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
- 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
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
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:
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
One available on ebay, start at 1 euros
https://www.ebay.fr/itm/Nintendo-World- ... 3875393288
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: