Anyone home?

Those of you who have been gaming since the 8-bit era will no doubt be very familiar with the name Hudson Soft. A prolific developer during the Famicom / NES, PC Engine / TurboGrafx-16 and Super Famicom / SNES eras, the firm was responsible for titles such as Bomberman, Adventure Island, Bonk, Star Soldier and many more besides. It now sadly no longer exists; Hudson was acquired by Konami a few years ago and has since been absorbed into the company, with its massive library of franchises remaining largely untapped.

Back in its glory days, Hudson was quite a mover and shaker in the video game arena - not only did it work with NEC to create the PC Engine and PC-FX, but it produced one-off technological experiments such as a version of Bomberman which ran on a massive, HD TV in the mid-'90s. Much of this work took place in the company's R&D lab in Sapporo - a building which now lies abandoned.

Video game journalist and historian John Szczepaniak paid the building a visit during the production of his Untold History of Japanese Game Developers project - which has spawned not one but two excellent books and an accompanying DVD - and has recently posted a short clip which shows Hudson's former R&D facility. The building remains unoccupied, and still has the miniature railway track on which a model train - which could be ridden on - would travel. Hudson took its name from the famous locomotive; the brothers who founded it were big train enthusiasts.