26 July 2017

Pickups 52: Famicom Cartridges 52 (March 2017 Pickups) - Part 2

Today, we continue talking about the cartridges that I got in March 2017.
In this part, we'll be covering bootleg singlecarts.

Addams Family, The Pugsley's Scavenger Hunt [A-F2]
Now, it seems like I have all Addams Family games on NES, that were released in bootleg form.
This is called Addams Family Values 2 on the label, but in fact, it's Addamns Family, The Pugsley's Scavenger Hunt. You play as Pugsley, and save the members of your family here. Disappointingly, there is no music in the actual game, besides the title screen one.
Otherwise, the actual game is actually kinda fun to play.

Batman: Return of the Joker [NT-654]
Yep, I managed to get yet another bootleg copy of Batman: Return of the Joker in my collection. And just like the copy I got last summer, this is an NT copy, and interestinly enough, it's called Batman Forev(b)er, and not Batman 4, yet both games feature the same artwork picture on the left side.
Unlike that version, which was apparently released in 1997, this one was released the year earlier.
As for the versions inside, both carts feature the same exact versions, both say "Batman 2" on the title screen, and you have a lot of extra lives inside.
You can look up that post of me showing off Super Batman 4 cart here: http://somerussianmariodude.blogspot.ru/2016/07/pickups-44-famicom-cartridges-44-june.html

The bootleg copy of Battletoads, with the label taken from official NES cart, and the proper title written in the corner.
Inside, the copyrights are screwed up, and you have the UP+START cheat in order to be able to regain extra lives.

Championship Pool [L-P1]
I got a better cartridge with Championship Pool game. My previous cartridge had a torn out label, unfortunately. This one seems to be in much better condition, but the label feels slightly sun-faded.
The game itself works perfectly fine, no complaints here. =)

Daiku no Gen San 2
The second game in Hammerin' Harry series. Officially, it was released only in Japan, while the first part also got its release in Europe.
Basically, the same concept as in the first game, where you use your hammer and defeat all of the enemies on your way with it. You have 8 stages here to go through.
I haven't got around to play through it fully, but I will surely do it later, when I have time for it.

On the label there is a real Japanese title written on the top, at the bottom it says "Hummer Labour Mast 2"... Hmm... what???
Harry himself and three other dudes are taken from Ganbare! Daiku no Gensan SFC boxart.
 (the pictures are taken from GameFAQs)
I haven't seen any other pirate carts of this game, than the one that I have here, yet. But I am sure that there could be the another version of Daiku no Gen San 2 released on bootleg.

The copyrights in-game are removed (maybe later I will update this post along with my other ones with screenshots of copyright screen and title screen, I dunno yet).

Digger: The Legend of the Lost City
The pirate cart of Digger: The Legend of the Lost City with the picture, taken directly from title screen. The copyrights are removed here.
The platformer by Rare, released originally in 1990. This bootleg cart says 1991 on the copyright screen, though.

Duck Tales [LH-180]
This is actually not a real Steepler cartridge. The actual Dendy sticker doesn't have rounded edges, as well as it's missing the real phone number of Steepler company here, and the type of cartridge case itself... it feels cheaper than other cart cases, where you'd see this sticker.

On the label, it says Duck Jones, and features some random duck on the label, which, I am not sure where it's taken from. On the side, it says Supper-Value; and it seems like the cartridge is dated to 1995.
As you'd probably guess, this is nothing more than just the first part of Duck Tales, with 1990 copyright year, and slightly screwed up Scrooge McDuck's sprite.

Earthworm Jim 2 [E-W2]
The PCB in this cartridge seems to be misplaced. Because, to my knowledge, there should be a SuperGame release, because these guys were mostly making ports of Sega Mega Drive games. And the actual text on the label says "Sega 16Bit Quality! Best Buy!". I've seen a similar text on Boogerman bootleg copies.
But, instead of that SuperGame version, it turned out to be the KaSheng / Shin-Shin version, with the music properly played on title screen and stage 1, unlike on NT copy, that I had earlier.

Can't say if I am happy or not that I got a completely different game, than I expected here... But at least, this isn't a completely different game, and the version of KaSheng port, that differs from the one that I own already.

