Once thought lost, a copy of Taito’s obscure 1997 platformer Crescent Tale has been found by its original designer – and it works…
Although it shot to global fame with 1978’s Space Invaders, Taito spent much of the 1980s and 90s making some of the most enjoyable arcade platformers ever, including Bubble Bobble, Rainbow Islands, and the best game of all time, Parasol Stars.
Then there was Crescent Tale – a 1997 title in the vein of those earlier Taito platformers, but is so obscure that only a couple of screenshots of it currently exist.
Crescent Tale was developed for the X-55, a home karaoke system released by Taito in 1995. Launched at a time when the games industry was just beginning to look beyond physical media, the X-55 was capable of downloading songs and even video games via a phone connection.
The X-55 was only a lukewarm success, which meant that, when the system went out of commission, many of the games developed for it also vanished – including Crescent Tale. As reported by Time Extension, though, a backup copy of the platformer was recently unearthed by its original designer, who broke the news on Twitter.
According to Google Translate, said designer – @fuina_rle2170 – found the game, got it up and running on the original hardware, and took a few screenshots to prove it. The designer also unearthed some other materials from Crescent Tale’s production, including some Polaroid photos of level layouts and what appear to be some flyers.
— ふいなあれ😇 (@fuina_rle2170) July 23, 2023
Crescent Tale was clearly a fixed-screen platformer in the vein of Bubble Bobble or Jaleco’s rival Rodland, and according to gosokkyu, the game’s fairy-like protagonist was a ‘magical girl’ by the name of Marble. The game also shared the same composer as the original Bubble Bobble, so Crescent Tale’s soundtrack is almost certainly an ear worm.
With the game now rescued from oblivion, we can only hope that someone can step in and port Crescent Tale to modern systems so that everyone can play it. Strictly Limited Games has form with this sort of thing – it managed to dig up the cancelled early-90s arcade action game Clockwork Aquario and give it a physical release, and the company also has strong links to Taito.
Later this year, it’s putting out a physical version of Taito’s Parasol Stars – which is, again, the greatest game of all time. Perhaps Crescent Tale will get the same treatment eventually. Here’s hoping.
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