Yo, what the fuck LUPIN III (1980, Taito)!?

[size=10]First, I deeply apologize for the 79 notifications(!) I have missed since the last time I visited. I got a bit (very) busy with work since late last year and could not really find the time to engage here. If someone had an important question that somehow was not answered since then, don't hesitate to ping me again or ask below. Now, on topic…[/size]

Are you good people following the Egret II Mini project over at Taito? They have just announced, this Friday night, the last batch of titles comprising [the complete list of 40+10 games included in the machine.](https://www.taito.co.jp/egret2mini/title#) ※If you have not paid attention to this story at all, 40+10 and not 50 because 10 of the games are sold separately as an option together with a paddle and trackball accessory which is necessary to play them properly.

Following a small personal disappointment that the Astro City ended up not really being about the generation of games that were actually played on the Astro City (ST-V, Model 2 etc.), I did not expect much from Taito. I pessimistically anticipated we would miss out on the F3 generation line-up, but I was completely wrong! Almost every significant F1 and F3 game is here!

I am sad, but not too surprised, that we are missing on Light Bringer a.k.a. Dungeon Magic, Dead Connection and Land Maker. I am extremely surprised (and disappointed for @"Personasama"#28 and @"exodus"#3 ) that we are missing out on Cleopatra Fortune. Other than those few left behind, every single game I wanted is included. Rayforce is here. Elevator Action Returns is here. Metal Black and Gun Frontier are here. Then even put the unreleased [Dan-Ku-Ga](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCMblBb-Yk4) in as the machine's own Star Fox 2! What a bargain. Unless the emulation is crap, this is now the best of those official mini-retro emulation machines in my book.

But the Egret II Mini itself is not the main topic I wish to discuss here. One of the most surprising titles they announced Friday night is a licensed game, LUPIN III / ルパン三世(_rupan sansei_)and, as [their tweet](https://twitter.com/lupin_anime/status/1410795362705543173) casually mentions, it is the first video game adaptation of the Lupin The 3rd series. In 1980, you are probably right!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itLvF9shRPg

So, I don't think I even knew this game existed. It's a cool little maze game stuck right between the releases of Heiankyo Alien and Pac-Man. Probably counts as one of the first pure stealth games, as well, since you can't get rid of the obstacles and enemies in any fashion. Each type of enemy has a different pattern, similar to Pac-Man's differently colored ghosts, although the patterns are much more intuitive here: the patrolmen patrol, the dogs go straight, and the police inspector (which we can assume to be Zenigata) chases you down to prevent camping. There were a couple similar games released on Atari 2600 but nothing as exciting visually or intricate in terms of game design, _methinks_. Lupin III missed the strategy of Heiankyo Alien and the genius attack/defense balance of Pac-Man to become a legendary arcade game, and it's objectively not as creative as other lesser known outputs from Taito at the time, such as Steel Worker. But it seems like a pretty solid video game for the year 1980 and - dare I say - it was quite likely the best officially licensed video game ever released at that point.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqBy9Mc4zFI

And you know why I am confident it was quite likely the best officially licensed video game ever released at that point? Because, Yo, what the fuck!? What else was even there before this game!?

This question started as a small itch in my brain about seven hours ago and now I have been knee deep in something like 158 Chrome tabs, five open books and ruining my eyes on blurry [Game Machine](https://onitama.tv/gamemachine/archive.html) scans trying to figure out the answer to that question. I know there are some very educated people browsing this forum so maybe you can help me. How many video games had officially licensed an IP before this game? I am pretty darn sure this is the first of its kind in Japan, at least for an anime IP. The only officially licensed anything I could find that predated Lupin III are:

