The Launch of the TurboGrafx-16 (1989) | Classic Gaming Quarterly
The Launch of the TurboGrafx-16 (1989) | Classic Gaming Quarterly

On this episode of Classic Gaming Quarterly
TV, we take a look at the launch of one of the most under-appreciated consoles of all
time – the Turbografx-16. When I was in high school, we knew ONE kid
who had a Turbografx-16. And even though he defended it valiantly,
we made fun of him mercilessly even though none of us had actually played one. Unfortunately, we all drank the console war
Kool-Aid, and as a result anything not made my Nintendo or Sega sucked by default as far
as we were concerned The TurboGrafx, and later the Turbo Duo, would
of course go on to die a slow and painful death here in the United States, but today
we’re looking at it’s birth, when the console was full of potential and it’s future
seemed bright. Not a lot of information exists about the
launch of the Turbografx, but based on what we do know, it appears that only three games
were actually available during the test launch in New York and Los Angeles, with 6 additional
games being released sometime around the time of the national rollout. So now let’s take a look at the history
of the Turbografx-16, its launch, and the nine games that launched with it in August
and September of 1989. The history of the TurboGrafx-16 is really
the tale of two companies, and to tell it we need to first travel back to 19th century
imperial Japan. In 1899, Kunihiko Idaware founded the Nippon
Electric Company after spending time in the United States working with Thomas Edison. The company manufactured and maintained telephones
and telephone switches, and in the 1920’s branched out into radio transmission equipment. During World War II, NEC’s factories were
placed under military control, and several were partially or totally destroyed by allied
bombing. At the conclusion of the war, things quickly
returned to normal, with NEC’s main factories re-opened by early 1946. In 1958, NEC developed their first vacuum
tube-based computers, including this NEAC-1101, and the following year released their first
transistor-based computer, the NEAC-2201, which I thought would be smaller. NEC continued developing computer systems
for worldwide telephone, radio, and satellite communications use for the next two decades. In 1973, brothers Yuji and Hiroshi Kudo opened
a store in their hometown of Sapporo, Japan. The brothers grew up next to a rail line and
named their shop after the Hudson locomotive that steamed past their house every day. Initially just a shop selling the odd combination
of citizen’s band radios and artistic photographs, the brothers began selling personal computer
supplies in 1975. In 1978 they began developing and selling
computer games, and in 1984 became Nintendo’s very first third-party developer. Their first release on the Famicom, Lode Runner
was a million seller, and they followed that up the next year with the iconic Bomberman. Legend has it that with the money they made
from these early Famicom games, the brothers bought and restored the very Hudson 4-6-4
locomotive that used to steam past their childhood home. In the 1980’s, NEC began manufacturing consumer
electronics, including PCs and audio-video equipment, and in 1987 the two company’s paths
finally crossed. Hudson had tried unsuccessfully to develop
custom hardware for Nintendo, while NEC was keen to break into the home video game market. The two companies jointly developed a video
game console that would come to be known as the PC Engine. The system was based around an 8-bit bank-switchable
CPU and a 16-bit graphics processor, both developed by Hudson. The PC Engine had a palette of 512 colors,
of which up to 482 could be simultaneously displayed on the screen, helping give the
system’s graphics their signature look. Games were distributed on credit card-sized
cartridges called “HuCards”, very similar in form factor to the “MyCards” for the
Sega Master System, and were an evolution of the Bee Cards that Hudson had developed
to distribute MSX software. The system was released on October 30, 1987,
and the following year outsold the Famicom in Japan. The North American iteration of the console,
the Turbografx-16, was priced at $199, and was released on August 29, 1989 in New York
and Los Angeles, with a national roll-out following shortly afterward. Games, which sold for $49.99 were now referred
to as “Turbochips” instead of “HuCards”, and available peripherals included the $30
TurboBooster which added composite video and stereo outputs, and the $18 TurboTap which
gave the system 5 controller ports instead of the stock 1. In comparison, the Sega Genesis, which was
launched just two weeks prior, was priced at $189, had two controller ports, a stereo
headphone jack, and needed only a $10 cable via mail-order for composite video output. In the early days of the 16-bit era, the choice
between the TurboGrafx and the Genesis was far from clear. NEC had name recognition with computer users,
and the system’s massive success in Japan, where it was Sega who was a distant third,
helped create hype in the United States. Additionally, Sega’s first American attempt
at a home console was largely ignored, giving them no momentum in the home video game market. For various reasons, the discussion of which
