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  • Locked thread
Dec 31, 2000

Cowcaster posted:

Hello friends! I see people are buying and selling poo poo from each other in here, which means it's time for a gentle reminder that all buying/selling poo poo should be done through threads in SA Mart. You can link to threads in there from here but all transactions need to be in SA-Mart or there's going to be zero accountability (no punishments, no transaction investigations, etc.) and any goons that get scammed are on their own.

Welcome to the Retro Gaming Discussion Thread!
( DISCLAIMER It's OK to ignore this spergy as gently caress hardware stuff and post about how rad Bubble Bobble is )

The official IRC channel: #retrochat
The official emoticon of the SA Retro Gaming Discussion Thread is :retrogames:

Old thread: (thanks, Wazabi!)

The current Wiki (thanks, Saoshyant!):

What constitutes retro gaming?

Anything your gentle goon heart desires! There is some debate as to what constitutes the “retro” in retro gaming. Imagine a hip hop music aficionado hearing someone say Puff Daddy is “old school”. Or imagine a movie buff hearing someone say Jurassic Park is their favorite classic film. They’d sperg out, but it really is up to the person themselves. The general consensus around here seems to be that retro gaming could mean:

  • Games/consoles released before the PS2
  • During the great Bit Wars of the 1990’s or earlier
  • Gamecube and Xbox1 are “retro” because games are no longer produced for them

Since there aren’t many Gamecube or Xbox1 threads around here (there are none), any of the above are free for discussion, though most goons here are focusing on the NES, SNES, Genesis/Megadrive, Game Boy, PC Engine/TG-16 and Master System. If it’s old, it’s cool! I’m into some pretty obscure consoles, you probably haven’t heard of them

Why waste my money on all this? I can buy a $200 HTPC and emulate most of these systems!

Well, because

You can't emulate Castlevania-forged friendship or juice. (Thanks, Tobaccrow).

Seriously though, if you are happy with emulation, go for it. I tried to fool myself for years that emulation was just fine. It’s not. I need the original controllers, the original console, the whole deal. And it’s not entirely nostalgia. Almost no emulators (with the exception of the Wii’s Virtual Console) output games at their proper resolution. This causes games to have a “flickering” effect around the edges of the sprites. If it doesn’t flicker, it’s usually because a horrible blurring filter is put on the image.

Also, some consoles aren’t exactly emulated perfectly. You’d be surprised at how inaccurate the Super Nintendo emulators are for sound.

Finally, it’s the aesthetic as well. If you have some friends over, who is going to look at your HTPC and say “hey, load up some ROMs and let’s play Anticipation on the NES!” Won’t happen. But have them step one foot in your goony hovel full of retro consoles and you will instantly be met with “hey, put that cartridge in and let’s play Anticipation on the NES!”

That’s cool, but what about those really expensive games? I’m not paying $150 for a cart-only of Earthbound.

That’s fine. For games that are impossible to find, games that are ridiculously expensive, games that never made it to your country of choice, etc., there are flashcarts for virtually every cart-based console now. Yes, just like that mischievous DS cart you had that housed a microSD card, similar carts are being released for retro consoles. The currently recommended ones are as follows:

Goon-recommended flashcarts (and backup methods)
Nintendo (NES/Famicom):

The Everdrive N8, available here:


Super Nintendo (SNES/Super Famicom):

The SD2SNES. It is very difficult to find because it sells out as soon as it comes in stock. Two resellers are very reputable: and The former gives you a wonderful looking shell to house the PCB in, the latter is a bit cheaper with no shell. I personally just gut a Super Mario World cart because I like having a real game stick out of the system, plus again, it’s a lot cheaper.

This particular cart is so expensive because it has tons of hardware added to it and a dedicated team working on it. There are already ports of CD-based games, such as Super Road Blaster. download Super Road Blaster for the SNES here . They are even working on implementing the Satellaview (the SNES online system only available in Japan in the 90s) right into the cart for online SNES play. Seriously, it’s expensive, but get this SNES flashcart over all others no matter how long it takes you to find it.


Your options are two different carts; both great, and both made by Krikzz. There’s the Everdrive MD, which will play Genesis, Master System, and 32x games on your Genesis (you need the 32x to play 32x games, and you must remove the 32x to play Master System games due to a pin that is missing in the 32x that tells the Genesis to “activate” Master System mode). The Mega Everdrive is much more expensive, but can act as a save cart for the Sega CD (something that is normally pretty expensive on its own). It also loads games quicker and does save states.
Both available here:

Sega Saturn:

There’s no “drive emulator”/flashcart for the Sega Saturn, but you can play backups pretty easily. Believe it or not, the system does have copy protection even though I didn’t know CD-Rs existed back then. I find this to be morally acceptable since the system is so old, and there’s $400 games like Panzer Dragoon Saga that even Sega lost the source code to, meaning there’s no way to give Sega your money if you wanted to.

Make sure your Sega Saturn has “circle” power and reset buttons, and not ovals. This is because the single solitary modchip made for the Saturn is (kind of) only compatible with the “round button” model (aka Model 2). Here, I made a nifty guide:

(some people might have slightly different internals on their model 2 Saturn and this guide is for them (thanks Captain Hilarious!)

You’ll want to hit up RacketBoy for the Sega Saturn modchip:

While you’re there, you’ll also want to pick up one of these:

This is a cart that plugs into the back of your Saturn and will give your Saturn the extra RAM it needs for certain games (sort of like the N64 expansion pak) and will allow you to save your progress, play games from another region, and so on.

Game Gear, Master System, Nintendo 64 & TG-16/PC Engine Flashcarts:

There aren’t any alternatives for these, so you would need to get ones made by if you want one. Luckily, all his stuff is great and is highly recommended. All available either at or

If you still don’t feel right using a flashcart, and want a “real” version of Secret of Mana 2 for the SNES or Earthbound for the NES, I highly recommend our very own JJJJJS as he makes reproduction carts, and the labels are incredibly high quality (I got a repro from him and I must say the label looks and feels 100% authentic). His site is
He can even program games that you wouldn’t be able to play on a flashcart, like Starfox 2, due to the needed expansion chips. He’s got it all!

UPDATE univbee was nice enough to create DAT files for the above flashcarts so if you get one of those massive sets of ROMs that has 30 copies of each game, it will weed out the unnecessary ones. Here's the link:


The SEGA CD has no copy protection. Neither does the 3DO or the CDi. The Jaguar CD also lacks copy protection since its copy protection mechanism is there’s almost no functioning units left on the planet (seriously). This is the revision of the Jaguar you will want to get:

The Sega Dreamcast will play backups of games just fine (as anyone over the age of 13 in 2001 is already aware of). The games are chopped down to fit from a 1GB GD-ROM to a 700MB CD-R, however. Sometimes a little something is lost in the chopping up process, and with the low price of used Dreamcast games, you might as well buy them from eBay.

Also, there is a device called the DC to SD that will let you play ISOs or homebrew right from an SD card using your Dreamcast’s useless serial port!

You can order one here:

Unfortunately, not many games are compatible with this method, but the list is increasing as time goes on!

Getting the best video and/or audio from your retro consoles
You might be savvy enough to know that s-video is better than composite, but are you a bad enough dude to know there’s more than 2 revisions of the SNES? How about nine.

My mental breakdown in the other thread was not in vein; the revision of certain consoles can make a big difference in your audio or visual experience. This is because as time goes on, the manufacturing process for a console changes, and different parts are used. In Nintendo’s case, they actually improved the SNES over time. In Sega’s case, they made the Genesis worse over time. (For an image quality comparison between the older SNES models and the newer SNES models, here’s a great “rollover image” comparison:

To ensure you get the best revision of certain consoles, here is a super-simplistic guide (compared to the fairly hard-to-follow guides that I will link to in case you need it).

Super Nintendo:

For the SNES, the model 2 (or SNES mini aka Snes Jr. ) gives off superior picture quality, no matter what the serial number is. They all look great. However, they need to be modified to get s-video or RGB working (more on that in a bit). You can find an excellent guide here. It’s not in English but Google translate does a good job of translating it. The only thing I have to say is that I found 75 ohm resistors for the R, G, and B lines suggested in the guide were not strong enough. I highly recommend 150 ohm resistors. Other than that, the guide is perfect.
If you insist on using the model 1 of the SNES, your best (and easiest) bet is to go by serial numbers. On the bottom of the SNES, if the serial number begins with UN31….. instead of UN2…. or UN1…. It should be a 1CHIP motherboard (meaning it has better picture quality). Harassing eBayers for the serial number is a start, but you can just keep looking for auctions where they take pictures of every angle of the system. If you see a UN31….. serial number, you’re pretty much guaranteed the coveted “1CHIP” SNES system that gives off superior picture quality. It gets the name “1CHIP” because Nintendo combined the sound chip and audio chip into one chip.
However, there’s still the vertical bar issue with the SNES, that some can see and some do not. Here is a great example of it (screen shot courtesy of Sega-16 forums):

Some people can’t see it (I envy them). Some people never see it until I mention it, then they curse my name and my family. Some people genuinely do not have it. I discovered very recently that it is an issue with the encoder the SNES uses. Some people get lucky and do not have it, though from the crazy experimenting I have been doing, way more systems have it than those that do not. Also, the SNES model 2 is less likely to have it, though many of them still do. I already know the incredibly extensive fix for the vertical line, but it requires an insane amount of time and soldering, and I have not perfected it yet, so I will update this OP when it is complete.

Sega Genesis

This guide is all you need, though it’s incredibly lengthy, so I will break it down for you to make it as simple as possible.

If you want the best looking and sounding model 1 Genesis, you will want one that has the words “High Definition Graphics” printed on it.

If you want to go super anal-retentive, you can get a model 1 Genesis that does not have the Sega copyright information when you boot it up. People like not having it because of the 2 seconds the system boots up quicker, and because some sort of homebrew stuff will only work with the system without the copyright information. I don’t really see the point in worrying about this; the Genesis flash carts work with any drat Genesis system made.

If you really do care, the bottom of the Genesis has an FCC ID. If it is 10 characters long, it probably has the copyright boot up screen (also known as TMSS aka TradeMark Security System). If the FCC ID has 13 characters, it probably does not have the copyright boot up screen. Again, I don’t see the big deal about either one.

If for one reason or another you decide you need to have a model 2 Sega Genesis, simply look at the bottom of them and look for the one with the shorter motherboard. The shorter motherboard revision has better sound than other model 2 revisions. Use this guide:

Do not buy the Model 3 Sega Genesis. It isn’t even made by Sega. It doesn’t even fit.

Edit (December 14th, 2012): Asbrandt has bestowed us with a useful post on how you can get lucky and get a non-garbage "small motherboard" model 2. His post is here:

The Nintendo 64 is capable of producing RGB. However, only very early systems are able to do so, and it needs to be modded for it to work. Here is a great image Copper Vein took, that shows what the N64 mod will look like:

This raises the question of what is RGB and why should you care?

Excellent question!
To keep it simple, S-Video produces a much better picture than composite because it separates the luma and chroma lines. R, G, B separates things even more, increasing the picture quality further. When your video game system is running, internally it is generating RGB (other than the original NES) which, via the use of an internal encoder, is converted to whatever type of cable you can think of (composite, s-video, etc.). RGB is giving you the purest possible picture from your console. Many people cannot tell the difference between RGB and s-video, because s-video is already so incredibly sharp compared to composite. However, the color reproduction from RGB is superior to s-video.

If you do not have the monetary means or simply do not want to go the RGB route, s-video is available for most consoles, and composite is available for virtually all of them. Here is a great guide on the game systems and their available AV outputs.

Oh boy! My TV has these red, green, and blue ports on the back. Does that mean I’m good to go?

No. Those are component inputs (or more specifically, YPbPr aka YUV inputs), and if you live in the USA, chances are you aren’t going to be feeding your TV a pure RGB signal. Component is a different “format”, and RGB converts to it (to keep it simple, RGB is converted to YPbPr aka component aka YUV). Most American TVs cannot accept RGB on the component inputs, because RGB is not the component “format”.

To combat this, there are several things you can do. Some people may get lucky with only using this device:
I personally had no such luck on my plasma. Others with a similar plasma said it worked for them, so your mileage may vary. Do not let the eBay title fool you as this is not really a “scaler”. A scaler is something that takes your retro console’s tiny image and blows it up to 1080p (or whatever resolution screen you are using). With this device, the image is being scaled by your television, not the device. This isn’t really a bad thing (especially if you are using a tube/CRT television since you wouldn’t want the image to be touched) except most; if not all televisions (no matter how expensive) do a horrible job at “scaling” our retro consoles. This leads us to this baby:

This is the XRGB Mini Framemeister. Don’t waste your time with other scalers. I’ve tried a bunch of them and hated every one of them (the DVDO Edge was pretty decent though). Again, if you are using a CRT/tube television, you do not need a scaler. This is for those of us with flat-screen TVs and are displeased with how retro games look on our TVs. It is available here (reputable retailer):

Yep, the price is insane, but it’s worth it. The image looks pixel-perfect, and has options that go on forever. It takes SCART natively (the cables you will be buying to get RGB from your systems), and outputs over HDMI. The one caveat here, and this is where this whole thing becomes hair-pulling (if it wasn’t already) is that Japan used a different schematic for wiring up their SCART cables from the way Europe wired up their SCART cables. Why? Because gently caress you, that’s why!

If the XRGB Mini is too expensive for you, Fudoh has an excellent site that showcases all of your options:

Your best bet is to buy all RGB SCART cables for your various systems in the European format. This way you can use easily-found Euro SCART switchers, and can find the cables easily. All you’d need to do is get the XRGB Mini to accept European SCART rather than the Japanese SCART wiring. You can do this by buying this cable from retro_console_accessories who is a wonderful eBay seller:
there’s only 9 available as of this OP so hurry up and order one!

Here’s the cables you need for your particular system:

SNES: retro_console_accessories sells these on eBay. Here is the current active link:

Sega Genesis/MegaDrive model 1:
Just look for model 1 SCART cables. Again, our favorite eBay seller is still selling them here:

Sega Master System: use any model 1 Genesis SCART cable! Hooray!

Sega Genesis Model 2:
Look for model 2 Genesis SCART cables. Available here:

Sega 32x:
Uses the same cables as the model 2 Genesis. Sweet!

Info added 1/10/13: Here is a bit of a write-up by sandpiper who was nice enough to give us info on his Saturn escapade:

sandpiper posted:

Finally I got my Sega Saturn recording setup running. Awesome capture card, SCART to component box, Action Replay Plus, et cetera.

I'm actually planning on doing a recorded playthrough of a few games with this thing, and I'm happy the graphical quality is so damned sharp.

(oh by the way I love how this card is specialized for everything from 240p Genesis/ Atari signals which most new gen capture cards poo poo the bed over to HDMI so I can record my 360 too)

As long as I have a SCART cable for the console in question, or it outputs component RGB, then I can record it now.

I'm pretty sure it's not advertising but I'll just throw in my praise of this:

It's REALLY an amazing capture card for recording "retro consoles". It supports RGB, HDMI and DVI input.

