28 January 2015

Pickups 27: Famicom Cartridges 27 & GB Cartridges 3 + AV Famicom (27.01.2015)

Welcome everyone!
It's time for yet another pickups post. This time, besides just Famicom cartridges, I also got something really cool and valuable in my collection, but we will get to that soon enough! ;)

Here's the photo of what I got on 21.01.2015
Yes. I got AV Famicom HVC-101 CIB(!), Super Magic Key, Hudson's Turbo Controller and 5 Famicom cartridges.
So, I guess let's start from the top.
Yes, I got an AV Famicom. Released by Nintendo in December 1993. And it's not just a console with controllers and all other hookups. It's COMPLETE-IN-BOX. :D
Indeed, I got this console CIB. It was a bit expensive though, but since I had some money saved from New Year holidays and I really wanted to buy AV Famicom, I decided to do that purchase.
The box is not in the best condition, but it's good enough. Here's the front side.
We can already see that it advertises an AV connection to TV, as well as detachable controllers.
You probably remember that in original Famicom, there was only RF connection and hardwired controllers. Using RF is not really practical nowadays, and not all people like using hardwired controllers, especially if the cord is really short (which certainly is no exception to HVC-001 model of Famicom).
So, we can see two great improvements, but we'll see the console and all the hookups more closely to see if all these claims true or not. ;)
Here's the box from the other sides.
Now let's see the back of it.
Well, it's pretty standard stuff. It shows up how to get this console powered on and hooked up to TV.
And apparently, in original packaging, there was no power adapter, due to Nintendo's logic being like: "If the person already has original Famicom or Super Famicom, there's no need to put an extra power adapter here".
Also, it shows up that we can use regular Super Famicom's (SNES's) AV cable to hook this console to TV. But this thing wasn't also bundled with AV Famicom. If the person had Super Famicom already, he would simply grab that AV cable and use it just fine.
The RF modulator was sold separately, specially for those people, who still didn't have a TV that supported composite output, and it only had RF connection. I could be wrong, but I think that this thing is rare to find nowadays...

