Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Only in Japan: Hi no Tori Gaou no Bouken

Hi no Tori is without a doubt one of my favorite Famicom games. I really don`t understand why it was never ported to the NES as it is one of the best platformers ever made for the system.

This is one of the games that I acquired early in my Famicom collecting days about 3 years ago. My wife had it when she was a kid and I bought it on her recommendation (back then I hadn`t devoted myself to acquiring every Famicom cart ever made and would only but the good ones).

There is a pretty good write up on the game at Strategy Wiki, so I won`t repeat too much of what is already out there.

Well, OK maybe I`ll repeat a bit of what is already out there. It is a side scrolling platformer based on a comic by Osamu Tezuka. You control Gaou, the hero of the game, as he progresses through multiple levels doing all the typical 8-bit side scrolling platformer type stuff (shooting enemies, jumping over stuff, etc). There are some unique actions that set this one apart though. Gaou can, for example, shoot (throw?) stone blocks. He can use these to build staircases, which are sometimes necessary to climb over gaping bits of scenery that are too big to jump across or what have you.

I still haven`t actually finished the game yet, my wife is better at it than I am. I bought a boxed copy (pictured above) of it recently for 500 yen, which was a really good bargain. It still has the original department store price tag on it for 4770 yen. I love it when game stuff still has original tags on it. This one was purchased at the Daimaru Department store, which is located downtown. I was there just a couple of weeks ago doing some Christmas shopping:
This is what it looked like for Christmas 2011. I wonder what it looked like for Christmas 1987 when this game may have been originally purchased. The building it is currently in looks like it was built since then, so I`m guessing it looked completely different back then.

Anyway, that tangent in this blog post, complete with its tengential photograph, was brought to you by Famicomblog`s new sponsor, the Daimaru Department store. Daimaru: in Japanese the name just means `big circle`.

Related Posts:
- Only in Japan: Spelunker and Spelunker 2 Yuuja he no Chousen


  1. I love when the original price tags are on it too. Also, I like how a lot of Japanese items have the MSRP printed on the packaging. Like you, it's fun to think of the time that it actually sold for full price.

    I have an X-Japan VHS tape that must have been released in the early 90s that originally retailed for 4800 yen. The video tape itself is kind of a behind the scenes style digest of a tour in 1989-90, so to see Tokyo Dome or wherever can really get you thinking about what it was like for someone to go to their local music/video store and buy this off the shelves.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who does this.

  2. I`m really into that stuff too, Nate. I especially love it when I find something in a junk bin for a 100 yen or whatever and its still got the 6000 yen (or however much) original MSRP or price tag on it. Its the game`s way of telling the world `I used to be somebody....`

    Sounds like a cool VHS tape. It really is cool to think about the day things like that were purchased.

  3. Nice post sir :) Unsurprisingly, I haven't heard of this game but I'll definitely take a look at it soon and perhaps give it the usual RP treatment too!

  4. Thanks, Simon! Yes, definitely give it a go, I think you will probably enjoy it!

  5. Gaou can shit bricks!

  6. Just played this. Great game.

    but..why does it have a suicide button?!! ;)


  7. LOL, you haven`t gotten stuck in one of those rock crevaces yet?