Lately I’ve been into purchasing reproduction SNES carts on eBay or through 3rd party sites like Timewalk Games. “What in the hell are reproduction SNES carts” you’re probably asking. Well, basically, these individuals/companies are creating physical SNES cartridges that play either a) games only ever officially released in Japan with English translation patches applied to them or b) fan-made hack of existing games. Super Metroid Redesign is an example of a fan hack to make the game more difficult (apparently Super Metroid hacking is HUGE).
I’m a little more interested in the English translations of games that were never released in the U.S. There’s just a ton of great SNES-era games that never made it here, and I’m intrigued by the fact that now, roughly 20 years later, people are releasing physical reproductions of these games. It’s super niche, but there’s certainly a market for it. Also, the allure of not knowing for sure what I’m getting is kind of awesome.
One of the latest repros I purchased, through eBay is Treasure of the Rudras (Rudra no Hihō, a.k.a. Treasure of Rudra). Originally released in 1996 by Square, it’s an RPG were you combine words to make your own mantras (spells). You can create awesome sounding mantras like “pefaongnujin” or “bulvugnuegod” (those are actual mantras you could create). Mantras are generally broken down into three parts; there is an element core (lightning, dark), combined with prefixes and suffixes which can modify the power, how many enemies the spell targets (single or multiple), or add additional status effects like poison. You can also learn unique spells from enemies while playing through the game.
I was most interested in the game because it’s a Square RPG released at a time where the company could literally do no wrong. I couldn’t resist, I had the feeling I was missing out on some great treasure. Overall, while a pretty interesting game, and while the make-your-own-spells-with-gibberish is fun, I feel like it’s pretty standard 90’s RPG fare (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing). And the translation quality seems great.
Below are some shots of the reproduction. I’m not which company created it, the dust cover has a “GGG” on it. The case and dust cover plastic seem cheaper then typical SNES games, just holding it you can feel it’s lighter, thinner then a normal cartridge. The label is shinier then a typical label, with straight cuts in the corners instead of being rounded.
I wish I could checkout the insides of the case, but I couldn’t open it with the normal SNES size security screw, and I’m not sure what size would open the case.