Type-In Programs Micom Basic
Image: GamingAlexandria

If you've been following Time Extension for a while, you've probably come across our coverage of the website Gaming Alexandria — the small preservation hub run by a group of video game history enthusiasts that recently managed to preserve the entire library of games that were released for the Gakken Compact Vision TV Boy.

The website, founded by Dustin Hubbard all the way back in October 2015, is home to a wealth of amazing articles, magazine scans, and dumps of old software, but has recently caught our attention again for its valiant efforts to catalog and preserve as many as old Japanese type-in programs as possible.

In case you're unfamiliar, these were essentially listings of user-submitted code, published in magazines like Micom Basic, that could be entered into the various machines of the time to access games and other software. They were primarily made by hobbyists and are now at high risk of disappearing, due to the potential of the physical magazines becoming damaged or lost. Over on Twitter, the group has recently been sharing details about some of the games it has managed to save and has also revealed that it has managed to rescue over 100 games so far thanks to the help of guest submissions.

Obviously, this is a pretty massive achievement, but there's still more to be done. So last month, Hubbard posted a video on YouTube offering a guide for anyone interested in helping out to show people how to convert these games into ROMs. In the video, he said the following about the topic:

"Over the years I’ve scanned hundreds and hundreds of Japanese magazines and a lot of them contain these code listings […] and you can go to their system listings and find a game that you might be interested in typing in and preserving. [...] That way we can share them and people can play them and we can kind of see what the old game coding amateur scene was like back in the day. Some pretty impressive games were done this way, and a lot of simple ones too that aren’t that impressive. But regardless, it’s important to get all of these preserved if we can."

The full list of preserved games can be found on the GamingAlexandria website and includes titles for the following systems:

  • Apple II,
  • Casio FP-1000
  • Commodore 64
  • Commodore Max Machine
  • Commodore VIC-20/1001
  • Fujitsu FM Towns
  • Fujitsu FM-7
  • Fujitsu FM-77
  • Fujitsu FM-8
  • Hitachi BASIC Master Jr.
  • Hitachi BASIC Master Level II 2
  • Hitachi BASIC Master Level 3 Mark 5
  • Hitachi S1
  • Matsushita JR-100
  • Matsushita JR-200
  • Mitsubishi MULTI8
  • MSX
  • NEC PC-2001
  • NEC PC-6001
  • NEC PC-6001mkII
  • NEC PC-6601
  • NEC PC-8001
  • NEC PC-8001mkII
  • NEC PC-8201
  • NEC PC-8801
  • NEC PC-8801mkII
  • NEC PC-9801
  • Nintendo Family BASIC
  • Pasopia 7
  • Sharp MZ-700
  • Sharp MZ-80K/80C
  • Sharp MZ-1200
  • Sharp MZ-1500
  • Sharp MZ-2000
  • Sharp MZ-2200
  • Sharp X1
  • Sharp X68000
  • Sinclair ZX-81
  • Sord M5

You can watch the video below to learn how to help out or simply back Gaming Alexandria on Patreon to support their work financially.

[source gamingalexandria.com]