Let’s Build Our Own Mini NES Classic Edition

Say what you will about the new Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition, but Nintendo got one thing right.  Retro gaming is needs to be in more hands.  Tons of kids never played 8-bit NES games, and the rest of us just love reliving our childhoods.

Since Nintendo’s newly released NES Classic Edition is going for crazy money on eBay right now, I figure it’s time to 3D print up a mini-NES and to slap a Raspberry Pi running Retro Pie in that bad little baby.

  • HDMI – check
  • 4 Player – check
  • Super Tiny – check, check, let’s print!

Fortunately, people on Thingiverse are way ahead of the curve on this DIY project.  Less than two weeks into owning my Robo 3D R1, this project is on like Donkey Kong!

You’re seeing a time lapse of one of my 3D printing a case for my RetroPie setup. The print came out surprisingly nicely. I’m blow away by how snugly the babyNES’s door attached. The only trick was finding the right size size of screws (see link below). Even then I did some light drilling to get the screws to advance smoothly.

Here are all the links you’ll need to do the same project.

Printing: BabyNES Raspberry Pi B+ case
Designed by: jrebeiro
Downloaded from: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:449877
Printer: Robo 3D R1 http://amzn.to/2eZ2JoK
Filament 1: Silver/Grey http://amzn.to/2gfxuef
Filament 2: Glow in the Dark Blue http://amzn.to/2gfGkZN
Raspberry Pi 3 Model B: http://amzn.to/2fUHWDI
Screws: 3/4″ Length, #3-48 http://amzn.to/2gfzL9o

New to RetroPie?

Here’s a great guide for people new to RetroPie.
Plus, an awesome RetroPie Facebook group for sharing tips.

Happy retro gaming!

Fixing Cheetahmen II: Kickstarter vs Dr. Morbis!

Oh Cheetahmen II…are you finally getting fixed?!

For decades, the Cheetahmen have been locked in a bitter and futile struggle against Dr. Morbis.  In Cheetahmen II, every two levels a different Cheetahmen becomes available.  Theoretically, a player starts with Apollo (crossbow) for the first two levels, gets to play as Aries (fists) for the third and fourth levels, and uses Hercules (dual clubs) for the fifth and sixth levels.  Unfortunately, the Cheetahmen’s feline courage and ninja skills have not been enough to pass the mutant Ape Man boss at the end of the fourth level.  A software bug has thwarted years of insanely skilled and strangely dedicated players from ever getting to level five.  Ironically, it turns out that beating Cheetahmen II is even more rare than this holy grail of NES cartridges.

Broken Ape Man boss fight in Cheetahmen II

Will we finally be able to help the Cheetahmen defeat Dr Morbis?

Last week, I had the opportunity to chat on the phone with Greg Pabich find to find out about his newest project.  Since I was polite enough not to record the conversation, here’s a paraphrased version of our discussion:

Mark:  Hey Greg, how’s it going?

Greg:  Mark, I’ve been pretty busy!  I’m excited about our next Cheetahmen project!

Mark:  Ha ha!  Oh dear!?!  What’ve you been up to?

Greg:  Well, you know how that pallet of Cheetahmen II cartridges never made it to market?

Mark:  Yeah, collectors love them, but what a frustrating game.

Greg:  When Active Enterprises was about to go under, I’m guessing Vince Perri abandoned them either because money wasn’t coming in on the Action 52 like he figured or because he realized it was an incomplete game.

Mark:  Yeah, you can only even play the first four levels, right?

Greg:  Exactly!  So here’s what I’m up to.  I think the world needs to have that game up and working.  Love it or hate it, it just needs to get finished and put on a cartridge.

Mark:  Now that would be interesting.

Greg:  The original Cheetahmen II game carts are selling for thousands of dollars now.  Most collectors can’t even begin to afford them.  I want to put together a playable cartridge that will have all the levels working.  Apparently, it was originally designed with more levels, but it was just too buggy to let anyone play them.  Once we have a working game with all its original levels working, I’d love to put them into NES collectors’ hands.

Mark:  What’s the game plan going to be for doing that?

Greg:  I put a small fortune into producing and distributing the Cheetahmen Creation cartridge last year.  Between development, production, marketing, and selling a repaired version of Cheetahmen 2, I know it’s going to cost some serious cash.  I’m thinking Kickstarter will be a great tool to launch this project.

Mark:  That’s probably wise.  Plus, from one married man to another, I have a feeling your wife might like the Kickstarter plan a bit better than trying to fund it all yourself.  So, I know people love, hate, and pretty much love to hate Action 52 and Cheetahmen 2.  What’s going to get people to back this project?

