Category Archives: Jaleco

Q*bert, Game Boy

Coming some ten years after the release of the arcade original, Q*bert for the Game Boy was developed by Gottlieb and published by Jaleco in 1992.

As you’d expect, it expands on the original by having levels that are odd shapes, or larger than a single screen, or by mixing up the rules a little. In essence, though, it’s still the Q*bert we all know and love: jump from cube to cube to change the colours and avoid the monsters.

Q*bert on the Game Boy is a decent little game. Definitely one to play if you’re a Q*bert fan or just like action puzzle games.


Druid, Famicom Disk System

Another weird one: a conversion of a British game to the Japan-only Famicom Disk System

Druid was originally created by Electralyte Software for Firebird Software on the Commodore 64, and was later converted to the FDS by Jaleco in 1988.

The full Japanese title is Druid: Kyoufu no Tobira, and the gameplay is essentially the same as the C64 original. It’s basically a maze game in the style of Gauntlet, but with baddies that can only be hurt by certain elemental weapons (water, fire and electricity), so you have to switch between them when up against certain monsters. Working out what hurts who is key to survival.

The maze in Druid is riddled with traps and everything that moves wants to kill you. Thankfully there are druidic circles scattered around that replenish your life energy, so you’re not always on the back foot.

I’ve always liked Druid as a game and this Famicom Disk System version is still fun to play now. I’d also say that it’s one of the better conversions of Druid out there and also a hidden gem on the FDS.


Monty On The Run, Famicom Disk System

Now this is a weird one… Monty On The Run (aka Monty no Doki Doki Daidassou) is a bizarre Japanese conversion of a famous British platform game. It was released by Jaleco in 1987 and bears little resemblance to the classic original.

Instead of a cute mole Monty has been turned into a Peter Sutcliffe lookalike ‘convict’ type character who is of course ‘on the run’ from the authorities. Monty can somersault – just like in the original – and can carry a ‘freedom kit’ of two items that may be of use during the escape. Other than those two elements, the rest of the game is totally different.

That’s not to say that Monty On The Run is a bad game. It isn’t. It’s actually a surprisingly good Metroidvania type adventure that is well worth playing if you can find a copy.

More: Monty no Doki Doki Daidassou on Wikipedia

Knight Lore, Famicom Disk System

Knight Lore for the Famicom Disk System was developed by Tose Co. Ltd. for Jaleco with the blessing of its original creators, Rare. It was published only in Japan in 1986.

It doesn’t bear too much of a resemblance to the ZX Spectrum original, other than the basic idea, the isometric viewpoint, and the main characters remain the same. That said: it is not a bad game to play (if you ignore the silly tune that plays when you walk). It’s basically a ‘fetch’ game, where you collect and take objects to a cloaked figure who asks for them.

The game comes on a double-sided disk, so you have to swap sides to load it and make it playable. The text is all in Japanese, but if it says ‘B’ on screen, you know it’s time to switch to side B. And vice versa.

Why this version of Knight Lore was released only on disk and not cartridge I don’t know. The disk swapping is a drag. The game is not too bad overall. Compared to the original, though, I’d say it’s a little lacking. Graphically it’s quite good, although the colours are a bit too… green. Anyway, it is what it is (a little disappointing), but it is worth a play if you’re interested in Knight Lore history.

Knight Lore on The King of Grabs:
ZX Spectrum, BBC Micro, Amstrad CPC, MSX, Famicom Disk System


Knight Lore, MSX

The MSX version of Knight Lore was developed by Tose Co. Ltd. for Jaleco and published in Europe and Japan in 1985.

It is pretty much identical to the original ZX Spectrum version, complete with slowdown. That said: if you run it on a more powerful MSX computer it outstrips the Speccy original in terms of performance.

Knight Lore is a legendary game – whatever platform you play it on – and the MSX version is no exception.

Knight Lore on The King of Grabs:
ZX Spectrum, BBC Micro, Amstrad CPC, MSX, Famicom Disk System


King Arthur’s World, Super Nintendo

Argonaut Software‘s 1992 release (through Jaleco) – King Arthur’s World – is an interesting and challenging real time action game with strategic overtones.

King Arthur’s World is basically a side-scrolling war game with you controlling King Arthur (and his small army of soldiers, archers and wizards), and who must lay siege to various enemy outposts, and survive to complete a series of tests and missions. Your troops (and King) are controlled via a menu and some icons. King Arthur is the only essential character. When he dies, the game is over, so you have to protect the King at all costs.

The learning curve on King Arthur’s World is just about right, although later missions are very tough. The game is visually and sonically appealing, and the gameplay is compelling enough to warrant attention. If you’ve never played it before: definitely worth a look.