It's also the EXACT SAME CARD as this 300 dollar Micomsoft shmup-specialized Japanese capture card ( but rebranded.

I'm also sure it's been posted about in this thread before but I had to reiterate how awesome it is.

sandpiper posted:

I edited the post.

It's really an amazing little beauty. 120 dollars to record every single console from the Genesis to the Xbox 360 as long as you've got something like this for non-HDMI/DVI:

and I plug my Saturn into it with this from eBay:

Also there's a guide to soldering this together with an audio cable so you can also get a sound signal, which I followed:

Real easy.

(sidenote: that CVS287 SCART to RGB converter I linked on amazon, that's really the one this guide is meant for. if you want to find the converter box on another site, it's a very popular piece of hardware so it should be easy to google.)

sandpiper posted:

I need to do a little disclaimer here, because this seems to happen:

Okay, that CVS287 I recommended? There were two things wrong with it which I had to fix by hand.

1. They color coded the RGB outlets wrong on mine (or wired it wrong) and mixed up 'red' and blue'. Which means you have to switch ports. That's not a big deal, I'm just saying that some people might not even check this.

2. The colors are all hosed up, hardware wise. This is how you fix it.

See those little orange screws my screwdriver is pointing at? You screw with them until your color output is right, these directly affect the signal the converter is outputting.

In the end, you should see something like this:

If the characters have blue skin (which mine did), switch the red and blue cables. If that doesn't fix the colors of whatever signal you're getting, go inside the thing manually and do this.

It's easy to open up, and an even easier thing to do than soldering the audio cables in there.

I could probably manage to do side character quest translations myself if I'm up to it. Hell, I'm translating a game by myself right now with my rudimentary Japanese knowledge and the use of other people, machines, and a dictionary.

Also I'm repulsed at the idea of recording the PSP version because they put those sidebars on it and called it quits. What a lazy port.

NES and RGB:

The original NES is quite a special console in that it’s literally physically incapable of producing an RGB or s-video picture. This is because the internal PPU (Picture Processing Unit) is only “programmed”, at best, to give you composite.

Luckily, some crafty people figured out that the Nintendo arcade machines known as the Playchoice 10 utilized RGB PPUs (arcade machines use RGB, typically). These PPUs can be removed from the Playchoice 10 motherboard and (very few) VS games, and then plugged into a regular Nintendo Entertainment System. Unfortunately, these Playchoice 10 motherboards and the PPUs themselves are becoming incredibly difficult to come across, especially with this mod becoming more and more popular. The price of these PPUs has literally tripled in only a few months.

The expense does not stop there; oh no. You also need to build an amp and all other sorts of fun stuff to get this working.

UPDATE! There is now something called the NESRGB (available here: )
You no longer need to destroy a Playchoice 10 board to get beautiful RGB/s-video out of your NES. While still a very difficult mod, it is nowhere near as difficult as the Playchoice 10 mod and it appears that with this mod that jailbars are completely fixed.

Sega Saturn
All Sega Saturn systems are capable of RGB and S-video; though you might want to stick with a certain model to be able to install a modchip (see above, under “flashcarts”).

Sega Master System:
They all output RGB, but the model 1 is the model to get. This one is fairly simple. Just get the original model. It looks like this:

This is because the other models do not support same SMS games that were released on “cards” (similar to TG-16 games).

How am I supposed to hook all this stuff up at the same time?

While hooking up multiple systems when you are using s-video or composite is pretty easy, doing it over RGB/SCART is a pain. I bought 4 different SCART switches before almost giving up because they all degraded the picture quality very severely. Luckily, at long last, I discovered a company from the UK called Shinybow makes a wonderful SCART switcher that will switch up to 6 systems at once (!) and even has an IR port so you lazy goons don’t even need to get up to switch the system.

What you have to do is contact Shinybow directly and request they import one for you. E-mail . Tell them you are interested in model number SB-5525. For US goons, the price is $179.99 + $10 for shipping.
I know, I know, , but all other switches gave me a noisy image (and some even added audio buzzing). This one had none of that.

For your power-related hook-up issues, you can get the “Strip Liberator” from Amazon:

Further assistance is the “Sega Trio” power supply, available here:
No more will you have to worry about having 3 gargantuan power bricks taking up all the room in your power strip.

More Retro Gamin’

The TG-16 (aka the PC Engine) is a very confusing console. I am no expert in describing the numerous intricacies that is required in getting most games working, so I will copy and paste Copper Vein’s incredible post on the confusing subject:

Copper Vein posted:

TL'DR: I smoked a lot of crack and bought a lot of NEC hardware

I think I like collecting game consoles more than collecting games. Maybe even more than playing the drat games. I got a big boner for hoarding game consoles and most of it is jutting directly at the sprawling family tree of the PC Engine from Nippon Electric Company, NEC. (and Hudson)

So I took a bunch of photos of game machines in a makeshift studio I set up next to my water heater and apparently wrote a high school report on stuff that I hope more of you know then don't. Here we go.

Called that because Hudson developed them or something. A little thicker than Master System cards and packaged in jewel cases like CDs, with little clear plastic sleeves to keep them safe. Note that the art on the SuperGrafx game runs a different direction that the TG-16 and PCE games; you'll see why later.

PC Engine
NEC's lil 8-bit that could. It competed favorably in Japanese sales to the Famicom, I'm lead to believe, due to offering bigger sprites, more colors, and looser censorship. Probably the smallest console released with small cartridges to go with it.

No picture here because still I don't have a proper white OG PCE, but we'll see a variant later. I never knew the PC Engine growing up up, when it was current, and only learned about it after I had sold my TurboGrafx 16 because I was an idiot.

TurboGrafx 16
This was all I ever saw of the PC Engine growing up. Many people I've talked to say they never actually saw one or knew anybody who had one, but somehow I knew three kids in grade school who had one, and I did too. For me the stand out game was Splatterhouse. It was the very first game I ever saw played on a TG16 and the bigger graphics and gore blew me away, you just didn't see that on a NES. I had to have one.

All of the TurboGrafx hardware is over twice as large as its Japanese counterpart, but yet none of it has any additional capability and is fact fully compatible with all PC Engine software once a handful of pins are swapped. My theory for this is that NEC was following Nintendo's lead in designing the NES to be larger and unrecognizable to the Famicom. I think Nintendo did this because they thought that Americans expected a larger footprint for our videogame consoles after having enormous Ataris and Colleco and Intellivisions for so many years. By redesigning the efficient PC Engine into a asymmetrical black widebody they were not only following Nintendo's business sense but also preventing the American PC Engine from looking like a toy compared to the thick NES.

The Turbobooster was a massively oversized attachment that added composite video and stereo jacks, since by itself the Turbografx could only output RF. There two versions, the Booster and the Booster Plus, the only difference being that the Plus model also had backup memory so you could save game data like Neutopia.
The PC Engine had it's own version of the Booster, since the original white PCE only had RF out, and of course it was less than half the size.

Turbo Express \ PC Engine GT
In 1989 NEC decided that they needed a handheld system to stay competitive but when faced with the task of creating a a whole new set of hardware to be an underpowered portable NEC said gently caress That poo poo Completely and put out a handheld that played the same games as the PC Engine. It played the same exact games.

It had a TV tuner as well, so for your $250 you could also watch TV on it for the hour that the eight AA batteries lasted.

CD-ROM games in 1988, how 'bout that poo poo? I didn't get a CD-ROM on my Mac LC until like '93 (fuckin' Lunicus). NEC was making 3x speed drives for the PC and their own floundering computer brand so it makes sense that they would push the format for consoles first. My TG-16 CD-ROM was made in 1989 and still runs Dracula X.

Except for the Super CD attachment and Duo variants all PC Engine CD-ROMs require a version of the system card to be inserted to act as the Bios because, like the Sega CD, the NEC consoles do not boot a CD game when powered on or the tray is closed. They wait at a menu to be told to check the disc. There are three main tiers of system cards: The base CD-ROM System cards, of which the US only got v2.0. The Super System 3.0 card with more memory for the CD to load data too. And finally the two Japan only Arcade cards, Pro and Duo. The Duo card has less memory because it expects to be combined with the additional memory built into a Duo.

NEC had an affectation with putting the 2 on the end of their CD-ROM stuff; maybe they wanted to make they're port of It came from the Desert and Loom more advanced thanb the next. But I know that for myself it caused some confusion for a long time because I knew there was a second tier of CD games, the Super CD-ROM2, and I naturally thought the 2 denoted which games those were... except they are on every loving CD game. I'm going to drop this 2 bullshit after this paragraph because it's goddamnstupid.

Also, very important, CD-ROM is where PC Engine region locking ended. Not only can you play PCE-CD games on a TG16-CD, as was the style at the time, but you can actually put the black TG16 CD-ROM in the PCE CD Interface unit. The difficulty comes with American Super System cards being considerably more rare and expensive and Arcade cards region locked out of a TurboGrafx.

CD-ROM Interface Unit
So much cleaner than the TurboGrafx version. The CD-ROM and PC-Engine are the same size and sit next snugly next to each other. There is an awesome ejection lever that you have to pull to get them back out of the unit. It has RCA jacks and backup memory, and it folds into a briefcase!

The CD player itself is a stand alone music player, so if you wanted to bring it along with you and find a place to plug in its large power brick and plug some headphones or speakers into it, you could enjoy CD music away from home!

TurboGrafx CD
While the CD drive itself is nearly identical to the Japanese version (you can use a PCE-CD with a TG-16}, the US version of the interface unit was made tremendously larger than the PC Engine version. It is a bulky double decker affair, and NEC took their lack of faith in gamer's intelligence to the next level by building in physical safety lockouts which themselves have lockouts.
The base powers both the Turbografx and the CD unit through their expansion ports, but you cannot power the base on until you twist a dial underneath to lock the TG-16 in place, so that it cannot be removed while the unit is powered on. Then when you do slide the power switch to on, you also slide another lockout into place that prevents you from unlocking the dial. The CD unit must also be locked in place efore the unit will actually power on. The TG-16 CD base is essentially a TurboBooster Plus, with composite and stereo out and backup memory.

PC Engine Duo \ TurboDuo
A PC Engine and CD-ROM crammed into one console with the Super System memory and Bios already in there. I have two american TurboDuos but this Japanese PC Engine Duo has been modded to output RGB video and play TurboGrafx games. This is the first model of the Duo which is infamous for developing sound issues as its capacitors age. Bad capacitors are a common problem in all PC Engine hardware but this particular unit of mine definitely needs a re-cap. Hu-Card games sound fine but Super-CD games like Dracula X are missing audio channels.

The little door covers the Hu-Cards and keeps them dust free like the CD lid. You can't tell from this picture. but I promise you that Splatterhouse is in there.

Two white models followed the Duo in Japan, the Duo R and RX which are considered more reliable that the first Duo but are basically the same console and only cosmetically different from each other. If you want to get into PC Engine, a Duo R or RX is the clear choice; a RGB and region modded unit will run you at least $300 shipped from Japan.

This is not really an entirely new console but rather an upgraded PC Engine. It basically added a duplicate video processor and quadrupauled the RAM, but it still had the same 8-bit processor and still required CD System cards.

Five games were released for the SuperGrafx before they killed it: Aldynes, Battle Ace, Mado King Granzort, 1941: Counter Attack, and Daimakaimura. The two Capcom arcade ports were not done by Capcom themselves but NEC Avenue, who were rumored to also be porting Strider before it got cancelled.

The SuperGrafx retains the same rear expansion port as the PC Engine and was designed so the the Super CD-ROM unit would attach to it. But NEC also sold an adapter called the RAU-30 so that the SuperGrafx could attach to the original briefcase CD Interface unit.

There is an expansion port next to the controller port. Nothing was ever released for it, but prototypes exist for a giant, gently caress-off, Steel Battalion-esque attachment that literally ate money.

Like my PC Engine Duo, this SuperGrafx has been modded to play Splatterhouse TurboGrafx games and output RGB video.

SuperGrafx games are packaged a little different than other Hu-Cards, namely the cardboard sleeve. The laminated sheen of crisp, mint condition cardboard makes for a proper trophy to drown the realization that you have spent $200 on a 90's arcade port of a shmup, or so I desperately hope.

Super CD-ROM
This is it. This is my favorite piece of NEC hardware, and one that I didn't even understand when I first saw it. It looks BAD rear end. The scowling robotic visage of the CD window above an open, hungry maw ready to swallow up any variant of PC Engine that dares to get close to it.

It is essentially a sleeker, sexier redesign of the briefcase CD Interface unit but not only has the Bios built in to it, but the extra memory as well, so you don't even need CD System cards unless you are playing Arcade CDs.

The release of the Super CD-ROM expansion coincided with the third variant of the PC-Engine, the Core Grafx II. They used a lighter grey and changed the logos to orange so that it would be a matched pair with the Super CD-Rom unit.

Best part: The Super CD-ROM has an expansion port on the bottom! What the gently caress was supposed to go under there? I know that pretty much every game console has unused expansion ports, but this is an expansion on an expansion, goddamn. loving love NEC design.

PC Engine Variants I Ain't Bought Yet
Obviously I want a modded RX. Then the TurboExpress\GT the only handheld system I care to own, but the one in the picture is a loaner. There is also the Shuttle, which I completely miss the point of, and the LT which is another portable PC Engine but more of a self-contained console and display instead of a traditional handheld. Pioneer released a laserdisc based sytem, the Laseractive, and NEC and Sega each made modules for it that added the functionality of their respective systems. There are also a stupid amount of peripherals which never made it out of Japan.

The NEC Way
If one word could sum up the entire PC Engine family, it would be "Redundancy."

None of these consoles are actually different from each other, and the few that are don't stray far. Every system is just an 8-bit PC Engine, either with a CD-ROM slapped on it or with the ability to connect to one. They can all play the same games. They can all play ALL the games, provided you have the necessary CD System cards and region convertors, with the exception of five games unique to the SuperGrafx.

There are some important exceptions to physical design with the Duos and the GT, but most every other piece of NEC console hardware is based on the square design of the original white PC-Engine. The TurboGrafx still has the same expansion port jutting out under it's cover, the CD-ROM units are the same footprint, and the SuperGrafx retains a tail to be compatible with CD expansions. You will find power and AV out ports in strange places on them but once you start slapping these things together you realize it was so the ports don't get blocked as this console here slides into that attachment over there.

This gives the avid gamer and collector the ability to say "gently caress it," and import a RAU-30 so that your SuperGrafx can attach to the briefcase unit so you can use the backup memory to save progress on a Zelda knock-off while you output audio and video out of two systems at once.

It gives hardware fetishist more opportunities than any other platform to spend more and more money on different variants and not gain the ability to play even one more piece of software than the most rotted cap Duo out there.
It is the NEC way.

Every other cartridge based system allows the user to insert and rip out carts regardless if the unit is powered on or not, but NEC isn't trusting you to not pull that poo poo. Every Hucard console is equipped with a little tab that prevents the game from being removed while it is powered on. There's a fat eject lever on the PCE CD base and the power switch locks the consoles in. The TG16 CD base has dials and bars and switches all over it. The most we ever got out of the other console manufacturers is a unit that knew when the CD door was open.

