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12 Famicom Disk System Games to Collect

Explore 12 Famicom Disk System games to collect, from Zelda to sports titles, offering accessible retro thrills for all gamers.

In the annals of gaming history, the Nintendo Famicom Disk System (FDS) stands as a testament to innovation and nostalgia. Released in 1986 as an accessory to the iconic Family Computer (Famicom) console, the FDS introduced a new era of gaming, boasting larger storage capacity and the ability to save progress directly onto proprietary floppy disks. Which Look like this:

While the FDS may not have enjoyed the same worldwide success as its cartridge-based counterpart, it left an indelible mark on the gaming landscape, particularly in its native Japan. For collectors and gaming enthusiasts alike, exploring the library of Famicom Disk System games offers a glimpse into a bygone era of gaming excellence. Here, we present 12 Starter Famicom Disk System Games to collect to kickstart your journey into the world of FDS collecting. To appeal to International collectors, here we have chosen Famicom Disk System games that do not require you to read Japanese to enjoy the games!

1

Doki Doki Panic

Later reskinned into Super Mario Bros. 2
Doki Doki Panic Game: No.1 in our list of Top Famicom Disk System Games to Collect

Before its Mario makeover, experience the whimsical platforming of “Doki Doki Panic,”. “Doki Doki Panic” emerged onto the gaming scene as a vibrant and innovative title that brought a refreshing twist to the platformer genre. Developed by Nintendo, this 1987 release captivated players with its unique blend of puzzle-solving, platforming challenges, and colorful characters.

Set in the dream-like world of Subcon, players assume the roles of four distinct characters—Imajin, Lina, Mama, and Papa—as they embark on a quest to rescue two children from the clutches of the evil frog-like tyrant, Wart.

What sets “Doki Doki Panic” apart is its emphasis on teamwork and strategy, requiring players to strategically switch between characters to overcome obstacles and defeat enemies. Visually, the game is a feast for the eyes, boasting vibrant and detailed sprites that bring the whimsical world of Subcon to life. Each character is imbued with their own unique abilities, adding depth to the gameplay and encouraging experimentation.

“Doki Doki Panic” received praise for its innovative gameplay mechanics, charming aesthetic, and catchy soundtrack. While initially released in Japan as a tie-in for the Yume Kōjō festival, its later rebranding and release as “Super Mario Bros. 2” introduced the game to a wider international audience, cementing its status as a beloved classic in the Nintendo pantheon.

Why is it one to Collect? As Russel from Retro Game Corps posted on X , “Mini life-goal achievement unlocked! I now have my own copy of Yume Kojo: Doki Doki Panic, the Famicom Disk System game that was later reskinned and sold as Super Mario Bros 2 on the NES.”

Want to learn more about Doki Doki Panic? be sure to read our feature on this beloved game here on TechTrifle.

2

Knight Move

Game designed by Tetris-creator Alexey Pajitnov
Knight Move: No.2 in our list of Top Famicom Disk System Games to Collect

From the creator of Tetris, a pretty strategic puzzle game, guiding a knight through challenging levels in a quest for glory. Arguably one of the rarest games to collect as it was never ported to any other console, so the FDS version is a ‘one of a kind’. Like most FDS games, it will be worth more with the original case and manual.

“Knight Move” galloped onto the Famicom Disk System with a unique blend of puzzle-solving and strategic gameplay, captivating players with its medieval-themed adventure. Developed by Atlus and released in 1985, this title stands out for its innovative mechanics and challenging puzzles.

Players assume the role of a gallant knight tasked with navigating a series of increasingly complex mazes to rescue the princess from the clutches of an evil sorcerer. What sets “Knight Move” apart is its chess-inspired gameplay, requiring players to carefully plan their moves and anticipate enemy movements to progress through each stage.

The game’s puzzle design is both intricate and rewarding, encouraging players to strategize and think several steps ahead to overcome obstacles and defeat enemies. With each level presenting new challenges and mechanics, “Knight Move” keeps players engaged and eager to unravel its mysteries.

