1. NeoZeedeater

    NeoZeedeater
    Member OP

    Manufactured from 1987 to 1993, Sharp’s X68000 computer line was a gaming powerhouse virtually unknown to most of the world prior to the rise of the internet. And before emulation there were many barriers to entry for gamers:
    [​IMG]

    • It was only released in Japan, and required some Japanese knowledge to operate.
    • Unlike with Japanese consoles, I don’t recall magazines in the West even mentioning the system back then.
    • It was hugely expensive for most people as it launched for around $3000 USD. Factoring in inflation it would be more than double that today.
    • Legit copies of the games became collector’s items fairly early. Plus, many are on floppy disks which are more fragile than cartridges.
    Still, it’s hard not to be impressed with how powerful was for its time. Given the similarities with Capcom’s CPS boards, it was more capable of accurate arcade ports than other home systems. The closest system in the West in terms of power was the Amiga but that had hardly any Japanese development. Arcade ports on Amiga and Atari ST tended to be heavily altered from the source material anyway.

    I think among game systems released outside of Japan, the closest similarity to the X68000 in terms of content was the Genesis/Mega Drive with the TurboGrafx not far behind.

    • For a computer stuck in Japan, the X680000 still managed to have a solid library of ports of Western games such as Klax, Prince of Persia, Marble Madness, Dungeon Master, Lemmings, Future Wars, SimCity games, Xenon 2, Ultima games, etc…
    I can’t properly judge the adventure and RPG genres on the X68000 as I don’t have much Japanese knowledge but even purely from an action standpoint, it has a lot to offer:

    This video covers a bunch of arcade ports:




    • For Capcom arcade fans there was Strider, Ghouls 'n Ghosts, Final Fight, Street Fighter II series, etc…
      [​IMG]

    • For Sega arcade fans there was Space Harrier, After Burner II, Fantasy Zone, Thunder Blade, Super Hang On, Alien Syndrome, Columns, etc…
      [​IMG]

    • For Konami arcade fans there was Gradius series, Twinbee, Quarth, Ajax, Parodius, etc…

    • For Namco arcade fans there was Super Xevious, Return of Ishtar, Bosconian, Dragon Spirit, Pacman franchise, Libble Rabble, etc…

    • For Taito arcade fans there was Bubble Bobble, Arkanoid: revenge of Doh, Cloud Master, Camletry, Fairyland Story, New Zealand Story. Syvalion, etc…
    Some cool (not-arcade-port) games:

    Scorpius
    Your ship has a ‘tail’ you can hit enemies with like a scorpion’s stinger.
    [​IMG]

    Akumajou Dracula
    Re-released with some additions as Castlevania Chronicles on Playstation, and later as a PSOne Classic on PS3 and PSP.
    [​IMG]

    Star Cruiser
    This version isn’t very playable without Japanese knowledge but thankfully there’s now a translated rom of the Mega Drive version. It’s not as nice looking but the game design holds up surprisingly well for an FPS/Adventure of that era.
    [​IMG]

    Mad Stalker: Full Metal Force
    Early '90s mech melee goodness.
    [​IMG]

    Genocide 2: Master of the Dark Communion
    [​IMG]

    Naious
    [​IMG]

    Cho Ren Sha 68K
    Also on PC.
    [​IMG]

    Etoile Princesse
    [​IMG]

    Star Wars: Attack on the Death Star
    An original game by M.N.M. Software although very much inspired by the old Atari coin-op.
    [​IMG]

    Buster
    [​IMG]

    Sol-Feace
    Better known as a Sega CD pack in title.
    [​IMG]

    Zugya
    A free roaming shooter that’s very early '80s in feel. Bosconian fans should check it out. It’s also on PC.
    [​IMG]

    Geograph Seal
    First-person action from Exact. This is the direct predecessor of Jumping Flash on Playstation.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qca_bXtxIe4

    Overtake
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZukHF5dLbTw


    Linkages:
    https://refuge.tokyo/x68k/x68000.html1
    https://nfggames.com/
    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=sharp+x68000
     
  2. charlieman999

    charlieman999
    Member

    Wow some of those arcade conversions look nearly arcade perfect, they look and sound great.
     
  3. Hudo

    Hudo
    Member

    The Sharp X68000 XVI and XVI compact are the most beautiful PCs ever IMHO.

    And the x68000 were home to many arcade perfect ports of games.
     
