Nihon Falcom

Last updated

Nihon Falcom
Native name
Romanized name
Kabushiki gaisha Nihon Farukomu
Traded as TYO: 3723
Industry Video games
FoundedMarch 1981;38 years ago (1981-03)
Headquarters Tachikawa, Japan
Key people
  • Founder
  • Masayuki Kato
  • President
  • Toshihiro Kondo

Nihon Falcom Corporation is a Japanese video game company who primarily develop role-playing video games, most notably in the Ys and The Legend of Heroes series. The company was founded in 1981, making them one of the oldest role-playing game developers still in existence today. [1] They are credited with pioneering the action role-playing game genre, the Japanese role-playing game industry, and the development of the personal computer software industry in Japan as a whole. [1] [2] [3]

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.

Ys is a series of role-playing video games developed by Nihon Falcom. The first game in the series, Ys I: Ancient Ys Vanished, was released on the NEC PC-8801 in 1987. Ys games have also appeared on the Sharp X1, MSX2, FM-7, NEC PC-9801, Sharp X68000, Master System, Sega Genesis, Sega Saturn, Famicom, NES, Nintendo DS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, TurboGrafx-CD, Apple IIGS, mobile phones, Super NES, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One. As of 2017, the series had sold over 4.8 million copies worldwide.

The Legend of Heroes is a series of role-playing video games developed by Nihon Falcom. First starting as a part of the Dragon Slayer series in the late 1980s, the series evolved into its own decade-spanning, interconnected series spanning fourteen entries, encompassing multiple meta series within it as well. The most recent entry, The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV, released in Japan on September 27, 2018.



Company president Toshihiro Kondo in 2014 Toshihiro Kondo.jpg
Company president Toshihiro Kondo in 2014

Falcom was one of the three most prominent and influential Japanese role-playing video game developers in the 1980s, alongside Enix and Square, [4] [3] both of which were influenced by Falcom. [3] [5] They are credited with laying the foundations for the Japanese role-playing game industry. [3]

Enix Japanese video game publisher

Enix Corporation was a Japanese video game publisher that produced video games, anime and manga. Enix is known for publishing the Dragon Quest series of role-playing video games.

Square Co., Ltd. was a Japanese video game company founded in September 1986 by Masafumi Miyamoto. It merged with Enix in 2003 to form Square Enix. The company also used SquareSoft as a brand name to refer to their games, and the term is occasionally used to refer to the company itself. In addition, "Square Soft, Inc" was the name of the company's American arm before the merger, after which it was renamed to "Square Enix, Inc".

Eastern role-playing video games (RPGs) are RPGs developed in East Asia. Most Eastern RPGs are Japanese role-playing video games (JRPGs), developed in Japan. RPGs are also developed in South Korea and in China.

Falcom's first role-playing game was Panorama Toh (Panorama Island), released for the NEC PC-88 in 1983 and created by Yoshio Kiya, who would go on to create the Dragon Slayer and Brandish franchises. While its RPG elements were limited, lacking traditional statistical or leveling systems, the game featured real-time combat with a gun, bringing it close to the action RPG formula that Falcom would later be known for. Set on a desert island, the game's overworld is presented as a hex grid and featured a day-night cycle. There were also indigenous non-player characters (NPCs) who the player could choose to attack, have a conversation with, or give money for items, though NPCs could choose to run away with the money. In order to survive on the island, the player needs to find and consume rations, as every normal action consumes hit points. The island also has traps, which require calling for help and waiting for NPCs to help. The player could also be bit by snakes that poison and paralyze the player, requiring medicine to heal or calling for help from NPCs. [6]

1983 has seen many sequels and prequels in video games and several new titles such as Mario Bros., Pole Position II and Spy Hunter.

Desert island island without permanent human population

A desert island, or uninhabited island, is an island, islet or atoll that is not permanently populated by humans. Uninhabited islands are often depicted in movies or stories about shipwrecked people, and are also used as stereotypes for the idea of "paradise". Some uninhabited islands are protected as nature reserves and some are privately owned. Devon Island in Canada is claimed to be the largest uninhabited island in the world.

An overworld is, in a broad sense, an area within a video game that interconnects all its levels or locations. They are mostly common in role-playing games, though this does not exclude other video game genres.

