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Author Topic: Explain to me the interest in bootleg famicom/nes carts  (Read 3742 times)
tappybot
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« on: August 03, 2014, 06:53:12 PM »

I don't mean to be disrespectful at all when I ask this..
I personally don't understand the appeal in wanting to collect bootleg/chinese/unofficial Nintendo games.

I'm  interested in English reproductions where an original release in a specific country didn't occur, but I see a lot of attention around here for just the bizarre looking stuff you'd see in the grey market in Thailand.

Did a lot of you grow up with games in this format, without easily accessible official releases?


Just curious to the story behind it all   Smiley
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YAMAHA
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« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2014, 08:18:33 PM »

I know that in Eastern Europe and Russia these were THE official carts.  So clear sentimentality there.

I also know that FCgamer has a real collector passion for Chinese bootlegs, but I will him explain the reasons for that! Cheesy
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Paul-FC
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« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2014, 08:41:41 PM »

For me it's just cool to have pirated originals in physical form, also it's just fun to play stuff that was not officially released on the famicom system such as Super Mario World or Street Fighter 2.

Sprite-swap hacks can be cool too if they are done well, playing as Mario in a game totally unrelated to Mario is pretty neat.
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KittyFae
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« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2014, 10:27:44 PM »

I think it is just the novelty of it all. Its always fun getting stuff for the system I grew up on, and then being able to expand it over to the famicom / import side and then go beyond that to unofficial and all the oddities.
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macbee
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« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2014, 02:18:55 AM »

Official NES games were deluxe items in Brazil in the early 1990s. We were very used to buy, trade and rent pirate carts.
I feel much more nostalgic about them than about official grey NES carts.
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fcgamer
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« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2014, 06:05:38 AM »


I'm  interested in English reproductions where an original release in a specific country didn't occur, but I see a lot of attention around here for just the bizarre looking stuff you'd see in the grey market in Thailand.


I will write a larger post on why I am interested in these games later, once I return home from work Wink

But I would like to post a question for you as well.  I just cannot see any appeal for the bootlegs that you are interested in either (repros are nothing more than modern bootlegs, but without any history or authenticity attached to them).  With the exception of repros of prototype carts or homebrew games, I have no interest in "repros" of games translated into English, French, or anything else - I would rather just own a power pack.  I don't mean to come across as rude or disrespectful either, but I am just curious as to why so many people are interested in these modern games that are nothing more than bootlegs.  Maybe you could offer me some insight into that?  And I'll post my thoughts on the older boots when I return home in a few hours Wink

Post Merge: August 04, 2014, 08:53:51 AM
I don't mean to be disrespectful at all when I ask this..
I personally don't understand the appeal in wanting to collect bootleg/chinese/unofficial Nintendo games.

I'm  interested in English reproductions where an original release in a specific country didn't occur, but I see a lot of attention around here for just the bizarre looking stuff you'd see in the grey market in Thailand.

Did a lot of you grow up with games in this format, without easily accessible official releases?


Just curious to the story behind it all   Smiley

Okay, I just got back from work (though I need to head to my second job in about an hour).  I am a collector as well as a gamer, and there are several reasons why I collect bootleg Famicom games.  But I think it is also fair to add that I also collect official / original Famicom games, and own somewhere around 450 legitimate cartridges, with the hopes of someday obtaining the vast majority of the Famicom library on official cartridges too.

From the gamer perspective, I enjoy playing the old games.  In some instances, bootleg carts allow me to play games that I might otherwise be unable to enjoy (i.e. Recca).  I picked up a bootleg of Recca for maybe $5 or $10 about three years ago, and although this is really not my style of game, I can enjoy playing it, on cart format (no emulation) for a much more affordable cost than if I were to purchase a real Recca.  Would I like to own a real Recca someday?  Sure, I would love to - however, the price is really crazy for that game so by owning a bootleg, I can still enjoy the game until I am ready to plunk down the cash.  I also did this for Little Sampson and Moon Crystal, owning bootleg copies for a good while before selling them off and then using the money + some additional money to purchase legit versions.

From the gamer's aspect, collecting these games also EXPANDS the Famicom library by around 700 games, I would estimate.  There are many NES games that were never released on the Famicom officially (Talespin, Jaws, Karate Kid, Darkwing Duck, etc) and while the vast majority of those games were not that great, there were some really good titles that never made it to Japan. 

Many people also include unlicensed Famicom games and consider them to be "bootlegs" even if they use all new characters and properties.  I enjoy collecting and playing these games as they often have a different flavor than the Japanese and American programmed games.  And some of these games are superb as well, probably making it into my top 20 list of Famicom games.

