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Import Only: Famicom Classics (Part One)


There are a good number of classic Famicom titles that never saw the light of day on the NA and EU Nintendo Entertainment System. Import Only: Famicom Classics is an article series dedicated to bringing awareness to gamers about these great titles that they (probably) missed out on.

Choujin Sentai Jetman
Choujin Sentai Jetman is a 2D platformer based off the popular Japanese anime of the same name. In the anime, scientists on a futuristic Earth Ship have created “Birdonic Waves” – a power that grants super human abilities. Vyram, an evil organization bent on ruling every dimension, then attacks the Earth Ship and the remaining Birdonic Waves fall onto the earth.

The Famicom video game adoption of the anime follows roughly the same plot. The gameplay is that of a 2D action platformer, much like the Megaman series. Any of the Jetman members are playable in the game: Red Hawk, Black Condor, Yellow Owl, Blue Swallow, and White Swan. Each Jetman has their own attack power and health amount, and each counter balance the other.

Mother (Earthbound Zero)
Mother is the prequel of sorts to the SNES cult-classic RPG Earthbound. The odd story follows a young boy named Ninten as he investigates a crisis accruing across the world.

Mother is a turn based RPG that was very different for its time. During that time period, most RPGs took place during the Middle Ages and featured groups of heroes wielding swords and slaying mythical beasts. Nintendo took a unique route with Mother, instead setting it in the United States during the late 80’s, and making the protagonist a young boy who equips himself with baseball bats. The game was planned for a release in North America but was slated once its sequel launched for the SNES. Nintendo then decided to localize the Japanese Mother 2 as Earthbound.

Released only in Japan and Scandinavia (known as Mr. Gimmick! in EU), Gimmick is 2D platformer with an incredibly odd plot. A young girl receives a new gimmick doll for her birthday, and names it Yumetaro. The girl plays with her new doll more than her others, prompting the other dolls to turn to life, kidnap the girl, and take her to an alternate dimension where only toys and dolls reside. Yumetaro must then travel to the alternate dimension to save the girl.

The player must avoid obstacles and defeat enemies as they advance through the levels of Gimmick in 2D platforming fashion. To take down baddies, players throw a star that hovers over Yumetaro’s head at them. The star is also used to cross large gaps by riding on it.

Final Fantasy II
Final Fantasy II follows the story of four orphans whose parents were killed in an on-going war in the game. While the first Final Fantasy focused mostly on the gameplay spectrum, Final Fantasy II focused heavily on character development and enveloping emotions such as happiness and sadness from players. Final Fantasy II even had some playable characters in the game die.

Final Fantasy II borrows heavily on the gameplay mechanics of its predecessor, with some new features such as the Chocobo riding and back row in battle. Final Fantasy II never released on the NES in English, but there have been several remakes for the game in English for the PSP, PSOne, and GBA.

Adventure Island IV
Adventure Island IV was the last title to release on the Famicom in Japan, and the last Adventure Island for the system.

The gameplay mechanics of past Adventure Island games are still intact. To add a bit of fresh air to the series, Adventure Island IV borrows some action-adventure gameplay features from the Wonder Boy series. Adventure Island IV never released in any region outside of Japan.

Looking for NES games? Check out Game Force Longmont for a great collection!

Stay tuned for Part Two! What are some import only Famicom games you've had the chance to play or want to play?

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