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Top 5: TurboGrafx-16 Games
By Julie

I was tempted to write a post today about some of the things that have come out of E3, but we’ll save that, and do a big wrap-up either next week, or the week after, or never.  Let’s be honest, we often say that we’re going to write about something later, and then never get around to it.  It’s how we roll.

Since an E3 article is on hold, and we’re not far enough into any game right now to write a proper review, I’m forced to present you with yet another Top 5 list.  The mainstay of the lazy journalist, and anyone who works for

I had a hard time deciding what kind of Top 5 I wanted to do, but I finally chose TurboGrafx games.  Why?  Because I love TG-16 games, and I love to write lists.  Once I’d admitted those two facts to myself, the conclusion was obvious.  So,*drumroll*, here’s my Top 5 TurboGrafx-16 games, in the order that they popped into my head, and not necessarily any other kind of order.

1) Dungeon Explorer. Five classes of character to choose from, four basic stats to build up, tons of dungeons, awesome bosses, light and dark magic, five player co-op, this game had it all.  Tragically, it was ahead of its time, and came out on a system that nobody liked except me.  If this game had been released for the SNES instead, it would now be a franchise akin to Final Fantasy.  Sadly, that’s not how things went down, though if you’re interested, Dungeon Explorer is available for download on the Wii.  Six bucks for five player co-op seems worth it to me.  I’ll even come over to your house to play.  Especially if you have Doritos.

2) Fantasy Zone. I am not a fan of shooters.  First person shooters, top scrolling shooters, rail shooters, side scrolling shooters, I am bad at (and therefore hate) them all.  One of the only exceptions to this is Fantasy Zone.  My reasons for liking this game are based completely on nostalgia, and not at all on merit, but this is my list, so that’s the way it goes.  The final form of the final boss in Fantasy Zone is virtually impossible to beat, but since I could never get that far in a shooter on my own, I never had the chance to try.

3) Klax. Most of you are probably familiar with this one, since it came out on pretty much every system ever.  Klax was my very first puzzle game experience, coming into my life before even Tetris.  For that reason alone, it will always hold a special place in my heart, but it gets extra points for the crazy robot lady voice that talks to you while you play.

4) Keith Courage in Alpha Zones. Since this came packaged with the console, it’s  pretty much guaranteed that if you’ve ever touched a TG-16, you’ve played this at some point.  The game came with a comic that couldn’t have been more than four pages long, but I must have read it 1000 times.  (*Editor’s note:  I was wrong, it was seven pages.  Also, the comic starts out “The year is 2004…”.  Check it out here if you like.*) The gist of the story is that your dad invented a crazy Megaman type robot suit,  but died before he could use it to save the world.  Who was he saving the world from?  B.A.D, which is a horrific acronym that stands for Beastly Alien Dudes.  Since Keith’s dad is dead, and his last name is Courage (which obviously means he’s a hero), he dons the Nova Suit, and joins forces with N.I.C.E, which is an even more heinous acronym that stands for Nations of International Citizens for Earth.  This game had seven levels, each of which had an overworld and underworld component.  Dumb organization names aside, this was platforming fun at its best.

5) Bonk’s Adventure. Even though the TG-16 was the little system that couldn’t, it managed to hang in there long enough for the release of three Bonk titles, for which I will be forever grateful.  Since I missed out on the whole Mario thing, not owning an NES and all, Bonk, along with Keith Courage, introduced me to the concept of a platforming game, and they did it with style.  I believe Bonk’s Adventure came out on a few other systems, but in case you never had the pleasure, I’ll lay it out for you.  Bonk is a caveman, trying to rescue a princess, but instead of using weapons, he uses his giant caveman head to, well… bonk things.  He also used his assumably terrible caveman teeth to scale cliffs and ate raw meat for power-ups.  His princess was in the first castle he checked, lucky bastard.

Honourable mention goes to Legendary Axe II, which had an end boss who would kick your ass, then when you finally managed to kill him, he’d just get up, jump into a giant robot, and kick your ass even harder.  Slightly less honourable mention goes to Sommer Assault, which was an astrological-based puzzle maze where you played as a slinky.  It was as weird as it sounds.

Having never owned or even really played a TG-16 – until Julie moved in, that is –  I have nothing to say about it, specifically.  Julie’s use of the term “little system that couldn’t” reminded me of the Dreamcast, and how sad it’s demise was.  Perhaps someday I’ll put together a Top 5 Dreamcast games article…sadly, it will probably end up on the “never get around to it” pile.
6 Comments • Comments RSSTrackBack URI
  1. kdogoblingbling
    2009-06-04 12:02

    But what about Military Madness or JJ and Jeff or even Moto Roader? Many many hours of wasted youth.

  2. 2009-06-05 6:49

    JJ and Jeff was ridiculous, and certainly wouldn’t make my top 5 list. It did, however, make the banner. So that’s something. My pool of games to choose from for this was limited to games that I actually have played. Moto Roader, not one of those.

  3. 2009-06-05 12:24

    The unfortunate thing about all these amazing games:

    Impossible to finish.

    I don’t think I have successfully finished any of them except Bonk.

    Also, Klax is garbage. That is all.

  4. 2009-06-08 6:39

    You totally finished Dungeon Explorer. I was there.

  5. 2009-06-08 8:18

    Okay but that’s cause Dungeon Explorer = awesome.

    It is still my dream to beat the final boss of Fantasy Zone. I don’t think any human can react as fast as is required to beat it though.

  6. 2009-06-08 14:17

    My dad did it. He also beat the crazy LA2 robot boss.

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