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In the history of all of gaming, there has never been a game more disgusting than 177. Many other games may take the title of the disgusting video game of all time.  However, 177 is worthy of such a title.

177's cover.

For many who haven't visited Japan, 177 is the penal code that forbids forced non-consensual sex, AKA rape. The game places you in the shoes of a rapist with the sole objective of chasing and forcing yourself upon a young woman. It's a bishoujo game, bishoujo meaning gal, a type of erotic game popular in Japan that focuses on attractive young women. When it got initially released in 1986, it unleashed a moral and public outrage the likes of Japan had never seen before. Many Japanese women's rights organisations protested the game and, newspapers printed stories with the headline "Rape game marketed to children." It was true in those days that a child or a pubescent could buy the game at an electronics store without parents' permission or questions by the cashier about ID since it wasn't illegal in Japan to sell an adult game to a minor.

This outrage eventually made it into the national bicameral legislature of Japan, with many politicians proposing not only to ban the game but the entire genre of bishoujo altogether. I haven't talked about the game's developer Macadamia Soft. There's no information about Macadamia because it's a shell company that doesn't exist.

Macadamia's origins are mysterious. I would say it's one of the most mysterious game companies to exist. But what if the entire existence of 177 was to not only cause outrage but to brainwash the player into performing such a horrendous act?

Gameplay of 177.

The people behind Macadamia were a secret society of Japanese ultranationalists dedicated to the overthrow of Japan's democracy by any means necessary. They usually published pamphlets and propaganda in Japan's underground Minikomishi. Their roots trace back to the late 60s. In their published work, they accuse Hirohito (the then Emperor of Japan) and his family of betraying Japan by giving into the Allies during World War II. They created a bizarre conspiracy theory stating that Japan's leaders knew about the United States' intentions to drop Fatman and Little Boy on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and could have shot down the planes carrying the bombs but chose not to. The evidence behind it was bogus, even riffing Japan's WWII figures like Tojo and Konoe (Something rare in the Japanese far-right as they usually praised someone like Tojo) with their beliefs. They advocated an "Imperial-Republican method of governance." In which the Emperor got sidelined and promoted a second Sakoku with the intent of turning Japan into a North Korea type state with a cult worshipping "Japan's pride." They also criticise other ultranationalists for participating in the democratic process, calling it a "waste of time" and "going against their cause" along with their reason for secrecy, and I'm paraphrasing. "In our world, one must not be caught or detected or else be shunned by the Japanese liberalite media. We don't name our organisation. We don't use a symbol. We don't use codenames or pseudonyms. We don't leave a trace of our existence." That's hardcore for a secret society.

They discussed their more esoteric beliefs. Many are so batshit insane that to include all would be 456 pages long. So I will focus on one. This secret society proposed a rudimentary form of psychological warfare involving the new medium of computer games, producing products that put players in positions of perpetrators of various types of crimes to entice the player's mind into eventually carrying out such acts in real life. The purpose is to cause instability in Japan so Macadamia can take power. In whatever magazines they published. Macadamia admitted to crimes such as murder, arson, and terrorism, along with gruesome photos of their crimes that would put Aum Shinrikyo to shame.

177's sprites of the girl getting less clothed as the player attacks them. Japanese text translates as "Ugh!".

When Police investigated Macadamia, they interrogated Sadayuki Furuya, dB-SOFT's CEO revealing to Police that he had been sent a floppy disc of the game along with a photo of a woman from behind and a letter asking him to publish 177 and use the photo as the game's cover. He told Police he played the game and didn't care what content it contained, meaning that anyone could make a game and send it to a publishing company and get it in retail stores. The letter itself contained a false address and no name of the sender. Sadayuki also claimed that this wasn't the first time Macadamia sent him a game. You see, 177 wasn't the first title Macadamia developed. They made 225 released just a month earlier, revolving around a pedophile who kidnaps and molests a minor. 225 is lost and should be rightfully so. Police had that photo as the first lead. Eventually, the woman came to Police, claiming she was the unsuspecting victim in the photo. She told investigators that she was walking home from a nightclub and heard a click from a camera. She turned around and got violently assaulted by a man wearing a white cloth mask and an antique Imperial Japan army cap. She said she saw him holding a professional camera before escaping with an accomplice on a Honda motorcycle. The attack left her with a broken nose. When Police asked for the motorcycle's license plates, she stated that the vehicle had no license plates. Police then investigated another photo that was in the game itself. I omitted this but, the many playthroughs online are actually later versions of the game. When 177 was initially released there was no desire during the "rape" act only, power. Once the player's "power" was high enough, they got taken to a screen indicating they completed 177 showing a woman mutilated with the text which read "You had your way with her, now you must do this to any other woman in real life. Your sisters, your girlfriends, even strangers." Police discovered this second photo was of a cold case from two months ago where a young woman from Tokyo's outskirts was found dead by a couple. The assailant behind this murder still isn't caught. Police had two leads that led nowhere, causing Police to come out to the public asking anyone who had information on the developers to put in an anonymous tip to the investigators.

In light of this, Macadamia sent dB-SOFT a slightly altered version of the game. The gruesome photo that had a message commanding the player to commit a crime got replaced with the rape victim marrying the player, with a new mechanic called "desire" if the game wasn't disgusting enough.

Japanese media speculated that Sadayuki Furuya was the game's actual creator, therefore, the murderer of that young woman from that case two months ago. Police dismissed this citing a lack of evidence. The investigation went cold, and on November 1st, 1986, the National Diet banned the game instead. The outrage quickly died and forgotten. Macadamia's attempts at "psychological warfare" failed to cause players to commit crimes Macadamia wanted them to. The ultranationalists of Macadamia dissolved the company. 177 is despised even in the Land of Lewdness.

The outrage behind 177 would be the precursor to the outrage in the West over violent video games. Fears over violent video games causing violence paralleled Macadamia's motivations behind developing 177 and 225. It might be that the status of the people of Macadamia remains unknown. Maybe violent video games causing real-life violence wasn't such a bad idea after all.

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