New Episode: Why the Turbografx-16 Couldn’t Quite Get There

New Episode: Why the Turbografx-16 Couldn’t Quite Get There

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Since we started our podcast, we have wanted to do an episode on NEC’s famed Turbografx-16, or PC Engine, as it is known in Japan. It is in the public record that our very own Paul Ramalho was a Turbo kid during the early 90s. Although we often times like to joke with him about this unfortunate fate, the truth is that all of us here have a fond spot in our hearts for this little machine that went toe to toe against Nintendo and Sega, but was ultimately destined to third place on the podium.

It took NEC months to come up with this redesign from the original PC Engine. Wheel, meet your reinvention!

We therefore wanted to do justice to this console that is unfortunately not very well known to those outside of the hardcore circuit. The story of NEC’s foray into the U.S. console market is one that is bewildering in the amount of terrible decisions that were repeatedly made, which ultimately led to the prompt demise of the console. It was only recently that we felt up to the task, and a big part of the reason was that we managed to convince hardcore Turbografx-16 collector Andrew Brim, or @hyrulevyse, as he is better known in the Instagram world, to join us for the episode. This made for a truly fun episode, as our authentic fascination for the console really shone through.

The original PC-Engine, a masterclass in sleek design…that Americans could not handle.

We start off getting to know Andrew and his history with the Turbografx-16, before moving on to the system and its origins (19:00). We also talk about our first experiences with the system, including Paul being blown away by Blazing Lazers (39:00).

One of the early examples of modernist box art. What do you mean it has to sell the game?

The meat of the episode lies in us talking about the crazy decisions made by NEC’s video game division and how they led to the relatively early demise of the Turbografx-16 (52:30). We finish things up talking about the brief, almost revival of the Turbografx-16 via the TurboDuo and TTi Technologies before wrapping with our favorite Turbografx-16 video games you might not have tried! (1:35:30)

The street where something to prove and nothing to lose collides” – Immortal words of the philosopher, Andrew Brim.

Blazing Lazers – Area 1
Dungeon Explorer – Town
Ys Book I & II – First Step Towards Wars
Lords Of Thunder – Cielom Stage

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