  4. Status Effect

    Status Effect
    Member

    I've always wanted one of these. Amazing arcade ports and it's such a cool looking machine for an old computer. I just can't spare the money or the space right now
     
  5. When I think of the X68000, I think of the black one.

    Just think about it.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This thing came out in fucking 1987, but it looks modern as hell disregarding the fact the screen is CRT. It's a timeless design, IMO. Jesus, I almost want to buy an X68000 shell just to put regular PC parts in there.

    Anyway, when I think of the X68000, I think of Star Trader's X68k version, a port by another company (the original was a Falcom title).



    I also think of another Falcom port by a third party to the X68000, the exceedingly weird port of Ys I for X68K that looks ABSOLUTELY NOTHING like any of the other versions of Ys 1, EVER.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Yes, for some reason, X68K Ys 1 went with an extremely weird, hyper realistic art style for character portraits instead of the traditional anime style that every single Ys normally uses.
     
  6. Hayama Akito

    Hayama Akito
    Member

    The real master race.
     
  7. ghibli99

    ghibli99
    Member

    Discovering Thunder Force II on the X68000 several years ago was a revelation. Love the Genesis version, but this one blew my mind. It was introduced to me on the other forum... could have been the OP here for all I know! LOL
     
  8. Dynamite Cop

    Dynamite Cop
    Member

    I don't think this is from a game, but I believe this song was composed using the hardware.

     
  9. 00ich

    00ich
    Member

    The black unit looks like the most 90's computer imginable. In a very good way.
     
  10. NeoZeedeater

    NeoZeedeater
    Member OP

    It really does look slick, Neo Geo-ish but earlier.
     
  11. MusclesAreGirly

    MusclesAreGirly
    Banned Member

    The only game I've really played is Cho Ren Sha. And that is because it got a Windows port. I really like it, though, it's one of the best STGs I've played.

    I really like cute games and STGs alike. What should I try? How should I go about it?

    I really wish someone would port a lot of these games and put them on Steam.
     
  12. sir_crocodile

    sir_crocodile
    Member

    Had the best faithful version of prince of persia too.

    Incredible system.
     
  13. Jockel

    Jockel
    Member

    I have one, but it needs fixing :(
    And since there’s maybe like 2 people in Europe able to fix them, I’m pretty SOL.
     
  14. Aeana

    Aeana
    Member

    I grew up with MSX and PC88/98 computers in the house, but I always wanted an X68000. They were just way too expensive. It wasn't until just before we moved to the US in 1996 that I managed to find an XVI Compact in a second hand shop for about 70,000 yen, which was an absolute steal. It was labeled defective, does not turn on. But my uncle managed to get it working, and I've had it ever since.

    One of the things I think very few people will mention is Lagoon. Yes, the same Lagoon that came out for SNES. The X68000 version has more content and a slightly different story progression, as well as a more Ys-like combat system which IMO makes it way more fun to play. The music is also way better!




    It's also got an exclusive Glodia game, a top-down shooter called Die Bahnwelt which I'm pretty fond of (then again, I'm pretty fond of almost all of Glodia's games...)

     
  15. lordlad

    lordlad
    Banned for trolling with an alt account Member

    did gamesack had a feature on this?
     
  16. PepsimanVsJoe

    PepsimanVsJoe
    Member

    https://youtu.be/iL9GyISJ2uU?t=3
    Very impressive game. It's interesting to hear Yuzo Kushiro's renditions of classic Star Wars themes.
     
  17. Aeana

    Aeana
    Member

    Speaking of music, the X68000 is well known for having many games that have official support for external MIDI devices like Roland's SC-55 and MT-32, but the sound chips inside were really incredible, as well. Imagine the Genesis YM2612 chip, but with two additional FM channels, and a separate chip for 22KHz ADPCM playback (the source of a lot of those incredible drums you hear in X68k songs), and some extra niceities like a second detune per operator, noise generation, and more LFO options.

    So you get a difference like this:

    Genesis




    X68000 (says Arcade, but the X68000 and the Super Hang-On arcade board actually use the same sound chip)

     
  18. MikeNeko

    MikeNeko
    Member

    They were stylish, well built, and quite robust.
    5 1/4inches floppies are still alive and well if well kept in housings and in the dry, you ll lose clusters far less easily on these compared to 3 1/2 ones...

    I had some geeat gaming time on x68000, and wish i had a dual sc88 pro to experience some of the games the way they were meant to be played.
     
  19. MusclesAreGirly

    MusclesAreGirly
    Banned Member

    I highly recommend this game. It is one of the best STGs I have ever played. Great soundtrack, great pixel art, good enemy placement, good balanced of challenge and intuitiveness. The Windows version of the game is freeware and has a free download on Japanese sites. But I would happily pay for the game if someone put it on Steam. Someone deserves to be paid for how good this game is.
     