Many NEC consoles were designed to look like things rather than be an efficient use of your living room space. The Super CD looks like a robot head, the Shuttle looks like a spaceship, the PC-FX looks like a powerful computer that is loving was not, and the SuperGrafx is covered in fake screws, vents, and allen-bolts.

With very few exception the power and AV ports on NEC consoles are on the sides, usually not even both on the same side! Even the Duo still has its thick 8-pin DIN AV plug jutting out it's left side making sure you don't sit it to close to anything. Look at these pictures and think how you would fit these trainwrecks of random angled cables and peak 80's design into your modern entertainment units that ya'll jack off to so much.

If you still are having trouble keeping track of what is needed to play what just have a look at this great guide from and then buy a modded Duo R\RX.

I also made this to sort out the most common "What do I need to play Dracula X?" question.

Well, that's it. I guess I didn't talk about the games much at all, I'll let you guys do that. But that's kind of my point, really. I'm infatuated with PC Engine because I'm in love with their completely stupid hardware design. Nobody else did it the way they did and while they had a relatively short run they still put out an amount of hardware that their competitors took another decade to match. And I love that I can grab this console and that CD-ROM and this adapter and it almost doesn't matter what because I'm still just going to slap it together and play Bloody Wolf on it.

To add to that, here's a list of PC Engine/TG16 games that are fully playable in English:

The Famicom Disk System:

The Famicom Disk System was never released in the USA. It is an add-on released for the original Famicom (Japanese version of the NES) and was created due to game-save technology not being viable at the time. For years, it was the only way to play the original Legend of Zelda in Japan. It’s a great addition to your collection as games had save features when their NES versions did not (Metroid, Castlevania, Kid Icarus, etc.) and many games had better music.

It is recommended that if you plan to use a Famicom Disk System, that you purchase a model 2 version of the Famicom (shown above) due to the fact that the original Famicom does not have controller ports. The model 2 (known as the AV Famicom in Japan) also has composite outputs, and uses the standard A/V port Nintendo consoles used for years.

List of FDS games that are improved over their NES counterparts:
  • Legend of Zelda (better music and sound effects)
  • Metroid (better music and sound effects; saves progress)
  • Kid Icarus (better music and sound effects; saves progress)
  • Castlevania (save system)
  • Zelda 2: (better music and sound effects)
Please give me more FDS games to list, so that we may buy them!

(huge OP continues next post)...

Chumbawumba4ever97 fucked around with this message at 11:02 on Jul 8, 2014


Dec 31, 2000

...(continuation from above post)

Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance:

In true Nintendo fashion, you have many options when it comes to using one system to play all games released from 1989 to 2006 (fun fact: Final Fantasy VI, aka the Greatest Game of All Time, was the last commercially released game for the Game Boy Advance).

The original Game Boy
1989, the number, another summer, get down, sound of the funky drummer

Wonderful for its time, but only plays original Game Boy carts. Will play black colored Game Boy Color carts but will be missing features and/or color. Will not play “clear” Game Boy Color carts.

Here is a handy picture of the different Game Boy cartridges:

Wario 1 (on the left) is an original Game Boy game, Wario 2 is a Game Boy Color game that will work in the original Game Boy (though obviously without color and sometimes with restrictions to certain sections of the game), and Wario 3 will only work on Game Boy Color compatible systems.

fatpat268 discovered a really cool way to get your original Gameboy looking way better than it normally does:

fatpat268 posted:

In terms of modding the original brick gameboy (dmg), there's a relatively simple and cheap way to backlight the screen. It involves a little modding, and a little soldering, but any one can really do it (the soldering points are large).

The backlights can be found here:

Also, the old brick isn't known for having the best contrast ratio, even with it turned all the way up. But there's a trick to get a massive amount of contrast, and it's called biversion. Basically you rotate the polarization film you get from the backlight (light pixels become dark, etc), and then you invert the pixels electronically. The effect cancels out and you get a crystal clear picture.

There's a huge scene that primarily deals with modding these old gameboys for chiptune musicians. Just check the site above to see what I mean.

Game Boy Pocket

I just wanted to show off the awesome Game Boy Pocket model that only got released in Japan (stylized to resemble the original 1989 model). Much better screen, though still monochrome and not backlit. Uses 2 AAA batteries instead of 4 AA batteries. Same compatibility as the original Game Boy.

Game Boy Light

This is simply a Game Boy Pocket with one of those neon-green backlights that were popular to have in digital watches in the 90s. Only released in Japan; it goes for a pretty high price due to its limited release. Compatibility is identical to Game Boy Pocket/1989 Game Boy.

Game Boy Color

The first major revision to the Game Boy line. Displayed games in color, and played original Game Boy games with different color palettes depending on what button you pressed while turning on the system. It lacks a backlight, but runs on 2 AA batteries. It runs every single Game Boy game in the Game Boy line except for Game Boy Advance games (obviously).

The original Game Boy Advance. Plays (obviously) Game Boy Advance games, which have more or less Super Nintendo-quality graphics (with crummier sound). It also plays all Game Boy Color and original Game Boy games. Pressing L or R lets you switch between filling out the screen or keeping them in their original aspect ratio.

There is no backlight, because Nintendo insisted this thing run forever on AA batteries. We’ll forgive them this time, because it was 2001, and they eventually released this:

This is simply a hardware revision to the original Game Boy Advance, so game compatibility is identical (except now your original Game Boy and Game Boy Color games stick out of the bottom, rather than the top). The model to the left is the “front-lit” version, where Nintendo simply ripped off the idea the Afterburner/PortableMonopoly guys came up with, and created a clear “screen” over the top of the image and had light dispersed evenly across it. Later on, without really advertising it, Nintendo changed the screen to a backlit screen (as seen on the right). This creates a much more vibrant picture. I personally love them both, as motion blur (or response time) on the backlit version is more noticeable. 99% of people prefer the backlit one, so if you are one of them, you’ll want to search “AGS-101” on eBay (this is the model number of the backlit GBA SP).

Also, the GBA SP does not have a headphone jack port built in.

The original DS and DS Lite are not compatible with any Game Boy or Game Boy Color games so do not buy one for that purpose.

The Super Game Boy is cool. Super cool. How cool? Wu-Tang Clan did an unreleased commercial for it; that’s how cool it is. “YOU CAN CHANGE DA BORDAZ!”

Despite the fact that it gives old Game Boy games a color palette (just like the Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance do to non-color games), the Super Game Boy is not compatible with Game Boy Color-only games (games with “see thru” casing, like Super Mario Bros. DX). Essentially, the Super Game Boy is (almost) literally a Game Boy console that has been jammed into an SNES cart.

Also, Game Boy Color games that will work in older Game Boy systems will operate as if you plugged it into an original Game Boy, except with some color. For example, Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX for the Game Boy Color will play on a Super Game Boy, but it will not have the full color you’d get from playing it on a newer Game Boy system, and you will be unable to access the special dungeon (which is the same outcome as it being played on an original Game Boy).

However, some games have special extra features if you play them on the SNES. Donkey Kong ’94 has extra-awesome colors when played on the Super Game Boy, and it even utilizes the SNES’ sound chip to give better audio! However, if you place this game in a Game Boy Color, you will not get the special Super Game Boy colors!
Some games even have crazy SNES-specific extra features. Space Invaders for the Game Boy will actually unlock an SNES version of the game on the Super Game Boy! Wario Blast (a Bomberman-eque game made by Nintendo) will allow you to play with multiple controllers on your SNES console for competitive play.

The Game Boy Player for the Nintendo Gamecube is an excellent addition to any retro gamer’s library (it is literally the only reason I still have a Gamecube). The Game Boy Player plays all games in all of the Game Boy product line.

However, there are some things to keep in mind. To boot the Game Boy Player, it requires a special disc be placed in the Gamecube. This disc was apparently too difficult for people to hold on to, because the price for the disc itself is a bit high.

Also, many goons insist if playing on an LCD or plasma that you use the Gamecube component cables. These are incredibly expensive because, to save a few nickels, Nintendo chose to put the required chip inside the cable instead of the console. In America, Nintendo only offered this cable through their website or phone system, and even then it was only for a short time. These previously $25 cables now go for over $100 on eBay.

One other thing to note is many goons feel that the Super Game Boy gives off a superior picture when playing original Game Boy games due to the fact that it is outputting an image that is closer to the original Game Boy’s.
There are some other tricks you can do to enhance your Game Boy experience, such as this one courtesy of fatpat268 where you can get the awesome brighter GBA SP screen running on your original, more comfortable GBA:

fatpat268 posted:

You can in fact have a backlit original GBA. It involves transplanting the LCD from an AGS-101 GBA SP into the original GBA. The only problem, is that the cable on the backlit screen originates from the bottom, and the cable from the the original GBA originates from the top. Well, some guy in China created an extension for this (you do have to solder 1 wire that powers the actual backlight). He also sells the screen and completed GBAs as well. I modded mine myself, and thought others might enjoy the same info. Also, the mod requires some trimming of the front plastic shell, as the gba sp screen doesn't fit. The screen is the same dimension, but there's more circuit board and metal around it.

The site you order from is in chinese. I don't speak a lick of chinese, but I was able to order via a broker site called How that site works, is that you tell them what you want, you pay them (plus a few bucks in fees), and they get the item shipped to their own address, and then they ship it to you. All told, I paid ~$50USD.

The cable: 115 yuan ~= $18 USD
The screen: 150 yuan ~= $24 USD
Completed system: 400 yuan ~= $64 USD

And, there are two different models of the original gba, believe it or not. One has a 32 pin connector for the LCD, and the other has a 40 pin connector. You need the GBA with a 40 pin connector.

Luckily, you don't need to rip apart the GBA to find out if you have one with a 40 pin connector.

Take a look at this image here. The one on the left has a 32 pin connector, the one on the right has a 40 pin

There is still some variation on that number though, as the one I successfully modded says 03 5-2.

Someone even managed to hack a joystick into a GBA and have it output to TV (as if it were its own console):

(I cannot comment on how well it works as I haven’t tried it…..yet )


Interested in the Panasonic/Lucky Goldstar/Sanyo/REAL 3DO? Well good news! OSI bean dip has that one covered!

OSI bean dip posted:

Hey RGBurglar, would you mind including this? I'll update a bit more for it later, but I threw this together this weekend.

3DO Interactive Multiplayer

So you want a 3DO? This 32-bit ARM-based console came out in late 1993 and lasted a whopping two years before it was discontinued after selling 5 million units worldwide. Pushed by Panasonic, Sanyo, and Goldstar (aka LG), it was designed to compete with consoles the likes of the Playstation and Saturn.

The console is where Gex got its start (it was bundled with the console at one point), a near-perfect port of Super Street Fighter II was made with superior audio to its arcade version, Wing Commander was an example of an early FMV game that didn't suck, and an almost perfect version of Doom was released save for the fact that its framerate was terrible.

One unique factor with the 3DO was that there were numerous models. The most common ones in North America were the Panasonic series, specifically the FZ-1. None of them have region locks or copy protection.

Console models

Panasonic FZ-1

Panasonic FZ-10

Goldstar 3DO

Goldstar 3DO Alive II

The above models are the most common you'll find. There were a few others which included an FZ-1 that had a 5-disc disc changer built-in and an ISA card made by Creative Labs that you could pop into your PC and play the games on there. Many companies tried to get in on the 3DO bandwagon as well (AT&T, EA, and Atari to name a few), but the Panasonic, Sanyo, and Goldstar models are really the only ones you're going to commonly come across and they serve their purpose well.

One thing about the 3DO that basically makes it sort of the most superior console of its time in one category is how it outputted to your TV. Look at these magical-looking ports on the back of an FZ-1:

Not only does it have the usual RF output, but it has S-Video and composite output with no bullshit connectors! It wasn't until the Playstation 3 that Sony bundled something that could go straight to a TV and it took until the Wii-U for Nintendo to smarten up.

I am using S-Video on my 37" LCD with my 3DO and it looks fairly decent. However, it seems that someone has done an RGB mod of the console:

Console peripherals and accessories

The 3DO's main controller was effectively similar to the first-generation Genesis one where it had three action buttons on the right, a directional pad on the left, and two buttons in the centre for start and select (referred to as 'stop' and 'play' for some reason). It also has left and right buttons on the very top like a Super Nintendo or Playstation. In addition to that, the connector for the controller to the console was also a 9-pin connector akin to that of the Genesis, Commodore, and the Atari, but that is where the similarities cease.

Genesis controllers do not work on that controller port for one thing (do not plug one in), but in addition to that, the 3DO only has one port on the console and instead relies on a daisy-chain of controllers to allow for two players--said port is located at the top of the controller and is usually covered by a plastic piece.

There were a few third-party controllers on the market and Panasonic had planned for a six-button joystick variety release in North America (it did get released in Japan), but for all intents and purposes, you're likely to find just the usual 3-button variety. Third party controllers are out there and they do in fact have six buttons, but again, they're generally terrible from my experience. I've heard of adapters that allowed one to use Super Nintendo controllers on the systems, but I have yet to see one surface.

eBay is generally your best place for accessories.


One thing about the 3DO was that it wasn't necessarily sold as a game console, but rather a multimedia unit for the home. However, some rather excellent games were developed and or ported to the 3DO. Here are some games I suggest playing.


Doom for the 3DO is weird. It's actually a fairly good port of it except for the fact that the console can barely push the game at the framerate it should be--it works well otherwise but the fellow in the video I posted decided to shrink it down a bit. Besides that, it's one of my favourite ports due to the music and overall quality.

Bust a Move

Probably my favourite puzzle game of all time, but this port is rather good. I don't need to explain much about this game to you guys.

Wing Commander III

Starring Mark Hamill, this is probably one of the neater games to show what the 3DO could do. Features a tonne of FMV but overall the gameplay isn't that bad.

Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon S

The opening to this is just weird, but it's a simple fighter game but I found it enjoyable. It's fun to watch the girls duke it out. There's no English version of this game, so either know some Japanese (like myself) or try and remember what does what.

Samurai Showdown

This is probably the best port of Samurai Showdown out there. I definitely recommend picking it up.

Street Fighter II Turbo

Pretty much a perfect port of the arcade version.

Repairing your broken consoles

I will place the current best repair guides available for each system in this section. Please post your recommended fixes and I will update this OP. There’s new fixes released all the time for various consoles, so it’s hard to keep up with what’s the most current. This section will address that.

What to play?

Holy crap! That’s right! There’s games you play on these things!

For this section, it will require a lot of goons’ input. I think laying it out like this would be a great idea (per console).

God-tier (incredible; must play before you die)
Great-tier (very good; for when you already finished all the classics)
Middlin’-tier (good games that fans of the console should check out, but it may not be for everyone)
So-bad-they’re-good-tier (Shaq-Fu, Pit-Fighter, Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties, etc.)

I will start off with a personal example for the SNES.


Final Fantasy VI (aka Final Fantasy III in the US).
Considered by most to be the best in the series, this game introduced many into the world of RPGs, which, at the time, were of incredibly high quality. The music is amazing, the storyline is great, and it’s long, yet almost never boring. If you haven’t played it, you must. Possibly consider the GBA port if you’re lazy and want some extras.

Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
I personally find it infinitely better than the N64 game everyone holds in such high regard. Action-packed, clever puzzles, Disney-esque music and possibly my second favorite video game ending of all time (after Earthbound). Play the GBA version for the extra dungeon and extra “dark world” ending.


Illusion of Gaia

Also known as “Illusion of Time” in Europe; I actually wanted to put this game in “God tier” but goons would burn me alive. If you love A Link to the Past, you’ll love this, though it’s quite a bit shorter in length. Part of the Soul Blazer/Terranigma “spiritual trilogy”.


Tin Star

A game from Nintendo that you wouldn’t expect anyone to bother releasing; it’s one of those old style “saloon shooters” sort of like Sunset Riders. Came out during the end of the SNES’ lifespan when Nintendo was releasing somewhat cheaper titles as 1st party (like Uniracers; another good title).


Ultraman: Towards the Universe
I once beat this game by holding up and pressing X every 5 seconds , then L every few minutes.
How to play games not released in my country of origin, thy good goon sire?
Especially when it comes to consoles released in Europe and Japan, I will need some decent guides on this, as it forever changes with what switches you need to install and hz modes and all that other good stuff. Will edit this part with relevant, up to date information.

Other miscellaneous links (most shamelessly copy and pasted from the old thread, any new or outdated links, let me know and I will rectify):
A great guide for those with a soldering iron and a panache for creating or modifying RGB cables. - Huge compilation of every single console ever. Very informative and it has great pictures as well.
A New Zealand based retro gaming site, run by FeedbackBsr on SA. Covering anything and everything from 1999 earlier it's New/Videos/Reviews/Editorials galore! - Atari Age, all about classic Atari systems - Batari BASIC, a BASIC compiler for Atari 2600 development - Console hardware info and modifications - Famicom World, all about the Nintendo Family Computer and its accessories - Hardcore Gaming 101, one of the greatest sites on the planet for info about all kinds of older game series. Lots of obscure info here. HIGHLY recommended reading. - TurbografX/PC Engine/Duo modifications and repair - NES Reproduction carts at reasonable prices - A shitload of hardware modifications, really cool. Also features the best guides on disabling an NES' Nin10 lockout chip and repairing the 72-pin connector(don't buy a new one if yours is fixable) - Nintendo Player, NES game reviews and editorials. Pretty decent read. - Racketboy shouldn't need an introduction if you're interested in retrogaming. Highly recommended. - Retr0bright, a recipe for a plastic brightening solution that will make old plastic electronic cases look brand new. - Retroware TV, a lot of web shows with reviews, retrospectives and other general retrogaming info. There's some crap, but a lot of good stuff. - Everyone knows about Retrozone - Sega Genesis hardware mods, probably work on the Megadrive as well - Sega 16, all about the Genesis/MD and really really good. - Sega 8-bit, pretty much the Sega Master System version of Sega 16 - SMS Power!, another Master System fansite, with information on foreign releases and obscure hardware - NES World, the oldest NES fansite on the internet (started in 1993) and still updated frequently. - NES Dev, THE go-to site for NES game development and hardware technical info. - Online version of a college course on NES game development, an incredible resource for getting started on programming for the ol' toaster. - ...and to help you along, this is an NES-specific IDE

Download link for Snatcher on the Sega CD:


If you are crazy obsessive about your reproductions:
(JJJJJS still wins my heart if you are cool with "just the game cart".

Excellent guide on how to solder:

New Links Added - Another great site for the A/V pinouts of your retro game consoles! Thanks, Antillese!

WANT TO REPLACE YOUR SNES BATTERIES but don't feel like looking for batteries with the tabs soldered onto them already? Get these!

Approved by fatpat and I, these can be soldered to your SNES game cart (the opposite side of where the battery normally goes) and any time you ever need to replace the battery again, it's easy as pie!


A beautiful post by univbee on ROM hacking:

univbee posted:

Hmmm, this post turned out a bit jankier than I was hoping, but gently caress it, I have power and should post it while I still do:

Translating Famicom games for fun and profit* using one weird old trick.

* - No actual profit

As some of you might now, about a year and a half ago, I did a ROMhack of Super Monkey Daibouken, a game so bad no one had translated it before, and was prominently featured in a weekly special on Game Center CX where users could phone in to tell Arino what to do (because the game is terrible and makes no sense). I had dabbled a bit in this kind of ROMhacking in the past (for putting English games into French), but usually discovered pretty quickly that there was a far more competent team that had either already done the translation I was aiming for or was well under way. Fortunately, some of the skills I picked up ended up playing out nicely for this game, which is a dead simple (and dead terrible) game, and it only took me about 2 hours to get the proof-of-concept in place (i.e. prove that I had the technical skills to do it before I bugged other people to help me with it). This is pretty basic stuff and, while it's geared towards the NES and Famicom, the same principles will apply to any console whose font you can tamper with (which is the key to this whole technique). Note that this is just tip-of-the-iceburg; most games have really weird programming fuckery going on for specific things so this is not going to be a complete set of instructions, but will get you off to an excellent start. The fact that this gets you as far as it does means you will be encouraged to figure out the last bits and pieces needed to really make things work out for you, at least I hope it will.

There are almost certainly more straightforward ways of doing it but they are likely console-specific and/or require more in-depth technical knowledge. My method, while long and tedious at parts, is 90% a logic trick and 10% actual technical poo poo. If you ever meaningfully used a Hex editor (i.e. if you know what Hex is and how it applies to computers) you probably know enough "programming" to do this on a basic level. The technique will work as long as the following is true:

- You are able to modify the graphics used for the game's font (I'm pretty sure all translations need to do this anyway, so your translation is DOA if this can't be done). NES and SNES have tons of tools available that will let you do this, you might run into trouble if you're trying to translate a CD-I game or something. If you can't do this but the game has a valid A-Z English character table and uses English somewhere, you might be able to get it working by searching for that string.
- The game doesn't make excessive use of Kanji (you should be fine for any Hiragana/Katakana-only game, and it wasn't until something like Final Fantasy V or VI that Kanji started really being used extensively for regular game text on the SNES). Most of these steps should still be applicable but there will be additional challenges for the hex tables that I'm not familiar with, you might need a Hex editor that supports tables and will actually handle Unicode characters (anyone know a free one that does this?)
- The game's text isn't employing compression or encryption. This was the big reason why Seiken Densetsu 3's English patch took as long as it did, and why Ace Attorney Investigations 2 had similar issues (the game is also tamper-protected, which doesn't help). I don't think any NES/Famicom games use it, and even on SNES it's very rare due to the processing costs involved.

You should be able to get a reasonably complete Japanese script dump of your game within about an hour following these steps, if all works well, regardless of how much text there is.

At this point if you need help from others (graphics and translators) you have enough to prove that this is an achievable goal at this stage, and make some magic happen.

Now before taking on a project like this, a good first step is to actually search online, because someone else may have already already beaten you to the punch, or at least tampered with the game; even an incomplete translation patch (or a blog of someone's progress) can give huge insight into how the game works. This is especially relevant if you're doing a project with a common game, like translating Final Fantasy IV into Urdu or something. You may also want to get a filelist for a goodmerged set of GoodNES-approved ROMs (or equivalent for your console), since they group different languages of games together and you can find out if someone ever translated your game or not pretty quickly that way. Different versions of the same game, even if you don't understand the language, can be immensely helpful to compare/contrast with the Japanese version to figure out what's different.

The first part of this is geared towards Japanese games for which no documentation exists and you basically have nothing but a Hex editor and some hutzpah. You aren't able to wrap your head around pointer, analyzing RAM, that kind of stuff. This is for you.

Now, as Heran Bago so eloquently explained earlier, NES game graphics consist of 8x8 squares called tiles, with larger objects simply consisting of multiple tiles. Likewise, the font used by the game is also generally handled this way*, with each character being an 8x8 square. The game itself simply pulls the relevant characters whenever the text shows up, exactly like your computer does . This fact is what we're exploiting, by replacing the game's Japanese characters with English ones. We're going to find where the game gets its text data from in a less technical roundabout way, and doing this is the first step.

* - some languages with complex characters like Chinese will sometimes have each character consist of 4 tiles (2x2) to not lose important detail but that's a whole other story.

Things you will need:
- A good Hex editor. Finding ones that are good but free is hard, and paid Hex editors are surprisingly expensive (like $100). You may have to juggle 2 or 3 good free ones that each have unique features. You will need at least one with differential search capability, and one with support for custom tables. Fortunately, WindHex is free and fits both of these needs nicely and is what I'll be using, another Hex Editor called Translhextion could be good for some purposes too.
- An NES/Famicom tile editor. This is pretty much the only console-specific tool you really need, though.
- If you yourself aren't the one translating the game, you will at least need a rudimentary understanding about how the Japanese alphabet works, especially as it applies to computers (i.e. at least know how to TYPE the language, and some of the gotchas like that あ and ぁ aren't the same thing, how ten-ten work etc.). If you don't it would help if the translator is reachable, you'll probably need help from them. The more Japanese you know, the easier this will be, but it's not strictly required for getting at least some of the script dumped.

Open the Japanese ROM in an emulator, watch the game's intro and start a new game, taking screenshots every time text shows up on screen. Once you have a few screens' worth of text you're probably OK to at least get started. Here's the first big wad of text in the game, that you see when you pick "NEW GAME" at the beginning.

Open the original Japanese game ROM in the tile editor. Scroll around until you find the font used by the game.

Now a lot of Hex editors can't handle Japanese text very well, so for finding the table values I'm going to employ my "weird old trick", which consists of the following steps:

- Overwrite the Japanese text using the letters A-Z (either all uppercase or all lowercase); to make this super-quick, I dragged the existing letters that were in the ROM already, but if needed you can open another ROM, like the English Dragon Warrior, and drag the fonts out of there.

Now save your ROM and open your newly completely-hosed ROM, get back to the screen you were at earlier. It will now look like this messy thing:

Believe it or not, this fits perfectly into what we're trying to do. Now we're going to employ what's known as Relative Search. What this does is make the first character into a wildcard, and every subsequent character is searched for based on its difference with the first character, so if you did a search for "ABCE", it would do a search for "x,x+1,x+2,x+4" and would return any string it found that fits the pattern (so it would pull up 0124, BCDF etc.). You may have to search for a smallish string with little difference between them, but you will want something long so it only finds one value in the ROM (you know you're in the right place then). This is also why it's important to put characters into the ROM in the same order as a vanilla ASCII table; differential search only works if this is the case.

AUPZ is four characters long, and when we search for that...

gently caress yeah. This tells us two things:

- We've reduced the possible locations for the text I'm interested in to just 5.
- All 5 of these work if A is equal to 0x80, so it's looking like that's what it is.

Just to make sure let's build a table. Right-click any of the five listings and select "create table with selected values", you will have to erase most of it because it will presume there are ASCII-order characters surrounding A-Z.

Now we had 5 possibilities, let's dig around and see if we can find the text. There should be a B and an F with one character separating them just shortly before the AUPZ value, and a while after is S M L close to each-other. No luck with the first location or the second, let's look at the third...

Boom. This is unquestionably it. And from this, we can start figuring out the mysteries of the font table the game uses:

0x00 is what the game uses for a space (it's immediately before and after AUPZ, which is an empty space in the screenshot)
0x76 is what the game uses for the Japanese ten-ten, so all characters using it take up two spaces (you can visually tell if you look at the Japanese text)
0xF0 is what the game uses for a line break; we have to be careful with these since moving them around can make text go off-screen or even crash your game!
The Katakana テ is at 0x52 so I can extrapolate to get the rest of it by referring to the order in which the letters show up in the tile editor.

So now you can start building a Japanese table. Windhex is kind of wonky to do it because it won't let you straight type Japanese, but it'll let you pick the letters from the Unicode table.

Once you are done building your table you can load it, you will have to select "view text data as unicode" for the japanese to show up right. This isn't complete but this is how it starts looking:

Now start looking through the ROM and figure out where text begins and ends. Knowing Japanese will help because it'll be easier to spot nonsense patterns that aren't actually meant to be interpreted text, and figure out where text starts and finishes. You can then dump the text, although it will dump in ANSI-but-Shift-JIS format; open the file with something like Notepad++, force it to Shift-JIS encoding:

I made a few mistakes so at this point I would go back and adjust my table until things came out the way I wanted.

Super Monkey only had 34 lines so I just rewrote the English text straight in the Hex Editor, and you can too if there isn't more text for the game than you have patience for (go edit\Hex-Text edit mode). I'm not familiar with these programs yet, but Atlas and Cartographer look to be command-line "dump text, insert text into ROM" programs that can handle pointers and line breaks and the like intelligently, and are probably something you would want to figure out if you intend to do a major RPG translation.

You now have to figure out how many characters each line of text allows for you, this includes spaces since they're characters too. You will very quickly discover that this isn't a hell of a lot and making your characters not sound like cavemen will be a miracle. This is also why Japanese got story-rich games long before we did; 2-4 megabytes is workable for Japanese text but severely limiting for English. For example, this line "よるは きけんた゛" ("It's dangerous at night.") in Super Monkey is 11 characters long in Japanese (that literal English version earlier is 26). We ended up with BEWARE DARK.

To actually insert English, you redraw the characters into English ones (if the Japanese game doesn't already support English characters) and build a new table file where you replace your Japanese values table with the corresponding English characters you replace using the tile editor. Then you can straight type. (but don't overwrite the line breaks)

If you really, really want to cram in a fuller, richer translation, you will need some considerable skill to modify and relocate pointers, and likely expand the game's ROM (which could complicate things if you later want to make an actual repro cart of the translated game). Having said that, even if you do this you may yet run into situations where there just isn't enough room for all text (the game may have a strict limit on the number of text boxes in certain situations and you will have to shrink those). Something will almost certainly have to give.

You can then use Heran Bago's guide and the tile editor to modify the title screen (this, ironically, took 3 times longer to do than the entire game's text from the time I first started investigating Super Monkey) and other things that you might want to adjust (Super Monkey has Kanji for Day and Night used in the status bar, for example).

Bonus info: some gotchas

Because the Japanese ten-ten comes out separate this means what you're writing isn't, from a machine standpoint, Japanese. It's like if instead of "Nintendo" I have "|\|intendo." This is pretty subtle and shouldn't be an issue to any Japanese person, but if you're doing something like plugging words into an online translator (please don't do your translations this way and cause All Your Base 2.0) it won't know what the hell it is.

Note that a lot of games will spread their text around in different parts of the ROM depending on what they're doing. Odds are good the game's text is in one location, monster names in another, item names in another (and their descriptions if that's something that shows when you highlight the item), and probably some other malarkey based on how the game does stuff (e.g. you know how Final Fantasy VI has in-battle text along the top (e.g. most of Ultros' text)? That's in a specific place. You know how some fights have text show up along the BOTTOM (e.g. Kefka's "wait, do I look like a waiter?" line) that's in another place. Both of these are separate from the game's main text. If the game is an RPG with a lot of text, you may need someone familiar with Japanese and the game (e.g. recently gave it a thorough playthrough) to make sense out of some stuff like odd item/monster names (not even for translating, but recognizing them when jumping around in the ROM).