F-1 Hero
A bootleg copy of F-1 Hero. The label is stolen directly from official cartridge, with the copyright info removed from here. Inside, it still says, who published the game, and all that good stuff.
Unfortunately, the game itself is quite bad. The turning in this game isn't working really well, and the sound effect of moving sounds really annoying. You'd have to turn off the volume of TV, if you even wanna play through F-1 Hero in order to solve one problem.
As for turning in the game, once you press the direction on D-Pad, the racing car would just stay in one position unless you press D-pad again. In any normal racing game, you hold D-pad, and the racing car would turn, and if you release it, it would turn back to its original position.
Overall, the game is not worth your time.

Final Mission
The bootleg copy of Final Mission, with the characters taken from official Famicom boxart. Everything else from there is removed, and it only has the blue background, and red title, written with plain text.
Inside, the copyrights are taken out.
A pretty fun, but not-so-easy shooter. Reminds me a bit of Contra, in a way that we have all sorts of weapons to upgrade, and the fact that you sorta run-and-shoot things (well, in this game, you fly-and-shoot them). I think the furthest I got here is level 3, although I could be wrong, since I don't remember it that well.

New Ghostbusters II [C-B7]
I actually got the cartridge case, and not the game cartridge. The PCB was removed from my other cart, and placed here, because this is a pretty unusual case, and it says Remarks on the back, and also "Japan". So, apparently, this bootleg cart was imported to Japan? Interesting... =)
The front label is no different than the one, that was on my previous copy.

Golden Axe 4 [G-A4]
The hacked version of Astyanax / Lord of King.
The title is changed and also... if I am not mistaken, one of the stages in-game is glitching up on this cart. But... Unfortunately, can't really test it out, as I am not really that good at this game, and can't really get past the first stage.
The original version of this game exists on bootlegs, but it's certainly more rare to get.

Golgo 13: The Riddle of Icarus
The second game in Golgo 13 series, called The Riddle of Icarus.
I am not sure where exactly this label was taken from, but the dude from the screen there on the right side, is taken directly from title screen.
A pretty interesting bootleg copy. The copyrights were saved in-game. The game itself is not bad, and worth checking out. :)

Gremlins 2: Shinshu Tanjou
I have already covered this game before on my blog, but here, unlike my other cartridges, this is the Japanese version, no copyrights.
My all other copies had US version, but this one... at least, it gives some variaty.
The label is taken from original cart, and on top of Japanese title, there was written "Gremlins 2".

Home Alone 2 [H-E2]
Got this game only for collection purposes. Gameplay-wise, I don't like it... at all...
This is the later copy from mid 90s. There is also the earlier version with the label, taken from original NES cart.
Personally, I wouldn't recommend playing this game, and you could play something more interesting than that.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Ubisoft) [I-J2]
Sadly the version by Ubisoft, and not the Taito one, which is actually more fun to play.
The gameplay here is tidious and the graphics themselves aren't too great. The music itself is probably the only great thing about this game.
For now, this and Young Indiana Jones Chronicles are the only two games in the series that I own in a bootleg form. Hoping to get Temple of Doom as well as Last Crusade by Taito.

The singlecart with Jaws game on it... A pretty rare find, as most of the games by LJN are not too common to find in a bootleg form. I am still awaiting for the package with legendary, yet bad game, called Friday the 13th.
Jaws is kinda decent game, but to my knowledge, it's not too long one as well.

Funnily enough, it has ChiChi Toys logo on the label, and not just on the cartridge case, implying that these are the guys, who published this bootleg copy.

On the back side, they advertise the other game, that they apparently published as well: Legendary Wings. I still don't own that in my collection, though.

Joe&Mac: Caveman Ninja
The original version of the game, and not Mario 16 hack, like my other cartridge.
This is Joe & Mac, with the label, taken from official label, and also with copyrights completely unchanged.
Really good pirate copy, and not a bad game in general. I have beaten Mario 16 version so far, and not the original one, mostly because of the fact, that the Mario hack has more extra lives.
Oh well... I will try this game later on and see how far I can get in it.

