The Rarest & Most Valuable PC Engine/TurboGrafx 16 Games

Rare and Valuable TurboGrafx Games

About this series: In stark contrast to the Cheapest Games series, this Rare & Valuable series will round up the rarest and most valuable games for a given console or handheld so you’ll know what to look for whether you are buying or selling.

In this round-up of collectible games, we will be taking a look at the TurboGrafx-16 and it’s Japanese counterpart, the PC Engine.   Rounding up accurate pricing for the PC Engine/TurboGrafx is significantly tougher than most of the other systems we have covered in the past, as the PC Engine market is relatively small these days.  The collectors in the PC Engine community are also much more inclined to buy, sell, and trade amongst themselves as opposed to using eBay or similar services.  To help out, we have scoured some of the hardcore TG16 community forums (a special thanks to the folks at pcenginefx.com) to survey what collectors have paid and sold their most valuable pieces for.   It is also worth noting that the price ranges vary a bit more in this lineup as the high-end usually is due to eBay inflation, while the hardcore community prices usually stay a bit more conservative.

Valuable Japanese Standard Releases

Darius Alpha Cover Darius Alpha: $350 – $1400
Hu-Card
Even though Sapphire (see below) usually steals some of the attention due to its graphical flair,  Darius Alpha is actually the one of the rarest PC Engine games and can sometimes be considered the most expensive Japanese release.  Originally, in order to get their hands on this rarity, Japanese PC Engine owners had to purchase the Hu-Card the Super CD version of Darius Plus and then send in the coupons from the manuals to enter themselves in a drawing.  The first 800 names drawn in the competition were awarded the Darius Alpha Hu-Card. In addition, some copies of the game were distributed as prizes by magazines such as PC Engine Gekken and Marakatsu.
Check for Darius Alpha on eBay
Sapphire PC Engine Cover Ginga Fukei Densetsu: Sapphire: $300-$1000
Super CD
Hudson’s shooters are always well-received, whether developed by Hudson themselves or gifted contractors. This legendarily-expensive Turbo Duo game isn’t overly challenging, but it will impress you with its technical prowess. As a late-era Turbo-Duo import that makes the most a massive RAM expansion to provide plenty of frames of animation for the game’s colorful sprites and lots of background tiles.   The graphical lure and the exclusivity of the title to the PC Engine has kept the demand for Sapphire extremely high over the years.  Some knock-off/pirate runs were also made and are circulating around on eBay and other places (usually for far lower prices), meaning this title is relatively attainable, but originals are not very common.
Check for Ginga Fukei Densetsu: Sapphire on eBay
Bazaru De Gozaru No Game De Gazaru Cover Bazaru De Gozaru No Game De Gozaru: $150 – $350
Super CD
This puzzle game with a monkey hero is probably one of the least-know games on the list, but it’s quite hard to find and typically brings in some serious cash when it shows up.  It was released in July of 1996 (three years after US TG16 releases dried up) — making it one of the last licensed retailed PC Engine releases, so it’s not surprising that it had a pretty low print run.
Check for Bazaru De Gozaru No Game De Gozaru on eBay
Slphia PC Engine Cover Sylphia: $100 – $240
Super CD
It’s no secret that the PC Engine is one of the best consoles for 2D shooter fans and Slyphia is just the third shooter on this list.  This shmup from Compile had a very limited print run and it seems that most of the copies have ended up in the hands of collectors who aren’t looking to sell anytime soon.   Most Compile fans will agree that Sylphia isn’t ones of their best releases, but that hasn’t stopped the collectors from paying good money for it.
Check for Sylphia on eBay
Dracula X PC Engine Cover Akumajou Dracula X: Chi no Rondo: $100 – $185
Super CD-ROM²
Chi no Rondo is not only one of the best Castlevania games of all time, but it was probably one of the most impressive games released for the PC Engine in Japan. Dracula X introduced Richter and Maria, as well as the new graphical style and fluid animations Castlevania games would employ for years to come. Many of the enemy graphics in SoTN came directly from Dracula X with little modification. This is because the PC Engine game went all out with great graphics and an incredible level of animation.  If this game had been translated and released earlier in the US (it has since shown up on the PSP and Wii Virtual Console) it could have brought more fans and revenue to the tail end of the TG-16’s life.
Check for Akumajou Dracula X: Chi no Rondo on eBay

