As a kid, I've played a lot of NES. In my country, unlicensed games and famiclones were pretty frequent (boosted by the market reserve strategy to produce every component in-house), and games with generic names like Puzzle or F-15 Civil War got distributed bundled with those clones, and cartidges had labels like "Puzzle Game" or "JET game". However, there is this "Tank" unregistered game, that is neither Iron Tank nor Battle City and uses some sprites of both. The same word is printed on the cartidge label(that is minimalistic and with no artwork - below) and shows at the opening screen.

The gameplay was pretty simple:

  • 1 or 2 player(white and green tanks);
  • Defeat all tanks and stationary cannons through stages to achieve next stages;
  • About 50 levels with different level shapes;
  • Different kinds of enemy tanks(fast ones, all direction shot ones, upgrade ones);

default bundle cartidges on many of the famiclones

How can I find a game that is probably a bootleg and has such generic name that composes part of names of other registered NES games? Searching for "unlicensed" "tank" "pirate" "bootleg" show no relevant results, or results that are only related to other licensed games, and it's modifications.

See more:

  • What, exactly, is your question here? You found it. That's great. But...that's not a question. We generally don't reopen game identification questions once you figure out what they are, because there's no longer a question. – Frank Feb 14 at 23:17
  • To add stuff that is interesting to other find bootlegs like the "Other stuff" section of my answer. Could help others on their search. The other question was closed by totally different reasons. You seem to miss all the point at my answer, on helping others to identify their missing bootleg games. – nwildner Feb 14 at 23:22
  • The point is, a question has to stand on it's own, without an answer. As it stands, what you're asking is really hard to understand. If you're asking how to find this one specific game, that's generally a shopping rec, and off-topic. If you're detailing how you found this game, that's still not a question. What problem are you trying to solve here? – Frank Feb 14 at 23:24
  • 4
    IF you make this less specifically about the Tank game and more about how to find info about unlicensed games, this stands a better shot of not being close voted and disappearing. Your goals are laudable, I get you want to share the info you found during your search, just the approach could use work. – Ash Feb 14 at 23:27
  • 3
    OK. All Tank related stuff removed from the question itself. I hope this time i've lost searching for this game should help others :) – nwildner Feb 14 at 23:40
up vote 32 down vote accepted

Disclaimer: My first(closed) question about this subject was closed in May 2015 and there was none of the information below on the internet, meaning that maybe you will have to persevere and also give some time between your searches.

The main method I've used to find this game was, of course, affected by an immense luck: reading NES news and waiting for information about this unlicensed game to reach the internet. Searching for "unlicensed", "pirate" and "tank" got me nowhere in my hunt for this game. I would be happy by just finding some of the game screens and its music you know, to feel the nostalgia even if I didn't find the ROM.

I had almost given up on searching this game, but this "new wave" of unreleased Nintendo stuff we are facing today(Playstation Snes, Star Fox 2, Sim City for Nes) uncovered a Caltron 9 in 1 cartridge with unlicensed games that were never released, and it was on auction on Ebay.

As soon as I looked at the home screen and got the "Tank" at the list of games, I've searched for "Tank Caltron" on Google, that sent me to this video(as you can see, I'm the only one that commented on that footage). The only indexed game with Caltron publisher at NESGuide was the old 6 in 1 cartridge (that doesn't have Tank).

This also led me to another research based on this company alias (Youtube video description) and I could find that NTDEC was the most popular alias to this company in Brazil, hence the "NTDEC" at the opening. Searching for "NTDEC", "unlicensed" and "lists" I could find:

Things to pay attention for when searching for unlicensed games:

  • Game publishers have aliases. NTDEC for example, had 4 of them.
  • Sometimes, unlicensed games are called "bootlegs" but they aren't a modified version of an existing game but a mesh-up of sprites and sounds from other games.
  • Search for those "X in 1" cartridges that comes with clones(Famiclones in this case). They could be holding the game you are looking for, giving additional assets.
    • Also, try to search online for Famiclone bundles info if you owned one that has the cartridge you want. Mine unfortunately was a Milmar Top System(brazilian online store) bundled with F-15 Civil War on its package. None of the other bundle options of Top System had "Tank". The game I was looking for was part of another clone bundle that I couldn't remember, which a friend of mine owned but he sold me the cartridge only.
  • Keep tracking for words like "Nes Cartridge Ebay/auction/bid" at the news section of search engines.
  • Use online image search if you know the cartidge uses some weird case like the one on the question(instead of those pretty common yellow nes 60-pin unlicensed cartidges, or de default gray 72-pin nes cartidge for example). Maybe you can find someone selling the game or a blogpost about it where you can ask things.
  • Have the physical cartridge and put it to play (be carefull with old cartridges and old videogames being turned on). It may sound obvious but the cartridge I had with that game got lost during city change at my childhood, making this quest way more difficult.

Other interesting sources I found during my hunt:

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