Visually, the game boasts detailed sprites and vibrant backgrounds that evoke the atmosphere of a medieval fantasy world. The soundtrack complements the gameplay perfectly, immersing players in the epic quest to save the princess.

“Knight Move” received acclaim for its challenging puzzles, strategic depth, and immersive atmosphere. While it may not have achieved the same level of recognition as some of its contemporaries, its legacy lives on as a hidden gem in the Famicom library, cherished by fans of puzzle-solving and adventure alike.

3

Super Mario Lost Levels

スーパーマリオブラザーズ2 /Diabolically Difficult
Super Mario Lost Levels: No.3 in our list of Top Famicom Disk System Games to Collect

Super Mario Lost Levels: Test your skills in the challenging sequel to the original Super Mario Bros., offering diabolically difficult levels and hidden secrets. Originally released in Japan as “Super Mario Bros. 2” on June 3, 1986, delivered a gaming experience that stood as a testament to Nintendo’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of challenge and innovation. Similar in style to its predecessor, “Super Mario Lost Levels” was markedly more difficult, earning a reputation as being “nails-from-diamonds hard,” as described by Jon Irwin in his book on sequels.

The game’s creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, and his team, including Takashi Tezuka, recognized that Japanese players had mastered the original “Super Mario Bros.” Seeking to provide a fresh challenge, they crafted “Super Mario Lost Levels” with unforgiving level design and cunning enemy placement. To signal its formidable difficulty, the game’s packaging bore the label “For Super Players,” with additional measures such as a trick to earn infinite lives.

Nintendo’s marketing strategy embraced the game’s toughness, with commercials in Japan featuring players failing at the game and screaming in frustration. Despite its difficulty, or perhaps because of it, “Super Mario Lost Levels” became a cult classic and a showcase of the Famicom Disk System’s capabilities, following the success of “The Legend of Zelda” as one of its early releases.

When considered for release outside Japan, Nintendo of America deemed “The Lost Levels” too challenging for the American market’s taste and opted not to release it. Howard Phillips, who evaluated games for Nintendo of America President Minoru Arakawa, criticized the game for its excessive difficulty, even surpassing Nintendo’s reputation for tough games. He believed that its frustration factor would hinder its sales in the American market, noting that selling a game devoid of enjoyment contradicted the company’s ethos of providing fun experiences.

In lieu of “The Lost Levels,” Nintendo released a modified version of Doki Doki Panic as “Super Mario Bros. 2” in October 1988 for the American market. Originally developed by Kensuke Tanabe, Doki Doki Panic featured characters and artwork from Yūme Kojo ’87 and was released in Japan in 1987. The game underwent significant alterations, including the incorporation of Super Mario Bros. characters and aesthetics, before its American release. This divergence from the traditional Super Mario formula led to it being regarded as a notable deviation within the series, while the original “Super Mario Bros. 2” eventually found its way to Japan as “Super Mario USA.”

4

Otocky

オトッキー / Groove to the beat in this unique musical shooter
Otocky: No.4 in our list of Top Famicom Disk System Games to Collect

“Otocky” invites players to embark on a musical journey like no other on the Famicom Disk System. As the titular Otocky, a flying creature armed with musical notes, players navigate through colorful, rhythm-based levels while dodging obstacles, defeating enemies, and collecting musical notes to compose melodies.

Why it’s a Must-Have for Famicom Disk Collection: “Otocky” stands out as a unique and innovative title in the Famicom Disk System library, combining elements of traditional shooters with rhythm-based gameplay mechanics. Its vibrant visuals, catchy tunes, and intuitive controls make it a joy to play for gamers of all ages and skill levels. Furthermore, its blend of action and music creates an immersive experience that is both engaging and memorable.

Notably, “Otocky” is said to have inspired Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s acclaimed game “Rez,” which explores similar themes of player action and musical evolution. This connection adds to the game’s appeal for fans of Mizuguchi’s work and showcases its influence on the gaming industry as a whole.

“Otocky” is a hidden gem that deserves recognition among retro gaming enthusiasts for its innovative gameplay, catchy music, and lasting impact on the industry. As a unique fusion of action and music, it offers a gaming experience unlike any other on the Famicom Disk System and remains a must-have addition to any collector’s library.