Anyway, let's get to the insides of the box.
 This is what we get in the package. The AV cable was put here by myself. Originally, when I bought this console, this cable came in separate package. There was just the console, the manual, and controllers inside.
So, before we talk about the console, let's see the other stuff we get along with the console.
 This is the controller that you get. It looks like dogbone, and feels pretty good in the hands. The buttons press very well, everything works nice.
Sadly, there are no turbo buttons, but other than that, it's a pretty nice controller.
The basic stuff on the back of the controller. Nothing too special.
It uses a standard 7-pin connection, like on NES, so you can hook this controller to a real NES, which is kinda cool. But the problem is that the cord's length is much shorter than on NES controllers, so you'd rather use NES controller on NES.
And yes, there's actually an option to be able to use NES controllers on AV Famicom, either NES controllers from regular toaster NES or from NES top loader (the controllers for NES top loader are similar to AV Famicom ones by design).
Also worth pointing out that, as the controllers don't have microphone, you can't use some of the features in certain Famicom games. For example, in Doraemon game for Famicom, in level 3, there is a spot, where you call into microphone for Dorami (Doraemon's sister) in order to get all the items in one place. Although, you'd find out that, you can find all the needed items to beat the level on your way without the need of the microphone.
Also, Select and Start are presented on both controllers, although, due to the design of original Famicom controllers, Select and Start would be functioning only on the first player controller in most Famicom games.
The AV cable is the same as the one used with SNES/N64/GameCube, so it's pretty self-explanatory I think, so let's move on.
The original manual for AV Famicom. I made some scans of this manual afterwards, so here they are. ;)
And here's the actual unit.
 It looks much more different from original Famicom. First up, the power slider and reset button were both moved to the left side. It says "Family Computer" right on the plasic at the bottom, as well as the "Nintendo" logo is on the right side. Two controller ports on the front, the cartridge slot.
 Here it is how it looks like when the cartridge is plugged into the console. There's also no eject slider, or eject button, like on SNES, so you have to pull out the game manually, which... I don't think is a huge problem, because many gamers (at least in my country) would just take out the cartridge manually, without the need of eject button/slider.
And just like on original Famicom console, and its later models by Sharp, like Twin Famicom, etc.. you get an expansion port, where you can plug in the light gun, and other accessories that were designed to work on Famicom.
 There are two controller ports on the front, where you can plug in the controllers that came with the system. Original NES controllers also work with this console, but I don't have NES controllers yet!
Also, worth pointing out that you can't use NES accessories by default on AV Famicom. You need to make a mod with the controller ports in order to be able to use them. Otherwise, you would only be able to use Famicom accessories with this thing.
 Here's what it looks like on the back. The AV out connection, similar to the one that Super Nintendo(Super Famicom), Nintendo 64 and GameCube use.
And the DC IN.
Now, for those people, who were attentive and read the manual scans (if they knew Japanese), would notice that the power adapter from original Famicom would work very well with this console.
I had a Famicom power adapter somewhere, but sadly, it doesn't work anymore.
I use a universal power adapter with (+)---(o---(-) polarity and 9V. :)
The power adapter works fine, yeah.
But I actually got a bit different power adapter with AV Famicom that also works very well with it.
 A pretty standard adapter. It works fine with AV Famicom, but it has one drawback to me: the cord is way too short. So, you desperately need to have your console standing close to the power sockets, to be able to use this adapter. Other than that... well, it works quite nice. It doesn't get warm after playing some games for long hours.
 As we can see, this adapter is designed to work with power sockets from 100 to 240V. Apparently, this adapter was modified earlier, because I can see that original owner crossed out the original polarity that was on the power adapter itself, so instead of (-)---(o---(+), it's now (+)---(o---(-), which is good, because that's the polarity that AV Famicom needs for power, otherwise you will be screwed!
 There's this little adapter attached to the adapter, so it would work with European power sockets, because, as you probably know, Europe got a bit different power sockets design. ;)
If we remove this adapter, we will see this.
 Yes, originally this adapter was supposed to work with Japanese & North American power sockets (not too sure about that(?), and it wouldn't fit into European power sockets no matter what.
You'd have to use that adapter I mentioned above in order to render this thing usable.
Pretty standard hook up thingy to the console.
Here's how it looks like, when everything is plugged in. :)
As my TV has only mono sound, I couldn't plug in two RCA sound jacks into the TV, but the NES/Famicom originally produced only mono sound, so that's not a huge loss. No matter if you plug white or red cables, the sound would come out, and work normally.
As for cartridges I've tested, all official cartridges I own (about 100 or so), work very well, although they need some good cleaning, because they didn't work the first time.
From pirate carts... all pirate carts from 1980s-1990s work fine. Not all of the newer bootlegs from 2000s work fine on this console. Some cartridges that didn't work on original Famicom work here just fine. But there are other carts that won't work fine on it, no matter what, but there are only about 10 of those, and about 95% of my bootleg carts work fine on Famicom, so I'll probably sell/trade my other 5% of carts.
The Famicom multicart, 150-in-1 Real Game works with graphical glitches, but 198-in-1 Real Game and 400-in-1 Real Game work fine, without any glitches or anything bizzare.
I have also heard rumours about NES to Famicom adapters not working on AV Famicom, which seemed rather odd to me.
But, the adapter that I have, works fine with AV Famicom.
 Here it is the adapter from Yobo company, that produced a crappy NES clone on North American market. And here's a pretty standard 2-in-1 official NES cartridge that includes Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt.
 This adapter works backwards, like most other adapters, so this would be the back side.
 Here's the front. Yeah, it looks awkward I know...
So, you don't need to insert the adapter fully into the console. Once you insert it, just slightly pul it from the cartridge slot, and then turn on. As you can see, it worked fine with no problem. The only cartridge I can't get to work is Tetris by Nintendo, but I think that's because the cartridge needs some good cleaning on the cartridge contacts. Other cartridges I own for NES, including PAL region carts, work fine on the console.
Overall, I would say that this is the best NES/Famicom console ever made. All the issues that were presented with original Famicom are removed. There's no vertical lines issue on the screen, as well as you get a pretty clean video&sound quality through SNES AV cable. :)
Plus, it's also compatible with most pirate carts. Some of those don't work on my original Famicom, but work fine on here.
Of course, this console is pretty pricy, and you won't be able to find it for less than 100 USD. I got mine for ~130 USD. I might have overpaid a little bit, but I wanted to get this console for a long time, and I am really glad I finally got it. :)
 Here what I got as well. Hudson's Turbo Switch Controller, aka. Hudson Soft Joycard Famicom Controller. Basically, that's the solution for Japanese Famicom gamers to play games with turbo that we all got used to by playing games on our good-old Dendy consoles. ;)
It's shaped like a standard Famicom controller, although it's a little bit bigger. The D-pad, Select and Start, B and A buttons are the same as always were on original deal.
But we have a Hudson Soft's logo there right near the D-pad, which already tells us who brought us such controller. ;)
Also we get two switches for B and A buttons. Basically, there are three positions for each: position #1 -> regular button press, position #2 -> 8 shots a second, position #3 -> 16 shots a second (now you can have the power of Takahashi Meijin with his 16 shots a second, with this controller! :D)
 And here's some stuff on the back. I don't think it needs much of the comment. ;)
 It uses a 15-pin plug, and plugs into the expansion port of Famicom. I don't think that you can use it in any way on Famiclones that use 15-pin controller ports, or on NES, even if you modify the controller or make some sort of crazy adapter combination, if you are good at soldering stuff.
I decided to test this controller, and it worked rather well. Buttons pressed very well, D-pad was really great. And overall... I'd say that I was finally able to beat Doraemon for Famicom, with the help of this controller! :D
Because, in that game, you have to shoot quite a lot on level 2 and level 3, and I wanted to use original controllers, and not any of my Famiclone controllers and adapter that I have for them (maybe I will review it later).
The last boss on level 3 was pain in the fucking arse! Without 16 shots a second thingy, I wouldn't be able to beat him immediately, because he is a twat that feels like making you stuck in the corner and suck up all of your lifebar. :(
Here's the video proof for you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejXqd_5uoos