being outside the scope of this episode, the TurboGrafx-16 was never really able to gain
a significant market share here, although it would go on to become the first home console
to support CD-ROM media, and had a small but steady stream of quality releases on both
TurboChip and CD until the platform’s discontinuation in late 1994. But for early adopters of the TurboGrafx-16
there was no shortage of great games to play in the late summer of 1989. Introducing TurboGrafx-16: the next-generation
video game system. It’s 4 times faster, so the games are more
exciting. There are almost 10 times as many colors,
so the arcade-quality graphics are even more intense. And you can expand your system with a CD player,
for CD games with sound effects that are turbo-charged. TurboGrafx-16 from NEC: the higher-energy
video game system. Keith Courage in Alpha Zones was the pack-in
game for the TurboGrafx-16. The game was released in Japan as “Spirit
Hero Wataru” and was based on an anime TV series of the same name, but the plot was
completely changed during localization and is now amazingly stupid. The game was not developed by Hudson, but
rather by Advance Communication, who’s only other US-released TurboGrafx game was 1990’s
Tiger Road. Keith Courage is a combination cutesy Japanese
platformer and action platformer, with each stage split into two separate sections. In the first part, you slowly walk along,
killing enemies, collecting gold, and entering shops to buy needed supplies. This includes magic items and weapons dealers,
as well as Nurse Nancy, who you can pay to restore your health. Game play in these levels is primarily characterized
by you farming for cash by walking back and forth killing the endlessly respawning enemies. Speaking of which, I thought that the maneki-neko
was a Japanese good luck charm. So… why are you killing them? Anyway, you reach the end of the overworld
section, and you’re whisked away by a magic rainbow to an underworld where you’re suddenly
wearing a mechanical “nova suit” and wielding a much larger sword. It’s here that the biggest problem with
Keith Courage becomes apparent. There is simply too much contrast between
the two halves of the game. The underworld stages are better-looking,
have better music and sound effects, faster gameplay, and much more interesting enemies
like Mr. Guy-with-a-gun-for-his-head, here. After beating the end stage boss in an underworld
level, the game feels really bad when it plunks you back down in an overworld. This game probably wouldn’t be bad at all
if it consisted only of the underworld portions of the game, more fleshed-out and with better
level design. The game also gives you only one life, but
its unlimited continues give you little reason to not plow through the game in the first
sitting. Keith Courage isn’t horrible, but it’s
a very average game that was probably only localized here so that NEC would have a platformer
to include with the system, since they saw Nintendo as their primary rival in the US. The Turbografx was already slightly more expensive
than the Genesis and may or may not have required the purchase of extra peripherals depending
on your needs. The inclusion of Keith Courage as the pack-in
game almost guaranteed that the majority of gamers were going to feel the need to immediately
pick up an additional game, as well, as this is simply not a game that makes you fall in
love with your brand new console. The Legendary Axe was developed by Victor
Interactive Software, a company better-known for the Keio Flying Squadron series. In this side-scrolling action platformer you
take control of Gogan, an axe-wielding barbarian who is predictably trying to save his kidnapped
girlfriend. While there’s nothing particularly original
about the game play, The Legendary Axe pulls it off flawlessly with precise, responsive
controls and an interesting variety of unique stages and enemies. The graphics are detailed and extremely colorful,
as one would expect from a quality Turbografx title. The real highlight of the game in my opinion
though, is the soundtrack, as each track seems to perfectly fit the level in which it’s
featured, which contributes heavily to the game ’s ambiance. Of all of the games available at launch, The
Legendary Axe best shows off what the Turbografx was capable of, and the first time you reached
the level 1 arachnid miniboss, you knew that you weren’t playing Nintendo anymore. Throughout the game, you can pick up power-ups
to restore health, raise strength, and increase your attacking speed. The game is tough enough that the average
gamer is going to have to work at it for a while before beating the game, but fun enough
that they’d look forward to the challenge. At the risk of beating a dead horse, the fact
that this wasn’t the pack-in game for the TurboGrafx-16 speaks volumes about how little
some Japanese game companies understood the American market back then. Altered Beast was a good game in its day;
certainly much better than people give it credit for today, but it was no killer app. The Legendary Axe was named the 1989 game
of the year across all platforms by Video Games & Computer Entertainment, and the 1989
Turbografx-16 game of the year by Electronic Gaming Monthly. Especially when you have no reputation in
