X (1992 video game)

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X Game Boy game cover.jpeg
Cover of X
Developer(s)Nintendo R&D1
Argonaut Games
Director(s)Yoshio Sakamoto
Producer(s)Gunpei Yokoi
Designer(s)Dylan Cuthbert[1]
Artist(s)Kenichi Sugino[1]
Composer(s)Kazumi Totaka[1], Hirokazu Tanaka (sound effects)
Platform(s)Game Boy
  • JP: May 29, 1992
Genre(s)Combat simulation, vehicular combat

X[a] is a three-dimensional first-person shooter video game released for the Game Boy in Japan on May 29, 1992. The game was developed and published by Nintendo, with assistance from Argonaut Software. X was followed by an internationally released DSiWare sequel, X-Scape, in 2010.


External video
Playthrough with developer Dylan Cuthbert

The game was influenced by the Starglider series, and was originally slated to be published by Mindscape as Eclipse or Lunar Chase, but Nintendo took over the project after becoming interested in the concept of having three-dimensional graphics on the Game Boy.

"When the creators of the Game Boy saw it they were so blown away by it, they asked for us to be flown over to meet them. It was probably two weeks later we flew over. It was my first time in Japan."

Designer and programmer Dylan Cuthbert recalls in a 2018 interview.[2] Cuthbert also states that he designed the whole game and Nintendo added fine touches: "To be honest the entire game design was mine. Most of it was in place before we even talked with Nintendo anyway. What Sakamoto-san brought to the table was kind of like the fine-tuning and adding touches to make it more user friendly, I suppose.".

Then Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi renamed the game X, shortly before its release. The Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu listed X as one of the four most influential Game Boy games released, as it was the first 3D game released for a portable system in Japan.[citation needed]

An English version was made but was never released. According to Cuthbert:

"...Nintendo of America felt it was too complicated for the American audience... Nintendo of America basically said: 'for our audience right now, who expects something like Tetris, its too complicated, there's too much text' and all this kind of thing..."


In the space age year XXXX, overpopulation on the Earth is forcing humans to search for a new home in outer space. Planet Tetamus II is discovered to have an environment similar to earth, and mining of the planet's high-energy "Power Crystal" mineral leads to the construction of the "Nuclear Silo" designed to convert this mineral into energy. The future seemed bright for the human race, until an emergency message from Tetamus II reported that a cargo ship loaded with power crystals had been shot down by an army of alien starships. The aliens intend to use the planet as a base for conquering the rest of the universe, and the space tank "VIXIV" is sent out to destroy the alien forces.


Translation: "Move the + [cross] button [control pad] up and down to control your speed!"

The game takes place in a wireframe 3D view. The player controls the VIXIV to complete various missions assigned by the Training Academy Coach. Objectives can range from destroying enemy targets, escorting cargo, or defending bases. A short break is provided after the completion of each mission, and the player is awarded a number of stars based on their skill in each level. Ten small stars equal one regular star, and a certain number of stars are needed to continue the game after failing a mission. The game is completed by finishing all ten missions.

See also[edit]

  • Battlezone, a 1980 arcade game by Atari with similar gameplay and vector graphics.


  1. ^ Japanese: エックス Hepburn: Ekkusu?