Karate Kid
Remember me saying earlier that I acquired Karate Kid in actual form, and it wasn't just the PCB inserted into wrong cartridge case? Well... this is it.
This is the bootleg copy of Karate Kid. The label is copied from official cart, with all the copyrights info taken out from there. On the right side, it simply says "The Karate Kid". Inside, however, the copyrights aren't removed, and it says LJN and 1987 year.
The game itself is mediocre, and isn't really worth playing in my opinion. But getting it into collection of bootleg cart is something really valuable, as it's actually pretty rare one to find here, unlike on official NES cartridges. =)

Karnov [C-V2]
Not a really common bootleg cart here. This is just Karnov game by Namco/Data East. Nothing much to add here.
The label itself is kinda odd, and... I have never seen it anywhere else before. If anyone knows, what's the source for the picture is, let me know, please :)

Kiwi Kraze
The pirate cart of Kiwi Kraze, the US version of the game. Thankfully, it's the original unhacked game, and not Angry Birds 4 version, that had one of the stages cut down from the game.

The label here is taken from original cart, and... I haven't noticed that earlier, but apparently, due to the fact that the label was sun faded, and before that, there were some stickers... we have 25 saying here, which... I am not even sure, what that's for...
The game itself works perfectly fine. I've beaten it once, but it was on emulator, and I used emu features, such as savestates, so I think that barely counts, as me, beating it in a fair way.

Kyuukyoku Tiger [T-R1]
Some really odd looking label, with a real tiger, put on it for some unknown reason... but at least, we have a helicopter here as well, but it's actually pretty tiny here.
Inside, there is a hacked version with CTC copyright. To my knowledge, it was released in US as well, under the title Twin Cobra.
Fun little vertical shooter, and more upgraded than Tiger Heli game.

Mario Rider
The pirate hack of a Top Rider, that adds a Mario head to the biker throughout the entire game.
I love how on the picture here, it says "Mario 16" for some unknown reason. Is it something like the pirates are linking us to the Joe & Mac hack or something? :)
Looks funny in my opinion.

Mickey's Safari in Letterland [C-46]
The "A-B1" ID type bootleg of Mickey Mouse 4, also known as Mickey's Safari in Letterland.
I think that this exact pirate cart is actually kinda uncommon (well, the game itself isn't, but the label is, for sure), so having this version of game in collection is pretty nice.
The game itself is nothing more than hunting down the letters, spelling out the words, and learning English. It's a really easy and simple game, and is suitable for really really young kids... or maybe foreigners who don't know English that well, and want to learn some simple words from here.

Ninja Ryukenden
The pirate singlecart of Ninja Ryukenden, also known as Ninja Gaiden. I traded my previous copy, and wanted to get the other copy in collection for quite a while, and finally...I sorta got it back, heh. :)
This is just a direct copy of official cart, nothing much else is changed here.
If you are gonna play this game, don't use PAL Famiclone, otherwise the music will be with low sound pitch, and during cutscenes, it might freeze, and therefore, you'd have to start all over again.
Everything else is no different to regular cart, the same thing happens on official deal too.

Power Blade
The front label looks a bit odd, and off size. But, the back side label is fine. The copyrights are saved, nothing is removed.
I remember having a copy of Power Blade ages ago, that actually didn't work at all on my official Famicom. Thankfully, this copy is working fine on everything.
Since I am playing on AV Famicom from 1993, it's a crticial thing for me, if the cart isn't working on the console that I am playing.
The game itself is a really fun platformer, plays somewhat similar to Rockman games. Worth checking out.

Pyramid [SA009]
Suddenly, the Sachen game here.
This is a puzzle game, similar to Tetris, but not quite as good, and a bit tidious, since the pyramid blocks are pretty small, so filling up the empty space and get points is a pretty slow task :(
Collection-wise, it's alright.
On the back side, as shown, Sachen wrote what other games their released. Pretty interesting back label.
The cartridge case is not the original one by Sachen. On their brand cartridges, it clearly says Sachen on the back side.

The puzzle game by Konami, where you destroy blocks with your spaceship. The copyrights are partly removed. The singlecart isn't too common to find, so this was a really lucky find, especially considering that this is in a pretty nice and working condition.

Rainbow Islands: The Story of Bubble Bobble 2
It's another copy of Rainbow Islands, which I got. I had the Remarks copy before, but I sent it for trade to one of comrades, since he wanted this game so badly on bootleg.
The major difference between two copies is some Chinese text, written right on the front label. At least, I assume that it's Chinese.
Just like on previous copy, there's JPN version, which can easily be found out by the music track that's used on level 1. On US version, it sounds a bit different at the beginning.

Can't tell how far I got in this game, but still haven't beaten it.

