Monday, July 4, 2011

I Nearly Died Getting a Red Twin Famicom Today.

Today I finally broke down and bought a complete, working Twin Famicom. I was at Omocha Souko and they had one for 8,000 yen (about 100$). That is a lot of money considering I bought my three other Twin Famicoms for between 100 and 300 yen apiece there. But they didn't come with the all-important power cable, so I've had them just collecting dust, not even sure if they work, for quite some time now. This one came with the cable. Get!

Anyway, I actually almost died on the way home with my purchase. It was raining heavily today and as I rode my bike down a hill I went over a metal grating that, it turns out, becomes extremely slippery when wet. I was going quite fast, probably 30-35 kmph, when suddenly my bike just completely fell down right underneath me. This sent me flying across the pavement at an alarming rate, screaming "Oooooooohhhhh shitttttttttttt" as I did so. I came within a couple of feet of getting run over by a passing car, but luckily we avoided each other (or more accurately they avoided me, I had no control over my body's motion at that point).

My knees and the palms of my hands were a ghastly site and my pants now had a couple of new holes in them, but nothing was broken (except my bike), so I was pretty relieved.

After confirming that I was in one piece I then remembered: My Twin Famicom!! Shit!

By an incredible stroke of luck, I had put it into my backpack, which was on my back during the accident. 9 times out of 10 I would have put it into my bicycle's basket. If I had done so, it would have gone flying and been smashed for sure. A two litre bottle of water I had in there came skidding to a halt a good thirty metres up the road.

Anyway, to take this post back to the subject of my Twin Famicom, the long and the short of it is that after arriving at home (after a quick stop at the drug store for some bandages and disinfectant) I took it out of my backpack. Nothing obviously wrong with it. It is the red one. I agree with Bryan that this is the best version of the Twin Famicom. A thing of absolute beauty:
As a way of building up the suspense, I tested the Famicom cartridge part first. I stuck a copy of Bomberman in there and it worked the first time. That was a good sign. But the real test was going to be that Disk Drive.

I've accumulated quite the collection of Disks from junk bins here and there. I dumped them out on the floor next to it:
And one by one started testing them. The first time, things looked promising. I have two broken FDSs and I know what ones with a broken drive belt sound like. "GRRRRRRRR" is what the sound like. A very annoying sound. This one, thankfully, did not make that sound. It made a lot of different sounds, which indicated to me that it knew what it was doing and would make my game work momentarily.

Only it didn't. Each time I tried, I just kept getting an Error 27 message. Crap. Again and again I tried, but nothing.

Moero Twin Bee. I put that disk in there and steadied myself for the disappointment of seeing another error message. Only it didn't. For the first time in my entire life I laid eyes on the sight of a Famicom Disk System displaying something other than an error message: the actual game itself appeared on the screen:
Fuck Yeah!!!

Sorry about that profanity, but fuck yeah. That was sweet. I could actually play an FDS game! My Twin Famicom works!! Yes!

The bad part is that it seems my entire collection of Famicom Disk System Disks except for Moero Twin Bee do not work:
So much for my plans to spend the rest of the day playing Super Mario Bros. 2.

The other bad news is that, with the arrival of my first Twin Famicom AC adapter, I could finally test my other 3 Twin Famicoms.

All three of them load Famicom carts just fine. And the disk drives on all three are completely broken. Error messages and that "GRRRRRRR" sound galore.


  1. Whoa, glad to hear after your incident of terror you're OK! I bet your wife was like "What happnened to you?! Are you OK?!" when she saw you all busted up.

    And after all that, you could only get one Disk working... eh, one's better than none, huh? I hope you didn't get too badly hurt, and good luck getting your other Disk System games working!

  2. Also, I looked it up on Famicom World, and ERROR 27 apparently means "Block end mark seen and ends prematurely"... whatever that means. What DOES it mean? How does that make Moero Twinbee work while others get the short end of the straw? I hope you figure it out... it'd suck having all those games only to play none but one.

  3. Congrats on the red Twin. I also have a red Twin Famicom, and and it is my favorite of all my Famicoms. I would REALLY love to get one of those red/orange turbo Twin Famicoms, though.

  4. Thanks, Skyrunner, I`m bruised but OK! I saw that about the error 27 message too. I have no idea what "block end mark seen and ends prematurely" means. Sounds like the title of a Radiohead song or something. Anyway, I`m glad to have at least one game working.

  5. Thanks, Videogamesarerad, I`m quite happy with it. I would also LOVE one of those red turbo ones though. One of my broken Twin Famicoms is the black turbo one, which is probably the first one I`ll try to fix once I figure out how to get my hands on a drive belt!

  6. Nakayama Miho's game doesn't work? NOOOOO!

    Anyway, awesome that you finally got a working disc drive. I've always wanted one too, but it seems impossible if you're not willing to shell out big dough.

    That and the Takeshi's Castle Family Trainer game are my most wanted items for Famicom.

  7. Tragically Miho does not work. I'm devastated.

    And yup, these things are expensive if you want a working one!

    And I want that Takeshi game too, the only game I've got for the Family Trainer is that Green Athletic world cart. Its OK, but its no Takeshi's Castle!

  8. Oh ho! Congrats, Sean! As happy as I am to hear about your new Twin Famicom, I'm even happier to hear you both made it home from your shopping trip in one piece :)

    As for your disk-based games -- they're supposed to be pretty fragile, aren't they? Maybe they were just jostled around too much before they got to you, or maybe they got dirty or erased, etc. Regardless, it sucks that only one of them seems to work. At least you know the Twin Famicom works, though, right?

    Speaking of which, how funny is it that all of those cheap Twin Famicoms you bought earlier at least somewhat work?

  9. This may sound like a stupid question, but have you tried reinserting the non-working disk games multiple times in a row? Its like with all the cartridge based consoles, if they don' work reinserting them can fix the problem. People use to generally think that blowing in the cart fixes it but in reality that just blows spit into them.

  10. Thanks, Bryan! It is kind of cool that all those cheap ones at least function as regular Famicoms! If I can ever find replacement belts (I hear you can make them yourself but need a special sized sheet of rubber) I might even be able to fix them someday!

  11. Brendan - Thanks for that. Actually I reinserted Super Mario Bros. 2 a couple of times, but otherwise I just tested them once each. I will definitely try doing it a few times though, thanks for the tip!

  12. Blimey! Glad to hear you're okay! I had a similar incident to that once when a cat run in front of me. Luckily I didn't have any consoles with me! That Twin is a nice-looking device, sorry to hear your FDS games don't work on it (even the one with the foxy babe on the cover?). How come you haven't played them before? I thought you had loads of FDS's? Do they all not work? Oh well, least you can play them now. Have you got Otocky? I want to play that one :)

  13. Thanks, Simon.

    I haven`t played my FDS games before because I didn`t have a funcioning FDS! I had 2 FDS and 3 Twin Famicoms but the Disk drives on all of them don`t work. These things have not aged well at all!

    Only Moero Twin Bee works, the other 10 or 11 I have do not (so far, I`m going to follow Nate`s advice and not give up on them completely yet)!