Hudson & Nintendo’s Obscure Japanese PC Games | Gaming Historian
Articles Blog

Hudson & Nintendo’s Obscure Japanese PC Games | Gaming Historian

August 21, 2019

What if I were to tell you that in 1984 Nintendo and Hudson soft teamed up to release several Nintendo titles on Japanese PCs. Sounds weird, but it’s true! Most of them were ports, but a few were entirely new games including a sequel to Donkey Kong 3. When Nintendo released the Famicom in 1983, it was an unprecedented success. Nintendo sold the system as quickly as they could produce it. By 1984 consumers demanded new games there were only 9 available and they were all first party titles. Nintendo had more games on the way, but they would be slow to trickle in. So to get more games Nintendo introduced a Licensee program. The first two companies to sign on to the licensee program were Namco and Hudson soft. Hudson soft was known for their PC games. None of their titles were huge hits, but the company was moderately successful. They couldn’t pass up the opportunity to develop on Nintendo’s new console. One of their first Famicom titles was a port of Lode Runner. It sold more than 1 million copies. Previous Hudson soft titles never sold more than 10,000 units it made both Nintendo and Hudson soft a lot of money and established a great working relationship. So later that year in 1984 Hudson soft asked to port some of Nintendo’s popular games over to Japanese pcs, including the PC 88 and the sharp x1. And surprisingly, Nintendo agreed. So let’s take a look at all of them and learn more about this interesting collaboration between Hudson soft and Nintendo. It looks like Excitebike, and it definitely plays like it to Hudson soft sportive Excitebike stays pretty close to the original. Well, I guess the Nintendo sign in the back has been changed to Nintendo/Hudson, but I digress. Hudson soft Excitebike contains all of the same game modes as the Famicom version including the ability to design your own track It’s definitely not as smooth as its Famicom counterpart and has some screen tearing this version is also missing the knight levels So every stage sort of looks the same but despite all of this Excitebike controls surprisingly. Well, And it feels just like the Famicom version a solid port overall I’ve always had a love hate relationship with ice climber. I loved the concept in when the controls work It’s great. But that’s the problem ice climbers jumping is weird You move great on the ground. But when you jump all momentum is lost this port somehow makes this problem even worse Thanks to a larger resolution on the PC Hudson soft added some information on the side of the screen Including your score and lives remaining which is nice This is a straight port though every mountain from the Famicom version has been replicated and it feels like ice climber Just a more frustrating version Ah Golf the only Nintendo game your dad ever loved out of all of Hudson soft sports This is easily the most accurate it plays exactly like the Famicom version That makes sense considering golf is not exactly pushing any hardware limits There are still a few changes but nothing that affects gameplay the colors are a bit different in a crowd now Cheers when you get better than par and they added some title music to the game. Other than that, this is golf Call your dad and let him know about it You would think tennis would be a fairly easy game for Hudson to port but the technical limitations Of pcs at the time forced them to make some sacrifices The lower frame rate in tennis make serving and returning shots more difficult. Everything else is fine Mario is still there making calls during the match The music is the same on the title screen the colors match up to the Famicom version – the sea of red surrounding the court in other words. It’s tennis at about half speed If you didn’t know balloon fight is one of my favourite games, I don’t know why really There’s something so charming about the concept and the actual physics of the game are so perfect I find it very addictive. So I was pretty excited to try Hudson soft version of balloon fight and It’s okay The frame rate is much lower than the Famicom version and the scrolling in the balloon trip stage isn’t smooth It’s sort of staggers which makes navigating the level a bit more cumbersome So that wraps up all of the Hudson soft ports These were for the most part unchanged from their console counterparts They’re also all in my opinion worse than the console versions But now let’s take a look at some more unique games Hudson soft made some significant changes to the gameplay of these titles to create an all new experience So what makes Mario Brothers special so Special it’s different than what you might be Expecting the traditional Mario Brothers game has you knock over enemies that come out of pipes while collecting coins Mario Brothers special changes the formula up a bit in stage one You have to make your way up the moving platforms hit all the levers on top and exit stage two is full of Trampolines when enemies come out of the pipe you have to jump on the trampoline They are standing on to knock them