Estimated Value: Due to its rarity and cult status, “Otocky” for the Famicom Disk System commands a premium among collectors. Complete copies of the game with the original case and manual can fetch anywhere from $200 to $250 or more on the secondary market. With its innovative gameplay and historical significance, “Otocky” is not only a valuable addition to any Famicom Disk collection but also a testament to the creativity and ingenuity of retro gaming.

5

Ice Hockey

AKA アイスホッケー / Aisu Hokkē
Ice Hockey: No.5 in our list of Top Famicom Disk System Games to Collect

“Ice Hockey” glided onto the Famicom Disk System in 1988, offering players an exhilarating and fast-paced sports gaming experience. Developed by Nintendo, this title stands out for its simple yet addictive gameplay and charming presentation.

Players take control of a team of ice hockey players as they compete in intense matches against computer-controlled opponents or friends in multiplayer mode. What sets “Ice Hockey” apart is its accessible control scheme, allowing players to easily pass, shoot, and check their way to victory with intuitive button inputs.

The game’s graphics are modest yet effective, with colorful sprites and smooth animations capturing the excitement of ice hockey. The sound design adds to the atmosphere, with upbeat music and satisfying sound effects immersing players in the action on the rink.

“Ice Hockey” received praise for its engaging gameplay, responsive controls, and multiplayer fun. While it may not boast the depth of modern sports simulations, its timeless appeal and pick-up-and-play nature make it a beloved classic among retro gaming enthusiasts.

“Ice Hockey” presents intriguing regional differences, particularly in team line-ups and music. In the Japanese Famicom Disk System version, the roster includes Japan (JPN), United States (USA), Czechoslovakia (TCH), Canada (CAN), Poland (POL), and the Soviet Union (URS). However, for PAL versions, Japan is replaced by Sweden. Meanwhile, the North American and European releases feature the United States (USA), Sweden (SWE), Czechoslovakia (TCH), Canada (CAN), Poland (POL), and the Soviet Union (URS).

Furthermore, there are notable distinctions in the game’s music between the Japanese and US versions. The Japanese rendition features entirely different tracks for in-game play and scoring a goal compared to the US version, adding a unique cultural flavor to each iteration of the game.

6

Legend of Zelda

ゼルダの伝説1 / Inaugural installment of the beloved franchise
Legend of Zelda: No. 6 in our list of Top Famicom Disk System Games to Collect

The Famicom Disk System’s “Legend of Zelda” originally released in Japan as “The Hyrule Fantasy: Zelda no Densetsu” , introduced players to the iconic hero Link and the fantastical land of Hyrule in 1986, marking the beginning of an enduring franchise. However, there are significant differences between this Japanese release and later versions in the US and Europe.

In the Japanese Famicom Disk System version, players could save their progress using the system’s disk rewritable capabilities, providing a more convenient and immersive experience compared to the password system used in subsequent releases. Additionally, the game’s difficulty level in the Japanese version was notably higher, with enemies dealing more damage and certain puzzles being more challenging.

When the game was released in the US and Europe on cartridge format, several changes were made to accommodate the different hardware. These changes included alterations to enemy behavior, dungeon layouts, and the addition of a battery-backed save feature. The US and European versions also featured different box art and instruction manuals, reflecting cultural differences and marketing strategies tailored to each region.

Despite these differences, “The Legend of Zelda” remains a timeless classic beloved by gamers worldwide, with its innovative gameplay, rich storytelling, and immersive world setting the standard for future action-adventure games.

For collectors and enthusiasts of retro gaming, the Famicom Disk System version of “The Legend of Zelda” holds a special allure. Beyond its historical significance as the inaugural installment of the beloved franchise, this version offers a unique gameplay experience with its reliance on the Famicom Disk System’s rewritable disks for saving progress. The inclusion of this feature not only enhances the immersion factor but also provides a glimpse into the innovative technology of the time. Moreover, the heightened difficulty level in the Japanese release adds an extra layer of challenge for players seeking a more intense gaming experience. For these reasons it is one of the most popular FDS games in our list of 12 Famicom Disk System Games to Collect.