I also tested this controller with some shmups, like Star Soldier, and the turbo fire worked without any problems. Overall, a really nice controller, although I had to use some sort of glue tape at the controller plug thingy, otherwise something would shake inside the controller plug and make a bad contact. Yeah, not the best condition, but overall, everything works very well.
Definitely recommend purchasing this controller, if you are into Famicom collecting, like me. :D

Now let's go over the Super Magic Key thingy.
 Here's how the box looks like. It advertises us the adapter, with which we can play the games of any region we want on our console (in this case, PAL SNES).
 The sides of the box.
Here's the basic instruction stuff on how to use this thing on your SNES console in English and on other languages.
This is also an unlicensed accessory, not made or published by Nintendo, released in 1992, according to the front side of the box.
 Here's how the adapter itself looks like. It says Super Magic Key International Converter on it. It was designed to work with PAL SNES and SFC, as we can tell by the shape of this adapter. There are no tabs on the converter, so there's no way to insert it into NTSC SNES.
And here there are two cartridge slots. Basically that's how it works:
You plug in the cartridge you want to play on the top of the adapter, and plug in another cartridge of that same region, as your console (so, if you play on PAL SNES, you have to plug in the PAL SNES cartridge there)
 I decided to test out the adapter on my Super Famicom.
The cartridge that was plugged in there is Super Gameboy, that allows you to play Gameboy games on SNES.
 It works fine with no problem.
And here's Akumajou Dracula (Super Castlevania IV), the Japanese Super Famicom cartridge, on Japanese console.
 It also works fine. ;)
No problems or anything like that.
 But let's see what if we decided to play NTSC SNES carts on a console. It plugs in just fine, as well as works fine. In this case, I inserted Lion King cart.
 Well, this works just fine. This also works on PAL SNES, assuming that you plug the PAL SNES into the back side of the adapter that would work as a region-key thingy.
 Same deal with Aladdin. But here's the problem with the adapter!
It won't play exactly all of SNES cartridges. The cartridges of Aladdin and Lion King have the regular cartridge contacts.
 This goes to my cartridge of Super Castlevania IV as well. But the cartridges like Super Gameboy or Kirby Super Star that have two extra cartridge contacts from the left and right side from the regular cartridge contacts won't work correctly with this adapter. :(
 I tested my Super Gameboy just to see how it will work. Everything worked way too slow. For about a minute there was a black screen and Super Gameboy border... then Gameboy startup screen appeared, and then the copyright screen appeared, and apparently froze. :(
 So, there's no way to play Super Gameboy on here. So, your only solution would be to get SGB of the same region as your console.
 Kirby's Super Star also doesn't work on here. Only the black screen remains.
Overall... it's not really a great adapter, but at least, it gets its job done with what it has.
I'd recommend just getting some sort of adapter, like shown here, that allows you to play any Super Nintendo game you want (NTSC region) on your Super Famicom. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvZBtDomrdw
But, if you only have a PAL SNES... you'd better just get yourself an NTSC SNES, modify the cartridge slot to play Japanese imports, or get yourself Super Famicom and that adapter I mentioned before.

