Welcome Guest [Log In] [Register]
Welcome to Nintendo 64 Forever. We hope you enjoy your visit.


You're currently viewing our forum as a guest. This means you are limited to certain areas of the board and there are some features you can't use. If you join our community, you'll be able to access member-only sections, and use many member-only features such as customizing your profile, sending personal messages, and voting in polls. Registration is simple, fast, and completely free.


Join our community!


If you're already a member please log in to your account to access all of our features:

Username:   Password:
Add Reply
Nintendo 64 Games with versions + questions.
Topic Started: Aug 13 2013, 09:22 AM (15,892 Views)
danilochka
Member Avatar
Weigh My Fish
The appended cartridge codes aren't always an indication of a revised ROM, quite often it seems it's used to denote a change in the actual artwork sticker and/or which packaging the cart should be part of.

For example there are three cart codes for Mario Kart 64 in the USA, though as far as I'm aware they all contain the exact same ROM image:
NUS-NKTE-USA - is for the original releases
NUS-NKTE-USA-1 - is for the first batch of Player's Choice releases (rated K-A)
NUS-NKTE-USA-2 - is for the second batch of Player's Choice releases (rated E)

There is, however, a way to identify if a game features a revised ROM and that is by checking the cart's punch code. You may have noticed these before, two seemingly random numbers 'punched' into the cartridge's back label. Nintendo have never released their true meaning but it's believed they somehow reference the production factory. If the punch code is, for exampe 19 then the ROM is for the first version of the game i.e. v1.0. The numbers themselves are not important, just that they don't end in letter, and that's becuase a punch code with 19A would contain a revised ROM of the game, v1.1 or Revision A. Likewise codes ending XXB or for v1.2 or Revision B and so on.

Here's a list of all currently known USA ROM revisions, I've highlighted in bold the ones missing from the OP's list:

  • Aidyn Chronicles: The First Mage
    USA (Rev A)


  • Banjo-Kazooie
    USA (Rev A)

  • Blast Corps
    USA (Rev A)

  • Castlevania
    USA (Rev A)

    USA (Rev B)

  • Chameleon Twist
    USA (Rev A)


  • Cruis'n USA
    USA (Rev A)
    USA (Rev B)

  • Diddy Kong Racing
    USA (Rev A)

  • Doom 64
    USA (Rev A)

  • Excitebike 64
    USA (Rev A)


  • F-Zero X
    USA (Rev A)


  • International Superstar Soccer 2000
    USA (Rev A)


  • Killer Instinct Gold
    USA (Rev A)
    USA (Rev B)

  • The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time
    USA (Rev A)
    USA (Rev B)

  • Mischief Makers
    USA (Rev A)


  • Mortal Kombat Trilogy
    USA (Rev A)

    USA (Rev B)

  • NFL Blitz 2000
    USA (Rev A)


  • Ogre Battle 64: Person Of Lordly Calliber
    USA (Rev A)


  • Perfect Dark
    USA (Rev A)

  • Pokémon Stadium
    USA (Rev A)
    USA (Rev B)

  • Resident Evil 2
    USA (Rev A)

  • San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing
    USA (Rev A)


  • Scooby-Doo! Classic Creep Capers
    USA (Rev A)


  • Star Fox 64
    USA (Rev A)

  • Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
    USA (Rev A)


  • Star Wars: Shadows Of The Empire
    USA (Rev A)
    USA (Rev B)

  • Tonic Trouble
    USA (Rev A)

  • Tony Hawk's Pro Skater
    USA (Rev A)

  • Turok: Dinosaur Hunter
    USA (Rev A)
    USA (Rev B)

  • Turok 2: Seeds Of Evil
    USA (Rev A)


  • Turok: Rage Wars
    USA (Rev A)

  • Waialae Country Club: True Golf Classic
    USA (Rev A)

  • Wave Race 64
    USA (Rev A)

  • Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey
    USA (Rev A)

  • WCW vs NwO: World Tour
    USA (Rev A)

  • WWF No Mercy
    USA (Rev A)

As these changes are usually to fix glitches and bugs, it's very hard to say what the changes are unless you're very familiar with both (or all) versions. Other than what has been already mentioned the only differences I know are that Banjo-Kazooie (Rev A) fixes the "termite skip", and Diddy Kong Racing (Rev A) removes some of the lasers from Spaceport Alpha.
Edited by danilochka, Aug 15 2013, 04:59 PM.
Posted Image
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
danilochka
Member Avatar
Weigh My Fish
That's an interesting theory, and one I hadn't considered. There's obviously some meaning to the punch code numbers, otherwise Nintendo wouldn't use them. However, since Nintendo haven't said what they are for (to my knowledge), fans are left to speculate.

