Jump to content


- - - - -

Let's talk about the Turbografx-16, ok?


#1 lilboo   Not addicted to WoW CAGiversary!   18235 Posts   Joined 15.5 Years Ago  

Posted 27 November 2006 - 09:45 PM

I bring this up because I have some questions on this system.
I've always been fascinated with this system way back in the day. I think the name really intrigued me. I never actually saw one in person, let alone play it. So with the VC on Wii I'm really interested in playing some of the games that were out for it. I'm loving Bonk's Adventure :)

So here are some questions.
Who made it?! I always see "NEC". Who's NEC? Are they still around? What else have they done?
This was cartridge based right?
This had 5 controller ports? I ask this because how can Bomberman '93 support s 5 players if it didn't?

Did it fail? Why weren't there anything else after it?

I assume there has to be some awesome games for it. Why else would Nintendo bring this to the VC? I couldn't see them bringing in a system that had nothing but shitty games to the VC.

I think that's all I have for now.
:)

#2 Mr Unoriginal   Cheap Amish Gamer CAGiversary!   7456 Posts   Joined 14.8 Years Ago  

Mr Unoriginal

Posted 27 November 2006 - 09:51 PM

Funny you should post this, I just recently got interested in exactly what the TG16 had to offer and downloaded some ROMs and an Emu. For me, the experience has been very dissapointing, I tried a few games out including Bonk and am far from impressed. It doesn't seem to have the same sort of timeless fun that a lot of NES/SNES/Genesis games had and have to this day. I'd be curious to hear what others think are some must play games for the system.

#3 GizmoGC   I love Cheese CAGiversary!   12402 Posts   Joined 14.8 Years Ago  

Posted 27 November 2006 - 09:56 PM

I bring this up because I have some questions on this system.
I've always been fascinated with this system way back in the day. I think the name really intrigued me. I never actually saw one in person, let alone play it. So with the VC on Wii I'm really interested in playing some of the games that were out for it. I'm loving Bonk's Adventure :)

So here are some questions.
Who made it?! I always see "NEC". Who's NEC? Are they still around? What else have they done?
This was cartridge based right?
This had 5 controller ports? I ask this because how can Bomberman '93 support s 5 players if it didn't?

Did it fail? Why weren't there anything else after it?

I assume there has to be some awesome games for it. Why else would Nintendo bring this to the VC? I couldn't see them bringing in a system that had nothing but shitty games to the VC.

I think that's all I have for now.
:)


I'll help you...

Who made it?!
NEC/Husdon did. I'm sure someone has more info on this though...
They also released a portable version called the 'Turbo Express' which let you play the games Gameboy systle. A neat little system and even had a TV tuner accessory.

This was cartridge based right?
Yes and No. It was card bases...much like the Sega Master System Hu-Cards. I don't want to call them cartridges...but they are not CD based.

This had 5 controller ports?
It had 1 controller port. You would have to buy an accessory to add 4 other ports to you're system. Much like the SNES 4 Play etc.

Why did it fail?
Never took on in the US. Snes and Genesis were just it. TG16 had Bonk...and thats about it. While there are some awesome games available (Neutopia I and II may be better then Zelda for SNES...)

#4 lilboo   Not addicted to WoW CAGiversary!   18235 Posts   Joined 15.5 Years Ago  

Posted 27 November 2006 - 09:58 PM

Oooh Hudson?! The bastards that made Adventure Island?! (That game was much fun, but HARD)

That's interesting.
I never heard of the Turbo Express. I'll have to do some research on that later. You know how much it retailed for? And for the hell of it--how much did the TB16 retail for?

#5 mykevermin   Queen of Scotland CAGiversary!   37011 Posts   Joined 14.3 Years Ago  

Posted 27 November 2006 - 10:03 PM

It used "HuCards." Think flash memory style cards about the size of a credit card, but perhaps 1/4" thick. All non-CD-ROM games were on the cards.

NEC, from my understanding, is an electronics corporation no different than Sony or Sega (well, back then, anyway).

It was a souped-up 8-bit system, and not truly a 16-bit. That's what I've read over the years, anyway, though I lack the techie know-how to know if that's true or not.

The TG16 had two control ports, but could have up to five players with an optional expansion box w/ four controller ports on it. Likewise, I think they also sold a RAM upgrade for the machine, which was a big hunk of plastic that jammed into the back of the machine.

Which you could not use if you owned the TurboGrafx CD. I don't recall any games from this, except perhaps Fighting Street (Street Fighter) and Ys I and II. Pehraps a video-based Sherlock Holmes adventure. At any rate, it made the Sega CD look like an amazing investment, relatively speaking.

