wish this meticulous, more realistic style was still a popular thing in Japan nowadays.
I tried to play this when I was 9 years old and I was very, very confused a lot of the time. My reading level wasn't quite up to snuff at the time. I didn't connect it to GDLeen until much later, when I was going through my stuff and saw the logo on it (GDLeen was something I got into a fair few years later) and it's been on my list of games to revisit for quite a while.
Honestly, it's not a fun game, but a really interesting one in how different it is compared to traditional RPG: you can ask any NPC about a multitude of topics, you have to work part-time to get money, you have to deal with tiredness, hunger, diseases and wounds, etc.
It's a very ambitious game but, unfortunately, it also feels very small in scope and lacks any sort of polish. What I do find fantastic is the work done on the setting and this game only scratches the surface of it. There's also GDleen, as you said, but the meat of the overall story is in the novels, which are hard to find sadly.
 

Syril

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I wonder how these would have looked on the old monitors they were designed for. They use a lot of dithering, so would it have all blended together to look cleaner?
 
Sep 11, 2011
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There's also GDleen, as you said, but the meat of the overall story is in the novels, which are hard to find sadly.
It's easier to find the dumb OVA and SFC game than GDLeen LNs, which is a shame. These days Yuto Ramon does alternative history stuff to make his living (aka WWII otaku fantasies), so he clearly trades niches and has never broken out into the limelight. Minelvaton Saga and its lineage did better on console than Digan no Maseki, Dark Wraith, and King Breeder on NEC PCs.

Looking at the Misty Blue screens reminds me that Naoyuki Onda (game's character designer) was somewhat prolific, doing similar work on an OVA called Nineteen 19 which feels like a mix of To-Y and Misty Blue with its dreamy music-video appeal.

I wonder how these would have looked on the old monitors they were designed for. They use a lot of dithering, so would it have all blended together to look cleaner?
Dithering would have been present and felt but less noticeable until you looked closer.
 

Dio

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Apr 3, 2013
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PC88 and PC98 games had cool music too. Does anybody know much about the video specs of your usual PC98 computer? Quite high resolution for the color depth and I'm wondering if it had a composite/NTSC mode. I've only seen it on emulators.
Yep.

Revival Xanadu 2 Remix - La Valse Pour Xanadu ~Resistance~

Revival Xanadu 2 Remix - Level 7

Revival Xanadu 2 Remix - Level 8

Revival Xanadu 2 Remix - Level 10

Revival Xanadu 2 Remix - Ending

Star Trader X68000 - Launching

Star Trader X68000 - Ugly Beauty

Star Trader X68000 - The Logic of Shooters

Some of those games in the OP look really interesting. Would love a chance to play them.
What game is this?
Possessioner.
 

taimoorh

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Nov 30, 2014
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Damn how I wish these games were out on the Ds/ 3DS. Surely those little machines are capable enough to run these titles from 30 years ago.