Neo Geo Wannabe? The IGS PolyGame Master (PGM)

Taking a quick look at IGS’s PolyGame Master, a system that tries hard to replicate SNK’s formula for success with the NeoGeo.

More Great PGM Videos:
Luke Morse:

Todd’s Nerd Cave:

The JNX Atlas Adapter:

Lions3 Acrylic Plate:





#ScarletSprites, #IGS, #PGM, #PolyGameMaster, #DemonFront, #KnightsofValour, #OrientalLegend, #Arcade,


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  • I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this video! It is so cool to see games I remember getting a real kick out of in the Mame/FBA side of my emulation machines and seeing where they actually came from. The Knights of Valor series's's reminds me of how Street Fighter 2 got so many revisions. Also… its pretty significant you mentioned that King of Fighters game because its not just King of Fighters 98… its King of Fighters 98 "Ultimate Match". I know I wanted to buy a King of Fighters AES cart one day, and they are all pretty price less the first couple… so if If I was going to pop off on one, it would have to be the best of the affordable ones. Its tough to find MVS/AES exclusive opinions because people regard the ones ported to the PS2 and PC as some of the best versions. One of which that I hear WAY too often for it not to be a big deal is this "KoF 98 UM" which was on the PS2. People say it's an improvement to what they already considered the best of the AES/MVS released series. Now that I know that it was originally on the PGM… you'd have what I imagine is the ONLY arcade port of the game which a lot of people regard as the best of the series. The die hard KoF fan that wants it in an arcade cab might have to buy a PGM to get that ultimate fan arcade experience. VERY cool stuff!

    PabstOban July 14, 2020 7:11 pm Reply
  • Can you remember the seller? Been looking on aliexpress. I hear there may be better conversions out there now that run fine.

    Kev Young July 14, 2020 7:11 pm Reply
  • I recently subscribed and noticed this video among your others. I love the PGM and as others have mentioned, Martial Masters is great as well as The Gladiator.

    supernole75 July 14, 2020 7:11 pm Reply
  • Thanks for the video.. can we upload an IGS Polygame cartridge into Neo Geo MVS arcade cabinet? Or does IGS has its own arcade machine?

    Jason William July 14, 2020 7:11 pm Reply
  • Oriental Legends 2 is an amazing beat em up!

    Genya Arikado July 14, 2020 7:11 pm Reply
  • IGS has some really good gems out there

    Genya Arikado July 14, 2020 7:11 pm Reply
  • awesome video, Espgaluda was released on PS2 in Japan, amazing game

    Sami July 14, 2020 7:11 pm Reply
  • What’s that shmup to your right(our left) on that final tuned arcade? Haven’t played that yet.

    Jotaku X July 14, 2020 7:11 pm Reply
  • Good video! Someone should hack these games and load them onto a 100 in one cart for the MVS and AES that way some of us could play these Koren or China games that we have never played that would be cool.

    FROSTY HIGHWAY July 14, 2020 7:11 pm Reply
  • PGM needs a Flash Cart like the NeoSD or Darksoft solutions for the MVS.

    VideoGameVictims July 14, 2020 7:11 pm Reply
  • Martial Masters!

    Super Turbo July 14, 2020 7:11 pm Reply
  • Was there some type of Unibios on this thing?

    CRTmonkey junkie July 14, 2020 7:11 pm Reply
  • I liked the video and subscribed! I <3 Knights of Valour(All of them)!! I used to play in South Korea when I was 10! It was super thrilling to play! Just quick question. Which Arcade joystick do you recommend for PGM1?

    paul yi July 14, 2020 7:11 pm Reply
  • I have had PGM for a years and only have Demon Front. Desperate to get Martial Masters but it is so rare.

    Tony McNamee July 14, 2020 7:11 pm Reply
  • Hey DODONPACHI 2 is on the list? Nice!
    If anyone is interested in obtaining Dodonpachi 1&2 it is available for the Sega Saturn (JP). Beautiful and play great.

    Mordred 13th July 14, 2020 7:11 pm Reply
  • Wow, didn't know this system or games for it was out there — but everything in me screams copyright infingement…really seems like they intentionally ripped off SNK'S MVS design and concept. That totally rubs me the wrong way. SNK was so innovative with this concept that I don't know if I could get behind something like this even if it did have great games. That being said, I am still upset that SNK doesn't make its own hardware any longer. And that helps to leave the door open for companies like this….😕

    B.J. Major July 14, 2020 7:11 pm Reply
  • Never heard of any of this, but that’s some pretty sweet pixel art graphics. CPS3-esque if not better.

