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  • Posted on May 18th, 2011 keving 8 comments

    A video that made me laugh mightily (you’ll see why in the second half), but which I haven’t had a chance to bring up since I wrote a piece on Russian game magazines over on GameSetWatch a year ago.

    Back when I ran my NES page (which I now see somebody’s put a Google ad bar up on — where’s my share of that sweet cash, man?!), I used to wonder what on earth these ridiculous pirate hacks were made for. I’m starting to realize that, while X-in-1s and Street Fighter II wannabes were spread all across Southeast Asia and the Middle East, the prime market in terms of gamer population was really the post-USSR region, even if doing business up there was the pain in the ass it undoubtedly was.

    Watching this TV clip (the same YouTube user has uploaded a bunch more), I can only imagine the real difficulties Russian kids had back then, trying to figure out which Mario games were “good” and which were copies of something else they’d already purchased.


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    • Mario 16 looks more enjoyable than than the original Joe & Mac. I know this was a simple swapping of spruces, but…it just seems more appealing for Mario to be running around a prehistoric world instead of generic cavemen (apologies to all of the Joe & Mac fans out there).

      It may not surprise you to learn that I totally dug North America’s “Super Mario 2” (I still love it) for NES. Mario 16, though not nearly as charming, is a kindred spirit, I suppose.

      Non-canonical, perhaps. Egregious, perhaps. But I will go to my grave knowing that Mario’s mere presence in these hacked games made them better. Heck, the games are a refreshing extension of the Mario universe, as far as I am concerned.

    • “Sprites”, not “spruces”. Oops!

    • YOU’RE |tsr?! Oh I used to load up that page nearly every day!

    • I like how he praises the Chinese for “being cleverer than the Japanese” when he’s actually playing a U.K.-developed NES port of a Japanese arcade game. :p

    • Well, now I’m not original, but my original comment was going to be:

      Holy hell above, you were |tsr? (I know, cliche now.)

      Seriously, dude, I loved your damn site. No wonder I look forward to your posts here so much. You’re awesome, man.

    • Great you posted this!
      I’m from Poland, but “Dendies” (Dendys?) were also hugely popular here (but we called those Famiclones “Pegasus” – the everyone’s favourite model was IQ-502, modeled after SNES), they even were advertised in TV in mid ’90s. Buying games on marketplaces with funky names like “Super Commando 1995”, “Adventure Island 5” or “Mario 14” from Russian guys was some sort of hazard – what the game will be really called? There were companies completely devoted to import the consoles and making the controllers. At the same time the Commodore 64, Atari 800 were at peak of it’s popularity (there were games for C64 professionaly manufactured as far as in 1997! Amiga also had very long lifespan here)

    • As wonderfully bizarre as that was, I couldn’t take my eyes of the parallax scrolling in, um, Mario 16. Was that really a Famicom game doing that?

    • I second the excited gasping. YOU’RE tsr? And that’s your awesome NES site? :O Kudos, sir! Cheers! Oh, wow.

      Also, I laughed my ass off at this video, too.

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