Nintendo Entertainment System cartridge variations

From FamiWiki

Compared to the Family Computer, Nintendo had greater control over cartridge manufacturing for the Nintendo Entertainment System outside of Japan. Third parties were required to buy Nintendo manufactured cartridges, PCBs, and if needed, custom mapper chips. While there were some exceptions, Nintendo continued to regulate the manufacturing of cartridge shells. This led to a lack of variety, making many NES cartridges look alike compared to Famicom cartridges. Despite this, some companies like Tengen produced their own unlicensed cartridges, deviating from Nintendo's standard cartridges.[1]


Cartridge Name Description Image
Standard Grey Standard grey cartridge used by Nintendo and third parties in North America and Europe. File:Super Mario Bros. NES NA Cartridge.jpg
Standard Light Grey Standard light grey cartridge used by Nintendo and third parties in Hong Kong and Asia. Mah Jong NES HK Cartridge.jpg
Gold Used for a select few releases such as The Legend of Zelda and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. A modified gold cartridge was also used for the 26 gold Nintendo World Championships cartridges. The Legend of Zelda NES NA Cartridge.jpg
FamicomBox Black cartridges used for the FamicomBox. Super Mario Bros. FamicomBox Cartridge.png


Cartridge Name Description Image
Tengen Cartridges used by Tengen for their unlicensed NES releases. Tetris (Tengen) NES NA Cartridge.jpg