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Top Ten Rare Games In Japan


If you really are a PC Engine fanatic here is the ultimate top rare games worldwide! Many of these rare titles were promo only or special adapted for Japanese computer shows. For example titles like Soldier Blade Special Version and GunHed Special Version only actually ran for a total of three minutes game time, as they were made for computer shows in Japan with players could win prizes for the best scores achieved in the three minutes.


Another once very rare title Circus Lido (which was originally for sale in book shops only in Japan) is now not listed below and only fetching about 40.00 at present, rather then the old value of 400.00 upwards as many copies were found in a Japanese warehouse in the year 2003!


Darius Alpha : Hu card Value approx 600.00 boxed
Silky Lip : SCD (CDR?) Value approx 350.00
Ginga Fukei Densetsu Sapphire : CD  Value approx 350.00 
Final Soldier Special : Hu card Value approx 250.00
PC Kid 3 Special : Hu card Value around 200.00
Gunhed Special : Hu card Value approx 200.00
Go Go Birdie Chance : SCD Value approx 200.00
Power league Special : Gold Hu card Value approx 200.00 
Bomberman 93 Special : Hu card Value approx 150.00
Soldier Blade Special : Hu card Value approx 150.00


Circus Lido Go Go Birdie Chance Ginga Fukei...Sapphire


Another nice title to own is Space Fantasy Zone (order here) which only seems to exist on CDR (an true original might not even exist ?) This game was never officially released and the copies in circulation supposedly originated from a Japanese magazine. Also other titles like Galaxy Force 2, Pc Kid 4 Rpg, Popills, Dino Force, Marble Madness, Peter Pak Rat and Out Of The Wall are suppose to exist as prototypes only.


PC Engine Rare Games - Darius Alpha


One of the rarest PC Engine games is Darius Alpha, to obtain this game in Japan you had to purchase the HU Card version and the CD ROM version of Darius Plus and then use the coupons provided. You were then entered into a competition and the 1st 800 names pulled out of a hat won the game Darius Alpha. In addition, some copies were handed out by magazines such as PC Engine Gekken and Marakatsu as prizes. One sold on ebay a few years ago for an incredible $1400.00.


Darius Alpha Cover Darius Alpha Card Title Screen
Screenshot Screenshot


There were also many other giveaway or promo titles like Tengai Makyou 2 + Dragon Slayer (which contained the beginning of each game) given away with early sales of the Pc Engine Duo machines. Other titles included Lords Of Thunder demo disc, Laplace preview disc and Yuna Special demo version that was given with the later sales of the Pc Engine Fx machines, all are very difficult to find now.


System Specifications
Central Processor

Most people are surprised to learn that the PC Engine uses an 8-bit processing chip. The processor (CPU) is in fact a Z-80, 8 bit chip running at a respectable 7.16mhz. This is fast enough for most games.


However, although the chip is quite powerful, it still needs help from other custom chips to be able to run some of the more complicated games.


The Graphics

Although the Engine uses only an 8-bit CPU, this alone is not capable of producing the high quality graphics and sound needed, so the Engine also incorporates a powerful 16-bit video chip.


This chip takes the strain off the main 8-bit chip. It is capable of producing quality scrolling and sprites. 512 colours are available with 16 on screen at once. Up to 64 sprites can appear on the screen at the same time (8 per line) and the chip can create large animated sprites.


Screen resolution is 256 x 216 pixels. To store the graphic data, the Engine has 64k of video RAM. There is also 8k of work buffer RAM. All this is enough to produce some wonderful games with colourful and fast graphics, like Twin Bee and Final Soldier.


Twin Bee Final Soldier

The Sound


A small custom chip produces the 6 channel stereo sound. Check out games like Gunhed and Dungeon Explorer to hear the chip at its



NTSC or Rgb Scart?                                         Dungeon Explorer

If the PC Engine or Turbo Grafx 16 comes from Japan or the USA without any modifications done to it, it is an NTSC machine. This is the TV signal Japan and the USA use, we in the UK use PAL I. If your TV or monitor can accept an NTSC signal (most do these days) then the machine will play in full colour. Raven Games can convert your machine to run Rgb scart if you wish, so if you do not have a compatible monitor or TV then Rgb scart is the way to go as long as your TV has a scart socket (Euro connector).


Most people prefer their machine to be converted to scart as the sharp picture quality is superior to the grainy NTSC one. You can also purchase a colour booster cable which plugs into the scart lead which brings up the colours, i.e. Legendary Axe or Pc Kid now appear in a true flesh colour rather than a dull red. This really is the best way to enjoy the PC Engine to the full.


When the PC Engine was brought into Europe, a PAL version was available. These had an ugly grey unit plugged onto the back of the machine, these were unofficial and produced poor picture quality. If you still have a PAL version we recommend you have it converted to scart. Click here for info


European PAL Adaptor

PC Engine Downloads 
 Original Japanese TV Advert 1  Original Japanese TV Advert 2

The Future?


The last game officially released on the Pc Engine was Dead Of The Brain as late as would you believe the 3rd of June 1999. A third party released game called 'Implode' was released on Scd in 2002, see pic's below & another new game in 2004 has also just emerged, it was though around 1994 that most of the Japanese mass public moved on to newer consoles of that time. 


The PC Engine now has a cult following with buyers from all around the world, the machine is still very strong in France, Italy and USA and of course in the UK with many rare games still very sought after, Games like Castlevania still regularly sell for 100.00 upwards.


Even now compared to say the next generation consoles like The Playstation 2 and The X box, the PC Engine is one of the few consoles from the past that can still outplay these machines with it's simple arcade platform and shoot em up classic style games! and the fact that many of the games still don't look dated now, considering it's age is incredible. Basically the PC Engine was years ahead of it's time and luckily because of the large library of games released in Japan there's plenty of classic software out there to keep you occupied for many years to come, and there's plenty of hard core collectors out there worldwide still keeping this console well alive.


As for the games market now Its unlikely if any of the new so called 'next generation consoles' will make a mark in peoples lives like The Pc Engine did, the games market is now a massive global money making industry making even more money then Hollywood movies and run by the likes of Sony and Microsoft, even the Pc Engine in this day and age would never had stood a chance against these giants, thank god for the past !


Implode (Scd) Puzzle game Released in 2002


Thanks to:

Richard Gibbs for the PC Engine history from his original 1993 PC Engine fanzine.

Richard White for the information on Darius Alpha, Gary Young for info on the Vista. William at Games Wonderland for his original support & NFG for the prototype info.


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