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NES [DEV - DONE] Nintendo World Championships 1990 Competition Cartridge NES - PERFECT REPRO

Xrider

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Apr 19, 2020
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Hello,

In love with my first console, the Nintendo NES , I decided to buy back the Nintendo NES games I had when I was a child (thank you dad & mom).
Thanks to this passion, I also discovered a lot of unknown titles

And I came across an article mentioning the existence of very very rare & expensive NES cartridge. The Holy Grail as on the call on the net.

This cartridge is a cartridge not marketed, but produced by nintendo which was used in the world championship "Nintendo" in 1990.

It is physically distinguished from other cartridges thanks to its switches at the top left of the cartridge.

Passionate about electronics and retro video games, I decided to learn more about this so mysterious cartridge, and here is what I quickly learned:

- This cartridge combines 3 games organized for the championship:
- Super Mario Bros
  • Rad Racer
  • Tetris
  • The upper switches are used to adjust the playing time during which the player must achieve a maximum of points before the time-out, adjustable from 5mins up to 9mins and 41.2 seconds, set to 6mins and 15s for the 1990 championship .
  • There were gray versions for the World Championship event in 1990, and 26 gold versions were produced to be won in a "Nintendo Power magazine" contest.
  • All the consoles were connected via the P2 controller port to give the start of the competition simultaneously (you have to press the "START" button on the P2 to launch the game on the intro screen).
  • The original Rom is made to work at 60Hz (NTSC), there are graphical bugs on Rad Racer with a 50hz (PAL) console.
  • This game cartridge is today one of the most expensive in the world :(

Not having the means to buy myself the Holy Grail, I decided to make a "PERFECT" copy of the original thanks to the rom available on the internet.
And by looking even further, we discover that:
  • Nintendo created a mapper only for this console = Mapper 105
  • It is the most complicated cartridge developed by Nintendo
  • This is the heaviest cartridge produced by Nintendo (given the number of components, no wonder ...)
  • Nintendo made openwork the shell (carcass) of the cartridges by hand

In short, with all that I had something to start to achieve my Holy Grail ...
AND after several hundred hours of work, testing, failure and perseverance I managed to have a 100% functional prototype, which embeds exactly the same components as the original version (recovered in several Nintendo NES US cartridges) .
The printed circuit and the exact copy of the original



For comparison of my copies VS the original:

Original :



Perfect Repro :


I recapitulate :
  • All essential components are from the year 1990, identical to the original version.
  • Unpatched game, 100% identical to the original version (dedicated 60hz system).
  • The Shell is of Nintendo origin (gray carcass of the cartridge).
  • Cartridge compatible with a Nes Front Loader NTSC US / Canada 60hz console (In 50hz slow motion + graphic bug in Rad Racer, bug strictly identical to the original)


I produced 5 copies:
  • A final prototype version
  • A GOLD version
  • Three Gray versions

EDIT :
EDIT :
One available on ebay, start at 1 euros

I will keep the proto, the gold version as well as a gray version, the last two will be sold soon

Some period video and reference link on this historical cartridge:

Link :)
 
Last edited:

speedyink

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May 31, 2019
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I'm hoping this is a given, but when you sell them do you plan to advertise it as a reproduction? Is there any identifying mark inside the cart to notify any future sales to unsuspecting purchasers?

It's cool the effort you went through, I just worry about the potential risk to future buyers of the legit cart
 

pool7

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I'm hoping this is a given, but when you sell them do you plan to advertise it as a reproduction? Is there any identifying mark inside the cart to notify any future sales to unsuspecting purchasers?

It's cool the effort you went through, I just worry about the potential risk to future buyers of the legit cart
I asked the same in discord and he said that there's "a secret error on pcb.". Not ideal IMHO.
Great work though!
 
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speedyink

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May 31, 2019
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I asked the same in discord and he said that there's "a secret error on pcb.". Not ideal IMHO.
Great work though!

Definitely not ideal..it would be nice if there was a clear mark so potential purchasers aren't scammed because they didn't notice an undisclosed "secret error". I mean, going by the two pictures they look really damn similar and could easily be confused for an original.

The fact that it is so hard to tell says lots about how well you did on this project. I just don't trust people to not take advantage of that fact
 

Xrider

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Original poster
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Apr 19, 2020
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I'm hoping this is a given, but when you sell them do you plan to advertise it as a reproduction? Is there any identifying mark inside the cart to notify any future sales to unsuspecting purchasers?

It's cool the effort you went through, I just worry about the potential risk to future buyers of the legit cart
I will sell both units as "Perfect Repro".
I don't want to excuse someone.

I modified the website which lists the original cartridges and added an important comment about my creation:
"In 2021, Xrider (french engineer) made 5 perfects replicas of the cartridge with genuine components inside for her collection. One gold and 4 grey revision. The cartridge numbers are : 0284, 0342, 0310 & 228 (the 228 is her prototype)."


I asked the same in discord and he said that there's "a secret error on pcb.". Not ideal IMHO.
Great work though!
The fact that it is so hard to tell says lots about how well you did on this project.

Thank you for your compliments :)
I will reveal how to tell the difference between the original and the copy when they are sold.

Any idea of release date/price? I'm possibly interested.
Probably in february

Be sure that there will be no more than 2 copies for sale, my first idea was to make a perfect copy for my personal collection, no resale so that we can pass off my cartridge as an original on the second-hand market.
 

FamicomLass

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Feb 11, 2021
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Great job. Just wondering, from where did you source the MD04S DIP switches? I have not been able to find this exact part for sale anywhere.
 

Arcadia

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For people who have missed it, RetroUSB have repros available:


However, they're clearly going for a different look.