Family Computer cartridge variations

From FamiWiki
The Family Computer, also known as the Famicom.

While most companies manufactured their cartridges through Nintendo, some larger publishers manufactured their own. These variations gave their games a personality and brand unique to the publisher. Manufacturing away from Nintendo also gave these companies greater freedom in the content they could include on packaging, while smaller companies had to follow Nintendo's stricter content guidelines. Later in the Famicom's life, taller cartridges were introduced to fit more powerful co-processors and larger ROMs. Nintendo also pushed for a switch over to OEM manufacturing for more control over content being released, and contracts were changed to reflect this.[1] Once the Super Famicom arrived, all cartridges were manufactured by Nintendo and standardized, with some having a port at the top for Satellaview functionality.

Nintendo Entertainment System cartridges were mostly manufactured by Nintendo as they had greater control outside of Japan.

60-pin cartridges

Type Manufacturer Description Cartridge
Ridged Bandai A standard-height cartridge with ridges on the sides. The top corners are rounded, and the Bandai wordmark is molded on the top edge. The back of the cartridge has the Bandai logo, the year of manufacture, and MADE IN JAPAN in a small box at the bottom. The majority of these cartridges have labels on the top.
Dragon Ball Shenron no Nazo FC Cartridge.png
Family Trainer Bandai Tall cartridges denoting games that use Bandai's Family Trainer accessory. These carts have "Family Trainer" stamped above the label and Bandai's logo stamped into the bottom right of the cart.
Family Trainer Athletic World FC Cartridge.png
Famicom Jump Bandai Identical to the Family Trainer cartridges but with "Famicom Jump" stamped above the label instead. Used for Famicom Jump: Hero Retsuden and Famicom Jump II: Saikyou no 7 Nin.
Famicom Jump Hero Retsuden FC Cartridge.png
Standard Irem Regular dimensions, small Irem logo stamped into the top.
Holy Diver FC Cartridge.png
LED Irem Earlier Irem cartridges include a power led at the top of the cartridge, below an Irem logo stamp. These carts also have a square hole on the left and are the same cream color as the original Famicom console.
Sqoon FC Cartridge.png
Standard Jaleco Regular dimensions, Jaleco logo stamped into the top left.
Ninja Kun Majou no Bouken FC Cartridge.png
Tall Jaleco Tall cartridges used for later releases, the stamped logo is much prominent on the top left and is the only Famicom cartridge variant to come with cartridge covers. This style of cartridge only came in black and white.
Maniac Mansion FC Cartridge.png
Pizza Pop FC Cartridge.png
Standard Konami Regular height with a large end label. Ridges towards the top of the cartridge. Features a small hole on the left side that's supposedly used to thread a string around several Konami cartridges to carry around. It's worth noting that this hole is also present on cartridges for the MSX.
The Goonies FC Cartridge.png
Translucent Konami Salamander is only licensed Famicom cartridge that is translucent. The design itself is identical to the standard Konami cartridge but colored cyan.
Salamander FC Cartridge.png
Tall Konami Tall cartridges used for later releases. Features a frame around the box art with an imprinted Konami logo
Lagrange Point FC Cartridge.png
Standard (Namcot) Namco Standard cartridge used for early Namco releases. They have an end label with art specific to each game. The Namcot logo is embedded on the top left. Namcot was the name of Namco's home console software division.
Pac-Man FC Cartridge.png
Standard (Namco) Namco Identical to the standard Namcot cartridge design but the embedded logo on the top left says Namco instead of Namcot. Used for Choujikuu Yousai Macross.
Choujikuu Yousai Macross FC Cartridge.png
Gold Namco Gold cartridges used for Super Xevious: GAMP no Nazo and Dragon Buster. Uses the same standard Namco cartridge design.
Super Xevious GAMP no Nazo FC Cartridge.png
Silver Namco A silver cartridge used for Star Wars and is similar to the previous gold cartridges. Uses the same standard Namco cartridge design.
Star Wars (Namco, Famicom) FC Cartridge.png
Tall Navy Blue Namco Tall cartridges used for later Namco releases.
Splatterhouse Wanpaku Graffiti FC Cartridge.png
Standard Nintendo Standard cartridge used by Nintendo and third parties. Has 2 small, square holes at the top. Same dimensions as a cassette case.
Super Mario Bros. FC Cartridge.png
Tall Nintendo Tall cartridge used by Nintendo and third parties. Meant to resemble NES Game Paks. All Koei games used this form factor.
Shin 4-nin Uchi Mahjong Yakuman Tengoku FC Cartridge.png
Family BASIC Nintendo A unique tall cartridge design used for Family BASIC and Family BASIC V3. The back of the cartridge has a slot for two AA batteries which is used for the switch on the front to save program data directly onto the cartridge.
Family BASIC FC Cartridge.png
SETA SETA The only uniquely manufactured cartridge by SETA for Hon Shougi: Naitou Kudan Shougi Hiden. All other SETA cartridges used standard Nintendo cartridges.
Hon Shougi Naitou Kudan Shougi Hiden FC Cartridge.png
Standard Sunsoft White cartridge with regular dimensions with the Sunsoft logo stamped prominently at the top of the cartridge. Features 2 small holes at the top like Nintendo's standard cartridges. Later releases were made with black plastic instead of white.
Atlantis No Nazo FC Cartridge.png
Gimmick FC Cartridge.png
Standard Taito Standard height with ridges at the top. Features the old logo stamped into the top right. Used until 1988.
Space Invaders FC Cartridge.png
New Taito Used the new logo introduced in 1988. The bottom right of the label is taken out to place a stamped logo into the cartridge.
The Flintstones The Rescue of Dino & Hoppy FC Cartridge.png
Arched Taito Taller variation with an arched top. Only used for 3 very late releases in 1993 which include Captain Saver, Bubble Bobble 2, and The Jetsons: Cogswell's Caper!. The design of the cartridge looks similar to what would be later used for the Nintendo 64.
Captain Saver FC Cartridge.png