Valuable North American Standard Releases

Magical Chase USA TurboGrafx Cover Magical Chase: $500 – $2000
TurboChip
Magical Chase is a side-scrolling shooter in which you play a witch on a broomstick (yup, pretty similar to Cotton).  The soundtrack is solid, but thanks to some wonderful feats of programming, the graphics really shine on Magical Chase. Colorful and fast moving, the sprites and animations are great, not to mention lots of other special graphical effects.  It’s rather interesting that the US release was so limited and slightly reprogrammed considering it was a beautiful accomplishment.
Check for Magical Chase on eBay
The Dynastic Hero USA TurboGrafx Cover The Dynastic Hero: $300 – $500
Super CD
Even thought Magical Chase gets most of the attention due to its high resale value, The Dynastic Hero is said to be one of the absolute hardest TurboGrafix title to track down.   However, The Dynastic Hero is actually a slightly-rebranded version of Wonder Boy in Monster World (Master System/Genesis) with pallete-swapped visuals (think Doki Doki Panic vs North America’s Super Mario Bros. 2).   The Dynasitic Hero was also one of the very last North American releases — Bonk 3 was released just a bit later, but understandably, had a higher print run.
Check for The Dynastic Hero on eBay
Super Air Zonk TurboGrafx Cover Super Air Zonk: Rockabilly Paradise: $200 – $380
Super CD
This second installment of the high-quality shmup reboot of the Bonk series is one of the most accessible, stylish, and enjoyable shmups on the TG16, so it isn’t a huge surprise that is remains in demand.  It was also one of the final handful of North American releases.
Check for Super Air Zonk: Rockabilly Paradise on eBay
Bonk 3 TurboGrafx CD Cover Bonk 3: Bonk’s Big Adventure: $200 – $300
Super CD
The third game in the trademark series, Bonk’s Big Adventure, brought 2 player simultaneous action to the Bonk universe and was released in both TurboChip and Super CD format (with differences between the two being the inclusion of a CD soundtrack and some 4-player vs minigames for the latter format).  It is also worth mentioning that Bonk 3 is the last Super CD release in the US (right after Super Air Zonk).
Check for Bonk 3 (Super CD) on eBay
Bonk 3 TurboGrafx Cart Cover Bonk 3: Bonk’s Big Adventure: $150 – $250
TurboChip
Much like its Super CD counterpart, Bonk 3 was also the last TurboChip released in the US (August 1993 — right after Magical Chase was released in July 1993)
Check for Bonk 3 (Turbo Chip) on eBay
Might and Magic III TurboGrafx Cover Might and Magic III – Isles of Terra: $125 – $225
Super CD
This installment from the classic RPG series was the second one to surface on the TurboGrafx, but its late release in October of 1993 in the US saw to it that this release would be rather scarce.   Considering that the game has been released on a handful of other platforms, this is pretty much a pure collector’s piece.
Check for Might and Magic III on eBay
Beyond Shadowgate TurboGrafx Cover Beyond Shadowgate: $150 – $220
Super CD
An adventure game (King’s Quest style) that was supposedly in co-development for the PC, but eventually became a TurboGrafx exclusive.  This little gem includes lots of good puzzles and an incredible number of interesting ways to die. Beyond Shadowgate is a creative and truly under-exposed entry in the adventure genre that most genre fans will love.  Of course, being a late release in 1993 also contributed to having a relatively small print run.
Check for Beyond Shadowgate on eBay
Dungeon Explorer II TurboGrafx Cover Dungeon Explorer II: $130 – $200
Super CD
This sequel to the popular TG16 action RPG was a late release in 1993 and ended up being a TurboGrafx exclusive.
Check for Dungeon Explorer II on eBay
Terraforming TurboGrafx Cover Syd Mead’s Terraforming: $120 – $185
Super CD
This shooter has average gameplay but some interesting visual design. The game has good music and adopts a pre-rendered graphical style with designs by futurist Syd Mead, who is responsible for the backdrops of productions like Blade Runner, Time Cop, and Star Trek.  Terraforming was also the last Super CD release in the US right after Sherlock Holmes 2  and Buster Bros.
Check for Syd Mead’s Terraforming on eBay
Soldier Blade TurboGrafx Cover Soldier Blade: $80 – $180
TurboChip
The Star Soldier releases are fun, vertical scrolling, challenging shooters that should appeal greatly to people who long for a time when shooters weren’t just tedious exercises in dodging patterned bullet spreads.  The series typically have some of the best graphics from any TurboChip shooters.   Soldier Blade changed the weapon system completely from Super Star Soldier and upped the ante with equally impressive graphics and better music. The bosses are probably the high point of Soldier Blade.   Soldier Blade wasn’t a especially late release (1992) and isn’t quite as rare as most of the games on this list, but it’s one of the best TG16 exclusives out there, so it’s always in demand.
Check for Soldier Blade on eBay