An actual final translation for something non-basic will for-sure require multiple passes. You will always find wonky poo poo you missed, and learn tons about how the game is put together.

For example, just to show you how games do weird things on their own sometimes, let's look at the original character set again:

Notice how there's extra text at the end there. If you don't know Japanese, that says stuff like "Item," "Magic," so it looks like some of the battle menu pulls its text from here and NOT from the regular table. Good news: This probably means you can just re-draw this so the English matches. Bad news: this could limit the space you have to write something in (e.g. have to fit 2-3 letters in a single 8x8 tile or start aggressively abbreviating)

Also, I didn't show this earlier, take a look at the game's intro screen:

Kanji? In my NES game's table? Digging further in the tile editor, I found this:

So there's a tiny text table that's only used by the intro, but it still pulls its hiragana I guess from the regular text table, so editing this one screen would likely require some serious code fuckery.


- Replace Japanese font with English letters A-Z, noting which Japanese characters you're replacing with which letters.
- Run modified ROM, write down first garbled text strings.
- Do a differential search with a Hex editor for parts of the string you copied, locate where game text is stored.
- Find out which hex value is your text break, space, other special characters.
- Create table.
- Dump text, convert using Notepad++ or other editor that lets you force Shift-JIS.

And another one by Heran Bago:

Heran Bago posted:

Hi welcome to my ROM hacking companion effortpost. Sorry to beat you to the chase univbee, I couldn't resist. Today we will be talking about what is numbers, how to draw a dick on your NES sprites, and how to play as your very own fan character recolor!

If you are just here to see a tour of the process then grab some food and scroll quickly through this numbers stuff. If you want to hack along with this post you should! You will need some tools though:
- Windows or a Windows Tiny XP virtual machine.
- A tile editor. Tile Layer Pro is a popular choice but it has a lot of limitations. Tile Molester is also popular and has many options but runs in Java and is gross and clunky as a result.
- An NES emulator with a PPU viewer. I recommend an entry in the FCEU series like FCEUXD-SP

An introduction to hex
Humans grew up with ten fingers and in our decimal number system there are ten numbers from 1 to 10. But what if it were different? What if we were counting in binary and there were only two numbers from 1 to 10? The 10 in binary is the same as our 2.
So with hexadecimal there are 16 numbers from 1 to 10. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and then it needs a new character which is A. This is followed by B, C, D, E, and then F which is the highest single-digit “number” in hexadecimal, even though it’s our 15. The highest two-digit hexadecimal number is FF or 255, which might sound familiar to you.
When software is compiled from its source it becomes a heap of data and machine code instructions in big piles of binary numbers called files. A ROM is a game’s read-only memory backed up to a file.

There are a myriad of reasons why we choose to view the 1s and 0s as hex instead of binary or decimal. It’s practical, comfortable, and more in tune with the spacing and storage of the way this stuff really is than decimal. You’re going to see a lot of hexadecimal, get used to it!

It’s common to put a $ sign or a 0x in front of a hexadecimal number. From now on if a number is in hexadecimal format I will put 0x in front of it so if you see 0x10 then it’s our 16. 0xA is our 10, 0xF is our 15, 0x9 is 9 in decimal.

Palettes and the pretty colors.

A palette is this thing an artist holds:

Now imagine that the graphics chip is holding this block of numbers that is pretty much that; the colors it uses to draw the graphics on screen according to the number of each graphic tile. We’ll get to graphics tiles (but not their numbers) later. Palettes are just an easily searchable and editable strip of hexadecimal numbers that the system will interpret as colors.

For the purpose of this guide I’m going to focus on NES. NES is an easy place to start because of its limited and easy to find palettes. Here is a chart from an old guide of every color the NES is capable of and its numeric value:

The exact steps I’m going to go through won’t work for every NES game. It’ll work for most though.

First back up your ROM and open it up in FCEUGX9x_64 or whatever. Explore the menus and open up the PPU viewer and the Hex Editor. In the Hex Editor note that you can view the NES memory, PPU memory, or the ROM. You are interested in all of these. You can also load a .tbl file which you might remember from univbee’s post

In the PPU viewer you can hover over the colors and it will tell you what it is. Somewhere in here are the colors of the thing that you want to change the colors of. I want to change the colors of the main character. Usually it’s just in the PPU viewer once but I see it here twice, no matter!

Using the built-in hex editor we can change the values that represent the colors in the PPU or in the RAM to see how the recolor looks in real time. When I’m satisfied I can change the same values in the ROM data and just save the ROM like that. All within the emulator!

In the screenshot above my ‘cursor’ is hovering over a nice fleshy pink with a value of 0x25.
The three colors together that comprise the character and appear twice for some reason are 0x2A, 0x26, and 0x30. Together that's 0x2A2630.
If we do a search for this number in the hex editor looking at the PPU it comes up quite a lot. Changing the first instance to numbers hand-picked from the chart above doesn’t do anything. Looking at the PPU viewer shows it had an effect so maybe it changed the color of bubbles or item pickups or something. Changing the second instance yields the expected results though.

Any changes to the PPU in this are temporary. Change the view in the hex editor to ROM and see if the same colors turn up. As long as I search without a black on either end I seem to find this palette eight times in the whole ROM. The prudent way to determine the correct one would be trial and error. But right now I only care about getting a ROM where I play as the red bubble bobble so I changed all eight.

And that’s a wrap! Time to hit the colored pencils and take deviantART by storm with your Original Character. Or maybe writing is more your thing?

Graphics and Tiles

But you take your Bubble Bobble fannon very seriously and your fan character is usually in his human form but can still shoot bubbles like a dragon. So you’re going to replace his graphics as well as his colors.

Many sprites in games that need to be loaded quickly are uncompressed. This makes them really structured and accessible usually. Open Super Mario Brothers in Tile Layer Pro. Look at how the graphics are structured and familiarize yourself with the tools to draw a wang on a character.

So I opened Tile Layer Pro and opened three files: Bubble Bobble, Rainbow Islands, and a blank “clip board” file full of 0x00s. you can make something like this by copying black squares in a junk ROM in TLP. Anyway in both game ROMs I scrolled through until I found the art (- and = keys to bit-adjust) which like most NES games was not compressed. The sprites are stored a little different in the two games but it’ll work out. The first step is to piece both together in the clipboard ROM. This may sound or look intimidating but it’s just a lot of click and drag.

So the sprites are the same size. I could start putting the new tiles from the clip board on the appropriate spots in the Bubble Bobble ROM but because they are facing opposite directions by default his sprites would be backwards all the time. So I have to flip those Rainbow Island sprites horizontally.

Then it’s a simple matter of tastefully replacing the original ROM’s graphics.

And then to test it.

Huh that’s weird. Looking through the ROM’s graphics there are more sprites for the main characters. Looks like we changed a set of unused graphics!

That’s more like it. But it still needs some tweaking.

There! Original Character do not steal! After moving around a little art that I didn’t get quite right it’s functional. Just think of the 16x16 sprites you could swap.

For reference, here is an end result of the ROM.

And that’s basic graphics editing on NES. The premise is surprisingly similar on SMS, Genesis, SNES, and even GBA.

Chumbawumba4ever97 fucked around with this message at 14:47 on Nov 20, 2013

Dec 31, 2000

I know I am missing quite a bit, and might need to change some formatting, spelling, add information, etc. So please point out anything I missed, got wrong, and so forth!!


Cowcaster posted:

Hello friends! I see people are buying and selling poo poo from each other in here, which means it's time for a gentle reminder that all buying/selling poo poo should be done through threads in SA Mart. You can link to threads in there from here but all transactions need to be in SA-Mart or there's going to be zero accountability (no punishments, no transaction investigations, etc.) and any goons that get scammed are on their own.

UPDATE univbee was nice enough to create DAT files for the above flashcarts so if you get one of those massive sets of ROMs that has 30 copies of each game, it will weed out the unnecessary ones. Here's the link:
(I have also posted this info in the original OP above, where the "flashcart" section is)


Our friend here has a message about a SUPER MARIO MARATHON!!!

Soul Glo posted:

Hey guys, I lurk this thread, and I wanted to let y'all know that we're running a Mario Marathon over IN THIS THREAD. Exactly how the Zelda thread was run around a year ago.

Might be some good retro fun, so join us, why don't you?

flyboi created this brilliant post on how to figure out PSUs/power adapters and how to get what you need for your old consoles:

flyboi posted:

Everything you need to know about power supplies:

There are two polarities to power supplies. This is often called "center pin" i.e center pin positive or negative. The polarity can be found on any power supply if it's hardwired:

You'll note the left is positive center pin, right is negative center pin. To reverse polarity on a hard-wired power supply you can swap the leads on the motherboard. If you don't feel safe working around the large caps in a PSU like me, there are alternatives.

Now that we have polarity down let's talk about voltage. You'll see on a psu something like INPUT: 120VAC OUTPUT: 9VDC. This means that the power supply will take 120V AC from the wall in your house and output 9V DC via the plug on the end. If you look on the bottom of a system it will usually state the requirements such as 9V DC 17W or sometimes in amperage, it varies. Anyways, you always want to match or be close to the original voltage. Variance of +/-2V is alright for most systems as they have built in regulators that actually down-step whatever voltage comes in from the ac adapter and outputs 5V +/- 0.2V. These are called regulators and if you look inside most systems you will see them screwed to massive metal heatsinks which are used to "burn off" the excess voltage that the regulator cannot use.

As I said most systems there are some that are weird about this. For example the Twin Famicom takes 7.5V DC and has no 7805 regulator like a regular famicom/nes. I still haven't opened mine to look as hkr were troubleshooting his twin famicom last night and found his cartridge slot was outputting 7.5V DC through the +5V lines. Another example is the NES which actually uses an AC adapter which outputs AC to the system and is converted internally to DC. This is why you always hear people scream "NEVER PLUG A NES ADAPTER IN ANYTHING BUT A NES! YOU WILL FRY SYSTEMS!" DC is a straight line at a straight voltage and blowing well over that will make components go boom. I believe some Atari systems use that as well, but 99% of systems you don't need to worry about this gotcha. If it's on or around 9V chances are there's a regulator inside the system.

Ok voltage out of the way. Now let's talk current or mA. In electrical world we call this "draw" as components need more current they will draw this from the power supply. The usage by a circuit in terms of amperage is directly related to the load of the circuit itself so this is not a constant variable. By having enough current - say 1000mA for a Duo it will operate normally. Hook up an adapter that is 600mA and it might boot up, it might play a Hu card game but once you try to load a cd it will more than likely crash as it cannot draw enough current to run the circuit. Amperage is only supplied to the circuit from the adapter as it is needed so it is better to have more than less. So if you have something that requires 1000mA you can theoretically use a 2500mA power supply and be fine. This is how those "all-in-one" Sega adapters are made to power 32x/scd/genesis from 1 PSU. All the systems are 9V the PSU just needs to have enough amperage to meet the draw of the systems as they are used.

Now last but not least if you're like me and don't like working around the massive caps in PSUs, there are very easy ways to supply power to your games! I am currently using these on my Twin Famicom, Super Famicom, Sega CD and Duo-R as they are regulated which is safer for components and it has pretty much every tip you would ever need aside from the one necessary for a Duo. Find the polarity of your system, plug the tip in to match, set the slider to the voltage and go.

fatpat268 is not only the king of handheld modding, but he has a great guide for someone who might need an SNES power supply as they seem to be getting more and more expensive when trying to find an OEM one. Anyway, here's his post:

fatpat268 posted:

I figured I'd share a "discovery" I made a little while back.

Anyway, if you ever need a SNES AC adapter, you basically have two choices:

1. Hope to find an official one for cheap on ebay (unlikely)
2. Or buy one of those questionable "3 in 1" ac adapters

The official adapter is rated for 10 Volts. Almost all the cheap replacement adapters do 9V. And it'll work, but tolerances on these AC adaptors are all over the place. I've had AC adapter output less than 9V, and some almost outputting 10V. In other words, it's a crapshoot. And especially, if you're running a flashcart, you'll need all the juice you can get since they can be a bit power hungry.

Anyway, I found a legit 10V adapter on ebay (and they're plentiful). The great part is, they come with a removable tip.

According to the label, it does 9V-10V. According to my multimeter, it does 9.8V. Close enough.

Also, Radioshack sells tips called Adaptaplugs. You specifically need "Adaptaplug R" for the SNES. Should be $5 in Radioshack, maybe a little cheaper on ebay.

Anyway, when you get them, you need to know that the SNES AC adapter is center pin negative. So, match the (-) marking on the adaptaplug tip with the "tip" marking from the AC adapter cord.

And just like that, you'll have a reliable AC adaptor. Figured I'd share, as you see people from time to time complain of problems that are likely caused by weak ac adaptors.


Also, if you're looking for a replacement psu for the xrgb mini and don't want to spring $25 for that universal one, that same ebay seller sells another psu that meets the appropriate specs. It does 5V 3A (the mini's original psu does 2.3A). So it's a suitable replacement for those looking to have an ac adapter for 120V AC (as opposed to 100V AC).

Match it up with an "Adaptaplug B"

and then you should be all set.

Flyboi as you all know by know is literally a genius, so take his Neo Geo guide as gospel if you have an interest in the system:

flyboi posted:

Neo Geo or How I learned to stop worrying about bankruptcy and love

So you really hate you wallet? Want to find a way to spend your paycheck quick? Well the solution is Neo Geo.

Neo Geo comes in two flavors - AES and MVS.

AES is the home system which was released in the US and Japan advertising a "home arcade experience" which it was. It was literally the same hardware SNK used in the arcades, only in your house! The system when new was a staggering $649.99 which compared to the latest generation of consoles is ironic in terms of price and value. The games were also very expensive - running anywhere from $100 up to $500 new. The home console never really penetrated the market so today the value of the system and games is still outrageously high and very to get into. The system comes standard with composite and RGB output both of which only have mono sound. You must modify the system to get stereo or s-video output. The memory card is used as a ram savestate and will save a game in the exact state the game was before previously being turned off. The memory cards today are ill-advised to purchase as they have built in batteries that are non-replaceable and are dying. Supposedly you can use PCMCIA memory cards but I am not privy to the nature of this, so buyer beware. There was a replacement memory card with permanent capability but has ceased being made. It was called the NeoSaveMasta as seen here . The AES console also did not see as many releases as the arcade so some games can only be played with a MVS converter. These allow the system to play arcade games on a home console. You can typically find a converter for around $250 and there are two main flavors. The phantom 2 and the Super MVS to AES converter. The phantom 2 is an older converter and works with most-all MVS cartridges with the exception of the later games. After SNK flopped in 2001 Kawasaki bought up the rights and became SNK Playmore. The cartridges released under this brand have encryption built into them and the phantom 2 cannot play these cartridges. I'm a retard and let's rephrase that. Starting with Metal Slug 3 and onward SNK introduced encryption to their cartridges to thwart piracy. No MVS game after Metal Slug 3 works with the phantom 2. The Super MVS to AES converter supposedly can, but don't take my word for it.

