When the PC Engine was released in Japan it made a huge impact in the gaming scene. Far more powerful than the Famicom, the PCE kicked ass for half a decade, holding off the Megadrive with ease, and maintaining the number two spot against the Famicom and, for a couple of years, the Super Famicom (SNES). The PC Engine was brought over to North America with a lot of fanfare, and was expected by some to kick the pants off the Genesis - and why shouldn't it? It had a huge library of amazing games and scads of developers making games for it in Japan. It's a shame then that NEC, and later NEC + Hudson combined as TTI, couldn't make a go of it. The system received only mangled versions of the B-list Japanese games, and most A-list games were denied North American release by game companies unwilling to risk the wrath of Nintendo and the money machine that was the NES. Nintendo was ruthless, and the justified fear was allowing your game to be released on a competing console was essentially inviting disaster.
Amazingly NEC went on to release the TurboGrafx in Europe. The PAL version of the TG-16 is quite rare in the wild, though currently a few retailers have stacks of new unsold units available for a reasonable price. The PAL unit was the same as the TG-16, but for the colour which was a light grey compared to the TurboGrafx's black. It played the same games as the TG, used the same controllers and had the same expansion port. No one in Europe seems to recall this unit ever being on sale, and it could be that it was only released in Spain, though the manual is multi-language.
There was another.
Keith Courage was, insanely enough, shipped with the system, same as the TurboGrafx. At least in Europe they had the common sense to bundle Blazing Lazers, though it might have made more sense to include R-Type considering that was the game shown on the box. But I digress. The Keith Courage manual was completely translated into Korean, but included all the same art as the TG version. A crying shame considering how dreadful it is, and how good the PC Engine art was.
Keith Courage, Korean Style
This is a scan of the manual.
Click for larger.
Looks a bit like a WebTV or a cable-modem, doesn't it?
My unit included this PC-Engine adaptor. I don't know if it was an official peripheral, but I doubt it was.
The controller is a re-badged TG-16 pad, with an authentic replacement frontpiece, but only a sticker covering the raised text on the backside of the pad. It still says 'TurboGrafx 16' on the center of the pad.
If you know anything else about this system, please email me!