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Thread: Is importing a Super Famicom Disk System worth it?

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    Insert Coin (Level 0) vrikkgwj's Avatar
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    Default Is importing a Super Famicom Disk System worth it?

    I've been thinking about it for over a year now but I don't know if the high price of it (and the games), combined with the inconsistency of its belt drive system, is worth it.

    Thoughts from people that already have one/have owned one?

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    Apple (Level 5) Superman's Avatar
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    Do you mean the disk system for the Famicom?

    Or do you mean the Satellaview for the Super Famicom?

    Or something different?

    There isn't a disk system for the Super Famicom, so I'm guessing you mean the disk system for the Famicom. But, if you could clarify, you should be able to get some of the answers you are looking for.

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    Insert Coin (Level 0) vrikkgwj's Avatar
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    Sorry, I meant the Famicom Disk System.

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    No. The Famicom Disk System is a nightmare of hardware failures. The belts breaking/wearing out is actually the least of the worries you'll have. See, nearly all of the disks themselves have nothing but a paper sleeve to protect the data disk - it's completely exposed.

    FDS games are encoded into sectors of data which is why you need to flip the disk to load some information. If even one sector of the disk becomes corrupt, the whole thing is a paperweight.

    FDS games are slow to load, require another power supply (or a crapload of those C cell batteries) and the fact is that there aren't that many exclusives for it. Most of the best FDS titles became NES cartridges. One could argue that the FM synthesis makes some games like Zelda and Metroid better on the FDS, but the you don't need an FDS to play those games.

    If you REALLY need to get your FDS fix, I recommend investing in Retrozone's Power Pak flash cart.

    The Powerpak can play nearly any NES/Famicom game there is, saving you hundreds of dollars if you want to play rarities like Bubble Bobble 2, Bonk's Adventure or Little Samson, or if you want to play hacks, prototypes and fan translations. In addition to all that, it will also play FDS games - without the load times.

    A toaster NES can be modified by soldering a single resistor to the unused expansion port and volla, you can get FDS expansion audio out of the powerpak.

    FDS games are cool, but they aren't worth the investment. Buy a Powerpak instead. You'll be happier in the long run.
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    I don't see how a rewriteable cartridge is going to be useful. Famicom doesn't have the hardware to play any sounds that require the synth the FDS has. If you don't want the real deal you may as well use a fucking emulator, at least that way you can hear the audio reasonably correctly. There's also the limitation where your game should hang indefinitely on the "Please set Side B" screen if you dump an FDS rom to a rewriteable cart without modifying it to get around that loading point. I can only see a single-sided game like SMB2 working if you dumped its image to a cart.

    The console is not that expensive. The games are not that expensive either. The only game that cost me over 20 bucks was Zelda, and only because I bought it factory sealed. (I have over a dozen games now.) These things are over two decades old and just about every disk I've ever put into my FDS works fine. Only a handful of games might be expensive because they're hard to get, such as Kiki Kaikai, possibly Dracula II, maybe a few others. (I'm not THAT familiar with the whole FDS library so I don't know for sure to what extent this goes.)

    If you wanna go crazy you can look into Write Modification which can probably "fix" a disk that isn't working. I've never gone this far so I can't elaborate.

    Complaining about the need to replace the belt every once in a while is like complaining about a CD system having the laser fail, or the motor blow out, or a voltage coil fail (I'm looking at you Playstation 2) or do I even have to mention Xbox 360?.. Well if you're that worried then you should stick to emulators forever. Sadly, these consoles don't have the most amazing resilience and reliability in their engineering. If you want the real deal then just be aware of what can happen and what you'll need to do when the time comes.

    If you want to play the genuine article then get it, but just make sure you'll be ok with maintenance because a belt failure is inevitable. I look at it like an oil change for a car. I'm not going to stop driving just because the oil needs to be changed once in a while..

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    I personally had a lot of problems with my Famicom Disk drives, such as faulty belts , damaged battery compartments and so forth. However, I've never had problems with my Twin Famicom - I have the feeling that they are more robust than the Famicom Disk drives, but maybe I got lucky with mine... I personally love the Twin Famicom, it's a bit more expensive than a Disk drive, but I think it's totally worth it.

