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madhatter667

Initial Tests: FC Twin

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First off, I am not sure what Jagasian is prattling on about in regards to the clones. The guy obviosuly has an opinion, and he is entitled to it. But as far as the FC Twin is concerned, I am inclined to disagree, and heartily so.

 

I busted out the FC Twin earlier this night when I returned home from a brief visit to my parents, and a couple friends. I was rather eager to check it out.

The packaging isn't horrible for what it is. I mean, it is a clone, made in China I am sure...but everything was arranged neatly, and covered with plastic and twist ties. So getting dust in the system was pretty much not happening during transit, which is fine in my book. I ordered the system from www.baysoftgames.com for around $58 or so after shipping was said and done. Once I got the shipment notification, it took 2 days for the system to hit my doorstep...shipped prioroty mail. Couldn't ask for more from their end. If anyone is looking to nab one of these, I recommend baysoft, my experience was exceptional.

 

As a side note to anyone wanting to play import video games: the FC Twin does have the cartridge lockout tabs... so if you want to play Super Famicom games on this thing, you better have your needlenose pliers ready, or if you are fortunate enough, your Gamebit. This is a small time mod that I want to make to the console, but just don't feel like doing so at the moment. I have done this to an SNES, and for anyone who is new to this sort of thing: Yes, you can play Super Famicom games in an SNES, there are merely two tabs keeping you from inserting the cart. It DOES work, and it is really easy to do. The same is true of the N64 (although you DO need the Gamebit for that one, since the tabs are located on the bottom side of the slot frame thingy, and can't be accessed from the top).

 

Most of the tests were done using the handful of SNES titles that I have kept inside with me. These are the ones that were a pain for me to acquire, as in I had to hunt them down, pay out a fair chunk to acquire, and in short were just a pain to get.

 

As general rule the audio sounded fine to me on every game I tested. The only sound that didn't sound quite like I remembered it was the sea gull sound in the opening of Chrono Trigger... they sounded just oh so slightly mechanical. On the same hand, it has been a long time since I played Chrono on the real console (space limitations, and all that Jazz... 2 jobs, and school... eats up time like mad), so they may even sound the same, I don't honestly recall. In short, sounded fine, and nothing horrid to the ears.

 

The FC Twin played my coveted collection of SNES titles, which are as follows:

Castlvania Dracula X

Drakken

Illusion of Gaia

Secret of Mana

Chrono Trigger

Final Fantasy II

Final Fantasy III

FF Mystic Quest

Castlvania IV

Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

Paladin's Quest

Equinox

 

All of these played fine, sounded fine, and did not display any graphical errors.

My other SNES titles are chilling out in my garage...so maybe I will drag them in for further tests.

So far compatability has been surprisingly good. As those listed games are the bulk of my SNES collection, and are the ones that cost me the most to acquire.

 

I didn't extensively test the NES side, as I am a little on the tired side, but it did play SMB3 just fine, and it also played Shadowgate as well. No odd ball glitches or anything there either... they popped right up on screen. I will have to try more NES titles with this console. Just not tonight. I do have a handful of unlicensed carts are well, like Tengen, Color Dreams, American Video, and Wisdom Tree (in a few days some Camerica ones as well)...so I will definitely have to give them a run through the machine to see how they do.

 

I am rather impressed with it so far. This little machine seems to have a lot of promise in it. This could be a space saver for those who own many consoles, a novelty or intrigue for those who collect, and a platform for the unitiated to cut their teeth on. Not everyone can find an NES/SNES cheaply anymore. SNES runs something between $35 and $40 when you do find them in game shops, the NES I have seen from something around $40 to as high as $100 for a top loader. Someone without the resources could save some money with this thing... provided that further testing shows it to be a solid piece of work.

 

If anyone else wants to add their tests to this thread, by all means do. Cheese007, I know you mentioned that you were pretty impressed with the clone's performance. What titles have you tested out on it, and how well did it perform? Were there any titles you tried that did not work?

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The XGA chipset, which from pictures of the FC Twin's circuit board is apparently what it uses, has known issues. Games such as Super Mario RPG do not play correctly, other games play for a while but freeze up during normal play, and most games have incorrect audio. This chipset has appeared in at least two previous clones: the Gamestation and the pirated mini-SNES. I bought a Gamestation roughly 7 years ago, so I have personal experience with this chipset.

 

The pictures also show what looks like a typical NOAC, which also has known issues. Games such as The Legend of Zelda, Castlevania 3, and Gauntlet do not play correctly.

