Questions tagged [game-cartridge]

For questions related to cartridge-based games and applications

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16 votes
2 answers
2k views

Were there any enhancement chips that vastly outperformed the main CPU?

Were there any enhancement chips in officially-released games that were CPUs themselves and which ran the game code itself, relegating the role of the main CPU to that of a thin client? To elaborate, ...
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  • 1,771
5 votes
1 answer
293 views

Why didn't Japanese N64 cartridges fit in American consoles?

Back in 1998, my father was living in Japan and sent me some N64 cartridges. Surprisingly, they wouldn't fit in my American console because the back of cartridges didn't match the slot. Articles on ...
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  • 51
2 votes
4 answers
448 views

Cheapest way to store and load small dataset in the 80s?

An extra, costly floppy drive would overkill when transferring a page of letter, storing game level data, or distributing a piece of BASIC program, and non built-in ones have to be paid. A tape ...
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  • 2,428
7 votes
1 answer
514 views

How did Mega-Lo-Mania's save state system work?

To continue a game in Mega-Lo-Mania (AKA Tyrants) on the Sega Megadrive/Genesis, you would enter an eight digit code into the interface and then you could resume a session. Presumably, the code ...
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37 votes
4 answers
12k views

Why do Game Boy games have explicit save functions, instead of using battery-backed non-volatile cartridge SRAM to store the game state?

Game Boy games used a battery-backed SRAM module for their save states. Since the SRAM module retains its whole content, why do Game Boy games always need a manual save operation? Wouldn't it be much ...
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  • 463
1 vote
0 answers
219 views

Problem with hackrom on real GBA cartridge

This is a problem that has brought me headaches, so I will try to explain as best as possible. I have flashed with a Gbxcart several GBA ROMs in real cartridges (repro), working without any problem, ...
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1 vote
0 answers
121 views

Does a source exist for high-resolution PAL (not NTSC) video game cover scans? [closed]

I have created a database table of PAL games that I once owned for these platforms: Amiga, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Color, Game Gear, Mega Drive, Master System, Nintendo 64, Nintendo ...
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  • 19
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

Did any SNES games use the fast ROM?

According to the transcript at https://fabiensanglard.net/another_world_polygons_SNES/ ... I could get the software running again to run at about 30 frames per second if of course I'm using a fast ...
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4 votes
0 answers
453 views

What data compression did Donkey Kong Country use?

Donkey Kong Country was among the most ambitious, popular and influential of Super Nintendo games. Technically, its big trick was taking animations rendered on Silicon Graphics workstations and ...
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10 votes
1 answer
1k views

How can a Game Boy game "glitch-inherit" the music from a different game like this?

Just now, I saw a stream of a person playing Game Boy games. The technical setup is like this: Real American SNES. Real Super Game Boy 2. (Only released in Japan; fixes the speed bug in the Super ...
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  • 101
33 votes
13 answers
13k views

Did computer games for Commodore 64 really take "25 minutes" to load "if everything went alright"?

In the Swedish-language song "Nostalgi" by Markoolio from 2003, some of the lyrics go: My first computer had 64 kB you surfed on the water, and that's that The computer games were loaded ...
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8 votes
4 answers
2k views

How is it possible that this "Polymega™" console will "not support" Everdrives?

I'm reading here: https://polymega.com/faq/ WILL EVERDRIVES, GAME GENIES AND MULTI-GAME CARTS WORK WITH POLYMEGA™? Polymega™ does not support Game Genies or Everdrives. How is that possible? What's ...
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  • 99
5 votes
1 answer
917 views

Why was the golden game Ocarina of Time not given a golden cartridge in the PAL region?

Note: I'm unaware of the exact details for each region, but I vaguely remember people claiming that other region(s) got a golden cartridge. I'm talking about PAL/Europe primarily, since that's where I ...
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  • 51
6 votes
1 answer
254 views

Was the Ram Turbo the only 3rd party Interface 2 ROM cartridge interface for the ZX Spectrum or were there others?

One of the original Sinclair peripherals for the ZX Spectrum was the Interface 2 which provided joystick ports and also a slot for ROM cartridges: The cartridges did not catch on though and only ...
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  • 3,736
3 votes
1 answer
253 views

"Genesis Lock-On Technology" to change the language of a Famicom game

I want to create a cartridge similar to Sonic & Knuckles or a Game Genie so that the text files loaded from the ROM or DEPROM of an original Famicom cartridge can be replaced with alternate ...
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6 votes
1 answer
455 views

Did the Timex Sinclair 2068 and the Sinclair ZX Interface 2 use totally different hardware and software techniques?