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    Never had a problem with mine. I've owned one for a year now and the belt was replaced by the eBay seller I bought it from (at least he stated he did).

    I must admit that I haven't really played on my FDS too much, but there are decent games for it. Games are usually cheap aswell, except for a few, like Fox said above.

    A lot of the FDS games were later ported to cartridges, specially during localization processes, but a handful did not get cart releases in Japan, only in the United States and Europe.

    I'd say get one. I got mine for collection reasons mainly, but I still have fun with it and play it now and again, but not nearly as much as I play on my Famicom. If you're still undecided and aren't bothered about complete stuff, you might want to get a loose one from Japangamestock.com. It's only 6500 yen and even when you add shipping it's still not a bad price at all.

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    As has been said, if you're going to go FDS, go Twin Famicom.

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    I've repaired drive belts in both standard Famicom Disk Systems and Twin Famicoms.

    While the Twin Famicoms may typically be in better shape in the wild due to the fact that they're not as common as the original disk system, I can say that the guts of both drives are nearly identical (if not completely so). I've never done it, but I think you can actually swap the entire drive unit between a Twin and a standard Famicom Disk System if needed.

    Same belts, same parts.

    Overall the Twin is a nicer bit of hardware with more A/V output options than the standard Famicom, but know that the standard/original FDS typically works fine with most famiclones which are readily available, super cheap and typically have solid A/V output that work well on modern HD TVs.

    The FDS is a really neat, novel bit of hardware with some cool exclusives and some neat "alternate" versions of classics (nothing like being able to save progress in Metroid or Castlevania) that's not terribly expensive to buy games for. The fact that the games are on magnetic media makes buying a bit of a gamble, but a LOT of the games out there have retained full functioning condition over the course of the years.

    Unless you're buying one that has been repaired, expect to have to get a replacement belt and do the work yourself. It's not rocket surgery, and there are some very good step by step guides out there. Also know that there may be a chance that a non-functional unit may wind up being un-reparable, so buy with caution.

    These and everything that everybody has said above are all things to consider before taking the plunge. I love the things so I'd say yes by all means get one.
    "And the book says: 'We may be through with the past, but the past ain't through with us.'"


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    I also have a Twin Famicom and it has never given me troubles. It is a beautiful machine if you can get past the two foot controller cords.
    Be Attitude For Gains...

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    I lucked out with a decent FDS obtaining a few years ago (wow, been that long?)

    I figure it's worth it because now I can show off a disc copy of "All Night Nippon Super Mario Brothers" I have. Seeing the alterations made to Zelda 2 is also interesting.

    I wish I had some more serious exclusives, like Ai Senshi Nicol or something.

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    Exclamation Nintendo Famicom + Disk System vs. Sharp Twin Famicom

    What are the pros and cons of owning a Sharp Twin Famicom when compared to owning a Nintendo Famicom with the Disk System console?

    I'm particularly interested in identifying the disadvantages (if any). In other words, what am I missing by owning a STFC instead of the NFC+NFDS combo?

    Factors worth considering include:

    ・ Whether the STFC can utilise Akumajou Densetsu's extra sound channel (for deeper music).
    ・ Whether the STFC is compatible with ALL Famicom carts and Famicom Disks (e.g. the Microsoft Xbox 360 is not compatible with all previous generation Xbox games). According to some people on the Internet, the NFDS internals of the STFC is identical or near identical to the NFDS itself so compatibility-wise, Famicom Disks should be no problem.
    ・ Any other factors I'm unaware of.

    Also, how much does a STFC weigh (including power adapter, video cables and controller)? This is so that I can predict the shipping cost. Feel free to use the metric or imperial system, whichever you are more comfortable with.

    What other things should I, as a Twin Famicom noob, take into account before and after I buy it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by layzee View Post
    What are the pros and cons of owning a Sharp Twin Famicom when compared to owning a Nintendo Famicom with the Disk System console?

    I'm particularly interested in identifying the disadvantages (if any). In other words, what am I missing by owning a STFC instead of the NFC+NFDS combo?

