I have created a blog where I am providing detailed information about the original Sokoban game levels. I have compared the XSokoban levels (the file named Original.txt) to all four original variants from Spectrum Holobyte (MS-DOS, C64 and Apple ][) and from Spectral Associates (Tandy Color Computer).
I am trying to find information on the original Japanese variant of the 50 puzzle game, as well as on the original 20 level game developed in 1980 by Hiroyuki Imabayashi, and released in 1982 under the Thinking Rabbit company name.
In particular I want to be able to compare the original 50 levels from the Japanese game to the variants released internationally in 1984, and I want to be able to compare the original 20 levels to the 50.
For those who do not know the history of the game, Hiroyuki Imabayashi developed Sokoban in 1980. That version contained 20 levels that had a maximum size of 32 x 20(? not sure about this number), and the game included "false walls" that were used in some of the levels. The player had to use the "false walls" to solve those puzzles. In 1984, the game was revamped to exclude the "false walls". In addition, the new version had a maximum size of 19 x 16. Of the 20 original levels, the ones that used the "false walls" were removed, and the remainder were modified to fit the new size format and were re-arranged as new replacement puzzles were added. What we know as Level 1 was (if I recall correctly) Level 18 or 19 in the original 20.
While finding this information has not been difficult, finding copies of the Japanese variant 50 puzzles and the 20 original puzzles has proven to be impossible for me, so far. I have tried contacting Falcon Co., Ltd./Thinking Rabbit, but I do not speak or write Japanese, and their form is in Japanese. I tried using Google Translator, but I do not know how "bad" the translation was. I do know I have not heard back from them.
Is there anyone here that can help shed some light on this? I would love to find a copy of both Japanese variants to glean the puzzles from.
Thanks for whatever help any of you can provide.