I have been a fan of the multi-cart since I was a young girl. My best friend used to have a 72 in 1 Cartridge Story cartridge, and we spent many hours perusing through the game list. Back then, we had no idea that these games had been pirated or what a third party cartridge even was. With no moral hang-ups, some of our favourites included Pooyan, Circus Charlie, and Antarctica. Unfortunately, her family was robbed before we had reached our teen years, and that cartridge was taken along with many of their other NES games. I thankfully chanced upon a copy of the game a few years ago at a local hock shop and purchased it. My friend and I finally had a chance to seek retribution against our lifelong nemesis: the Trapeze Level of Circus Charlie. I am sad to report that despite our best efforts, to this very day we still have not successfully finished that game. The controls in that level are as mysterious as those in River Jump in Snoopy’s Silly Sports Spectacular. On top of the 72 in 1 cartridge, my boyfriend and I also picked up a few other multi-carts in the massive purchase we made back in April (read here if you’re interested about that amazing find.) Here is a picture of the few multicarts we own:
This brings me to the point of my post: a friend of ours in town was picking up and moving across the country and knew of our passion for video game collecting. She gave us a plug & play system along with several of her beautiful house plants (for those of you that like plants, we now own a lily , an arrowhead, and a giant spider plant.) The plug and play system is by Mega Gun Power and is a 118 in 1 unit. In the top picture below, the controller on the right is the “console”. It has audio and video outputs, as well as a power input. The controller on the left is for two-player gameplay and it plugs in on the underside of the larger one. I’ve also included the games list included on the instructions below.
Unlike most multi-cart lists, the names of the games aren’t all deliberately changed to loosely mask their identities. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a multi-cart or plug & play system without things like Kung Fu, Warpman, Lunar Ball, Lode Runner, Binary Land, Devil World, Nuts and Milk, Chack Pop, etc. Interestingly for me though, there were a few new titles that I hadn’t seen before: Bird Week, Door Door and Sqoon. I decided to put together a video on my YouTube channel showcasing the gameplay of these three games (go here if you’d like to see it.) I use the word showcasing loosely: this was my first time playing through all three of these, so some of the deaths are cringe-worthy. I apologize in advance for any cringing that ensues. Especially with Sqoon. I definitely need to work on my Sqoon skills. I also apologize for the fact that it looks like this gameplay was captured from a potato. The output from this plug and play doodad isn’t anywhere near top notch.
Random sidenote: if you did watch the video or looked up Sqoon, isn’t the title screen music from that game awesome? The title screen on its own is so interesting: A mermaid holding a cross, random dudes swimming about, and a weird looking submarine that you commandeer to blast random sea life to smithereens. The level music is not nearly as cool, although it is pretty good compared to some NES music I’ve heard (Bible Adventures, anyone?)
I am looking forward to playing with this system a little bit and exploring it further. Maybe I’ll finally be able to exact my revenge on Circus Charlie. The version on this unit seems to start you two levels further into the game than what I’m used to so I might actually have a chance!!
Another interesting thing I wanted to mention in this post is how multi-carts actually work. I never thought twice about it until I was reading online about the 190 in 1 cartridge that we picked up. Someone in a forum happened to casually mention that these cartridges were mostly produced internationally and could only be played on an NES console by using a Famicom converter inside the cartridge. I was flabbergasted. Truth be told, I had always wanted to pick up Famicom games because they’re often much cheaper (as long as they’re in English, of course). We opened up one of the multi-carts to check out this theory. Sure enough, there was a Famicom game PCB loaded into a Famicom converter inside! Mind blown.
We conveniently have a top-loader NES, so we can get away with extracting this converter to use with Famicom games and not risk having it get lost or stuck in a standard NES console. Because the other game converter I bought recently isn’t working properly, this is how I was able to test the Famicom version of SMB3 I had picked up. Neat, eh?
Well anyway, I am a big fan of the novelty of multi-carts despite their perceived nefariousness by many people out in the world of the Internet. They, along with plug and play units, have their place in a game collection. Does anyone have any strong thoughts or feelings on the topic of multi-carts or plug and play systems with pirated games?
Thanks for reading, as always.