Falcom eventually went on to create their flagship franchises, including the Dragon Slayer , The Legend of Heroes and Ys series. The original Dragon Slayer was responsible for setting the template for the action role-playing game genre. [2] Dragon Slayer II: Xanadu (1985) had more than 400,000 copies sold, [7] making it the best-selling PC game up until that time. [8]

<i>Dragon Slayer</i> (series) video game series

Dragon Slayer is a series of video games developed and published by Nihon Falcom. The first Dragon Slayer title is an early action role-playing game, released in 1984 for the NEC PC-88 computer system and ported by Square for the MSX. Designed by Yoshio Kiya, the game gave rise to a series of sequels, most of them created by Falcom, with the exception of Faxanadu by Hudson Soft. The Dragon Slayer series was historically significant, both as a founder of the Japanese role-playing game industry, and as the progenitor of the action role-playing game genre.

<i>Dragon Slayer</i> (video game) 1985 video game

Dragon Slayer is an action role-playing game, developed by Nihon Falcom and designed by Yoshio Kiya. It was originally released in 1984 for the PC-8801, PC-9801, X1 and FM-7, and became a major success in Japan. It was followed by an MSX port published by Square in 1985, a Super Cassette Vision by Epoch in 1986 and a Game Boy port by the same company in 1990 under the name Dragon Slayer I. A remake of Dragon Slayer was also included in the Falcom Classics collection for the Sega Saturn.

Action role-playing video games are a subgenre of role-playing video games. The games emphasize real-time combat where the player has direct control over the characters as opposed to turn or menu-based combat. These games often use action game combat systems similar to hack and slash or shooter games. Action role-playing games may also incorporate action-adventure games, which include a mission system and RPG mechanics, or massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) with real-time combat systems.

While most of Falcom's games have been ported to various video game consoles of all generations, they have only developed a few non-PC video games themselves. [9] The company's decision to develop mainly for PCs rather than consoles set them apart from their main rivals, Enix and Square, but limited the company's popularity in the Western world, thus limiting their growth potential in the 1990s. [3] [1] By the early 2010s, the Ys series was second only to the Final Fantasy series as the largest Japanese role-playing game franchise in terms of the overall number of game releases. [10]

A video game console is a computer device that outputs a video signal or visual image to display a video game that one or more people can play.

Western world Countries that identify themselves with an originally European—since the Cold War, US American—shared culture

The Western world, also known as the West, refers to various nations depending on the context, most often including at least part of Europe, Australasia, and the Americas, with the status of Latin America in dispute. There are many accepted definitions, all closely interrelated. The Western world is also known as the Occident, in contrast to the Orient, or Eastern world.

Final Fantasy is a Japanese science fantasy media franchise created by Hironobu Sakaguchi, and developed and owned by Square Enix. The franchise centers on a series of fantasy and science fantasy role-playing video games (RPGs/JRPGs). The first game in the series was released in 1987, with 14 other main-numbered entries being released since then. The franchise has since branched into other video game genres such as tactical role-playing, action role-playing, massively multiplayer online role-playing, racing, third-person shooter, fighting, and rhythm, as well as branching into other media, including CGI films, anime, manga, and novels.

Falcom was also a pioneer in video game music, with their early soundtracks mostly composed by chiptune musicians Yuzo Koshiro and Mieko Ishikawa. [10] [11] [11] [12] They were one of the first game companies to have their own named sound team dedicated to writing scores for their games, known as the Falcom Sound Team jdk. [10] Falcom's Ys soundtracks in particular are considered some of the most influential role-playing game scores of all time. [13]

Video game music is the soundtrack that accompanies video games. Early video game music was once limited to simple melodies of early sound synthesizer technology. These limitations inspired the style of music known as chiptunes, which combines simple melodic styles with more complex patterns or traditional music styles, and became the most popular sound of the first video games.

Chiptune music created through 8-bit sound chips

Chiptune, also known as chip music or 8-bit music, is a style of synthesized electronic music made using the programmable sound generator (PSG) sound chips in vintage arcade machines, computers and video game consoles. The term is commonly used to refer to tracker format music which intentionally sounds similar to older PSG-created music, as well as music that combines PSG sounds with modern musical styles.