Additional Games of Value

Japanese Standard Releases

  • Gunhead Special Version (Hu-Card): $90 – $180
  • Renny Blaster (Super CD): $90 – $175
  • Kaze Kiri (Super CD): $90-160
  • Magical Chase (Hu-Card): $90 – $130
  • Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari (Super CD): $90 – $125
  • Tatsujin (Hu-Card): $95 – $105
  • Faussete Amour (Super CD): $90 – $105
  • Cotton (Super CD): $80 – $100
  • Darius II (Super CD): $90 – $95
  • Fiend Hunter (Super CD): $80 – $85
  • XAK III (Super CD): $75 – $80
  • Steam Hearts (Super CD): $70 – $80
  • Terraforming (Super CD): $50 – $80
  • Ai Chouaniki (Super CD): $70 – $74

US Standard Releases

  • Local Girls of Hawaii (Super CD): $90 – $145
  • Bikini Girls (Super CD): $90 – $145
  • Godzilla (Super CD): $85 – $120
  • Air Zonk: $50 – $100
  • Dead Moon (TurboChip): $45 – $100
  • Legend of Hero Tonma: $30 – $100
  • Loom (Super CD): $20 – $85
  • Dragon Slayer (Super CD): $35 – $84
  • Vasteel (Super CD): $70 – $80
  • Y’s I & II with original map (Super CD): $20 – $65
  • Bomberman ’93 (TurboChip): $35 – $55
  • Splatterhouse (TurboChip): $34 – $53
  • Exile Wicked Phenomenom (Super CD): $37 – $51

23 Comments

  1. Bossman says:

    Wow, great article. Shame is my parents tossed some of these while I was in college years ago. I don’t think I can afford to replace all these.

    I’d still love to play some of the ones I have missed though.

  2. Mike says:

    Under ‘Us Standard Releases’ it says Y’s I & II with original map. What do we mean by ‘original map’? Are their two different versions of the game, or is ‘original map’ a physical piece of paper that comes with the game?

  3. crux says:

    Worth mentioning that Darius Alpha is an enhanced title for the SuperGrafx. It’s backwards compatible with the PC Engine, but has (much) improved graphics with the SuperGrafx.

    Also, though the article does mention the reprogramming of Magical Chase, it doesn’t really go into the scope of the reprogramming or why it adds so much value to the game (as opposed to The Dynastic Hero, for instance). Though the gameplay of both regions of the game are almost identical, the graphics received a huge overhaul in the American version. The foregrounds and backgrounds are different, as well as many of the enemies and even the shop. Same game, but very different graphics. It definitely has led to the allure of the American version.

    Here’s a video of a side-by-side comparison of the Japanese and American Magical Chase: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbDWWhW2kSo

    Great write up, all in all.

  4. James Reefer says:

    The only game I heard of is Darius, but for some reason I don’t remember it for the TG-16. Bonk is a rarity to me also, the 1st one…someday I’ll put on the internet my rarest Turbo Graphx 16 games, a taste of what it’ll include; Legendary Axe 2.

  5. Luke says:

    Nice list. I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled for TG-16 games when I’m out retro hunting

  6. hobie-wan says:

    Man, I knew I’d lucked out with my loose US Air Zonk I picked up for $25, but I didn’t realize Dead Moon was that valuable too. I scored that with book in a proper case that’s just missing the edge label for about $20.

  7. racketboy says:

    Mike: that just means it still has the map that the game came with. A lot of gamers don’t remember to keep the map around, so it’s a little harder to find, but adds a significant amount to the resale value.

    Crux: thanks so much for that additional info! I didn’t know a lot of that — I’ll have to work that into the revisions!

