Raimais (Taito, 1988)

Raimais is a special game to me.

A constant throughout my life is loving the hell out of games that few other folks seem to. No, I’m not talking about kusoge, here – I’m talking about games that are actually good, but which are unknown and unpopular. Case in point: my enduring love affair with Fighting Vipers 2.

That’s far from the only obscurity that really stokes the flames of burning game love within me, however. Over the years, I’ve come to have a deep appreciation for Taito’s late-80s and early-90s catalog, with a few titles in particular standing out as treasures that have gone most unrecognized by even devoted retro fans. But while one of my favorite lesser-known games, Night Striker, has seen a recent resurgence in popularity — well, in Japan, anyway — there’s another Taito title that wormed its way into my heart that remains mostly buried in their sprawling back catalog: a little game called Raimais.

Raimais, at first glance, doesn’t seem like the sort of game somebody would develop a deep affection for. It looks like a fairly standard-issue dot collection maze game  — a genre that had mostly fallen out of favor when the game hit in 1988 and seems even more dated now. But there’s a lot about this game that’s interesting, from how it aims to modernize one of the earliest gaming formulas to its rather unusual-for-the-time cutscenes and surprise ending… along with how its tendrils crept into another Taito title we’ve covered on this site. Not to mention its strange console offshoot…

Yeah, there’s a lot to cover here. So much, in fact, that I’ve actually had to separate this into several smaller pages. (Yes, the biggest article on gaming.moe so far is for a Taito obscurity that even Japanese players don’t discuss much. Is that really a surprise?) So, without further ado, let’s brave the labyrinth!

UPDATE: The Raimais 30th anniversary tribute doujinshi, RAIMANIAX, is now available to buy! It features lovely hi-res art of some of the color images below, as well as all-new artwork from a variety of artists! I’ve got a very limited supply of other Raimais doujin goods as well, so grab them while you can!

Rika and Organizer by Ashley Riot


Mspaint Rika and Organizer by Ant.


Art by Nina Matsumoto

Art by Hayame

Art by Keeterz

Send me more Rika fanart! I’ll post it here!

Special Thanks to: Zekuu, Ant, Tom James, mauve, Suddendesu, mountainmanjed, and Mark J


  1. Wow, someone who is more nuts about this game than me! I’m surprised I never found this page back when I was obsessed with Raimais a few months ago. I still hear the music in my head some times.

  2. Hi. I’m so glad this exists! I was obsessed with this game a while back, but had no idea about the story and characters until reading this. It just so happens, I drew fan art of Rika for today’s Inktober! Check it out: https://goemonsama.deviantart.com/art/Rika-Midorikawa-711644983

    Or on my tumblr if that’s more convenient: http://anthonyvaccarelli.tumblr.com/post/166787024688/rika-midorikawa-from-raimais-inktober-2017

    Someday, I’d like to try to 1cc this game. It would have to the Japanese version with the warps, because I can’t even imaging getting through every stage on the international version…

  3. One thing I have wasted hours Googling and speculating about: could an Organizer really work? Could you actually make one that works? Does the design (and the rider’s position) actually make any real-world sense? Well, you’ve gathered together all the official artwork from Tatsunoko, so I could try showing it to a three-wheeler person and see what they make of it. The Carver is a bit similar. Working bikes have been made that look like Kaneda’s bike in Akira, but the specs are not impressive – they are just for looks.

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