I know there are about 20 of the original NES games that came with built-in Famicom converters. For those of you that weren’t already aware of this fact, basically, what Nintendo of America did was take the original Japanese PCBs from the Famicom games and add them onto an adapter that contained a lock-out chip so it could only be played on North American system. And is also essentially why American NES carts are so much bigger than Famicom carts. Anyway, of those original games with the adapters, the Japanese PCB would contain either the standard CHR and PRG mask roms, or black blobs – the latter I tend to see far more commonly. What I have never seen, until now, was the picture below.
I opened up my Pinball because I wanted to use the adapter for something else, but I immediately changed my mind once I saw the board. I have never before seen a Famicom board that looked like this, let alone any Nintendo game that had 2 PRG mask roms.
I did a little research and checked around to see if good ol’ Google would turn up anything, even just a picture of a similar board. Couldn’t find anything, so I just figured I’d share. I guess I’d like to know if anyone else has any games like this and just how common/rare these are.
Perfectly timed completion of this project with the release of Fire Emblem Fates on the 3DS. I finally got my famicom converters so I could assemble some Fire Emblem repros for the NES in english. I’m far from the first to have done these, but I’ve wanted to for some time now and I just finally got around to it.
This series had been around in Japan for over a decade before it finally saw an international release on the Game Boy Advance. There were two for the Famicom – Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, and Fire Emblem Gaiden. I just finished the original today and I’ll be wrapping up Gaiden soon.
I’ll be making these by request if anyone wants one. Though the cart will be standard grey. I just used this clear one for myself to show all the nifty bits inside.
I also put one of these together just because I felt like it.
About a month ago I stumbled across something called “My Retro Game Box” on my friend’s Facebook feed. It was another one of those box-a-month subscription programs where they fill a box with random goodies and send it to you, except this one was specifically retro video games. Obviously I was immediately interested. I did some research and found out that it’s a relatively new, small mom & pop operation run out of Scotland. Now my collection has gotten to the point where the games that I am missing are very specific, so I was a little skeptical about signing up for a subscription where I would be sent random games. But I was curious enough to see how it all worked out, so I signed up for 1 month just to check it out.
They’re very friendly and right off the bat they send you a questionnaire asking you to list all the games you have for NES, SNES, Genesis/Mega Drive, N64, Sega Master System, Game Boy, and Game Boy Advance and then even asked what game preferences you had and said they would strive their best not to send you things outside of your personal tastes. One of the things I found most intriguing, is that they give you the option to get PAL or NTSC games. Doubtful it would ever reach me, but I’d love to see Probotector, the PAL version of Contra where everything is a robot, arrive in one of my boxes. They give you the option to do subscriptions by 1 month for £23, 3 months for £65, 6 months £125, and a year for £230. All those prices are in British pounds sterling btw, for those who didn’t understand what they funny symbol was. I was glad they single month purchases for those who wish to remain noncommittal and it allowed me to take just a taste of what they had to offer.
A few days ago, in my mailbox was a unassuming, nondescript, small, rectangular, brown box. And I never would have known it was from a subscription service if it didn’t have a little round sticker on it from, “My Retro Game Box.” To add to the mystery of what games you are randomly sent, they place them in these delightful little striped paper bags. I ended up getting Wrath of the Black Manta and Defender of the crown, both for the NES and both rather ho-hum games. But I also got Dr. Mario for the Game Boy and it was the PAL version, so I was happy about that. I’d actually rather get PAL games. Feels more exotic.
Overall, I’m pleased with this service. I decided to go for another month more out of curiosity than anything else. There’s something exciting about random video games. With ebay, Craig’s List, Amazon, etc, the thrill of the hunt is gone. I don’t expect to ever get Earthbound, or Chrono Trigger or anything of course, but there’s almost 800 games for the NES alone and I don’t even have half of them. My only complaint with My Retro Game Box would have to be their website. It’s rather bland and unintuitive. I understand that they are just starting out and it’s only like 2 people working on it, so I can look past it.
Finished another repro cart. Known in America as Super Mario Bros The Lost Levels, this is the official sequel to the original Super Mario Bros. game which was available on the Famicom Disk System. We of course got the remake on SNES in the form of Super Mario All-Stars. If you are interested in purchasing one of these carts, shoot me a message or send me $35 through paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org with your shipping address. I’ll knock $10 off that price if you send me a donor cart. Message me for possible donors.