the market, there’s something to be said for driving system sales by giving away your
best game for free. The only one of the three first-wave launch
games developed by Hudson Soft, Victory Run is a racing game based on the Paris Dakar
Rally. While the game’s rally theme is well-represented
on the Japanese cover art, in the US we inexplicably got this cover, showing a street car racing
into Paris. The object of the game is to complete the
multi-stage race between Paris and Dakar, Senegal, which is in West Africa for you non-geography
buffs. Before starting the initial stage, you choose
which parts to take with you on your journey, as you will be needing to affect repairs along
with way. For the most part I like the aspect of realism
that this imparts on the game, but when your shifter breaks and you can no longer use 4th
gear, you might as well just restart the game because you’ll be going way too slow to
finish the stage in the allotted time. Speaking of the shifter, this game has no
automatic transmission option, so you racing wimps will have to either suck it up, or look
elsewhere. There are two timers in the upper right hand
corner of the screen. The top clock is your cumulative reserve time,
and the bottom is your stage time. Any unused stage time at the end of each leg
is added on to your reserve time, which you can dip in to whenever you run out of stage
time. Probably the biggest challenge in this game
is memorizing where all the undulations are in the road. They always seem strategically placed on curves
so that they throw you completely off the track if you don’t slow down beforehand. Also, much like Outrun, all of the other cars
on the road are extremely crash-happy, and have no problem cutting you off in traffic. And what’s with all of the big-rig trucks,
especially in the off-road sections? Where the hell are they headed? The graphics are, as expected, quite colorful
and I really like the music a lot. That being said, I couldn’t really see myself
buying this game back in the day, but would most certainly have rented it for a weekend. Moving on to the second wave of launch titles,
Alien Crush was developed by NAXAT Soft; a developer who, among a myriad of other titles,
developed Air Zonk on the TurboGrafx, as well as Summer Carnival ’92: Recca on the Famicom. Alien Crush is a fantasy pinball game with
an alien theme, very reminiscent of the Alien movies. At startup, the game let’s you pick one
of two tracks to listen to while playing. The first, Lunar Eclipse, seems heavily influenced
by the Deep Purple song “Burn”, while “Demon’s Undulate” bears a striking
resemblance to the main theme from “Jaws”. The table is two-screens tall and flips between
the upper and lower screen rather than scrolling. Although this might seem less I dunno, graphically
advanced than pinball games that do scroll, I actually like it better because it means
that your flippers are always in view. The ball physics feel a little bit floaty
but are passable, and you can choose between fast and slow modes when you start the game. The advantage of a pinball video game, aside
from the fact that it can simulate the pinball experience on your TV, is that it’s free from
the constraints of reality, allowing for games like Alien Crush, which actually created a
living, breathing table. The graphics are superb, and with a ton of
animation happening all over the table, this look and feels nothing like playing a static
pinball simulator. Aside from the main table, there’s also
a small bonus are that always looks the same, but has different enemies and objectives depending
on conditions met on the main table. This is also the only time during gameplay
that you hear a different musical track. Alien Crush was actually just the first in
a long franchise of pinball games. It was followed up by “Devil’s Crush”
on the TurboGrafx in 1990, which was ported over to and slightly tweaked for the Sega
Genesis under the name “Dragon’s Fury”, which itself was followed-up by Dragon’s
Revenge. There was also a Japan-only sequel to Alien
Crush called “Jaki Crush” on the Super Famicom, and finally there was a modern remake/sequel
of the original on the Wii called “Alien Crush Returns”. Much like The Legendary Axe, this game is
an absolute must-buy on the TurboGrafx. If not back then, then definitely now. China Warrior is the second game on our list
developed by Hudson and was originally released for the PC Engine all the way back in 1987. The game has become famous for being crappy,
and held up as an example by ignoramuses of why the TurboGrafx was a failed console. The problem is that it’s actually kind of
a fun game. A side scrolling beat-em-up game reminiscent
of Kung Fu on the NES, or Black Belt on the Sega Master system, the game has equally shallow
and repetitive game play, and just like those games still manages to be entertaining in
small doses. The most noteworthy characteristic of the
game might be its humongous sprites, which allowed the developers to put an insane amount
of visual detail into the characters. The main character Wang, who is an obvious
Bruce Lee rip-off, actually gets a bloody face and torso as he takes more damage in
the game. Take too much damage and die, and you get
sent all the way back to the beginning of the stage, even if you died during a boss