Some classic TG16 titles were:
Splatterhouse (the original)
The Legendary Axe (part 1 only, 2 was alright, but you won't miss much if you never play it)
Keith Courage in Alpha Zone (Fuck you I liked it)
R-Type (its port of this game was a major selling point early on)

I know there are other titles but I'm drawing a blank. I liked the Bonk series personally.

Of course, people will drool and moan about "CastleVania" Dracula X: Rondo of Blood. However, it's (1) not as amazing as it was in 1993 when it came out, being far surpassed by Igarashi's non-3D adventures since 1997, (2) not coming stateside anytime soon, and (3) surely not coming to the Virtual Console. It's an alright game, but its majesty has been blown to legendary proportions, which it cannot, lamentably, live up to.

TG16 was known as PC Engine in Japan; later iterations of the same console were known as "TurboDuo," and featured the HuCard/CD-ROM outfit sold in one unit. It did have a portable, the "TurboExpress," that could play HuCards only (duh) and made the Lynx look like the environmentalists' choice with regard to battery consumption.

Price was hit-or-miss. The TG-16 was $150 w/ Keith Courage, a respectable price at the time compared to the Genesis and the not-out-yet SNES. The TGCD and TurboExpress were $350-400 at release, a princely sum in 1989.

The short version of the story: play The Legendary Axe and Splatterhouse. Don't look back. You won't see the nostalgia that others do; those who do remember this system fondly either have mental disorders or that sort of indie rock pretentiousness that requires them to hate everything mainstream and adore things shunned by the mainstream, like bathing and compact discs.

EDIT: http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Turbografx
That's a good five minute quick read that's worth it. Especially the part about Nintendo's contribution to NEC's failure in the states, which was later declared illegal. Fascinating stuff about the company everybody loves to wrap their fuzzy lil' arms around these days, no?

#6 elprincipe   NES > you CAGiversary!   5291 Posts   Joined 15.4 Years Ago  

Posted 27 November 2006 - 10:22 PM

The short version of the story: play The Legendary Axe and Splatterhouse. Don't look back. You won't see the nostalgia that others do; those who do remember this system fondly either have mental disorders or that sort of indie rock pretentiousness that requires them to hate everything mainstream and adore things shunned by the mainstream, like bathing and compact discs.


Oh come on myke, the Turbo is a lot better than that. Maybe it's nostalgia blinding me since I owned one at one point, but more like it's because when it was all over and done I got a Turbo, then a TurboDuo, and haven't regretted it. There is a ton of crap on the system, like just about any system, but there are a lot more games worth playing than just Legendary Axe and Spalatterhouse, especially if you include CD and SCD games.

I can make further recommendations to you as more VC games come out on Wii, but for now thank your lucky stars the best Turbo game (maybe barring Dracula X :D) is already on it: Bonk's Adventure.

#7 GizmoGC   I love Cheese CAGiversary!   12402 Posts   Joined 14.8 Years Ago  

Posted 27 November 2006 - 10:24 PM

Oooh Hudson?! The bastards that made Adventure Island?! (That game was much fun, but HARD)

That's interesting.
I never heard of the Turbo Express. I'll have to do some research on that later. You know how much it retailed for? And for the hell of it--how much did the TB16 retail for?


IIRC, the TG16 itself retailed for $149 with Keith Courage (Decent game...not as good as Sonic or Mario though). The Turbo Express was $199.99 (I think).

Most of the good games on th TG16 were from Hudson. All the Bonks, Adventure Islands, Bomberman, etc.

#8 GizmoGC   I love Cheese CAGiversary!   12402 Posts   Joined 14.8 Years Ago  

Posted 27 November 2006 - 10:25 PM

Oh come on myke, the Turbo is a lot better than that. Maybe it's nostalgia blinding me since I owned one at one point, but more like it's because when it was all over and done I got a Turbo, then a TurboDuo, and haven't regretted it. There is a ton of crap on the system, like just about any system, but there are a lot more games worth playing than just Legendary Axe and Spalatterhouse, especially if you include CD and SCD games.

I can make further recommendations to you as more VC games come out on Wii, but for now thank your lucky stars the best Turbo game (maybe barring Dracula X :D) is already on it: Bonk's Adventure.


WRONG. The Second Bonk was MUCH better then the first ;)
Still hoping for Neutopia, Blazing Lazers, and Devils Crush.

