magazines Archive

What Does Japan Think of American Cops?

There’s a funny image that’s been circling the internet ever since I gained access to the internet in the late 1990s of an American policeman surrounded by an absurd amount of fast food. There’s also Japanese text all over the place, like it’s a magazine cover or something. I always assumed the image was a fake, like “haha American cops are lazy and fat”. But it turns out, that magazine is real. And it’s incredible.

The magazine isn’t making fun of American cops at all. In fact, it’s a fanzine! This is Wild Mook issue #44, released in 1980. The Wild Mook magazine focuses on lots of different stuff, mostly military. I found issues on eBay about the US Navy, Japanese model airplanes, military combat suits from around the world, and weapons from the Imperial Japanese Army. But this police one is great. Take a look inside:

If you ever have the opportunity to buy this issue, get it! The magazine is very thick and every page is fascinating.

Space World 1997 Preview of Mario Artist

Continuing with scans from the January 1998 issue of the French gaming magazine Consoles, here’s a spread on Mario Artist. The short description of Mario Artist is that it’s an upgraded version of Mario Paint. But really, it was an ambitious project that would have been composed of 8 suites of creative fun, if the N64DD hadn’t crashed and burned. Unfortunately, Mario Artist never left Japan.

Featured in the article below are Picture Studio, Polygon Studio, and Talent Studio:

The other suite that got released was Communication Kit, where you could connect to the internet to share your creations. There were four other suites planned, but they were never released: Game Maker, Graphical Message Maker, Sound Maker, and Video Jockey Maker.

Thanks to a friend who’s obsessed with Mario Paint, I actually got to play Polygon Studio for a bit. I had no idea what I was doing.

The Episode that Put Pokemon Fans in the Hospital

Here’s a little blast from the past. In this February 1998 issue of UK magazine Computer and Video Games, I found an article about that Porygon episode of Pokemon that caused some kids in Japan to have seizures. We know now that it was caused by rapid flashes of red and blue lights from one of Pikachu’s attacks (read more here), but this article was written before they knew what sent so many kids to the hospital.

It’s interesting because Japanese TV networks started banning the show in response, and Tokyo TV threatened to cancel it outright if the cause wasn’t determined. Imagine a world where the Pokemon anime ended in the middle of its first season and never came back!

Mario RPG 2 for the 64DD

Here’s another article from the January 1998 issue of Consoles, a French gaming magazine. Looks like at Space World 1997, Paper Mario was announced as Mario RPG 2. And it looks like it was originally slated to be released on the N64DD!

It was a good thing they changed the name to Paper Mario, as I expect a lot of fans would have been upset that it wasn’t a direct sequel to Super Mario RPG by Square.

Ocarina of Time Beta Screens from French Magazine

We recently picked up a copy of the January 1998 issue of the French gaming magazine called Consoles. It covers Space World 1997, and boyyyyyy there’s a lot of neat stuff in it! First I want to share this spread on Ocarina of Time, where you can see some beta screenshots of the game:

 

That house-looking building in the market town was later changed to the Happy Mask Shop, and I’m pretty sure that blonde Kokiri in the corner didn’t look like that in the finished game.

These screenshots are probably old news to hardcore Zelda fans, but it’s always really cool to find beta stuff in a tangible thing rather than on the internet. Can you spot any other differences in the screenshots above to the finished game?

Famitsu’s Reader-Ranked Top 20 RPGs of All Time

I’ve been reading a lot of current Japanese gaming magazines for research purposes and I’ll probably share things here and there from them, but for today I wanted to share this new list of the top 20 RPGs of all time as ranked by Famitsu’s readers.

20. Witcher 3
19. Final Fantasy VIII
18. Final Fantasy IX
17. MOTHER 2
16. Final Fantasy VI
15. Dragon Quest IV
14. Persona 4 Golden
13. Xenogears
12. Final Fantasy X
11. Xenoblade
10. Final Fantasy XV
9. Persona 3
8. NieR Replicant
7. Suikoden II
6. Dragon Quest V
5. Final Fantasy VII
4. NieR: Automata
3. Chrono Trigger
2. Dragon Quest III
1. Persona 5

With “all time ever” polls I’ve always wondered if the recentness of a popular game has some sort of sway on its ranking. It looks like I’m terrible at keeping up though, I still got 12 of these to play someday 😯

Old Japanese Magazine Ads

One thing we needed for our latest (currently unannounced) book was the earliest example of English appearing in Japanese media that we could find. I scoured auction sites looking for old Japanese magazines from the 1960s and 70s, and I found a few neat things. None of these examples ended up in the book, and it’d be a shame for these photos to go unseen.