battle! Speaking of which, this end level boss, who
is somehow the boss of the first 3 levels, looks like a cross between Jesse “The Body”
Ventura and The Iron Sheik. Most of the enemies in the game look like
monks, but you also have to deal with smaller foes like butterflies and poison frogs, and
who the hell is throwing these rocks? While China Warrior was never going to win
any awards for game of the year back in the day, much like Altered Beast it also isn’t
the garbage that some people try to claim that it is. While I certainly never would have bought
it at full price back in the day, it would have totally been worth a weekend rental or
bargain bin purchase. Power Golf was developed by Hudson and was
the only sports title available at launch, although World Class Baseball would follow
in the coming months. It’s a decent game, but feels a lot more
like its 8-bit predecessors on the NES than it does like it’s peers on the Genesis. The graphics though are obviously much more
colorful, the music is quite catchy and I guess fits whatever would go along with a
golf game, which is good because you can’t shut it off. Power Golf allows up to three people to play
simultaneously, and you can even all share the same controller. There are three characters to choose from,
and they all play differently. The older guy has the most power but less
control, the girl is the opposite, and the younger guy is somewhere in between the two. Speaking of the characters, as pointed out
by the Video Game Critic in his review, the younger guy bears a striking resemblance to
Michael O’Keefe’s character in Caddyshack. Power Golf features just one 18-hole course,
and some of the holes are a bit far-fetched. As was common with early golf games, Power
Golf does not tell you the maximum possible distance of each club, so you have to just
look them up in the manual until you memorize them. One of the biggest problems I had with this
game is that although it varies depending on which character you use, the power meter
moves really fast, while the trajectory of your shot is very sensitive to even slight
inaccuracies in your swing, or a gentle breeze. The little directional pointer that you use
to aim your shot is also pretty sucky, but neither problem is a deal-breaker, it just
takes extra practice to overcome. Power Golf is a decent but not great golf
game, and was easily eclipsed by the PGA Tour Golf series on the Genesis. As was the case with China Warrior, this would
have been a fine weekend rental or bargain bin pickup, but would not have been worth
full price unless you were an absolute video golf junkie. Vigilante was developed by Irem, who also
developed one of my favorite childhood arcade games, Moon Patrol in 1982, and is perhaps
most famous for R-Type. Vigilante is a 1988 arcade game that was subsequently
ported to the TurboGrafx-16 along with a myriad of other platforms, and was interestingly
the only arcade port out of the 9 launch games. In this side-scrolling beat-em-up you once
again have to save your kidnapped girlfriend. Although this damsel-in-distress is called
“Madonna”, this is simple the protagonist’s girlfriend’s name, and is not the famous
entertainer. Unless this game takes place in an alternate
universe in which the famous entertainer *is* the main characters girlfriend. This is of course one of two side-scrolling
beat-em-ups released at launch, the other being China Warrior which we already talked
about. And while Vigilante might seem like the better
game initially, I’d have to give the nod to China Warrior, although neither are exactly
A-list titles. While the fighting is generally hand-to-hand,
or foot to face, you can occasionally pick up weapons like this set of nun-chucks, which
make the game a lot easier. As is generally the case with these games,
you fight a never-ending horde of enemies on your way to the boss at the end of each
level. Speaking of the bosses, they all have regenerating
health, which I can’t say I’ve ever seen in a game like this. Who’s bright idea was that? So, final word on Vigilante? It’s alright, I guess. It’s fun to play through literally once
or twice, which I guess would have made it fine to rent back in the day, but your money
can certainly be better spent elsewhere. Co-developed by Hudson and celebrated shooter
developer Compile, Blazing Lazers was the lone shooter available at the launch of a
system famous for them, although R-Type and Fantasy Zone weren’t far off. This vertical shooter is an example of the
kind of game that has given the Turbo a cult following and is definitely agame that I would
have been willing to buy at full price at launch. Called “Gunhed” in Japan, the game is
actually based on a mecha movie of the same name, in which a gang of galactic mineral
scavengers are looking for a rare element called “texmexium”. In Blazing Lazers you have 4 main weapons
to choose from, and although it’s easy to develop an affinity for one over the others,
experience will teach you that different weapons work better in different areas of the game. You also have your choice of secondary power-ups
including a set of multibodies, homing missiles, or defensive shields. The graphics do an excellent job of showing
off the Turbo’s visual capabilities, and there’s a tremendous amount of variety between
stages. The game is also very fast-paced but has hardly