Adapter cartridges

Type Manufacturer Description Cartridge
Karaoke Studio Bandai A special cartridge designed for Karaoke Studio with it's own hard-wired microphone. It has an expansion slot on the back to insert specially designed cartridges.
Karaoke Studio FC Cartridge.jpg
Datach Joint ROM System Bandai The Datach Joint ROM System cartridge adapter. It has a barcode reader on the front of the adapter used for transmitting barcode data into supported Datach software.
Datach Joint ROM System.jpg
StudyBox Model 1000 Fukutake Shoten The StudyBox Model 1000 adapter used to read audio cassette tapes. The Model 1000 was only made available for rental use for students registered to the Shinkenzemi Elementary School Course.
StudyBox Model 1000.png
StudyBox SBX-01 Fukutake Shoten The StudyBox SBX-01 adapter used to read audio cassette tapes. This is an updated model of the StudyBox Model 1000. The SBX-01 model was sold rather than rented.
StudyBox SBX-01 FC Cartridge.png
Q-Ta Adapter Konami Cartridge adapter for smaller Konami Q-Ta cartridges.
Konami Q-Ta Adapter FC Cartridge.png
RAM Adapter Nintendo Contains RAM for the Family Computer Disk System to communicate with the main unit, as well as some extra sound hardware. Required for the use of the Disk System.
Family Computer Disk System RAM Adapter FC Cartridge.png
Network System Nintendo The Family Computer Network System cartridge adapter that uses a ROM card format similar to HuCards for PC Engine. Has a modem to connect online.
Family Computer Network System FC Cartridge.png
Nantettatte!! Baseball Sunsoft Tall round cartridge used for Nantettatte!! Baseball. The back of the cartridge features its own cartridge slot.
Nantettatte Baseball FC Cartridge.png

Expansion cartridges

Type Manufacturer Description Cartridge
Datach Cartridge Bandai Smaller cartridges designed to fit into the Datach Joint ROM System. They have long indents below the not-quite-rectangular label. They are more square in shape than normal Famicom cartridges.
Dragon Ball Z Gekitou Tenkaichi Budokai Datach Cartridge.png
Karaoke Studio Expansion Cartridge Bandai Smaller expansion cartridges for Karaoke Studio. These add additional songs to the base game. Only two expansion cartridges were released which include Senyou Cassette Vol. 1 and Senyou Cassette Vol. 2.
Karaoke Studio Senyou Cassette Vol. 1 Expansion Cartridge.png
Karaoke Studio Senyou Cassette Vol. 2 Expansion Cartridge.png
Q-Ta Cartridge Konami Smaller cartridges for the Konami Q-Ta adapter. These are primarily edutainment games not targeted for a general market. The adapter provides common hardware for kanji support and a VRC5 mapper chip, a mapper unique to the Q-Ta adapter. [2]
NHK Academy Space School Elementary School Math 5th Grade Part 2 Konami Q-Ta Cartridge.png
Nantettatte!! Baseball Expansion Cartridge Sunsoft Smaller expansion cartridges used for Nantettatte!! Baseball. These were used to update the statistics in the base game. Only two expansion cartridges were released in 1991 those being OB All-Star Hen and '91 Kaimakuban.
Nantettatte Baseball Ko Game Cassette OB All-Star Hen Expansion Cartridge.png
Nantettatte Baseball Ko Game Cassette 91 Kaimakuban Expansion Cartridge.png

References

  1. https://note.com/syosin_kai/n/n4025bee10a56, 特別編 ファミコンカセットのライセンスの歴史を調べていったらおかしなことに気がついた, 初心カイ
  2. https://famicomworld.com/system/converters/konami-q-famicom-adaptor/, Konami Q太 Famicom Adapter, Famicom World