#9 mykevermin   Queen of Scotland CAGiversary!   37011 Posts   Joined 14.3 Years Ago  

Posted 27 November 2006 - 10:25 PM

Oh come on myke, the Turbo is a lot better than that. Maybe it's nostalgia blinding me since I owned one at one point, but more like it's because when it was all over and done I got a Turbo, then a TurboDuo, and haven't regretted it. There is a ton of crap on the system, like just about any system, but there are a lot more games worth playing than just Legendary Axe and Spalatterhouse, especially if you include CD and SCD games.

I can make further recommendations to you as more VC games come out on Wii, but for now thank your lucky stars the best Turbo game (maybe barring Dracula X :D) is already on it: Bonk's Adventure.


You've got a gall-damned Johnny Turbo avatar, and you're acting all coy about your love for the system!?!?! :lol:

Allow me to add Alien Crush and Devil's Crush to the list. Awesome pinball games. Anyone who bought the NES Pinball game for 500 Wii points should come to my house. I'll give them the Wii points for the TG-16 pinball classics, should they ever come out, but only if I get to slap them in the face for being dumb enough to buy NES goddamned Pinball.

#10 Gentlegamer  

Gentlegamer

Posted 27 November 2006 - 11:52 PM

Dracula X: Circle of Blood (Chi No Rondo) is indeed as good as legend makes it out to be and it, along with Castlvania III, is my favorite Castlevania game.

#11 bmulligan   I am not a number CAGiversary!   6075 Posts   Joined 14.9 Years Ago  

Posted 28 November 2006 - 12:13 AM

Still hoping for Neutopia, Blazing Lazers, and Devils Crush.



AWESOME TRIFECTA !!!

I loved those three games and still hate myself for selling my TG-16 almost 6 years ago. I'd love to get them on the VC sometime in the future.

Some others that gave many hours of enjoyment:
Final Lap Twin
Dungeon Explorer
Superstar Soldier
Aero Blasters

#12 soonersfan60   Longing for retro CAG... CAGiversary!   4360 Posts   Joined 13.1 Years Ago  

soonersfan60

Posted 28 November 2006 - 01:14 AM

Best game ever was JB Harold Murder Club for TG-16 CD. The mechanics and story play just like Phoenix Wright, although the characters aren't quite as colorful.

#13 elprincipe   NES > you CAGiversary!   5291 Posts   Joined 15.4 Years Ago  

Posted 28 November 2006 - 07:22 AM

You've got a gall-damned Johnny Turbo avatar, and you're acting all coy about your love for the system!?!?! :lol:


:lol: Got me! :D

Allow me to add Alien Crush and Devil's Crush to the list. Awesome pinball games. Anyone who bought the NES Pinball game for 500 Wii points should come to my house. I'll give them the Wii points for the TG-16 pinball classics, should they ever come out, but only if I get to slap them in the face for being dumb enough to buy NES goddamned Pinball.


NES Pinball isn't bad, but it's nowhere close to Alien/Devil's Crush.

And to whoever said it, the original Bonk is slightly better than Bonk's Revenge IMO. Anyone else played Bonk 3? Super Bonk (SNES)? The GameCube Bonk's Adventure remake? Yes, I like Bonk, a little!

#14 KaiserWAVE   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   69 Posts   Joined 12.8 Years Ago  

KaiserWAVE

Posted 28 November 2006 - 07:48 AM

I loved Saint Dragon. That game really made me lose my temper everytime I would play it, kinda like R-Type :). I think I didn't even got through it, but for me this is one of the best classic shooters.

#15 zman73   Got six? CAGiversary!   3610 Posts   Joined 14.5 Years Ago  

Posted 28 November 2006 - 11:41 AM

I could have sworn the Turbo Express was 299.99... awsome handheld, held back by a huge cost

Fav games: Bonk: Trilogy, Devils and Alien Crushes, Splatterhouse, Legendary Axe games, and how could ANYONE forget Ninja Spirit

The TG-16 niche appears to be shooters, just in my emulation on my PSP seems like a good protion of the games were shooters (I still own a regular TG16... but it is so hard to find games

#16 Number83   ¡oɹq 'ʎɹoʇs ןooɔ CAGiversary!   10530 Posts   Joined 13.3 Years Ago  

Posted 28 November 2006 - 12:15 PM

Loom was a decent game too. As was Super Spike V'Ball. But my all time favorite was Valis II for the TGCD. It got me completely hooked on RPG's.

Damn, now I'm gonna have to go back to my old house and find it!!!