Greg:  Kickstarter has a great model of letting people support a project and get something unique as a thank you for their support.  We have some pretty reasonable donation levels, and based on how much people donate, we’ll have things available ranging from exclusive posters to actual cartridges of the game once we get it produced.  I’ve got Mario Gonzalez, one of the original designers of Action 52/Cheetahmen involved, and he’s created some fantastic new artwork for the posters and will be signing certain items!  Plus, most items will be numbered and hologram stickered as limited editions available only to contributors.

Mark:  Actually, that a pretty good plan.  I’m a pretty big NES collector, and this might be a much more reasonable way for me to get a copy of Cheetahmen II into my collection even if it isn’t the original.  I’m guessing you could get some good buzz in collecting circles around this.

Greg:  Actually, we’re going to go bigger than that.  By sheer coincidence, the Angry Video Game Nerd (AVGN) just did a video on Cheetahmen II!

After seeing it, I contacted him to see if he’d be interested in getting involved in this.  The AVGN signed on, which is going to be a ton of fun and nuts as usual!  I got Pat the NES Punk involved as well.  We were sponsors in his last NES Marathon, which turned out to be a huge success.  Plus, the Game Chasers guys from Retroware TV are involved and basically putting it all together.

Mark:  Wow, seriously, that’s an amazing lineup!  Are you making any video appearances yourself?

Greg:  Yeah!  It turns out that acting isn’t so easy though.  I’ve finished working on my parts.  The Game Chasers are putting it all together.  It’s 100% top notch production and coming along nicely!  I think people are going to be blown away by the AVGN, Pat, the Game Chasers, and some possible appearances of the Cheetahmen themselves…

Mark:  Greg, sounds like you’re going 100% in as usual.  When are you launching this?

Greg:  The Kickstarter campaign should go live 8/7/2012.

Mark:  And, any idea when you’re hoping to have new copies of the fixed Cheetahmen II game available?

Greg:  In good Active Enterprises spirit, sticking to Vince Perri’s 3 month development window would put us in November or December.  Either way, I’m guessing we should probably get this done before the world ends in 12/12/12.

Mark:  Ha ha, nice!  Even once it’s fixed, I’m hoping that Cheetahmen II won’t be the last NES game I ever play.  But seriously, I’ve got to hand it to you.  It sounds like this is going to be a ton of fun and a huge success.  Best of luck with it!

Greg:  Absolutely!  Thanks for helping to spread the word on Cheetahmen II: The Lost Levels.

Update 8/6/2012:  The Kickstarter project CHEETAHMEN II : THE LOST LEVELS is live!  Best of luck Greg!

Spotted on eBay: Miyamoto Signed NES, Atari Air Raid, & RacerMate

There’s always something fantastic popping up on eBay.  Here are a few items I’m watching on eBay:

Nintendo NES Signed by Shigeru Miyamoto (In case you’ve been living under a rock, Shigeru Miyamoto is creator of Mario, Zelda, etc.) (Update:  auction ended on April 21, 2010 for exactly $1,000.00 USD + s/h.)

Air Raid with Atari 2600 system and 50+ other games (Ended April 15, 2010 and bid to $1,725.00 with reserve not being met.)

Atari 2600 Air Raid (Reproduction cartridge for $25.00 USD BIN)

RaceMate Computrainer Pro 8001 Forget about Stadium Events, I wish I had been able to hook up my Huffy to my NES as a kid.  Now that would have been rad. (Ended April 14, 2010 at $500.00 USD.)

3D Sector-X: Hell’s Fury – Cartridge 3 – Vectrex (The last auctions for one of these sold for $537.37 and $460.55) (Ended April 15, 2010 at $860.00 USD)

VECTREX Original LightPen + 3 LightPen Games *RARE* (Ended April 16, 2010 at $199.16 USD)

Rare Video Game Collectibles on eBay: RetroUSB’s Xmas Cart, Atari Air Raid, Nintendo Neon Sign, NES Comic Books

Here’s a bunch of cool and rare retro video game stuff that I’m watching on eBay and other various places throughout the internet.  Is it time to start early Christmas shopping for your favorite vintage gamer?  Or will you grab something cheap (and of course very needed) for yourself?  🙂

Some very cool games I’m watching:

RetroUSB.com releases the new 8-bit Xmas 2009 Cartridge!  This is simply awesome.  And for an extra $5 they’ll add a personalized message for you.  Can’t beat that!

AIR RAID VIDEO GAME CARTRIDGE MenAvision FOR ATARI 2600 Super, super rare.

3 rare nes games 31 in 1, 260 in 1, 80 in 1 Is it wrong that I love multi-carts?!

CALTRON 6 IN 1 IN BOX 60 PIN NES NEW !!!! VERY RARE !! (Looks like a Famicom version.)

Sealed Bubble Bath Babes Panesian Nintendo Nes Overpriced but seems to be in great condition…and it’s not really sealed…someone just ran it through a shrink wrapping machine.

