One thing I have noticed over the years of collecting video games is that for a lot of games, the prices vary quite a bit between NTSC, NTSC-J and Pal region games. For instance, a game that I have been after for quite some time but have yet to acquire, Conkers Bad Fur Day, has a surprisingly large price difference between regions. I have checked online and it is readily available on ebay from around $60.00 US, however if you were to buy a PAL region copy of the game it can cost anywhere from €120 to €150 for a loose cart alone. This difference in price inspired me to do some research into console modifications, or mods.

As a lot of consoles are region locked, mods to make them region free are quite popular. That being said, I have modified two consoles and it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. First I modded a Japanese Nintendo 64 so it could play both NTSC and NTSC-J games, then I modded a PAL Nintendo Nes so it can play games from all regions.

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Notice the subtle difference at the bottom of each cart, this was to prevent them from fitting in other region consoles.

The Nintendo 64 mod was easy enough to do, first I had to order a special screwdriver from Amazon which fits the N64 screws. With the console it is a case of cutting out two pieces of plastic which are located where the cartridge slots into the console. I used a Japanese console for this as they are much cheaper. If you are in a PAL region then you can use your normal power supply which is great. Once this is done, you can play both NTSC and NTSC-J games on your console.

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3.5 MM screwdriver which can be found on Amazon or eBay.

The NES mod is a bit more tricky as it requires you to snip one of the legs from a chip which is connected to the motherboard in the console. Once this is done however, you can play NES titles from all regions.

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An NTSC copy of The Legend of Zelda that I can now play on my PAL NES.

Although I found both mods to be easy enough, I had to do some research and watch some tutorials on YouTube first to show me how to do them. I must also warn you that if you do mod your console, you obviously run the risk of damaging it but if you are careful and successfully mod them, you can then play games from anywhere in the world.

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An NTSC copy of Super Smash Bros that I can now play on my Japanese N64.

I will leave some links to some videos from YouTube that I found quite helpful when modding my consoles and I hope they help you too. Be sure to do your research before you attempt any kind of mod as again, you run the risk of damaging your console. Alternatively you can get adapters for consoles but I am not a fan of these so that is why I tried the mods.

Nes Region Free Mod.

Nintendo 64 Region Free Mod

There are so many different types of mods than can be done on almost all consoles. These are just the two that I have tried out and found quite beneficial as I can now purchase and play games from anywhere in the world. This both gives me access to different region games that would not have been released in PAL form and also a chance to save money on some titles which are cheaper in NTSC form.

Thanks for reading, I hope your mods work out well and as always, good luck on your journey along the retro road.

Naoise.


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