    VaughnJogVlog July 14, 2020 7:11 pm Reply
  • those shooters and demon front look pretty good damn cool I never heard about this system before 😀 awesome video!

    Ed's Retro Geek Out July 14, 2020 7:11 pm Reply
  • Cool system ! It's on my list and the Cave are there too ! Hope a multicart will come for them (for cave i don't think so, but for IGS Pgm will be for sure)

    DJAlexUnderBase July 14, 2020 7:11 pm Reply
  • Martial Masters is among the best 2d fighting games ever made.
    Its like a combination of SF3,SFA2 and Garou,

    Vasileios July 14, 2020 7:11 pm Reply
  • Demon Front is Metal Slug done right. Martial Masters is pretty sick too.

    OVER KILL July 14, 2020 7:11 pm Reply
  • Fucking. Beautiful. Thank. You. So glad to learn all this. Any of these games run on the super retrocade? Otherwise gotta check em on my phone but im stoked nothing fascinates me more than bootlegs and rip offs especially relating snk and the mvs

    Sean Something July 14, 2020 7:11 pm Reply
  • I am surprise no Japanese or Western company just ported these games to various consoles. I know the license fee wouldn't be too high.

    Afro Powa July 14, 2020 7:11 pm Reply
  • Also, I'll gladly post this up on the Neo-Geo thread as well. I did a few videos about the PGM before. So this will be a fine addition to post on there as well. 8^)

    Charlie Cat July 14, 2020 7:11 pm Reply
  • You're welcome Scarlet.

    Yeah, when I first seen it coming out of the box, I had to ask the distributor what it was. I thought it was from SNK, but he told me it was from a company in Taiwan. That really raised my curiosity because I never read or heard much from the Taiwanese in regards to video games. So that sparked my interest for sure. 8^)


    Charlie Cat July 14, 2020 7:11 pm Reply
  • This was a pretty intriguing device when I first saw it Scarlet. I remember seeing it in Chinatown Fair in NYC when it was first being installed. I thought it was a cool piece to be used and a good amount of games were made. Too bad many in the area where I lived didn't think much of it though. But glad you're giving it light to a new bunch of enthusiastic gamers in the community to find out more about this product bro. 8^)

    Well done as always Scarlet. Keep up the great work. 8^)


    Charlie Cat July 14, 2020 7:11 pm Reply
  • Sweet pick up, very interesting haven’t seen this before. Thanks for sharing!

    Liteup X July 14, 2020 7:11 pm Reply
  • Very cool video, very informative.

    Consoletronix July 14, 2020 7:11 pm Reply
  • I grew up playing these games in arcade in mainland China in the 90s. I'll talk a bit more later. (I'm on my way to work).


    OK, so here is some information:

    First, the company – IGS, (original Chinese name: 鈊象电子), short for "International Games System", based in Taiwan, and it's actually still around today. You can google this company or simply access their website ( ) so I won't talk too much about it.

