Childhood memories: Before the OUYE, there was Famiclones

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Last post I talked about Captain Tsubasa 2, and talked about playing it on a Famiclone. This post I will explain why that is, so let’s get started.

Today most of the gaming news site are covering the OUYE, the Chinese Android system that is basically a knock off of a PS4 Console and an Xbox One controller. But that’s not the first time it happens, it used to happen all the time back when I was a kid. One of these was the introduction of gaming to me in my childhood and the reason I grew up to be a gamer.

OUYE

Back in the 90s in the Middle East where I live, games where not that popular or mainstream, atleast that is what I think. The market was flooded with famiclones, Sega clones, and it was rare to find the original hardware, I only knew my uncles who had an NES and that was it. The reason for that being the price of the original systems and the price of games. Instead, famiclone cartridges were everywhere and for a cheap price, in addition to that, each cart had at least 3 games included. All these fake cartridges had roms of original games and sometimes even hacks of popular games.

The Famiclones as expected, break quickly, many of them came with a lot of games included in the hardware itself, so you didn’t have to buy games, but you’ll have to buy new systems every once in a while. As for myself, I had many of those over the span of my childhood, one of the Famiclones that I owned came with Super Mario Bros., A LOT of Super Mario Bros. The first on the list was the original with no modification and you could play normally, however, for the next 20 or so, each had a unique hack, Mario could jump so high in one, while he always shots fireballs on the other, or even always equipped with the star power in the third, there was also one where you could play as Luigi instead. This was my favourite Famiclone I owned, but it broke fast and had to get a new one.

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The most memorable one to me, the one that I still have to this day, is a Famiclone shaped as a keyboard called “ASDER PC-95”. The console itself had a pretty title screen, few games, Educational games and even a calendar and a calculator. It was made by Nintendo Electronic Co. a company based in Taiwan founded in 1983 and was Defunct in 1993 by a lawsuit from Nintendo. The games included were originally developed by them as Mega Soft and later included in Caltron 6in1, the games were not amazing, but as a kid, I used to like Magic Carpet 1001. The carts for all famiclones were a basic Famicom cart, but most of the games available in the market were hacks and multicarts of mostly not that good of a games.

As a child and with these circumstances, I was introduced to many unheard of games, and haven’t played what is now considered to be Classics of that time, but the ones I used to like are the ones that actually are good now as they were back then, that included the games from the Kunio Kun series (River city ransom). And to say the least, I have played Sonic on a Nintendo console back then! Well, an awful version of sonic, in addition to a hack to replace Mario with Sonic in Super Mario Bros.

And for the economic reasons, I was never introduced to the original hardware or games until many years later when the internet was a thing and we could read about stuff like that. Sorry Nintendo, I didn’t buy or own any original things back then.

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