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Thread: Data East

  1. #1

    Data East

    Data East has a huge video game(and pinball) history, and they were one of the few Japanese arcade developers like Taito, Sega, Nintendo, SNK and Namco that was making video games in the '70s and continued to have a major presence in the '90s. While Data East rarely managed to pull off making truly excellent games like the other developers mentioned, they were still consistent at making good games.

    I haven't played any of Data East's '70s games so any input on them would be appreciated. Here's a list of their 1978-9 arcade games: Miracle Super, Super Break 1 and 2(ball and paddle games), Nyson and Eagle H.

    In 1980, Data East introduced arcade games based on tape-based technology called the DECO Cassette System. I'm curious if these games had awful load times like home tape-based games. This type of arcade machine was used by Data East for several of their games from 1980 to 1985 although it seems that most of their more popular games did not use this technology. Like the Neo Geo, this system was a cheaper alternative for arcade owners since games could be switched by changing the tapes.

    Last time I checked, DECO Cassette System games had yet to be emulated. This, combined with the fact that most of their earliest games were left in Japan, are the reasons I have so little information on them.

    Here's a list of Data East's 1980-1 arcade games: Terranean, Highway Chase, Mad Alien, Mad Lander, Astro Fighter, Nebula, Mole Hunter, Tomahawk 777(submarine shooter), Space Fighter Mark II, Buramzon, The Tower, Flash Boy, Manhattan, Astro Fantasia, Ninja and Lock 'n Chase.

    Astro Fighter(1980)

    Lock 'n Chase(1981) - This was a great maze-chase chase game where you played a robber avoiding cops. It was ported by Mattel to the Intellivision and 2600. Data East released a Game Boy version years later.

    Astro Fantasia(1981)

    1982 had some big arcade hits from Data East. Burger Time was an excellent game where you had to make burgers while avoiding baddies such as walking eggs and weiners. It was ported to several home formats.

    Bump 'n Jump AKA Burnin' Rubber - An addictive driving game. I loved how your car moved toward you when it jumped.'n'_Jump_(DECO).png

    Wasn't disco dying by 1982? Data East didn't think so. Disco No. 1 was a game where you danced around girls. The gameplay is similar to other games where you "wrap around" things such as Atari's Quantum.

    Mission X

    Mattel ported it to the Intellivision.


    Also released in 1982 were Super Astro Fighter, Fishing, Zoar and Gomaku.

    Data East's 1983 arcade games are: Banbolin, Skater, Boomer Rang'r, Rootin' Tootin', Hammer Car, Destiny Horoscope, Cluster Buster, Night Star, Pro Soccer, Pro Bowling, Pro Tennis, Dynasty, Bega's Battle and Tag Team Wrestling.

    Boomer Rang'r

    Cluster Buster

    Night Star

    Bega's Battle was the first Data East arcade game to use Laser Disc technology. It was based on the Harmageddon anime movie.

    Tag Team Wrestling was the first Technos game published by Data East.

    Another Technos game published by Data East was the 1984 fighting game Karate Champ, a breakthrough game for the genre.

    They also distributed Irem's Kung Fu Master and Capcom's Commando in the West.

    Data East's 1984-5 arcade games were: Haro Gate Ball(croquet), Oh Zumou, Scum Try(football), Kamikaze Cabbie, Peter Pepper's Ice Cream Factory, Liberation, Zaviga, Tokyo Mie Sinryoho 1 and 2, Performan(developed by Toaplan), Ring King, B-Wings, Fighting Ice Hockey, Metal Clash, Road Blaster and Shoot Out.

    Peter Pepper had the same main character as Burger Time and could be considered a sequel.

    Burger Time got a true sequel in 1990 with Super Burger Time.


    Cobra Command(1984) - This FMV arcade game was later ported to Sega CD.

    Fighting Ice Hockey(1984)

    B-Wings(1985) - This arcade game was ported to the Famicom

    Metal Clash(1985)

    Ring King(1985) - A cool boxing game. Namco ported it to the NES and MSX. Data East made an arcade sequel.

    Road Blaster AKA Road Avenger(1985) - An FMV driving game later ported by Wolf Team to Sega CD.

    1986 Games

    Break Thru - A neat action game. There's an NES version as well.

    Darwin 4078 - An okay shooter from what I vaguely remember. It was ported to the Mega Drive and had a sequel the following year.

    Western Express AKA Express Raider

    U.S. Gold ported it to computers.

    Breywood - This one is similar to Atari's Gauntlet. U.S. Gold ported to computers under its other name Shackled.

    Fire Trap

    Last Mission
    U.S. Gold also did computer versions.

    Kid Niki - This Radical Ninja also landed on NES.

    Side Pocket - An arcade pool game that was later ported to Genesis and Game Boy.

    Speed Buggy AKA Buggy Boy - This racing game and the shooter Lock On were the first Tatsumi games published by Data East. Speed Buggy was ported by Elite to computers. Here's the Atari ST version.


    Captain Silver - I don't know about the arcade game but the SMS port was nothing special.

    Shinjuku Chuou Kouen Satsujin Jiken - An adventure game for the Famicom Disk System.

    Santa Claus no Takarabako - Some board-type game for the Famicom Disk System.

    Heavy Barrel - I'm more familiar with the NES port which is an excellent overhead action game.

    Hercules no Eikou - An RPG for the Famicom. It had sequels on Famicom, Game Boy and Super Famicom.


    The Real Ghostbusters - In Japan it was an original action game but the domestic version was converted into a Ghostbusters game.

    Garyo Retsuden


    Karnov - I spent many a quarter on this game.

