Original Post

Hey i’d just like to say brilliant site i love it!

now im wondering.. on Ebay the internet auction site they have japan import games, they are cheaper to the U.S versions

heres 2 questions i need answered:

are the japan import games in english or japan or both languages

are the japan import games any different to the U.S version of the games

if someone could answer those questions id greatly appreciate it


i bought a virtual boy from America, it came with to games – mario’s tennis and teleroboxer, when i start either one of them up it has ‘please read the instruction manual bla bla bla’ in english and under it, it has the japanese words for it.

yet the rest of the game is in english.

it also says made in japan the games, are they japan import’s? im kinda confused

If these japan import games with their boxes, much cheaper then the U.S versions with box and are pretty much the same and they are in english i dont mind japanese under it or whatever then should i buy them, im low on money and want to play alot of these games

example: wario land for virtual boy, japan import 30.00 in total

wario land for virtual boy, U.S version 50.00 in total



10 Replies


Though I’m new to the forums, I can try to help answer your questions.

From what I understand, the japan import games typically are in both languages (anyone can correct me). There may be some that are all Japanese (rarer releases), but I don’t think there are any that are just English– there will be at least a little Japanese sprinkled in there.

I believe at least one Japanese version of a game is different from a US one in gameplay as well, but I’m not sure what it was (Panic Bomber, maybe?). I’m sure someone with more knowledge can answer.

What I can help with is your question on Teleroboxer and Mario Tennis.

The cartridges from Japan look different from the ones in the US, so that’s the easiest way to tell if you have a Japanese vs. a US version.

Here’s the US version of Teleroboxer:
Here’s the Japanese version of Teleroboxer:

Here’s the US version of Mario’s Tennis:
And here’s the Japanese version:

The site I found these images at is:
So, you can do a cross comparison of your games any time you get new acquisitions.

My guess from what you say is that you have the Japanese version of both of these games, so now you can check to verify for yourself.

Now, on to your dilemma– what to buy?
If you’re just looking for gameplay, then yes, you can go the less expensive route, and get the Japanese versions of the games first. You may have to figure out some of the menus, though (i.e. figuring out where the Japanese word for “Start game” is, so you can highlight it and play for some games), but they definitely should be playable. I don’t think there’s anything that’s text-based where you’d get stuck, except for maybe the more expensive games (Virtual Lab, SD Gundam, or maybe even Insmouse), but for the commons, I think you could easily figure it out, with a little bit of trial and error.

However, if you’re really looking strictly for gameplay, you may want to save up, and consider buying a FlashBoy. They are a little steep, but it’s a one time purchase, where you can play any VB game (US or Japanese) on your own home console. However, if you’re looking for collectability too, then sure, get the Japanese games first, and then slowly build your collection.

I’m sure some others can comment as well with their opinions, or to correct anything I may have been a little incorrect on.

Welcome aboard!



It varies a lot from game to game…

I have three Japan imports. Vertical Force and V-Tetris are both primarily in English, and are quite playable without knowing any Japanese.

I also have a Japan release of Jack Bros. This is a hassle because all the onscreen dialogue is in Japanese only. There are manuals and FAQs available online in English, and you can puzzle things out enough for the game to be quite playable.

Yes and japanese game panic bomber that I have is also only in japanese, a bit dissapointing when I bought it but I have the flashboy so no worries

The answer to both of your questions is… it depends :-P. Mario’s Tennis, Mario Clash, Galactic Pinball, Teleroboxer, and Wario Land are all completely identical between the US and JP versions (they’re the same ROM). I’m guessing that’s why most of the games have the warning screen in both English and Japanese.

Panic Bomber, Vertical Force, Jack Bros, Baseball, Red Alarm, and Golf are different ROMs, although they have varying amounts of Japanese. This is going from memory, so it may not be 100% accurate, but JP Panic Bomber has a lot of Japanese, as does Jack Bros, but you can figure the game out without the text, and if you really want to know what it says, look at the screens in the US version in an emulator, or the US manual. I believe Vertical Force is pretty much all English (the JP version was one of the first games I owned and I don’t remember having any problems), and Baseball is pretty much all English, except the names are in Japanese, and I think things like Out, Safe, Ball, Strike, etc are in Japanese. I believe the only difference in the Japanese Red Alarm is the warning screen is only in Japanese, the rest of the game is in English. I know Golf has a Japanese menu, but you can compare it to the English menu to figure out what you’re doing… and it’s a golf game, so it shouldn’t be hard to figure out how to play.

For the JP only games, V-Tetris is in English (and V-Tetris is a completely different game than the US 3D Tetris). Space Squash has a lot of Japanese dialog and stuff, but the game is simple enough to figure out. Insmouse is mostly in English, and easy to figure out how to play. Fishing is mostly in Japanese, and can be difficult to figure out what you’re supposed to be doing (since you’re supposed to be doing some sort of tournament), but there’s a translation of the menus at the bottom of this page: http://www.virtual-boy.org/translations.htm .

For the 4 rare games (Virtual Lab, Space Invaders, SD Gundam, and Virtual Bowling), they’re all pretty much in English.

Well… hope this helps.


thanks everyone, you have helped alot, the 2 japanese only games i wanna buy is space squash and insmouse they are great fun on the comp but the real thing is probably way better, thanks for the comparison of the cartridges etc so yeh il have a look on the emulator for the differences too, ty

All I know is that the Japanese Jack Bros. is in Japanese.

If your really interested in playing space squash and insmouse on hardware. Instead of buying each game, I would invest in a flashboy. It would be cheaper then getting both games..and you could even use the translation patch on space squash.

bigmak wrote:
Instead of buying each game, I would invest in a flashboy. It would be cheaper then getting both games..

Not necessarily.I scored both Insmouse and Space Squash mint in box and complete for about $58 shipped from Japan.Just have to be at the right place at the right time I guess.Also,it is much easier to get the games than a Flashboy at the moment,unless I haven’t been looking in the right places.Any place that is actually selling/shipping them right now?

If your in a hurry and can’t wait for the next batch..there’s one in the marketplace on this site for 120 dollars.

bigmak wrote:
If your in a hurry and can’t wait for the next batch..there’s one in the marketplace on this site for 120 dollars.

I contacted him a few weeks ago…it’s already sold.


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