Bokosuka Wars

Last updated
Bokosuka Wars
Developer(s) Kōji Sumii (PC)
ASCII (Famicom)
Publisher(s) ASCII Entertainment
Designer(s) Kōji Sumii
Platform(s) Sharp X1, MSX, FM-7, NEC PC-6001, NEC PC-8801, NEC PC-9801, Family Computer, i-Mode, Virtual Console
ReleaseSharp X1
MSX / PC-88
PC-98 / FM-7
December 14, 1985
Virtual Console
April 8, 2008
Genre(s) Real-Time Strategy RPG
Action RPG
Mode(s) Single-player

Bokosuka Wars(ボコスカウォーズ) is a 1983 action-strategy role-playing video game developed by Kōji Sumii (住井浩司) and released by ASCII for the Sharp X1 computer, followed by ports to the MSX, FM-7, NEC PC-6001, NEC PC-8801 and NEC PC-9801 computer platforms, as well as an altered version released for the Family Computer console and later the Virtual Console service. It revolves around a leader who must lead an army in phalanx formation across a battlefield in real-time against overwhelming enemy forces while freeing and recruiting soldiers along the way, with each unit able to gain experience and level up through battle. The player must make sure that the leader stays alive, until the army reaches the enemy castle to defeat the leader of the opposing forces. [1] [2]

The action game is a video game genre that emphasizes physical challenges, including hand–eye coordination and reaction-time. The genre includes a large variety of sub-genres, such as fighting games, beat 'em ups, shooter games and platform games. Some multiplayer online battle arena and real-time strategy games are also considered action games.

A strategy video game is a video game that focuses on skillful thinking and planning to achieve victory. It emphasizes strategic, tactical, and sometimes logistical challenges. Many games also offer economic challenges and exploration. They are generally categorized into four sub-types, depending on whether the game is turn-based or real-time, and whether the game focuses on strategy or tactics.

A role-playing video game is a video game genre where the player controls the actions of a character immersed in some well-defined world. Many role-playing video games have origins in tabletop role-playing games and use much of the same terminology, settings and game mechanics. Other major similarities with pen-and-paper games include developed story-telling and narrative elements, player character development, complexity, as well as replayability and immersion. The electronic medium removes the necessity for a gamemaster and increases combat resolution speed. RPGs have evolved from simple text-based console-window games into visually rich 3D experiences.


The game was responsible for laying the foundations for the tactical role-playing game genre, or the "simulation RPG" genre as it is known in Japan, with its blend of role-playing and strategy game elements.[ citation needed ] The game has also variously been described as an early example of an action role-playing game, [2] [3] an early prototype real-time strategy game, [1] and a unique reverse tower defense game. [2] In its time, the game was considered a major success in Japan. [4]

Tactical role-playing games are a genre of video game which incorporates elements of traditional role-playing video games with that of tactical games, emphasizing tactics rather than high-level strategy. The format of a tactical RPG video game is much like a traditional tabletop role-playing game in its appearance, pacing and rule structure. Likewise, early tabletop role-playing games are descended from skirmish wargames like Chainmail, which were primarily concerned with combat.

Role-playing game game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting

A role-playing game is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting, or through a process of structured decision-making regarding character development. Actions taken within many games succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines.

Strategy game type of game in which the players decision-making skills have high significance in the outcome

A strategy game or strategic game is a game in which the players' uncoerced, and often autonomous decision-making skills have a high significance in determining the outcome. Almost all strategy games require internal decision tree style thinking, and typically very high situational awareness.


Originally developed in 1983 for the Sharp X1 computer, it won ASCII Entertainment's first "Software Contest" and was sold boxed by them that year. [5] An MSX port was then released in 1984, followed in 1985 by versions for the S1, PC-6000mkII, PC-8801, PC-9801, FM-7 and the Family Computer (the latter released on December 14, 1985).

MSX home computer

MSX is a standardized home computer architecture, announced by Microsoft on June 16, 1983. It was conceived and marketed by Kazuhiko Nishi, then vice-president at Microsoft Japan and director at ASCII Corporation. Nishi conceived the project as an attempt to create unified standards among various home computing system manufacturers of the period.

