SNK Neo•Geo MVS Cartridges "Puzzle Bobble" X2, "Rage Of The Dragons," & "Zed Blade"

SuperMegaUltra

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SNK Neo•Geo MVS Cartridges "Puzzle Bobble" X2, "Rage Of The Dragons," & "Zed Blade"

The first SNK Neo•Geo MVS cartridge "Puzzle Bobble" was purchased on the Neo-Geo.com (SNK) Neo Selling Forum. You can view the post here. The second SNK Neo•Geo MVS cartridge "Puzzle Bobble," as well as "Rage Of The Dragons" and "Zed Blade" were all purchased on eBay. You can view the auctions here, here, and here.

My suspicions were raised when, upon inspection of some of the cartridges, I noticed that the 'boards have unusual chips with a holograph, tape, white sticker, and other such additions. I've read that, while it is occasionally an authentic and genuine repair, it is more than likely the sign of a bootleg, or counterfeit, SNK Neo•Geo MVS cartridge. Hopefully, I'm wrong; probably, I'm right.

So, boot or no boot?

SNK Neo•Geo MVS Cartridge "Puzzle Bobble" (1st)


SNK Neo•Geo MVS Cartridge "Puzzle Bobble" (2nd)


SNK Neo•Geo MVS Cartridge "Rage Of The Dragons"


SNK Neo•Geo MVS Cartridge "Zed Blade"
 
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mmsadda

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Oh, wow! I get first crack at this!

First off, the pictures are a little blurry - makes it hard to see numbers on the chips. This is particularly relevant for the first PB.
Second - your links to eBay auctions are nonexistent.

In order:
PB (cart 1) - Probably legit. You need to take clear pictures (probably with a flash) so we can see the writing on the chips though - this will tell whether it's an original, or a converted Power Spikes II.

PB Cart 2 - Fake. Dirty-ass bootleg.

Rage of the Dragons - This is the weirdest damned half-boot I've ever seen.
I'd call it a boot personally - the second board (with CHA in the name) is obviously completely fake.
The first one, however, (with PROG in the name) has chips that are all original except one. That could indicate that it's a repaired cart, I suppose... However, the NGH number appears to be "222" which would indicate the game being Samurai Shodown 4 if I'm not mistaken, meaning that a SamSho 4 donor was used to create a very very easy boot of RotD.
Overall, I'd say this is a bootleg - however, the top board could be original if I'm reading things wrong.

Zed Blade - Dirty as fuck. IDK who'd bother to bootleg such a mediocre game, but it's a boot. Reminds me of the time I had that Street Hoop bootleg (not that that game isn't awesome, but it's cheap and has been for a while. It'd cost less than the cost of EPROMS for sure.)
 
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mmsadda

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BTW, please snap some better pics (in which the numbers on the chips, especially the NGH number) are possible to read.

If you could do the same for the PROG board of Rage of the Dragons, that'd be much appreciated as well - then I could tell you a bit more of what you're looking at on that one.
 

systmdfect

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The top one could possibly be a repair job. I cannot see any of the numbers on it though because the pics are blurry as hell. The other three are boots.
 

madman

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Adding a little extra info so people can understand why things are or are not boots.

First PB is likely legit, I've seen those labels printed w/the NGH number on them before. I'm guessing the other chips have the PB NGH or Power Spikes NGH?

Second is a fake, all EPROMs with sharpie writing on them. Legit boards, however.

Agree w/mmsadda on the RoTD. PROG is weird with what appear to be SS4 chips. The CHA board contains SMT->DIP boards w/Intel flash chips. Also looks like the custom SNK chip was replace w/an Altera chip.

Zed Blade is a boot because there are SMT->DIP convertor boards used w/flash chips.
 

SuperMegaUltra

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BTW, please snap some better pics (in which the numbers on the chips, especially the NGH number) are possible to read.

If you could do the same for the PROG board of Rage of the Dragons, that'd be much appreciated as well - then I could tell you a bit more of what you're looking at on that one.

Wow, mmsadda! Thanks for all your time, effort, and consideration in this matter. It's definitely very much appreciated. :)

Unfortunately, I don't think I can get a clearer photograph. What you see is about as good as it gets. But, if you can show or tell me where the NGH numbers are, I can just write them here. :cool:
 

mmsadda

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Freakin flash chips.... Back when the status quo was to assume a game was a boot only if it had EPROMS (at least I thought it was) about a decade ago, I got a Neo Bomberman full of 'em.

....didn't realize it was a shitty boot 'til I opened it up again this year and looked at it. Broke my heart... Thankfully, though, I finally picked up a real one.
 

mmsadda

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Wow, mmsadda! Thanks for all your time, effort, and consideration in this matter. It's definitely very much appreciated. :)

Unfortunately, I don't think I can get a clearer photograph. What you see is about as good as it gets. But, if you can show or tell me where the NGH numbers are, I can just write them here. :cool:

Honestly, (unless you're using a camera phone) a steady hand and a flash is all you need... Are you sure your flash wasn't unintentionally off for the pictures?

