Sorry Mario, but the princess is a tomato

I have such a soft spot for weird little games.

The first time I saw Princess Tomato was in one of those video game hint books that gave mediocre tips for about 50 or so games. This was back when I wondered why Pennsylvania didn't speak a different language from New Jersey. The idea of video games form an entirely different country didn't quite get into my brain just yet.

I never did have this game as a child, though. One night in college I picked it out of my roommate's collection and decided to play it. With the help of a FAQ for the dungeon parts, I beat the game that night. After that I wished for a storm of games just like it. I enjoyed other games like Shadowgate, Déjà Vu and Uninvited, but I really preferred the charm and quirkiness of Princess Tomato.

Having only recently  begun my adventure in translating, I have a weird sense of envy for those who worked back in the NES era. With space limitations and censorship, it really called for a different kind of creativity than I see being necessary now. It seems like an interesting challenge to have to take a game with smoking, liquor and the occasional perverted humor and make it work with those limitations.

Not that I'm advocating censorship, of course.

The quirks of Princess Tomato still managed to shine in the English version and the Japanese was even more so. Doing a bit of googling and finding this, however, really blew my mind. I had no idea  this game was even older and had a different version on top of that. There are also scenes shown that are not in any of the NES versions, specifically the strawberry on the cross.

I wonder how I'd go about playing that these days.