Questions tagged [game-cartridge]

For questions related to cartridge-based games and applications

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34 votes
16 answers
15k 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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
178 views

Maximum current an AGB Game Pak can continuously draw

The GBA uses a boost converter to power the Game Pak with a stable 3.3V from its batteries. The SP and Micro models use a buck-boost regulator to generate that same 3.3V. Presumably the NDS uses a ...
10 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 ...
10 votes
3 answers
903 views

Did blowing into an N64 cartridge really affect whether or not the game would run?

I remember when playing on the N64 if the game didn't start running when I turned on the N64, I would remove the cartridge, blow into the cartridge where the pins were located, then slam the cartridge ...
24 votes
3 answers
7k views

What causes the glitchy sound when a GBA cartridge is removed?

Example in mGBA (mirror) — SOUND WARNING. When you remove a game cartridge from a powered-on GBA, it makes this horrible, loud glitching sound. I can tell that a small portion of the looped sound is ...
28 votes
2 answers
6k views

How could the SNES take advantage of in-cartridge coprocessors that weren't invented when the SNES came out?

The SNES had a number of "enhancement chips" that were available in the cartridges. These chips did lots of different things. How did these chips actually transfer data to the SNES? How did ...
7 votes
4 answers
3k views

Why would poking an inserted Game Boy cartridge while powered on cause a game/device to hang? [duplicate]

I say "a device" because I'm not convinced that this happens on an actual Game Boy. (I haven't been able to provoke it on mine yet.) I've seen several videos of people showing how their ...
10 votes
6 answers
2k 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,...
6 votes
1 answer
833 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 ...
9 votes
1 answer
679 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, ...
5 votes
1 answer
495 views

Are there other Game Boy replicas than the Analogue Pocket that can run Game Boy cartridges?

The Analogue Pocket can run Game Boy Cartridges. Are there any other, currently-available, clones that can do this? (The on-topic nature of this question was discussed on Is asking for the existence ...
8 votes
1 answer
384 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 ...
9 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
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, ...
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 ...
7 votes
1 answer
600 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 ...
113 votes
5 answers
25k 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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
370 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 ...
2 votes
4 answers
469 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 ...
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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
267 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, ...
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 ...
2 votes
0 answers
664 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 ...
11 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
156 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
6 votes
2 answers
524 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 ...
9 votes
4 answers
8k 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 ...
67 votes
1 answer
35k views

How exactly does Sonic & Knuckles' 'Lock-On Technology' work?

The cartridge of Sonic & Knuckles is a little special: It flips open to allow you to connect another Sega Mega Drive (Genesis in US) cartridge to the top of it like so: I know why the Sega ...
5 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
383 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 ...
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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
296 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 ...
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....
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?
15 votes
1 answer
666 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 ...
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 ...
7 votes
2 answers
574 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 ...
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

How can I rejuvenate Game Boy contacts? [duplicate]

I've got an old Nintendo Game Boy, with a number of games for it. The problem is that most of these games don't load any more, and I suspect that's an issue with the contacts either in the unit, or in ...
11 votes
2 answers
9k 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
2 votes
0 answers
139 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 ...
4 votes
0 answers
155 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 ...
17 votes
2 answers
2k views

Can I run a NES emulator off the original cartridges?

Every NES emulator I've found runs off ROM dumps. Would it be possible to run an emulator using the original cartridges directly? It's probably not the most practical way of doing things, but the "...
6 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
6 votes
4 answers
957 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 ...