Taito announces LaserDisc game collection, including Time Gal

taito laserdisc

The Taito LD Game Collection will remaster three 1980s LaserDisc games – Time Gal, Space Battleship Yamato, and Ninja Hayate – for Nintendo Switch.


Here’s a pleasant surprise: three Japanese LaserDisc titles, Time Gal, Space Battleship Yamato, and Ninja Hayate, are being rounded up and remastered for the Taito LD Game Collection.

For the uninitiated, these were all interactive movies, heavily inspired by the 1983 arcade hit, Dragon’s Lair (which, funnily enough, just turned 40 last month). All featured digitised, superbly hand-drawn animation courtesy of Toei, and all featured the same simple gameplay popularised by Dragon’s Lair – at certain points in the game, you’d be required to make quick button inputs in order to keep the action going.

The oldest in the collection is Ninja Hayate, a brisk adventure about a young ninja rescuing a princess from a villain’s castle. First released in Japanese arcades in 1984, it was later ported to the Sega CD in America (as Revenge of the Ninja) and to the Sega Saturn and PlayStation, all in the 1990s.

Time Gal, first released in 1985, is perhaps the best-known – it was an immediate hit in Japan, thanks to its time-travelling premise, slapstick death animations and perky heroine, and was later released in the US and Europe on the Sega CD and Mega CD.

Space Battleship Yamato is the more unexpected name on the collection. Based on the anime of the same name, it was an interactive space opera, and released shortly before Time Gal in 1985. Unlike that game, though, it was never released outside Japan, and to the best of our knowledge, was never ported to any other system.

Taito’s website says that all three games will be “HD” remasters; while they don’t provide footage to show just how much work has gone into cleaning these near 30-year-old LaserDisc games up, they should at least look more pristine than the often scratchy, heavily-compressed Mega CD versions, say.

Out on 14 December for Nintendo Switch, the Taito LD Game Collection will come in a standard edition for 9,680 yen, while a special edition, costing 19,580 yen, will also include a Blu-ray, mini standee, Time Gal poster and some other materials.

There’s also time-limited offer where pre-ordering the game on Amazon Japan between 11 and 12 of July will give you a download code for the Space Battleship Yamato Arcade Game Edition. It isn’t currently clear what the difference is between this edition and the one on the physical cartridge.

Thanks to Twitter’s @gosokkyu for bringing this collection of cult gems to our attention.

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