PC 98 is a series of personal computers developed by NEC in Japan from 1982 to 2003. They were popular for their advanced graphics and sound capabilities, as well as their large library of games and software. However, due to their proprietary hardware and software, they are not compatible with standard PC emulators.
Fortunately, there are some emulators that can run PC 98 games and software, such as Neko Project 2 and Anex86. However, these emulators require BIOS ROMs from the original PC 98 machines to function properly. BIOS ROMs are files that contain the basic input/output system of the computer, which is responsible for booting up and initializing the hardware.
BIOS ROMs can be obtained from various sources online, such as Archive.org , but they may not be legal to download depending on your country’s laws. Therefore, it is recommended that you dump your own BIOS ROMs from a real PC 98 machine if you own one. You will need a device that can read and write EPROM chips, such as an EPROM programmer or a universal adapter.
To dump your own BIOS ROMs, you will need to open up your PC 98 machine and locate the BIOS chips on the motherboard. They are usually labeled with numbers such as 23c256 or 23c128. You will need to remove them from their sockets and insert them into your EPROM device. Then, you will need to use a software that can read and write EPROM data, such as EPROM Programmer or UV-EPROM Eraser. You will need to save the data from each chip as a separate file with a .bin extension.
Once you have your BIOS ROMs, you will need to place them in the appropriate folder of your emulator. For example, Neko Project 2 requires the BIOS ROMs to be in the np2/bios folder. You may also need to rename the files according to the emulator’s specifications. For example, Neko Project 2 requires the files to be named FONT.ROM, FONT2.ROM, FONT3.ROM, etc.
After placing your BIOS ROMs in the correct folder, you can launch your emulator and load your PC 98 games and software. You should be able to enjoy the classic PC 98 experience on your modern computer.
Some Popular PC 98 Games and Software
PC 98 had a rich and diverse library of games and software, ranging from genres such as adventure, role-playing, simulation, strategy, shooting, puzzle, and more. Some of the most popular and influential PC 98 games and software include:
Touhou Project: A series of bullet hell shoot ’em up games created by ZUN, featuring a cast of colorful characters and a complex lore based on Japanese mythology and folklore. The Touhou Project is one of the most prolific and fan-supported game franchises in Japan, with numerous spin-offs, fan games, music, manga, anime, and merchandise.
YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of this World: A visual novel adventure game developed by ELF Corporation, featuring a branching storyline with multiple endings and a time travel mechanic. The game is considered to be one of the pioneers of the genre, and has influenced many other games such as Steins;Gate and Zero Escape.
Rusty: A platform action game developed by C-Lab, featuring a female vampire hunter named Rusty who battles against various monsters and bosses in a Gothic setting. The game is known for its high difficulty level and its resemblance to the Castlevania series.
Brandish: A series of action role-playing games developed by Nihon Falcom, featuring a top-down perspective with a rotating camera that changes the direction of the screen. The games are set in a fantasy world where the protagonist, a swordsman named Varik, explores dungeons and fights enemies while searching for a way to escape from a cursed land.
NEC Interchannel: A software suite developed by NEC that allowed users to connect their PC 98 machines to the Internet via dial-up modem. The software included features such as email, chat, bulletin board system, online shopping, news, weather, and more. NEC Interchannel was one of the first Internet service providers in Japan, and was popular among PC 98 users.