Games I buy: Falcom Edition

I love Madison. It has a fairly decent population of eclectic nerds.  Plenty of young people thanks to UW Madison. The school brings a decent foreign Asian population, too.   Plus, Madison isn't that big, so we're all able to connect in many ways.

One of these tiny ways is Half-Priced Books, a used bookstore that buys and sells books and almost all forms of media. Visiting one of these stores and seeing what they have available is one of the best ways a community or region reveals its interests. I've found old Squaresoft games, Kurt Vonnegut novels, Communications of ACM magazines, bizarre Anime and plenty of other stuff.

Today, I came scross something pretty unique. It looks like some Japanese nerd decided to sell his collection of Falcom games...

Every now and then I'll come across Japanese games in Madison used stores, but Falcom games? Falcom games are usually only purchased by the nerdiest of hardcore J-RPG fans.

Nihon Falcom

Falcom is a pretty bizarre game company. You may know them best as the developer of the Y's franchise, which first premiered in America on the Super Nintendo. That's the first I had ever heard of them, until Retronauts did an episode on Falcom earlier this year. (episode 66)

They are a successful Japanese PC Game development studio that hasn't done a single Porn game. Actually, one of their first games, Joshidaisei Private Stripper, sounds like a porn game, but that's the only one! Their success has been built from their JRPG franchises: Dragon Slayer / Xanadu, Y's, Sorcerian, Legend of Heroes, Brandish.

Also, even though you can find many of their games on the popular console platforms, Falcom is not responsible for any of their ports except for the PSP. They contract other development studios to do them. It's pretty funny listening to the Retronauts crew attempt to list all the companies that have ported a Falcom game to another platform.

PSP Gurumin

I've only ever played one Falcom game through to completion and that's Gurumin. One of those games at Half-Priced Books was the original PC version of the game!

Gurumin is a cute action-RPG in which you play as Palin. Palin is new to a quiet mining town and becomes lonely with the lack of children. She does find a friend, but it turns out her new friend is a monster. A good monster, though. Their monster town has been ripped apart by other monsters and some even kidnapped. Palin to the rescue!

It's a fantastic game with cute characters, cute dialogue, and throw-back PS1 era graphics. It would be an amazing game if it weren't for the annoying single analog stick controls. After spending time with Gurumin a couple years ago, I wrote a little bit about it on October 17th, 2007. Please get past the horrible writing.


Of the 7 Falcom games at Half-Priced Books, I picked up the 3 chapters of Legend of Heroes and Y's Origin.

After re-reading my Gurumin Impression from 2 years ago, I think I might pick up that one too. I bet Gurumin PC looks and plays worlds better than the PSP version.