Category:The LINKS
This page was last modified 11:37, 23 September 2019 by Rderooy. Based on work by Mars2000you.



The LINKS was a dial-up service that started in March 1986 and was discontinued in October 1994. It was exclusive to Japan and an intiative of Telenet Japan with investments from Matsushita Electric Industrial Co (currently Panasonic) and Murata Manufacturing Co.

To use it, you needed

  • a MSX computer
  • a modem dedicated to this network
  • a user-id, required to connect to the network. The user-id was also a kind of 'email' adress which could be used to send messages to other users.


  • a Kanji-ROM was not required as this network used only Katakana and Hiragana characters, while optimizing the MSX graphical capacities to display messages, reviews, etc... in specific formats.
  • a MSX2 computer was of course required for the MSX2 games


Two models of modems were released. Both have a speed of 1200 bps and are based on the RS-232C protocol, but don't support the RS-232C BASIC instructions.

Product Label Color Release Price Remarks
The LINKS NT-190
TMA 1200 HSC Red or Orange 09/86 ¥29,800 Sold or leased also as Sanyo KA-MODEM-1 (black)
Was also bundled with some ROM games
The LINKS NT-300
TMA 1200 BSC Blue 12/87 ¥14,800 Was also bundled with the C-Drive package

In addition, the built-in modem of the MSX2 Panasonic FS-A1FM also provided access to 'The LINKS' network, as did the Panasonic FS-CM1 modem cartridge.





These games had to be downloaded from the network:

  • A1 Grand Prix (Konami-Panasoft, this game is based on Road Fighter)

After downloading you start with the first stage of the game. Every time you complete one stage, you needed to reconnect the server, which records your time and shows you a list of the other competitors, and your "position". The fastest player is shown as "no.1 racer". The feature unseen in F1 spirit is, at certain check point, you are requested to choose one of three "magical stages". If you are lucky, you skip several stages, gaining huge advantage over other not so lucky competitors. Though there was no direct reward to winner (fastest competitor who connected after completing the final stage), the 5-match straight winner was awarded with an "original format" which was usable as a personal template in LINKS mail and BBS services.

  • C-Drive (The Links) The box of C-Drive contained only a modem cartridge and a login for the network where you could download the game. Same procedure as for A1 Grand Prix.
  • Hap Hazard 1 & 2 (BAM) - Before being available on disk, the two games needed to be downloaded from 'The LINKS' network.
  • Network Rally (Konami, this game is based on Hyper Rally) - Same procedure as for A1 Grand Prix. Also known as "Midnight Rally".


Pages in category "The LINKS"

The following 5 pages are in this category, out of 5 total.