Remember the good old Nintendo (NES) days? Where you would insert the game cartridge press power button, only to get a blinking power light and a blinking TV screen? Now do you remember all the crazy techniques you would use in order to “fix” the problem, and get the game working?
This topic came up while driving back home with my cousin the other day. We were looking back at all the stuff we did back then to make the game works. Some of the techniques made some sense, and some of them were just ridiculous. But hey, they worked!
Cleaning the Cartridge
This was probably the first thing people did when their game system gave them the blinking power light. Done usually with a Q-tip and a but of rubbing alcohol. Usually does the trick, but if you were lazy like me, you resorted to other techniques.
Blowing into the Cartridge
This was the most common technique used by everyone who owned an NES that I have known. This technique was used to blow any dust that had build up inside the game cartridge. It kinda makes sense, and it worked half the time.
Breathing hot air into the Cartridge
If blowing into the cartridge didn’t work, then some people went with this approach. Looking back at it now, this wasn’t the best way to “fix” the problem. Breathing hot air into the cartridge probably built up a bit of condensation, which isn’t normally good for electronics. It worked for me back then though!
Blowing/Breathing into the Cartridge through a T-shirt
I remember watching my friend pull of this weird technique and being amazed that it actually worked. He took the game cartridge and covered the opening with bottom part of the T-shirt he was wearing. He then blew through the T-shirt into the cartridge and got the game to work. Still doesn’t make any sense to me.
Jamming the Cartridge into the System
There are some people insert the game cartridge all the way, then push down really hard to lock the game in place to make it work. There are also people who insert the game cartridge in just enough so that it gives some resistance when you push down the game cartridge.
Sliding the Cartridge Left and Right
After putting the game cartridge into the system and pushing it down, sliding the game cartridge left and right usually solves the problem for a lot of people. This technique usually takes a few tries, making small adjustments to the left or right at a time, but usually does the trick.
Insert Another Cartridge on top of the First
After putting the game cartridge into the system and pushing it down, some people would take another game cartridge, and insert it on top of the other game, making it so that the first game is held down lower into the system. Sounds bizarre, but it worked for me!
Hold down the Reset Button before pressing Power
After placing the game cartridge into the system, you hold down the reset button, press the power button to turn the system on. You wait a few and then release the reset button. Then voila! The game magically works sometimes!
At some point or another, I remember using all of these techniques in order to get my NES to play my games. I usually go with a combination of some of these techniques. This is the order that I normally use:
- Step 1: Blow into the cartridge
- Step 2: Jam the cartridge into the system
- Step 3: Insert another cartridge on top of first one
- Step 4: Hold down reset button and press power
Any techniques that I am missing? What do you remember doing in order to get your Super Mario on?