Ok... anyway, let's get to the cartridges I got. :)
12-in-1 Hwang Shinwei
 Finally I got this cartridge. :)
I actually had this cart as a kid, but only the PCB was left from it, and Magic Jewelry didn't work well in it, as well as the title screen in Tank 1990 glitched up, and didn't show up. :(
Here, everything works very well. No glitching up or anything like that.
This was one of my first cartridges, besides that 10-in-1 Blue cartridge that I talked about quite a lot, so you can guess that this cartridge is really important to me! :)
Here's the list of included games:

  1. Magic Jewelry
  2. Tetris [Tengen]
  3. Chinese Chess [TXC Corp.]
  4. Dr. Mario
  5. Taiwan Mahjon 16 [Sachen]
  6. Gomoku Narabe Renji
  7. Block Force [RCM]
  8. Hayauchi Super Igo (This game doesn't work on NTSC hardware, only on Famiclones)
  9. Arkanoid (more extra lives)
  10. Flipull: An Exciting Cube Game
  11. Super Mario Bros. (level select hack)
  12. Tank 1990 (Battle City hack)


Next cartridge is... Kage
 Also known as Shadow of the Ninja or Blue Shadow. The game by Natsume.
I am not too familiar with this game, but I am glad that I got this game on a singlecart. Actually, I got it for free from buying AV Famicom, which is really cool.

FC Genjin... aka. Bonk's Adventure
This is Bonk's Adventure for Famicom. I've seen that this game is quite pricy on official NES cartridge. This Famicom version is not exactly too cheap either, but I was able to get this game from the same guy who sold me AV Famicom.
Originally this game was released on PC Engine in 1989. Later re-released on many other gaming platforms, like Gameboy, Amiga, some arcade systems, as well as on NES/Famicom.
Basically, you play as a Bonk, the caveman boy, that uses this head as his main weapon to beat the enemies, and you need to save Princess Za.
I played PC Engine version on emulator and on Virtual Console for Wii, and it was quite a decent game. Also tried Gameboy version and NES version, the game is also really good there. And since I had a chance to buy this game on official Famicom cartridge, I decided to do that immediately. Really great game, and I definitely recommend checking it out.
If you want to get this game on a cartridge, it might be pretty pricy, and not exactly too common to find, as it's from 1993, and a lot of people already moved to Super Famicom, or Mega Drive, or PC Engine back then.

Route 16 Turbo
A simple game from 1985 by Sunsoft.
Basically, you play as a car, and you have to grab some items and dodge the other cars. Really fun game, and really simple concept. ;)

Super Mario World 9

It's just a hack of Adventure Island 2, with Mario as a main character.
I have covered it a few times on my main channel.
Here's my gameplay video on it:

The ending in this hack:




Those are all of my pickups on that date.
But there are a few more games I got quite recently. :)
I got 13 more Famicom carts and 2 Gameboy carts. Two of the Famicom carts will go to my friend.
Let's start with the first cart on that picture.
It's Adventure Island 4. Originally known as Takahashi Meijin no Bouken Jima IV.
I wanted to get this game on a singlecart for a long time, and finally got it. :)
In my opinion, this is the best Adventure Island game in the series, and probably, overall the best Famciom game I've ever played.
I can't remember if I already wrote about this game on my blog, but anyway...
You basically have to save your dinosaurs, and then Tina later.

It plays like a quest game, where you have to do one thing in order to progress further. There are some mini-games, where you can win some useful items, as well as some mini-bosses on the levels, that give you weapons, in order to progress further in the game.
The game is really atmospheric, the gameplay is really fun and not that complicated, the graphics are pretty nice and cheerful, the music is really great. Well... I don't really have any complains about this game, other than it feels a bit too short, once you figure all out and know where to go and what to do. Really nice game, and it's quite common on some recent pirate carts. Definitely play it! :D
I highly recommend this game to you. ;)

Ice Climber (LA20)
This is just a regular Ice Climber on a pirate singlecart. :)
It's the Japanese version of that game, where you have seals, instead of fuzzy snow monsters, like on NES versions.