Anyhow, the NGH number is where you see the "222" on the chips of the upper board of RotD. It's a 3-digit number between "001" and "300."
 

TLH

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Legit, Boot, Boot - We have been through this before. It seems that some puzzle bobble, ie bust a move carts did have eproms in those locations. The other's no excuse should be Toshiba chips I think with no eprom action. tlh
 

BobbyPeru

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I thought my Puzzle Bobble was a boot for the longest time, until I checked boredstu.com and found that PBs have those two eprom chips.
 

mmsadda

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Yeah, however, I feel like PB is dealt with differently than other games - there are really 3 categories

Category 1 is a Fully Original Puzzle Bobble. These are probably more rare than one might expect. For this, chips should be original Toshiba with a "083" for the NGH number.

Category 2 is a Converted Puzzle Bobble. These are characterized by a mix of chips with NGH number "083" and "068" (the latter being indicative of a Power Spikes 2 cart.) These cartridges may also include an EPROM, but to be an official conversion, must display both mentioned NGH numbers. These were converted to Puzzle Bobble because Power Spikes 2 sold so poorly and received so much criticism, and there were many leftover unsold carts. If a cart has both of these chips, clearly it is an "official" conversion as there are Puzzle Bobble chips on there that are clearly original. General consensus is that these are safe to consider legitimate Puzzle Bobble carts.

Category 3 is a Bootleg Puzzle Bobble. These are characterized by the same things as any other boots - having several EPROMS, having flash memory chips (MX Roms are popular), or having boards that are not made by SNK.
 

Hewitson

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Zed Blade - Dirty as fuck. IDK who'd bother to bootleg such a mediocre game, but it's a boot. Reminds me of the time I had that Street Hoop bootleg (not that that game isn't awesome, but it's cheap and has been for a while. It'd cost less than the cost of EPROMS for sure.)
WTF??

Zed Blade is without any doubt whatsoever one of the very best shooters not just on the Neo Geo, but any platform.
 

TLH

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WTF??

Zed Blade is without any doubt whatsoever one of the very best shooters not just on the Neo Geo, but any platform.

Zed Blade is classic shooting, and no doubt one of my favs too! Second that one, we don't always disagree. Just most of the time. (-: tlh I will say that I Just got PI2 and haven't played ZB in awhile. Comparing those two would be comparing apples and oranges, but I think ZB gets the nod. I have always loved ZB!
 

Skykid

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Zed Blade is classic shooting, and no doubt one of my favs too! Second that one, we don't always disagree. Just most of the time. (-: tlh I will say that I Just got PI2 and haven't played ZB in awhile. Comparing those two would be comparing apples and oranges, but I think ZB gets the nod. I have always loved ZB!

It's all about that soundtrack. :buttrock:
 

Neo Alec

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Yeah, however, I feel like PB is dealt with differently than other games - there are really 3 categories

Category 1 is a Fully Original Puzzle Bobble. These are probably more rare than one might expect. For this, chips should be original Toshiba with a "083" for the NGH number.
Show me one and I'll believe it exists. At the moment I believe there is no such thing.
 

mmsadda

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WTF??

Zed Blade is without any doubt whatsoever one of the very best shooters not just on the Neo Geo, but any platform.
Sorry, poor choice of words. I meant mediocre value; you'd think if someone was going to bootleg games, they'd stick exclusively to high-dollar titles. . . then again I usually forget how long people have been bootlegging these games.
It's a pretty solid shmup, actually; I didn't enjoy it at first, but sold my copy to another member, and played it a bit before shipping it out; probably wouldn't have sold it if I'd played it before offering it for sale. :loco:

It's all about that soundtrack. :buttrock:
jeah.

Show me one and I'll believe it exists. At the moment I believe there is no such thing.
What, a fully original Puzzle Bobble? I don't have one personally, but I have definitely seen PB carts that were not converted from PowerSpikes.
 

JMKurtz

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RotD has a C5 in the V4 slot - nice... And doesn't RoTD have an encrypted PROG board?
 

Xian Xi

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For me I honestly think that any PB with a legit label is official.

I think SNK was really trying to keep up with the demand for PB and reused old stock and made the game the fastest way possible which was to use eproms for PB and leave the old chips in there.
 

mmsadda

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James, I agree with you overall, and I think someone would be hard-pressed to call a conversion from PowerSpikes 2 a total bootleg.

However, I believe I've seen a cart along that had matching NGH numbers. I'd bet they made a few thousand of those before demand got so insane that they had to start converting PS2 carts.
 

SetaSouji??

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+1. I don't think I've ever even seen a PB without at least ONE eprom. Closest I can think of is mine that has just one. It's a rental cart, but it also has a FUCKING NGF sticker on one of the screwholes, so it was probably those fuckers doing.
 

Neo Alec

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The Puzzle Bobbles I've seen over the years all seem to follow the same fairly strict format. I've yet to see anomalies. The way people talk here, you'd think they could be anything.
 

kasemase

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So what did you do with the boots? Did you return them to the ebay seller and give them negative feedback?
 
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