down Then you can take them out eliminate all the enemies to finish the stage in stage three You have to collect all the dollar signs while avoiding enemies when you collect them all a ring appears at the top Grab the ring to advance and finally in stage four You just collect everything as fast as you can it’s basically a bonus stage from here the stages loop and get progressively harder similar to the original Mario Brothers game Mario Brothers special is fun and Hudson soft did a great job putting a unique twist on the original game This may be one of the first games that really showed the potential of outside developers working with a Nintendo IP Hudson soft put out not one, but two versions of Mario Brothers. This is punched ball Mario Brothers What is a punch ball? Exactly? Apparently it’s a street game version of baseball that was played back in the day. Don’t worry This isn’t a baseball game. The first thing you’ll notice is the 8-bit rendition of Dixieland at the title screen Oddly it works Punch ball Mario Brothers is what happens when you combine dodgeball with Mario Brothers Mario and Luigi now have a punch ball that they can throw at enemies to knock them down This little twist – Mario Brothers adds a new layer of strategy to the game You can knock out enemies firm across platforms or even attack from above The stages are all laid out the same but get progressively difficult with more enemies and icy platforms Once again another unique twist on the Mario Brothers game definitely worth checking out if you get the chance Donkey Kong 3 is the misunderstood brother of the Donkey Kong series well The first two games in the series were platformers Donkey Kong 3 was a shooter featuring one-hit-wonder Stanley the bug man It’s my favorite old-school Donkey Kong game So imagine my surprise when I learned that Hudson soft made a sequel Donkey Kong 3 Die you khushu or Donkey Kong 3 the great Counter-attack features the return of Stanley the bug man and his trusty bug spray in this game You have to spray Donkey Kong off the screen who slowly floats down with his tiny parachutes you no longer have to protect plants But you still need to spray bugs out of the way. There are no more platforms So the area of movement is much more open as far as sequels go Donkey Kong 3 The great counter-attack isn’t anything special but the fact that it exists and is playable is special previously There was no way to play the game unless you had a working Japanese PC and a copy of the game Which is quite rare, but a group of fans were able to rally together snag a copy from Yahoo Japan auctions and dump the game online Finally preserving this rare oddity We saved the biggest game for last with Super Mario Brothers special Released a year after the first Super Mario Brothers Super Mario Brothers special is a brand new Super Mario game featuring eight new worlds to traverse unfortunately, the game suffers from really bad slowdown and glitches making it a less than stellar experience if you run the game at Four megahertz. It’s Extremely slow but the music sounds correct. If you run the game at eight megahertz the game runs much better But the music goes into hyperdrive Pick your poison. I guess Hudson soft added several items and enemies from the Mario Brothers and Donkey Kong universe Unfortunately, they appear very rarely making them more Easter eggs than anything else in world three four You can grab a hammer power up while barrels fall down at you in world 3 – a wing powerup gives you the ability to swim through the air There’s also the famous Hudson B. When you collect the Hudson B, you are awarded a whopping 8,000 points One thing players will notice right away is the fact that there is no scrolling well It’s kind of scrolling the screen adjusts similarly to the Legend of Zelda when you move to a new area This type of scrolling changes the gameplay Completely Hudson soft design most of the levels to account for this but there are still some sections where you are blindly jumping into the next area Ultimately, you are looking at a slow-paced experience that doesn’t live up to the console Super Mario Brothers at all Super Mario Brothers special was the last in tendo game Hudson soft ported to Japanese pcs It’s unclear why this collaboration ended but most likely the soaring popularity of the Famicom and its superior capabilities Force both Hudson soft and Nintendo to shift their focus elsewhere Their working relationship would continue over the years Hudson Saab continued to make games on Nintendo consoles including ones using Nintendo characters the Mario Party series was originally developed by Hudson soft They also created Hardware accessories for Nintendo such as the super multi tab Today Hudson soft no longer exists as a company and its assets are all owned by. Konami Hudson, soft specie ports of nintendo games aren’t hidden gems or must play games But they are a neat page in the history of video games. That’s all for this episode of the game in astoria N– Thanks for watching Funding for gaming historian is provided in part by supporters on patreon. Thank you

Only registered users can comment.

