Making a NES region free

It all began with me walking into a video game shop. I decided to buy a new NES game, settled down on GOLF, one of the classics that were released with the console in 1985.

Some games I previously owned
The new game

I got home, Decided to try it out, but it didn’t work. Well, it’ll be fine, I thought, this happens all the time. Just grab a q-tip, rub the contacts to free them from their dirt prison. Done, the q-tips were indeed dirty, indicating a good job of cleaning. There I go butting the cartridge back in the console… for it not to work. Then it hit me : i had bought a USA version of the game, but I own a french version of the console…

My console, in all its glory !
As seen in the bottom-right corner, it’s a french console (FRA)
Yep, USA version…

After 5 minutes of search online, I found a tutorial to fix this issue : making the NES region free. This gets rid of the inter-country protection. So, let’s go !

First, dismantle the soul out of the console :

The bare guts

You’ll have to dig a little deeper to find the light at the end of the tunnel : The bare PCB !


Now I won’t cover all the details here, but here’s a very good article about doing so (I even stole a picture from them 😉 )

After having made the necessary changes (actually, snipping a leg from an integrated circuit) I put back the console in its place :

The NES standing heroically.

And the USA game worked like a charm !

Oooooh yeah, sweet game !
I don’t even know how to play this thing, I’ll have to look online…

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