25 October 2018

Cartridges Overview #2: 94年強片 4-in-1 (CK-020) [Famicom]

We continue our topic of "Cartridges Overview" with the following cartridge:


It's titled as 94年強片 4-in-1, with CK-020 ID.
年強片 - Strong film (?)

There were several multicarts, under the CK-xxx ID, one of which I already covered on my channel, and it will be posted on this blog as well.
I am not sure what that logo is that you see below "CK-020". I suppose it's a logo that belongs to some random bootleg company that created there multicarts and distributed them later on. I saw it not only on these 4-in-1 multicarts, but also on those "9999-in-1" types of carts.
I hope sooner or later, we'll find out what it's all about.


Anyway, this cartridge contains 4 games:
- Darkwing Duck
- Chip'n Dale Rescue Rangers 2
- Super Contra
- Toxic Crusaders

I am sure that some of these games don't need much of an introduction, like Darkwing Duck or Chip'n Dale Rescue Rangers. Classic Disney Capcom games, that you can find on many multicarts from 1990s.


One thing to mention though is that Chip'n Dale 2 is the Japanese version, which is the usual version of the game to be found on any Famicom pirate cart. There might be US version somewhere, but I think that it's extremely rare to find.



Super Contra is, yet again, just like on the previous cart, separated into 20 modes. So this is essentially a 20-in-1 Super Contra. You can choose whatever weapon to start with, which level to start on, and activate 30 lives.

Interesting thing is that it has the F weapon upgraded. I showed you here only one of the versions of that upgraded weapon, but we'll certainly come back to this multicart version later on.
As you can see, it shoots significantly faster than the original one, and it puts more damage to the enemies and bosses. You can clearly see, how fast I managed to defeat the boss on stage 6. So mindblowing. :D


Toxic Crusaders is the hacked version with infinite health bar. This is mostly the only version that you can find on older bootleg carts. There is a little chance that you can get a version with proper health meter.
At first, it might seem easier to play and beat the game... until you get to the point on stage 2, if I believe... where you basically get stuck and the door doesn't open to progress to the next area. I will re-play this cartridge and show it off. I heard that this is a major problem of the hacked Toxic Crusaders game, where your character is immortal.  

And basically, that's it about this multicart.
Pretty good one, and it definitely is worth getting into collection. :)
Two Disney Capcom games, Super Contra with a few interesting variations and Toxic Crusaders.

(C) AlexSRMD Productions (2018)

Cartridges Overview #1: Super 4-in-1 (YH468) [Famicom]

After more than a year of silence, we are back with new matrial to this blog!
In order to keep this blog up-to-date somehow, I decided that I will make few text reviews of certain pirate cartridges that I upload on my YouTube.

Not to be confused with another topic here, called "Reviews", even though technically they are the same. Here I will be giving mostly a brief description of game cartridges, and not in-depth ones, like I did with 400-in-1 Real Game, 150-in-1 PocketGames, etc..

So, here we go.


This is a "Super 4-in-1" multicart with the code YH468 on the menu.
It contains three Angry Birds games, and one other random one.
In fact, if you look at other cartridges that would contain Angry Birds on them, and they are titled as 4-in-1 - there are many different variations of this cart.

Here are just a few examples of such multicarts that I could find on the net:
3 Angry Birds games + TMNT: Tournament Fighters

3 Angry Birds games + Double Dragon III

3 Angry Birds games + Mortal Kombat 4 (HummerTeam?)

3 Angry Birds games + Contra 8 (Pirate)

3 Angry Birds games + Snow Bros.

3 Angry Birds games + Double Dragon III (another variation)

3 Angry Birds games + Spiderman

3 Angry Birds games + Batman



3 Angry Birds games + TMNT1

3 Angry Birds games + Spiderman (another variation)

And basically that's it. There may be a few more releases of 4-in-1 with 3 Angry Birds games that I might have missed.
Unfortunately, since my cartridge didn't have any label, and it was a bare PCB, I can't tell you what the original label looked like! So, for the preview of the video and the intro, I had to split the title screens of each included games into one.


