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NES/Famicom Multicarts

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Howard_Casto:
So some vendors are starting to get in nes multicarts and apparently they don't suck.

It used to be they only sold famicom multi carts... that you would need to buy a 30 dollar adaptor to play.  That made them so costly that it kind of defeated the purpose... you were getting in the price range where it's just cheaper to buy a flash cart.  Now they are starting to do NES versions.

Found one that has all the rock mans (mega man), all the Marios, a few rare games, Castlevania, ect...  There aren't any repeats to my knowledge... it's legitimately 150 games.  It's only 16 bucks as well.  That's 74 dollars cheaper than the cheapest nes flash cart!

There are other ones as well, 198 in 1, 400 in 1, ect. but a lot of those have repeats... the 400 in 1 counts all it's hacks (for cheat codes) as games.  If you want to just try them all I believe there is a combo set where you can buy all 4 of the ones currently available for under 60 dollars.

Some of the auctions show pics of what is inside the shells.... it's the original famicom versions with a 72 pin adaptor stuck on the end.  So free adaptor for imports... bonus!  This also means you can buy multi-carts and bootlegs of famicom games, which are often much cheaper than their nes counterparts.

There are a few issues commonly associated with these carts... some of the Nintendo games have had their title screens altered to avoid copyright, some of the games are inexplicably the EU versions, ect.... For the price though it's pretty good from what I've been told.

I'm interested in hacking these but I'm unsure where to start.  Apparently people have examined the games and even though there are repeats, the 400 in 1 legitimately has room for 400 games.  It's be nice to load proper, unmutilated roms onto a couple of these.   The chips appear to be surface mount, which makes me think they would have to be programmed after they are installed by a serial connection.  Maybe there are pins on the pcb?

So anyway I was just curious if you guys are interested in them, or if you've bought any in the past, ect.

thomas_surles:
I haven't tried one but that was a good read. It would be interesting if you could hack it with a programmer or something and pick which particular rom you want to load on it rather than being stuck with the pre sets. Like make it into a cart with just homebrew titles or your favorites list.

Howard_Casto:
Yeah.  There's a bootlegs wiki on the net (not sure if I can link to it) and it goes into as much detail as possible in regards to the carts and their game lists and tech. 

I think the largest one ever made is only around 32mb, but that's a fifth of the NES library right there.  If you made a list of games that you like, I doubt it'd be much bigger than that.  What interests me is the fact that these multi-carts use solid state proms to store that games.  Not only is it much cheaper, but since that's that same type of storage real nes carts used, there isn't any of this dumping a rom from a sd card to prom nonsense.  So no waiting. 

I'm waiting for my xmas bills to come in so they can be taken care of, and then I'm going to order one and immediately rip it apart.  ;)

thomas_surles:
keep us posted. I'm interested in seeing what you can find. hopefully there isn't. a lot of tiny desoldering involved. I wish it could be as simple as dumping a chip on a programmer. I don't really what goes into programming a nes game on a cart, but they get them on there somehow right?

Howard_Casto:
Well they are really tiny chips, but obviously they had to be programmed somehow.  I'm hoping it's post-assembly.  There's one particular 150 in 1 variant I'm really interested in.  It allows for a full-color thumbnail of each game, which if you've ever used a text only game list, REALLY helps. 

I figure even if I manage to hack one, it's going to be really crude... like having to replace games with ones of the same size, ect.  That shouldn't be an issue though because some of the larger games are already on these carts. 

I'm also curious about expanding the audio.  Like I said, these carts are famicom with an adaptor, so the extra pins can be exposed and exploited.  I know the castlevania games have the extra audio processor right on the cart and you can just tap the pin and mix it in via standard rca connectors.  I'm fairly confident in at least pulling that off. 

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