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I love the look of PC98 games aka the Anime PC game machine

Faust

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SlimeGooGoo,eyesabitdull,thanks!
The original gif is over-spec, but I made it in 16 colors, OC.


PC-88 style digital 8-color, double-high pixels. OC


No use of color codes #000000 and #FFFFFF." UMA MUSUME"

Original gif and other works at Tumblr.
I've been studying backgrounds lately.Nice to meet you!

That is some beautiful work! The second picture in particular is one I may have to use as my phone background for a while. Adore the attention to detail to the system you are emulating.
 

VGEsoterica

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if you like PC98 def check out some of the adventure / visual novel games on the FM Towns. Some awesome stuff there too
 

stranno

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And yet another PC9801 translation.



A menu patch for the tactical RPG Sei Shoujou Sentai Lakers 2, for the NEC PC-9801 line of computers. Beta release.

WARNING : This game contains explicit sexual situations and is therefore forbidden for anybody under 18.

 
Oct 14, 2010
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Twitter thread where user DragEnRegalia made a whole detailed thread of PC-98 game recommendations. With nice background info and details on where the get the games included. All in a clean and convenient series of info-graphics. *Cough* I think my ADV recs are a little more solid *Cough*
Recently I've been looking up a lot of Japanese adventure games. Not just on the PC98, I ended up looking from the 80s through to the 00s, but my increased interest started with an admiration for the dithered pixel art aesthetic of PC98 games. So I can't speak much to the good strategy, rpg, or action games (although I do know Rusty is a castlevania-like that people seem to enjoy) but here are a few of the more interesting Adventure games I've found for the 98:

Tōdō Ryūnosuke Tante Kohakuiro no Yuigon:


First entry in the Todo Ryunosuke detective series. Similar to Riverhillsoft's J.B Harold series, but a very different aesthetic as it's set in the 1900s. Gather evidence, question suspects and name the correct culprit to win.

Tōdō Ryūnosuke Tantei Nikki: Ōgon No Rashinban:


Second detective adventure in the 1900s series by Riverhillsoft, members of this studio would go on to form CiNG and develop games like Another Code and Hotel Dusk.

Dracula Hakushaku:


Played a little bit of this and it was very weird. You wake up as an amnesiac Dracula, then enter a mansion to find the skeletal remains of your several dead wives. Then some dude you don't know tells you he's your best friend... Also, that you aren't just Dracula, but Jack The Ripper as well. Some 18+ content but not as much as other PC98 games.

Tokyo Twilight Busters:


Mystery game about kids stuck in some underground facility, investigating paranormal mysteries. Puzzles based on character switching and it seems to have other cool mechanics as well. By WolfTeam who also started the Tales series of RPGs and eventually split into Namco Tales Studio and Tri-Ace.

Isaku:


You play as a group of teens trapped in a cabin by some psycho. I played a little bit of this and there's some extremely disturbing content right out of the gate. Looks like a good game but not for the faint of heart. Extremely 18+ and potentially NSFL. Some of the best graphics of the era, though.

RED:


Cyberpunk adventure with occasional shooting gallery set-pieces, kind of like Snatcher. I really like the BG art in this one.

Twilight Hotel:


Really good character designs in this game. Can't remember if there's 18+ content or not but it's safer to assume there is when it comes to PC98.

Mayumi:


Your girlfriends been kidnapped and you've gatta find out where she is and what happened. For such a sullen premise, the game itself looks pretty cheery.

Aegean no Shizuku:


Rare example of a Myst style adventure game from a Japanese dev. There's also a Playstation version that used pre-rendered 3D models, but the less said about it the better.

Makyouden:


Post apocalyptic city where demons have taken over. One of which is a giant crab. This game actually has an English fan translation that you can download here.

Dead Of The Brain:


Fun, schlocky, zombie story. I've played through this completely and it also has an English fan translation. Sometimes it makes you look at everything in an area before you can progress, but besides that its a pretty good time. If you like a cheesy B-Movie type story with a lot of gore, this is a cool game to play.

Marine Philt:


From the same dev as Dead of The Brain, looks similar too, except more of an Alien inspiration than Night of The Living Dead. There's also a radar on the bottom right that shows you when aliens are nearby.

Atlantia:


You play as a journalist given the assignment to land an interview with the sheikh of Harrout while aboard the maiden voyage of a cruise liner named Atlantia.

Hokkaidou Rensa Satsujin - Ohotsuku ni Kiyu:


1992 remake of Yuji Hori's 1984 detective adventure. Sequel to the seminal Portopia Serial Murder cause which was the game that established the blueprint for titles like Famicom Detective Club and Ace Attorney.

As far as playing these games if you don't know Japanese, for one there's the few games with fan translations (the two I mentioned above but there's also one for YU-NO - A Girl Who Chants Love at The Bound of this World which I reviewed in another thread). Aside from that there's also a feature in RetroArch called AI Service. Which basically takes a screen grab of your game, scans it for characters, and sends you back a Google translation layered over the in-game text.