7

Metroid

メトロイド / Pioneering title in the Metroidvania genre
Metroid: No.7 in our list of Top Famicom Disk System Games to Collect

The Famicom Disk System’s “Metroid” debuted in 1986, introducing players to the enigmatic bounty hunter Samus Aran and the atmospheric world of Zebes.

“Metroid” was a collaborative effort between Nintendo Research & Development 1 (Nintendo R&D1) and Intelligent Systems, under the direction of notable figures like Gunpei Yokoi, Satoru Okada, and Masao Yamamoto. The game’s immersive soundtrack was composed by Hirokazu Tanaka. As a pioneering title in the Metroidvania genre, it prioritized exploration and the acquisition of power-ups to unlock previously inaccessible areas. “Metroid” gained recognition for its multiple endings, encouraging players to speedrun through the game to achieve the fastest completion times.

Furthermore, it was celebrated for its groundbreaking portrayal of a female protagonist, cementing its status as an influential and innovative title in video game history. Notable differences exist between this Japanese release and later versions in the US and Europe.

In the original Famicom Disk System version, players could save their progress using the disk rewritable capabilities, offering a more convenient gaming experience compared to the password system implemented in subsequent cartridge releases. Additionally, the Japanese version featured distinct enemy behavior patterns and minor alterations to certain level layouts, contributing to a slightly different gameplay experience.

Upon its release in the US and Europe on cartridge format, “Metroid” underwent several changes to accommodate the hardware differences. These alterations included adjustments to enemy placements, minor tweaks to level designs, and improvements in localization, such as translating the text into English. Additionally, the Western releases introduced the iconic “Justin Bailey” password, granting players access to Samus Aran in a revealing leotard suit from the start.

Despite these variations, the Famicom Disk System version of “Metroid” holds significant value for collectors and retro gaming enthusiasts. Its historical significance as the debut entry in the acclaimed “Metroid” series, coupled with its unique gameplay features and distinctive packaging, make it a sought-after collectible. Moreover, the Famicom Disk System’s rewritable disk capability adds an extra layer of authenticity and nostalgia for those who appreciate the innovative technology of the time. As a cornerstone of gaming history and a standout title in the Metroid franchise, the Famicom Disk System version of “Metroid” holds both sentimental and monetary value for collectors, making it a prized addition to any gaming collection.

8

The Miracle of Almana

アルマナの奇跡 / Arumana no Kiseki
Miracle of Almana: No.8 in our list of Top Famicom Disk System Games to Collect

“The Miracle of Almana” (known as “Arumana no Kiseki” in Japan) is a thrilling action-adventure game that draws inspiration from the iconic Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Developed by Konami and Compile, this exclusive title for the Japanese Famicom Disk System immerses players in an exhilarating quest filled with exploration, puzzle-solving, and danger.

In a nameless village, chaos erupts when a mystical red gem, the Arumana, is stolen. The thief’s dastardly deed transforms the entire village into stone statues. To undo the curse and revive the petrified inhabitants, our valiant hero, Kaito, sets off on a quest to retrieve the stolen jewel and bring peace back to the land.

Released in 1987, it follows the daring exploits of the protagonist, Popolon, as he embarks on a perilous journey to rescue his beloved Aphrodite from the clutches of evil. With its labyrinthine dungeons, treacherous traps, and ancient artifacts to uncover, “The Miracle of Almana” captures the essence of classic adventure stories, offering players an immersive and thrilling experience.

Despite its captivating gameplay and critical acclaim in Japan, “The Miracle of Almana” never saw a release in the US or Europe, remaining an exclusive gem for Famicom Disk System owners. This exclusivity adds to the game’s mystique and appeal, making it a coveted collectible for retro gaming enthusiasts outside of Japan.

The Famicom Disk System version of “The Miracle of Almana” holds significant value for collectors for several reasons. Firstly, its status as an exclusive title to the Famicom Disk System makes it a rare find outside of Japan, adding to its desirability among collectors seeking unique and obscure games. Secondly, the game’s engaging gameplay, captivating storyline, and Indiana Jones-inspired adventure make it a standout title in the Famicom library.