#17 epobirs   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   8513 Posts   Joined 14.5 Years Ago  

Posted 28 November 2006 - 01:11 PM

The TurboExpress was quite expensive but had a feature set unequaled in its era since it was a true portable version of the console rather than separate much weaker platform (GameBoy) or a repackaging of an older system like the Game Gear. The TE built up a dedicated following among limousine and truck drivers who didn't have to concern themselves with batteries and often spent long times waiting until they could hit the road again.

NEC is one of the world's largest electronics manufacturers. At the time of the PC Engine's first year in Japan the company was the #13 globally. Some Americans may not know the name but NEC parts are almost certainly in at least one device in your home. They sold TVs and computers under their own brand for a time but have long since left that to local companies that sel NEC gear under their brand. (I still have an NEC 486SX laptop stashed away.)

The system had one controller but the TurboTap expanded that to 5. The base system relied on passwords for saving games since there was no provision for battery backed memory in the HuCard.

The base system only offered RF output. The TurboBooster added composite video and stereo sound (IIRC) plus it provided some non-volatile memory for games that supported it. The Turbo-CD add-on also covered these functions, so it would replace the TurboBooster if added to the console.

Shooters were indeed a major category for the TG-16. There were also a lot of great but obscure games that many in the US never gave a decent chance because they weren't sufficiently localized for the US audience.

Where the machine really delivered was in imports. There was no region coding on the CDs at all and Hu-Cards for the PC-Engine only needed a simple pinout adapter to be used on the US machine. When you look at the Japanese library it's far easier to understand why this machine was #1 there for a while. A huge number of third party NES hits had PC Engine versions that were far superior. Add to that the original CD games that were playable without translation and a good import source made the system far more interesting. A helicopter shooter called Avenger was a good example.

Neutopia I & II were blatant Zelda clones but worth the price of the system for people otherwised stalled waiting for Nintendo to do anymore entries back then.

Has the whole library aged well? Of course not. Things that were notable accomplishments then are now regarded as trivial. But the same applies far more tot he NES moldy oldies Nintnedo is expecting us to keep buying in their original form.

Given the choice between NES Gradius and PC Engine Gradius the obvious choice for visual quality and non-stuttering gameplay is the PC Engine. I, for one, would be far more likely to buy an old favorite Turbo-Grafx game for the Virtual Console than pretty much any NES offering.

#18 ashram   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   1237 Posts   Joined 15.0 Years Ago  

Posted 28 November 2006 - 01:23 PM

The base system only offered RF output. The TurboBooster added composite video and stereo sound (IIRC) plus it provided some non-volatile memory for games that supported it. The Turbo-CD add-on also covered these functions, so it would replace the TurboBooster if added to the console.


close. the turbo booster was just composite video out. the turbo booster plus added non-volatile memory (the cd add-on did this as well)

also, how about the entire valis series? that was great... and let's not forget where working designs began... US translations of cadash, cosmic fantasy 2, vasteel and exile 1&2...all before the tg-16 died in the us and they went sega....

#19 bjork73   Yep, I'm a Wizard CAGiversary!   89 Posts   Joined 12.6 Years Ago  

Posted 28 November 2006 - 09:49 PM

It was a souped-up 8-bit system, and not truly a 16-bit. That's what I've read over the years, anyway, though I lack the techie know-how to know if that's true or not.


AFKIK the TG/PC Engine had 2 8-bit processors running together.

I'm going to have to download an emulator and find those two pinball games... I'm a sucker for pinball, even in video form ;)

#20 sarausagi   Concerto in Cute Major CAGiversary!   1807 Posts   Joined 13.8 Years Ago  

Posted 30 November 2006 - 08:23 PM

Turbo was my first console, and still one of my favorites.

I remember staying up all night crawling through Dungeon Explorer.

#21 Gentlegamer  

Gentlegamer

Posted 30 November 2006 - 08:57 PM

AFKIK the TG/PC Engine had 2 8-bit processors running together.

It had an 8-bit CPU, but 16-bit graphics processor (capable of displaying its entire 512 color palette at once, where Genesis could only display 64 out of 512 at once).

I'm going to have to download an emulator and find those two pinball games... I'm a sucker for pinball, even in video form ;)

The Magic Engine by David Michel is the best PC-Engine/TG-16 emulator out there (requires registration, though).

#22 Javery   Drug-Dealer-Keeper-Awayer CAGiversary!   22419 Posts   Joined 14.9 Years Ago  

Posted 30 November 2006 - 09:01 PM

There was a dude I went to high school with who had the biggest fucking head I've ever seen. Naturally, everyone called him "Bonk" including girls and teachers.