  • * Mattel's [Battlestar Galactica: Space Alert](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pi5cF8OH_74) (1978), a very primitive LED game that counts as an electronic game, and possibly counts as a video game depending on your own definition of the medium.
  • * Mattel's [Star Trek: Phaser Strike](https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Star_Trek:_Phaser_Strike) for the Microvision (1979), one of the very first LCD/LSI systems.
  • * If you go outside of pure entertainement IP and consider sports licenses in the mix, Mattel's sports games for the Intellivision (1979) also used the official licenses from the MLB, NFL and NBA etc. for their US versions. So, yeah, Mattel was on top of this whole licensing _gesheft_ before everyone else.
  • * Now, for something a bit closer to what I had in mind, it seems the right answer would be John Dunn's [Superman](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZ9NGfIE2xU) (1979) for the Atari 2600. Although the timing makes it likely that the game takes inspiration from Richard Donner's movie, the promotional art and copyrights indicate this is technically a licensed game of the original _comics_ series.
  • Regarding arcade games, however, nothing seems to predate Lupin III? It seems there was actually a Superman arcade game also in the works at Atari in the late 70s, but it never materialized (they released a pinball machine instead). Somewhat notoriously, [the Jaws game from Bushnell]([https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shark_Jaws](https://)) could not get the rights to the actual Jaws. You can find other "shrugging lawyer" moments like this around the 1977 to 1980 range. Indy 500 on the Atari 2600 apparently never bothered with licensing the race track's namesake. There was a Rocky boxing game released in Japanese arcades that never took the time to call Silvester Stallone either. Also, tons of games "heavily inspired" by Star Wars and King Kong game, rather famously in some cases heh? But the first official video game releases for both IPs only came out in 1982.

    In Japan, I could not find any earlier _anime_ game than this Lupin III, in the arcades or otherwise. There is a Wagaseishun no Arcadia shoot'em up which is wrongly credited as released in 1980 on the Internet. This does not make sense because, well, the Wagaseishun no Arcadia movie is from 1982, and [is rightly dated as such on the game's copyright.](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Me-ETSQrg7k) The confusion probably comes from the fact this game is a quasi-straight conversion of Sigma's earlier [New York, New York](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IHc-44CzrQ) - a relatively popular arcade shoot'em up from 1980 which is let me hose you down now unfortunately not at all about Liza Minnelli flying through space and shooting Aliens with vocal laser beams. Alas.

    It's not like Taito themselves pursued this licensing idea all that much either. The only other Taito arcade machine released around that time that made use of an existing IP was actually another Matsumoto Reiji's joint, [Chibikko Series Vol.3 Ginga Tetsudō 999](https://flyers.arcade-museum.com/?page=flyer&db=arcadedb&id=1451&image=1) (so, Galaxy Express 999). However, various factors exclude this cabinet from contention. Firstly, it was released way after Lupin III, around the end of the year 1980, according to the different issues of Game Machine released that year. Secondly, it's not really a game per say, and more a sort of [electronic _kamishibai_](https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamishibai) to occupy kids for about 10-15 minutes while the parents are shopping. I also checked the earlier two installments of the Chibikko series and they used the tales of Momotarō and Songokū respectively, and did not seem based on existing anime adaptations of these two tales.

    I also checked the LCD/LSI games of the era. Epoch and Bandai would seem like obvious candidates for early licensed electronic games, but they focussed most of their early outputs on Space Invaders and Galaxian clones. It would seem nobody beat Nintendo to the punch with their Popeye game in 1981. A few weeks after Popeye, Bandai released the first of many Gundam-licensed LSI games. I cannot tell for sure if Gundam was the first anime game of 1981 on LSI because Popy, Bandai and later Epoch started releasing a shitload of LCD games based on anime IPs from 1981. But nothing as early as 1980, in any case.

    [upl-image-preview url=//i.imgur.com/T0z3v3z.jpeg]
    [upl-image-preview url=//i.imgur.com/17sxCA5.jpeg]

    So there you go. That's where I am at, for now: Lupin III is almost certainly the first "_anime_ game" in history, and also quite possibly the very first arcade game based on some external media property. Feel free to correct or complete these impressions! Also, was this a question that needed answering? I... I don't think so? I never bothered to think about it before, personally. But the copyright date casually dropped by Taito a few hours ago really threw me off.

    Also, it seems like a pretty cool game? Like, maybe this game should be a bigger deal, for a bunch of reasons?

    It looks and sound great for a 1980 game, for sure. You would have heard it by now if, you poor soul, had left the Replay Burners video running while you were scrolling down this neverending post, but the BGM even uses [the famous opening theme of Lupin The 3rd](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PQRrIhY-zU) ; you can hear it in the replay above at 9m40s once Lupin has managed to steal all eight money bags. That alone probably makes the game one of the best arcade soundtracks until that point, and it used officially licensed music for once! Taito's page on the Egret II Mini [makes a point to mention](https://www.taito.co.jp/egret2mini/title#GAME42) that you will hear the track in the emulated version, as well.

