Do Dutch Wives Dream of Electric Eels? (Dark Age of JRPGs)

Do Dutch Wives Dream of Electric Eels? / Oranda Tsuma wa Denki Unagi no Yume Wo Miru ka? (オランダ妻は電気ウナギの夢を見るか?) - PC-88 / FM-7 (1984)

Most computer RPGs in the early days (and even in the modern era) are based around some fantasy or swords and sorcery universe. Yet that wasn’t entirely the case – see Danchizuma no Yuuwaku, previously featured in this column. This game here, Oranda Tsuma wa Denki Unagi no Yume Wo Miru ka? (オランダ妻は電気ウナギの夢を見るか?), is the successor to that game, another entry in Koei’s “Strawberry Porno Game Series”. It was released in November 1984 and both developed and published by Koei.

The title of this game translates to “Do Dutch Wives Dream of Electric Eels?” Two things to note: “dutch wife” is the Japanese term for a sex doll, and the title is a reference to the Phillip K. Dick story “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”, the basis for the movie Blade Runner.

The game is half RPG, half adventure game. The story is that some advanced sex dolls, code name North Pole #6, have become sentient and are masquerading around the city as real women. Your goal is to find them.  At least, that’s inasmuch as any internet guide can figure out, which mostly consist of listing very vague memories from when the game was released.

What follows is NSFW.

The game begins with a dice roll to determine your stats: Strength, Agility, Intelligence, Physical Strength, and Vitality, as well as an indicator which determines how often enemies will appear.

The setting is Kabuki-cho, in Shinjuku, the major red light district in Tokyo. The area is divided into nine screens on a 3×3 grid. You begin in a different spot in the city every time you play, but the layout is the same. You can walk around with the numeric pad. Most actions are carried out by the function keys. You can press Enter to get a summary of what they all do. So let’s do that.

So the options include Look, Talk, and…Rape? Yikes. Yes, this is that type of game. Since you’re supposed to be finding a human-esque sex doll, one of the easiest ways to do this is by testing them first hand. You can do this to any of the female characters, which include schoolgirls and call girls. This will bring up “Fuck Mode”.

Here, the function keys determine your actions – F1 is lick, F2 is massage, F3 is pinch, F4 is to use a toy (if you have one) and F5 is to move your hips. An indicator in the upper right corner indicates the sexual intensity of you and the women. If you perform poorly, you’ll prematurely ejaculate, and the woman will get pissed off. This means she’ll take some of your cash and then leave. It seems to imply that the “rape” option is really closer to “proposition”, since all women in this game seem to be hookers, and are okay with anything you do as long as you can pay up. If not, you’ll usually get attacked afterwards by someone else.

Of course, you can’t just run around doing this willy nilly either. There are cops and yakuza around too, and they can and will engage you in combat. Here, again, the functions act as different attacks. I’ve never beaten anyone in combat, actually. Sometimes I end up facing the old guy cops, who seem to go down easily, but then more keep popping up and eventually wear me down.

You can also try to have sex with the male characters. On the map screen it’ll just call you an idiot. Try it on one of the male sex shop workers though and they’ll attack you.

Most of the stores in the city are either love hotels or sex toy shops. The game operates on a timer – one minute per move – and certain shops are open at different times of the day. Other areas include cafes, fast food joints and flower shops. The function keys also perform different commands. F2, F3 and F4 all determine the tone in how you talk to someone – carefully, normally, or threatening. F5 will seduce, F6 will fuck them (this is exactly what the help command reads – “fuck suru”), F7 to attack, F8 to run away, F9 to take (or eat) something, and F10 to give a present. You can buy flowers at the flower shop, or regain stamina buy eating food. Randomly, you’ll find a naked waitress at a cafe, whom you can also engage in coitus, if you’d like.

There are also telephone booths and banks scattered about. Apparently actually winning the game requires calling certain people at certain times. You can also get a PIN code to use at the bank, though inputting the wrong one four times will get the cops called on you.You can only enter love hotels by calling a certain phone number, which are found on certain phone booths. This will schedule an appointment, but the location of the love hotel is randomized every time you call. You only have thirty minutes to reach the hotel, and considering there are eight across the entire city, it’s impossible to reach most of them in the time limit. So, you have to keep calling and calling them until they schedule a meetup at one of the hotels nearby.

The visuals were created by Yoichi Erikawa, one of the founders of Koei. According to a 2007 Forbes report, him and his wife (and co-founder) Keiko Erikawa have a net worth of $780 million. It probably says something about the early PC gaming industry that one of the richest people in Japan found their start developing games focused on raping random people in the streets. Nonetheless, it’s regarded as something of a bizarre cult classic amongst the Japanese PC gaming retro scene.


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