Last year I wrote an extensive article on something entirely absent from the CRPG Book: MUDs and MMORPGs. While they deserve an entire book about them, it’s important to see how their evolution influences single-player RPGs.
China produced over 200 PC RPGs in the 90s and early 00s, almost all of them never released abroad. The CRPG Book has Chinese Paladin, an extremely important title that got a fan-translation, but there’s MUCH more to examine here.
While not as massive as the Chinese industry, Korea still produced over 80 PC RPGs in the 90s and early 00s, most of them never translated, including the popular War of Genesis series and several adaptations of manhwa and TV shows.
When retelling the origin of JRPGs, it’s common to start with 1986’s Dragon Quest. However, Japan was developing RPGs as early as 1982, and these early games provide an interesting perspective into the particularities and history of Japanese RPGs.
Before the arrival of home machines like the Apple II, computers gigantic machines available only to universities, research centres and large companies. But people still played games on them, developing the first computer RPGs as early as 1974 – the same year as Dungeons & Dragons was released.
Port comparisons in today’s era of multi-platform releases usually amount to small differences,
such as slightly better visual effects, a slightly smoother frame rate or slightly higher resolution. Back in the 80s, there were dozens of wildly different platforms fighting for consumers’ preference, each with its own hardware particularities.