    Second, the games. I'll start with the one that I played most – Oriental Legend, (original Chinese name: 西游释厄传), which is based on the Chinese novel "Journey to the West". Some background here: "Journey to the West" is extremely popular in China, from 2-year-old to 115-year-old, every native Chinese speaker knows the story and the characters (e.g. Sun Wukong aka The Monkey King, etc.). It's already in the blood of Chinese people. If there exist zombies, or living deads in China, they should know it too. As a result, there are tons of video games, TV series, movies and anime that are based on it (even Goku from the Japanese "Dragon Ball" series is actually based on Sun Wukong), and one of them being the "Oriental Legend". At a first glance, it's just a regular beat 'em up game, with a ring-like menu for the items/spells/powers, similar to "Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow over Mystara" from Capcom. But it's A LOT more complicated, and A LOT more technical. You have four buttons: A-attack, B-jump, C-show/hide items, D-use items. There are five playable characters in this game, and each one has his/her own specialty (more in a bit). But they do share some common moves/mechanisms, for example, for each character, ↓ + B does a dash attack, pressing AB together does a special attack but also damages your health, holding ABC together will charge your power gauge (similar as the early KOF games). When your power gauge is full, the power gauge bar will blink/flash and you will be able to do some other special moves, for example, ← ↙ ↓ ↘ → ← → + A is the super move command, and B (jump) + (while in mid air) ← ↙ ↓ ↘ → + A is another special move. There are so many special moves in this game, as if you are playing Street Fighter 2. You can even do a "combo move" with another character by pressing ABC at the same time when both of the two characters are fully charged. When this happens, these two characters will run/jump into each other and do a special combo move and cause a serious damage, which is useful for (some) boss fights. There are tons of items to collect, and each character also has his/her own exclusive item and can only be picked up by this particular character. The five characters represent the five elements, aka "Wu Xing" (Chinese: 五行) in the Chinese philosophy ( ). And they are – Metal (金), Wood (木), Water (水), Fire (火), and Earth (土). Some elements can conquer/destruct others, for example, Fire vs Water. And now back to the game, again, each character represents one element, for example, Long-Ma (龙马) represents "Wood", and his own special item is "Wood", so when you see a round/circle item with this Chinese word/character "木" (it looks like this sign ㊍), you should pick it up and use it. It performs a special attack called "突木桩", roughly translated as "fake wood stick (or stake)", which will pop out some fake wood sticks from ground and raise the enemies high up and then these fake wood sticks suddenly disappear and the enemies will fall and get hurt (or killed). But if you (Long-Ma) see another item – "Metal" (金), then don't try to pick it up, as it will damage you. Because Metal overcomes/conquers Wood in "Wu Xing". Another common mechanism is, all the items have a limited amount of time for you to pick up, after some time, they will first blink/flash, and then disappear so you will need to pick them up earlier than later. This is nothing new, but for the five special items (Wu Xing), if you are playing with a friend, and he/she is busy fighting other enemies and is too far away to move over to pick up his/her exclusive item, and this item is now blinking/flashing, meaning it'll disappear in a few seconds, now at this point if you are close to the item you can pick it up, but you are not really "picking it up", instead you will perform a 'pick-up' action/movement and this will refresh/restart the duration of this item, so it'll stop blinking/flashing, giving your friend more time to come over and pick it up. But again you need to remember which items you cannot pick up (because they might damage you). Also, there are multiple paths during the game play and of course different story lines and/or endings accordingly, some characters are good for this path, and some are good for that path, you get the idea. As you can probably tell so far, this game has some serious technics/strategies and involves some level of Chinese philosophy. It is clearly targeted to the Asian (mostly Chinese) market. The game does have English language option, but even if you set it to English, you will still find a lot of Chinese characters in the game, not because they are lazy to translate them, but some of these Chinese words are really difficult to translate into other languages, even if they do get translated, their meanings will get lost and the translations probably won't make too much sense either. All in all, this is just one game, there is a 'Super' version of this game, and there is also a true sequel to this game. And there are more games from IGS, like Knights of Valour (and its many variations/sequels), which is even more complicated than Oriental Legend. Knights of Valour has a ton of revisions, the original ver.110, rev.115, 117, 119, etc. They have different characters, different battle mechanisms, different items, etc. some differences are minor, while others are huge. And this game (Knights of Valour) is so popular in China that it even had a PS4 remake in 2015, but it got mostly bad reviews.

    I played these IGS games in the 90s when I was a kid in China, and I've been playing them for years until I moved to U.S. a few years back, and I still can't say I master at these games, not even close. These games (Oriental Legend and Knights of Valour in particular) are considered to be difficult/deep for new comers, and there's a huge learning curve (if you want to dig deep), and same can be said for Demon Front, as it's a lot more complicated than just run 'n gun games (trust me on this). But they are extremely popular in China, almost every arcade place has (or should I say 'used to have' as arcade in general is going down) at least one of these games. Even today there are lots of forums, websites, live streams, speed runs etc. in the Chinese gaming community (via emulations) and people still talk about them. And also they are more fun to play with multiple players for those crazy combo moves that a single player simply can't perform.

    Sorry for writing a book but even then I feel like this is still scratching the surface lol.

    G H July 14, 2020 7:11 pm Reply
  • Never heard of that board or any of those games but it is good to see a new and informative video from you anyways.

    vidlink July 14, 2020 7:11 pm Reply

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