a hint of slowdown. The soundtrack is nothing less than outstanding,
which I’ve come to expect from the PC Engine and Turbografx libraries. Blazing Lazers also features digitized speech,
but the deadpan delivery reminds me of the ho-hum announcer from Baseball Stars on the
Neo-Geo. “Multi-Body” “Proton Blaster” The difficulty curve in this game is such
that the first few levels are pretty easy, before things start to toughen up sometime
around the halfway point. Thankfully, the game is very generous with
extra lives, meaning that you should have a decent stockpile to draw from by the time
you start needing them. When you die in this game you don’t re-spawn
on the spot, but rather get sent back to a checkpoint. This might ostensibly seem like a bum deal,
but if you get killed by a boss, it’s nice to have a chance to power your ship back up
before facing that boss again. Blazing Lazers is an outstanding game, not
only one of the best titles available at launch, but one of the very best releases on the platform. Developed by prolific game developer and publisher
Atlus, Dungeon Explorer is the ninth and final game on our list. While I generally like to save the best game
for last, in this case it’s a real toss-up between this game and Blazing Lazers. Dungeon Explorer is an action-adventure game
with minor RPG elements. People who like to repeat things that they
hear other people say describe it as a Gauntlet rip-off but that’s an ignorant over-simplification. Dungeon Explorer does borrow a couple of its
core gameplay elements from that arcade classic, but the similarities end there. With the use of the TurboTap, it’s possible
for up to 5 players to play this game simultaneously, which is awesome. While Dungeon Explorer is certainly a great
game to play single-player, it really is a ton of fun to play with friends. The game also plays very differently depending
on which character you choose and how many people are playing, giving this game incredible
depth and replay value. At the beginning of the game, each player
chooses from one of eight different character classes, including fighter, thief, and warlock. Each character class has its own strengths
and weaknesses. Each uses a different melee weapon, and what
black and white magic potions actually do depends on your character class, as well. Dungeon Explorer’s plot centers around the
retrieval of the Ora Stone, which the king of Odessia needs to defeat the army of aliens
that have invaded his land. This involves you fighting through a number
of dungeons, in order to finally reach the stone’s hiding place. There’s actually more than that going on,
but I’ll save that for you to discover. Each time you defeat the boss at the end of
a dungeon, you pick up a crystal which levels up your character, increasing his or her maximum
hit points, and raising one of your 4 stats, depending on what color the crystal is when
you grab it. There are also power-ups placed in each dungeon
and randomly dropped by enemies, but unlike the crystals these are not permanent upgrades
and are lost when you die. That being said, every time you restart the
game all of those temporary power-ups re-appear in the dungeons, so you do have the option
of going back through and re-collecting them without having to deal with boss battles again. Other power-ups include a ring that raises
your maximum hit points, potions that restore your health, and the aforementioned black
and white magic potions. If you need to restore your health, you can
always revisit the pub at the beginning of the game. You can also revisit the king after every
boss battle to get some information and free potions, but it’s hardly worth the effort
unless you’re already in the area. Dungeon Explorer uses a password system to
allow you to continue where you left off, which comes in handy because the game can
be a bit much to tackle in a single sitting, unless you have an affinity for longer gameplay
sessions. There are two bonus playable characters in
the game including the princess, who gives you a code to unlock her once you rescue her
in the first third of the game, and a hermit who can only be unlocked when playing as the
bard and who I never got to see at all, but who can also be unlocked using a password. Dungeon Explorer is a very tough game, especially
when played solo. While the learning curve can be steep, it’s
also incredibly rewarding. And while at one point I felt like I was never
going to get the hang of things, I eventually settled into a groove and spent more time
playing this game than any other in preparation for this episode. At launch, if you were previously a fan of
games like The Legend of Zelda, this game was right up your alley, and I think that
a much closer comparison can be made between this game and games like Zelda or Crystalis,
than to Gauntlet. Both Dungeon Explorer and Blazing Lazers are
regularly found on top 10 lists of Turbografx games, and would have easily been the two
games that I would have purchased at the launch of the system. That’s going to do it for this episode of
Classic Gaming Quarterly TV. This episode was the result of multiple viewer
requests, so if there are any subjects you’d like to see covered on the show, please let
me know. Thanks for watching and I’ll see you next