Post Merge: August 04, 2014, 09:03:37 AM
So as I mentioned above, for a gamer, it only makes sense to collect bootleg games as it gives us many more titles to choose between.

From a collector standpoint, I think it can be fun as well.  Many people here have mentioned that in their countries (Russia, Poland, Eastern Europe, South America, etc) the pirated games are so-to-speak the official versions released in that area.  A Russian will have no nostalgic feeling towards a Japanese Famicom game, but a bootleg for the Dendy machine would be highly desirable.  Wink  In Taiwan the situation was basically the same - while there were official games exported to Taiwan from Japan, many shopkeepers stocked up on the locally made bootlegs as well, as they were cheaper to buy/sell and profit margins were likely higher for the stores.  And with the older bootleg carts (from the early 1990s), the quality is almost as good as the real item.

I collect the original unlicensed games, and I also collect pirate carts that look interesting to me, either having interesting label art, dip switches to switch between games, or something that appeals to me.  But the key to me is that as a collector, these carts NEED to be original.  Now it may sound funny to many, but my idea of something being original is that it had been made and used back in the day, i.e. the 1980s and early 1990s.

Some guys on here have catalogues with bootleg games in them, and I have one such catalogue like that as well.  I've also seen adverts advertising bootleg games, enjoy finding bootleg carts with children's names written on them, etc.  To me, that is fun.  The carts may not have been made officially by Nintendo, but they were made and distributed back during the Famicom era, and contain just as much importance / significance as the real deal, if not even more (as these carts were distributed waaaaaaaay further and have much more nostalgic value / influence to the world as a whole than Nintendo's own brand).  So that I why I like those carts.

I do not like "reproduction" carts though, as they are just bootlegs that are crafted today on demand.  There is nothing historical or authentic with them, and for the expensive price, I would rather just purchase a power pack or something. 

« Last Edit: August 04, 2014, 09:03:37 AM by fcgamer » Logged

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MWK
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« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2014, 05:41:11 PM »

Did a lot of you grow up with games in this format, without easily accessible official releases?

I did Grin It may sounds crazy, but back in 90's there wasn't any official releases here in Poland and the Pegasus famiclone was "THE" official one.
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tappybot
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« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2014, 06:36:45 PM »

Interesting.

Thanks for explaining it.  It must have been very different growing up with Nintendo games in some parts of Europe without real official releases.



As for reproductions not being historical at all. I agree. I'd like to see all reproductions w/ some marking indicating such.
I don't have any reproductions yet.. but the ones I'm most interested in are incomplete, or unreleased games.  I also think it's fair to want English translated versions of Japanese only games. Particularly text heavy stuff.  I think there's still value in wanting a nice, legitimate looking reprint of a game impossible to get otherwise.
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fcgamer
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« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2014, 12:33:05 AM »


As for reproductions not being historical at all. I agree. I'd like to see all reproductions w/ some marking indicating such.
I don't have any reproductions yet.. but the ones I'm most interested in are incomplete, or unreleased games.  I also think it's fair to want English translated versions of Japanese only games. Particularly text heavy stuff.  I think there's still value in wanting a nice, legitimate looking reprint of a game impossible to get otherwise.

I can somewhat understand that argument, and I respect it, but it has been drawn thin in my book, thanks to the folks at NA and all of their 72 pin NES reproductions.  I remember a few months back a guy on there was selling a "translated repro" of some Japanese exclusive game and when I saw the game, I realized there was little to no text at all in it, which was being translated.  Wink 
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80sFREAK
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« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2014, 02:57:09 AM »

For me the main interest is - how it was done in pre-CPLD time. Hardware. I really enjoy fotos(thanks to jpx72, fcgamer and others, since i don't own any bootleg at moment) of those PCB's well populated with simple logic chips.
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gorgyrip
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« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2014, 06:43:01 PM »

I have also grown with famiclones (I'm from Romania). Back in  1995 (I think) we had the famiclone Terminator. I didn't even know that it was a clone. I never heard of nintendo, nes, famicom, etc. I still remember playing TMNT3, unable to beat Shredder to find out a couple of years ago that the game had the copyrights removed forcing the ultra hard mode.  But I don't collect them. Even if there are some chinese original games, i'm not interested in collecting them, i'm just hopping that someday, someone will convert them to a more conventional mapper.
EDIT: I almost forgot. I collect nes multigames. I only have 2. I keep them because they are unusual here.
Before the famiclone i wansn't interested in gaming.
To be honest the famiclone and ps1 were the system i played a looooooooot of games because the famiclone games were very cheap and ps1 game were also cheap (not original ones, but the ones imported from Moldova or Russia).
« Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 06:51:46 PM by gorgyrip » Logged
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