Ai Senshi Nicol NES Cart

This is an interesting and awesome cartridge that I picked up on... Groan.. Ebay! I had found out just a week before bidding on this game that there was an NES ROM floating around the net that was from a cartridge version of Ai Senshi Nicol. Then.. I saw it during a random check of Ebay. I guess the guy who owned the cart got it dumped to ROM and then wanted to unload it. Nicol is originally a Famicom Disk System game made by Konami, and it is great! Konami really should have brought the game out to America. Well, this version works on my NES, and it is almost perfect, except for the fact that you can't save your game, and the FDS' extra sound channels are nonexistent (They do make a big difference to the music!) However, depending on which button or direction arrow you hold down while selecting "Continue" from the title screen, you start off on a different level in the game.

The makers of this cartridge call themselves "Video Deon Japan", which is a bad interpretation of the amalgamated words Video and Odeon. Just look at the label below. It's pretty damn weird, with painted pictures of movies from the '70s. (I identified all 9 movies; can you?) They obviously ripped off a poster from a video store, or something. And, below the picture is an indication "1 Player 2 Players". Why? The game is only 1-player. Finally, you can see the text, "Use your Joystick Controllers with this game cartridge". Hmm... okay... If you can't even figure that out, then you stand no chance playing this game. Oh, jeez! And all this time I was using my egg beaters with this game cartridge. No wonder I kept on getting such low scores!

Inside the cart are two PCBs, one which is the main game board, and the other which is a Famicom-to-NES adaptor. Click on the image below and you'll see the chips. The mapper has already been reverse-engineered, so you should easily be able to find info on the Internet about how the game (ROM) works. Because the FDS loads games in at $6000 in RAM, this mapper maps portions of ROM to this location. Pretty weird, and a pretty neat achievement. (But why does the ROM contain bits of Pac-Man code and graphics???) Click on the images below to view the full image.

Below are images from the FDS version of Ai Senshi Nicol. You can also read my review of the game at |tsr's website: