I think I need help, I`ve been buying stuff like crazy on Yahoo Auctions for the past month. There is just too much good stuff to stay away.
The latest piece of vintage Japanese retro gear to arrive on my doorstep all the way from Osaka is the above Epoch TV Vader console, complete in box.
I have wanted one of these for a really long time but I have never been able to find one in the wild. When I found this on Yahoo I entered a pretty low bid not expecting to win, but was pleasantly surprised when I did!
I`ve mentioned on here before that in the late 70s and early 80s Epoch was Nintendo`s main competitor in the Japanese home gaming market. When Nintendo was releasing its Color TV Game 15 and other consoles with single games hardwired into it, Epoch was doing the same.
TV Vader was released in 1980 and, as you can probably deduce from both the name and packaging, contains a Space Invaders type game.
I just plugged this sucker in and it works great. The TV Vader doesn`t exactly have a Space Invaders game, but rather a close copy. Everything is the same except for the number of enemy ships coming at you and the fact that every time you shoot them instead of exploding you just knock them further up the screen. After you`ve shot an enemy five times he finally explodes.
Its a pretty cool variant on Space Invaders and there are four different levels of varying difficulty.
The main reason I wanted this wasn`t for the ability to play Space Invaders per se, but because of how cool the console itself looks:
Joystick and Missile button. The controls could not be simpler, or cooler. The best part though is that artwork on the top with `TV Vader` and a bunch of space invaders on it. This is a very interesting blip in the history of video game console design as it is one of the few that actually put artwork beyond the console`s logo directly onto the console.
`TV Vader` is also an amazing name for a console.