NES Pinball w/ Famicom Adapter
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.
Mother Coming to Lock City CC
Been putting together some Mother 25th Anniversary carts to come with me to the Lock City Comic Con in CT this July. Hopefully a Slurpee will be coming with me as well. Mother 25th Anniversary Edition is basically a big overhaul of the Mother/Earthbound Zero prototype that was never released for the original NES.
Come check out the GamesquadSquad booth if you happen to be in the area. I’ll have this and a bunch of other NES repros, custom cases, and perler art and hopefully a special guest with some hand-made, knitted, wearable nerdery.
Fire Emblem for NES
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.
Etsy Store Up And Running
Finally got the Etsy store up in full swing for the NES reproductions; making selling them much easier for both the buyer and myself. It still needs some work, but it’s up. I’ve even got my first sale and review already.
Chorus of Mysteries – Castlevania Hack
This hack has been out for some time, but only just recently finished a custom label for it. I rather like how it came out. Possibly my favorite one yet. I always enjoy the classic Konami style NES labels though. Click on the image if you want to check out a gameplay video.
Oh! Also, I finally opened up my Etsy shop. It’s still a little sparse at the moment, but I figured it would make things easier for anyone interested in purchasing a cart. Not sure why I didn’t do that earlier. Laziness or foolishness. Both probably.
Adventure Island IV & Donkey Kong Pie Factory
Two more completed carts ready to roll out. Took me forever to make the label for Donkey Kong. Not that it was hard or anything, I just couldn’t land on a design I liked for it. Eventually landed on the classic arcade image and I think it fits rather well.
Adventure Island IV was never released in America. It came out in 1994 for the Japanese Famicom and by that time, the Super Nintendo had already cemented itself as the preeminent system. So this, like many other games that were developed late in the life of the original NES, was never given its fair shake on the American market.
Not sure how to accurately label this one. I would call it Original Donkey Kong, but they already have that for the NES, but it’s not an entirely accurate title. So Donkey Kong Pie Factory I suppose would be the best choice, but it makes it sound like an entirely different game. What it is, is the complete arcade version of Donkey Kong with the extra level that was removed from the NES console version.
An Ice Hockey RPG?
Certain games never make it past development for stupid reasons. I can’t find a good one for Hit the Ice not being released. A hockey game with RPG elements and slap-stick humor (pun intended!). You can’t miss (also pun intended?). Anyway, it’s a silly, fun game that never made it past the prototype phase. They had the rom and the cart out there, but no finished product. Click on the picture below if you’d like to see some gameplay footage and send me a message if you’d be interested in owning your own copy!
Crushing Double Dragon
I’m pretty sure everyone has fond memories of Double Dragon, especially the arcade original. Double Dragon is essentially the reason we have the brawler/beat ’em up genre, which next to RPGs, is my favorite type of game. In the arcade, you might not have ever realized how unforgiving the game can be because you can always just keep dumping more quarters into it until you win. The NES versions of I, II, and III give you a good taste of what “Nintendo hard” means. I and II – 3 lives with no continues. And they both have stupid platforming parts. WHY?! Why does a brawler have platforming? If there was at least a singular jump button, maybe I could understand. But you have to press both punch and kick together to jump and it’s just not conducive accurate timing. III gives you 1 life. There have been many times I wasn’t even able to get past stage 1. At least after stage 2, you get additional characters.
Up until these longplays, I had NEVER in my life beaten the original Double Dragon for NES. Would always make it to the 4th mission and those stupid blocks would kill me. Or do enough damage there’s no way I could get past that last set of Abobo’s.
My Retro Game Box
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.