Robocop 2
Got this game into my collection, and now I have all Robocop game in the series (not counting the pirated Robocop 3, which is actually a different game that has nothing to do with a regular Robocop series).
Although, this game is not one of my favourite ones to play. I haven't really been able to progress through it too far, because of the controls, and main character sliding badly on the ground, and the bad placement of nuke bottles, that need to be collected in order to progress further. And I've always gotten into the mini-game, where you need to shoot the targets, and I sucked as badly there.
This game is just left in my collection for complete Robocop set of games, released on bootlegs.

The copyright says 1991 Robcop 2, without O between "B" and "C".

Sanrio Carnival
It's called Animal Tetris on the label. In fact, as you can guess, this is actually a screenshot from an actual game, and it's Sanrio Carnival.
The Columns clone, with Sanrio characters thrown in it, like Hello Kitty, Kero Keroppi, etc..
Not too bad of a game, especially considering that this is an official game, and not a pirate one. But I personally like Magic Jewelry much more, than Sanrio Carnival. There is also Sanrio Carnival 2, but I am not sure yet, if it was released on bootlegs or not. We will find it out later =)

Silk Worm
The early copy of Silk Worm, with the label taken from official NES boxart. The cartridge doesn't only have the Remarks label on the back, which I like a lot, but it also features the copyrights unchanged in the game. And the PCB is on chips and not just the glob top technology.

This is actually a fun shooter, especially in 2p mode, where you play either as a helicopter or the tank. If you are playing in 1 player mode, I'd recommend doing so with helicopter, because it's easier than with tank, in my opinion. The furthest I got in this game is probably level 3, but I haven't really played too far in it yet, but I think that I'll also take my time and play through this game later on, and see where I can there.

But that's not all. We also have another copy of this game today...

Silk Worm [S-MI]
The label differs here a lot from the one, that we saw above.
On the picture of burning Baghdad, we have the armored car from the First World War with Vickers Machine Gun going against the car БТР-40 (where there is a guy, that looks similar to the one from Captain Jeff clip), that is marked with skill and bones and a helicopter of the late 50's.
And it all is called Silk Worm.

Inside, the copyrights are removed.

Simpsons: Bart vs the Space Mutants [T-N1]
This is actually a pretty common game on bootlegs, but I only got a chance to purchase it that month. Not too great of a game though, due to the crap controls, not so great hit detection. The plot is odd as well, you need to cover the objects that are in pink, on the first stage with variety of different items; but it's not quite as bad, as two other things I mentioned above.

The skiing game by Rare Ltd., another pretty rare find, but also valuable as well.
You just ski down the mountain in a shortest time possible. While doing so, you can do random crap for extra points, so called Freestyle Points.
A pretty interesting concept, and considering that this is the early game from Rare, this is a pretty decent game, and you should definitely check it out, if you like simplistic gameplay. =)

Spiderman: The Return of the Sinister Six [S-N6]
This is just the LJN / B.I.T.S game of Spiderman, the proper version with all the cutscenes, and proper graphics stuff. There are some versions released on bootlegs that cut down the cutscenes and some of the graphics, and therefore, one of the later stages is turned into sprite garbage.
That's actually quite sad. But, the actual game isn't something too hot, and I wouldn't probably recommend playing this game, as it's kinda mediocre imo. =P

Spy Hunter
And... yet another rarity here. The singlecart with original Spy Hunter, not Super Spy Hunter.
I think that you can guess by now, what this game is all about. ;)
It's a vertical scrolling driving game, where you need to destroying as many enemy vehicles as possible while protecting civilian vehicles.

Super Mario Bros. [HVC-SM]
This looks sort of similar to official cart, doesn't it? But, in fact, this is actually a really old bootleg cart of Super Mario Bros, probably one of the first versions of this game released by pirates.
In fact, this is not just a regular SMB that we all know and love.
It's the hack, where you can select any world from 1 to 255, by pressing B on title screen, making this a 256W hack, in a form of singlecart. I am sure that you are familiar with a ROM hack of the first Mario game, that has that option, or you are familiar with FunTime multicarts, where you could do the similar thing.

Besides the fact that you can choose any world... oddly enough, the actual blocks with powerups, coins are replaced here. I am not sure why the pirates did that, and what exactly these blocks say.

The title screen and copyrights remained unchanged. As well as the soundtracks, when you rescue Toad/Princess, or the underwater theme are not corrupted, unlike on LB35 copies.