    Speaking of which, I wonder how they will emulate the sound. Such old arcade machines used samples in weirdass dedicated sound chips, not exactly in the way that we imagine traditional sound chips from video games in the 80s. In fact, the ROM in the Replay Burners playthrough above cheats with added sound samples, as noted in the description of the video. I guess whoever emulates this thing for Taito (Zuiki ? M2? Kayac?) has access to a reference PCB in order to check out and record the original sounds.

    Which gets me to my last point. I wonder who developped this game at (or for) Taito, back in 1980? [GameStaff@Wiki](https://w.atwiki.jp/game_staff/pages/250.html#id_97a2b1f5) does not go that far back, unfortunately. I don't think @"gdri"#170 has anything about this specific game in their data, either.

    I am pretty sure Nishikado Tomohiro (Space Invaders) is not involved, since we now have a pretty exhaustively documented history of his work at Taito. He was busy with [Balloon Bomber](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhx1j-sa7FU) around the same time. What gets me is that the animation and sprite artistry of Lupin III are pretty advanced for a 1980's game, especially a game running on a Midway 8080 (similar PCB as Space Invaders). The animation is way less jerky than the noodlearms-esque movements of Space Invaders and Steel Worker, for instance. The color arrangement is also pretty top notch. It's way behind the sheer technical performance of something concurrent like SNK's [Sasuke Vs. Commander](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLPKhflOvPY) (running on Z80) for instance, but the artistry of the developers at Taito make it look like it could compete with that new generation of early Z80 and M6502 games that will define the Japanese video game boom of the early 80s.

    The Taito game it reminds me the most of is Elevator Action (1983). The animations are somewhat similar (but obviously improved by beefier hardware), the game has a familiar infiltration logic strenghtened by action elements, and Lupin III shares Elevator Action's love for dashing introductions: [Lupin gets down the top floor of the building from a grappling hook tied to an helicopter,](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itLvF9shRPg) which is reminiscent of both [the agent's entrance in Elevator Action](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LM5reigEnv4) and [the first stage's intro in Elevator Action Returns.](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBfw5JC2-WY) (All three games are in the Egret II Mini, by the way.)

    We barely know the original Elevator Action's development team either, but we do know Imamura Yoshio, one of the founders of Zuntata, was its composer. Maybe he would remember if the Elevator Action team had a connection to the Lupin III's development team. Other people that might know are obviously Nishikado (who seems quite open to discuss the past) and Kamei Michiyuki, another veteran developer already present during the Space Invaders era. All three are still alive in 2021 [size=10]/_knocks on wood_[/size] so my guess is the best way to know would be to ask one of them. I am also really curious who got the idea and the contacts to license the TV series (and why this specific TV series) for the game, in the first place! It was right at the peak of Lupin's popularity, just after the second series and the release of the Cagliostro movie. Hopefully, such questions might be answered during the various promotional interviews set between now and the Egret II Mini's release in March 2022.

    Anyway, in case I don't come back so soon or until March 2022 myself, have a good summer everybody.

    Lupin III might be the first unambiguously licensed IP game released in Japanese arcades, but there's been some conjecture around Ozma Wars, a Space Invaders clone distributed by Shin Nihon Kikaku—it borrows designs and mimics sounds from Uchuu Senkan Yamato and some people seem to think they may have started giving a cut to the Yamato IP holders at some point, but the game was never marketed or presented as a Yamato game as such.

    I presume Atari's 1974 Le Mans arcade game wasn't licensed, but I've never looked into it.

    @“gsk”#p36350 Thanks! That‘s an interesting story about Ozma Wars. I am not sure it would be easy to find someone left from that era at SNK to figure out if it’s a true story, but the game was included in the recent SNK 40th Anniversary Collection so it's possible someone involved in the project (maybe Adam Laatz?) would know if they had to clear up some paperwork when they included the game. Or maybe everyone forgot to check. Oops.

    [upl-image-preview url=//i.imgur.com/y4ckwiZ.png]

    [size=12](Honestly not much worse than a lot of dodgy stuff I have seen while I was looking for officially licensed games...)[/size]

    I suspect Atari's Le Mans goes in the same "_we'll pretend we did not know there was a trademark_" category as Sega's Monaco GP. Neither of them really uses the official name of the race, in any case. Nowadays, nobody could get away on such technicalities, but I don't think French racing officials of the mid-70s were super knowledgable about the merits and commercial potential of branding.