#23 elprincipe   NES > you CAGiversary!   5291 Posts   Joined 15.4 Years Ago  

Posted 01 December 2006 - 05:59 AM

There was a dude I went to high school with who had the biggest fucking head I've ever seen. Naturally, everyone called him "Bonk" including girls and teachers.


Awesome...I bet he was a hit with the ladies! ;)

#24 AngstOverlord   CAG Veteran CAG Veteran   34 Posts   Joined 12.4 Years Ago  

AngstOverlord

Posted 01 December 2006 - 03:21 PM

Does the nostalgia taint count if one never even heard of the machine when it was prevalent? Granted I still play the 2600 from time to time because I'm such a loser, but heeey...

I like my Turbo Duo, but need to find a cheap TG-16 base unit just for American HU-cards. While JP-on-US system cards aren't too difficult to find, the reverse is kinda a pain. Still, got JP Splatterhouse. I always thought he looked like he was wearing PJs, granted that wasn't the case by the third game.

Has anyone else played the disc version of Zero Wing? I find it more difficult than the Mega Drive or arcade versions.

Any suggestions of awesome spaceship shootery games are welcome. I have Darius Plus (and Super Darius because I am an IDIOT, but there are differences, really), Zero Wing, L-Dis and Lords of Thunder.

I like the system more because of its side-scrolling shooter library. Still, wouldn't kick Beyond Shadowgate out of bed for eating crackers. Dracula X is also one of the finest Akumajo/CV entries EVER.

Prince Eric is so emo. Pity loading a random save file got him shot through the head. Ewww.

Still need to locate the Bonk entries, Air Zonk and Gate of Thunder. Sigh.

#25 ashram   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   1237 Posts   Joined 15.0 Years Ago  

Posted 01 December 2006 - 03:37 PM

well, the gate of thunder, bonk 1&2, and bomberman (it's hidden) SCD shouldn't be too hard to find... i love mine... gate of thuner was awesome when it was released, but then lords of thunder destroyed it visually...

#26 AngstOverlord   CAG Veteran CAG Veteran   34 Posts   Joined 12.4 Years Ago  

AngstOverlord

Posted 01 December 2006 - 04:04 PM

Oh, inferior visuals mean nothing to me. Especially on a nice, big TV. Playing Asteroids and having them the size of a cat's head is just... awesome.

Unfortunately, locally all I can get are HU-cards, and I don't have the cash for Ebay hunting currently. In thoery one could obtain CD-images of the PCE-CD games and burn 'em, but I like having the real deal.

Dracula X is my GEM, dude. That and Beyond Shadowgate. Got that with the system, $150. Awesome.

#27 blandstalker   I am Irrelevant Bitching CAGiversary!   2599 Posts   Joined 13.5 Years Ago  

blandstalker

Posted 01 December 2006 - 05:53 PM

I bought a Turbo Duo when EB clearanced them in, oh what was it, 1992? 1993? The Duo used to cost $299, and EB was selling them for $99. I had to drive from San Diego to Mission Viejo to get one, but it was worth it. One of my first true CAG moments.

Nintendo may have helped put the TG-16 under, but their problems started from the beginning. Altered Beast for the Genesis is crap, but at the time it was nice looking crap. The Genesis was frequently demoed with that or Ghouls and Ghosts, both of which looked really good. I remember seeing Ghouls and Ghosts in a TRU, and that sold me on the Genesis right there. The TG-16 was often demoed with Keith Courage. I can't express how lame this is in comparison -- you just had to see it. The Genesis offered near-arcade quality. The TG-16 offered a stupid-named slightly-better-than-NES-quality Mario ripoff. At its launch, it already looked like a dinosaur.

My favorites were some of the oddballs. Splash Lake -- a kind of puzzle game where you peck bridges with your ostrich and make the enemies fall in the water. Somer Assault -- a Zodiac-themed shooter where you're a giant slinky. And, the Valis series, which was bastardized on the Genesis.

The Turbo machines were great for imports, but it was much harder to get imports easily or cheaply then. I had a list a mile long of stuff I wanted but was never able to get.

I thought Ys I and II were extremely overrated. Played and finished them both. Gorgeous cutscenes (for the time) but I found the game a slog and while it looked pretty, the story was nothing special.

#28 Gentlegamer  

Gentlegamer

Posted 01 December 2006 - 06:03 PM

Any suggestions of awesome spaceship shootery games are welcome. I have Darius Plus (and Super Darius because I am an IDIOT, but there are differences, really), Zero Wing, L-Dis and Lords of Thunder.

Sapphire (expect to pay Dracula X prices for it) http://pcecp.com/ind...g&action=images