Sinclair released an add-on for the Spectrum called the ZX Interface 2 that provided joystick ports and a cartridge slot. It wasn't successful and only a few cartridges were ever produced. In the US, ...
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3 votes
1 answer
341 views

How do you switch ROM banks on Gameboy MBC2 Cart with INLRetro dumper

I have an INLRetro cart dumper. The software for the device is incomplete and in beta form. I've been able to dump Tetris and it works (because it's ROM fits into bank 0). When I attempt to dump ...
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9 votes
4 answers
6k views

Why do N64 cartridges use 2 different technologies for saving to the cart?

I've noticed that most N64 cartridges don't have batteries, but about 12 of them do. According to a google search, the cartridges without batteries use EEPROM and the cartridges with batteries use ...
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  • 815
8 votes
3 answers
1k views

Are there any open-source C64 DOS wedges and fast loaders?

The ever-so-popular EPYX Fast Load cartridge for the Commodore 64 included a DOS wedge (adding commands such as $ to list the files on a disk, /filename to load a file and @ to show the disk error ...
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  • 20k
12 votes
3 answers
1k views

Why are NES cartridges grey while Famicom are rather colourful?

I've parsed a lot of websites and can't find answer anywhere. But still wonder to know why famicom cartridges are so colorful and different, but American and European cartridges grey only?
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15 votes
1 answer
592 views

What differentiated the Master System's Sega Card format from cartridges?

I know that the Sega Master system had two primary game formats: cartridges just like the NES and other game consoles of the time and the "Sega Card" which was a 2mm thick plastic card with contact ...
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  • 1,770
2 votes
0 answers
636 views

Old computer game about a robot and questions

I'm trying to remember an old game I used to play as a kid. It may have been a Commodore 64 game, not sure. All I remember was you answered questions like for math or something like that and as you ...
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9 votes
4 answers
1k views

Which cartridges were typically used together on Commodore 64 systems?

It's possible to extend the Commodore 64 expansion port bus with boards like the [Aprospand-64]: This example dates from 1986, but there appear to have been a number of contemporary expanders, and ...
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  • 20k
7 votes
2 answers
545 views

Is it safe for C64 cartridges to respond to read and/or write requests on "unmapped" addresses?

According to the C64 wiki, asserting G̅A̅M̅E̅ on the cartridge port (and not asserting E̅X̅R̅O̅M̅) of the C64 leaves three blocks of the C64 address space "unmapped": 28 KB @ $1000 (otherwise RAM), 8 ...
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  • 20k
11 votes
2 answers
7k views

How did Satoru Iwata compress Pokemon GS to fit two regions on a single cartridge?

Satoru Iwata's story of saving the development of Pokemon Gold & Silver by compressing its assets to fit on the GameBoy Color cartridge is something of a legend. Iwata optimised the game so much ...
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6 votes
2 answers
467 views

Where to find a ROM dump for the Atari ST cartridge 'ACTION'

Back in the day I owned a couple Atari ST, I used a cartridge based program for writing video games. It was called "ACTION" Does anyone remember this program or even better, know where I can get a ROM ...
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  • 531
9 votes
5 answers
2k views

C64 cartridge emulation with ATmega

As a personal project I had the idea to create a custom cartridge for my Commodore 64 and use an ATmega 1284p microcontroller to emulate eproms and/or custom chips. Basically my idea is similar to ...
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2 votes
0 answers
137 views

How many units did TI Invaders sell?

I'm trying to get a feel for the scale and dynamics of the early home computer game industry. Statistics for arcade games and console cartridges are relatively easy to come by, e.g. that Pac-Man on ...
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  • 48.8k
4 votes
0 answers
146 views

Vic-20 total game cartridge sales

The Vic-20, like many home computers of its time, had a cartridge slot that could be used both as a general expansion slot, and for game cartridges like a console. Game cartridges on the Commodore ...
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1 vote
1 answer
2k views

How to add Final Cartridge III to VICE C64/128 Emulator

How do I properly add Final Cartridge III to VICE Emulator? In the file menu, VICE has an item Attach cartridge image... which splits up into CRT Image but also a list of several cartridges, among ...
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  • 4,080
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

What was the purpose of GROM (vs ROM) in the TI-99/4a?

The TI-99/4a had a cartridge slot on the front of the computer which accepted "solid state cartridges" (as TI called them). These cartridges would typically contain ROM (Read Only Memory) like many ...
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  • 7,981
20 votes
4 answers
5k views

Unlicensed home computer ports of arcade games

During the 1980s, it was quite common to see unofficial ports of popular arcade games released on home computer systems. For instance, Acornsoft (the software division of Acorn Computers) released ...
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  • 707
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why are the internals of NES Gamepaks so small compared to the case?

As you probably know, in the technology world, smaller is generally considered to be better. Companies compete to make the most portable phone, or the smallest laptop, but apparently Nintendo didn't ...
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  • 3,723
6 votes
1 answer
3k views

Is my Japanese Pokemon Red cart fake or damaged?

