SNES cartridge to Nintendo Super System adapter

All SNES cartridge adapters have SOLD OUT

There are no current plans to make more adapters - this page remains up for reference.

Super System adapter manual

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New Run of (new and improved) Deluxe Adapters!

I've had quite a few requests to do another run since completion of the first run of adapters a couple years ago. I'm finally getting some time to get these together, so I'm taking pre-orders through Tuesday 5/16. I'll place the orders for the parts the following day, and should have completed and tested adapters shipping out by the week of the June 11th.

Only the (upgraded) "Deluxe" adapters will be available in this run.
The cost is $105 (US Dollars), plus $5 shipping for as many adapters as you want to the US... actual shipping internationally.

This adapter does exactly what you expect... lets you play your SNES cartridges on your Nintendo Super System arcade game. You can also play original Nintendo Super System games from an SNES flash cartridge (as well as your SNES games of course).

Like the first run, it'll still play pretty much every game that'll play on the SNES, using the stock NSS BIOS. It'll still have the time/skill mode switch, and socketed flash chip to allow easy name and function modifications. These will also have the CIC lockout chip replacement, as well as the brackets to make sure the carts are inserted properly.

Below are pictures of the first "Deluxe V2" adapter built. Functionally, it's the same as the "Deluxe" adapters from the first run, but the connectors have been upgraded, and the skill mode instruction ROM has been improved.






Below is the information from the first run for reference... most of which is still relevant. The manual is available at the top of the page.

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Video



In most cases, you'll want to play in "Timed" mode (get X amount of time per credit), though this adapter also has a switch for "Skill" mode, which was used on several Nintendo Super System games to let you play until you die, rather than for a set amount of time.

Breakdown of options

Basic - This adapter will let you play most SNES/SFC games on the NSS. (not available for this run)
Deluxe - This is the same as the basic, but also has a CIC lockout clone installed, and has a plastic cartridge support bracket, which will prevent you from inserting your SNES cart backwards. The CIC is needed for 25 or so games (mostly games with the SA1 co-processor), which includes Super Mario RPG, Kirby's Dream Land 3, Kirby Super Star, etc.

Additions

The cartridge has a socketed Instruction ROM, which has the name of the cartridge, as well as on-screen instructions if you press the "Instructions" button. By default, these will be labeled "SNES Cart", with generic instructions... though I can generate and program a custom ROM for you for an additional $10. If you have an EPROM programmer, you can reprogram the flash chip yourself as well.

A new BIOS isn't required, but if you want to upgrade, I can include any version for $5 (I recommend V3, which is the newest) for its various nice features.

Pictures



These are the support brackets that are included with the Deluxe version. These will provide a little bit of extra support to the SNES cartridge, and prevent you from inserting it backwards. There is a seperate piece for SNES and Super Famicom cartridges.


These pictures are of the cartridges in the system. With this adapter, you need to install the SNES cartridges with the tray in, and remove them before pulling the tray out. Honestly, swapping cartridges without pulling the tray is easier... the reach to get to the cartridge is the same as the reach to undo the latches that let the tray slide out, and the Timed/Skill switch is facing the front. There is plenty of room inside the cabinet... the last picture shows an SNES cart in a Game Genie with room to spare.




Q&A:

How much?
Deluxe V2 - $105 each, +$5 shipping to the US for as many adapters that you order, actual shipping internationally.

Which games work with the adapter?
Every game that can play on a 60 Hz SNES/SFC should work properly. This includes games with co-processors (Super FX, DSP-1, SA1, etc), Super Gameboy, Flash Carts, etc.

Which games DON'T work with the adapter?
The only known games that don't work are a small subset of PAL (European region) games, which are software locked to 50 Hz. These read the PPU to determine whether they're running at 50 Hz or 60 Hz, and if they detect 60 Hz, they show a message saying "THIS GAME PAK IS NOT DESIGNED FOR YOUR SUPER FAMICOM OR SUPER NES". The NSS runs at 60 Hz, so without a hardware modification, these games will not work. There are VERY few games that have this region lockout, and a flash cart like the SD2SNES performs automatic region patching, which should take care of that problem.

How about Super Scope 6, Mario Paint, or other games that use special controllers?
Okay... fine, they don't work either, simply because the Super System motherboard doesn't have controller ports to plug the special controllers into.

Do flash carts work?
The SNES PowerPak works out of the box. The SD2SNES requires a modification to the motherboard for the reset circuit. I don't have an Everdrive, and I'm not sure that anyone has tested it... but it should work, though possibly requiring the same reset modification as the SD2SNES.

Do I need a new BIOS?
No, this works with any stock BIOS, though the V3 BIOS has some nice features (like being able to reset to the main menu while in the middle of a game).

What's the difference between the Basic and Deluxe models?
The Basic model will let you play most SNES games. The Deluxe model includes the CIC lockout circuit, which increases compatibility to near 100%. The Deluxe model also includes a plastic support bracket, which prevents you from inserting an SNES cartridge backwards. The Basic model is fine for most games, especially if you're planning to simply install one game and leave it (like those that just want Super Mario Kart or Legend of Zelda in their cabinet).

Which games require the CIC?
All SA1 games (Super Mario RPG, Kirby Super Star, Kirby's Dream Land 3, and others) will require the CIC. I'm not aware of any, but there may also be others that require either the CIC, or one or more of the CIC signals as well. A list of SNES games and their enhancement chips can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Super_NES_enhancement_chips#List_of_Super_NES_games_that_use_enhancement_chips. The SNES PowerPak does not require the CIC, though I'm not sure about the Everdrive or SD2SNES.

Can I slide the tray in and out with the cartridges in?
With this adapter, you need to install the SNES cartridges with the tray in, and remove them before pulling the tray out. Honestly, swapping cartridges without pulling the tray is easier... the reach to get to the cartridge is the same as the reach to undo the latches that let the tray slide out, and the Timed/Skill switch is facing the front, so you can easily toggle back and forth. There is plenty of room for the cartridges inside the cabinet. If you really want to slide the tray in and out, some SNES cartridge PCBs are short enough that they will slide in and out if you remove them from their cartridge shell.

Which Super System games support "skill" mode?
ActRaiser, Addams Family, Lethal Weapon, Robocop 3, and Magic Floor (homebrew by nocash).

What about Super System games with DIP switches?
There is no hardware DIP switch support, but I have created an application (for Windows) which allows you to patch the ROMs with your desired DIP switch settings, here: http://www.projectvb.com/nss/nss_dips.zip. The same games which support "skill" mode also support DIP switches.

Thanks to:

Martin Korth (nocash) for reverse engineering the Instruction ROM, removing the need for the security PROM... plus general SNES/NSS related information.
Maximilian Rehkopf (ikari_01) for creating the SuperCIC CIC clone.
MAME Team

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