The Nintendo64 is getting another round of love from our friends in China. A few years ago we saw single game pirate carts resurface after having been absent for well over a decade, yes there were N64 pirate carts back in the day but they were
hard to find unless you traveled to places like Brazil, and most didn't include a CIC lockout chip clone, which meant that an adapter was required.
Wether you like it or not, cheap knockoff carts are here to stay and they are cranked out of China in "large" quantities. Now a new batch of pirate carts are available, but this time they've been taken a step further, for the first time in
history we now have N64 multigame pirate carts.
In late 2018 I stumbled upon some ebay auctions for what obviously were pirate carts, as at least one was in a translucent yellow shell, Nintendo didn't offer that color back in the day. I was able to find a total of 3 "compilation"
multigame carts in the same style as the ones released for the Nintendo GBA and DS, meaning that not all games are N64 ones, but in stead a few N64 games topped off with a bunch of NES games, being run using the Neon64 NES emulator.
I decided to pick up one of these, which I suppose is called "Mario Party 123 & 15 NES Games".
What you get on this cart is Mario Party, Mario Party 2, Mario Party 3 and then 15 NES games as the title above states. The NES games are: 1942, Adventure Island 3, Battle City, Castlevania 2, Contra, Donkey Kong 2,
Double Dragon 2, Gradius, Rockman 6 (hack), Rush'n Attack, Star Force, Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros 2, Super Mario Bros 3 and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
It surprises me a bit that they've decided to include an (obviously fake) ESRB rating on the label as well as the Original Seal of Quality from Nintendo.
Even a Gamepak ID has been added to the label to make it look authentic I guess? NUS-MULT-USA :-)
The cartridge shell is the same as the USA one, which means it will not fit in a European N64 even though I'm sure the built-in lockout clone would work with an European console too.
When booted up the cartridge presents you with a nice game select screen, but no music and you have to press A or B to switch to another "page" of games instead of just a scrolling list. Press start to start the selected game makes sense I guess,
and all 3 Mario Party games seem to work just fine...
The NES games all boot to a nice ASCII text screen...
PCB wise it's slightly different from the one used for the single game carts released a few years back, but it could be that it's merely a revision.
Interestinly though it seems to feature 2 x 512Mbit which seems odd as the maximum size for an N64 game is 512Mbit, but maybe the cart is capable of some bank switching that allows for a second storage block of 512Mbit.
Anyway that is it for now. If you want one of these things then look it up on ebay, but be prepared to wait roughly a month for it to arrive.