System Shock
Image: Electronic Arts Victor

Looking Glass Technologies' first-person action-adventure game System Shock is considered one of the most influential science-fiction games ever released in the West. But what you might know is that it also has a couple of compatible versions for Japanese computers.

As far as we can tell from some minor internet sleuthing, not much was known about these specific ports of the game until 2014, which is when a commenter named Kolya shared a Japanese blog about the DOS/V version of the game on the English website This blog mentioned that the game had been developed by Infinity Co. Ltd and that it was distributed by Electronic Arts Victor, and also referenced another CD-ROM version for the PC-9821.

Since then, a small number of copies of the PC-98 version have gone up for sale for hundreds of dollars on Japanese auction sites, with fans of the game quietly hoping a version would one day end up in the hands of someone willing to archive the game's files and make it more widely accessible. Now it appears that this has finally happened as of earlier this month (October 8th), with an individual named @speedynoelle helping to broadcast the news over on Twitter.

In a thread on the social media website, @speedynoelle went on to document her experiences getting the game up and running, revealing that it was not compatible with the PC-98's 26K soundboard or SpeakBoard and no 16 color mode.

She later summarized the obscure port as essentially "the IBM game with a Japanese translation, really crispy text, and backend changes".