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Role Playing (Games) NES (Games)

How Role-Playing Games Arrived In Japan With Black Onyx 50

eggboard writes "Henk Rogers was a Dutchman who arrived in Japan in the 1980s following a girlfriend (later, his wife). An inveterate D&D player, he became enthralled with the NEC-8801, and nearly killed himself trying to create a D&D-like world that he released as The Black Onyx. No one initially knew what to make of it, and the game sold slowly at first. Through savvy pricing, packaging, and press attention, sales grew, and the game jumpstarted RPGs in Japan. Rogers got left behind, though, as Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy hit a local nerve better than his efforts. 'I also realized that I didn't quite understand the Japanese aesthetic and way. These games were quite different to mine, and just struck a more effective cultural chord.' Rogers went on to license Tetris to Nintendo, though, so he did just fine."
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How Role-Playing Games Arrived In Japan With Black Onyx

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  • Re:Tetris (Score:4, Informative)

    by KPexEA ( 1030982 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @09:21PM (#46087347)
    Accidentally posted to soon, I meant to include a link to the whole Tetris story with regard to Henk: []
  • Re:License? (Score:4, Informative)

    by rk ( 6314 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @09:51PM (#46087499) Journal

    Black Onyx III was never finished. Then in 1988, Rogers, who had left programming to hunt for successful foreign games to bring to Japan, encountered a game called Tetris at a Las Vegas computer show. Rogers arranged a license from the Soviet Union government, which he sold to Nintendo. Tetrisâ(TM)s success forever changed the course of his life.

    Nope, but thanks for playing.

  • Re:License? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27, 2014 @10:09PM (#46087577)

    Really? Based on what?

    Here's Wikipedia's version:

    Rogers discovered Tetris during a Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas in 1988. At the time, the game was being distributed in several countries under a master license agreement which the original licensee had not honored. Rogers went to Moscow (without an invitation) to see if he could obtain rights to distribute the game. Two other companies were simultaneously bidding for the same rights. Rogers brought Nintendo on board and secured the exclusive rights to market Tetris on video game consoles. Nintendo successfully used this grant to squeeze its rival Atari out of the market, as Atari had sought to market Tetris based on the original (invalid) license.

    During the negotiations in Moscow, Rogers also became friends with the game's Russian author Alexey Pajitnov. In 1990, he helped Pajitnov move to the United States and set up a new company, AnimaTek, to develop new computer graphic technologies.

    So what reason do you have to disparage Rogers?

  • Better article (Score:4, Informative)

    by mattack2 ( 1165421 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @10:13PM (#46087605)

    One of the other external links from the Wikipedia article has more information: []

    (I added the other one mentioned in the summary to the Wikipedia page, though.)

  • by identity0 ( 77976 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @10:30PM (#46087701) Journal

    This, pretty much. The Black Onyx was a 1984 game, but it's well known that 1981's Wizardry had a much bigger impact in Japan.

    They even made DS games on the Wizardry franchise because it's so famous over there []

Love may laugh at locksmiths, but he has a profound respect for money bags. -- Sidney Paternoster, "The Folly of the Wise"