    Factors worth considering include:

    ・ Whether the STFC can utilise Akumajou Densetsu's extra sound channel (for deeper music).
    ・ Whether the STFC is compatible with ALL Famicom carts and Famicom Disks (e.g. the Microsoft Xbox 360 is not compatible with all previous generation Xbox games). According to some people on the Internet, the NFDS internals of the STFC is identical or near identical to the NFDS itself so compatibility-wise, Famicom Disks should be no problem.
    ・ Any other factors I'm unaware of.

    Also, how much does a STFC weigh (including power adapter, video cables and controller)? This is so that I can predict the shipping cost. Feel free to use the metric or imperial system, whichever you are more comfortable with.

    What other things should I, as a Twin Famicom noob, take into account before and after I buy it?
    Technically speaking, "some people on the Internet" are correct. There is no internal differences between a Twin and the separate Famicom and Disk system.
    Externally, there is a difference. The Twin has component output where the standard Famicom has RF only.

    Weight wise, I wouldn't think taht there would be much of a difference between shipping a Twin and shipping a Famicom + Disk System together since the Twin is exactly that.

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    Cherry (Level 1) layzee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ventrra View Post
    Technically speaking, "some people on the Internet" are correct. There is no internal differences between a Twin and the separate Famicom and Disk system.
    Externally, there is a difference. The Twin has component output where the standard Famicom has RF only.
    Ah, so even the Famicom part of the Twin Famicom is exactly the same as a normal stand-alone Famicom? Sounds good.

    Component seems overboard but nice. I'm happy with just the standard AV RGB (red, white, yellow) cable.

    Quote Originally Posted by ventrra View Post
    Weight wise, I wouldn't think taht there would be much of a difference between shipping a Twin and shipping a Famicom + Disk System together since the Twin is exactly that.
    Got any numerical figures for that?

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    Guys,

    practically identical discussion going on here:

    http://www.digitpress.com/forum/showthread.php?t=153769

    Same forum, front page, just a few topics down.
    "And the book says: 'We may be through with the past, but the past ain't through with us.'"


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    twin famicom was licensed from nintendo and uses all Famicom parts. 100% compatibility with all games and disks, only a few pirate carts (like everquest and final fantasy 7) will not work, they wont work on a regular famicom either so whatever....

    Id say its like 12-15 lbs. for a twin.

    Supposedly its harder to change the fds belt in a twin rather than the stand alone unit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie_Says_Relax View Post
    Guys,

    practically identical discussion going on here:

    http://www.digitpress.com/forum/showthread.php?t=153769

    Same forum, front page, just a few topics down.
    The two threads have been merged.

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    Quote Originally Posted by layzee View Post
    Ah, so even the Famicom part of the Twin Famicom is exactly the same as a normal stand-alone Famicom? Sounds good.

    Component seems overboard but nice. I'm happy with just the standard AV RGB (red, white, yellow) cable.

    Got any numerical figures for that?

    The Twin has composite not component, so yes it's the red/white/yellow cabling.


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    Quote Originally Posted by StealthLurker View Post
    The Twin has composite not component, so yes it's the red/white/yellow cabling.


    .
    I knew that, I own a Twin. This is the sort of error I make when I can't change from the standard, headache inducing Red/Black forum skin, can't spell "composite", and then trust the spellchecking feature to have the correct spelling first.

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    Cherry (Level 1) layzee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StealthLurker View Post
    The Twin has composite not component, so yes it's the red/white/yellow cabling.
    Hah, I thought that sounded a little strange. It's like using an expensive top-of-the-range audio equipment to listen to 64kbps MP3s.

    Quote Originally Posted by Parodius Duh! View Post
    Id say its like 12-15 lbs. for a twin.
    12-15 Lbs? That's like 5000 to 7000 grams (5-7 KGs). That's heavier than an Xbox 360/PS3. A seller emailed me back saying it's about 2000 grams (about 4.5 Lbs) which sounds more realistic.
    Last edited by layzee; 06-10-2011 at 07:56 PM.

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