Yuzo Koshiro Japanese video game music composer, electronic music producer, and audio programmer

Yuzo Koshiro is a Japanese video game music composer, arranger, music programmer, and president of the game development company, Ancient. He is often regarded as one of the most influential innovators in chiptune and video game music, producing music in a number of genres, including various electronic genres, experimental, symphonic, hip hop, jazz, and synth-rock.


1982Galactic Wars PC-8801
1983Super Mahjong X1
Bird Land PC-8801
Computer the Golf
Horror House
Cosmo Fighter IIX1
Super Horoscope Kanji VersionPC-8801
Private Stripper
SSGN Covert Cruise Special Attack Strategy FM-8
Panorama IslandPC-8801
Horror House Part-II
1984Monster HouseSharp MZ
Demon's RingPC-8801
The Threat of North PC-6001
Escape from Twilight Zone FM-7
Dragon Slayer PC-8801
1985 Dragon Slayer II: Xanadu X1
1986 Xanadu Scenario II PC-8801
Dragon Slayer Jr: Romancia X1
Tombs & Treasure PC-8801
1987 Ys I: Ancient Ys Vanished PC-8801
Legacy of the Wizard MSX 2
Sorcerian PC-8801
1988 Ys II: Ancient Ys Vanished - The Final Chapter
1989Star Trader
Ys III: Wanderers from Ys
Dragon Slayer: The Legend of Heroes
1991 Lord Monarch PC-9801
Popful Mail PC-8801
1992 Dragon Slayer: The Legend of Heroes II
1993 Brandish 2: Planet Buster PC-9801
1994The Legend of Xanadu TurboGrafx-16
The Legend of Heroes II: Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch PC-9801
Popful Mail Super Famicom
Brandish 3: Spirit of Balcan PC-9801
1995Revival Xanadu
The Legend of Xanadu II PC Engine CD
Revival Xanadu II RemixPC-9801
Ys V: Lost Kefin, Kingdom of Sand Super Famicom
1996 The Legend of Heroes: A Tear of Vermillion PC-9801
Brandish VT
Lord Monarch Original Windows
1997Lord Monarch First
Lord Monarch Pro
Sorcerian Forever
Vantage Master
1998 Ys I Eternal
Vantage Master V2
Monarch Monarch
Brandish 4
1999 The Legend of Heroes III: Song of the Ocean
2000 Ys II Eternal
Sorcerian Original
2001 Ys I & II Complete
Zwei: The Arges Adventure
2002VM Japan
Dinosaur Resurrection
2003 Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim Windows, PlayStation 2, mobile, PlayStation Portable
2004 The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky Windows, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita
Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure Windows, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo 3DS
Ys: The Oath in Felghana Windows, PlayStation Portable
Xanadu Next N-Gage, Windows
2006 The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC Windows, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita
Ys Origin Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One
2007 The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky the 3rd Windows, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita
2008 Vantage Master Portable PlayStation Portable
Zwei: The Ilvard Insurrection Windows
2009 Brandish: The Dark Revenant PlayStation Portable
Ys I & II Chronicles PlayStation Portable, Windows
Ys Seven
2010 Ys vs. Sora no Kiseki: Alternative Saga PlayStation Portable
The Legend of Heroes: Zero no Kiseki
2011 The Legend of Heroes: Ao no Kiseki
2012 Nayuta no Kiseki
Ys: Memories of Celceta PlayStation Vita, Windows
2013 The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Windows, PlayStation 4
2014 The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II
2015 Tokyo Xanadu PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4, Windows
2016 Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4, Windows, Nintendo Switch
2017 The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III PlayStation 4
2018The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV [14]
2019Ys IX: Monstrum Nox [15]

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<i>Ys I: Ancient Ys Vanished</i> Action roie-playing video game produced by Nihon Falcom

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<i>Hydlide</i> 1986 video game

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<i>Ys II: Ancient Ys Vanished – The Final Chapter</i> 1988 video game

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Ys I & II is an action role-playing video game compilation for the TurboGrafx-CD released in 1989 by Hudson Soft/NEC. It consist of enhanced remakes of the first two Ys games developed and published by Nihon Falcom for the PC-8801 home computer in Japan. It was released as Ys Book I & II for the TurboGrafx-CD in North America in 1990, and was a pack-in title for the TurboDuo in 1992. Ys I & II was released on the Virtual Console in Japan on October 2007, and worldwide the following year.

<i>Xanadu</i> (video game) 1985 video game

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