If you’re into extremely rare Japanese video games, we may have a real treat for you courtesy of a unveiled stash. A folder full of roughly 70 ROMs (weighing in a 67GB in size) was uploaded to a private forum earlier this year, but eventually made its way into the public domain.
It should be noted that the games in this collection have been circulated by avid gamers in secret for quite some time. However, one of the game collectors that had access to the titles decided to go rogue and posted a video of Labyrinthe: Horror Tour 3 to YouTube. At that point, any remnant of secrecy was now gone.
“A reader sent me the collection earlier this year, and we agreed to wait a long period of time to share anything to avoid causing any interpersonal harm,” wrote Phil “Shadsy” Salvador for The Obscurity. “But then that YouTube user posted the video, revealed about the game collection, and torched their connections, which was bad.”
The aforementioned Labyrinthe is part of a three-game trilogy that was released primarily in Japan. Labyrinthe was preceded by Horror Tour (Zeddas: Servant of Sheol) and Zeddas: Horror Tour 2. Developed by Caravan Interactive, Horror Tour was by no means a well-known title in the United States, so you would be forgiven if you’ve never even heard of it. It was available for DOS, Windows 3.1, Macintosh and Sega Saturn during its production run.
“If the first Horror Tour can be considered obscure, then the existence of its sequels are down right mythical, with little to no mention of them even on Japanese websites,” writes Hardcore Gamer 101. “Zeddas: Horror Tour 2 was released in 1996 as a hybrid CD for both Windows 3.1/95 and Macintosh. This time around however there were no console ports, as had been the case with the first game when it was ported to the Sega Saturn.”
Many assumed that Labyrinthe was never released at all, or that if it was, any surviving copies had been lost or destroyed. But as it turns out, the game has been circulating in the video game underground for the past two decades and is now available for all to see thanks to Saint, who posted a YouTube walkthrough of the game and download links to MEGA (which have since been taken down).
Due to Saint’s actions, Salvador felt free to upload Labyrinthe to the Internet Archive. Along with Labyrinthe, you’ll find scores of other “lost” video games like Harapeko Tsuki To Hoshi Atsume, Cookie’s Bustle, Wacky Races, Shooting Command, Rema the Truth and SDS Star Divers. So far, Salvador has uploaded 41 of the games to the Internet Archive.