 

A proper test would involve comparing the fake system with the real system, side-by-side, running the same games. Also, since the XGA chipset is known to freeze up deep into a game, a proper test would have to play each game for an extended period of time.

 

There are many anecdotal claims that various NOAC based systems play NES games perfectly, when in truth they do not. I am not sure why people make these claims. Maybe they are unfamiliar with how the games are supposed to play on a real system. Maybe they are color blind and tone deaf? Maybe they only superficially test the games for a few minutes each without comparing the fake system to a real system? Can somebody with previous experience with the XGA chipset confirm whether or not the FC Twin uses a newer version of the chipset or not?

Edited by Jagasian

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Jagasian, why don't you actually contribute? You're talking about a clone SEVEN years ago...then say you have experience with this clone (being the FC Twin), which you don't (or at least, haven't actually expressed), but are basing that assumption on the notion that you have experience with one or two other SNES clones. Then turn around and ask whether the FC Twin is using a newer revision of the XGA chipset, showing that you have no experience with the 'Twin.

 

AUDIO SOUNDED FINE. My TV is also mono, so I used 2 out of 3 jacks on both ends (system and input). IS there ANY way that could make a difference in audio output on more modern TVs? If so, I could understand how others might hear some horrid noises, if htey plug in all 3 jacks on the system side, and two on the TV, or something. Would that matter? I am not a hookups expert.

 

One must also bear in mind that there ARE people who just care about being able to play a game. If it looks fine, sounds fine, and doesn't display any graphical errors, and the system doesn't fall apart, expolde, or become a dangerous item in any way... many would call that good enough.

 

Yes, we KNOW it isn't Nintendo goods, we UNDERSTAND that replicated hardware may have issues. It is a CLONED piece of hardware. But for a clone, it seems to be a damned good one so far.

 

I have many NES games, including the infamous 3 of Castlvania 3, Gauntlet, and Legend of Zelda. I am going to try them out later, and see what happens. I'll report back on findings.

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I have many NES games, including the infamous 3 of Castlvania 3, Gauntlet, and Legend of Zelda. I am going to try them out later, and see what happens. I'll report back on findings.

 

On the NES side:

Castlevania 3 does not work (no video)

Gauntlet runs, but is horribly bugged - walking through walls etc.

Afterburner runs, but is missing the backgrounds.

A couple other Tengen titles do not run at all - Rolling Thunder being one.

Zelda looked fine on initial test, though I understand the problem is supposed to be on a map? Can anyone elaborate, I'll check it out.

 

On the SNES side I've tested the following (all good):

Out of this World

Doom

Dungeon Master

Eye of the Beholder

Super Game Boy

Toto-Tek SNES Flash cart

 

I picked up an FC Twin assuming the usual NOAC incompatibilities, and so far many of them are true. However, it is apparently more compatible than my Messiah so far.

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Sound issues with cloned hardware are particularly hard to review because everyone seems to hear them differently. It's not like a graphical issue where garbled tiles will appear that no one can miss. If a particular sound is garbled or mis-timed or something it can be hard to tell for some people. With Fami-on-a-chip systems, which have sound issues that some people complain about bitterly, I usually don't notice any problems, though sometimes I do. People should just know that if they're audio perfectionists, systems like these probably won't be good enough to satisfy them because sound hardware is difficult reproduce 100% accurately.

 

Same goes for the more subtle video problems like washed out colors or shimmer that some people have complained about with the FC Twin, but that madhatter didn't even mention. It comes down to individual perceptions and expectations.

 

As for actual game compatibility, that should be a more objective thing, though if games seem to be working for the first few minutes of testing, but then crash eventually that would be harder to test, wouldn't it? You can't expect someone to test out dozens of games for xx hours each just to put everyone's minds at ease.

 

Someone who's interested in system like the FC Twin, but concerned with compatibility or accuracy, probably shouldn't take anyone else's word for it and ought to just try the system out themselves. If you're not satisfied with it could probably make most of their money back by reselling the system and at least then they'd know for sure rather than trying to suss things out from the comments of other people who've tried it. Of course, some people just aren't interested in systems like these; they're purists who will never be happy with clone hardware. People like that need step out of conversations like this and accept the fact that not everyone is extreme as they are when it comes to stuff like this.

 

As for the GameStation system that Jagasian is talking about, wasn't that the one that loaded games off of CD into RAM and played them from there? That is quite a different situation even if the cloned SNES hardware is identical which it may not be. I wouldn't try to extrapolate anything about the FC Twin from that hardware. Are there similar compatibility issues with the SNES2 clones, which are more recent than the GameStation and load games directly from the cartridge like the FC Twin. I think that would be a better system to compare, though it'd obviously be better still to just to get an FC Twin and test it yourself if you're concerned.

