A new guide. How to run emulators and other programs in Wine with Japanese characters.

Hi guys, I’ve decided to write a new guide to help with something that I haven’t found a complete guide for. How to run Japanese programs (especially old emulators) while using Japanese characters inside of them and displaying them correctly. It’s not impossible, but to do so I had, at the time, put together various sources, so I have now written a small guide to spare you the hassle and help other fellow *nixers and Mac users around the world.

You can read the guide here.

Expect other updates soon!

An actual update: HTML listings added!

Hello my loyal friends…it’s been a while, uhm? But I’ve got a good update to report to you all. With a bit of work (and spare time) I wrote a small program capable to transform the old .txt listings for the various emulated machines (NEC PC-60,NEC PC-88 and Fujitsu FM-Towns) on html tables, without all the hassle of dealing with different (and sometimes, very old and obscure) character encodings, easily rendered automatically by the browser.

Thus, I created (and uploaded) an html table for each of the old txt files (which I’ve left on the site for who may need them). Also, I wrote another small program to easily create new listings from scratch.

Many of you have asked me, during these years , infos about those listings. Bear in mind that many of them are now old and have been surpassed by the new collections, mostly the excellent Neo Kobe ones, which are much more complete and are way less messy than the old ones. I plan to create listings for those too and when I’ll do I’ll add them to the site. See you soon with more updates, writings, music and news!

PS by the way, if you’re wondering, the screenshot is taken from the excellent adventure game Policenauts, sequel to the infamous Snatcher. The PSX version has been ported to English, so if you haven’t done so yet, give it a shot!

Music of the Week – The Coffinshakers – Last Night Down By The Grave

Hello guys, it’s time to return to some more “traditional” sounds here on Illusion City. This week we’ll be listening to some very good gothic country, with the excellent Swedish band the Coffinshakers, who rode out in the night from the late ’90s and the late ’00s. The group’s trademark is Rob Coffinshaker’s (who also had a short solo career) deep, soulful and very Johnny Cash’s like vocals and gloomy lyrics, full of sinister passions and dark romance.
This video, the only official one I know, is taken from the band’s second (and last) full length, “The Coffinshakers” released by Cobra Records in 2007. Enjoy this late night stroll!

 

Music of the Week – b l u e s c r e e n – Strangers

Time for some more vaporwave, before switching to other kinds of music in the next entries…this week we’ll listen to (and watch) a very promising underground artist in the genre, the Australian blue screen (or b l u e s c r e e n, both spellings are used). This is the single “Strangers” off his 2016 album, 毛唐, on the Sunset Grid records, a label specialized in Australian vaporwave. A piece that nails the hypnotic, introspective and trippy side of the genre very well, created by a very young artist. Well done!

Another notable blue screen’s release is net garden, which along with 毛唐, is fully listenable on the label’s youtube channel (which is the source for the Strangers video too).

Enjoy!

Music of the Week – Vaporgrave (feat QuadratoX) – Gomennasai

Hello my friends, it’s been a while…I’m still busy as before, but maybe I’ll find some more time to dedicate to the site in July.

For now, let’s dwelve a bit in the new musical landscapes that have surfaced in the last years, some kind of bastard grandchild of new wave and post punk.

After taking a peek at Synthwave with Perturbator in the entry before, now we’ll take a peek at Vaporwave, maybe the most surrealistic, nostalgic and related to the retro-pc passion that has some space in this site too. :)

A full take on what Vaporwave is would be too long for this post, the same for it’s numerous ramifications. Being a genre born and alive on the net, it’s quite fragmented and discontinue. Let’s say that Vaporwave, at it’s basic level, sits on the contradictions of the post-2000 years, between disgust for what the society has become (materialistic, fragmented, full of insecurity etc) because of capitalism and a form of nostalgia for the early years of the neo liberalism boom: the Eightes, in which the commodities of the contemporaneity where surfacing (the first computers, phones, mass television, hedonism etc) but in which a blink of creativity, freedom and rebellion survived also.

So Vaporwave dwelve in the paradox of appreciating some of these early forms and feeling a nostalgia for them (often a nostalgia of a time that who creates the music never lived, since Vaporwave is a genre often created by people that were born in the ’90s)  and a deep rejection and depression for what they have slowly brought into the world, the world in which we live in. There is a strong appreciation towards Japanese and anime culture too, because of it’s distance, overall weirdness and being often introspective and lonely.

