B1 Intermediate 2406 Folder Collection
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Two Super Nintendo systems, both alike in dignity, beneath the waves, where we lay our
scene. There’s a fairly significant difference between these two units, a difference imperceptible
from the outside. Can you tell what it is? (Beside the standard odd SNES half-yellowing?)
Here, let me demonstrate. King of the Monsters is all well and good, but what if you want
to play Front Mission? Yes, the original Front Mission, for the Super Famicom. Unfortunately,
if you just try to jam it into your existing Super NES, it’s a no-go. The cart just doesn’t
fit, the pins don’t make contact, as the announcer from Super Smash Bros. would say,
FAILURE. So why is this?
If you take a look at this Super NES cart, at the bottom on the back side, there are
two little slots. Perhaps you’ve noticed them before, but they’re the key to this
whole mystery. Super Famicom carts lack these two small slots, which constitute the primary
region lockout of the system, more or less. From a software standpoint, there’s no difference
between these two games. They’ll both play... if you can just make the bleeding thing fit.
Taking a look inside the console itself, you can see that deep inside the cartridge slot
there, we have two tabs that fit into the aforementioned slots in Super NES software.
There’s our entire impediment. Two little pieces of plastic. Fortunately, they’re
fairly easy to deal with. You can take something like a soldering iron or a hot awl to ‘em
and melt ‘em out of the way, you can try to break them out with pliers (which might
not work all that well), you can get in there with a razor and shave ‘em down. I, personally,
used a pair of heavy-duty garden shears and a $.25 paring knife, because they’re what
I happened to have on hand and I absolutely needed to play the original Star Ocean, but
that’s on another page. As you can see, getting rid of these tabs allows a Super Famicom
cart to sit all they way down in the slot, the pins make contact, and you can get your
import gaming on.
One important thing to keep in mind, though, is that this modification only works to allow
Japanese games to be played on North American SNES units. While European Super Nintendo
carts share the same form factor as the Japanese, and will fit just as well, the primary issue
is the difference between the NTSC and PAL display standards. While such distinctions
are beginning to fade with our move to the Hi-Def era, where 1080p is 1080p in any language,
we retro gamers have to stay mindful of exactly how ridiculous technology was back in the
day. And this isn’t even getting into the issues of CIC-chip lockouts, a further step
to prevent your PAL games from playing in the rest of the world. So no Starwing (even
though it’s just Starfox with a different name), no Terranigma (in English, anyway),
no Adventures of Tintin.
Putting aside the unfortunate situation of Europe, one of the primary benefits of this
modification is that it in no way impedes your ability to play standard Super Nintendo
games on the same console! It’s a true expansion, and allows you to enjoy the relatively-cheaper
Super Famicom used-game market. Well, usually cheaper. I have yet to find a copy of Umihara
Kawase for less than ninety bucks. But that can wait.
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CGRundertow IMPORT-MODDED SUPER NINTENDO Video Game Hardware Review

2406 Folder Collection
阿多賓 published on April 13, 2013
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