Finally, the Famicom Disk System’s rewritable disk capability allows players to experience the game as it was originally intended, providing a sense of authenticity and nostalgia that adds to its value as a collectible. Overall, “The Miracle of Almana” stands as a cherished piece of gaming history and a prized addition to any retro gaming collection.

9

VS Excite Bike

VS.エキサイトバイク / Motorcross Multiplayer Action
VS Excite Bike: No.9 in our list of Top Famicom Disk System Games to Collect

“VS Excite Bike” brings the adrenaline-pumping excitement of motocross racing to the Famicom Disk System. Players take control of dirt bike riders as they navigate challenging tracks filled with ramps, obstacles, and rival racers.

Why it’s a Must-Have in our 12 Famicom Disk System Games to Collect: As a standout title in the Famicom Disk System library, “VS Excite Bike” offers addictive arcade-style racing gameplay that remains as engaging today as it was upon release. With customizable tracks, competitive multiplayer modes, and responsive controls, it provides hours of thrilling entertainment for gamers of all ages.

Comparisons Across Regions: In Japan, “VS Excite Bike” was released as an enhanced version of the original “Excite Bike” game for the Famicom Disk System. While the core gameplay remains similar, this iteration introduced new features such as the ability to create and save custom tracks, adding depth and replay value to the experience.

In contrast, the version of “Excite Bike” released in North America and Europe for the NES lacked the track editor feature present in “VS Excite Bike.” This difference significantly impacted the game’s longevity and replayability, making the Famicom Disk System version a more desirable addition to collectors’ shelves.

“VS Excite Bike” stands out as a must-have title for any Famicom Disk System collection, offering timeless racing thrills and innovative track customization features. Its enhanced gameplay experience and historical significance make it a valuable addition to retro gaming enthusiasts’ libraries.

Estimated Value: Due to its popularity and rarity, “VS Excite Bike” for the Famicom Disk System commands a premium among collectors. While prices may vary depending on condition and availability, expect to pay upwards of $70 to $150 for a complete copy of the game (with case and manual), making it a worthwhile investment for avid collectors and fans of classic gaming.

10

Falsion

ファルシオン / Galactic Shooter Gem
Flasion: No.10 in our list of Top Famicom Disk System Games to Collect

“Falsion” transports players to the depths of space in a fast-paced shooter experience on the Famicom Disk System. Piloting the sleek spacecraft Falsion, players navigate through swarms of enemy ships and obstacles while collecting power-ups to upgrade their arsenal and take down formidable bosses.

Why it’s a Must-Have for Famicom Disk Collection: As one of the standout shooters on the Famicom Disk System, “Falsion” offers an exhilarating gameplay experience that combines smooth controls, vibrant visuals, and pulse-pounding action. With its challenging levels, dynamic enemy patterns, and satisfying power-ups, it’s a must-have addition to any retro gaming collection.

Comparisons Across Regions: In Japan, “Falsion” was released exclusively for the Famicom Disk System, offering players a unique and immersive space combat experience. However, in North America and Europe, Nintendo released a different shooter game titled “Solar Jetman” for the NES, which featured similar gameplay mechanics but lacked the distinct charm and polish of “Falsion.”

While “Solar Jetman” received moderate acclaim in Western markets, “Falsion” remains highly regarded among enthusiasts for its tighter controls, more refined level design, and overall superior presentation. As such, the Famicom Disk System version of “Falsion” is considered the definitive version of the game and a sought-after gem for collectors.

Conclusion: “Falsion” stands as a shining example of top-tier shooter gameplay on the Famicom Disk System, offering thrilling space combat action that remains unmatched in its genre. With its engaging gameplay, polished presentation, and historical significance, it’s a title that deserves a place in every retro gaming collection.

