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Battle City (NES)

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Title Screen

Battle City

Developer: Tomcat System
Publisher: Namco
Platform: NES
Released internationally: June 18, 2020 (Namco Museum Archives Vol. 2)
Released in JP: September 9, 1985

DevMessageIcon.png This game has a hidden developer message.
CopyrightIcon.png This game has hidden developer credits.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
ItemsIcon.png This game has unused items.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.

The Famicom Battle City is an enhanced port of the arcade game Tank Battalion. Despite never officially releasing outside of Japan until 2020, it's managed to grow a sort of cult following internationally (especially in Russia) thanks to being included on tons of bootleg multicarts and Famiclone Plug & Plays.

Easter Egg

Bc openr.gif

At the title screen, select "CONSTRUCTION" on the menu. Press Start on Controller 1 to enter the mode, then press it again to return back to the title screen. Repeat this seven times. After the seventh enter-and-exit, hold Down on Controller 1 and press A eight times on Controller 2. Finally, hold Right on Controller 1 and press B 12 times on Controller 2.

After all of this, press Start on Controller 1 to activate a secret message from a programmer with a little animation.

OPEN-REACH most likely refers to the late Ryoichi Ohkubo. Reach sounds a bit like Ryoichi, as well as Reach and Open being moves in the board game Mahjong.

Memory Watch

Battle City (J)-1.png

Game Genie code IIOKYXAZ enables an in-game memory watch function at the upper side of the screen. It allows you to watch the CPU's zero page memory area, i.e. the first 256 bytes of the RAM. Although there are two three-digit hex numbers, the left one is never used. B and Select increase and decrease the address, respectively.

Pressing A should increase the address by 0x10, but as a side effect of this Game Genie code it instead results in permanent stage completion. There were CHR fonts for the lowercase letters "a", "b", "c", and "d" after the numbers, but they were rewritten with some other data and only "e" and "f" remain. As a result, some numbers are displayed incorrectly.

Unused Graphics

Battle City NES - Unused Pistol.PNG

This pistol powerup is found among the others in the sprite data. Judging by its design, it was presumably going to upgrade your tank's shot somehow.

Unused Text

Present near the beginning of the ROM:


Hidden Kanji

Bc msg.png

Present at the end of the PRG-ROM is some small ASCII art. The art has six kanji combined in two groups by three kanji: two small ones at the top, one large one at the bottom of each group. The two groups of kanji read "大久保" ("Ookubo") and "宇田川" ("Utakawa"; can also be read as "Utagawa", "Udakawa", or "Udagawa").

The first one is the last name of the game's programmer, Ookubo Ryouichi, while the second is a street name in Tokyo. At the time of the game's development, Tomcat System had its headquarters in Utakawa. Today, there exists an entertainment complex called the "NAMCO INTI SHIBUYA". It could also be Haruhisa Udagawa, who was a developer at Namco.