MVS is the arcade counter part which the Neo Geo home console derived from. It was very lucrative to arcade operators as they could purchase a single mother board and instead of dropping $10000 per new cab they could just buy a cartridge from SNK and pop it into an already existing MVS cab. It is also the most successful cartridge-based arcade form-factor to date with the highest number of cartridges released for a single arcade system. The MVS comes in 1, 2, 4 and 6 slot form-factors. This means that depending on the number of slots you can have multiple cartridges in the same cabinet. There are a ton of games for the system with some notables such as Samurai Showdown, Metal slug, King of Fighters and Puzzle Bobble. Some collectors will go for MVS over AES due to cost. An example of difference in cost is Metal Slug 3 on MVS can be had for around $100. On AES it can run you well north of that up to $500. These systems can also be converted to work on a home tv as if they were Neo Geo consoles.

Oh yeah, there's also a Neo Geo CD console but don't waste your time. The loading times are outrageous and is just not enough. Most the games on it can be had on other systems anyways and have much better loading times.


Funny you ask, it has been a hot topic as of recent and everyone's asking about it so this is why I'm doing this post. Consolization is the act of taking an arcade Neo Geo board and "converting" it to be a home console. Basically you give it some AES joystick ports and proper tv-out for some sweet Neo Geo action. This has some benefits as well as AES lacks backup ram which means if you plop a universe bios into it the system must remain in developer mode as it cannot actually run in 100% Arcade mode. Having multiple form factors SNK also has multiple boards

Before we get into that let's take a brief detour and go over probably the most significant modification to Neo Geo ever. The universe bios is a replacement bios that can be dropped into both AES and MVS systems. The bios provides a butt-load of features for the system such as the ability to change region along with type from arcade to console. This can be done on-the-fly at boot-up and is fairly painless. The bios also has an ingame menu that allows for things such as cheating! The alternate bios goes even further and can aid in the consolization of a MVS board by creating a select button on an unused pin. This allows for a more authentic AES experience while maintaining the MVS form. Not only this but the universe bios also has PC-2-NEO which is a cable you can build that plugs into the 2nd player joystick port to load roms on-the-fly from your computer. Holy cow! Let's see that in action shall we?!

If you're going to get a Neo Geo you pretty much need a universe bios. It makes life much easier and is pretty awesome. You can get one revision previous from the universe bios homepage and burn it to your own eeprom or you can purchase the latest for 25 euro and get 5 euro upgrades for life. The choice is yours!

Another thing to mention is that Neo Geo MVS boards have batteries in them to save the settings along with scores. These batteries were built to be rechargeable but as this is the retro thread, most of these batteries are dead. You will need to remove these batteries and replace them with a socket along with removing the charging circuit so nice and cheap CR2032s can be used in place. You can see various tutorials on doing battery mods at jamma nation

Now that we have the two major necessities getting into consolization out of the way let's talk about boards. The most sought-after board for turning into a console is the MV-1C. This board is the smallest neo geo board made and allows for vertical cartridge insertion so once completed the system looks very console-y. You can even buy pre-consolized MV-1Cs from two people - Analogue Interactive makes a very sleek and stylish console out of wood and another person from the Neo Geo forums makes the Omega kit which looks like the aes console but is made out of plastic

So say you don't want to go the MV-1C route because you're cheap and you just want some sweet Neo Geo action on your home tv. There's plenty of options to choose from, the MV-1 which is basically a Neo Geo AES but xbox huge, the MV-1F and MV-1FS. All of these are fairly easy to modify and even have sound on-board for easy line-out tapping for your rca plugs. All these boards have consolization guides on jamma-nation linked above so for more specific information go there. The MV-1C is by far the hardest to consolize while the others are easier. The 2 slot is also approchable for modding so pick which you want. It should be noted that all 1 slot boards have a slightly-modified JAMMA connector to allow for the 4 buttons as JAMMA only accounts for 3 buttons. The 2, 4 and 6 slot boards are MVS specific as they do weird poo poo like send stereo sound out of pins they shouldn't and other weird poo poo with pins. Don't ever hook a 2, 4 or 6 slot to JAMMA. Also on 1 slot boards if you throw it into a JAMMA cabinet you MUST make sure the board is set to mono audio or you will be sending 12V out to things that shouldn't be getting 12V. The pinout for these can be found here

One thing that should be noted about MV-1C and MV-1B is that the bios on these boards are surface mount instead of a DIMM socket. This means that the universe bios won't fit in them!!!! In the past people used to solder wires and go "I'm so hardcore " but now there's a solution! It's called the NeoBiosMasta. This handy little device plugs directly on top of the Neo Geo cpu and says "Hey let's bareback I'm HIV- tested yesterday" and wires to the Chip Enable and Output Enable of where the bios should be. This then provides a socket that the universe bios slides into making life super awesome and simple. You can find this handy little device here

For those of you without RGB on your tv you will be going "but flyboi I don't have RGB " Rest easy my friend! There's a board that can convert this to composite, svideo or component for your retro needs. JROK makes a RGB to NTSC encoder which can be fitted to a MVS console for your needs. You can find them in the jamma-nation store

All Neo Geo arcade boards run of 5V power for the system. They also take 12V but that is strictly for the audio amplification. For consolization reasons this can be ignored. The only thing is you will need to check the manual for your respective board to make sure the power supply you purchase provides enough amps as noted by the manual.

All boards when consolizing have guides on how to wire in this device in the tutorial section of jamma nation so just follow that. If you look at the pcb guide above you will see that some bios are socketed. This just means you can pop the bios out with a screw driver and plug your universe bios in. Simple and clean.

I'm skipping AES games because I know almost nothing about them. They're expensive. Have fun going bankrupt.

First off, JP and US games are multi-region. This means that the games can be played in both Japanese and English for like 99% of the games. The majong and quiz games never came stateside so they're off limits to patriots but hey, enjoy what you can. AES is the same way and you can change the language by switching the region of the system in your universe bios.

So now you have your MVS or you have your AES with a MVS converter and are wanting some games. People scream "OH GOD NEO GEO " but you couldn't be more wrong! The funny thing about Neo Geo is that it was the most pirated arcade console to date. China loves that poo poo. They love it so much they make x-in-1 cartridges. There's a metric assload of them! Here's a basic breakdown of the available cartridges Just realize that this list isn't the most accurate as the 161-in-1 has Pulstar for example. You can find more complete lists for specific carts if you search "x-in-1 game list" which usually brings up a forum post which has a proper list of each title.

It should be noted that the 138-in-1 is a strange beast that has an extra board that connects on the JAMMA header of the Neo Geo. Don't buy this one for a system you're consolizing because it won't fit in your case. The most standard one seems to be the 161-in-1 and can be had for around $90 shipped from China from a URL I'm unable to find at the moment. Maybe someone can give me it and I'll edit it in here. However this place is in the USA and where I got my 150-in-1

So now you're screaming "FILTHY PIRATE!!! I ONLY BUY THE MOST AUTHENTIC OF AUTHENTIC GAMES!!!!" Well good loving luck. Didn't I just say that Neo Geo is the most pirated arcade system ever? There are a few places to get games but if you're wanting 100% authentic you will want to stick to the Neo-Geo forum or KLOV both of these sites absolutely hate boots because they're the most insane of the Neo Geo collectors alive. Any bootleg being sold must be labeled as such and if one is found to be a bootleg after the fact refunds are almost always given. You can try eBay but best of luck. There are some methods which you can use to try and find the legitimacy but due to how most pictures are done you're pretty much hosed.

That said, here's a rundown of trying to identify a bootleg without actually having it in your hands:

First, look at the label. A lot of games have holographic labels on them which is a surefire legit label. It doesn't necessarily mean the boards inside are legit, but it's a good sign. Bootlegs never waste their time on that. USA games also came with serials on the labels and some have them intact while others have "scratched serials." This is because back in the day SNK would fine and quit selling to arcade distributors if they were caught selling their games. To get around this the distributor would scratch the serial numbers off the label and SNK would curse while shaking their fist. Unfortunately SNK only used serials in the US so JAP carts are pretty much impossible to tell. Also a lot of people reprint labels because being arcade cartridges, most of them have seen better days. If that's the case, you can't tell from the label.

Oooo pretty holograms. Pretend some of those serials are scratched out with a key and you know what a scratched cart is.

Ok so we've got labels out of the way. Next up is the cartridge color. You'll notice in the pic above there's black and clear cartridges. There's also clear green, clear blue, green, white, red and yellow. Red is only for Korean games and Yellow was only used on Matrimelee. White cartridges were only used in Japan and were used as rental cartridges for arcades. Korean games are really special and you probably may not want them. Some are 1:1 to their JP counterpart but some are modified with things such as the JP speech removed or other whacky stuff. They might not even have english in them! Oh no! Some games might not even be in their respective properly colored cartridge because some rear end in a top hat arcade tech treated the game like a red headed step child so it was swapped. You're really hosed trying to buy legit outside of KLOV/Neo-Geo.

So we've got the outside covered but unfortunately that's not enough. I told you this was the most pirated arcade system didn't I? Pretty sure I did. The last step is checking the actual boards. If you search eBay you'll see a lot of auctions will have pictures of the cartridges open. This is because they're showing the chips and board to show if it's legit or bootleg. You can compare boards to a handy list which also has labels for comparison sake.

All of this is covered way more in depth here if you really want to about it


So in conclusion, yes Neo Geo is the :retrogames: of :retrogames: BUT IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE

An example, I could purchase a MV-1F for $70 shipped off ebay, grab a spare ATX power supply, an AES joystick from Japan for $60, the video converter for $60, ask a friend with an eeprom burner to burn a unibios 3.0 for maybe $10 and a multicart for $100 along with maybe $20 in spare parts. After some solder work and elbow grease you now have a Neo Geo with 90+ games for just a tad over $300. Sure, some consoles are cheaper to get into but with the 161-in-1 you have most-every decent game worth owning aside from the prohibitively expensive games such as Twinkle Star Sprites ($350 for MVS) or if you're real cheap Metal Slug 5 ($150)

Here's an idea of what a $300 consolized MV-1FS would look like (it's normally black this was painted)

gosh i hope this is understandable

An incredible effortpost discussing what Sega CD games to get:

al-azad posted:

--Al-Azad's List of Sega CD Games that Aren't poo poo--

Alright, so the Sega CD isn't the greatest system in the world. It came out in that awkward period where CDs were the newest format capable of holding 100x the space of a floppy disc. And what did people do with this new format? Create a ton of derivative Dragon's Lair clones. It wasn't a glorious era, but there are a few diamonds here.

Sega CD games can be basically classified into three lists: FMV games, obscure Japanese stuff, and enhanced ports. I won't bother listing FMV games, mainly because they suck but also because they're done better on other platforms. There are a few noteworthy titles like Time Gal and Road Avenger but whatever, these are actual games I'm talking about.

The Best of the Best

Eternal Champions: Challenge of the Dark Side
At the height of the Mortal Kombat craze Sega tried to capitalize on the digitized-actor-bloody-fighting game with Eternal Champions. And it was okay. But the sequel on Sega CD was like Mortal Kombat 2 to MK. The fighting moves were rebalanced, better graphics, cd quality sound, and more stage kills. And oh boy, Eternal Champions kicks the poo poo out of Mortal Kombat in imaginative kills.

Even if you've never owned an SCD you've probably heard of Snatcher. One of Kojima's earlier games ported to a bunch of platforms, Snatcher is the American release of Kojima's visual novel. You see a lot of stylistic trademarks here, including Kojima's love of ridiculously long and convoluted cutscenes, and it's a great adventure game that wears its Blade Runner influence on its sleeve. If there's one Sega CD game to own, it's this.

Earthworm Jim: Special Edition
The definitive console version of Earthworm Jim. The animations are more detailed, all of the levels are included plus a new one, and Tommy Tallarico's soundtrack is in glorious cd quality. The best version of a great platformer.

Dark Wizard
Probably the most noteworthy Sega CD exclusive that has never seen light of day on any other platform (that I know of). Dark Wizard is a hex-based strategy game with a bit of Fire Emblem flair but a focus on magic and summoning. It's a great game with plenty of bad 90s anime cutscenes and deserves to be in any collector's library.

Final Fight CD
The best console version of Final Fight. Remixed music, two-player(!), Guy is actually included, and some cut content from the SNES version is back in the game including Poison. It's not arcade perfect but good enough.

Robo Aleste
The last of the Aleste games and you've probably played MUSHA on Genesis. Well this is more of the same and for a series as good as Aleste, that's not a bad thing.

Heart of the Alien
Includes the cult classic Out of this World and an unofficial sequel that continues where the game left off. If you haven't played this series you should; it's a classic example of wordless storytelling in video games with a unique art style and rotoscoped animation.

Keio Flying Squadron
You're a 14-year old girl (18 in America, of course) in a sexy bunny suit who rides a dragon and destroys medieval Japanese airships or something. A Gradius style shooter with some charm to it, Keio is one of the rarest and most expensive American releases. The UK demo disc actually contains the whole game and you can access it via a cheat code.

Lords of Thunder
AAAAAGH THIS GAME IS SO METAL. Lords of Thunder is a simplistic SHMUP but the gameplay elements are solid and everything works well. The highlight of the game is the kickass loving rock soundtrack and fantastic graphics.

Lunar: The Silver Star and Lunar 2: Eternal Blue
Sega CD's big name RPGs and possibly the most famous titles on the system. The Lunar series are rather simplistic RPGs with an emphasis on terrible 90s anime storytelling and cutscenes. They're also notoriously difficult. The PS1 versions are pretty different, to the point where they're mostly new games, so if you want to see where the legacy started then here you go.

Popful Mail
A platformer/RPG hybrid, Popful Mail has the 4kids anime cutscenes we've come to love of this era. It plays a lot like the later Wonder Boy games but there's more variety in the levels and abilities available to you. This is a great game all around and no Sega CD library is complete without it.

Shining Force CD
Do you like Shining Force? Do you want more Shining Force? And I mean a lot more, with four scenarios total? Well gently caress, here's your big rear end turn-based strategy RPG! Important: you need a backup cart to get the hidden scenario because the internal memory of the SCD isn't large enough to store all the saves.

Mostly Good Stuff

Sol-Feace? More like Sol-Feces! Nah, it's a really good R-Type esque shooter. There aren't many options, and the game is quite short compared to most SHMUPs, but you can alter your weapons on the fly to fire forward and backwards and the enemy bosses are pretty great.

Sonic CD
Not a fan of this game. Sonic has always been advertised about its speed but the early Sonic games end up becoming momentum based platformers with huge levels and multiple paths. Well, that's all here but Sonic CD demands that you keep the speed up by adding in a gimmicky time travel mechanic that only works when you're going fast. It ruins the feel of the earlier Sonic games and I believe this to be the turning point of the series where "GOTTA GO FAST" came before good level design and gameplay. It's not a bad game, it's just not a great Sonic game although plenty of people love it so YMMV.

You play as Finn Slap the Human and Stick the Dog in a virtual world as you click on poo poo and do random stuff while watching weird rear end cutscenes that make Wario Ware look tame. I really can't describe this game in any way other than "click on stuff, watch stuff happen." It's not so much a game as it is an interactive movie but it's at least visually interesting and filled with enough crazy Japanese poo poo to amuse you. About as close to an FMV game without being an FMV game.

