Bokosuka Wars
20448 front
Series Bokusuka Wars Series
Developer ASCII
Publisher ASCII
Designer(s) Kōji Sumii
Programmer(s) Riichi Idogawa, Yoshinobu Takahashi
Artist(s) Takaya Itō
Platform of origin Sharp X1
Platform(s) MSX, FM-7, NEC PC-6001, NEC PC-8801, NEC PC-9801, NES, Virtual Console
Year of inception 1983
Release date(s) MSX/ PC88
Flag of japan1984
FM-7/ PC60/ PC98/ NES
Flag of japan1985
Virtual Console
Flag of japan2008
Mode(s) Singleplayer

Bokosuka Wars (ボコスカウォーズ) is a 1983 strategy role-playing video game with action-game elements developed by Kōji Sumii (住井浩司) and released by ASCII for the Sharp X1 computer, followed by ports to the MSX, FM-7, NEC PC-6001, NEC PC-8801 and NEC PC-9801 computer platforms, as well as an altered version released for the Nintendo Famicom console and later the Virtual Console service. It revolves around a leader who must lead an army in phalanx formation across a battlefield in real-time against overwhelming enemy forces while freeing and recruiting soldiers along the way, with each unit able to gain experience and level up through battle. The player must make sure that the leader stays alive, until the army reaches the enemy castle to defeat the leader of the opposing forces.

The game was responsible for laying the foundations for the tactical role-playing game genre, or the "simulation RPG" genre as it is known in Japan, with its blend of role-playing and strategy game elements. The game has also variously been described as an early example of an action role-playing game, an early prototype real-time strategy game, and a unique reverse tower defense game. In its time, the game was considered a major success in Japan.


King Ogreth of the Basam Empire has invaded your country and either captured or turned into rocks and trees all your soldiers. You, king Suren, are left completely alone. In a desperate attempt, you decide to walk to king Ogreth's castle and to defeat him. You hope you'll be able to find some way to bring your soldiers back to you...

In this strategy game, your goal sounds simple – just walk a distance of 600 meters and defeat king Ogreth. But to do that is not simple at all.
The player can control three chess-like units: the King, Knight, and Pawn. Pressing the D-Pad will move King Suren and his army in the desired direction. Captive soldiers are freed using a knight to break the gates in front of them. In the NES version, the player starts the game with only King Suren at 597m, and acquires more allies by bumping against trees, cacti, rocks, and walls using King Suren, which will restore them to their normal form.
Throughout the world of Bokosuka there are obstacles only certain characters can pass. The gates in which Soldiers are locked can only be broken by Knights. Death tiles will kill all characters except Soldiers who will remove them when they step on them. The walls at 500m, 400m, 300m, and 200m can only be broken by King Suren.
Bumping into trees and rocks, King Suren can bring his soldiers to life. Once there are some knights in his small army, he will also be able to free imprisoned soldiers. King Ogreth's units will constantly attack you on the way. When one unit collides with another, a battle takes place. The results of the battles are calculated automatically, according to the strength of your units.
If King Suren dies, the game ends, announcing "WOW! YOU LOSE!". When King Suren succeeds in defeating King Ogreth, the game ends with "BRAVO! YOU WIN!"
The Japanese instruction manual contains the lyrics "Onward, Bokosuka" (すすめボコスカ) to the peculiar game music, written by the programmer himself.

Ports Edit

A later released sequel for the Sharp X1 entitled New Bokosuka Wars, which also builded the Bokosuka Wars Series, had with the source code included. With all-new enemy characters and redesigned items and traps, the level of difficulty became more balanced.

In the later Nintendo Famicom (NES) console version (and in turn the Virtual Console version), King Suren's forces have been captured and turned into trees and rocks by King Ogereth. King Suren has to release his warriors from trees and rocks, and defeat King Ogereth's forces. The allies coming from trees and rocks only appear in the NES console version.

In the earlier X1, MSX and PC computer versions, however, the player starts with a complete army and may gain some extra knights by freeing them from prison cells, not from trees or rocks. There are no soldiers turned into objects in the original computer versions.

Today, the PC-8801 version is sold as a download from Enterbrain and was ported for the i-Mode service in 2004. The Famicom version was released for the Wii Virtual Console on April 8, 2008


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