  8. BlackDS says:

    Well, another reason Darius Alpha is so expensive is that It can be played on the PC engine, yet it was sold and advertised as a Supergrafx game. So it was in Supergrafx supply (almost none), yet in PC engine demand (Millions of people)

  9. Brandon says:

    Great list! You guys do such an amazing job here.

    One thing though, just to keep anyone from scouring eBay for something that doesn’t exist… As far as the US release of Ys I & II goes… It’s not a SuperCD (just a regular TurboGrafx-CD) and there was no map included.

  10. Rurouni_Fencer says:

    Ys: Books I & II was released twice: once as a stand-along title for the TG16 CD, and also as a pack-in title with the Turbo Duo. The original boxed, stand-alone version came with a black and white map, but I’m pretty sure the Turbo Duo pack-in copy did not. Hope this clears things up!

  11. Brandon says:

    Ah, my bad. There must have been several runs, because I’m pretty sure the stand-alone copy of Ys Books I & II I picked up in 1990 didn’t come with a map. I see that there’s a copy of Ys on eBay with the map, and the map doesn’t look familiar at all.

  12. Mathius says:

    I was waiting for a write-up on this subject. The only game that I have on here outside of the honorable mentions is Dracula X. I will never be one to sell off my collection and I intend to keep collecting (and playing), so one day I will hopefully be able to enjoy some if these classics. Thanks guys!

  13. Rommy667 says:

    Great read,the I play most of these on xbox1 using the pc engine emu its great and a Lot cheaper to boot :)

  14. Gabbahey says:

    Great list! I traded Air Zonk and New Adventure Island for a famicom and a few bootleg games about 4 years ago. I used to think I got a great deal but it now looks like a pretty fair trade.

  15. Damian says:

    What about Gradius 2 Gopher – Seem to recall a friend paying megabucks for that back in the 90’s

  16. Jason says:

    I still have my turbo grafx 16 system with cdplayer and games including bomberman. I never thought it would be worth money. I also have the multi controller adapter.

  17. jimmy flahive says:

    hoe much is a mvp baseball 2004 for pc 2 cds with no scratches worth?

  18. mike h says:

    lucky me i have every game for the us version for the turbo grafx 16 first set ive ever compleated

  19. jacob says:

    I was at a outdoor flea market, and this guy had Magical Chase buried under loads of VHS tapes. I found it in an empty VideoPort case. I got it for 50 cents. I had no idea how much it was worth until I saw this, I had it for 2 years before I finally knew.

    Still in shock

  20. Alisha says:

    I recently found a turbographx console with everything with it. I have some games also. How do I find out what the console is worth?

  21. Kike says:

    You probably should include Bomberman ’94 Taikenban.

  22. Ozzy_98 says:

    Beyond Shadowgate’s moved up a lot last year or two, it’s pushing 400+ last few sold. Bonk 3 CD also has gone up a lot, but the turbo chip version isn’t too bad. Most other games have gone up a lot since this was published, but that ones made a heck of a leap.

    Also seeing Dragon Slayer at $250+ now Think maybe because others of the series made it to America on PSP.

  23. Anonygoose says:

    I bought a TG 16 collection from a guy a few weeks ago with almost 40 games (35 CIB). The seller approached me as I always advertise retro games for sale on classifieds sites and saw an ad and decided to contact me to give it a shot. He said he’s moving to a different country and his wife is nagging about all the junk he has and he needed to get rid of it.

    I’ve heard of the console before but never really owned one. I looked it up on eBay and I thought I was getting an amazing deal for the whole lot for only $200. Great titles were included like Air Zonk, Bonk, Splatterhouse, Parasol Stars and many more.

    The TG is an incredibly underrated console with so many good games. I enjoyed testing and playing every game. I later decided that I should sell a couple of the repeated games just to cover the cost and add the rest of the lot to my personal collection.

    I decided I should price each game based on past eBay auctions to get a proper estimate on how much they sell for before putting some of them up for sell.

    I checked the first two games (New Adventure Island & Zonk) and was very happy to see that I can cover my cost by just selling these two alone. And then I come across one game and when I looked it up, I went into an immediate state of shock.

    It was Magical Chase, loose but manual included. Game and manual are in MINT condition.

    A loose copy sold in an auction on eBay for $2,000. I was f***ing stunned. CIB reached 5,000 in the past!

    I am still in shock at how one of the rarest and most sought after games just simply fell in my lap like that.

    tl;dr

    Never listen to your wife.