FM-7 1982 Fujitsu home computer

The FM-7 is a home computer created by Fujitsu. It was first released in 1982 and was sold in Japan and Spain. It is a stripped down version of Fujitsu's earlier FM-8 computer, and during development it was referred to as the "FM-8 Jr.".

Nintendo Entertainment System 8-bit video game console produced by Nintendo in 1983

The Nintendo Entertainment System is an 8-bit home video game console developed and manufactured by Nintendo. It is a remodeled export version of the company's Family Computer (FC) platform in Japan, also known as the Famicom for short, which launched on July 15, 1983. The NES was launched through test markets in New York City and Los Angeles in 1985, before being given a wide release in the rest of North America and parts of Europe in 1986, followed by Australia and other European countries in 1987. Brazil saw only unlicensed clones until the official local release in 1993. In South Korea, it was packaged as the Hyundai Comboy and distributed by SK Hynix which then was known as Hyundai Electronics; the Comboy was released in 1989.

LOGiN Magazine's November 1984 issue featured a sequel for the X1 entitled New Bokosuka Wars with the source code included. With all-new enemy characters and redesigned items and traps, the level of difficulty became more balanced. It was also included in Tape Login Magazine's November 1984 issue, but never sold in any other form.

The PC-8801 version used to be sold as a download from Enterbrain and was ported for the i-Mode service in 2004. The Famicom version was released for the Wii Virtual Console on April 8, 2008.

Enterbrain publisher

Enterbrain (エンターブレイン), formerly Enterbrain, Inc., is a Japanese publisher and brand company of Kadokawa Corporation founded on January 30, 1987 as ASCII Film Co., Ltd.. Magazines published by Enterbrain are generally focused on video games and computer entertainment as well as video game and strategy guides. In addition, the company publishes a small selection of anime artbooks. Enterbrain is based in Tokyo, Japan, with a paid-in capital of 410 million yen. Enterbrain's current president is Hirokazu Hamamura.

Wii home video game console produced by Nintendo in 2006

The Wii is a home video game console released by Nintendo on November 19, 2006. As a seventh-generation console, the Wii competed with Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3. Nintendo states that its console targets a broader demographic than that of the two others. As of the first quarter of 2016, the Wii led its generation over the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in worldwide sales, with more than 101 million units sold; in December 2009, the console broke the sales record for a single month in the United States.

Virtual Console, also abbreviated as VC, is a line of downloadable video games for Nintendo's Wii and Wii U home gaming consoles and the Nintendo 3DS portable gaming console.

A sequel, Bokosuka Wars II was released in Japan on November 10, 2016. [6]


In the later Famicom version, King Suren's forces have been captured and turned into trees and rocks by King Ogereth. King Suren has to release his warriors from trees and rocks, and defeat King Ogereth's forces. The allies coming from trees and rocks only appear in the Famicom version.

In the earlier X1, MSX and PC computer versions, however, the player starts with a complete army and may gain some extra knights by freeing them from prison cells, not from trees or rocks. There are no soldiers turned into objects in the original computer versions.


The player can control three chess-like units: the King, Knight, and Pawn. Pressing the D-Pad will move King Suren and his army in the desired direction. Captive soldiers are freed using a knight to break the gates in front of them. In the Famicom version, the player starts the game with only King Suren at 597m, and acquires more allies by bumping against trees, cacti, rocks, and walls using King Suren, which will restore them to their normal form.

Throughout the world of Bokosuka there are obstacles only certain characters can pass. The gates in which Soldiers are locked can only be broken by Knights. Death tiles will kill all characters except Soldiers who will remove them when they step on them. The walls at 500m, 400m, 300m, and 200m can only be broken by King Suren.

When one unit collides with another, a battle takes place. The tile will change to an icon of crossed swords and a then a B (for battle). The victory is automatically calculated by the computer based on the difference between the offensive strengths of the units.

If King Suren dies, the game ends, announcing "WOW! YOU LOSE!". When King Suren succeeds in defeating King Ogreth, the game ends with "BRAVO! YOU WIN!"

The Japanese instruction manual contains the lyrics "Onward, Bokosuka" (すすめボコスカ) to the peculiar game music, written by the programmer himself.

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