100 thoughts on “The Launch of the TurboGrafx-16 (1989) | Classic Gaming Quarterly”

  1. Classic Gaming Quarterly says:

    Get the ALL NEW Classic Gaming Quarterly t-shirt here:

  2. G Rios says:

    My buddy bought it when it first came out. I liked it a lot. He took it back about a week after getting it and bought a Sega genesis. Was the same to me.

  3. Kyung Shazer says:

    Watching these videos are better than a weekend rental of other videos.

  4. nizidibi says:

    16:56 This guy is reminding me more of the big German Nazi Indiana Jones is fighting around the plane. From Raiders of the lost ark that is.

  5. AndrewFortWayne says:

    Woooo PC Engine!!

  6. AndrewFortWayne says:

    PC Engine CD/TurboGrafx 16 CD

  7. Eli Foster says:

    I won my turbo grfx around 1990 in some kind of promo contest… I always wondered why it didn't have a better run because the graphics were advanced for back then. Mines came with the game called Bloody Wolf, what happened to Bloody Wolf???…

  8. Crazy Chris says:

    You should have way more subscribers man, love your channel. Captures my childhood perfectly every time!

  9. CooperTeam says:

    The only thing you should have mentioned, and was major talk about, was the fact that the TG-16 was not really a "16-Bit" system. The purpose of the "16" was that it used 2 "8-Bit" processors. The up side to this is that it does help reduce flicker with the processing power to handle so many sprites on screen. The problem is, when it comes to math, "8-Bit" + "8-Bit" does not make it a "16-Bit" system, just simply a more powerful "8-Bit" system. Hence the reason why it was limited in colors. More colors than any Nintendo game, but less colors than Genesis and SNES. I realize the title is called "Launch Of The Turbo Grafx 16", and not the history. Still, would have been useful to mention. Awesome video documentary. ^_^

  10. Raven Blaze says:

    You were really thorough👌👌
    Nice job

  11. Agreeable Dragon says:

    The system was so overpriced and they had shitty games. Too bad, it woulda looked really cool with Mario & Zelda

  12. Erwin Martinez says:

    My favorite system

  13. Diane V says:

    OMG love this console.
    Taking it to the hoop is a really good basketball game. It features players with huge heads and small bodies.
    The bonks games are fun as well.
    Keith courage came with my console. I like it. I like the music in the overworld. But love the music in the underworld.
    I have my original console and those two hucards. But dont play it anymore. Since I don't have time to play games that I cant save for later play. So I play these games on my nes classic. That way I have 4 save states for each game. Perfect!

  14. Kristopher Tower says:

    spent all of 7 minutes talking about the actual console, and the rest talking about the games

  15. Paul Schlote says:

    How is Bonk's Adventure not in this video??? It is clearly the best game on that console!

  16. Remigus Ker says:

    The big rigs in the Dakar game are real things. You should look em up, it's awesome to watch a 10 ton truck smash ita way through the desert at 100mph.

  17. DrivingWithDillon says:

    Who said altered beast sucked? I'll fight them!

  18. Canberk Duman says:

    Some of the game graphics seem a bit in between 8-bit and 16-bit. Like, there is no huge improvement when you compare it to Nes or Master System, unlike Genesis and Snes. Is it because that its hardware is weaker, or these games came too early to push the hardware to its limits?

  19. Genie Christensen says:

    Mine is hooked up in my bedroom, I still play Legendary axe every single day. That and Blazing Lasers.

  20. T. G. says:

    Ok, after watching this video, which was great by the way, I’m assuming Splatterhouse was not a launch title.

  21. Eric Mark says:

    I saw this name when I was watching a video of someone fixing old arcade

  22. Tyler Keller says:

    Comparatively speaking, these early 16-bit systems were fucking EXPENSIVE. Even in 2018, you can buy the newest iteration of the XBOX One, for $199.99. That being compared to a 16-bit system, also with a $199.99 retail price, purchased 25 years ago, well, the latter is pretty high priced.

  23. NotAll says:

    Actually had one, was my introduction to bomberman

  24. Rodney Spence says:

    Weekend rentals

  25. Jay_ Ohhlayy says:

    High Score Girl brought me here ; )

  26. Ardath Bey says:

    Awesome and informative video! I've been thinking about picking up a Turbo Duo from a retro video game shop solely to play the Japanese Castlevania Rondo of Blood, but the more I learn about this system the more I realize how many other awesome titles they had! Subscribed!

  27. Peterson Hang says:

    I just came to check this out because of "Hi Score Girl" anime on Netflix

  28. Cutz McVascular says:

    My brother had one of these and none of my friends believed how awesome this was.

  29. Clint Peitsch says:

    I purchased this system in 1991, and I got 6 months out of it before I was bored, then traded it for a sega genesis. I traded 4 games and got 1 (including the system). Would have done it again as the games were too Japanese for my taste.

  30. Dario Alvarez says:

    Amazing video
    I remember my younger brother had that for Christmas of 1989. I think I played that video console more than he did as I managed to complete the games and he would just love watching me doing so. Good memories.

  31. PC Genjin says:

    Everyone wants to be an historian of videogames these days.

  32. Brother Juggernaut says:

    I loved the hue cards. They should switch back to a variation of this in newer consoles. Disks are a little cheaper to reproduce but come on, just pennies. My first turbo console was a duo. The 16 was just not around in my area as a kid. No one sold them, the closest vendor was 3 hours away, and for a 8 year old kid it might as well be on the moon. Loved this console though, Splatterhouse is my obvious favorite.