  20. Shy

    Shy
    Member

    Thanks for making a thread about it, OP.

    I want one of these. They seem dope.
     
  21. giallo

    giallo
    Member

    I used to see images of X86000 games in EGM, GamePro and Gamefan. The computer was usually featured in video game comparison articles or part of the import section. It seemed like a mythical piece of hardware to me - I never saw one, never knew anyone that had one, and didn't even know what the computer looked like. All I had to go on were those sweet, sweet arcade perfect images.
     
  22. NeoZeedeater

    NeoZeedeater
    Member OP

    Interesting. I'm surprised I don't remember that or didn't encounter it. I read Gamepro sporadically since they weren't that great compared to other mags but I stopped around 1991. EGM I followed from the beginning until EGM2 was introduced in 1994. I hated that they started putting import info in a spin off mag devoted to tricks. I did buy some other spin offs like Mega Play and Super Gaming. I had most issues of Gamefan.
     
  23. giallo

    giallo
    Member

    I seem to remember most of these articles that featured the X86000 were right around the rise of the 16-bit consoles in the late 80s/early 90s. I had just bought the Sega Genesis, and after playing a few arcade conversions, realized that this brand new piece of hardware couldn't even do arcade-perfect ports of games from 1986 (Outrun and Afterburner). I was actually pretty disappointed with the Genesis at that time. Luckily, exclusive games made specifically for the console, like Revenge of Shinobi, brought me back, and made me love the Genesis again.

    Having this new, powerful piece of 16-bit hardware that couldn't do years-old arcade perfect ports, and seeing the X86000 do perfect ports of brand new arcade games made that computer seem all the more amazing.

    I had a subscription to EGM and Gamefan for years. Mega Play and Super Gaming sort of felt redundant in those days. I don't think I ever bought an issue.
     
  24. HyGogg

    HyGogg
    Banned Member

    This was one of the only Japanese PCs with hardware that felt designed for gaming. The difference is more pronounced when compared to other popular Japanese computer standards, which tended to be especially deficient when it came to things like moving sprites and scrolling screens.

    Even today, PC gaming is largely seen as a place for indie games, visual novels, and porn. Had there been more computers like X68000 that might not be the case.
     
  25. HyGogg

    HyGogg
    Banned Member

    Also, this hardware had the best version of Granada. Amazing MT-32 soundtrack, more colors, and new intro (though the framerate is only 30).
     
  26. Tain

    Tain
    Member

    Cho Ren Sha 68k is a GOAT doujin STG, and the X68000 Castlevania game is one of the best in the franchise. I also liked Geograph Seal.

    Still have a lot to try on this thing.
     
  27. NyxKiria

    NyxKiria
    Self-Requested Permanent Ban Member

    I want a X68000 so badly.. too bad its expensive af to import one and have it kitted out

    I love Japanese computers.. this makes me drool

     
  28. UltraGashInferno

    UltraGashInferno
    Self-Requested Ban Member

    Poor thing didn't get enough support but can't really blame developers when it was like $3000 1987 bucks.
     
  29. Ruck

    Ruck
    Member

    The shop wanted $700 for a "broken" computer? Holy crap.
     
  30. Piccoro

    Piccoro
    Member

    I love your threads,NeoZeedeater!

    Just a question, what kind of input/controller did the X68000 used?
     
  31. Aeana

    Aeana
    Member

    Yeah, broken computers are still plenty valuable for parts.
     
  32. NeoZeedeater

    NeoZeedeater
    Member OP

    Thanks! I wanted to start the new year with some discussion of underrated old school stuff.

    It uses the same type of port as Atari/Commodore/Sega etc. but there are still compatibility issues. I believe an MSX controller will work fine on it.
     
  33. IrishNinja

    IrishNinja
    Member

    another awesome and much-needed thread, hope the retro catch-all thread links here too!

    came to post this - was my first real look at one
     
  34. IrishNinja

    IrishNinja
    Member

    god, that video in the OP is great - gonna be on that one for a bit

    ...jesus, i thought porn would at least be tagged on here

    for real though, that's gorgeous. that Ys stuff does indeed look funky though!

    i mean...sounding like that in the late 80's? goddamn, that would've blown my mind!
     
  35. NeoZeedeater

    NeoZeedeater
    Member OP

    I never get sick of Super Hang On music. It's too bad the Amiga version doesn't sound as nice. It could have also been awesome given the hardware.
     
