Keep Circulating The Tapes Video Games Discussion

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10:53:04 AM Sep 25th 2015
It may be worth pointing out that the original Harvest Moon and the Game Boy Color games were only released on the Virtual Console in North America. Strangely, Japan never got them.
11:03:59 PM Apr 24th 2017
I moved the Harvest Moon entry to the Rescued page solely because in its current form it only discusses the North American releases. If used copies are hard to find in Japan (which I can't check because I'm American and not fluent in Japanese), then I'd support adding an entry for the Japanese releases.
12:10:03 PM Oct 25th 2014

Pulled the following because they're widely available through other means or they're straight examples of No Export for You - KCTT is when a game is out-of-print or otherwise unavailable besides piracy. If it's still being widely distributed (even in one region), it's not an example:

    Set # 1 
  • Every Fire Emblem game before the seventh is virtually impossible to get outside of Japan, since the entire franchise before the seventh installment was a case of No Export for You, as was New Mystery of the Emblem, a remake of the third game; international releases skipped over to the next game in the series, Fire Emblem Awakening. No official reason was given for New Mystery's non-translation, but it may be due to either Shadow Dragon's poor reception or the same fate that MOTHER 3 suffered, being a text-heavy game released towards the end of its console's life span, as, out of Nintendo's own games, only games with few lines of text such as Kirby Mass Attack and the last two DS Pokémon games were released after the release of the 3DS; while Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 were text-heavy, but they were clearly released internationally because it's, well, Pokémon, not to mention Emerald and Crystal being similar cases. Unsurprisingly, the series is very frequently pirated and subjected to Fan Translation.
  • A physical copy of LSD: Dream Emulator, as it was only released in Japan (and physical copies go for the Yen equivalent of about $500). Several reasons are thrown about for why it's never been released - low print runs, the name itself being undesirable to the publisher, etc. Even worse, the dream journal the game was based on (Lovely Sweet Dream) and two soundtracks (LSD & Remixes and Lucy in the Sky with Dynamites) had very low print runs and/or were never released outside of Japan. The game did get released as a PS One Classic on the Japanese PlayStation Network in August 2010, but it's unlikely it'll ever get released on the American store since it wasn't released in America the first time around. Even so, it's still possible for those outside Japan to make a Japanese PSN account, purchase a Japanese PSN card online, and download it that way.
    • Of course, as you can guess, you can download the game's ISO, both CDs, and scans of the dream journal online for free. The developer, Asmik Ace, doesn't seem to care about it since the game isn't even listed on their website.
  • The Super Robot Wars series of video games, due to their Mega Crossover plots involving dozens of different mecha anime franchises, will likely never see release outside of Japan. The only exceptions have been the two Original Generation games and the first (but not the second) OG Saga game, which — as their name suggests — use only original characters and mecha designs. Even with the GBA OG games, they are not terribly common.
  • Most Visual Novels, at least for English-speaking fans. Did you enjoy the CLANNAD anime and want to check out the visual novel? You'll probably have to torrent it if you don't want to fork over $70, and download a fan-made patch, or at least until the promised official English version is released.
  • Overseas fans actually seem to be a contributing factor to a generalized decrease in No Export for You in RPGs, especially in the last few years. Square Enix is a good example; previously, they allowed many of their major releases in Japan in the 1990s, such as Seiken Densetsu 3, Dragon Quest V and VI, Front Mission 1 and others to go unreleased even once ports were made to newer consoles. Around 2003, though, SD3 was translated by fans...and thus played by hundreds of thousands of people. DQV and VI, FM1, and a raft of other "back-catalog" titles then got similar treatment and all exploded all over the Internet. This seems to have led to a number of Updated Rereleases of many of the aforementioned games, which then got translated and sold officially in the US market. SE guys have even acknowledged that fan translation played a part in proving that fans wanted certain games. Of the games listed in this example, only SD3 hasn't gotten a release in the States at this point.
    • Square's SNES RPGs were subject to this until the rise of emulation and the various ports and remakes ended up adverting this.
    • Sadly, the DS update of V has become a scarcity due to a limited print run that resulted from disappointing sales of the preceding IV rerelease. The worst part of it is that V is considered the highlight of the series by diehard fans, and is already hard to find and increasing in value on the aftermarket. Neither the overseas success of Dragon Quest IX nor the finally released in the west remake of the sixth game will have much effect; those two were published overseas by Nintendo, while the fifth is still under the grip of SE, which doesn't seem interested in doing non-GH reprints. Occasionally, though, V will go on sale on Amazon (usually around the holidays).

