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VN of the Year 1980-1983 - Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken





The masterpieces of the year are:
1. Joshi Ryou Panic,
2. Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken,
3. Star Arthur Densetsu I ~Wakusei Mephius~,
4. Mio no Mystery Adventure,
5. Dezeni Land.
The VN of the year 1983 is Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken, because it introduced command selection that was used for many years to come. It's a huge step from text parser. There was another revolutionary game Star Arthur Densetsu that introduced point-and-click elements for the first time, but the main part remained with the text parser there.

1. Mission Asteroid 四次元少女リディア [80] Sierra Entertainment 1 2 3 4 5
Mission Asteroid (shown as Mission: Asteroid in the manual and on the title screen) is a graphic adventure game for the Apple II written by Ken and Roberta Williams and released in 1980 by On-Line Systems.It was later ported to the Atari 8-bit family and Commodore 64.
The game was released as Hi-Res Adventures #0, despite being released after Mystery House and Wizard and the Princess. It was meant as an introduction to the adventure game genre so it was made easier than the rest of Hi-Res Adventures games.
There are English reviews.
2. Lolita ロリータ [8212] PSK 1 2
Lolita: Yakyuuken is a simple video game adaptation of yakyuuken, a Japanese parlor game that is essentially strip rock-paper-scissors. The gameplay involves pressing one of the three numbered keys (1, 2 or 3) corresponding to the rock, paper and scissors moves of the game, trying to beat the opponent's choice. All this is done while seeing a drawing of a young girl. The girl removes an item of her clothing after each successful round, and the player wins the game when she is completely naked. The player character has five symbolic clothes items, i.e. losing five rounds leads to a Game Over.
Game is made by one person in a week as a hobby to show to friends.


3. Date Adventure デートアドベンチャー [8301] Micom City 
An adventure game that progresses in the form of text questions. 
For the most part it's text-only adventure. Not much is known, but it should be a simple game as other games from Micom City that vanished really fast.


4. Ninja Adventure 忍者アドベンチャー [8301] Micom City
An adventure game where you steal a secret book and sneak into an enemy mansion.
Again, mostly a text adventure.
5. Puzzle Adventure パズルアドベンチャー [8301] Micom City
An adventure game that progresses in the form of text questions.
The flow is meeting a guy, asking him a hint and moving on to another guy. Guys have very slight differences like moles, earrings etc, and asking guys in wrong order is immediate game over. There are 7 questions, but answers only to first 6 questions are given in the hints, so game is pretty much impossible to complete.
6. Seiko no Adventure 星子のアドベンチャー [8312] Enix
Space adventure where Seiko needs to solver several puzzles fast or go mad and get sent to a hospital.
First Enix game. There are some 10 scenes that you need to type the right answer, like open the hatch etc.
7. Genma Taisen 幻魔大戦 [8303] Ponyca
Game features battle scenes from the anime movie released the same year. 
Battles are done with just one button, but damage is random, so in one fight if you don't defeat opponent in one turn, it will be instant game over due to taking enormous amount of damage in return.
8. Happy Bushman ハッピーブッシュマン [8303] Ponyca
Main character is an African bushman who travels on foot and meets various animals and people.
A simple moving command type adventure, but with quite a few fun moments scattered around.
9. Mystery House ミステリーハウス [8304] Starcraft Co., Ltd. 1 2 3
Mystery House is a monochrome interactive fiction adventure game that places the player in a Victorian mansion with seven other people. As the player explores the mansion, he discovers that there is a killer murdering each guest one by one. The objective of the game is to figure out who the murderer is before the murderer finds the hero. Players explore and manipulate objects by typing in one or two-word phrases such as "north" or "get knife".
There are English reviews. Game is made in 1980 in the West, but Japanese remake dates back to 1983.
10. Wizard and the Princess 四次元少女リディア [8305] Starcraft Co., Ltd. 1 2 3 4 5
King George's daughter Priscilla has been kidnapped by an evil wizard named Harlin, who holds her in his castle. The King offers half of his kingdom to anyone who would venture into the faraway mountain land, enter the castle, defeat Harlin, and bring back the princess. Only one adventurer is brave enough to accept this challenge.
There are English reviews.
11. Lolita 2 ロリータ2 [8305] PSK 1
It is a very simple text-only adventure in which the protagonist must track young girls after school and have them perform various actions (a few of them of a remotely sexual nature). The sparse descriptions are in Japanese, but the text parser is English-only, recognizing the four directions (N, S, W and E) and a few basic commands such as "Look" and "Use". Much of the game is spent navigating the protagonist through the invisible, text-only maze by typing the directional commands. A few items must be found and used in order to complete the game.
It's more like a bunch of mini-games with CG as reward. The aim is actually to assault 10 girls and not be caught by the police officer.


12. Icarus イカロス [8305] Rastaman
A sequel to Odyssey game. In order to discover the phantom bird, Phoenix, main character goes to an adventure.
Quite a normal command input adventure, but luckily with hiragana introduced already.
13. Joshi Ryou Panic 女子寮パニック [8306] Enix
You infiltrate a girl's dormitory to try to find your kidnapped lover.
Game was innovative in a way that it did not have either command parser or command selection. It's just like modern visual novels - you select an action and game goes on to till the next branch. Game has time limit and multiple bad endings. That's a real masterpiece of its time.


14. Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken ポートピア連続殺人事件 [8306] Enix 1 2 3 4 5
Kouzou Yamakawa, the president of the Loan and Savings Company, was found dead inside his mansion. Despite all the evidence indicating that it was a suicide, a detective (i.e. you) and his assistant arrive at the scene for further investigation.
The player must resolve the mystery of a murder by searching for clues, interacting with characters, and solving item-based puzzles.
There are at least four English reviews of the game.