I've started to keep track of punch codes in my collection, although not complete, here's a breakdown of the last 62 n64 carts I've purchased:

Punch CodeQuantity
001
014
031
076
088
092
114
122
194
2013
223
348
416


There is also this old thread from Nintendo Age where people have documented the punch codes for their Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time carts. Note: it contains an uncomfired 18 which is not present in my table:
http://nintendoage.com/forum/messageview.cfm?catid=5&threadid=78775

So far, these are the only 13 numbers I've seen used for n64 games, and for me this would go against them representing week numbers. They start counting from 00 and have big gaps in their sequence, especially the numbers that come after 20, which would be the end of May. It's also worth noting that unlike every other number, the 11s have a space inbetween the digits, ie. 1 1, which would imply that each number has its own unique stamp, rather than one stamp where the number can be increased each week. In addition, if they did represent the week of production, I would expect something to the denote the year as well.

Personally, I believe they somehow represent the factory they were produced in. Although, I have no way of verifying this, so I could be wrong. Did/does Nintendo even have 14 different production factories in Japan? If so, then why don't they just use the numbers 01-12 instead? There are still a lot of unanswered questions. But I would say the 1 1 stamp would help the argument that each factory had their own stamp.

Since we know that letters are added to the end of punch codes to signify ROM revisions, perhaps these codes may actually refer to the production of the ROM chips used, instead of the cart itself. Fingers crossed that all will be revealed in time.

If anyone comes across any punch code numbers I've not noted, or better yet, know what the numbers mean please let me know.
Edited by danilochka, Oct 29 2017, 01:41 PM.
Posted Image
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
danilochka
Member Avatar
Weigh My Fish
Hey man, thanks for adding those links to the discussion, hopefully I can address everything you've raised, plus add some things that I've discovered since posting yesterday.

Counting from zero is a standard practice in computing, and it is certainly something that can been seen elsewhere with Nintendo cart production. With any N64 game the original version of the ROM chip will end their code with -0 and start counting from there, meaning that Rev A games will have ROM chip code that ends with -1, Rev B is -2 and so on. So I have no problem accepting that these punch code numbers start at 00.

Missing numbers do provide a problem if we are to assume the digits represent the week of the year the cart was produced. It would seem that collectors who are documenting these things for other Nintendo systems have yet to come across a punch code higher than 44. Furthermore, if we go back to the Ocarina of Time example I linked to earlier, there are three known ROM variants of the North American release. With each of these variants, it is possible to access version info in a debug mode where you can get the following dates for when that ROM was compiled:

98-10-21 04:56:31 v1.0
98-10-26 10:58:45 v1.1 (Rev A)
98-11-12 18:17:03 v1.2 (Rev B)

This would imply that the original versions were manufactured for 5 days before the ROM chip was updated to Rev A. Although, not all factories (manufacturing plants) may have had immediate access to these new chips, so some originals may have continued to be produced for a short while after this date. The 21st October 1998 would be week number #41 when counting from zero, but then surely all original versions of the game should carry that punch code or higher. Going by what has been presented on Nintendo Age you can see that is not the case, granted the backs can get occasionally swapped out but many confirm that theirs is a launch day copy:

00 Gold x6
00 Grey x1
07 Gold x3
07 Grey x1
09 Gold x4
09 Grey x2
19 Gold x7
34 Grey x1
41 Gold x4
41 Grey x1

Note: I think we can both agree that these digits don't represent batch numbers. It seems very unlikely 42 batches of the original cart were made for North America, and as this is such a sort after variant there certainly wouldn't be as many missing numbers as there currently is.

It is my assumption that punch code numbers are used as an index to identify the manufacturing plant the cart came from, and the letters are added so that the ROM version can be known at a glance without having to open up the cart. The punch code will be useful for Nintendo employees if they happen to come across a defective game and tracking it down to see if the whole batch was affected.

Although I'm sure the process may have changed by the N64 era, there is an old video on YouTube which shows NES games being produced in the late 80s. If you look at the top of the screen at 06:51 there is a blue machine which me and No64dd believe is punching the code into the back of the carts before they get put into a dust sleeve, then bagged up and boxed.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yt4KG9ib8S4

I believe that each manufacturing plant was given their own identifying number, this is also the view of the SNES Central from quote2, who has gone further to try match where each of the 45 plants could be. I would really love to see that list but sadly it is no longer available on the site. This theory could help to explain why there are missing numbers, if some factories were focused soley on making Game Boy games or still producing SNES games, while others are just for other hardware like the consoles themselves.

This is why I mentioned the curious #11. Here's some pictures I took last night to showcase just how obvious the space between digits is when compared to the other codes. I just feel that there must be a reason why there's such a big gap, and I feel like it being the product of one particular factory might explain why none of the other numbers are like this:
https://i.imgur.com/4Y6bIQ5.jpg

It would appear that PAL and NTSC-U carts are stamped at different heights, make of that what you will. It is likely an adjustable factor in the pressing machine itself. It would be great to create a huge database to document which codes are present on each game but I don't think enough people care about the issue.
Edited by danilochka, Oct 30 2017, 06:47 AM.
Posted Image
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
« Previous Topic · Nintendo 64 Guides, FAQs, and Information · Next Topic »
Add Reply