TurboGrafx-16 RGB Mod

Posted March 28, 2014

I’m thrilled to have the TurboGrafx-16 back and playable. After all, this was the console that inspired the creation of this website. I only had it for a week, then sent it to Jason Rauch for an RGB mod due to its atrocious stock RF output. He wired up a Genesis 2 adapter, which connects to a custom SCART cable by retro_console_accessories. The image is now stable, sharp and colorful without bleeding, everything it wasn’t with RF.

After some quality time with Legendary Axe and Bonk’s Adventure, I impatiently threw in a Turbo Everdrive to sample the dozens of other games I’ve wanted to try, particularly Japanese releases which won’t play on the region-restricted TG16 without, of course, another mod. The US and Japanese libraries certainly offer a healthy amount of goodness. But finding a good condition PC Engine Duo-R would increase that by 417 games, region-free.  Finding one for less then $300 though could be a challenge.

I spent most of an evening playing through Blazing Lazers (Gunhed in Japan), a vertical shmup from 1989 by Compile, which was probably my first shooter. It was exactly as fun as I remembered,  beginning at a comfortable pace, becoming more frantic as you close in on its 9 levels. The TG16 seems to easily handle the fast moving sprites, optimistic soundtrack and sampled voices with almost zero slowdown, other than some muffled audio when rapid bonuses overlap too quickly. I’m pretty sure I was able to make it to the same level I did as a kid, which I guess given one night isn’t too bad, depending on how you look at it.

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