Every Gakken Compact Vision TV Boy Game Preserved & Scanned!


The Gakken Compact Vision TV Boy (TVボーイ) console was released in October of 1983 in Japan at a price of  8800 yen with only six games being released for it. Despite having a lower price than most of its competition the console was a failure being released several months after the far superior Nintendo Famicom. It was far from being alone in the wake of the Famicom’s dominance. We’ve previously preserved some of the library of the Gundam RX-78 and there are other examples like the Casio PV-1000 which have had little coverage to English speakers until recent years.

The games on the TV Boy are – frankly – not much to write home about, most being clones or ports of other popular games. It also didn’t help that the console had a bizarre design in which the controls are on the console itself and not separate from it, much like very early Pong consoles.

If you’d like more details about the short history of the Gakken Compact Vision TV Boy we highly recommend Video Game Kraken’s page here.

We and several others worked to finally get the entire library of the TV Boy scanned and dumped for long-term preservation. Being so obscure naturally meant the games went for large amounts of money, which made acquiring the games difficult. Luckily famous writer and video producer Jeremy Parish of Retronauts fame had recently gone about acquiring a full collection of the games to do a video series on and kindly lent them to us to scan and dump. Sean Riddle took the carts and provided the dumps of the ROMs available for download now. Innumerable thanks to Sean and Jeremy for their absolutely vital support in this project!

How do we emulate the system?

(Updated on 1/31/2024 with release of MAME V0.262 which fully emulates the system properly)

You can load all the ROMs with MAME V0.262 and later versions which you can download here. I have also included all the ROMs in a ZIP file you can download here. Simply extract it within your ROMS subdirectory in your MAME folder and it should put them in the proper place which is a ctvboy subdirectory in your ROMS folder.

The command line to run the games in MAME is – MAME ctvboy (Insert ROM name here) so for example to run Mr. Bomb we would type in – MAME ctvboy mrbomb

The ROM Names MAME expects are here –


The controls by default are the arrow keys to move the joystick, and CTRL and ALT for buttons 1 and 2 for the console.

A Note on the Scans

Due to the games having foil boxes, scanning them is rather tricky – due to how the scanner light reflects off them. We purchased a package of various diffusion sheets and tried them out and finally settled on one that seemed to get the best results. However, the quality is not the best. We’re unsure how we could improve it at this point – if you have any ideas, let us know.

The scans that are labeled (diffused) are a bit blurry. We also have included scans of the boxes without diffusion in case anybody wants them. Maybe someone can take a combination of these scans to fix them up!

Chi Taikuu Dai Sakusen (地対空大作戦)

Catalog ID
– 81774

Download Manual
Download 1200DPI RAW Scan Images (External Link)

A port of Konami’s Super Cobra arcade game named Chi Taikuu Dai Sakusen which translates into “Surface to Air Operation.” Not sure why they didn’t just leave it called Super Cobra? Either way, it’s a decent port given the system’s limitations.

600DPI Scans –

Excite Invader (エキサイトインベーダー)

Catalog ID – 81771

Download Manual
Download 1200DPI RAW Scan Images (External Link)

Looks to be a Space Invaders-like game in which the game is played from a left to right orientation. Nothing special: Bunkers, rows, UFOs, the works.

600DPI Scans –

Frogger (フロッガー)

Catalog ID – 81775

Download Manual
Download 1200DPI RAW Scan Images (External Link)

Port of Konami’s classic arcade game Frogger. Whether this was licensed by Sega – who published the game in Japan – or by Konami, the gameplay is instantly recognizable. Cross the road while avoiding the obstacles and get into the pond alcoves.

600DPI Scans –

Mr. Bomb (ミスターボム)

Catalog ID – 81772

Download Manual
Download 1200DPI RAW Scan Images (External Link)

Looks to be a clone of the Atari 2600 classic game Kaboom! by Activision. Catch the bombs before they are dropped to the floor by the eponymous Mr. Bomb!

600DPI Scans –

Robotan Wars (ロボタンウォーズ)

Catalog ID – 81773

Download Manual
Download 1200DPI RAW Scan Images (External Link)

Looks to be a clone of the Williams arcade classic Robotron 2084. Players battle an enemy horde of robots.

600DPI Scans –

Shigaisen 200X-nen (市街戦200X年)

Catalog ID – 81776

Download Manual
Download 1200DPI RAW Scan Images (External Link)

Looks to be a clone of of Cinematronics Armor Attack, or perhaps similar to Namco’s Tank Batallion. Either way, a player battles enemy tanks in a maze environment.

600DPI Scans –

About Dustin Hubbard

Founder and owner of Gaming Alexandria. Obsessed with high quality scans of games for all systems as well as preserving games before they are lost.

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