Tag Archives: Pac-Man

You probably owned an “illegal” Nintendo game and didn’t know it…

You remember good old NES Carts? Those grey beauties just sitting there in a few old shoe boxes, gold top of a Zelda cart sticking out like a soar thumb… But wait, there is a BLACK cartridge, and it’s shaped weird… “Rolling Thunder” eh? What is with this?

Yeah, I used to have Rolling Thunder and just knew it was in a different case than Nintendo games. I thought it was cool and different back in the day. What I now know is that Tengen, the company that put these out did not like Nintendo’s “guidelines” for how many titles they were allowed to release so guess what? They said SCREW YOU to Nintendo, hacked the block out chip, and released the unlicensed games themselves! Nintendo was pissed and the case was taken to court and Nintendo won.

Full info at  the Wiki.

Before the lawsuit, Tengen had only released 3 titles in the legal / licensed way and then unlicensed versions of them after they told Nintendo to screw themselves.

I have posted 2 of the 3 licensed vs unlicensed titles below for some examples.


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Unlicensed version of Pac-Man
Posted by: konggames


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Licensed version of Pac-Man
Posted by: cjmarq2345


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Unlicensed version of Gauntlet
Posted by: bbigddadybboom


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Licensed version of Gauntlet
Posted by: lucrative-gaming

You can see in comparing them that the big difference is the cart color / shape. The one that is not so obvious is that the black carts are missing this…

Also, I decided to list 2 of my favorite Tengen games that were never released as licensed version, yet tons of people had them in their collections…


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Rolling Thunder – If you have never played this, PLAY IT! They need an XBLA / PSN re-vamp of this game!
Posted by: puckuluck


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TOOBIN’ – Toobin’ was a fun, mindless game. Really fun in the arcade.
Posted by: sosafan2

I know there are other companies that put out unlicensed Nintendo games back in the day (which I may touch on in the future) but this is probably the most known.


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