Friday, November 4, 2011

MSX Games! Another Insane Bargain Find

I found another bargain today at good old Omocha Souko. I was looking through their junk bin when I found five loose game cartridges for the MSX.

The MSX is sort of Japan`s version of the Commodore 64 or Spectrum. It was a home computer released in 1983 that dominated the Japanese market for most of the 80s.
I didn`t know much about this computer until today and was surprised to discover that a lot of the games that I thought got their start on the Famicom were actually first released on the MSX. This includes classic titles like Metal Gear, Bomberman, Parodius and Puyo Puyo.
Despite the system`s popularity, game carts for it are pretty hard to find, so when I saw a few of them in the junk box I immediately pounced.

I was shocked to discover that every single one of the five games they had were good ones. Salamander, Q-Bert, Gradius II (Nemesis II) and Parodius.
The fifth game was an interesting one whose name is completely baffling. In Japanese it is called `Gofer no Yabou Episode 2` but in English it is called `Nemesis 3 The Eve off Destruction`. it is part 2 in Japanese but part 3 in English? Look at the cart label:
I just thought that was pretty neat.

Another thing that I think is neat is how much these sell for on Ebay. Salamander loose is going for almost 100$ and Parodius is going for the same. Wow. I paid 100 yen each for these. That isn`t the normal price one would expect to pay but still - that is quite the difference.

Another great bargain find....that I have no way of playing because I don`t have an MSX. D-oh! Another thing on my shopping list.


  1. Oh, maaaaaaaaan! I've been a bit obsessed with the MSX for a while now. Not because I've ever experienced a real one, mind you, but because I've played a few of its games via emulation. They're quite antiquated, of course, but I really like the use of color in a lot of MSX games for some reason. I especially like the MSX version of Parodius. Just be warned that it's HARD.

    Anyway, another great find. Congrats! Wait a second, though -- do you have an MSX? If not, are you planning to get one at some point?

  2. LOL, no I don`t have an MSX! I will have to get one someday though....if I can find some shelf space to keep it on.

    I`ve played Parodius on the Famicom and agree, it is difficult!

  3. Wow Salamander, Parodius, Gradius!!! I would love to have MSX console one day to play those versions (I've played NES variants)!
    Wonderfull find!

  4. Thanks jpx! I would also love to have an MSX console now that I have the games;)

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  6. Sweet! The MSX is a system I know a bit about but haven't used much yet. Like you say, many top game series' started on it including some Master System games I once thought were exclusives (Golvellius and Power Strike/Aleste, for example). Awesome find sir, and some awesome games too! :)

  7. You've got to be joking me. I'm so jealous of these bargains you are finding!

  8. Just so you know, Sean, the MSX version of Parodius is quite different from the Famicom or any other version of the game. The art style is different and, like I said, it's MUCH harder than the other versions. Still, I really like it, mainly due to the new/different art style.

  9. I used to have a MSX (it had a good market in Brazil), and it had some really good shooters, like Gradius and parodius.

    Konami released some MSX collections for PSX, with perfect emulation (I guess it's not hard to do that on a PSX :) and a super collection for Saturn. I've played the PSX version and it's pretty good

  10. MSX carts are very expensive to get outside of Japan. I found a bare cart copy of Akumajou Dracula for something like 1500 yen at a Mandarake and thought that was a bargain! I bought a complete Gradius 2 for about 2500 yen but it was only so cheap because it was beaten up a bit.

    The naming conventions of the third MSX Gradius game is very confusing. In Japan, it's meant to be a direct sequel to Gradius II (ARC/FC/PCE), which is subtitled Gofer no Yabou. Hence, Gofer no Yabou Episode 2. (But it's not Gradius III, that's a totally different game, the arcade/SFC.) Since Gradius II was released under the name Vulcan Venture outside of Japan, Konami just simplified it and called it Nemesis 3 in other territories, since it was the third Nemesis game on the MSX.

    Also, Gradius 2 on the MSX is a COMPLETELY different game from Gradius II on the arcade/Famicom/PCE. It's known as Nemesis '90 Kai on Japanese computers and is differentiated with an arabic number instead of roman numeral.

    The MSX Parodius sets itself part because it's just called "Parodius". The arcade/FC/SFC/whatever else is technically known as "Parodius Da!" even though no one really refers to it as such, at least among English fans.

  11. Wow totally awesome finding sir! Now you must hunt down an MSX but I'm sure you won't have any problems especially with the good streak you are having! KUDOS! ^_^

  12. Simon, Famicom Freak and Retrogamer - thanks! Good find, eh? :)

    Bryan - Ah, I didn`t know it was different from the Famicom version. Now I really have to get the console.

    Nakagawa - Nice!

    Discoalucard - 1500 yen for Akumajo is indeed a bargain. The Mandarake in Fukuoka doesn`t have a single MSX game. In fact, none of the retro game stores in this city have them regularly in stock so the only way you can find them, ironically, is when somebody at a shop like Omocha Souko accidentally gets their hands on them and, not knowing what they are, just dumps them in a bargain bin! Thanks also for explaining the massively confusing naming of those Gradius/ Nemesis games and reminding me of the `da` in Parodius Da!

  13. I'm in the same boat as Bryan... I wasn't even BORN or EXISTING at the time the MSX was at it's peak, but through emulation I've been enjoying some pretty freaking awesome games. I'd love to get one, but I'm not even sure if the system was ever released in the U.S., and if it was, not only is it really hard to come by, but Japanese and European games probably wouldn't work on it... Guess this is one system I'll only ever be able to play through the magic of emulation.

    Nice find, and glad to see that Omocha Souko luck streak is still going strong, Sean!

  14. I was around during the MSX`s lifetime, but I never heard of it myself back in the day. I checked it out and they tried releasing it in Europe and North America but hardly sold any so they are probably hyper rare over there (they were big in some other parts of Asia and South America though).

    The Omocha Souko streak is still alive;)