An Amiga era platformer enhanced for Sega CD. It's strange that even the Amiga CD32 version wasn't as good. Flink is a platformer where you combine ingredients to create spells. It's a slower paced platformer with a focus on timing and exploration, almost like an early Rayman style.

Battle Frenzy
Who knew a good console FPS existed back in the day? Battle Frenzy isn't a very remarkable 2.5D shooter but it has split screen (I know!) co-op and plays rather fast.

First person mech shooter. Again, it's unremarkable compared to similar PC games but it's pretty standout on consoles. It has cheesy 90s music, terrible voice acted cutscenes, and big loving missiles so what's not to like?

The Amazing Spider-Man vs. the Kingpin
The Genesis version suuucked but they must have assigned their A team to this version. It has (cheesy) animated cutscenes like the Spider-Man cartoon and the gameplay is much more refined. You have access to the entire world at once but you have to go to the right levels by following clues and you're on a timer so no dilly-dallying! Contains a really hosed up game over scene.

Android Assault
To quote Classic Game Room "This game basically mixes giant ninja robots with music from White Snake" and it's pretty accurate. It's an R-Type like shooter with multiple weapons and power ups that affect your speed and such. It's not the best SHMUP of its time but it is a good one.

Dungeon Explorer
A new game based on the TG16 series, this is basically Gauntlet with the serial numbers filed off. It features 4-player co-op and customizeable characters. Unfortunately it's not as well balanced as the TG16 versions so play it co-op or you will have a very rough time.

The Space Adventure Cobra
It's Snatcher but not as good as Snatcher. Based on the anime, Cobra is mature rated with nudity and extreme violence but it's just not as engaging or well scripted as Snatcher.

Third World War
One of the rare SCD exclusive titles, Third World War combines the scenario based empire building of Koei strategy games with turn based battles involving weapons of mass destruction. The controls are the biggest pitfall but it's rare to find a game like this set in the particular time period and be as deep and playable as it is. There are 16 scenarios with their own unique rules with two ways to win any scenario. Plenty of replay value here, plus you can play as a militaristic world dominating Canada. Who wouldn't want that?

One of the less talked about Working Design published games, Vay is stylistically similar to Phantasy Star than Lunar. It's a simplistic RPG, like Lunar, but not as memorable. Not a bad game at all but the settings and characters just don't stand out.

The Terminator
Well, it took a dozen different attempts but someone finally got The Terminator right (on consoles at least, Bethesda cut their teeth with the series on PC as an open world game). The Terminator is a solid sidescrolling shooter with janky controls and odd difficulty spikes but it's pretty good. Virgin Interactive seems to be the only company that handled licensed games well. They even forked over for the theme song in all its glory and overall soundtrack rocks the house.

Demolition Man
Slow down Virgin, Jesus! Demolition Man, based on the movie, is a super fast paced action shooter. It almost feels like an early Bulletproof/Dead to Rights with tons of bullet diving, sliding down rails, and shooting people in the face. There are unwatchable cutscenes from the movie but this is a solid licensed games although not the best from Virgin.

Enhanced ports

A hybrid adventure/strategy game. The best way I can describe it is to imagine King of Dragon Pass with Sierra style adventure game moments. You have to build an army and harvest spice while talking to various NPCs to build your reputation and push south against the Harkonnen. If you're a fan of Dune, this is a great adaption with a focus on world building over action like the more popular RTS game.

An Amiga classic ported to SCD with voice overs and enhanced sound. If you've played isometric Amiga RPGs like Cadaver you should be familiar with the style. Explore dungeons, solve puzzles, and fight enemies in an animated style that's similar to Quest for Glory.

Ecco the Dolphin and Ecco 2
It's the same game you played on Genesis but with an rear end kicking cd quality soundtrack.

Rise of the Dragon: A Blade Hunter Mystery
If the title didn't tip you off, this game was inspired by Blade Runner. It's a menu based adventure game, similar to Snatcher, but has a few mediocre action scenes towards the end. It's not entirely remarkable but there's enough here to like for adventure fans.

Wing Commander
A fully talkie version of Wing Commander, it amazes me the sound file was never released for PC. As expected from Wing Commander, the acting is pretty superb and you didn't normally see this level of quality from an early 90s game. It's otherwise Wing Commander, and a much better port than the SNES that plays relatively close to the Amiga CD32 version. Biggest flaw is the remixed soundtrack, I don't know who the gently caress decided to add excellent voice acting but take away the Fat Man's epic score. That was part of Wing Commander's identity!

Enhanced port of a Genesis title. Puggsy is a slow paced platformer with a focus on puzzle solving and exploration. It has bright colorful graphics and plays like a level-based Dizzy game with interactive objects scattered throughout the world.

Import This poo poo

Captain Tsubasa
Before Inazuma Eleven, there was a soccer RPG based on the manga Captain Tsubasa. It's text heavy but I managed to beat a match without too much trouble. An interesting relic to say the least.

Bakuden: Unbalance Zone
A weird hybrid VN/adventure game starring a fat ugly nerd who likes Sailor Moon and plays video games. It's a very simplistic game where you choose from a list of actions and watch animations unfold. Because there's no real difficulty this is a pretty friendly import as the humor is visual and the icons are pictures, not text.

Cyborg 009
Based on the anime/manga, this is a fast paced side scrolling action game. The loving voice overs annoy the hell out of me but it's not a bad title.

The Ninja Warriors
A one-plane beat'em up, you may have played the superior SNES sequel. The Ninja Warriors is like Shinobi, the arcade Ninja Gaiden, or Splatterhouse in its design compared to other beat'em ups. It's very import friendly with the menu options being in English and all the dialog actually dubbed in English strangely enough.

:siren: IMPORTANT! Your Famicom Disk System will break some day! This is not an if, but a when! Flyboi was kind enough to write up an excellent guide on his repair process.

flyboi posted:

If someone else is interested in how to copy that Famicom floppy here's a guide:
First you should check the controller chip inside your FDS. You can do this by taking the top off and shine a light where the arrow points next to the D on "Disk Drive". You'll barely see an IC which you can make the model out on. There are two versions - the FD7201P and FD3206P

If you have a FD7201P congrats, you don't have to modify it! I should've checked this first but I'm an idiot. Most Twin Famicoms have FD3206P and regular FDS is a crap shoot. If it is a FD3206P you can read the mod instructions here -
The mod isn't too difficult, I had it all wired up fine inside mine before I bothered to check what controller my system had so I had to re-jump the cut traces. Woops.

After that you need to check the power board on your FDS system as they also had write protection in them. To modify them is pretty painless and simple, just follow this guide -

Now that you have the hardware aspect out of the way you need copy software. I have found "Disk Hacker II - Copy Plus 3" to be the best software for this purpose and it loads fine off the FDSLoader cable. If you search the internet you should come across it. The image does not have a header so be sure to correct it before using. Unfortunately you cannot copy the software to a floppy as it has protection but hey - it can copy Doki Doki Panic which most copy software can't so it doesn't suck too bad!

With the software loaded select Super Copy and then quit out of fdsloader. Reload it with the software you want to clone and let it read when it says "INSERT GAME DISK." After that it will say "INSERT BLANK DISK.' Just unplug the ram adapter and plug it into your FDS. After a while it will finish and ask for the game disk again. You need to exit out of fdsloader and reload it with the rom, plug the cable in, let it read and swap back to the FDS until you see "COMPLETE."

Once that's done if it's multi-sided just unplug the cable and it will go back to "INSERT GAME DISK" and repeat the process over again. Once done you'll have a working copy of that Famicom Floppy! MC Double Def DP eat your heart out.

Edit: Well poo poo, wish I knew this fucker existed. So I guess you can actually write FDS games using the mic on controller 2 and a pc!

Chumbawumba4ever97 fucked around with this message at 14:58 on Jun 16, 2014

Mar 15, 2004

World's finest snatch.

Retro Gamers Gift Exchange : Summer Games Edition!


Important Dates:
  • Saturday, June 15 - Registration Cut off: Registration cutoff is the day before US Thanksgiving. You must register before then.
  • Saturday, June 22nd - Name Distribution: RGGEees will be distributed by the site. You will get an email linking to Elfster, it will say on the LEFT who your RGGEee is.
  • Monday, July 22nd - Ship-by Date: Ideal ship-by date. PLEASE do everything you can to have your gift on its way on or before this day.
  • Wednesday, July 31st - Deadbeat Cut Off: If you have not provided proof of shipping by this date, you will be considered a deadbeat and banned (Mod approved!).

  • To be eligible for RGGE Summer Games 2013 you must have posted at least 5 constructive posts in this exact thread. I will be using your profile to check this.
  • You must register by June 15th, no registrations will be accepted after that. Don't ask.
  • Proof of shipment rule, no proof = you're a deadbeat. When you ship your gift you must provide proof of shipment. Elfster has a special tool for this, just click the link on the left above your RGGEees's name and input the tracking number. If you have no tracking number, please EMAIL or PM me a photo the shipping receipt.
  • Gift costs: I would assume most gifts are coming out of collections around the world. But try and keep your gift value at a minimum of $25 market value. No one needs another copy of Fifa 95.
  • There will be a cap of $50. Please do not spend more than $50 on gifts for someone unless you are happy to be disappointed on the receiving end...
  • If you will be moving or traveling a lot during a gift time please say so in your email and/or post so that I/your RGGEer knows when and where the best time to send your gift is.


Step 1 : Registration
    1. Visit >>>THIS LINK HERE<<<
    2. Click the green RSVP button
    3. Click "Join Elfster"
    4. Fill out the form be sure to put your SA USERNAME in the username box - if you don't include your SA Username you will be removed from the group.
    5. Uncheck the "Keep me posted about news and events at Elfster" box, unless you want spam emails.
    6. Click "Join"
    7. Fill in the mailing address that you want to receive your gift at, include your country
    8. Post in this thread

Filling out your profile on Elfster is optional, but prefered. You can add plain text to your wishlist to let your RGSS know what kind of things you would like to show up at your door. Please do this to avoid utter disappointment.

The absolute biggest problem I had last year was linking Elfster accounts to their SA names. Make it obvious. If you don't make it crystal clear who you are on SA you will be removed from the group. Please take steps to make sure this doesn't happen

Step 2 : Post In Thread
    In addition to visiting the link above, you MUST post in this thread. In your post please have:
    1. Start the post with RGGE:Summer Games (makes it easy to find in a search).
    2. Will you ship international?
    3. A list of your consoles
    4. Favorite genres of game
    5. Any specific requests.
    6. You may include an optional "do not send" list. Don't want 5 EA titles showing up in the mail? Say so.

Step 3 : Knowing Your RGGEee
After the draw date the website will inform you who your RGEEee is. Use the information they have provided on the website and in this thread to help your gift decision making.

Elfster allows you to connect them in private to ask further questions. Try and aim for between $25 and $50.

Step 4 : Shipping
Ship ASAP. Shipping is always a hassle. I know we can't force you to use one service over another, but be aware that you are responsible for what you ship. So take extra steps to make sure everything goes smoothly. Here are some tips:

  • Use UPS, DHL or Fedex if available. They offer easy tracking and TRACKING NUMBER IS MY PREFERRED FORM OF SHIPMENT PROOF
  • Write the addresses clearly on your box and TRIPLE CHECK THAT THEY ARE CORRECT!! A misspelled zip code can delay shipping for weeks, and a wrong address means no one gets a gift. If you have bad handwriting or don't want to mess up, consider copy/pasting and printing out the address emailed to you and then tape it to your box.
  • Pack your gifts well. Use good padding (plastic bags, newspaper, peanuts, etc) to keep items safe.
  • If you DO decide to use USPS, keep in mind that they have flat rate boxes that ship for the same price as long as it's under 70 lbs.
  • For those shipping internationally, people report wonderful success with UPS. Cheap, great tracking and reliable. Canada goons (such as myself) do NOT want things sent via UPS, they add massive brokerage fees.

    Proof of shipment
    You must provide proof of shipment before July 31st or you will be considered a deadbeat and banned. Please put the tracking number on Elfster, it makes checking it very easy for me but it also automatically sends the tracking to your RGGEee! Convenient! If you do not have a tracking number, you must EMAIL or PM me a photo/scan of the shipping receipt.

    Accepted types of proof:
  • Tracking number from UPS, Fedex or DHL (This is preferred, please use one of these services unless you really can't for whatever reason)
  • Photo or scanned image of your shipping receipt with your username written on it. Most receipts have the zip code of the recipient, so this is how I will check these.

I don't want purchase receipts of whatever gifts you buy. I want SHIPPING proof.


To those outside of the US: I will do my best to pair you with someone from your country. I can't guarantee this, so please put in your post where you are willing to ship, just in case.

Please keep us updated. There is a facebook like wall for the exchange. Try to keep active on there.

I just want to say: This is the second time I've organised anything like this. It was pretty successful and people have been asking me to run another. It takes a lot of time and effort to co-ordinate and chase people down. I'd love a repeat of the last one with ZERO deadbeats.

If you have ANY questions, concerns or anything you need at all. Please PM or email me!


The games mods for promising to kick someone's rear end if they gently caress with someone's summer!

midge fucked around with this message at 19:00 on Apr 24, 2013

Jun 23, 2004

Be careful for what you wish for.

I think yoshi story and chrono trigger should be god tier in the snes, especially Yoshi Story that really pushed the console to its limit.

edit: I am at work now I will make a better post later with picture and quick review.

Ok Here is Yoshi's Island and not Yoshi's Story.

In the Fall of 1995, at the end of the SNES life, Nintendo finally released a sequel for SMW, SMW2: Yoshi's Island.

The game is what I think is one of the best looking snes game even if it kinda cheat by using the fx chip, but who cares. The graphic is colorful and look like children drawing, there is tons of effect like polygon rotation and it use a lot of mode 7. Not only that, the gameplay is solid and it's a must play.

Earlier the same year Squaresoft released Chrono Trigger.

I found his game really aged well because of the beautiful graphic and engaging battle system. Most of the time you could see the enemies before battle, and often even avoid them, making random battle an non issue and battle when they are so dynamic and almost action filled. The magic system, called tech, was pretty unique because you could combine power of two or three character to do devastating attack. Also the story really complement the gameplay and almost never fail to get the game going forward.

Bleusilences fucked around with this message at 01:56 on Nov 6, 2012

Dec 31, 2000

Bleusilences posted:

I think yoshi story and chrono trigger should be god tier in the snes, especially Yoshi Story that really pushed the console to its limit.

I agree; I was just giving examples and will edit in games as people suggest them. Try to give it a little two line review as well, if you guys think that's a good idea.

Apr 22, 2008

You have done your fellow retro goons a grand service Mr. Miyamoto

In honor of Copper Vein's PC Engine effortpost, this is what came in today:

I don't have a system quite yet to play them on but at least one part of the equation is now taken care of. I also have another set of games taking their sweet time getting out of Asia right now, and just last night I nabbed from a US seller on eBay two Wizardry choose-your-own-adventure books (yes, these are a real thing).