11

Akumajou Dracula / Castlevania

悪魔城ドラキュラ / is the very first Castlevania game
Castlevania: No.11 in our list of Top Famicom Disk System Games to Collect

Step into the dark and foreboding world of “Akumajou Dracula” (Castlevania) on the Famicom Disk System. Players assume the role of Simon Belmont, a vampire hunter on a quest to defeat the evil Count Dracula and save Transylvania. Armed with his trusty whip, Simon must navigate treacherous levels filled with deadly traps, monstrous creatures, and iconic bosses, culminating in a climactic showdown with the lord of darkness himself.

Why it’s a Must-Have for Famicom Disk Collection: “Akumajou Dracula” is a cornerstone of gaming history, renowned for its tight platforming, haunting atmosphere, and challenging gameplay. As one of the defining titles on the Famicom Disk System, it showcases the console’s capabilities with its detailed sprites, atmospheric music, and memorable level design. With its blend of action, exploration, and gothic horror, “Akumajou Dracula” offers an immersive gaming experience that captivates players from start to finish.

Comparisons Across Regions: In Japan, “Akumajou Dracula” for the Famicom Disk System remains the definitive version of the game, featuring enhanced graphics and sound compared to its cartridge-based counterpart for the NES. The FDS version also benefits from the system’s additional storage capacity, allowing for more detailed sprites and larger levels, which further enrich the player experience.

In North America and Europe, “Castlevania” was released for the NES, offering similar gameplay mechanics but with some differences in level layouts, enemy placements, and visual presentation. While the NES version remains a beloved classic in its own right, many fans consider the Famicom Disk System version to be the superior iteration, thanks to its technical enhancements and more faithful adaptation of the original vision.

“Akumajou Dracula” (Castlevania) stands as a timeless masterpiece of gaming, offering a captivating blend of action, exploration, and horror that continues to resonate with players to this day. As a cornerstone of the Famicom Disk System library, it holds a special place in the hearts of collectors and enthusiasts alike, showcasing the best of what the platform has to offer.

Estimated Value: Due to its popularity and status as a classic title, “Akumajou Dracula” for the Famicom Disk System commands a premium among collectors. Complete copies of the game with the original case and manual can fetch anywhere from $70 to $120 or more on the secondary market. With its enduring appeal and historical significance, “Akumajou Dracula” is a worthy addition to any Famicom Disk collection.

12

The Mysterious Murasame Castle

謎の村雨城 / Defend feudal Japan from evil forces
The Mysterious Murasame Castle: No.12 in our list of Top Famicom Disk System Games to Collect

The Mysterious Murasame Castle” invites players to embark on a perilous journey through feudal Japan, where they assume the role of Takamaru, a young samurai tasked with thwarting the nefarious plans of an evil warlord. Set against the backdrop of the Edo period, players must navigate through treacherous levels filled with cunning enemies, deadly traps, and ancient mysteries, culminating in a showdown with the malevolent forces threatening the land.

Why it’s a Must-Have and one of the Best for Famicom Disk Collection: As a lesser-known title on the Famicom Disk System, “The Mysterious Murasame Castle” offers a unique and engaging gameplay experience that sets it apart from other games of its era. With its blend of action, exploration, and Japanese folklore, it provides a refreshing change of pace for players seeking something different from the typical platformers and shooters of the time.

Furthermore, “The Mysterious Murasame Castle” holds historical significance as it never saw release outside of Japan until its arrival on the 3DS Virtual Console in 2014. This rarity factor adds to its appeal for collectors, making it a prized addition in our round up of Famicom Disk System Games to Collect.

“The Mysterious Murasame Castle” may have flown under the radar for many gamers outside of Japan, but its captivating gameplay, unique setting, and historical significance make it a hidden gem worth discovering. As one of the few Famicom Disk System games to see release exclusively in Japan until recent years, it holds a special place in gaming history and is deserving of recognition among retro gaming enthusiasts.

Estimated Value: Due to its rarity and limited availability outside of Japan until its Virtual Console release, “The Mysterious Murasame Castle” commands a premium among collectors. Complete copies of the game with the original case and manual can fetch anywhere from $150 to $200 or more on the secondary market. With its unique gameplay experience and historical significance, “The Mysterious Murasame Castle” is not only a worthy addition to any Famicom Disk collection but also a valuable piece of gaming history.

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