I couldn't even find the cartrigde label by the ID that you see in the title here (which comes from the menu screen).
So... why pirates decided to make these Angry Birds games for Famicom? Well... if we look back at the time, when, for example, Super Mario Bros series was popular, pirates thought that making sequels was a good idea to raise sales and make money. They decided to hack random games, and put Mario in them, and then put these "sequels" for sale.
They did the same thing with Pokemon games, when they were hitting the scene. Partly the same situation was also with Digimon.
So, Angry Birds, the popular mobile devices game, where you throw angry birds at green pigs that stole their eggs, was no exception.

Let's take a look at this multicart, shall we?


Once we start it up, we are greeted with the music, that's supposedly taken from New Zealand Story. On the background, we see yellow birdies on the left, and green pigs with eggs on the right. And also YH468 ID in the middle.
We have four games here, three of which are Angry Birds ones, and the forth one is Super Contra II 30P.



1. Angry Birds
Not a bad looking title screen, we get a main character and the title. However, once we start the game, we'll see that this is just a hacked version of another game - and it is Moai Kun from Konami!
Moai Kun is replaced with red angry bird, enemies are now green pigs, and the thingies that we need to same are apparently blue birds now.
Moai Kun is a pretty good game, where you need to collect your friends in a limited time, and get to the door. Sounds like an easy concept, but that's until you reach later levels, where you'll also need to figure out the way, how to dodge all sorts of enemies. Also, in case you fail and you don't wanna wait until the timer goes to 0, there is a suicide button. In this hack, they left it.
I don't know about the ending, if it remained the same as it used to be before, or it was actually slightly changed. I suppose that like with many other bootleg hacks, they gave up on ending, and didn't do anything with it.

2. Angry Birds II
For some reason, it's called just "Angry Birds", and there is no "II" in the title. Odd.
The title screen is half decent. And once we start the game, we can already guess that this is nothing more than a hack of New Zealand Story, the European version of Kiwikraze.
Why is it a European version? Well... you can clearly hear that the music sounds sped up, and that's because I am playing it on NTSC machine, and this version is definitely meant for PAL machines, which run slower.

I find this hack incredibly hilarious, because, here apparently the red birdy is walking in shoes, and somehow shoots the green pigs. I know that in Kiwikraze / New Zealand Story that actually was meant to be like that, that yellow birdie is walking around, shooting at enemies and rescuing it friends, captured in the cages. But here... just thinking on how everything looks absurd, that makes me laugh.
I don't think the ending was changed at all here. But I could be wrong on that.

So, we see that the first two games are actually hacked versions of real games, nothing much to say here. But how about...

3. Angry Birds III
Holy moly... This is actually that pirate original game, by NiceCode, that was actually released on singlecarts as well!
Right at the beginning, we can hear the awful and repetitive music that will be playing throughout the whole game. And this is one of the problems with the games from these bootleggers - they tend to compose some of the most annoying and bad music, that would repeat every 10 or so seconds, and you'd have to listen to it during gameplay.
Also on the title, "A" looks more like "H", and with that, the title is spelled "HNGRY BIRDS", implying that these are Hungry Birds, and not Angry Birds? Heh...
The title screen is acceptable, I suppose. The menu graphics too...
But when it comes to the gameplay... it's so bad. You can aim your birds only at certain angles, which might lead to some serious problems, trying to defeat green pigs.
You can clearly see that in some stages, it took me more than one attempt to actually get any far.
Plus, the bricks don't always break where pigs are, so this kindly adds to the crappiness of this pirate original in general.

Overall, you'd be better off just playing the regular Angry Birds on your phone, it's more fun there. This Famicom pirate original isn't worth it.
And yeah, as I mentioned earlier about the bad music... notice that I beat a few stages, and went to the winter scenery - the music just keeps going and doesn't stop at all.

Yeah... here you have it. Three Angry Birds games on one cartridge. I don't really think it's worth grabbing these multicarts, even if they unclude a good 4th game in them, like Super Contra...
Speaking of which...