    I was discussing this topic with a friend earlier today and he remembered reading that Lupin III was indeed considered the first (offically licensed) anime adaptation. While he was looking for the book or magazine in question, he found and sent me a transcript of an interesting conference organized a few years ago by the Ritsumeikan Center for Game Studies, in which Nishikado was invited to discuss the early Taito era among other things. [Here is the PDF](http://pubs.iir.hit-u.ac.jp/admin/ja/pdfs/file/2101) of the brief segment (page 38) where they talk about Lupin III and its rather unique status as a licensed video game in the market around those times.

    >

    「ルパン三世」:版権取りのゲーム


    >
    >

    Q:

    > すいません、今思い付きで恐縮ですけど、「バルーンボンバー」と同時期、ほぼ同時期に「ルパン三世」が出てるんです。版権物をやったのは、何か経緯とか、もしご承知、ご記憶でしたら、当時すごい人気の、こういう版権取ったゲームって珍しい。


    >
    >

    西角:

    > 羽鳥に聞いたら、「ルパン三世」のプログラムは清水がメインで、羽鳥が手伝いをしていたようですね。企画は 2 人でやったようで、ボードは基本「スペースインベーダー」の ROM 改造で、追加のカラーRAM ボードも付いているそうです。

    They skip to another topic rightaway but in this short answer, Nishikado confirms that Lupin III uses the same mother board as Space Invaders but with an additional Color RAM extension, which explains why the color configuration of the sprites is much more accurate than in other 8080 games of that time.

    More importantly, Nishikado also shares the name of the two people who developped the game. The main programmer was 清水 (Shimizu) and he was assisted by 羽鳥 (Hatori). Both names come up a lot elsewhere in the conversation, especially in the Space Invaders Part II segment as this specific game seems to have been quite an ordeal for Nishikado and his team. Hatori also helped Nishikado on [Lunar Rescue](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zz9LLHP18Qc), while Shimizu developed [Space Chaser](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaQUh6qxkko) on his own.

    Based on all these hints, it's pretty easy to figure out that the aforementioned "Hatori" is 羽鳥鉄之助 Hatori Tetsunosuke, Nishikado's second / assistant on many of his early Taito projects and a frequent character of his many recent anecdotes and interviews. Later in the same conference (in a separate PDF), we learn that:

    >

    Q:

    > その 84 年から 86 年のころは、じゃあ、その現場であと羽鳥さんとか、清水さんとかは、まだ中に。


    >
    >

    西角:

    > 羽鳥、清水はもう辞めたというか、別の部署へ行ってましたね。彼はなかなか、やっぱ、ちょっと私が辞めてから、上の者とうまくいかなかったのか、別の部署に行くようになりました、羽鳥は。で、清水はもう管理職みたいな、どっちかというと上のほうになって、もう技術屋でなくなってましたね、私が戻ってきたときはいなかったですね。総務か何か、管理のほうに回ってましたね。

    Hatori and Shimizu had already both stopped programming games for Taito around 1984~1986 (note: Elevator Action was released in 1983). Hatori, who was younger than Nishikado, left for another department because he could not get along with one of the higher ups. Shimizu, who was the same age as Nishikado, was transferred to something more clerical, akin to the "General Affairs" division [size=12](sorry my knowledge of English terminology for boring paperwork is not on point)[/size], presumably as a form of training for a more managerial position.

    So, I think the names are just a coincidence, but there is nevertheless a small chance that the Shimizu in question would be 清水 久雄 Shimizu Hisao. That Shimizu later became a producer and kinda important division chief at Taito's development side in the early Nineties, so the timing could work. You can find his name in several Taito games of the F1/F3 era (incl. Elevator Action Returns). Not the most fun trivia but that Shimizu unfortunately passed away in 2011, [at least according to this tweet.](https://twitter.com/miharasan/status/152931503192543233) Anyway, I think it's a bit too convenient, and I find weird that Nishikado would not know or would not mention that this Shimizu went back into development later, in a much more senior role. Shimizu's not that rare of a name in Japan; for instance, there was also a game designer named Shimizu Kei at Taito since the mid-Eighties (he designed Arkanoid: Revenge of DOH and Kuri Kinton among other things). But that's still a possible lead.

    I‘ve thought of another way we might approach the “first licensed game” conundrum. So far, we’ve been thinking of this in terms of arcade and to a lesser extent console games, because those were the major commercial platforms of the late 70s and early 80s. Handheld games were still a minor phenomenon, and home computers wouldn‘t really become a thing until the early 80s, especially from a game development perspective…but what about mainframes? Admittedly, this doesn’t bring us any closer to dethroning Lupin's status as the first anime licensed game, but it does give us Dnd, released in 1974 - not the first licensed game per se, but arguably one of the earliest video games based on a pre-existing license.

