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Just found out there was a musical "shoot'em-up" more than a decade before Rez burst onto the scene. I'm talking about Otocky, a Famicom Disk System game from 1987 designed by Toshio Iwai, released only in Japan, and endorsed by an adult movie actress (!!) named Natsuki Ozawa.


This is what wikipedia had to say about it:

Otocky can be described as a musical side-scrolling shoot 'em up. The player's spaceship has a ball for a weapon, which can be fired in eight directions; each direction corresponds to a different musical note. The note plays when the player presses the fire button, and is also quantized in time so that it matches the beat playing in the background. By using the weapon selectively the player can improvise music while playing.
The ball is used to destroy enemies by touching them, and also to catch various types of objects:
Musical Notes which must be collected to finish the level
Letter 'A's which change the musical instrument sound produced by the ball
Letter 'B's which provide a secondary weapon
The ball gets smaller when the player is touched by an enemy, until the player loses a life.
Completing a certain number of levels unlocks a music editor which makes it possible for the player to freely compose their own melodies.

So anyone ever play this? It looks pretty weird to say the least...

I also found this cool gif ;)


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I saw it in Retro Gamer some months back but am yet to get around to setting up a famicom disc system emulator to give it a try. The video doesn't exactly make it look fun though, I must admit. Still an interesting curio. Graphics are nice too.

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It's hard to say how "musical" the music is :P but I like the idea of manual eight-way shooting in a scrolling shooter. :) I've used emulators for all sorts of things in the past but I haven't really had much reason to try the FDS. I think the FDS is supported in FCEUX but you need a bios ROM or something before it'll work...

EDIT: yep - Config->Directories lets you tell the emulator where the bios is, and the NES menu lets you insert the disk and swap sides

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  • 1 year later...

This game is absolutely incredible on every level.


For anyone who hasn't experienced it I strongly urge you to load it up via the aforementioned emulator (both that and Nestopia run it flawlessly on N3DS, in case you have homebrew access) and give it a shot. I really should have checked this out a long time ago.


It's a gem, milestone and perfectly realised experiment all rolled into one. 

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