I will definitely make a video about this cartridge. Also, you'll see some screenshots later about this version, if I won't forget to do it later on, after the release of this post ;)

Super Mario Bros. 2 [FDS Conversion]
This is the another FDS conversion of Super Mario Bros. 2, but sadly, not quite as good as my previous ones.
There are two main problems with it, that ruin it:
- the HUD is glitchy. It stays only on some parts of screen, and doesn't move alongside with Mario, Luigi
- the game simply freezes after world 4-4. You'd expect that you could go to the next world after beating the first 4 worlds... but nope. You can't in this version.

Certainly, a badly ruined version of a game, but also a pretty interesting one too, that I haven't seen before.

Super Mario & Sonic 2 [M1805]
The hack of Chip'n Dale Rescue Rangers 2, which... doesn't freeze further than the first level, but if only you play as a certain character in the game (the character select screen before the actual game).
I'll test out this cart later on, and update this blog, to tell you who exactly you can play as, in order not to get a game freeze, and be able to play further.
Unfortunately, this cartridge isn't working on Famicom, so I have to use the Famiclone for this one, and currently all of the Famiclones that I own are PAL ones, so... it might be a bit tidious going back to slower speed XD

Thunder Cade
The shoot-em-up, where you play as a motorcycle, that's equipped with sidecar cannons and backed up by a B-7 bomber.
You have 4 stages here: an unnamed city, the terrorists' military base, the woodland regions, and the fortress containing the nuclear power plant. Bosses include a submarine along with other screen-filling enemies.
I don't remember exactly, where pirates took the label from, but I kinda like this label, and, to my knowledge, this is the original label that pirates put for their first copies of Thundercade on bootlegs.

Time Diver Avenger [T-A1]
I covered this game a long time on my blog (you can check out that post here: http://somerussianmariodude.blogspot.ru/2015/06/pickups-35-famicom-cartridges-35.html)
Finally, here I got the proper version with a native label, PCB and everything. The label is glued a bit sloppily, but that's not too critical. =)

Tokkyuu Shirei Solbrain
This is probably the best cartridge out of all that I picked that month. Mainly because of the fact that this version of Solbrain is really rare to find on bootleg carts, and it's a really great luck to get it.
Yes, this is actually a proper version, that has the stage select screen, right after you beat the first stage, and it doesn't have the boss from Area F, that's impossible to beat and progress further in the game.
I don't understand, why pirates have the pleasure of putting the corrupted version of game on their bootlegs. But thankfully in this case, everything is fine, and nothing is wrong with the game.
Well... you do get the UP+Start cheat to restore health, and it's quite handy, when you get to some place that's pretty hard for you, or you don't have extra health, and don't wanna risk losing an extra life, and go back to the checkpoint or the beginning of the area.

In fact, I have the playthrough of this cartridge, uploaded on my channel. So, you can check it out here!

Tom & Jerry
The same good-old Tom&Jerry game, but in a better looking cartridge, in my opinion, better condition and the Remarks label on the back =)

Top Gun 3 [C-55]
This is in fact the hack of Flight of the Intruder, just like my other cartridge, that had the artwork taken from original deal. But this time, the label is taken from somewhere else, and the ID was added on label.
Technically, inside, there is no difference, other than hacked out copyrights to spell out Top Gun 3, and the title screen remaining the same, as in official release.

Track & Field
The another version of Track & Field that was released on bootleg singlecarts, besides that Olympic Competition 8-in-1 cart that I showed earlier.
This one says "Olympic '96", and features both Hyper Olympic and Hyper Sports labels mixed in one, since this is actually Track & Field, US version, which featured both JPN releases into one game, and didn't have them separately.

Wai Wai World
Something pretty rare. Yes, this is Konami's Wai Wai World.
The label is taken directly from official cart, and the copyright info was removed.
The game itself features a lot of Konami characters in it, such as: Konami Man. Konami Lady, Goemon, Simon Belmont III, Getsu Fūma, Getsu Fūma Den, Michael "Mikey" Walsh, Moai Alexandria, Kong, Upa, Penta, Vic Viper, TwinBee.
So it's a crossover with many characters thrown into it. With Konami Man and Konami Lady, you'd have to save the aforementioned players.
I haven't played too much of this game, but to my knowledge, this is a rare cart on bootlegs. It was really nice to be able to purchase it into collection. I will check out more of this game. ;)

Part 3 with a few other cartridges, will come out later :)
Stay tuned!!
(C) AlexSRMD Productions (2017)

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