Last year, the arcade and SoC manufacturer ZUIKI announced the X68000 Z, a miniaturized version of the Sharp X68000 home computer that was originally released back in 1987.
Though initially only available to backers on the Japanese crowdfunding website Kibidango, it is now scheduled to receive a slightly more accessible retail unit called the Black Model later this month on September 28th in Japan (with preorders currently open on sites like Amazon Japan and Beep).
Compared to other miniaturized consoles we've encountered in the past, like the Sega Mega Drive Mini, SNES Mini, and NES Mini, it's important to note the X68000 Z doesn't come with a carefully curated list of pre-selected games installed. Instead, it actually encourages players to sideload and emulate their own games on the device, with ZUIKI also partnering with select companies to officially rerelease some classic X68000 game collections on SD cards.
So far, these collections include:
- The Zoom Vol. 1 Collection (featuring Phalanx & Genocide) - Available now on Amazon Japan
- The Riverhill Soft Vol.1 Collection (announced back in August)
- The Wolf Team Vol. 1 Collection (featuring Granada & FZ Senki Axis)
- The Wolf Team Vol. 2 Collection (featuring Sol Feace & Valis II)
- And the upcoming X68000 Z Game Collection Vol. 1 — a pack in for the X68000 Z complete edition
On its livestreams, ZUIKI has been gradually revealing the contents of the X68000 Z Game Collection Vol. 1 since it was first revealed back in June. So we've decided to bring together all that information about the compilation below in one brief, easy-to-read guide. This will contain every game that has been unveiled for the collection.
Every Game Announced For The X68000 Z Vol. 1 Collection
Mad Stalker: Full Metal Forth
Mad Stalker: Full Metal Forth was the first game announced for the collection back in July. It was originally released for the Sharp X68000 computer back in 1994 and was developed by Fill-In-Cafe, with Family Soft being responsible for its publishing. It is a sidescrolling beat 'em up where players are placed inside a giant mech suit and are tasked with fighting through waves of enemy robots intent on destroying a city. Following the original Sharp X68000 version of the game, it later received a bunch of ports for other machines. This included the FM Towns, the PC Engine Arcade CD-ROM², Windows computers, and the Sega Mega Drive. Two versions of the game will be available for the mini X68000 machine: Mad Stalker X68000 and Mad Stalker X68000 Z.
Murder Club DX
ZUIKI announced Murder Club DX for the X68000 Z Vol. 1 Collection back in August. It is a 1988 X68000 port of Riverhill Soft's J.B. Harold Murder Club. This was a title originally released for the PC-88 back in 1986 that put players in the role of the titular detective J.B Harold as he tried to solve the murder of a wealthy businessman.
Another August announcement, Nostalgia 1907 is a Japanese text adventure that is set on a luxury cruise liner in the year 1907. It was originally released by the Japanese developer Takeru on the X68000 back in 1991 and was later ported to the Sega CD, PC-9801, and FM Towns Marty. The game was notably directed by Kouichi Yotsui, who had previously created Strider while working at Capcom. Again, this is another one that will likely be a bit difficult for Western players to understand without a firm grasp of Japanese, but it's neat nonetheless to see it being included.
The last August announcement, Rally Bike (or Dash Rascal as it is known in Japan) is a 1991 top-down racing game, from SPS, based on the Toaplan arcade game originally released in 1988.
In the game, players race across environments like motorways, cities, and farmland, trying to avoid obstacles in their path and collecting special power-ups to help them overtake the other competitors.
In addition to the X68000 version, the game also received a port for the NES back in 1990.
Arcus Odyssey is the most recent announcement for the X68000 Z Vol. 1 Collection, being revealed on September 7th. Wolf Team's isometric action game was originally released back in 1992 for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and X68000, with a Super Famicom port arriving one year later. In the game, players must choose one of four playable warriors, before embarking on a quest to defeat the sorceress Castomira and her evil followers, who seek to destroy the land of Arcus.
Where To Buy The X68000 Z Game Collection Vol. 1
In order to buy the X68000 Z Game Collection Vol. 1, you'll need to get your hands on the X68000 Z complete edition (which is available on Amazon Japan and Beep) as it is included as a pack-in, with the games unlocking sequentially as time goes on.
The X68000 Z complete edition costs ¥87,780 (roughly $595/£477/€556) and comes with the X68000 Z, a working LCD monitor, keyboard mouse & controller, and a copy of Gradius, among other items. Bear in mind that this specific buying option is limited to only 3200 units, so you should probably act quickly if you want any of the above.