We get a 24-in-1 Super Contra version, where there are 24 variations of it to choose from! :)
You can start a regular game, or you coud choose whatever gun to want to start with. As well as, if you want to start with 30 lives, and what stage to start from.
I actually have this game in a separate cartridge form - yes, that 24-in-1 version. We might take a look at it later on this blog, and on my YouTube channel.
I always loved Super Contra - it's a great sequel to the original Contra game, with more fun stages, challenges.
But, yeah... getting these 4-in-1 multicarts with Angry Birds on them - meh... they don't really worth your money, in my opinion. You'd be better off just get another multicart, which would rather include original games on them, even if these are slightly hacked to have more lifes, or infinite continues, or which would allow you to start on any stage.

So, yeah, that's about it.
I hope I can bring on more posts about the cartridges that I cover on my channel.
One thing I want to mention is that: don't be surprised if some cartridge descriptions clearly repeat what was already in the YouTube video description. ;)
The fact is that not many people read the descriptions of video, and since I have my blog, it wouldn't be a bad idea to use it for describing the game carts.

(C) AlexSRMD Productions (2018)

27 July 2017

Pickups 54: Famicom Cartridges 54 (May 2017 Pickups)

Here is the stuff that I got in May 2017.
The majority of those carts were from the trade with MasterDisk from FamicomWorld. Thank you very much for these games, man!
Without furtherdo, let's look at these games.

Side Pocket [LD32]
Unlike the previous copies, like LG06, or the other ones that I showed on this blog, this one... is actually the JAPANESE version!!
That's right. Now we can definitely say for sure that pirates released both versions, and not just the US version, which was the most common to be found anywhere you can think.
So, this makes the cartridge really valuable to me. :)

And another thing that makes it kinda special, is that on many other Whirlwind Manu cartridges, where the same game would be re-released under different ID, there could be no differences in included versions at all.
But here... we have a bit of a change, which is nice.

Adventure Island II
I got this copy in collection, and the cartridge case was mostly in better condition than my other cart (the other one also had the back side sunfaded, no such thing here).
The US version of the game is put here, just like on other cartridge. And no copyright information on the title screen as well.

Captain Tsubasa
Also known on bootleg carts as "Boy Soccer Team".
The first game in Captain Tsubasa series. It was also released on pirate carts with WM ID, but at that time, I didn't really have it, as well as Captain Tsubasa 2 in general.

Donkey Kong 3 [HFC-GR]
The cartridge labels might make you confused, but this is actually nothing more than just Donkey Kong 3. Pirates were lazy with adding a label for that game, and decided to take an edited artwork from Raid on Bungeling Bay, and call it "Unbeatable Program".
No copyrights removed in actual game though, but there is some garbage below "O" and "N" letters in the word "KONG".

Double Dragon III
Got this cartridge for free from trade. This label amuses me. It's basically the same as it was on many other bootleg cartridges with Double Dragon III, no real differences.
But at the bottom left... if we take a look at the title, we can see that it's cut. So it says "OUBLE DRAGON III" and not "DOUBLE DRAGON III". Heh...
Well, in the actual game, there is unfortunately one problem - the life bar is strunk to 6 bars, instead of 12 or something, like it was in original game.
But, we have a cheat that lets up skip levels, if we want so. (UP+A+START or something like that)

Out of three Double Dragon series, my most favourite one would probably be the second one. I already have it under WM ID, which is not a really common thing, in fact. You can see it here and here.

Final Fantasy
This was an unusual find for me... Final Fantasy, the first one, in a form of pirate cart.
I've seen the photos of it on the internet before, but never had a copy of one in my hands before. But now, that I've got it from trade, I can show it off.
If I am not mistaken, everything is fine with save battery here.
So, overall, this is a pretty rare and cool find, which I assume is also pretty pricy too.

And yeah, it's all in Japanese, and it's RPG, so there's no chance that I will be able to play through it properly.

Kage no Densetsu
Got this cartridge as a bonus, just like Donkey Kong 3.
No front label, but I assume that there was the same sort of label as on aforementioned game, so I guess there is nothing really special there.

The Japanese version of the game is inside, alongside with copyrights not removed.