  33. brian Ruian says:

    I couldn't care less for the system before I watched this video, but now, i really like it

  34. That Guy Behind the Glass says:

    My brother James, who sadly passed away at 34, got a Turbo for his birthday when we were kids. All we had to play was Keith Courage in the Alpha Zones and a weird RPG/Tennis game. Weirdest damn system ever.

  35. chargr383 says:

    Great series you got there!

  36. shane holman says:

    No soldier blade? 🙁 That is my all time favorite shooter…great music and varied levels. Was a game I played to death over and over when I was younger

  37. DigiFootage FX says:

    Vigilante had a very "Streets oF Rage" level feel to it, which I guess is what they were going for. Of course, Streets Of Rage franchise was one of the best side scrolling beatemups of all time, and this wasnt.

  38. koko krunch says:

    Uh, anyone from hi score girl here?

  39. Arguinghen JIP says:

    I came here after watching Hi-Score girl

  40. Jamie Burke says:

    woh.. no Bonk talk? wow bro..

  41. Sly88Frye says:

    So Bonks Adventure must have come later. I always felt that Bonk was the mascot of the TurboGrafx 16.

  42. MrSeven13 says:

    Had all those games xcept for victory run and power golf. Also had Bonks adventure.

  43. Genxtasy 99 says:

    I remember the displays in 1990. all Nintendo. small shelf or in this store shelf case for turbo Grafx and SMS.

  44. Camron Graziano says:

    TurboGrafX 16 was my first gaming console. My dad bought it at Radio Shack with a copy of Keith Courage.

    My moms friend Al also had a TG16 and would let me borrow games like: JJ & Jeff, Bloody Wolf and Military Madness.

  45. J M says:

    I remember seeing the Turbo Graphic 16 for sale at my local Radio Shack back in the day. I thought it looked so cool but did not know anyone who actually had one. Like everyone else I ended up with a Sega.

    And a side note, that racing Dakar game, those trucks are actually in the real Dakar. They have their own category and race the Dakar along with the cars and bikes.

  46. CrimsonDX says:

    I only recently learned about the TG16 after learning that it had the best versions of the first few entires in one of my favorite games series (Ys). Shame this system didn't do better over here, and I also wish I could have actually owned one.

  47. Anre Dickerson says:

    I was hype when I got my t16. Bonk!

  48. Mattwav says:

    I begged my parents for this

  49. Will Serrano says:

    “Console” —a word almost never used during the time as everything back then was marketed as a video game “system.”

  50. Michael Frye says:

    3DO and Jaguar

  51. StarShade says:

    Peashy master race.

  52. AndrewFortWayne says:

    Slaughter house….

  53. CoyDog790 says:

    13:28 by the time you said weekend the game became really A E S T H E T I C

  54. WhatWereTheyThinking says:

    No Air Zonk, No Ninja Spirit?! Cmonnnnnnnn

  55. invidinvasion says:

    Still my favorite classic system. I will never give it up and will probably be buried with it!

  56. Mr. SEA says:

    I worked at a Radio Shack store in Canada where we sold both the Genesis and Turbo Grafx…the Turbo Express was like $500-600, so it never sold very well. I was impressed how the Express used console Hu cards…and between Genesis and the TG16, I preferred the Turbo. I still have a sweet spot for this console, as an amazing piece of hardware poorly appreciated in North America.

  57. TheEdoubleP says:

    Poor kid 😂 being forced to defend his turbografx16

  58. Mike Ledger says:

    You made fun of the peeps with turbo16? I was jealous…I’m a real gamer and don’t give a flying fuck, I don’t play sides, I want literally every single piece of gaming shit ever made…too bad I only had money for a little

  59. Mr. Ras Lyon says:

    I only knew one kid back in 1993 that actually had this. I was unimpressed with it.

  60. Florida Trailblazer says:

    I had one

  61. Michael Bertoni says:

    I had teh NES it was awesome.

  62. hobbies spiele says:

    6:44 Keith Courage in Alpha Zones

  63. Sh0ckWav3 xVLx says:

    Funny how this came out before genesis and snes but had better color palette.

  64. Vivisect says:

    The first end boss in China Warior looks like the guy Indiana Jones fights on the airplane in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

  65. Hardware Chaser says:

    13:15 ''88 miles per hour!''

  66. Ray Padilla says:

    You should do a launch of the PC engine!!!! That would be awesome!!!! TurboGrafx 16 and the PC engine are my favorite consoles of all time!!!!