15. Oooku Maruhi Monogatari 大奥マル秘物語 [8307] Nihon Falcom
Main character is a female who comes to the inner chambers of Ooku castle in search of her master favor. She performs various tasks with the ultimate aim of giving birth to a child.
Game has both selection out of several variants close to modern visual novels and frequent command input sequences. The title has a huge "secret" sign encircled and actually it's really difficult to get what should be used where in this game.


16. Star Arthur Densetsu I ~Wakusei Mephius~ スターアーサー伝説 Ⅰ ~惑星メフィウス~ [8307] T&E SOFT Inc. 1 2 3
In 3826 Jamil leads an invasion against Galactic Federation and destroys one planet after another. The main character Star Arthur is searching for the legendary sword to crush Jamil's ambitions.
Game is beautiful enough and occupies as much as three floppy discs. Most of the time you need to break free from a prison or some other secluded area, like a desert. Command input is used.


17. Mio no Mystery Adventure ミオのミステリーアドベンチャー [8309] SystemSoft
You get caught in the rain and hide in the mansion. Upon entry you hear "I've got a present for you - It's your death!" Now you got to solve puzzles, defeat devil, the master of the house and find a way out.
Each room is a puzzle that needs to be solved with command input to proceed. There are also N S W E directions to keep in mind.


18. Kagiana Satsujin Jiken 鍵穴殺人事件 [8310] Thinking Rabbit
A strange request comes to Scotland Yard. Client Gilles Willcock receives a murder notice that's bound to happen at midnight. He calls out a detective, and seven people at the mansion wait nervously for escalation. Gilles locks him up at the second floor while detective hides in waiting at the first floor. At midnight gunshots are heard on the second floor, and a murder is seen through a keyhole. When detective finds the key and enters, there is no body. Mansion stuff and interior hide the keys to the mystery.
First game of Thinking Rabbit. The main feature is suspects interrogation that can be done at any time with different result depending on the game progress. It's very different from normal mansion room search. It's more of a mystery with emphasis on human relations.
19. Lolita Syndrome ロリータ・シンドローム [8310] Enix 1 2 3
Pretty girls live in the Maison Rolita. In order to make friends with the girls, you'll go play with them. They're waiting for you in rooms 1 through 5. Now, go into their rooms and play!
There's a good English review of it.


20. Dezeni Land デゼニランド [8312] Hudson Soft 1 2
The aim of the game is to find a legendary treasure hidden in the Dezeni Land amusement park and safely escape. The game features numerous areas in the amusement park.
There's a good English review of it.


21. Ooi! Kaguya-hime ~Kinuginu no Wakare~ おーい! かぐや姫 ~衣衣の別れ~ [8312] Ponyca 1
You're placed in a field of humongous bamboo filled with menacing birds. You might think the idea is to shoot the birds, but it isn't; instead, you have to shoot the proper section of bamboo before you run out of ammo or the birds hit you enough to end the game. Successfully clearing the stage causes the princess who is garbed in several layers of kimono to take one off.
The reward is erotic drawings. It's very surprising that instead of shooting birds you need to shoot proper section of bamboo and find princess there.


22. Star Arthur Densetsu II ~Ankoku Seiun~ スターアーサー伝説 Ⅱ ~暗黒星雲~ [8312] T&E SOFT Inc.
The story picks up where part one ended. You obtain the legendary sword. A hologram of a two thousand year old wise man sends you to Orion with the newly obtained weapon and your adventures on the way there take the whole game time.
It features recognition of four parts on the screen for point-and-click and also has 3D shooting sequences. It could not repeat the success of the original game though.


23. Shijigen Shoujo Ridia 四次元少女リディア [83] Champion Soft 1
You are a member of science object investigation team and are on a mission to investigate the mystery of Bermuda. You end up in a parallel world and continue investigation.
Game was shipped on 4 floppy drives. Stereoscopic glasses are included with it which are useful for some scenes. That's really innovative - Champion Soft makes a remarkable appearance at that time already.
24. Dasshutsu! Shi no Aokigahara 脱出!死の青木ケ原 [83] Luna Kikaku
Main character gets lost in Aokigahara forest. He needs to find his way back to the civilization.
Kind of normal moving adventure with occasional checking the map.
25. Nehan no Mori  涅槃の森 [83] CSK Research Institute
Early in the morning you went to explore mount Fuji and got lost. There are a lot of spirits there aiming to make you a resident of the Demon World. Escape from the demon world by using physical strength and intelligence.
Typical CSK game with huge drawing times and overall low number of screens, but difficult to figure commands.
26. Orly Kuukou Satsujin Jiken オルリー空港殺人事件 [83] Champion Soft
Kanae and Akina went to France for the first time abroad and got involved in a murder case. A Southern Tourist tour operator is killed, and Kanae follows victim's schedule from arrival to Paris till return.
Game has two phases - item search and investigation itself. Without properly finding all the items it will be impossible to go on during the main course of the game.
27. Wonder House ワンダーハウス [83] Task Forts Kouchi
The purpose of the game is to explore the house and find the treasure.
Ordinary mansion exploration game with the need to constantly to type look in different combinations.


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Interesting idea there, although it'll be going to be harder though since the number of VNs will definitely increased a lit if you want to review it up to 2017. Nonetheless, good luck though.

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I'd only hope to get to some October 2008 since the rest is mostly covered by Micchi. And I'm not going to go through well known works with great reviews, just to compare the obscure ones with them. Lots of work, still.

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