Road Blasters
This is basically the game from Mindscape, that plays similar to Mach Rider. Not too familiar with this game, but I have it on official NES cartridge, and from what I've played, it was quite good. :)

Super Aladdin
The port of Aladdin from Mega Drive, made by SuperGame.
I have the copy of this game, with exactly the same label as here, but the title screen is different here. It says "Super Aladdin".
My copy simply says "Aladdin" on the blue background with the Agrabah Palace(?).
Pretty decent port, although, what really ruins it is that it's way too short, and only has 4 levels, ending with Rugrid.
And I actually made a playthrough of this game from my Famiclone, where, sadly, this game doesn't display properly (an annoying green tilt is presented in the whole game):


Here's how the title screen looks like:

Next cartridge is this one...
 The game made by Alexander Chudov, for Dendy.
It was made in Russia, so all the text is in Russian. It's kinda like the predecessor to Pole Chudes game, by the same guy, because it plays almost the same.
You basically choose the letter, and...
If the letter exists in the word, the chosen letter will appear in the word that you need to guess.
If it's wrong, you waste one try.
If you waste all of your tries, you are screwed!

You basically have a few modes: Russian, Russian-to-English, English-to-Russian, English.
And you have to guess the words of different topics. If you solve the word, you get to the next round. If you lose, you can still get to the next round, but you won't get any points.
In Russian and English modes, you just have to guess the word on that language that you chose to play, either Russian or English.
The games Russian-to-English, English-to-Russian, basically work like a language learning lesson. The word will be written in one language, and you have to translate it into another language. If you did it right, you can progress further.

I'd say that this is quite unique game for Dendy, and I actually recorded a short gameplay of it, and will upload it sooner or later on my main channel, so you can see it more closely how this game works! :)

Now, we get to some official Famicom carts. I won't describe them in details, but say briefly what these games are.
Donkey Kong (1981)
The first game in Donkey Kong series, originally released on arcades, and then re-released in 1983 on Famicom by Nintendo themselves.

Sanrio Cup: Pon Pon Volley
This is basically a volleyball with Sanrio characters in it. Pretty decent one, from what I played.
I have it on 400-in-1 Real Game, and, since I kinda liked this game, I decided to get it on official cartridge. ;)

Kame no Ongaeshi - Urashima Densetsu
Also known as Xexyz in North America.
It's some sort of platformer & shooter hybrid from what I've seen.
I saw the video of MrNorbert1994 playing this game on his PAL NES, and PAL Famiclone, and for some odd reason, this game didn't work correctly on both systems.
I have a lot of PAL Famiclones, so I will definitely check out how this game works on my PAL Famiclones, and if it crashes or not. ;)

Mappy
A classic arcade port done by Namco, where you play as a police mouse and grab the stolen objects, and dodge the cats.
I had this cartridge before, but my cartridge is a bit damaged: one of the tabs in kinda broken, but the cartridge works fine, at least. I will post that other copy for sale/trade with someone. ;)

Mickey Mouse
A regular Mickey Mouse game by Hudson Soft. I had this game as a kid on a pirate singlecart, which you probably saw before with M-M1 ID.
It's a bit confusing game, but I guess I'll try playing through this game to see how far I can get in it. The last time I tried, I got to level 3.

Mighty Bomb Jack
It's a standard Mighty Bomb Jack game as on NES.
I have this game on my Real Game multicarts, but decided to get this game on official cartridge for collection. ;)

Onyanko Town
 A port from arcades.
Basically, you have to find the kitten and bring it back to home, while dodging the dogs and other things on your way.
Not bad game, but certainly not really a great port from arcades. It's made by Micronics as well, and that company is infamous for producing some really crappy arcade ports, that suffer from slow gameplay, terrible music and graphics (well, not all of the games had terrible music and graphics, but some games like Exed Exes, indeed suffered from those).

Zunou Senkan Garu
This is a rubbish shooter, but I got it just for collection.
It has some of the most insane music I've ever heard. It's pretty standard shooter, where you have to collect some parts to destroy the dragg (I personally prefer calling these things as "drugs", not "dragg").
For some odd reason, the regular turbo on Dendy controllers doesn't work with this game. :(
But, what was really surprising is that, the turbo fuction from my Hudson's Turbo controller worked with no problem! :D
So, this game is not completely awful. :)

And then I got two Doraemon games for Gameboy, just for collection. Here there are these. ;)
 I captured the title screens from my GBA SP, as my Super Famicom is at the countryhouse, and at the time I was taking photos of these, I was at home. ;)

And here's one more thing before I let you go!
There's a 3-year-anniversary to my SomeRussianMarioDude (AlexSRMD) YouTube channel. :D
Thanks everyone for watching my videos, supporting me and suggesting some ideas for future videos, as well as having a great communication with some people.
I hope I can keep on making more content for my YouTube that you will enjoy! ;)
Keep calm and stay tuned with (C) SomeRussianMarioDude Productions (2015)!

See you later!

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