Saturday, 18 June 2011

Mystery Retro Gaming Gadget

A lot has happened between now and my last blog post two weeks ago, and it certainly feels like much more than two weeks since I completed Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. The most important of these events is my acquiring of an internship at my local university laboratory as an assistant lab technician. In addition to this, mine and my girlfriend's plan of emigration to the Netherlands are really taking off and we both hope to be there by the end of this summer. One part of these plans is the selling off of many of our items we no longer need on eBay, as described in my previous blog post “Pruning Your Collection”. Writing descriptions for, and then sending off, over fifty different items takes a lot more time and energy than I ever thought; and there's plenty more to go.

All in all, this is me accounting for my lack of posts of late. However I do have a question for you, my readers, and I am hoping your retro gaming knowledge will help fill the gaps in mine. So, without further ado:

What is it?

It's it.

This was one of the many items I bought on my final trip to the city of Leeds, and more precisely Arcadia, the best retro gaming shop I've been to. As far as I or the two guys working in the shop could make out, it's a oversized memory pak for the Nintendo 64; a peripheral required to save certain games that do not, for whatever reason, have the capacity to house SRAM within the cartridges. While it looks more like the larger rumble pak, it has no way to put batteries in, an absolute requirement for the rumble pak to function. I have plenty of third party PS1 memory cards that look bigger than official cards for no reason other than to be eye-catching and had no doubt that this was the case with the item shown above.

The mystery started a few weeks ago when I set up both my NES and my N64 in my bedroom following the return of my girlfriend from her final examinations. I had not had a chance to test out the memory pak or any of the games I had bought for the N64 recently which required said pak such as Doom 64. Firstly, the pak was overly difficult to get into the N64 controller and, while it eventually did fit in, gave quite a bit of resistance. Secondly, none of the games I played that utilise a memory pak would recognise my pak as anything at all.

The best idea I can come up with is that it is one part of some cheat or regional bypass system which doesn't work without another component, possibly something that goes into the cartridge slot. I'd really like to know what this is and if I can do anything with it, so if you have any good idea or, even better, actually recognise what this is then please let me know.


  1. I Googled "Gamester Nintendo 64" and it came up with this:
    Apparently it is a vibration pak.

  2. Brendan is correct. I can also confirm it's an off-brand N64 vibrating controller pak. There were a few variants of it and some could also serve as memory paks, but I'm fairly certain the one you've got only acted as a tremor pak.

  3. @Brendan Meharry

    If you look carefully, you'll see that the pak you're showing me has "LMP" on it, which mine doesn't have.

    Of course, I tried googling it myself and found many different models of the same thing. Some being rumble paks, some being memory paks and, as GTTA below has stated, some are both in one.

    I cannot find the exact one I have on the internet and am confident that it is not a rumble pak. As stated in my blog post, it has no where what-so-ever for the two AAA batteries to go. In addition to this, I have tried using it as a rumble pak however the blasted thing still does nothing.

    The mystery continues...

  4. Now that is a mystery then. I just assumed that big section in the back held an internal battery or something (I accidentally skipped over one paragraph of your post between two pictures earlier).

    I tried searching for Gamester cartridges but haven't found anything other than a device they made to allow you to have three GBA cartridges plugged into a GBA at once at the expense of the GBA's size. That was interesting.

    If I ever happen across one like you have I'll take a closer look. Perhaps a dirty contact or a small interior breakage could be preventing it from fulfilling its function, or it could be a non-functional knock-off of an off-brand gaming accessory. Unlikely, but I suppose entirely possible.

  5. @Gaming Through The Ages

    I cleaned the contacts with a cotton bud and some cleaning alcohol, but it hasn't done anything. The contacts were surprisingly clean, actually.

    At the moment I am thinking that what ever it is, it doesn't work. If I can't figure out what it is soon I'll just open it up and look inside as that will probably shine some light on the mystery.

    Thanks again for the input. And that GBA thing does sound interesting, I've not seen anything like that before.


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