Somari the Adventurer
Now I actually own this game. It's that well-known game from HummerTeam/Somari Team, which is the port of Sonic the Hedgehog, which got really mixed reviews. Most of which were pretty much negative.
And well... I am somewhere in the middle, to be honest. The controls in this game, and the fact that there are no checkpoints or continues is what makes this game harder, than it should be, because original Sonic the Hedgehog actually had all that stuff listed above.
What's added here is the spinning movement, that wasn't in the first Sonic game, but added later on. You do it by holding DOWN on the D-pad and then holding B, and releasing it.
The graphics for 8bit look pretty decent. No complaints here.
Odd decision to choose Mario as a playable character in Sonic's world. But, when we get to the variations, we'll see that pirates decided to put Sonic here instead, so it would be more fitting.

As for the music that most people complain about... I dunno... I find certain tracks not too bad, and at least bearable to some degree. While they are not great by any means, for pirates they don't sound too terribly.
My soundtrack video on it can be seen/listened to here:

Trust me, I have heard worse than that. Take for example the music from Earthworm Jim 2 by Shin-Shin Electronics. That soundtrack is one huge earrape. Here it is:

Anyway, that's great. Now I have Somari, Hummer and also Doraemon version (Super Sonic 5 was sold). And now onto getting some variations of this game.

Super Mario Bros. 3
Yes, as we talked about pirate Mario game, we get to the official one, in a form of pirate cart. This is the Steepler copy.
We have no Mario or Luigi on the actual cover, that's taken from Famicom boxart. Also, no title itself, other than a little text at the bottom right that says "S.M.B.3"
Well, by looking at this label, even though it's edited like that, we can still guess what game is on here.

Yes, it's a good-old classic "3"!
As it's called on title screen, at least, hehe.
And yeah, no copyright info, obviously.

The other surprise is awaiting for us, once we press Start. Besides that we have 5 lives, instead of 4, like in original version, we also have the inventory cheat, added by pirates. When you open it, press Select button, and then a random item would appear there. In order to use it, just press A button.
With that, you can skip levels with whistle right at the beginning of the map, as well as play as Tanooki on World 1-1, or use Froggy suit on World 2-2, or something like that.
Just use the item that you want, and you are good to go.
Such cheat is presented not on all versions. I've seen some that have the world cheat added before the title screen instead. On black screen, before SUPER MARIO BROS 3 drops down, you press SELECT button as many times as needed, and then start the game, and you'll start on different world. But no item inventory cheat. Yet, you might be starting with more extra lives.
Starting on this or that world depends on how many times you pressed SELECT button to skip world. Say, you want to go to World 2 - you just press SELECT button once
To get to World 3 - you press it twice
To get to World 4 - three times.
And so on...

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find this copy for sale anywhere. The copies that I've come to so far are the item inventory cheat ones.
Oh well... still owning this copy with Steepler label on the back is pretty cool.


Tenchi o Kurau
Looks like another RPG, and not exactly too common on bootlegs too.
Can't really say too much about it though... Except for that, condition-wise, it's great. :)
If you have anything to say about this game in the comments section, do that. ;)
I'd be interested to find out more info about it.

Tom & Jerry 3
I have some doubts that this is the original label from pirates themselves, but noneless... here we have another copy of Tom & Jerry 3 by Dragon Co.
I covered this game before on my blog, so you can check more info here (sold that copy) and here.


Yume Penguin Monogatari
The front label is restored, sadly. But other than that, there is nothing wrong here. The copyrights in-game are removed.
This is a fun little game about penguin's love, and our character trying to lose fat and weigh, so his girlfriend would be back to him. On your way, you'll have some things that you can eat, and won't get weigh, and other ones, which do the opposite thing and make you fat.
If you are far, you move slowly, and jumping doesn't help too much. Once you lose weigh, you can move much faster, jump better. Just be careful with what you are eating. :)

The game itself is rather short, but fun to play.
Really interesting gameplay, really nice graphics (I dig the cutscenes here), good music.
Solid title, that was unfortunately never released outside of Japan.

On pirate carts, it's not a too common find. Chances are that you are gonna be able to find under similar label as on my cart (without copyright info), or under the title "Penguin's", and it would have some random picture, taken from somewhere.

1943
The sequel to 1942, and a really good one too. Yes, this is 1943, an original version, and not the re-hacked 1944 game.
The controls are fine here, nothing is changed or hacked, unlike in 1944.

