Battle Choice (バトルチョイス)is an unreleased Famicom game from Konami, developed around 1988. It was never publicly revealed in any magazines or advertised at all, and only became known to the public in 2015, revealed on the Konami Famicom Chronicle Vol. 3: ROM Cassette CD album from EGG Music. In addition to including its soundtrack, it also has some notes from the both the album producer and the composer, as found on Unseen 64, and translated below:
“The final songs on this album are an unexpected surprise and its biggest highlight – all of the songs from the unreleased game Battle Choice. It’s a fantasy game that most people didn’t even know existed, but in fact, the game was almost completed and ready to be released. As you can hear, the sound quality is impeccable. When creating this soundtrack album, we asked the person in charge of the sound at the time for more details.”
“Battle Choice is a fantasy-style simulation and action game based on shogi. Even though it has a fantasy flavor, it has a rather chaotic setting, with characters ranging from knights to high school girls in sailor suits. The stage progression is similar to shogi, in that players takes turns moving pieces on the board, but when the pieces touch each other, the action battle begins, and the winning piece remains on the board. The battles are basically fist fights, but the character abilities are adjusted based on their strength. If you defeat the king piece, you complete the stage. After beating the final stage, you see a simple ending.”
“I produced most of the songs by myself, from the BGM to the sound effects to the programming, even though I had only been with the company for about 2-3 months. It was difficult, but I remember that it was rewarding. I’m really embarrassed at how it turned out, though.”
The concept sounds a bit like the early 1980s game Archon, though the name is awfully reminiscent of Battle Chess.
In early November 2023, a sample ROM cassette popped up on Yahoo Auctions!, and ended at 2,401,000 yen (a bit under $16,000 USD with the current exchange rate). It also included a few pictures of the game in action:
You can see some of the unusual characters in these screens, like an army guy, a mecha, and a halfling.
If this was won by a private collector, this may be the first and last we ever see of Battle Choice. Stranger things have happened though! The soundtrack album is also long out of print, with no digital release, and fetches quite a bit on the aftermarket, though obviously nowhere near 2 million yen.
Thanks to Alex Krauss on Twitter for digging this up!