Computer role-playing games (CRPGs), often shortened to simply role-playing games (RPGs), are a type of video or computer game that traditionally use gameplay elements found in paper-and-pencil role-playing games. Modern RPG games encompass a wide range of styles and types of engines and have significantly branched out.
An important early Japanese RPG was Bokosuka Wars, originally released for the Sharp X1 computer in 1983 and later ported to the NES in 1985. The game's success in Japan was responsible for laying the foundations for the tactical role-playing game subgenre, or the "simulation RPG" as it is known in Japan, with its blend of role-playing and strategy video game elements. The game revolves around a leader who must lead his army against overwhelming enemy forces, while recruiting soldiers along the way and with each unit able to gain experience and level up through battle. The game is also considered to be an early example of a real-time, action RPG. Another important title released that same year was Koei's Nobunaga's Ambition for Japanese computers in 1983. It was an early attempt at combining role-playing, turn-based grand strategy and management simulation elements, setting the standard for future simulation RPGs. This trend continued with its sequels and other Koei games such as 1989's Bandit Kings of Ancient China as well as the Capcom game Destiny of an Emperor released that same year.
- Bokosuka Wars. Virtual Console. Nintendo. Retrieved on 2011-05-16 (translation)
- Bokosuka Wars. GameSpot.
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- Vestal 1998a, p. "Other NES RPGs"