    I found the research in this thread very intriguing. I tried to look up some other earlier pc games or what not and didn't come up with anything. There was lots of early star trek games on home computer but none of these early ones where licensced before lupin.

    So before ozma wars (which does have Yamato in it) there was a micon kit game called space micon kit

    https://twitter.com/necrosofty/status/1059920412723855360?s=19

    Now, you can also find this under the name uchuu senkan Yamato on the English language internet. https://www.arcade-museum.com/game_detail.php?game_id=119563

    I couldn't find a Japanese flyer with Yamato referenced directly so this may just be a case of unlicensed use of the ship which they later had to pay for or something, which is why it wasn't included like that in the collection. It could also be the western sites making stuff up and repeating it. But I feeeeeel like there may be a branded Yamato version of this out there?

    The only thing I can find about who worked on Lupin III is this tweet from Yuichi Toyama (Tecnosoft/Compile/Raizing) about an “S-san” retiring from Taito after 43 years. He was in charge of the pixel art on Lupin III.

    https://twitter.com/U1_Toyama/status/1096038802953388033

    "Apparently, the game was developed by soliciting ideas from the general public, and the copyright was put on the game later! I didn't know that!" I think there's something about that in one of the Untold History of Japanese Game Developers books, but I'll have to look it up later.

    BTW, Kaz Ayabe, formerly of NMK, said Tamio Nakasato, one of the co-founders of NMK, worked on Lunar Rescue.

    https://twitter.com/ayabekaz/status/558660305702514690

    @“exodus”#p36381 Wooow that is indeed super fishy haha. Way worse than the small sprite in the Ozma Wars ROM. I could see why the IP holders eventually got pissed off. Maybe also some of the old stories are getting mixed up between the two games.

    In any case, what I find weird with the rumor of SNK producing an official version later is that these games had a short shelf life and you'd just jump to the next idea or next fad as quickly as possible. Why bother with an official version when you already sold the PCBs ? I can totally see SNK being pressured into silencing the complaints of whoever handled the rights for Yamato (either Yomiuri or TAC directly) with some belated "royalties" / backpayments. On the other hand, the idea that 1. they would license the IP to re-release the game 2. that TAC would actually be keen to work with them after this kind of fuck-up and then 3. somehow the official version of a Yamato arcade game, after all these efforts, is harder to find nowadays than the dodgy version? That seems like a lot of conditional hoops to jump over.

    @"gdri"#p36399 Wow! Interesting. That S-san seems much more likely to be the right Shimizu, rather than Shimizu Hisao. Then again, if S-san had also worked on Elevator Action (which is what I wanted to know in the first place), you'd think that would be what a retirement tweet would mention first, way before the Lupin III stuff. So the dev teams probably have nothing in common.

    Here is one interesting case. I thought Sega's biking game Fonz (1976) was just one of those opportunistic “Space Trek” / “Star Fight” / “New York New York” titles that quickly cashed on popular trends and IPs but it actually has a connection to the real Fonzie character and therefore the Happy Days IP, as pointed to me on a different board (by Youloute from VGDensetsu). Sega had a biking game with primitive haptic controls called Man TT, mainly distributed in Japan. The exact same game was rebranded as Moto-Cross for the US market. Note however that it seems there was no title screen, or text whatsoever, when playing the game so they did not even have to modify the circuitry (this arcade machine predates the idea of a “ROM” in the sense we understand it today). The two cabinets play essentially the same game.

    The Moto-Cross machines did not meet a huge success in the US market, but Sega was owned by Gulf+Western at the time, who also owned Paramount, who owned the hot new series Happy Days. As a result, it is assumed Sega got the permission from Gulf+Western to rebrand the cabinets a third time, as Fonz and to pretend the game was a Happy Days arcade game with the most popular character on TV at the time ([Fonzie](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fonzie) for the kids out there).

    [upl-image-preview url=//i.imgur.com/RTkofXU.jpeg]

    Unlike the Wagaseishun no Arcadia conversion mentioned above, nothing has been modified inside the game to make use of the IP. It seems to be the exact same game as the original Man TT version, so it's a bit tricky to consider it an IP adaptation in a video game, at least as understood in this topic until now. The audio ran on separate audio tapes but it seems they focused on delivering realistic motorbike and road sounds, and used the same tapes in all versions, so Sega did not even change the BGM for the Happy Days theme either. In essence, the game itself is not a video game adaptation like Superman or Lupin III.