    The NES version was similar but not a direct port. I think the computer versions were closer to the original. A sequel was made in '94 for the Neo Geo but it was a fighting game instead of a side-scroller.

    Wonder Planet -


    Bebop High School was another adventure game for the Famicom.

    Cobra Command - Just to be confusing, Data East released another game named Cobra Command. This one was a horizontal shooter.

    Donald Land - A mediocre platform game for the Famicom where you play a character resembling Ronald McDonald.

    Chelnov: Atomic Runner was a unique run 'n gun game with very smooth animation. It was ported to the Genesis by Data East and the X68000 by Dempa.

    Bloody Wolf - I have only played the TurboGrafx port of this arcade game. It's a solid action game.

    I'm sure everyone remembers Bad Dudes. Data East released an NES version and Imagine made several computer versions.

    Data East published some of Ocean's computer games in the late '80s to early '90s.

    Robocop - Another hit arcade game that was ported to the NES.

    Apache3 - Another Tatsumi game. This was one of my favorite arcade games as a teen-ager. It's similar to the 3d levels in Sega's Thunder Blade except with other aspects like hostage rescuing. If my memory isn't lying to me, it's one of the coolest rail shooters ever.


    Hippodrome - Like most pre-SF2 fighting games, it hasn't aged well but back then it kicked ass. Fighting games in general were scarce , especially ones with fantasy themes.

    Act-Fancer - A very weird action/shooter where your character morphs via power-ups.

    Vapor Trail - A standard shooter that was ported to the Genesis.

    Sly Spy - The theme is a blatant James Bond rip-off but I used to love playing this game. It had a lot of variety since you fought on foot, in the air and on motorcycle. Ocean ported it to computers.

    Trio The Punch: Never Forget Me

    Data East published Beam Software's Dash Galaxy for the NES.

    Midnight Resistance - It was definitely a good run 'n gun game for its time and very different in feel from Konami's Contra. It was ported to the Genesis.

    Data East released their first PC Engine games in 1989: Aside from Bloody Wolf they had the golf game Winning Shot and the RPG Makai Hakkenden Shada.

    So that's DECO's '70s/'80s history. What's your opinion on them? Any additions?

  2. I'm too tired to say anything of value, but that was a great read. Thanks, neo.

  3. Great read as always. A few points:

    - Disco was still popular in Japan in 1982, which explains why a disco game would still be hip.

    - I had the Karnov PC port and it's pretty much a direct port of the arcade version. I didn't notice any differences, though my memory is a little foggy.
    "I've watched while the maggots have defiled the earth. They have
    built their castles and had their wars. I cannot stand by idly any longer." - Otogi 2

  4. Wow, I've only played a handful of those games, and I felt they were all mediocre at best.

    - I never did like sly spy

    - Heavy Barrel's NES port left me underwhelmed

    - Same goes with Karnov

    - Interesting thing about Speed Buggy, it did that triple monitor display thing long before Sega's Ferrarri F355 Challange

    - I actually beat that Real GhostBusters arcade game, it was an okay game, but I'm a GB whore. The ending sucked balls, once you beat the last boss you had to start the game all over again.

    - Whoah, that Fire Trap game looks cool, how does it play? Same goes for that Break Thru game.

  5. Y'know you see the Data East name and you think, five or six games, with a few I might not know about. I forgot Data East had all of those 2-D arcade games.

    Boy I really don't know shit about games neo, thanks for showing me that.
    Quote Originally Posted by William Oldham
    Sing a song of Madeleine-Mary
    A tune that all can carry
    Burly says if we don't sing
    Then we won't have anything...

  6. I don't think Speed Buggy was the first 3-screen arcade racing game; I think that honor goes to Namco's TX-1.

    Regus: Fire Trap is a fantastic little game. It's an isometric twist on the Nichibutsu classic Crazy Climber, except in Fire Trap you play a fireman trying to rescue people from a burning building. You used two joysticks to climb the building by moving them alternately in an up/down motion. You could move laterally by pushing right/right or left/left and you could fire a water cannon by pushing right/left.

    I agree that most of these games were mediocre, but a few of them really stood out. Karnov was a great platformer with lots of character and tons of secrets, and Gondomania was an outstanding, unique shooter. Midnight Resistance in the arcade was always a crowd favorite.

    And Bega's Battle! Wow, for the past 15 years or so I had forgotten that game ever existed! Now I'll have to find a copy of Harmageddon and relive the memories.
    The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure it is always right. -Learned Hand

    "Jesus christ you are still THE WORST." -FirstBlood

  7. Fitting that you posted this, since I just got done playing a few games of Street Hoop.

    Has anyone played Fire Trap? I'm interested in learning more about it. Looks like a neat variation of Crazy Climber.

    Go home and be a family man.

  8. PBMax: see above.
    The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure it is always right. -Learned Hand

    "Jesus christ you are still THE WORST." -FirstBlood

  9. D'oh!
    Guess I should read the thread before posting

    Fire Trap sounds real fun.

    Go home and be a family man.

  10. Break Thru was one of my favorite games on the NES. easy. I still can hum that opening theme in my head. memorization heavy, but I didn't care then.

    I also liked B-Wings, not sure why though.

    Bloody Wolf . . . I remember finding that game and enjoying it, but never coming across it again. =\

    But I have something to contribute to this topic, however meager.

    Bebop Highschool commercial


    There was this site I found 2 years ago full of famicom commercials. I watched most of them at school and then it went down. This , and one with Beat Takeshi were the only ones I have on my computer now. =\


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