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Side Pocket NES 5 screw variant? (and Official Nintendo Players Guide discussion)


fusoyaff2
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So today I was browsing through The Official Nintendo Player's Guide and realized that every game featured in there was a 5 screw original release (including some of the rarer late releases). The only 5 screw variants I know of that wasn't mentioned in there, except for the coming soon page, was Star Force and Wizards & Warriers (yes that's how the book spells it). It also mentions Return of Donkey Kong as coming soon.

The only* exception is Side Pocket, I could have sworn my own copy of that game was 5 screw, but I actually had the oval seal variant! I did some looking around and found the round seal variant but could not find a 5 screw image of that game anywhere. Was the original release one of the first 3 screw games, or is there a rare 5 screw variant?

* the other exception is Zelda 2, which didn't come out until over a year after the book was published. Rather than an image of the box, there's a crudely drawn pencil art of it, but it matched pretty closely. Interestingly, all of the maps are based off the Japanese version of the game, but the screenshots come from the American one. It also uses some weird names for bosses like Mazura for Horsehead.

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Member · Posted

I don't own the Guide you mentioned, but off hand, I know that Side Pocket and Karate Kid (not Karate Champ) were the only NES games released before 1988 that did not have a 5-screw Variant.  They may exist, but either no one has found one yet, or no one who has, has gone public with it.  I'm curious to know if Karate Kid was mentioned in the guide or not, because the fact that Side Pocket was not mentioned is at least suggestive of it being a 3-screw only game.  Zelda 2 did not come out in North America until late 1988 and has no 5-screw Variant.

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I stand corrected, Karate Kid has a mini review on page 148. I mix that and Karate Champ up all the time so it didn't even click with me when I saw it. I imagine that and Side Pocket may have printed at a newly opened factory that was the first supplied with 3 screw shells.

If you really want to open a can of worms, Stadium Events is also in this book and has a mini review page just like all the other games. I haven't followed the trackers closely, but I believe that game had both 3 and 5 screw variants. Strangely they call Athletic World as just Family Fun Fitness in the book.

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8 minutes ago, fusoyaff2 said:

If you really want to open a can of worms, Stadium Events is also in this book and has a mini review page just like all the other games. I haven't followed the trackers closely, but I believe that game had both 3 and 5 screw variants. Strangely they call Athletic World as just Family Fun Fitness in the book.

Well, technically the original name for the pack-in Bandai release was Family Fun Fitness: Athletic World, so it's not too surprising that they considered keeping the original title. Nintendo must have decided to drop the Family Fun Fitness labeling completely after the Player's Guide had already gone to print.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/3/2020 at 10:04 AM, fusoyaff2 said:

If you really want to open a can of worms, Stadium Events is also in this book and has a mini review page just like all the other games. I haven't followed the trackers closely, but I believe that game had both 3 and 5 screw variants. Strangely they call Athletic World as just Family Fun Fitness in the book.

There are documented 3 and 5 screw variants of Stadium Events

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1 hour ago, acidjaguar said:

There are documented 3 and 5 screw variants of Stadium Events

Yep, three known copies (Loose, Loose+Book, and CIB).

There’s also a transitional variant between the 5-Screw and 3-Screw variant in which the cartridge has the “centered” artwork of the 5-screw cartridge while in a 3-screw shell.

This variant is so minor that it might not be worth noting if it were any other title in the entire NES library, and may simply be explained as the paper shifting a bit during printing or cutting of the labels.

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