Better framerate, than in 1942, better weapons, better graphics, better music... in short... this is a really awesome shooter if you are into this genre.
Definitely check out this game.

The cartridge label has 1943 artwork, everything is fine. No copyrights though.
On the back side... someone decided to put a sticker of 1943 on top of the cautions label. Looks funny in my opinion.

Funny thing though: the copyright in-game are not removed. It's the Japanese version of 1943, which was the one that pirates put on their carts.
1944 is a hacked version of JPN 1943 essentially.

You can read a bit more on that game here (scroll down to 1944).


And last, but not least...
7-in-1 NS03
Yes, this multicart. This is the 7-in-1 cartridge, originally(?) released by NewStar, as it can be seen by the logo, and it holds the ID of NS03.
It features the following games:
- Darkwing Duck
- Tale Spin (two Disney Capcom classics)
- Robocop 3 (the real Robocop 3 with original copyright information, and title)
- Snake Rattle'n'Roll (corrupted version that freezes on one of the levels)
- Mickey Mousecapade
- Seicross
- Magic Jewelry
Interestingly enough, when you press the Reset button to go back to the menu, it would restart the actual game instead. To get to the next game, you need to turn off the console, and turn it back on.
This trick wasn't necessary for Magic Jewelry, as it restarted normally to the menu after I pressed RESET button. Funny.

As I said earlier, this is not the only cartridge they produced. They also had a lot of other multicarts, such as NS14, which I covered here before, and made a video about before.


There also was a multicart, which has Trog, Marble Madness, Captain Skyhawk, Duck Tales. If I get my hands on a few more multicarts by NewStar, I'll cover them on my blog.
But anyway...
Interestingly enough, this version of 7-in-1 that you see here is not the only one that was released.
Other pirate companies, like Subor, also decided to take the lead and re-release it.
The label looks a bit different. The top part is fullfilled with Subor logo, ID and the title of the card, and the game's list was put a bit below that, and it's all in Chinese (no English text).
It's another wide-spread version of this multicart. The PCB design would also differ.
Here's an example:
NewStar NS03
A lot of capacitors and chips. Looks pretty solid, isn't it? And I believe that this is the earliest version of 7-in-1.
And here's Subor's version (unfortunately mine wasn't working well):
Subor 0701
The main difference here is that instead of two bottom chips, we have glob tops, for cheaper production of this cart.
Everything else is basically the same.

But these were the most common versions of the multicart. How about some a bit more rare ones?
I only have the photos of cartridges and labels, but not PCBs, so I can't really compare:
The artwork for Mickey Mouse here is changed.
On the top left, it says "97 Super Card", implying that this is from 1997. Then we have some chinese text, and then the game's list, both in Chinese and English. And then "7 in 1".
The text size is smaller than on NewStar copy, yet the artworks for games are larger.
Just a later copy of the multicart, basically.
Next:
 Looks like the pirates here were mostly copying the Subor's label, but removed Subor logo, ID and all that, and left only some title in the top left (it's unreadable though, because the label feels worn out, and I haven't been able to find a better photo of this label, sorry!!).
Not sure what exactly is on red spot at the top, possibly some ID or other info.
The text "7in1" in Chinese, game's list and game artworks are the same as on Subor copy.

But this is not the end yet! I managed to find the other copy too!
For now, this is the best photo I could get.
 It looks like, it only has some Chinese title there in yellow on green background, and the artworks for all the games that are here.
Although, instead of Seicross, we have Mach Rider label here. Everything else here is fine.
If you happen to have this cartridge, please, write me on my email and send me the photos of it. Thanks in advance!

And I'll end it up with the video that I made not so long ago on this cartridge :)


Pretty good games included here, and it's fascinating to find out on how many variations of this multicart existed!
NewStar made a lot of other multicarts, which we might take a look at later on! :)
But this turned out to be the target for other pirates to make it more widespread.

And that is all for today's post on my May 2017 pickups. I hope you enjoyed it.
Subscribe to this blog if you like the content and you are looking forward to more of this stuff.
Thank you for your attention. See you later! :)
(C) AlexSRMD Productions (2017)