Here's some screen grabs from when I was testing out the feature with Posessioner and a PS1 adventure game called Aconcagua:


The translations, for the most part, are actually not that bad. Some awkward wording at times and sometimes pronouns get mixed up but overall its understandable. But the issue with the AI service feature is that sometimes it fails to scan all the characters which leads to broken sentences or gibberish. Also, for me, it had a tendency to crash RetroArch.

Another option is to use a phone or mobile device to translate the games with the Google Translate app which takes scans characters from photos you take (the app does it very quickly). While less convenient, doing it this way was much more consistent for scanning the characters. Which resulted in around 90% very understandable translations many of which were surprisingly natural to read.

Here's some examples of the translations I got doing it this way:





So yeah, this option is available should you seek it. It's not perfect but, in my experience, I found it to be much better than I ever would have expected. The most persistent issues are mixed up pronouns (I instead of He, She or You). Also, occasional subject/predicate reversal ("I will tonight, go to the store" instead of "I will go to the store tonight" like how Yoda talks). But I never found it hard to comprehend in the context of the story.

I'd probably never play a comedy game like this, where specific phrasing and timing are extremely important to the experience, but I definitely plan to check out more games that I never imagined I'd get a chance to play.

But all jokes aside, this is an awesome Twitter thread so if you're interested in looking into the platform and want a good place to start, this is it.
 
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Redneckerz

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Would there be any interest in describing the various graphics chips for PC98? Because the hardware was (and is) totally unique despite being x86 based.
 

kurisu_1974

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so which games on this system are considered the best, and how does an american who speaks no Japanese at all go about playing them?

Wanted to revisit and revise my first response to this because since that initial post I've found out so much more about playing games with machine translation. So there's a lot better information I should have given at the time.

The first big thing I found out about was DeepL. It's a translation service, like G Translate, but uses a more interpretive deep learning process which frequently results in better, and more naturally phrased, translations. It's drawback being sometimes it over-interprets passages deciding to leave out certain words that may have been crucial. But used in conjunction with G Translate I've been able to comfortably understand 90% + of any game I've tried to play so far.

The next thing were the desktop OCR and Texthooking programs available to use for playing these games. It's a huge step up in convenience from scanning the screen with my phone. These programs are also better than RetroArch's AI Service, with broader application. The first one to show is VN OCR, an OCR program with a convenient set up for gaming. You have a transparent adjustable window that you can overlay atop any program, then press a button to scan for characters and receive a translation. You'll have to adjust the image settings for each game so you can get an accurate scan, but afterward it works pretty well. Text for the translation is automatically copied to your clipboard as well, so you can quickly and easily enter it into other programs. Pros are it works with everything, cons are the capture isn't always 100% accurate (especially for games with weirder fonts).


Some examples with VN OCR. You can choose between DeepL & Bing as the default (bottom window) I've got additional apps on the side as backups.​

The second program to mention is Textractor, rather than Optical Character Recognition via screen capture, this program is a Texthooker that scans the hexadecimal code of the game you're playing to directly extract characters from it. So it's more accurate than any OCR by default. It's really easy to set up and use, but the downside is that certain games aren't hookable. The even bigger downside is that hooking into an emulated game is almost always unsuccessful (although there are supposed ways around that, which I haven't looked too deeply into). If the option is available, this should be the go-to solution IMO. Luckily for this thread, someone has made a hookable version of the Neko Project II PC-98 emulator. Which means you can use it for most of the games you've seen here.


Some examples with Textractor initial translation is G Translate (can change via plugins). I've got DeepL on the side.
I've been making my way through a run of Tokyo Twilight Busters using Textractor, G Translate & DeepL, a couple hours deep atm and it's been a smooth experience so far. Between the to programs all but a handful of lines have been perfectly understandable and good enough that I'm genuinely engrossed in the mystery & characters. Way less tedious than before when I was using my phone, so hopefully this post is more informative than the last one.

Relevant Links:
VN OCR - Download links in video description.
VN OCR Quick Setup Video
Textractor Github Page
Textractor Basic Guide Video
DeepL Translator
Hook Any Text (HAT) - A plugin for cheat engine/way to text hook into emulated games. I haven't really tested this out much so IDK how good it is.
 

KiteGr

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Wanted to revisit and revise my first response to this because since that initial post I've found out so much more about playing games with machine translation. So there's a lot better information I should have given at the time.

The first big thing I found out about was DeepL. It's a translation service, like G Translate, but uses a more interpretive deep learning process which frequently results in better, and more naturally phrased, translations. It's drawback being sometimes it over-interprets passages deciding to leave out certain words that may have been crucial. But used in conjunction with G Translate I've been able to comfortably understand 90% + of any game I've tried to play so far.

