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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Wingman (ウイングマン)

Oh man, the things I do in the name of Jhipsterdom. While Wingman was on my list of Enix games to check out for 1984, I've been loathe to go through it even with a guide because it required kana input. You have no idea what a pain it is to type はめる ぶれすれっと in kana mode.

Unfortunately, I later found out that it's impossible to type ろ without a 106-key keyboard. Now, I do have an old Japanese laptop laying around the house but was too lazy to get it out so I figured out how to use the onscreen keyboard to type with keys I didn't have. Unfortunately, this changed some other things such as requiring shift+7 to type a single quote. You have no idea what a pain that is for typing in English.

UGH. Seriously, the shit I do for Jhipster-dom
So you can see why I skipped Zarth but Wingman is like a series on the PC88 with Wingman 2 and Wingman Special. Also, this game has far more illustrations than Zarth and seems much more fleshed out. According to some random Japanese website, apparently they enlisted the help of the guy who did that one good pixel art in Zarth for this game as well. He's definitely got some MS Paint skills fo' sure.

Alright fuck it, let's do this
This game is based on the manga of the same name and takes place a few volumes into the story. Now, I wasn't about to go fly to Japan to buy up the manga to get caught up on the backstory but I did brush myself up on the main plot and characters via you know online resources.

Shockingly, the anime was NOT available on Netflix

As a command line based ADV game, you're basically expected to just type shit until something works. Now, there's a helpful list of commands/locations at the bottom of the screen you can choose using the function keys but you still need to type shit that's not on the list.

Function keys? It's been a while my good friends.
For example, you're supposed to type "talk" and "cute" to get an item from the teacher. I'm not sure how you're supposed to figure out to say "cute" when the entire Japanese language is at your disposal. Even the early Sierra On-line games were not that brutal. Now, part of the fun in these games is trying to type shit like "fuck you" to see if the game has a clever response but given the fact that it takes me like 2 minutes to type a single word, fuck it, guide time.

You're supposed to talk about じゅもん. How did I know? I cheated, sorry (NOT!)
What's kinda cool about this game is you can transform by typing "chaing" which is a combination of the words "change" and "wing" (amazing that didn't catch on). When you transform into Wingman, you can battle the villain in the area at the bottom of the screen. You have two attacks via the F1 and F2 keys: "Contini Punch" and "Wingle Crash". The wingle crash always resulted in me losing health as well so I stuck with punching but I guess it doesn't really matter whether you win or lose. The screen is upside down because it's a separate dimension for battling or whatever (just read the manga).

Score: 2 wingle contini chaings out of 5

I would say this is a pretty high quality adventure game for its time at least visually and a much better offering from Enix compared to Zarth. It helps that there's a whole manga/anime to fill in the settings since there's very little dialogue in the game itself. In fact, you kinda HAVE to read up on the story (unless you're cheating like me) to know your vehicle is called "winner" to chase after the villian (I thought it was "weiner" this whole time).

You're riding weiner... err winner here (not shown)
As you can tell, for its time, this is probably the most visually stunning game I've seen so far. It's just a darn shame I have to suffer through kana input for it. But I'm kinda starting to get the hang of it so I guess I can put that skill to use for the next text based retro PC game. Ugh, but then again, probably NOT.

Ugh, do I HAVE to save Miku-chan? How much more typing is involved??
Dang, look at those shadows, is that DirectX 12??
0 - Awful
1 - Bad and not worth your time
2 - Has some flaws but still enjoyable
3 - An average enjoyable experience
4 - A great game
5 - Masterpiece of a caliber only found very rarely


  1. Just wanted to say that I'm an absolute fan of your retrogame articles. Not that I don't like the more recent articles - it's just that noone ever tried to review 1980s games. I must be the only one who follows your VN of the year 1983 and 1984 issues and mostly because I do pretty much the same. At vndbreview I've tried to sum up some thoughts on the ancient visual novels and would be happy if someone found them useful.

    1. Thanks for the comment! Glad to find a like-minded soul on this vast information super highway. I have been more in a retro mood these days so I'll probably be checking out some stuff at least from the early 90s. I also still have Demon's Ring from Falcom from 84 to play.

      If you could point me to some links, I'll definitely check it out!

  2. I've no real knowledge of the language, so have to rely on hooking tools which are only available for pc98 - that makes me mostly just retell japanese sources for pc88. Still, I've got compilaton for every year, here's an example for 1984 []
    As for roms, I just got all the pc88, pc98 and x68000 packages from - that covered all my needs with only couple games missing.

  3. Oh that's really cool, I'll DEFINITELY be checking it out over time. For some reason, I thought you were talking about

    BTW, I decided to switch the comment system cause blogger seems kinda crappy on that front.