    But as a commercial product, the cabinet makes it (seemingly) an "officially licensed" product, or at least a properly authorized product, even if the copyright for Paramount is nowhere to be seen on the machine, manual and advertising. You can see the word Happy Days written in small to the left of the Fonz logo in some versions of the cabinet, such as the model on the flyer shown above, but it seems some versions of the cabinet did not feature this branding either. The [phrasing on the flyer is very dodgy](https://segaretro.org/images/e/ec/Fonz_DiscreteLogic_US_Flyer.pdf); it seems they are very careful which words they use (they never mention "Happy Days" nor use the full "Fonzie" name, just "that character" made famous "on TV"), which is why I am still not entirely sure how official the whole thing is, really. On the other hand, it allows me to say Sega was ahead of everyone so why not!

    Very interesting - 1976! I suppose rebranding the same game may have been easier when there were fewer games in general. You could just sell the cabinet to a new place (potentially). On the other hand, maybe it stood out more that way? Hmmmm

    @“chazumaru”#p36421 The Noncredit Report @wiki, which tries to collect credits for games that don't have them, has Toshio Kono as the planner for Elevator Action and Yoshio Imamura as the sound designer. No graphic designer. Source is the book Video Game Chronicle 1: Kiki KaiKai.

    This thread owns for a lot of reasons but I'd just like to shout out that it reminded me that I wanted to try watching Lupin III and that has been a good time so far, so, thank you

    @“gdri”#p36447 Thanks a lot! Sadly, that conclusively shuts down the idea that Lupin III and Elevator Action are directly related… It was an inspiration at best.

    @"Gaagaagiins"#p36455 Well, there surely are worse ways to spend your weekend. Feel free to derail this thread into anything Lupin-related!

    >

    @“chazumaru”#p36460 Gaagaagiins Well, there surely are worse ways to spend your weekend. Feel free to derail this thread into anything Lupin-related!

    For better or worse, I'm one of those freaks who doesn't feel they can enjoy something unless I can do it all and preferably in release order, so I'm trying to sprint my way through the Tee Hee Sexual Violence Era for now

    @“Syzygy”#p36472 I guess it’s a lapsus but that is an advertisement for Epoch’s Super Cassette Vision, not the ColecoVision. I do not think anyone ended up selling the ColecoVision in Japan. The Super Cassette Vision does not run on a Z80 (unlike the MSX or Sega’s consoles of that era) so they really don’t have much in common.

    That game looks pretty cute! I wonder what was up with Barcelona being so trendy in Asian media around 1984. This was long before the Barcelona Olympics. The movie Wheels on Meals / Spartan X is also (rather inexplicably) set in Barcelona.

    To follow up on something I brought up earlier, Taito's Lupin III was inspired by a computer game called Manbiki Shounen, which is considered the first stealth game. It was written by Hiroshi Suzuki from the Tokyo University Microcomputer Club, who showed it off at a university festival, which caught the attention of Taito.

    Suzuki and two of his colleagues from the Microcomputer Club contracted with Taito to make games. They would make the games and show them off to Taito. Taito would provide an apartment to work in with two PET computers, plus pay a one-time fee. Taito would also pay royalties if the games were turned into finished products. None of the games were ever released, and since Lupin III was only inspired by Manbiki Shounen, Suzuki did not receive any royalties.

    https://readonlymemory.vg/ascii-corporation/

    @“gdri”#p36536 wow, that's super interesting! Do you know if that particular hiroshi suzuki went on to work in games after that? there are so many hiroshi suzukis on mobygames that I have no idea.

    @“exodus”#p36554 He did a sequel to Manbiki Shounen (“Shoplifing Boy”) called Manbiki Shoujo (“Shoplifting Girl”). Then he did a flight simulator called The Cockpit, which Taito pretty much ripped off for their arcade game Midnight Landing. And that's about it. Then he worked for Asahi Shimbun, where he was involved with what is now the ISP Asahi Net.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9t-C7zAMDQc

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugjjTE7aWWg

    Just a reminder: the Egret II Mini came out today and this means the little piece of video game history discussed above, Lupin III, is now once again officially commercialized and available to all.

    @“chazumaru”#p60670 I continue to want it but continue to realize how expensive it is