31 May 2017

Famicom Bootleg Oddities #2: Unusual labels for early games

Well hello there, people!
This is a new post to "Famicom Bootleg Oddities" series.
In the previous post, we saw one interesting bootleg cart, with really unusual label, and it was Yie Ar Kung Fu.
Here it is, just so we would re-fresh our mind =)
 It says "Kung Fu" here and it has "New 1997" thingy.
In fact, what we have here, is Yie Ar Kung Fu. And while the label is not the most common one to find, it actually fits with what's actually on this cartridge.

But would you believe, that this is not just the only cartridge that was released from those pirates? In fact, there is a whole series of such cartridges, being released on bootlegs with random labels that seem to be drawn by pirates themselves!
Yeah, so in this post, I suggest taking a look at SOME of those cartridges that I have been able to find on the net.
Unfortunately, I don't know how many games were released by that pirate company with those odd labels, so don't consider this post as a full database of those.
So, without hesitating, let's check some of those cartridges now! ;)

Just to let you know, all the photos that are listed below (except for one or two) are taken from internet, and all the rights for these photos belong to their original owners! This post is only meant to show off the actual carts.

We'll go in no particular order whatsoever.
Let's start with Zippy Race.
As we can see here, it has the biker on the front, and two cars behind. Actually, looks pretty decent, and there is original title here. No complaints here. Even though, the label is not original from official Famicom cart, it fits with the actual game, and what we do here.
Pretty nice looking label, and not exactly too common to find. The Whirlwind Manu bootleg is easier to come across.
Another interesting thing is that these cartridges usually have regular 1 or 2 glob PCBs that are held on middle tabs of cart case, and these would have Whirlwind Manu ID. In this case, it would be LA35.

Let's see what the next cart is... and it would be Road Fighter
 Looks simple enough, just like the other cartridge. We have the carts on the label, the racing track, and the name of the game.
Not original label, but certainly quite good and fitting one.

F-1 Race
Another racing game that we all know.
Three racing carts, racing course and the title of game. Nothing to complain about. Looks pretty good.

Mario Bros. / 1983
 This is actually the screenshot from Dendy Chronicles #1 by Kinamania. I haven't been able to find a better photo, so I had to cut it from the video.
Well... the label artwork looks slightly different from the other carts from above, but I believe that the ones that we see here, are all made by the same bootleg company, under the name that we'll probably never find out. :)
It says "Mario Bros." on the left side, but the actual art here, is a bit screwed up.

First of all, Luigi should be with green cap and T-Shirt and not yellow ones. Both Mario and Luigi are standing among the pipes, and that's actually fine.
Secondly, I don't think that there was bloobers or spinnies or even Toad in the game. That's something that pirates had to make up.

Looks pretty weird, but at least, it's somehow fitting with the game, even though pirates really overdid with this label by adding some stuff that's not even presented here.

Wrecking Crew
The label is made with the same style as a few other cartridges from above. =)
We have Mario here, but in his usual outfit. If I remember correctly, he would be wearing green shirt, and not blue one, judging by the label.
He has a hammer here, just like what was on the label. Also, we see a safe here, which... to my knowledge, actually was presented in the game, as we need to destroy stuff in the game, and this safe is no exception. We also break doors, pillars and such.
As for the other things, surrounding Mario... Koopa and some sort of guy, that barely represents Toad aren't presented here! Some sort of snake, that we see on the left side, don't look the same as in the game, but it's in actual game.

So, this label sorta fits the actual game by about... 50-65%.

Super Mario Bros.
Well, this is pretty screwed up, to say at least!
But we'll try out best to figure out what's going on here.
First of all, Mario barely resembles what he actually is supposed to look like. His outfit is in different color, and it doesn't look too fitting. Even if we consider, that he's actually fire Mario, they still got the colors wrong.
Mario is entering the pipe, that's alright.
Toad is pretty recognisable here, as well as Koopa that we see here.
There is also some roll on the fire... I wonder what's that all about...

But... what's that green creature in the background? =O
Is it supposed to be a Bowser? Wow... this definitely looks so odd... Compare this to the real Bowser, this monster doesn't look quite the same, as the real deal...

This label is not too common, the copy with LB35 ID is likely the one that you'll be able to come across on pirate cart. But yeah... this is really trashy looking label... Yet, this is still not the end, let's check what's on offer next.
Ninja 3
The screenshot is taken from YouTube video, and the quality isn't too great, sorry for that!
To my knowledge, there have always been Ninja Hattori-kun under Ninja 3 title.
And well... This Ninja doesn't really look quite the same as the real Ninja Hattori.

Ninja Hattori's face isn't fully covered, and his usual outfit should be in blue color, and not green one.
And it looks like, we are in the forest, judging by the cover. I guess that's fine, since we had trees in the background of the levels.

We seem to have some sort of bird in the corner, and Ninja is looking at it.
I guess it's alright somewhat, and it fits a bit with the game's concept, but not by 80-100%.

