I’m doing the deepest dive through the wayback machine to try and find more screenshots of the i-Mode version of Cleopatra Fortune, because I think it has the cutest art. From searching Japanese wikis and news articles, the i-Mode version had a gallery mode of all the PERFECT! Patrako images you unlock. Here’s the list of images (described because I’ll never find images of it, also google translated):
So looking it up, the Taito i-Mode game service was from their “EZ Internet” 「EZインターネット」portal under a general game section called “Taito Game Expo” 「タイトーゲームエキスポ」. The previous wiki lists the cost of Cleopatra Fortune as 315 yen. Their general information site (circa 2002-2004) has these screenshots from the game:
Another surprising discovery is that there was a pre-Groove Coaster version of Space Invaders for the iMode! It was called INVADER GROOVE!
Anyway, searching the actual Taito Game Expo service page I assume you were supposed to browse from your phone, I found this slightly mature game “Gals Selection” that I’ve never heard of before:
“You can enjoy a popular classic title in a little naughty way”
There’s actually just straight up gravure applications on here too! Sorry, most of the images are dead though. I’m surprised Taito was distributing stuff like that on pre-smartphone phones! But it looks like this webportal just offered everything, including apps for news and interviews about latest movies and stuff.
Besides that, their Taito Game Expo portal site has games for BREW, which was apparently a more advanced Qualcomm OS or something? While the older titles like Cleopatra Fortune were Java apps (WHERE IS IT!!) that by 2004 came bundled in a single app together with all their other titles including Elevator Action, Puznik, and a game I’ve never heard of before, called Pichonkun’s Fuwapon 『ぴちょんくんのふわぽん』??
What the heck, why is there video footage of this but not Cleopatra Fortune??!? <– the voice of my heart
Looks like this guy had this game as part of the “Taito G@me Pack” (タイトーG@meパーク), which looking up was a 300 yen monthly service that let you play Space Invaders, Puzzle Bobble, Arkanoid, Crazy Balloon, Flipull, Puzzle Bobble DX, and 2 more games. Also only users who were subscribed for more than 2 months had access to Puzzle Bobble DX, which is like, wow I can’t believe Taito were gouging players with games as a service in 2001 way before the modern era, damn.
You could also get character portraits as part of this service? Which I’m guessing you could use as wallpaper? Or maybe you could just… look at it? I dunno.
Oh dang, they had a simplified version of Ninja Warriors for this G@me Park service!!
You could only play as Kunoichi and the weapon controls had a Manual or Auto mode lol
WAIT, THEY ALSO HAD AN ONLINE CROSSOVER VERSUS GAME!!
In 2003, this “Ranking Battle” game let you train characters from your Taito G@me Park games based on your high scores, and then you battled others? The fights were RPG-style and you got items if you won. Taito planned to split the nation into two and hold nationwide team battles?!? What is this wild game??? It’s so cool, I want to play it now too!!!
There’s also this anime license game Elemental Gelade but it has some really nice sprites!
WAIT OK, going back to what I’m REALLY looking for, so now I realized that instead of looking up i-Mode, I should be searching for the proper term for these i-Mode games, which is i-App? And sure enough, bingo! Plently of news releases with screenshots!! Let’s hoard them all here!!
Also the version with Ys characters that Brandon will never get to play:
Wait, dammit, a fan actually took photos of all the PERFECT drawings for this game!! UNFAIR!! Ys FANS UNFAIR!! <– ignore the voice of my heart
Now I’m searching through this guy’s entire blog for screencaps of the iMode Cleopatra Fortune BUT NOTHING!!! FREHSGSJGHGHGH but it’s pretty interesting to see a snapshot of a Japanese gamer dude’s life circe 2006. Guess a big release was the FF4 GBA, Raiden II OST, and FF12 and he also bought a Potion (I liked those FF Potion drinks. They tasted like Bawls energy drink).
Whoa, holy shit, they had a Psychic Force prequel and a version of Darius on here too? So ambitious!! Where are all these games now????
WAIT, OMG, I FOUND A GUY WHO COMPILED CLEOPATRA FORTUNE VERSUS GAMEPLAY TIPS!! Bless this wiseman, Mr. mahafurai sensei(several praying emojis) Gonna dump a screencap of a it here:
The google translated togetter page here.
In the end, I didn’t find what I was looking for, but I found a treasure trove of more! A screencapture of an era. Wild.