Barcode Battler is the name of a game franchise made by the Japanese company Epoch as well as the consoles themselves.
Original Barcode Battler
The original Barcode Battler was a white console released exclusively in Japan in 1991. It contained a barcode scanner with which you could scan in either the cards that came with the console or a barcode from any product. The console decoded the numbers into statistics for either Heroes, Enemies or one of a number of types of Item. You then fought with these in either a campaign against the computer (COM mode), a series of fights against the Enemy cards (B1 mode) or a one-on-one multiplayer duel (B2 mode).
Barcode Battler II
Following the sucess of the first console in Japan its sequel (looking very similar to the original but black with purple buttons) called Barcode Battler II was released in 1992, and was marketed around the world as "Barcode Battler" the next year. The concept was the same, with three game modes: C0 corresponding to B2, C1 to COMand C2 to B1, but with added features.
Heroes and Enemies could now be either Warriors or Wizards, with a whole system of Magic added for the latter. The maximum HP (Hit Points) were essentially doubled and SP (Survival Points) could be used during a battle to heal damage. The console also featured connectivity via an output port to other consoles, including the Famicom (Japanese NES) and Super Famicom (Japanese SNES) as well as the other Barcode Battler consoles mentioned below.
To take advantage of the new features the Barcode Battler II had new decoding methods which were less predictable than the original and better suited to international barcode standards.
Barcode Battler C0 & C2
Two consoles were released to provide connectivity between two to four Barcode Battler IIs via their output ports. When connected, the Barcode Battler IIs were used to scan barcodes while games were played on the linked in Barcode Battler C0 or C2.
The game modes available were:
- C0: Two player
- CC: One player
- C3: Three players
- C4: Four players
Barcode World, the official Barcode Battler Famicom game was developed by Epoch and published by Sunsoftin 1992. It came with a cable used to connect the Barcode Battler II to the Famicom, using it as a barcode scanner for the game.
Barcode Battler Senki
Barcode Battler Senki, the official Super Famicom Barcode Battler game was developed and published by Epoch in 1993 and used the Barcode Battler II Interface to connect the Barcode Battler II to the Super Famicom as a barcode scanner.
While a number of cards came with each game and barcodes taken from products could be scanned in, many more cards were released for the games. As almost all official card decks used Decoding Method 1, cards could be scanned in either console (white or black versions) and would behave more or less identically unless the additional features of Barcode Battler II were used. Some of the officially licenced card sets included:
- Barcode Battler card deck
- Barcode Battler II card deck & individual International versions using almost identical codes
- Barcode World card deck
- Barcode Battle Senki card deck
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past card deck
- Super Mario World card deck
- Dragon Slayer card deck
- Doraemon: Nobita's Dinosaur card deck
- Meiji cards
- Toys Я Us cards