  1. I know why you like balloon fight, it is because that video game twerks video you made, I bet having two balloons remind you someones butt lol

  2. 10:08 if we would have had Super Mario Bros special on PC here in the east, we wouldn´t have had "The great Giana sisters" issue.

  3. 0:31 "By 1984 Consumers demanded Nude Games." I probably heard that wrong, but where is the 8 bit nudity? Sega Genesis gave us 16 bit nudity. Play the game Cadash and you will meet a naked Mermaid.

    Oh wait I see it now…………………………..That Bee is completely naked! That's Huts and Soft enough for me.

  4. 8:42 That is the Gayest Donkey Kong I have ever seen! Bugspray (or spray of any kind) does not take off like a dang rocket. Looks like he is shooting white suppositories up Donkey Kongs Ass with enough momentum to elevate him into the air. That's gonna lead to really nasty Diarrhea rain on the upcoming weather forecast.
    Donkey Kong 3 – The Great counterattack was obvious mistranslated. it should read Rear Assault.

  5. I wish Nintendo would release their game on Steam. Lots of adults now are gaming on PC but they would still support Nintendo if they could buy their software on a PC platform. Sega used to do this when they were in the console market and it was not hurting them as these two market are not directly head to head with each other.

  6. "Golf: The Only Nintendo Game Your Dad Ever Loved"

    That's not true; my dad would play the shit out of Tetris and Dr. Mario.

  7. I scrolled back in your videos and oml how have you been on this platform for 9 years and im just finding you like less than a week ago

  8. I find binaryland transphobic and offensive and it should be banned, down with hateful messages in video games!!!! #resist

  9. Man….Konami owning hudson now is a joke. I really wish since konami is basically done with game development that they'd sell their IPs to people who'd take care of them and make good games of them. Or at least would contract people to make the games instead…

  10. I played a knockoff of some of these on old Mac machines back in the day. Makes me wonder if someone didn't just illegally port them and change the bare minimum of the original game, and that's what I played. Either way, the Excite Bike I first played probably wouldn't have come to be if not for this alliance. I miss Hudson Soft. Such a good company. Their games were never my favorite but I loved the characters and I never hated any of their games.

  11. Excellent video! Speaking of Hudson collaborations…have you made any videos or plans to make a video about the PC Engine/TurboGrafx?

  12. Hudson Soft weren't the only ones porting NES games.
    Konami, for instance, also made Castlevania for Amiga, DOS and C64.. horrible horrible ports

  13. This channel could totally be a TV show. It's so well done and interesting. It adds a perspective I was totally ignorant of as a child

  14. Hudson: “Hey, can we port your games to PC?”
    Nintendo: “Yeah, sure”

    ID Software: “Hey, can we port your games to PC?”
    Nintendo: “Pffft, buzz off, nerd”

  15. While Nintendo's decision to allow its characters to be ported to another platform feel alien today, this decision makes a ton of sense. Hudson was a solid and very early third-party developer for them, so allowing it kept them happy and of course these ports could bring in some extra money. But much more important, Nintendo knew that the Famicom had superior animation and scrolling to the PCs of the era. This was their chance to get side-by-side comparisons out into the market to help make up consumers' minds who were stuck between a Famicom or PC purchase. Allowing these ports probably sold more Famicoms.

  16. I would love for Mario Bros Special and Punch Ball Mario Bros make it's way onto the Switch. Even Super Mario Bros Special would be nice despite it's less than stellar performance.

  17. That PC-88/Sharp X-1 port of Exitebike’s theme just sounds out of tune. Ice climber sounds too slow, and the colours are weird. But the Famicom colours aren’t much better.