 

What's the Zelda incompatibility with Fami-on-a-chip systems, by the way? I've never heard of that one and I used to play Zelda on a Famiclone system all the time.

 

 

...word is bondage...

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If I recall, the main Zelda issue was that it left debris everywhere when you brought up the subscreen.

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I've already procured a NES toploader and a Mini-SNES, so whats the point of securing this possibly questionable (as far as accurate compatability) console?

 

BTW I paid less than $10 for both of the ORIGNINAL Nintendo systems from local thrifts. Patience may be your best ally.

 

Although, the concept seems cool I don't see how its worth ~$70, given its short comings.

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Apparently, for you there's no point in securing one, so don't worry about it.

 

However, a lot of pople have neither a top-loading NES or a SNES Jr. You have them and good for you, but maybe some other people would prefer this. You recommend patience and maybe (maybe) they'll find them at a thrift shop for $10, but patient buyers will also be seeing the price of the FC Twin go down, I expect it'll be a snap to pick one up for $30 in less than a year and enterprising hunters will be able to find them for much less than that.

 

You also underestimate how much some people like odd stuff like this A lot of gamers have a hard-on for pirate stuff. A lot of gamers also like multi-compatible consoles like this.

 

 

...word is bondage...

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However, a lot of pople have neither a top-loading NES or a SNES Jr.

I've got a toaster and an SNES1.

I suppose I should mod the toaster to disable the lockout chip, but... we'll get around to that once I have a cart that benefits from it.

 

You also underestimate how much some people like odd stuff like this A lot of gamers have a hard-on for pirate stuff. A lot of gamers also like multi-compatible consoles like this.

Indubitably.

I've seen several Famiclones I want not because they're good NES replacements, but because they'd be interesting additions to the collection.

 

To date, my favorite is the Famiclone in the 7800 case with Genesis pads. Just because it crosses 3 systems from 3 different companies.

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If I recall, the main Zelda issue was that it left debris everywhere when you brought up the subscreen.

Well if that's the issue, then there's no problem on the FC Twin. The inventory screen comes up and dismisses properly.

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As for the GameStation system that Jagasian is talking about, wasn't that the one that loaded games off of CD into RAM and played them from there? That is quite a different situation even if the cloned SNES hardware is identical which it may not be. I wouldn't try to extrapolate anything about the FC Twin from that hardware. Are there similar compatibility issues with the SNES2 clones, which are more recent than the GameStation and load games directly from the cartridge like the FC Twin. I think that would be a better system to compare, though it'd obviously be better still to just to get an FC Twin and test it yourself if you're concerned.

 

What's the Zelda incompatibility with Fami-on-a-chip systems, by the way? I've never heard of that one and I used to play Zelda on a Famiclone system all the time.

 

Sweater, I couldn't have said it better. Some people don't really care about inaccurate audio and video. To others, especially fans that have been playing the real thing for 15+ years, incorrect A/V is a killer.

 

Regarding Zelda, the map is messed up in Zelda when playing it on a NOAC.

 

Regarding the Gamestation, it is the same exact clone that resides in the SNES2 clone, but it also has a Game Doctor SF7 built in too. I use a Game Doctor SF7 all the time with a real SNES, and it doesn't have any of the described problems. For those that don't know, the Game Doctor SF7 is a device that lets you play on a real SNES, ROMs saved on floppies or CDs. You can still buy such devices at:

www.tototek.com

 

The problem with the Gamestation is in the SNES chipset that was cloned by XGA. Judging by the pictures of the FC Twin's circuit board, it uses the exact same XGA chipset. Again, the XGA chipset has appeared in many unlicensed SNES clones, including the SNES2 clone. Games have been known to lock up after hours of play on an XGA based clone. Imagine losing hours of gameplay due to a crappy clone that costs as much as a real SNES.

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You don't need a gamebit to open the twin, it takes standard philips head screws.

Here are the games I've tested so far,

NES:

Bible Adventures: works perfectly as far as I know, didn't get a chance to test it out on actual hardware because my power supply crapped out on me.

Super Mario Brothers/Duck Hunt: SMB works perfectly, Duck Hunt doesn't work at all because of the lack of an NES controller port to put the light gun.

SNES:

Super Mario Kart: works perfectly.

Super Game Boy: works perfectly.

Super Batter Up: works perfectly, as does the 2 bat peripherals that it came with. On a side not, the bats work surprisingly well unlike most motion sensitive peripherals of the time.

