NEC PC-8801

From The VG Resource Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

The NEC PC-8801 is a Japanese home computer manufactured from 1981 to 1989 by NEC, serving as a successor to the PC-8001. Many well-known companies produced titles for the system over time, with bigger games released later into the system's life requiring the use of multiple game discs. It was later succeeded by the NEC PC-9801.

All games released for the PC-8801 use pixels that are one wide and two high, and inverse of what popular English computers such as the Commodore 64 and Amstrad CPC used in the majority of their games. To hide this, scanlines were used to mask the taller pixels (a feature also available on most emulators for the computer and it's successor). Games are limited to eight colors on-screen at a time, with most opting for the traditional 8-color RGB palette. Certain games, however, replace these eight colors with other colors.

Suggested Emulators


M-88 is currentely the best standalone emulator for the PC-88 on Windows computers, it includes save state functionality with 10 save slots for each game as well as a screenshot function. However, it does not include other quality of life features common in other emulators such as a quick screenshot key or a pause and frame-by-frame advancing key. Screenshots can be saved with Alt + F2, but they must be individually named before saving.

Some games only run in either V1 or V2 mode, adjusted through the "Control" drop-down. Also present in the drop-down is the "Configure" menu. Unfortunately, it is in Japanese, making it difficult for non-Japanese players to work through it. The main elements to take note in the Configure menu are the MHz setting in the first "CPU" tab (some games require as low as 3 MHz and as high as 20) and the kHz setting under the third tab from the left, which should be set to 44kHz except under rare circumstances.


An emulator with similar functionality to the M-88, though it lacks save state and screenshot functions altogether, forcing the use of the Print Screen key to capture and save screenshots. It also enables scanlines by default.