Monday, August 6, 2012

Yahoo Auction Treasures: Epoch TV Vader

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.


  1. Pretty neat! I think it's kinda funny how both the U.S. and Japan had the plug-and-play thing going on lone before the advent of cart-based systems.

    Speaking of Epoch... have you been looking out for a Epoch Super... crap, can't remember the exact name... that Epoch system with the colorful cartridges. Have you found one of those as of yet?

  2. Yeah, the Super Cassete Vision. You ever managed to find one yet, Sean?

    Speaking of this one, looks quite cool. It's a lot like the original Cassete Vision, although I'd say it seems a lot better since it doesn't have those weird blocky visuals. And that name reminds me of Darth Vader.

  3. This is something you dont see everyday:

  4. When I saw the words "TV Vader," I actually thought of Diedrich Bader instead.

  5. Skyrunner and Kaibun - actually I have not yet found the Super Cassette Vision.

    Well, actually I have found a few of them on Ebay or Yahoo Auctions, but the starting prices are always way too expensive so I always pass. Someday though. Its a good point about it looking quite a bit like the original Cassette Vision, I noticed that too.

    David - yeah, those are pretty cool. I just have the loose version of the light gun without the holster.

    Angryrider - I think it would totally be cool to design a console based on Bader`s mullet in Office Space.