Mario Paint: works perfectly as does the mouse.

EDIT: I'm tempted to leave my FC Twin on overnight just to prove you wrong, Jagasian. As far as I can tell, this thing is probably one of the best SNES clones out there.

Edited by Cheese007

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I don't know why it took so long to realize this...

 

A large part of the FC Twin's appeal is simply that this is what Nintendo should have made a decade ago.

An SNES that can play NES games was pretty high on the wish list. Or even an adapter(though messy unlicensed 3rd-party ones DID show up).

Edited by JB

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I'd admit that I am wrong, but I need some pretty strong proof, especially considering that there are people who claim that the NOAC plays most NES games perfectly ;) There is a local store that might be selling these, as they sell the Yobo NES, so I will drop by the mall to see if they have it. Then I will test it out there. If it is good enough, I will bring one home for testing. Considering that I have just about every SNES and SFC game, I can do some serious testing.

Edited by Jagasian

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I have a Yobo NOAC and it does screw up the map on Zelda. However, for some reason the Generation NEX I'm using right now for an article seems to work fine. Could there be different versions of the NOAC?

Edited by n8littlefield

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I think there are a few different makers or at least a few revisions of the NOAC over the years. With all the different clones out there and all... they can't all contain the same guts. I haven't opened any of them to see... but I am sure that my Micro Genius has a different interior than my Super Joy controller.

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I think there are a few different makers or at least a few revisions of the NOAC over the years. With all the different clones out there and all... they can't all contain the same guts. I haven't opened any of them to see... but I am sure that my Micro Genius has a different interior than my Super Joy controller.

I'm thinking that must be the case. I've been trying to get it to glitch on River City Ransom (my Yobo does) but I can't seem to make it happen. I'm actually eating my word daily, the NEX is a very nice system indeed. It seems to have the same non-working games as other clones, but the glitches in "working" games seem much improved in the NEX over the Yobo.

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Yes, there's definitely different iterations of the Nintendo-on-a-chip. Like Mr. Littlefield, I've compared different versions directly and seen games not working on one work just fine on another. Maybe there's only two versions, but I have the feeling there's more.

 

Actually, there must be at least three since the NOAC used in JungleTac's VG Pocket and OneStation systems has RGB output instead of composite. I don't know what the compatibility of that chip is like, though, since neither system I've used it in has a cartridge port. It'd be nice to hack a cart connector onto it and see. In fact, if the compatibility is good, it'd be nice to replace the NOAC used in the FC Twin with the JungleTac one, then you'd have an NES/SNES combined system with RGB output. Nobody would be able to claim that wasn't cool.

 

 

...word is bondage...

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I did some more NES testing. So far it is pretty good, but still has a couple of the quirks. Castlevania III title screen displays, the intro has some glitches, and then blank black screen afterwards.

 

It DOES play Legend of Zelda fine though.... I tried to make the map scatter any debris across the map or screen anywhere. I tried pausing and repausing, and it wouldn't do it. The colours seemed a little on the "rich" side, but everything seemed alright besides some mild colour inaccuracy. If I were just wanting to play the game, that would = good enough. It might not even be that far off on the colour, it could just be me, I'd have to drag an NES in to do a side by side. The colour in the last ROM I played last was a Zelda hack, and the colours weren't that deep, but it seems like little consequence.

 

It played the Dragon Warrior games, and the other 2 Castlevania titles.

Also played Final Fantasy as well. Just gotta watch out for the turbo buttons! So far, it has shown fewer problems than other NES clones. All my Tengen carts are out in my garage, so I'd have to make the trip out there, which I should be doing sometime this week. (my garage isn't as close to my apartment as it should be, go fucking figure... it causes me all kinds of paranoia).

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What kind of controller ports does it use? Just SNES or are there NES ports as well? I would really rather not play zapper games with a superscope if possible.

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SNES ports. Can't play zapper games, but you could wire a controller port yourself to play them.

Anyone positive about that? I took a quick pass at wiring the zapper to a SNES connector and am pretty sure I got the wiring right, but it didn't work.

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As a side note, it would have been interesting if the manufacturer could have included a light gun for this clone. Other's have done it, and used proprietary (if that word can even be used in reference to anything involved a pirated console) pin outs for the connectors...so I wonder what stopped this one? Wasn't there also an SNES light gun at one point that looked like a revolver? Or was that for some other system? If there was one, wouldn't it theoretically work with this console? I have read that the Super Scope 6 will NOT work with Zapper games, as there are differences in their internal behavior (ie: hardware advances that make them incompatible). Just a few interesting side thoughts that might have some potential.

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