  67. GQReviews & Style says:

    I just remember splaterhouse being the best game on the turbo graphics 16

  68. Frank D'Bello says:

    When I was a kid they had a Genesis at Sears you could play and at Radio Shack they had a Trubo Grafx set up to play so I'd go from place to place playing Altered Beast at Sears and Vigilante at Radio Shack hahaha. I later had a Genesis and a friend at school had the Turbo so we would swap for weeks or weekends and I loved it I mean SPLATTERHOUSE at home???? So much fun… ah the memories hahahaha

  69. lance lindqvist says:


  70. Benschachar says:

    I take it you were one of the few people in America who had a turbogrfx.

  71. Benschachar says:

    Why didn't they release Legendary Axe on VC?

  72. P.T.onfire says:

    Nice vid bro…

  73. SevenDeMagnus says:

    Cool. I love how small it is (PC Engine) and how flat the HuCards are.

  74. Helmuth Von Molke says:

    Do the launch of the Nintendo Entertainment Sytem

  75. Centurion XVIII says:

    This console never came to Norway, and that is irritating the hell outta me because i would really like tohave found one at a garage sale for next to nothing!
    But now im just wondering if i should import one from the US since i don’t understand Japanese!

  76. Mike Br says:

    “People who like to repeat things that they hear other people say… describe it as a gauntlet rip off” 🤣

  77. Marcus Bullock says:

    NEC was in the axis of evil? o_O

  78. Marcus Bullock says:

    'Texmexium' is the most fucking ameriboo thing ive ever heard.

  79. Rene Rivers says:

    Every seems to miss there was also a TurboBooster Plus. It had the audio and video enhancements of the Turbobooster, but also had memory so that you could save games.

  80. Pit929 Tsakirhs says:

    I Never made fun of kids with turbo16

  81. Still Searching says:

    This system shot itself in the foot by only having one controller port.

  82. iamcarpetpython says:

    Alien Crush and Devil's Crush were amazing!

  83. Simply Okay says:

    One kid in your town had one? You wouldn't happen to be from Bridgewater Massachusetts would you?

  84. chuck manson says:

    You made fun of a guy who had a Turbografx 16? You stink. Why?

  85. Andrew Christianson says:

    That was some great information. Thanks for sharing!

  86. jason criss says:

    Alien crush, Bravoman, Ordyne, Side Arms, Tiger Road, Air Zonk
    pretty much the only good US releases

  87. karl knowles says:

    Love TG 16 very underrated had this with snes and sega

  88. Niko says:

    No mention that TurboGrafx had the first Street Fighter? shame…

  89. JaeDeeKae says:

    I got it for Christmas in 89 and the Football game was ASS LOL

  90. 26juventus says:

    Did he forget to talk about bonks adventure?

  91. The Upper Room says:

    NO BONKS ADVENTURE!!!!!>>?????

  92. Dubz Da Boi says:

    I don’t know if anyone has told you, but you oh got the golden voice.

  93. Brasspineapple Productions says:

    The first time I played this was over this dude Brians house. Bonks Adventures was this large bald headed charachter Guy. Colorful, and speedy, but not compelling enough to keep my interest compared to My Genesis.

  94. Rick Jasper says:

    I was directly involved in adapting the Turbografix 16 for the coin op market and I can tell you EXACTLY why it failed;
    While it was a great system, ahead of its time, NEC made serious marketing errors.
    First, they UNDER-PROMOTED IT.
    Second, they had many great game titles in Japan, but only initially released a few of them in America… and not the better ones.
    Third, it was overpriced for a new system.
    Lastly, NEC STUPIDLY introduced it AFTER the Christmas season.
    And when it all failed, Ken Wirt, the American VP of NEC, whom I dealt with, became the fall guy.
    As the developer of the T-16 for arcades, I was exposed to great game titles the American general public NEVER saw.
    Oh, and here’s a technical tidbit for you: NEC made the Japanese games incompatible with the American system by REVERSING the data bus on the game cartridge.

  95. Sam Scrapla says:

    I got one at the end of it's run and the thing broke on me within a few months. It just shut off one day outta nowhere.

  96. chloe devereaux says:

    you know it's an 8bit system right!!!!!!!! 16bit gfx processor yes but 8bit cpu………..

  97. chloe devereaux says:

    why do you never show ghouls and ghosts?????? the best game on the system… also the white original pc engine was the first to have a cd drive not the tg 16

  98. Mourning Star says:

    Me: You didn't talk about Splatterhouse!
    You: That wasn't a launch ga-
    Me: Talk about Splatterhouse!

  99. Alex Castillo says:

    The PC Engine is one of the most handsome consoles ever designed, why they decided to change to a black rectangular brick I will never understand. Japan gets all the cool stuff.

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