All posts for the month July, 2013

From Krikzz (famous for his Everdrive line of flashcarts) and DuoR (well known PCEngineFX modder) we have the NES Everdrive N8 “Pimped Out” edition.

Whats is the Everdrive N8?

Well, it is a Printed Circuit Board (PCB) which allows you to load (from an SD card) any NES and Famicom Disk System rom you want on real hardware. In other words, games you typically play on an emulator can be played on the real console.

What is the advantage?

Since we are executing the game code directly on original hardware, the experience is exactly the same as if we were playing with the original cartridge.

Dude, I still don’t get it, can you give an example?

Let’s say you wanna play The Flintstones: Surprise at Dinosaur Peak on a real NES console. You would have to shell out some serious cash for the original game or ask someone to make a reproduction (good luck with that one). With this cartridge, you can play the game just like if you were using the real cartridge.

Another example would be if you want to play a homebrew or a hacked game, like for example DPad Hero, Mario Adventure, the translated Final Fantasy II or maybe the 32 teams updated roster version of Tecmo Super Bowl.

What about compatiblity, will all games work?

The compatiblity is great, the most popular titles such as Mario, Megaman Ninja Gaiden, TMNT, etc work just the same as playing them from the real carts.

What really surprised me was the fact you can play FDS games. The original Zelda, the original Mario II (Lost Levels), All Night Nippon Super Mario, Doki Doki Panic, etc are fully playable on the NES. Even if a game asks to switch to side B, that’s no problem, the Everdrive will switch it for you. Pressing the reset button will save your data to the SD, simulating saving to the floppy disk.

Unfortunately not all roms work, some of them (most notably the multicart cagmes) will throw an A5 error (rom is bigger than 512 kb), other will throw a non supported mapper error. Krikzz is continuosly working and compatiblity may be increased on a future firmware update.

One of the most notable non working games is Castlevania 3, luckily, its japanese counterpart Akumajo Densetsu works, although it sounds a bit odd. This is because of the extra sound hardware present on the Famicom but absent on the NES.

Can I save my progress in Gold Medal Challenge, NES Open Golf, etc?

Yessss!!! For those games which featured a battery (Kirby, Turbo Racing, etc) the Everdrive saves our progress in a .sav file inside the SD card. So no more frustatration because you lost your progress in Zelda. Also, these .sav files are compatibles with emulators, so you may continue / resume to / from other devices as you wish.

What is this “pimping” all about?

Normally, if you order a flash cart directly form Krikzz, you would typically get the bare PCB or for an addtional $15 you would get a (not so inspired) shell and that’s it. The price would be something like $124 + shipping. However, if you order 10+ unit you get a discount.

So, what our friend DuoR did was order 10 PCBs directly form Krikzz.

Once he got them, using original shells, he:

– Cut a hole to insert / remove the SD card.
– Painted them in the buyer’s requested color (the options if I remember correctly were, no paint, charcoal, blue and black)
– Designed and applied a cartridge label
– Conditioned a “universal” box
– Designed and printed a box insert and manual.

The result can be apreciated in the video. The final price was $115.49 including shipping and it looks way cooler.

I’m pending to edit the video and show the Everdrive itself in action.

Until the next time.

(2) They;re called universal because they can be used with any videogame cartridge. The truth is DuoR had to cut a few pieces of plastic and decorate with a cool Everdrive label so the NES cart would properly fit.