Nemesis 3: The Eve of Destruction, MSX

The second Gradius/Nemesis sequel developed and released exclusively for the MSX by Konami, Nemesis 3: The Eve of Destruction is another great ‘bullet hell’ progressive weapons shooter that really shows what the MSX is capable of.

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Gradius 2, MSX

Gradius 2 (aka Nemesis 2) is a sequel to the classic Gradius/Nemesis and was published for the MSX in 1987. This game is, however, unrelated to the actual arcade game sequel, Gradius II, and is a separate game in its own right in the Gradius/Nemesis series.

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Gradius, MSX

Gradius – also known as Nemesis in some regions – was one of the first progressive weapons shooters to come out in arcades, and it was a big hit in 1985 when it was first released.

This led to the game being converted to many home computer systems, including the MSX, which was programmed by Konami themselves. So the game is unsurprisingly very good; very authentic, and with graphics and gameplay that push the MSX quite hard (I wouldn’t say “to its limits”, because I’m not a marketing a-hole, but it does push first-generation MSXes a fair degree).

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Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap, Sega Master System

Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap is a platform adventure with RPG elements and it is considered to be one of the best games on the Master System. It was developed by Westone and published by Sega in 1989.

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Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair, Arcade

There were two Wonder Boy sequels released in 1988 – both prefixed with the title “Wonder Boy III“. There was this game – Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair – released into arcades, and also Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap for the Sega Master System. Both were developed by Westone and published by Sega.

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Wonder Boy in Monster Land, Arcade

The 1987 sequel to Wonder Boy, Wonder Boy in Monster Land, is a platform adventure game with RPG elements. It was developed by Westone and manufactured for arcades by Sega.

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Wonder Boy, Arcade

Developed by Escape (who would later become Westone), Wonder Boy is a straightforward run-and-jump-left-to-right-to-reach-the-goal platform game featuring a blonde-haired, semi-naked cave-boy who is trying to rescue his girlfriend, Tina, from the clutches of the “The Dark King”.

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Slap Fight, Arcade

Slap Fight is a vertically-scrolling, progressive weapons shoot ’em up developed by Taoplan and manufactured by Taito 1986. It’s also known as “Alcon” in the US.

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Project Firestart, Commodore 64

Developed by Dynamix and published by Electronic Arts in 1988, Project Firestart is a science fiction survival horror game set on a research station orbiting Saturn’s moon, Titan, in 2061. It is considered to be one of the first survival horror games ever made, and is often cited as pioneering many conventions of the genre.

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The Lord of the Rings, ZX Spectrum

Developed by Beam Software and published by Melbourne House in 1986, The Lord of the Rings is a text adventure game made by essentially the same team who created the classic Spectrum text adventure, The Hobbit.

Was it the first official Lord of the Rings game ever made? Possibly. There were definitely many unofficial Lord of the Rings rip-off games on the market before this, but this is arguably the first properly-licensed Lord of the Rings game for home computers.

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