Interesting Cartridges

This is indeed a real thing!

I recently visited my wife’s childhood home and her grandmother came across a bunch of her old game stuff that she showed and gave to me. One of them in particular really caught my eye, the item you see above you which is an NES copy of ‘The Fantastic Adventures of Dizzy’, a very old platforming and puzzle game.

If you’ve ever seen an NES Cartridge before however you’re probably wondering what on earth this thing is. Well, as it turns out, the people who made this game, Codemasters, were also the people who made the notorious GameGenie back in the day, a plug in device that allowed you to enable cheats in cartridge based systems. I used to use one of the more modern versions of these devices, a GameShark, on my Gameboy and Gameboy Advance.

Anyway, as back in this day Nintendo was very particular with their third-party developers on the NES due to Codemasters works to cheat their games Nintendo never actually gave them the official go-ahead to make an NES version of their Dizzy games. As such they had to come up with another way of doing it, as without the official hardware as soon as the cartridge would go into the console it wouldn’t register and thus wouldn’t work. Thus they came up with the ‘Plug-Thru’ system. How it worked is essentially like a leeching system, by attaching this onto any other NES cartridge you could trick the system by using the official NES hardware on the original cartridge, but all the data would go to the attachment on the top instead, thus this is how they got this game to work on the system.

It’s honestly a very clever system and I just wanted to share this interesting piece of gaming history that I now own a part of. Maybe this will be a secret hidden gem! I have my doubts though… That’s all for now, and as always. It’s not just a game, It’s a Life.

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