  36. s_mirage

    s_mirage
    Member

    It's a shame this system never made it to the West, but I suppose it wouldn't have stood much of a chance in the '80s home computer market, in Europe at least, given its price.

    If it weren't for the 5 inch disks I'd collect games to play through emulation, as I do with PC-98 games. Those drives are a bit of a faff to install on modern PCs though.
     
  37. SharpX68K

    SharpX68K
    Member

    Didn't see this thread until now. Great job OP.

    Thunder Blade on X68000 looks pretty incredible for a 1990 release.





    I'd say "not bad" for a computer with like half the CPU and graphics power.

     
  38. Zweisy1

    Zweisy1
    Member

    The X68000 is such an impressive and fascinating computer. So powerful for 87 with lovely colourful graphics and impressive fm synthesis sound, like a full on computer and an arcade quality gaming machine in the same sexy sleek box.. obviously pretty expensive too..

    Some of those arcade ports are just really impressive.

    Was there much of a homebrew scene on the platform like on the western 16-bit machines?
     
  39. SharpX68K

    SharpX68K
    Member

    The After Burner port was decent, but not as impressive as Thunder Blade IMO.



    And yet, it's much smoother than the more detailed 32-bit FM Towns version (which was actually buggy garbage)..
     
  40. Miscend

    Miscend
    Member

    I don’t think the Amiga was anywhere near the X68000. The Amiga had much older graphics hardware from around 1985. Typical Amiga games did not look as as good SNES games. And were no where near X68000 or Neogeo games.
     
  41. s_mirage

    s_mirage
    Member

    True. To be fair to the Amiga, the A500 was launched at around the same time as the X68000, but it was a quarter of the price. However, it's also pretty true that while the A1000 was a something of a game changer in 85, Commodore were pretty bad at updating it to stay with the times. When they finally upgraded the graphics subsystem to the AGA chipset in '92, it wasn't terribly impressive. I'd also argue that the 8-bit, four channel Paula soundchip was also dated by that point.
     
  42. j^aws

    j^aws
    Member

    I've always wanted to pick up one of these systems since the 80s, but for whatever reason, I back out. The Sharps X68000 industrial case design has always been with me; pizza-box cases were popular during the 80s (see Amiga 1000), and the Sharps case is like two cases duck-tapped together for more powah!
     
  43. I am actually salivating. That design.
     
  44. SharpX68K

    SharpX68K
    Member

    Even a lot of Amiga A1200 & CD32 software pales compared to the output on the X68000.

    Ghouls 'N Ghosts - damn near arcade perfect.



    R-Type (60fps)



    R-Type isn't arcade perfect, and could've been a higher quality port, but still managed to piss all over the Amiga version
    (which isn't fair since most of the Amiga arcade releases were Atari ST ports).
     
  45. No Onions

    No Onions
    Member

    Huh just found this thread today, kinda competing with the other Japanese PC thread here https://www.resetera.com/threads/re...s-ot-power-to-make-your-dream-come-true.7708/

    Anyways I have an X68000 XVI that I just got working last weekend after working on it over the last couple months. I had to replace the power supply and also replaced all the caps throughout the machine.
    It has 12MB of RAM and a SCSI2SD installed, along with a MIDI interface board to use with the Roland MIDI modules I have, I just posted a couple of pics in the other thread but I'll repost them here.
    Ignore the messy setup, its temporary until I make a spot for it in the living room with its own desk.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  46. Shy

    Shy
    Member

    [​IMG]
    So. So jelly.

    Also congrats on getting everything up and running.
     
  47. signal

    signal
    Member

  48. SharpX68K

    SharpX68K
    Member

    I don't remember any articles that specifically mentioned the X68000 in EGM, but I do think that with several games, R-Type and Strider, EGM showed X68000 screenshots of these games but were said to be for other systems. R-Type for the FM-Towns computer and Strider for the NEC SuperGrafx, neither of which existed on those systems, but did on the X68000.

     
  49. NeoZeedeater

    NeoZeedeater
    Member OP

    I remember those. I wanted that "SuperGrafx Strider" so badly.

    I didn't notice that thread when I made this one. I guess it doesn't hurt to have both.
     
  50. SharpX68K

    SharpX68K
    Member

    Same here. The rumors surrounding "SuperGrafx Strider" were almost legendary.

    Now back to stuff we know about, I think Thunder Force II looks absolutely sick.



    It makes you wonder what TF III, TF AC and especially TF IV could've looked like had they'd been made for the hardware.

    Nemesis '90 KAI is pretty rad, especially the last two levels.