Title: Seibu no jū (西部の銃)
Developer: Zykaya Co. Ltd., Glowbe Co. Ltd.
Publisher: Zykaya Co. Ltd.
System: Phonos FunSystem
Release Date:
JP: September 2, 1996

Despite the failure of Urutora Kauboigan in Japan, the (relatively) strong sales numbers of its localization Ultra Western Guns in North America led to a sequel. Zykaya developed the title in-house under license from Glowbe, fronting both the development and marketing costs. Legally prohibited from using the name “Kauboigan” thanks to a settlement with Chuo Team, the game was instead titled Seibu no jū, a translation of the Western Guns title that had been used in North America.

The Musjido 32 console was, by 1996, proving to be a fantastic boondoggle for the formerly dominant console and game manufacturer. Its bizarre 4-lobed controller was off-putting to many, and its use of ROM cartridges was at odds with the industry move toward optical media. Zykaya, in particular, had been courted by digital audio maker Phonos to sign an exclusive license for their games to appear on the upcoming FunSystem console, and Seibu no jū wound up being their first RPG for the console.

Using improved 2D sprites for the overworld that moved around 3d environments, Seibu no jū was in many ways less graphically advanced than Chuo Team’s Kauboigan III, but it also featured fully-animated cutscenes and a full orchestral soundtrack streamed off the disc, and was packaged as a deluxe 4-CD set with 2 play discs, a soundtrack, and a ‘making of’ VCD.

Positioned as a sequel to Urutora Kauboigan, it features a roster of 12 possible recruitable characters plus two secret characters for a total of 14. Sharps, Jane, and Mouse from Urutora Kauboigan return, with the undead Yule as one of the secret characters. The others include a Native American healer, an eccentric inventor, and a hyper-intelligent prairie dog. The game introduces a distinct steampunk element, with elaborate machines and technology that far exceeds the stated setting of 1885. The heroes find themselves caught in between the steampunk machinations of a new and corrupt territorial governor and a group of brutal renegade natives dedicated to his overthrow, with both eventually being swept aside by a new, supernatural threat in the form of the Anasajikira.

Thanks in part to the move to the popular FunSystem, Seibu no jū was a hit in Japan, and was one of the first games inducted into the Phonos FunSystem’s “Hall of Phame” budget rerelease series.

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