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I've got two copies of a couple of Nintendo games (Super Mario World for the SNES and Super Mario 64 for the N64). I want to sell the extra copy of each, but I don't know which one to keep since they are slightly different.

SNES Cartridge - Super Mario World

One has a model number of SNS-MW-USA while the other is SNS-MW-USA-1.

SNS-MW-USA

  • Text Label: takes up the whole edge of the cartridge
  • Back: SNS-USA
  • Instructions/Warnings: Five notes/instructions/warnings (in English)
  • Has a 20 stamped in black next to "Important"

SNS-MW-USA-1

  • Text Label: Shorter.
  • Back: SNS-USA/CAN.
  • Instructions/Warnings:: Has only two in each of English and Spanish.
  • Has 27 stamped in black next to "Important"
  • Has an additional patent listed.

N64 Cartridge - Super Mario 64

One is labelled NUS-NSME-USA while the other is labelled NUS-NSME-USA-1. They have identical backs.

NUS-NSME-USA

  • No 'seal' on the label

NUS-NSME-USA-1

  • Has a "Players Choice Million Seller" seal on the label.

I still wonder if there is any change to the software itself. For example, I have seen walk-throughs and such that list tricks you can do using glitches, which I suspect may not be possible with a newer one.

Logic says that the ones with the -1 suffix are newer revisions of the game with bug-fixes or whatever, but I don't know for sure. Can anyone tell me what the difference is and which is the better one to keep?


These past two weeks, I played both games all the way through (to 100% completion) on the cartridges with the -1 suffixes, so I hope I made the right choice (and don't have to beat myself up for losing the save-games).

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+50

Nintendo has two forms of revision numbers that they use for their cartridge games. The first one is the "-n" identifier on the end of the serial number which means that something physical about the cartridge has changed. In 99% of the cases this is an update to the label.

Back in the mid-90's we saw a lot of "-1" games appear because common games that everyone wanted to buy were being distributed when the ESRB was being instituted. There are many games that have a standard version and a "-1" revision simply because the ESRB rating was slapped on the label.

Nintendo's own Player's Choice logo is another good example of many label updates that required a new revision number because of the addition of the Player's Choice badge.

What you are really interested in is the ROM version of the game that is on the memory chip on the PCB. For quality control Nintendo does mark their games with a ROM ID on the outside of the game. For any cartridge game with a label on the back (NES, SNES or N64) there is an impressed number on the sticker. For games with only a sticker on the front (GB, GBC, GBA) the number is impressed on the game label, with the exception of the DS and 3DS, which also have the revision stamped on the back.

This number represents the facility/manufacturing line that the cartridge was assembled on. If your cartridge has the first version of the original ROM you will only see the 2-digit facility number. However, if a new version of the ROM was released from the developer to manufacturing, then a letter was appended to the end of the facility code.

The first revision will be an "A", the second revision will be a "B", and so on. If you take a look at these identifiers you can determine which version of the ROM is on your cartridges. If both games have no revision code, or if they have the same revision code, choosing which game to keep is up to you.

The ROM version can be a bigger deal than the serial number variation, depending on the nature of the ROM change. Nintendo has been known to adjust the art in some of their games for no apparent reason. Choosing which revision is a matter of preference.

You may be wondering where to find out information about specific cartridge ROM variations. The best place to go for a detailed log of variations to game ROMs is The Cutting Room Floor. (Beware, this is a blackhole for retro-gamer nerds, such as myself!)

To be clear, this site DOES NOT distribute game ROM files but they have thoroughly documented differences between the software variations of many games, old and new, for Nintendo and many other systems.

The only unfortunate aspect of TCRF is that they do not claim which revision ID stamped on the game goes with which revision detailed on their site. Instead, they just say "Japanese Version 1" or "US Version 2" when outlining differences of ROM versions. You may have to read the details on specific revisions to determine which ones may exist on your cartridges but that's never a difficult process.

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    No-Intro and Redump are also good resources for game revision info. Also, for DS and 3DS, the number is on the back :P – Hiccup Mar 13 '17 at 19:14
  • Woah! Not sure who did this, but thanks for the bounty rep. You're awesome! – RLH Apr 12 '17 at 12:12
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There is not much difference, only that you name it and...

Another difference is the little slot or notch that holds the game into the SNES when it's powered on. The origional release has the slot, which is the older style of SNES carts. The re-release has this area notched to the bottom of the cart, the newer style of SNES carts.

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While you're probably correct in assuming the million seller one is the newer copy, but I don't believe Nintendo is in the habit of making new editions with bug fixes and the like (Sony on the other hand, has been known to update the onboard OS for their systems without telling anyone).

Furthermore, Nintendo cartridges are notorious for being practically indestructible, meaning there's going to be a minimal difference between the two of them (unless there are visual defects you haven't told us about). I think you're best bet is to keep the newer one (cause the internal battery will die out 20 years from now instead of 19 years from now), but I do believe the difference between them will be minimal at best.

  • So then the ones with the -1 suffix are indeed newer? – Synetech Nov 23 '10 at 21:44
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This is a dated thread, but I hope this to be enlightening:

The version stamped on the back of the cartridge (actually impressed into the back) can actually contain bearing on the game content itself, as later versions can contain bug fixes. The below site highlights (with pictures!) an example of such differences for the Zelda: Ocarina of Time cartridges. I highly recommend reading this and keeping this in mind if you prefer one over the other. In this particular Zelda game, there were many changes implemented in later revisions such as texture and audio changes. "Speedrunners," who compete to complete a game within the shortest time possible, often use native hardware and seek out particular cartridge ROM versions which contain bugs which they can exploit to save time. Later revisions do not contain the same bugs, so they are not as desirable, but to the average user these differences are negligible.

http://zeldaspeedruns.com/oot/generalknowledge/version-differences

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    This is interesting, but which one was the newer one in this case, though? – Vemonus Apr 5 '17 at 3:02

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