Also pulled the following examples which need more clarification, are tangentially game-related, or are legal releases/in the process of being released. Humongous Entertainment in particular just released a major pack of their games a couple months back (as of this writing), and the example admits that more are on the way.

    Set # 2 
  • The 1990s Humongous Entertainment games have started to become more common thanks to the efforts of Nimbus Games, but they still have quite a long way to go. For one, even though Nimbus is trying what they can to get the games back on sale, they're currently mobile only, which has made quite a few people irritated. They were in print for a very long time, but this strategy didn't exactly work so well when Atari refused to update the games for modern computers. Then there was also the Wii port incident, which got Screwed by the Lawyers. more info  Also, if you're a fan of the foreign dubs at all, just forget it — many of them had limited print runs and are now impossible to find, with the crowner going to Freddi Fish 5 in the UK and Germany. It's rare enough in Germany, but the UK had a fifty copy print run.
    • Some of the games are now available on Steam, with more coming later.
  • Oddballz by P.F. Magic is a virtual pet game with weird and wacky pets. Good luck finding it! Okay, there's a demo out there, but you can't use all the toys or turn out the lights. What? Someone found out how to turn the demo into the full game? Well, you still don't get the Web Fun Pack... what? Someone posted that online? Oh, still can't get the full version legally!
    • There was a LEGAL reprint of the game, BUT it comes without a serial number. FAIL! Granted, you could Google the game and find one, but still, it would save people a lot of work if they bothered to include the serial number.
  • The first two Quake games are a straight and inverted example of this. The games are available for purchase on Steam; however, none of the music for either is provided. Though originally provided in the retail versions via Redbook CD audio, id still had a variety of options for them to be digitally distributed, of which not even the laziest option—burnable ISOs of the retail CDs themselves, was provided. id simply did not care. And, sadly, neither do the vast majority of online uploaders, who provide similarly butchered versions of the games, even in ISO format. You'll actually have better luck buying the games used at a brick-and-mortar store, which shouldn't be too hard since the games were extremely popular and remained in print for quite a while.

    A more minor case involves a key alteration id made when converting Quake from DOS to Windows. Both Quake and the two DOOM games had funny quit messages written by John Romero, who left the company after Quake was finished. The quit messages were replaced with a generic staff roll dialogue box when the Windows version was added in subsequent releases, however many pressings still contained the DOS executable. It was eventually discontinued, however, so there's a good chance that the copy of Quake you find won't contain "Press 'Y' to quit and I will summon Satan all over your hard drive!" or "Press 'Y' to quit like a
  • Now that Sega has released Thunder Force VI, it's exceedingly hard to find the opening movie from Tecnosoft's original Dreamcast version, or the promotional movie from Factory Noise + AG's doujin attempt Broken Thunder. There's only one site on the Internet that still has the Tecnosoft TF6 intro (scroll down to the teaser video link). As for the Broken Thunder opening video, it used to be available for download on Factory Noise's website, but their site is dead now. Segagaga Domain has a low-quality version of the video on Google Video, but there is absolutely no place to download the original high-quality version of the video anymore. It's a real shame, because both videos — the Broken Thunder video especially — are well-done pieces of CG. big loser in life. Press 'N' to stay proud and successful!" anywhere on the disc.note 
05:49:06 AM Oct 27th 2014
Aren't most games before the current generation likely to be examples? Video games are only produced during their console generation so unless a game gets put on the PSN Store or Xbox Live Arcade as a Classic, aren't they an example?
10:58:32 PM Apr 24th 2017
edited by GastonRabbit
After reading this I decided to pull some more examples that confused No Export for You with Keep Circulating the Tapes. The entries discussed the availability of Japan-only games in English-speaking countries, where they were never intended to be distributed to begin with, and whether they were examples in Japan (where there are actually official copies to circulate) wasn't even discussed. However, even if MOTHER 3 and Seiken Densetsu 3 were examples in Japan at some point, they both got rereleased there (the former on the Wii U Virtual Console and the latter as part of a Switch Compilation Re-release).

On a side note, I moved the Harvest Moon entry to the Rescued page due to 64's Wii U VC release earlier this year.
05:51:15 PM Mar 27th 2012
Removed an entry about "Sony Imagesoft's entire library of games for the NES and Super NES." Several things count against this being an example:
  1. It's a minor point, but these were not the only platforms Sony Imagesoft released games for.
  2. As the entry acknowledged, some of the games were only published by Sony, not developed by them.
  3. Sony Imagesoft's releases were largely Licensed Games, which are a category already mentioned.
  4. Most importantly, almost no specific games were mentioned.
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