Bing the Noize
Dec 21, 2008

by The Finn

Just wanted to say for anyone who might have ordered an SD2SNES from Retrogate, I ordered on October 15 and it just shipped. Also, you'll get a Ukraine Post tracking number probably (RA#########UA), and it was kind of an unintuitive process to find out how to track registered Ukraine mail:

Feb 14, 2009

Fantastic OP, but someone should do a write-up on NEO-GEO AES, MVS, arcade, and supergun stuff for it. I might do it after work tonight if no one gets around to it.

Dec 31, 2000

Chainclaw posted:

Fantastic OP, but someone should do a write-up on NEO-GEO AES, MVS, arcade, and supergun stuff for it. I might do it after work tonight if no one gets around to it.

Yeah I know nothing about those; so any info would be appreciated.

If anyone finds the OP difficult to read/follow, let me know. I tried to break it up as much as I could with graphics and paragraphs and bolding and such. Just let me know if I could do a better job.

Mar 15, 2004

World's finest snatch.

Miyamotos RGB NES posted:

Yeah I know nothing about those; so any info would be appreciated.

If anyone finds the OP difficult to read/follow, let me know. I tried to break it up as much as I could with graphics and paragraphs and bolding and such. Just let me know if I could do a better job.

It's pretty loving massive. As a collective we really need to start using and reference the wiki more. As much as I respect the effort that went into the OP, you are basically pandering to people that don't want to use the wiki.

Let it be said that I'm just as much to blame for this as anyone else.

Dec 31, 2000

midge posted:

It's pretty loving massive. As a collective we really need to start using and reference the wiki more. As much as I respect the effort that went into the OP, you are basically pandering to people that don't want to use the wiki.

Let it be said that I'm just as much to blame for this as anyone else.

Yeah I could have made it less massive if we had different spoiler quotes here like other forums have. Meaning I could have a section called "Making your system look the best for your TV" and have "Genesis" under it, where if you click the word "Genesis", the guide will be right there. Again, some other forums use this as spoiler tags; ours are different here and can't be done as far as I know.

Mar 24, 2007

Suck it
Two tears in a bucket
And then another thing
I'm not the one they'll try their luck with
Hit hard like brass knuckles
See your face through the turnbuckle dude
I got no love for you

I found the OP a fun read, but I'm new to all of this so...

May 17, 2004


Taco Defender

It looks good, though I'd take stuff out of quote tags. In five years or whenever we end up with another thread, it'll be much easier for somebody to just quote the original post to get the content and then update it than to start from scratch. The forums don't return content in quote tags when quoted, though.

Anyway, that's a really good OP.

Katana Gomai
Jan 14, 2007

"Thus," concluded Miyamoto, "you must give up everything you have to be my disciple."

Time to christen this amazing thread with the first haul-post:

105€ for the whole lot via eBay (that Terranigma ). The guy didn't even advertise the Zelda map which is worth like 10€ by itself; probably the best lot I got so far, although that might change tomorrow (spoilers!)

Pablo Nergigante
Apr 16, 2002

Katana Gomai posted:

Time to christen this amazing thread with the first haul-post:

105€ for the whole lot via eBay (that Terranigma ). The guy didn't even advertise the Zelda map which is worth like 10€ by itself; probably the best lot I got so far, although that might change tomorrow (spoilers!)
Mother of god

Mar 15, 2004

World's finest snatch.

Katana Gomai posted:

Time to christen this amazing thread with the first haul-post:

105€ for the whole lot via eBay (that Terranigma ). The guy didn't even advertise the Zelda map which is worth like 10€ by itself; probably the best lot I got so far, although that might change tomorrow (spoilers!)

The idea of a boxed set console coming with an adaptor to play games from a handheld is blowing my loving mind. What loving parent would be "Sure Jimmy, I'll fork out $300 for you to play 6 Golden Coins on my brand new 22" screen!"

Jan 6, 2011

Holy crap... that's a massive amount of info.

I just to mention just two links that could be added.

In terms of modding the original brick gameboy (dmg), there's a relatively simple and cheap way to backlight the screen. It involves a little modding, and a little soldering, but any one can really do it (the soldering points are large).

The backlights can be found here:

Also, the old brick isn't known for having the best contrast ratio, even with it turned all the way up. But there's a trick to get a massive amount of contrast, and it's called biversion. Basically you rotate the polarization film you get from the backlight (light pixels become dark, etc), and then you invert the pixels electronically. The effect cancels out and you get a crystal clear picture.

There's a huge scene that primarily deals with modding these old gameboys for chiptune musicians. Just check the site above to see what I mean.

Also, another link I just want to mention is

They're another repro maker for NES and SNES games... but they do one thing crucially different from others: They also seal the games in original style boxes with manuals and inserts. It's a bit pricey, but they make excellent products (just check the videos on their site).

Katana Gomai
Jan 14, 2007

"Thus," concluded Miyamoto, "you must give up everything you have to be my disciple."

midge posted:

The idea of a boxed set console coming with an adaptor to play games from a handheld is blowing my loving mind. What loving parent would be "Sure Jimmy, I'll fork out $300 for you to play 6 Golden Coins on my brand new 22" screen!"

Those sets are loving ubiquitous, too; pracically every boxed SNES I get is that set. To be fair, it also comes with Super Mario World (and also it seems to be the reason why Super GameBoys are like 1€ everywhere.)

Jan 6, 2011

midge posted:

It's pretty loving massive. As a collective we really need to start using and reference the wiki more. As much as I respect the effort that went into the OP, you are basically pandering to people that don't want to use the wiki.

Let it be said that I'm just as much to blame for this as anyone else.

Did anyone ever get a better domain name for that wiki? It will always be obscure until it has a memorable name


Just wanted to say for anyone who might have ordered an SD2SNES from Retrogate, I ordered on October 15 and it just shipped. Also, you'll get a Ukraine Post tracking number probably (RA#########UA), and it was kind of an unintuitive process to find out how to track registered Ukraine mail:

Yea, I emailed krikzz, and he said mine will be shipped today. I haven't received a tracking number though (possibly because I ordered through paypal, and I forgot to create an account on the site beforehand).

Ryuga Death
May 14, 2008

There's gotta be one more bell to crack

Fun Shoe

Sorry if this is a non content post, but reading the OP reminded me of the hours I used to play Splatterhouse on my brother's Turbo-Grafx 16.

That was such a fun game, if a bit freaky.

Slum Loser
May 6, 2011

This thread reminded me of a problem I got.

My Gameboy is missing lines in parts of the display and I'm wondering if that's a cleaning issue or actual damage. I haven't played anything on it in years, or fiddled with trying to clean it, because I don't know what to do and don't want to make it worse.

I'm pretty sure Nintendo stopped selling cleaning cartridges but I'll see if I can find one or something similar. My brother had the kit, shouldn't be too hard to dig up. Meanwhile, is my Gameboy hosed?

Lain Iwakura
Aug 5, 2004

The body exists only to verify one's own existence.

Taco Defender

I should put together the 3DO FAQ that I have been meaning to write for aeons. That and maybe some stuff on pirate carts.

Jan 6, 2011

Slum Loser posted:

This thread reminded me of a problem I got.

My Gameboy is missing lines in parts of the display and I'm wondering if that's a cleaning issue or actual damage. I haven't played anything on it in years, or fiddled with trying to clean it, because I don't know what to do and don't want to make it worse.

I'm pretty sure Nintendo stopped selling cleaning cartridges but I'll see if I can find one or something similar. My brother had the kit, shouldn't be too hard to dig up. Meanwhile, is my Gameboy hosed?

It's generally an issue with the ribbon connected to the display. It's actually a pretty easy fix. This link explains it in more detail than I can say here:

Mar 24, 2007

Suck it
Two tears in a bucket
And then another thing
I'm not the one they'll try their luck with
Hit hard like brass knuckles
See your face through the turnbuckle dude
I got no love for you

My girlfriend texted me in a panic, saying her Super Mario World save is gone but mine is still there.

Is this a sign that the battery is dying? Or just a weird random glitch due to it being an old game.

I've never had a battery die on a cartridge before, so I'm not sure what the signs are (if just one game deletes, or if it's an all-or-nothing thing)

Slum Loser
May 6, 2011

fatpat268 posted:

It's generally an issue with the ribbon connected to the display. It's actually a pretty easy fix. This link explains it in more detail than I can say here:

Alright! Many thanks kind sir.

Apr 7, 2008

Where we're going,
we won't need eyes to see.

fatpat268 posted:

It's generally an issue with the ribbon connected to the display. It's actually a pretty easy fix. This link explains it in more detail than I can say here:

Oh, Nintendo and ribbons

Which reminds me... can this please added under the Repairs section:

This is a fantastic new thread and I'm excited to be a part of it.

Jan 14, 2007

triplexpac posted:

My girlfriend texted me in a panic, saying her Super Mario World save is gone but mine is still there.

Is this a sign that the battery is dying? Or just a weird random glitch due to it being an old game.

I've never had a battery die on a cartridge before, so I'm not sure what the signs are (if just one game deletes, or if it's an all-or-nothing thing)

This happened to my SMW cart about ten years ago. It randomly deleted my save that I had been working on completing off and on since I was a kid. All the other saves remained and the cart still saves to this day so I guess that just happens sometimes?

Ambitious Spider
Feb 13, 2012

Lipstick Apathy

I just learned I have the bad Genesis 2 and bad Saturn. blast!

edit:great op dude.

Jan 8, 2007

Regarding RGB, most consoles generate RGB internally before converting the frames to other formats and all old CRTs work with RGB internally (the electron gun/s in the tube shoots at correct phosphorous RGB dots on the front of the screen). Converting the signal back and forth only degrades it, causes it to lose "resolution". With a good setup the difference between RGB and S-Video is quite noticeable, though not as much as when comparing composite to s-video.

Regarding the saturn, if you do get the action replay cartridge for it, once you put it in, let it sit there. I seem to recall third party cartridges having a thicker PCB bending the pins in the slot making it not as snug and thus glitchy. It could also be that the saturn cartridge port is just plain bad but be careful with it.

Pinguliten fucked around with this message at 20:17 on Nov 5, 2012

Mar 15, 2004

World's finest snatch.

triplexpac posted:

My girlfriend texted me in a panic, saying her Super Mario World save is gone but mine is still there.

"Honey, are you there?"
"Yes, it's me, what's up?"
"I stayed home from work this morning, I've got some really bad news"
"...oh god, what's wrong?"
" save. I've lost it. 92 stars....gone.."
"I'm on my way, stay warm"

Dec 31, 2000

Kreeblah posted:

It looks good, though I'd take stuff out of quote tags. In five years or whenever we end up with another thread, it'll be much easier for somebody to just quote the original post to get the content and then update it than to start from scratch. The forums don't return content in quote tags when quoted, though.

Anyway, that's a really good OP.

Okay I only did this because I didn't want to look like I was stealing other people's info and wanted to give them their due credit. If they are fine with me just bolding their username instead of quoting them I will do just that.

Charles Get-Out
Nov 23, 2005

Young Orc

Ambitious Spider posted:

I just learned I have the bad Genesis 2 and bad Saturn. blast!

It's not all bad, you can still plug in an Action Replay and you have that kickass access light. (Not a joke, I really miss those lights on my round-button)

Pinguliten posted:

Regarding the saturn, if you do get the action replay cartridge for it, once you put it in, let it sit there. I seem to recall third party cartridges having a thicker PCB bending the pins in the slot making it not as snug and thus glitchy. It could also be that the saturn cartridge port is just plain bad but be careful with it.

This is the truth. The Saturn's cartridge slot is really finicky to start with, and just about any messing with it makes it start to go bad. I lost all my saves once thanks to a Saturn periodically losing connection with the cartridge.

Katana Gomai
Jan 14, 2007

"Thus," concluded Miyamoto, "you must give up everything you have to be my disciple."

Bleusilences posted:

I think yoshi story and chrono trigger should be god tier in the snes, especially Yoshi Story that really pushed the console to its limit.

A it nitpicky, but you're talking about Yoshi's Island; Yoshi's Story was the lovely N64 game for babby. Also Terranigma belongs into God-tier but if you are going to post a screenshot for every game it's going to get really loving huge and cluttered.

Dec 31, 2000

fatpat268 posted:

Holy crap... that's a massive amount of info.

I just to mention just two links that could be added.

In terms of modding the original brick gameboy (dmg), there's a relatively simple and cheap way to backlight the screen. It involves a little modding, and a little soldering, but any one can really do it (the soldering points are large).

The backlights can be found here:

Also, the old brick isn't known for having the best contrast ratio, even with it turned all the way up. But there's a trick to get a massive amount of contrast, and it's called biversion. Basically you rotate the polarization film you get from the backlight (light pixels become dark, etc), and then you invert the pixels electronically. The effect cancels out and you get a crystal clear picture.

There's a huge scene that primarily deals with modding these old gameboys for chiptune musicians. Just check the site above to see what I mean.

Also, another link I just want to mention is

They're another repro maker for NES and SNES games... but they do one thing crucially different from others: They also seal the games in original style boxes with manuals and inserts. It's a bit pricey, but they make excellent products (just check the videos on their site).

Thanks! Info added to the OP. Did you ever get anything from that TimeWalkGames before? That is incredible.

zenintrude posted:

Oh, Nintendo and ribbons

Which reminds me... can this please added under the Repairs section:

This is a fantastic new thread and I'm excited to be a part of it.

Only thing is that display fix is almost impossible for most people (I've had expert solderers tell me they couldn't do it) and the baking fix is very temporary (I've done it a bunch of times).

Code Jockey
Jan 24, 2006

you can call
but I seldom answer after all

Katana Gomai posted:

Time to christen this amazing thread with the first haul-post:

Boxed Terranigma with guide. I hate you so much, I cannot even express it properly.

That's awesome though, and that's one hell of an OP!

Nov 3, 2007


So from this OP I have learned that a) I might already own a 1-CHIP SNES and b) my SCART switch might be making it look like poo poo. Looks like I have some testing to do.

Sep 4, 2011

Gravy Boat 2k

That is a fantastic OP. Text-filled and heavy and prone to scare off the meek, but filled with information. Maybe the console model stuff could go on the wiki?

Don't touch the RGB rant, though. That's the heart and soul of the last thread.

Pablo Nergigante
Apr 16, 2002

wa27 posted:

This happened to my SMW cart about ten years ago. It randomly deleted my save that I had been working on completing off and on since I was a kid. All the other saves remained and the cart still saves to this day so I guess that just happens sometimes?
This happened to me too when I was a kid. My 96* save got deleted but it still worked perfectly fine. So I just got 96* again vv


Katana Gomai
Jan 14, 2007

"Thus," concluded Miyamoto, "you must give up everything you have to be my disciple."

Code Jockey posted:

Boxed Terranigma with guide. I hate you so much, I cannot even express it properly.

Yea, I can't believe I scored it that cheaply (it was a proper auction, ran out on a Tuesday morning at 10am though), Terranigma alone is worth over half the price of admission. I'm getting another SNES and change as well as two GameBoys and some games tomorrow so get hype accordingly.

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