Sunday, January 30, 2011

Finally Some Pulse Line Carts

A couple months ago I picked up Donkey Kong Jr. Math. Hardly an epic game or one that I really wanted to play with, but it did complete one subset of my Famicom collection: the pulse line carts.
I love the pulse line carts. So simple, so perfect. They really remind one of just how long the Famicom was around. I mean, they were still making games for the thing as late as 1994 - the same year the Playstation came out. And Nintendo was still making new Famicom consoles as late as 2003 - well after the PS2 and Game Cube had been released.

But the design of the pulse line carts looks more like something from the Atari 2600 or Colecovision era in North America. Which, of course, makes complete sense because these ARE something from the Atari 2600/ Colecovision era. These were all released between 1983 and 1984 - well before the NES made its American debut and wiped out the last of the pre- crash game consoles still on the market. A lot of these games were, in fact, also released on those earlier consoles as well, and none of them (except Devil World - sort of) feature the scrolling element that made the Famicom/NES so distinct from its predecessors. These are creatures from a different era.

Anyway, I've been quite impressed by some of the photos other people have taken of them, like Bryan at the Gay Gamer's and "anonymous" here (edit: that photo was taken by Kendra) and I've been wanting to put some photos of mine up as well. So here they are. Pulse line carts at various locations in my apartment.

On the steps to my loft:
The hand-rails muck up the photo a bit, though at least they keep me from falling down:
On top of a Famicom box and Family Basic:
On top of my curtain rails:
On a side table with a potted plant:
Mario Bros. and Tennis soaking up some rays:
I love the fact that the combination of all the carts has the perfect balance of color. They look good just stacked up:
I do sort of wish they had made either more or less of them than fourteen. Fourteen is an awkward number to deal with when arranging stuff for photos. You've got limited options. You can put them in two columns of seven, but that makes it hard to see the ones in the back clearly:
Or one long row of fourteen, but that creates an unreasonably narrow photo:
Or four rows of three with this extra row of two looking very conspicuous at the top:
Fifteen would have been better. Anyway, other than that they are aces.
Gotta love that angle.


  1. I love it! Great shots, as always. Oh, and I agree with you 100% regarding Nintendo's decision to make 14 pulse line carts. Why couldn't they have made one more?!?

    I still have to get two more to complete my collection, by the way: Baseball and Golf. I'm planning to get them soon, just so I can stop thinking about them :)

  2. One more thing: The photo of the stack of pulse-line carts is my favorite. I'm going to have to take a similar photo as soon as I complete my collection.

    Maybe some similar photos of Namco's early FC carts would be nice, too...

  3. Thanks, Bryan! Good luck with acquiring Baseball and Golf -- funnily enough those two are the easiest to find so you shouldn't have much trouble.

    They definitely do stack up nicely, don't they? Look forward to seeing photos of your complete set!

  4. Oh and yes - the Namco carts are a must. I have all 18 of those numbered ones, but a couple have top labels in rough shape so they won't be quite as photogenic. I like your photos of yours against a neutral white background, it looks very good.

  5. So, I have a complete set of these famicom pulse carts boxed with instructions that I picked up a couple years back while attending college in Tokyo. Would you have any idea if these hold any sort of value?

  6. If you have the complete set with all the boxes and manuals then yeah, they would be worth something. How much would depend on the condition and also which box (some of them came in different box types, with the larger, silver bordered boxes being rarer and more valuable).