Othello (NES)

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Othello - NES.jpg
Platform: NES
Year: 1988
Developer: HAL Laboratory
Buy: Amazon

When the NES came out, it saw a few board-game adaptations. One of which was Othello. One would scoff at the thought of a board game like Othello coming to the NES, but it was done by HAL Laboratory, the same guys who brought us the infamous Kirby series.

The player chooses between black or white pieces like Chess. Then they must select the computer's skill level. There's four different skill levels, but even the first skill level is so hard that it requires sheer luck to win. It's more fun playing with another person so you have a better chance at winning, but the chances of getting someone to play Othello NES with you are pretty slim. After you select the difficulty, you select the time limit; from 20, 30 or 40 minutes. Then you input your name and the battle begins! Your goal is to get more pieces on the board than your opponent.

HAL Laboratory must have been real proud of this game, because not only was it released in the USA and Europe, but it also got two releases in Japan; one on the Famicom and another on the Disk System.


Othello - NES - Title Screen.png

The USA title screen.

Othello - FC - Title Screen.png

The Japan title screen.

Othello - NES - Gameplay 1.png

Entering my name.

Othello - NES - Gameplay 2.png

The computer player is kicking my butt!

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This page needs more screenshots.



The game has a small soundtrack. There are only a few songs that loop. The rest are just quick little jingles. The addition of in-game music would have been nice, but unfortunately, you don't get that. Just stark silence besides the sounds of you placing your pieces, which can get very irritating. The music that is in the game is pretty good. It was composed by Hideki Kanazashi, who was the main composer at HAL at the time. The music has a nice swing tone to it. The game uses the NES' hardware decay instruments, so the instruments do sound like uninspired pianos.

Back then, some Japanese Famicom games by HAL credited a program called "Music Maker", which is likely an alias of Music Editor: MUE. The music was written on the MSX on a staff roll, which was then converted to the NES. Hiroaki Suga is credited but not as a sound programmer, though he may have worked on the sound driver and sound effects.

The Famicom Disk System version does not use the extra FDS channel to enhance the sound quality.


# Title Composer Length Listen Download
01 Title Screen Hideki Kanazashi 0:36
02 Menu Theme Hideki Kanazashi 0:36
03 Game End Hideki Kanazashi 0:03
04 Lose Theme Hideki Kanazashi 0:03
05 Tie Theme Hideki Kanazashi 0:03
06 Win Theme Hideki Kanazashi 0:03
07 Congratulations!! Hideki Kanazashi 0:49


The game's credits are different in the USA and Japan, as the text looks different. Also, the Japanese version's got the HAL logo on the credits. The Disk System version has a slightly different credits screen.

(Sources: USA, Japan, FDS)

Game Rip

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This rip is missing songs.






The NSF file contains fourteen tracks; seven songs and seven sound effects.


  Japan.svg   Japan
Othello - FDS.jpg
Title: Family Computer Othello
Platform: Famicom Disk System
Released: 1986-10-13
Publisher: HAL Laboratory
  Japan.svg   Japan
Othello - FC.jpg
Title: Family Computer Othello
Platform: Famicom
Released: 1986-11-13
Publisher: HAL Laboratory
  USA.svg   USA
Othello - NES.jpg
Title: Othello
Platform: NES
Released: 1988-12-??
Publisher: Acclaim