Super UFO super drive PRO 8 used Nintendo Famicom

Lethal Enforcers II 2 Sample/Demo Sega Mega Drive PAL

Red Zone Sample/Demo Sega Mega Drive PAL

Video Game Collectibles:

Service Center Mario Countertop Display Sign Nintendo

3D NiNtEnDo SIGN game room classic rare 3-D This is a reproduction sign, but looks great and would be a tempting addition to a game room.

Atari Jaguar Large 2′ x 4′ Banner!

Neon Nintendo Sign Man, this looks like a great find.  I hear shipping Neon is tricky as it’s super fragile, so be careful if you win it.

Legend of Zelda Comic Book-Number 3-Valiant-Nintendo eBay seller schitzandgiggles107 has a number of other Nintendo comic books up as well.

Rare Video Game Collectibles on eBay: Intellivision, Atari, and Sega Prototypes, Nintendo Signs, and Other Retro Stuff

Here’s a bunch of collectible video game stuff that I’m currently watching on eBay.   People have a ton of great stuff listed right now…maybe because the holiday season is coming up or maybe people are just hard up.  Either way, it looks like you can find rare video games surfacing for about any vintage system right now.  Happy eBaying and collecting!

Video Game Collectibles:

1982 ticket DISNEYs TRON Video Game Tournament +paper

1989 Super Mario Bros 2 Nintendo of America Glass NR

Nintendo Power Lunch Box Super Mario & Zelda From 1989!

Vintage NINTENDO NES Store Display Lighted Sign

Vintage 1982 Tomy Pac-Man Water Game & Box Arcade Video

NINTENDO Nes BUTTON PIN Second Amendment -Custom Design

AVGN KO Boxing Video Game Cover

Dragon’s Lair Dirk Animation Cel Don Bluth video game

ATARI 2600 STAR RAIDERS MOBILE STORE DISPLAY 1982

ATARI 2600 TEMPEST MOBILE STORE DISPLAY 1982

Rare Retro Games, Prototypes, Demo Carts, etc.:

RED DEMONSTRATION Cartridge – Intellivision, VERY RARE!

4-TRIS Intellivision: Philly Classic Version! Complete Limited edition Intellivision homebrew game cart, which is obviously Tetris for the Intellivision!

INTELLIVISION II TEST CARTRIDGE: Service Manual, Sealed

NINTENDO IS DEVELOPMENT WIDEBOY 64 CGB CARTRIDGE DEV

*EXT RARE* ATARI 2600 JAWBREAKER PROTOTYPE??

Atari 2600 Promotional Use Only System ” LOOKS NEW ”

Mondu’s Fight Palace Sega Genesis RARE RELEASE PROTO

Tecmo Super Bowl Sega Genesis PROTOTYPE game proto RARE

Nintendo NES STADIUM EVENTS Game GREAT SHAPE Rare

Nintendo NES Flintstones Surprise At Dinosaur Peak CIB

Super Off Road Sega Genesis Game SAMPLE COPY rare proto

Warsong Sega Genesis Game PROTO RARE war song sample

Collect sealed Sega Dreamcast games?  eBay seller jfrost0809 has a bunch!  Nothing too rare, but a great chance to fill out a collection in one shot.

Reproduction Carts:

These can be purchased from various websites for about $25 each, but are cool to find here on eBay.
4 nes games lot earth worm Jim 2 3 bubble bath babes…

Xybots for nes Tengen mint very very rare

1990 Nintendo World Championships Repro Cartridge # 253 (You can find these on RetroUSB.com)

Recently Ended:

Nintendo World Championship VIP Guest Sticker 1990 (Sold by kofcrayon on eBay for $17.37 USD on Oct. 10, 2009)

Reproduction NES Games

Did you know that people are still making original 8-bit Nintendo (NES) games!?

As a NES collector, I can’t believe I discovered this fact just a couple months ago. Sure enough RetroZone, NES Reproductions, and Game Reproductions are still producing rare reproduction games, modded games, as well as some new original titles. Additionally, fans across the internet have been working on finishing original NES games that were in development but that were never finished.

Lucky me! I came across the photographed lot of such games in my treasure hunting. I’m excited to add try these out and to add them to my collection.

Titles in photo are as follows:
(Row 1) Mike Ditka’s Big Play Football, Airball, Pirate Booty
(Row 2) Super Mario Bros. 2, Bomber Mario, The Tower of Radia, Stadium Events, Nintendo World Chapsionship 1990
(Row 3) Chunkout 2, Geminim, Siamond, Sudoku, Mystic Pillars

I have an extra copy of Pirate Booty, which is a reproduction cart containing Hot Slots, Bubble Bath Babes, and Peek-a-Boo Poker (upper right in photo). If you’re interested in it, just let me know.