Lunar Ball
It's just your basic pool game. So, what else would be drawn on the label? The answer is quite obvious. =)
The only thing that isn't presented here is that... this is actually a Lunar Ball, so it should probably take place in space or something.

But other than that, it looks alright!

Pinball
Another "ball" game, and this time it's Pinball. My guess is that there is Nintendo's Pinball here.
I wonder why they needed to copy the title 5 times on the left side. The actual artwork is alright, I guess. It's a Pinball game, so nothing much else to add here. =)

Tennis
I have basically the same question: why they needed to copy the title 5 times on the label?
This is your regular Tennis, nothing much else to say.

That would be pretty cool, if we could see how Baseball or other sport games from early ones would look like from those bootleggers =)
Anyway, moving on...

Pac-Man
The quality is pretty bad, sorry for that. I couldn't find a better photo of this cartridge. It's just Pac-Man, the drawing looks half-decent, we have our good-old Pac-Man character, 4 ghosts in blue color (I guess Pac-Man ate a dot before that would make them turn into that color), fruits and dots.

Lode Runner 2
The label is kinda odd looking. I wonder what's that "Gold!" thingy all about, and what's that guy on the right? It creeps me out. There is some green guy with a gun there... and also some coins... I dunno. I personally think that this doesn't really fit the actual game.

Galaga
Good-old Galaga for Famicom/NES =)
Looks somewhat alright, I guess. The green spaceship is apparently the spaceship that we control in the game (it should be in white color and not green, but still looks kinda recognisable). And also we see other spaceships that we defeat.
Looks kinda alright in my opinion. I believe that Galaxian also had the label from same pirates, but I haven't seen it yet.

Adventure Island
It has the English title, but I believe that, just like on any other bootleg carts, there will be Japanese version instead, called "Takahashi Meijin no Bouken Jima". We see Master Higgins/Takahashi Meijin here on skateboard, but he looks kinda frightened because of snail, and looks alright for the most part. Yet, I wonder what's up with muscles or something like that, where his right hand is. That looks a bit odd. And also, funnily enough, he's missing his cap.
As for other things that we see here, surrounding Takahashi Meijin, I guess there's nothing too much to complain about.
The snails were presented here, birds were there too. As for dinosaurs, I don't remember for sure, but what I know for sure, is that they were added to the later parts, and you could ride them.

Mickey Mouse
Wow... this surely rocks hard!
Instead of good-old Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse that we all know from Walt Disney, we have some completely random mice added here, male and female, running away from spears, and a male mouse holding a key.
If this game wouldn't be called Mickey Mouse and there would be completely different game inside, I guess that would be alright. But since we have "Mickey Mouse" title... this just makes it all look confusing and really screwed up. Just... LOL.

Mappy
Instead of Mappy the Policemouse, we just have some random mouse, and it carries away fridge, toaster and TV and it runs away from two cats.
And this looks funny, because you, as a Mappy the Policemouse, and you need to retrieve stolen things from cats. But here, it looks like you are not a policemouse, but some other random mouse, that actually is stealing things from cats, and you are scared of them and run away from them.
So... it's a complete opposite of that actually the concept was in the game.

Circus
On the label, we have some sort of clown guy that doesn't look like Charlie, but still... it takes place in circus. Also, there is a lion, moneybag in the hand of a clown, and a fire ring. Besides that, in the background we have an audience.
In fact, this is what's presented on the first round! We ride a lion, jump over the fire rings and collect money bags. What we do on other stages isn't shown here.

But at least, I should give props to pirates in this case, as they at least showed off what you do in the first round. The other stuff that we do later on, you'll find out in the game. =)
Not bad. 

Battle City
 To some of you, who is subscribed to my blog since the very beginning, might recognise this label. Because, in fact, this is the cartridge that I used to have. Now, my friend actually owns this cartridge, since he's collecting them.
We see the yellow tank, that we control, firing stuff, and your enemies, colored in white. As well as a flag nearby your tank.
This is actually a pretty awesome looking label, and I kinda like it. =)
Looks alright in my opinion.

Karateka
I guess we all know what this game is about. This is fact Jordan Mechner's game, who also made Prince of Persia later on.
The fighting game, where we beat our opponents with one life, and save our girlfriend.
And well... this cover looks pretty nice, and colorful. The surroundings and all that stuff... everything that you see here, will be here =)

Mag-Max
This is in fact my old photo, unfortunately I didn't have a better one, so if this doesn't look as great, as my other ones, sorry.
I haven't played much of MagMax, but I guess is that this sort of fits with what's in the game, but I can't tell you that for 100%.

And there you have it. These aren't all cartridges that were released by the pirate company that made these labels.
I believe that they made far more of these, but at least, there are the ones that I could get my hands on, and show off on my blog =)

Thanks for checking the post. Expect more posts like these and also posts on my pickups later on! :)
(C) AlexSRMD Productions (2017)

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