Nintendo consoles

The wonderful and shady world of Nintendo Knock-Off consoles

The Nintendo Entertainment System and its Japanese sister the Famicom were two of the most successful video game consoles ever released. Which led to a lot of, shall we say, imitators.

OK, no, let’s say complete unlicensed ripoffs.

But we’re not here to bullshit and point fingers. Today we’re going to celebrate some of those machines, which were often much wackier and more wonderful than the consoles they were based on.

The NES and the Famicom existed in a unique era. These were the first successful consoles after the great video game crash of 1983, but they were also sold in an era before globalization and had really taken hold, so Nintendo’s all-seeing eye (and that of the company’s lawyers) was not as powerful. as they are today.

This meant that a trade in bootleg versions of the machines flourished, especially in regions where Nintendo had refused or been unable to officially launch the NES. Some of them Nintendo at least tried to pursue. Others, given the established popularity and regional difficulties in going to court, the company knew not to even have to worry about.

In the gallery above you’ll find some of the most interesting examples, including those available in the 80s and those that came a little later, in the early 90s, once the Iron Curtain was fell in Eastern Europe.

Total Recall is a look back at the history of video games through their characters, franchises, developers and trends.

Golden China game show – This South African console was a direct copy of the Japanese Famicom, the only major differences being a shabby case and a much cooler name.

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Pegasus – This cool little machine was released in Serbia, Poland and Bosnia in the 1990s (which explains its more “modern” style). It was compatible with Famicom games, but was mainly used to play pirated carts.

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best game – A Brazilian console made by CCE, it not only had its own Zapper, but also cartridge slots for Japanese and American games.

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Dendy – My favourite, the king of clone Nintendo consoles and future subject of its own Total Recall, the Dendy was a Russian console (based on the Famicom) first released in the early 1990s. Nintendo in the country and a population thirsty to try video games with the fall of the iron curtain, the machine was a massive Hit.

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Terminator 2 – Don’t be fooled by the Sega style: this console had the bootleg hardware of a Famicom, and became quite popular not only in Eastern Europe (where Pegasus and Dendy couldn’t reach), but in Spain and even in India and the United States. Middle East.

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Mega Kid MK-1000 – What. A beauty. Going beyond a simple rip-off of an NES, the MK-1000 was touted as a full-fledged personal computer, which could not only play games, but had educational software and a full keyboard (another both a bootleg of the Famicom’s own keyboard) built into the machine.