First Sokoban program

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First Sokoban program

The first commercial Sokoban game was published in December 1982 for NEC PC-8801.

The selling agency was Thinking Rabbit, a software house based in Takarazuka, Japan.

The game was distributed as cassette tape media.

Start of the game

Screenshot of the entry screen of the game:

The text roughly translates to:
** Sokoban **

You have started a part-time job in a large warehouse company.

Your job is to organize 20 warehouse buildings.

You must organize the boxes in the buildings.

The boxes are so large that you can only push them one at a time.

If you do a bad job the boxes will get jammed.
Hence, you have to be careful.

5 Key (Up)
1 Key (Left)
2 Key (Down)
3 Key (Right)

The boxes must be placed on the red dots.

When the job is done or if you want to start all over again, press the F1-Key.

Press the Space key to start!

Program features

The game offered 20 levels to be played.

After a level has been solved it's necessary to press F1. This triggers the program to check whether the level is solved, so the player can continue with the next level.

Pressing F1 when the level isn't solved asks the player whether the game is to be left or the level is to be started again.

The player has 5 attempts to solve the level, that means: it's possible to start a level again 5 times.


The first 10 levels are common Sokoban levels.

Levels 11 to 20 contain some destroyable walls. These special walls look the same as the other not destroyable walls. However, the player can walk over these walls from specific sides and thereby destroy the walls.

This is level 15 in the original game:
image:First Sokoban Level 15 normal walls.png

This is the same level having the destroyable walls highlighted in blue and the direction they can be walked over indicated by small arrows:
image:First Sokoban Level 15 highlighted walls.png

The levels first become solvable after destroying these special walls.

The walls can only be destroyed when entering them from one specific side. However, in level 20 there is one exception. Level 20 contains a destroyable wall at the top right which can be entered from left and right:
image:First Sokoban Level 20 special wall.png

Later versions of Sokoban don't contain these special wall type anymore.

Source code

The source code of this first Sokoban game was printed in the 1987 book "THE 倉庫番", pages 117-122.

The program was written in BASIC.

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