Developed by Kinotrope and originally released in limited numbers (3,000 units) in early 1999 was a Japanese PC/Macintosh game titled Garage: Bad Dream Adventure (though referred to by many simply as Garage).
The point-and-click game, directed by Tomomi Sakuba, features bizarre, surreal, often nightmarish (as the title implies) and sometimes graphic imagery. The player controls a small alien-like robot, maneuvering their way through a barren, foreboding landscape of cracked wood panelling and old, rusting machinery, complete with creepy, lifeless faces. The eerie background music (or lack thereof, at times) only adds to the sense of impending danger, making for a very unsettling atmosphere.
A relatively recent search effort for the game, spearheaded largely by 4chan's /vr/ board, has uncovered multiple copies for sale, though said copies have always been immensely expensive. It was also discovered that a special "private edition" was made available for a very short time in April of 2004 through Sakuba's official website (released in very limited numbers; just 90 copies, selling out within a single day), consisting of the game itself, plus a collection of concept art. Notably, around the same time, the standard edition of the game was also made available for purchase (again, in somewhat limited quantities) on Sakuba's website, up until September of 2007, when it was officially discontinued.
Despite it still being officially available for purchase just seven years ago, no downloadable copies of Garage have ever shown up online, and the game has since become incredibly rare and sought-after. Over the past few years, several people have come forward, claiming to own copies of the rarity, though they have all been reluctant to provide a rip to the online community, fearing retribution on account of Japan's strict anti-piracy laws; one owner, however, has been kind enough to provide recordings of an entire playthrough of the game. Additionally, two short (slightly varying) trailers have also been unearthed.
Garage will likely remain /vr/'s "holy grail" of sorts, until the inevitable happens, and the game is finally unleashed upon the cheering masses, though until such time, this foreign oddity will continue eluding both gamers and lost media enthusiasts alike.
UPDATE 18 Mar '14: For those who haven't been following the situation over the past month and a bit, a copy of the game was recently put up on Yahoo Auctions Japan and was subsequently snapped up by hg101.proboards.com user cc0 (aka Mid Heavens in my Garagesan !!OUMLpH0sZpD on 4chan's /vr/ board). After a lengthy trip from Japan, to the U.S., to Australia (due to potential issues regarding Australian customs), the game arrived today and has been ripped for all to download!
HUGE thanks to cc0 for spending a whopping 77,000 yen (roughly 1,000 AUD after processing fees and the like) on this highly sought-after work of art and for freely sharing it around so quickly! You really pulled through for us and I for one am immensely grateful.
On a technical note, I've had success running this game in Windows XP SP1, through VirtualBox, though some tinkering was required. If you need any assistance on getting Garage up and running, feel free to shoot me a line and I'll happily assist wherever possible.
UPDATE 21 Mar '14: Following the game's upload, cc0 has also graciously provided a collection of scans and photographs (of the manual, box, case inlay, disc and included map), which can be obtained here. Thanks again, cc0!
- ↑ Archive of Garage's (now defunct) official website, courtesy of the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 01 Feb '14.
- ↑ hg101.proboards.com thread on the ongoing search effort. Retrieved 01 Feb '14.
- ↑ Google docs page created by a /vr/ user, detailing the progress of said search effort (along with several other rare games currently sought-after). Retrieved 01 Feb '14.
- ↑ Garage "Private Edition" page on Tomomi Sakuba's official website. Retrieved 01 Feb '14.
- ↑ Playthrough, part 1 of 11 (via nicovideo.jp). Retrieved 01 Feb '14.
- ↑ Playthrough, part 2 of 11 (via nicovideo.jp). Retrieved 01 Feb '14.
- ↑ Playthrough, part 3 of 11 (via nicovideo.jp). Retrieved 01 Feb '14.
- ↑ Playthrough, part 4 of 11 (via nicovideo.jp). Retrieved 01 Feb '14.
- ↑ Playthrough, part 5 of 11 (via nicovideo.jp). Retrieved 01 Feb '14.
- ↑ Playthrough, part 6 of 11 (via nicovideo.jp). Retrieved 01 Feb '14.
- ↑ Playthrough, part 7 of 11 (via nicovideo.jp). Retrieved 01 Feb '14.
- ↑ Playthrough, part 8 of 11 (via nicovideo.jp). Retrieved 01 Feb '14.
- ↑ Playthrough, part 9 of 11 (via nicovideo.jp). Retrieved 01 Feb '14.
- ↑ Playthrough, part 10 of 11 (via nicovideo.jp). Retrieved 01 Feb '14.
- ↑ Playthrough, part 11 of 11 (via nicovideo.jp). Retrieved 01 Feb '14.