Handheld Underground

"mostly harmless - if obscure - fun"

posted by taizou @ 2012-11-17 03:42:56 Other Stuff

Came across something interesting in an issue of the UK's (excellent) N64 Magazine recently - all the way back in August 1999 they dedicated a two-page feature to bootleg Game Boy stuff, pretty unprecedented for the time. they even gave it a...slightly familiar name, almost like a knockoff version of this very site (...except theirs was 13 years earlier):

(the quality isn't the best, sorry - I didn't have access to a scanner when I found this, so I just had to photograph it, but it's readable at least)

With it being 1999, unlicensed development hadn't really got into full swing, so all they had to cover were hacks and multicarts and the like; they seemingly didn't realise Mario 4 was a hack at all (which is fair enough, given the obscurity of the source game, Crayon Shin-Chan 4) and although they hint at Sonic 6 being based on some unnamed "poor game", they don't recognise it as Speedy Gonzales, and they really lay into it. Poor Speedy :(

They also cover Monster Go! Go! Go!, which they do identify as a Smurfs hack (the colour version of Smurfs being a fairly recent release at that point), but they don't provide any screenshots - my hunch is that they played Mario 4 and Sonic 6 through ROMs they downloaded from the internet, but Monster Go Go Go probably wasn't dumped at that point, so I'd guess they either actually obtained a copy (possible) or just nicked the boxart from a website and wrote up something based on the site's description (likely).

Amusingly, given their likely ROM-based Mario and Sonic shenanigans, they then proceed to get on their soapbox about the GB X-Changer (because playing pirated roms on your computer is just fine, but if you put them on a cartridge you have CROSSED A LINE SIR), and then there's a bit about some crap old multicart that someone on staff no doubt picked up on holiday, and that's your lot!



1posted by Qiezei @ 2012-11-19 00:24:23

They certainly couldn't take any of the stuff they covered highly, or else they might look bad and evoke wrath from game companies. Look how many old adverts and articles bad-mouthed unlicensed stuff as being dangerous and poorly made when, well, most of the time they weren't (I have yet to encounter something that actually damaged my game system or anything else.) It was probably best that these magazines didn't cover unlicensed stuff often, considering the lack of knowledge and the aforementioned risk.

2posted by taizou @ 2012-11-19 11:48:30

Yeah, this is true, they had to maintain a good relationship with Nintendo and game publishers, so they did have to toe the official line at least to some extent (especially where copiers were concerned).

Aside from the X-Changer, they were actually fairly balanced, anyway - they didn't just take a blanket "everything unlicensed is evil" stance, they gave everything a pretty fair assessment. With Sonic it seems like they genuinely thought the game sucked, they weren't just taking a shot at it because it was a bootleg - they were always pretty merciless in their treatment of any game they didn't like, licensed or not.

3posted by taizou @ 2012-11-19 11:49:59

Also "mostly harmless - if obscure - fun" could practically be my slogan for this place

4posted by leeseongjae620 @ 2015-01-01 09:39:19

닌텐도에서 받았다!

5posted by leeseongjae620 @ 2015-01-01 09:39:35

닌텐도 월드

6posted by guyzis @ 2020-05-31 13:58:31

I'm guessing Monste GoGo wasn't dumped at the time

7posted by Gamer @ 2020-07-19 20:22:00

This game cassette it's very nice for the all family 👍

8posted by LucianoTheWindowsFan @ 2020-09-07 20:45:03

The dark age of piracy.