The next thing were the desktop OCR and Texthooking programs available to use for playing these games. It's a huge step up in convenience from scanning the screen with my phone. These programs are also better than RetroArch's AI Service, with broader application. The first one to show is VN OCR, an OCR program with a convenient set up for gaming. You have a transparent adjustable window that you can overlay atop any program, then press a button to scan for characters and receive a translation. You'll have to adjust the image settings for each game so you can get an accurate scan, but afterward it works pretty well. Text for the translation is automatically copied to your clipboard as well, so you can quickly and easily enter it into other programs. Pros are it works with everything, cons are the capture isn't always 100% accurate (especially for games with weirder fonts).


Some examples with VN OCR. You can choose between DeepL & Bing as the default (bottom window) I've got additional apps on the side as backups.​

The second program to mention is Textractor, rather than Optical Character Recognition via screen capture, this program is a Texthooker that scans the hexadecimal code of the game you're playing to directly extract characters from it. So it's more accurate than any OCR by default. It's really easy to set up and use, but the downside is that certain games aren't hookable. The even bigger downside is that hooking into an emulated game is almost always unsuccessful (although there are supposed ways around that, which I haven't looked too deeply into). If the option is available, this should be the go-to solution IMO. Luckily for this thread, someone has made a hookable version of the Neko Project II PC-98 emulator. Which means you can use it for most of the games you've seen here.


Some examples with Textractor initial translation is G Translate (can change via plugins). I've got DeepL on the side.
I've been making my way through a run of Tokyo Twilight Busters using Textractor, G Translate & DeepL, a couple hours deep atm and it's been a smooth experience so far. Between the to programs all but a handful of lines have been perfectly understandable and good enough that I'm genuinely engrossed in the mystery & characters. Way less tedious than before when I was using my phone, so hopefully this post is more informative than the last one.

Relevant Links:
VN OCR - Download links in video description.
VN OCR Quick Setup Video
Textractor Github Page
Textractor Basic Guide Video
DeepL Translator
Hook Any Text (HAT) - A plugin for cheat engine/way to text hook into emulated games. I haven't really tested this out much so IDK how good it is.
Is there a way to insert the text automatically above the letters?
 
Oct 14, 2010
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Is there a way to insert the text automatically above the letters?
With Textractor you could just drag the window directly over a game's text box if you wanted. With VN OCR you couldn't do that because you need that space clear for the program to scan characters. Though, for a game with a more dynamic UI, like an RPG or Strategy game, if you're trying to get overlays for each HUD element you'd be out of luck.

One thing you could try would be to use VN OCR in conjunction with RetroArch's AI service feature. The AI service is an OCR that scans for characters and places the text directly over the game:

The AI service feature on its own isn't that great since it's harder to adjust the settings of the OCR for better captures and has no feature to copy the original Japanese text into other TL programs. But if you were using VN OCR for the main content and supplementing AI service whenever you wanted to check a HUD element or something, that could probably work out.
 

KiteGr

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With Textractor you could just drag the window directly over a game's text box if you wanted. With VN OCR you couldn't do that because you need that space clear for the program to scan characters. Though, for a game with a more dynamic UI, like an RPG or Strategy game, if you're trying to get overlays for each HUD element you'd be out of luck.

One thing you could try would be to use VN OCR in conjunction with RetroArch's AI service feature. The AI service is an OCR that scans for characters and places the text directly over the game:

The AI service feature on its own isn't that great since it's harder to adjust the settings of the OCR for better captures and has no feature to copy the original Japanese text into other TL programs. But if you were using VN OCR for the main content and supplementing AI service whenever you wanted to check a HUD element or something, that could probably work out.
I'm looking to build an emulation PC with the Steam deck, so I'm looking to get rid of all secondary interactions like opening multiple windows and have everything being controlled with a controller. Having to open and drag and drop multiple windows look like a chore that would eat away from enjoying the game.
 
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I'm looking to build an emulation PC with the Steam deck, so I'm looking to get rid of all secondary interactions like opening multiple windows and have everything being controlled with a controller. Having to open and drag and drop multiple windows look like a chore that would eat away from enjoying the game.
For something with a simpler narrative where you're translating basic menu instructions/fairly simple lines, like in a platformer or puzzle game, you could probably get away with just the one window. For anything with deeper writing like an RPG, Adventure Game, or Novel Game you'd really need another TL program like DeepL to double check the questionable translations/combine lines that come out at sentence fragments into a full paragraph.

IDK how it'd work on Steam deck but on PC all the windows stay in their arranged position after the first time you've set them up so it's not very tedious, and since the each new line from Textractor is automatically copied to clipboard it's just a quick CTRL+V away from inserting into DeepL. I'm guessing that wouldn't be too difficult with the track pad, but IDK.

In any case, given how these programs work If you want enough consistency to really enjoy the story, you'll need to use multiple windows IMO.