Having said that, I’m happy to post a collaboration between one of the best artist and producers, Vaporgrave from LA and an european artist, QuadratoX “☒” . The title “ごめんなさい” spells “gomennasai” in Latin characters and means “I’m sorry”, and so am I for the scarcity of updates. See you!

Music of the Week – Perturbator – Sentient

Summer is drawing nearer and nearer every day! So time for some more new music in the wave scene…time for Perturbator which is becoming famous for his horror and sci-fi themed synth music. Sometimes the genre it’s called synthwave or retrowave, but the naming is still quite not definite in these new scenes. For sure along with the vaporwave one (which I’ll cover here, one day or another) it’s among the hottest sub-genres inside the great synth cauldron.

This track is a single off Perturbator’s “Uncanny Valley” album. Enjoy!

Music of the Week – Microchip Terror – Manufactured Existence

Hi my friends…it’s time for some new music! Microchip Terror is an excellent synthwave band, which has just released a new album, the very good “Illegal Experiments”. Heavily influenced by the atmospheres, themes and tones of ’80s horror and sci-fi cinema, they chunk out a very interesting blend of old and new sounds. Also, they love a lot Lucio Fulci’s OSTs…they even covered a song off one of his most famous movies in their previous EP.

Enjoy!

Music of the Week – Toxic Reasons – Party’s Over

Hi guys! I hope you have spent an happy Easter! Time to post some more new music here…
Today is the turn of Toxic Reasons. A very influential and original band of the American branch the Hardcore genre, they incorporated a lot of different styles into theirs, from reggae a-la Clash to classical rock and from quasi new-wavish sounds to the classic full frontal assault typical of the HC music. Lyrically, they are again quite original and don’t focus only on the angst of youth or political struggle.

If you are curious, try to listen the excellent 1984 album “Within these walls”, from which this song is taken. I managed to find on youtube only the re-recorded version for the US version of their next album, “Bullets for you” (1986) issued by the legendary Alternative Tentacles of Jello Biafra’s fame.

This song is an excellent mid-tempo track about not letting go and finding a new way. I’ll copy the lyrics from the folder down here:

Lyrics:

Last night as I lay in bed
I looked inside a drunken head
And what I saw I didn’t like
I was a loser and I’d lost the fight
When I woke up in the morning
Looked upon a new horizon
Vowed never to go back in the past
Keep my head and make it last

I’m a wanderer and I don’t have a home
I’m a modern day gypsy not tied to anyone

Party party party that’s we all we ever do
And when we come to your town
We’ll probably party with you
I hope you don’t mind if I don’t party anymore
Because all this party has become a real bore

I’m a wanderer and I don’t have a home
I’m a modern day gypsy not tied to anyone
The party’s over now!

Music of the Week – Wumpscut – Hang Him Higher

Recently I’ve been exploring with interest the main EBM artist and I quickly found the wumpscut’s name among the best. I’ve listened something by him many years ago, when the genre didn’t interest me, without going deeply and now, finally, I took some time to listen and understand his art.
It’s surely among the most original and interesting artists of the genre. Usually EBM isn’t a very sophisticated genre, it’s goal usually is different from introspection, but wumpscut have some great melodic quality in his music and the ability to invoke some of the base experiences and emotions of humanity, keeping a simple form but not without qualities or depth. His lyrics have an impersonal and powerful feeling, with a stir of melancholy and loss. Very very interesting. One of his main topics seems to be the nostalgia for some sort of paradise lost, previous to life. The most acute readers can see in this an echo of the Oedipal myth and the struggle between the will to live and to die with the ambiguity of the human experience. Without going this far, I found his music to resonate and stir some old questions and emotions in the listener. Not an easy or a banal task…
The track I’m presenting you, “hang him higher”, is a fine example of what I’ve written, dealing with the hopelessness and desire for justice and revenge. Enjoy :)

New build of M88 available

Hi guys, a little update on the PC88 emulation front. Thanks to the effort of the dedicated Anna Wu, now the latest unofficial build (dated 23 February 2018) is now available in English. You can get it in the PC88 page.