I recently got this copy of Pokemon Red (JP). After an indeterminate amount of time (anywhere from 30 seconds to 30 minutes), it will cause my GB Player to crash. I have functional copies of Yellow ...
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  • 169
8 votes
4 answers
2k views

Was cost the only reason why demo cartridge games weren't produced?

I was reading on this page about the Final Fantasy demo cartridge, and I wondered why more cartridge games didn't have demos. From this wiki page: The availability of demos varies between formats....
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8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Was there any indication that video game companies tried to circumvent Game Shark?

Have video game developers blocked the ability of GameShark to find unused content in games (that they either didn't have time to remove unused, or plan to use in an updated version or sequel) I ...
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11 votes
1 answer
3k views

Did GBA execute code directly from ROM, or load it into memory?

Older systems, such as the NES, would often access the ROM in real-time rather than caching the data in system memory, sometimes even reading the same data every single frame. This would result in an ...
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  • 1,771
2 votes
2 answers
366 views

How to clean (or prep) Atari 800 or any old computer

I recently got my hands on a couple of Atari 800's and peripherals (disk drives, printer, cartridges, floppy disks). Before I start using this equipment, can someone point me in the right direction as ...
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  • 177
6 votes
4 answers
891 views

Cartridge modems - was the Vic-20 a special case?

'The Home Computer Wars' has this to say about the development of the cartridge modem for the Vic-20: The size of the case was another problem. Most modems came in bulky rectangular boxes about 10 ...
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  • 48.8k
2 votes
1 answer
3k views

Physically emulate Gameboy cartridge using Raspberry Pi? [duplicate]

This is an extension to the question NES cartridge rom emulation with arduino or pi?, which asked whether it would be possible to physically emulate a NES cartridge using an Arduino/Raspberry Pi (RPi)....
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35 votes
7 answers
13k views

Why did Commodore 64 cartridge games disappear?

The Commodore 64 has a cartridge slot, but by the mid-eighties, cartridge games disappeared; everything was on tape or disk. Why? One answer that suggests itself is that by that time, a larger ...
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  • 48.8k
7 votes
1 answer
362 views

What does "Expanded Memory" mean on a Philips Videopac G7000 game?

I bought a Philips Videopac G7000 because it looks awesome. Now I need to shop for some games. I'm interested in this AAA+ title, Crazy Chase: However, on the box it says EXPANDED MEMORY/MEMOIRE ...
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  • 1,689
7 votes
5 answers
1k views

Maximum size of 8-bit computer cartridges

What was the largest cartridge produced, or possible, for any 8-bit home computer? That is, the later 8 or 16-bit console cartridges could be surprisingly large, up to several megabytes in some cases,...
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  • 48.8k
9 votes
3 answers
1k views

Game cartridges on the S-100 bus?

Many Z80 computers in the seventies and early eighties used the S-100 bus, into which you could plug many kinds of expansion cards. Would it have been possible to plug suitably designed game ...
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  • 48.8k
46 votes
4 answers
7k views

Why would older video games include fragments of source code?

One thing that was surprisingly common in older video games (around the same era assembly language was king) was the inclusion of uncompiled, plaintext source code in the ROM. You can see many ...
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  • 2,787
9 votes
2 answers
3k views

How to get a dump of a particular ROM?

How do I create a dump of a Game Boy game so that I can have it for backup as a ROM? I know that I can download the ROM (though slightly illegal) if I really wanted to, but I want to know "how" ROM ...
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  • 2,277
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

Did all NES "Black Box" games come in carts with five screws?

When the NES was released, there were a list of original titles from Nintendo such as Duck Hunt, Super Mario Bros. and Metroid. These titles came in a distinctive box that was mostly black. Plus, the ...
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  • 7,981
11 votes
1 answer
2k views

What cleaning/repair can be done to a Mega Drive cartridge slot?

My Mega Drive's cartridges rarely boot. It's to the point where I sometimes don't want to change the current game because it'll mean 15 minutes of me constantly taking out and re-seating the next ...
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  • 810
18 votes
6 answers
5k views

Can removing a cartridge from an NES (or any other cartridge-based game system) damage the hardware or software?

On some cartridge-based video game systems (NES, Game Boy Color, etc.) it is possible to remove the cartridge while the game system is still powered on. What kind of damage can this behavior do to ...
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  • 9,162
111 votes
5 answers
24k views

How can tilting a N64 cartridge cause such subtle glitches?

When the N64 cartridge is tilted in Super Mario 64, it reliably produces glitches such as this. Mario's limbs disappear, he rotates 90° and sinks into the floor, and the music gets messed up (usually ...
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  • 1,213