  18. way better than any of the home computer conversions done by western developers (looking at you, Tiertex)

  19. Very related to the Super Mario game's scrolling issue is that John Carmack contacted Nintendo with a way to solve it on PCs and offered to port the Mario games. He got turned down and we got the Commander Keen series using that solution instead.

  20. I did an LP of the recreation of Super Mario Bros Special via Super Mario Maker years back. Problem is the footage corrupted but I managed to salvage it. Wasn't the best quality because of the corruption but it was mostly to shout out the creator of the recreations and I had no idea this Mario game was a thing until that LP.

  21. The Donkey Kong 3 sequel was mentioned in the Coming Soon list on the last page of the Official Nintendo Player's Guide (of NES games).

  22. I was so confused when I heard an 8-bit Dixie land playing

    Were they trying to get southerners to buy the game?

  23. Woof watching the footage of super Mario special made me sick to my stomach, ytf is it so bright and fugly looking .

  24. Somebody needs to reverse engineer the Famicom version of Mario Bros. to create ports of Special and Punch Ball!

  25. you forgot to mention that the NEC PC-8801 releases were always very inferior to the Sharp X1 ones. Mario Bros. Special, for example, had the screens cut to the next instead of Zelda-scrolling. It also couldn't display as many colours at the same time as the X1, so everything that should be white in SMB Special is yellow.

  26. This video unlocked lost memories. Secret levels my brain forgot. Being old is weird. I don’t recommend it at all.

  27. In 6:47, the music is the same what plays in Bank Panic, a Sega Master System game. I don't know if this a free music or a famous one – forgive the doubtful quality english

  28. I too was disappointed when I was informed HudsonSoft no longer existed…. A significant portion of my youth was spent trying to beat Super Bomberman 2 😛 I just booted it up the other day, in fact, and had a blast. I have one of their multi-taps, too! I feel like there's another game they made that I have laying around…

  29. Wish Nintendo would make games for PC again. Sadly that likely won't happen thanks to the inevitable piracy and hacking that they try their damndest to prevent. I just wish Nintendo would realize that piracy is inevitable and that we could get Nintendo games on PC. They could optimize the games for PC. And they could even make future controllers compatible with PC. But that's just a pipe dream for PC gamers like me. So I'll have to keep buying the consoles as well. Not a big deal though I suppose.

  30. The Mario Party games nowadays are made by NDCube. I'm just glad that Super Mario Party brought back the classic Hudson styled Mario Party gameplay.

  31. this is seriously neat, the number of Japanese PC enthusiasts in the west is small and the X1 and PC-6600 are just too old to fall on people’s radar.

    And you got some neat vintage box art, too That’s decidedly more professional than anything released for the dragon32 or bbc micro

  32. I would love to see the Mario Brothers Special, Punch Ball Mario Brothers, and SMA4: SMB3 ports of Mario Brothers, along with a revamped NES Mario Brothers game, all be put on one cart, as well as Super Mario Brothers Special be made as a complete game that is officially licensed, along with SMB2J, ANNSMB, and VSMB also being officially ported to the NES, ss well as redone versions of the Donkey Kong Trilogy, and an NES port of the Sharp X1 Donkey Kong 3 game to be retitled as Donkey Kong 4, and for Pauline, Mario and Luigi being playable characters alongside Stanley, with maybe hidden Peach, Daisy, Rosalina, Toad, Toadette, and a new character. Said games would be put in an officially licensed seven game box set, or as individual titles, for people on actual NES/FDS/FDD systems.

    Cartridge 1 – the four Mario Brothers games
    Cartridge 2 – SMB2J
    Cartridge 3 – ANNSMB
    Cartridge 4 – VSMB
    Cartridge 5 – DK NES/FDS/Arcade
    Cartridge 6 – DKJ NES/FDS/Arcade
    Cartridge 7 – DK3 NES/FDS/Arcade/DK3 sequel
    Possible Cartridge 8 – DK2/DK Advance/DK94 game

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *