Chrono Trigger Warning
June 28, 2017 2:22 PM   Subscribe

Rumor has it that if an NES Classic touches a mushroom, it grows into a regular-sized NES. If it touches a flower, it might transform into a SNES Classic Edition... or maybe shoot fireballs? Although untested, this method is probably more reliable than attempting to preorder an SNES Classic (which will include Star Fox 2, but not Chrono Trigger).

Full list of games: Contra III, Donkey Kong Country, EarthBound, Final Fantasy III, F-Zero, Kirby Super Star, Kirby’s Dream Course, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Mega Man X, Secret of Mana, Star Fox, Star Fox 2, Street Fighter II Turbo, Super Castlevania IV, Super Ghouls ’n Ghosts, Super Mario Kart, Super Mario RPG, Super Mario World, Super Metroid, Super Punch-Out!!, Yoshi’s Island.

NES Classic previously, on, MetaFilter.
posted by oulipian (51 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
I enjoyed this article, felt like it was worth sharing.

Feature: The Full Story Behind Star Fox 2, Nintendo's Most Famous Cancellation [Nintendo Life]
“"After a month back in the UK, we started back up pretty much immediately," he tells us. While most sequels tend to rigidly adhere to the format of their forerunner, Cuthbert reveals that there was a degree of uncertainty in those early months of planning, and no one really knew what kind of shape the final game would take. "It was all up in the air," he recalls. "Katsuya Eguchi was driving for a more iterative kind of space game based only very vaguely on an old Famicom title called Star Luster. While we were researching the overall loop of the game, we got to work on the Arwing's transforming abilities and I developed a 3D platforming prototype. Bear in mind, this is a long time before Super Mario 64 and Shigeru Miyamoto was very interested in this part of the game."”
posted by Fizz at 2:59 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


Then there's the other side of the Star Fox 2 story in which an unfinished version of the game leaked online which allowed fans to play it in SNES emulators. SNES Central has chronicled how the leak was patched and translated to make playing it possible.
The real blockbuster, which served as the pinnacle of the SNES emulation scene, in my opinion, was the release of the final beta of Star Fox 2 in August 2002 (well documented by d4s in this FAQ, who also had a big hand in the discovery of the ROM image). The first screenshots appeared on the now defunct website, sportkompaktwoche.de. The ROM itself needed several fixes (made by The Dumper) before it could play in emulators, though there were accusations that it was a fake before that happened. The unfixed ROM was leaked by "skyhawk" of the German fan translation site, Alemanic Translations. Apparently skyhawk claimed to have found this game on a prototype cart and dumped it himself, probably leading to the widespread belief this game was found off a prototype cart.

In reality, Star Fox 2 was leaked as a pure assembled binary from a former developer who wanted the game emulated, and the ROM was not in a proper SNES ROM format initially. There was no source code leaked, nor was there ever a prototype or production cart of it. Soon after the leak of Star Fox 2, emulator authors incorporated proper Super FX emulation, allowing the general community to play the game in all its glory.
posted by Servo5678 at 3:02 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


The 10 people able to buy one will enjoy selling them on eBay for 20x their MSRP.
posted by Sangermaine at 3:04 PM on June 28 [17 favorites]


Can you even get a Switch these days?
posted by Artw at 3:13 PM on June 28 [2 favorites]


I wonder how Star Fox 2 will differ from the versions we've seen released publically. A lot of patching effort went into it, naturally I wouldn't expect Nintendo to release that version. But will we see something that has been fully polished, or just the final build of the game from 1995 given the bare minimum to make it playable?
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 3:18 PM on June 28


Can you even get a Switch these days?

Mario Khajiit has wares, if you have coin.
posted by Fizz at 3:19 PM on June 28 [4 favorites]


Also notice the Mini Super Famicom will have a somewhat different list of games:

Contra III, Donkey Kong Country, EarthBound Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem, Final Fantasy III, F-Zero, Kirby Super Star, Kirby’s Dream Course Super Soccer, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Mega Man X, Secret of Mana, Star Fox, Star Fox 2, Street Fighter II Turbo Super Street Fighter II, Super Castlevania IV Legend of the Mystical Ninja, Super Ghouls ’n Ghosts, Super Mario Kart, Super Mario RPG, Super Mario World, Super Metroid, Super Punch-Out!! Panel de Pon (Tetris Attack), Yoshi’s Island

Some possible dealbreakers, depending on which version you want to scalp and use for capitalizing off of nostalgia.
posted by Johann Georg Faust at 3:20 PM on June 28


This looks terrific, I love the game list, and I expect to never own one. The resale market for this is going to be such a gong show.
posted by ZaphodB at 3:26 PM on June 28 [2 favorites]


Yeah, my girlfriend really wants one so she can play Donkey Kong, and I'm sure Nintendo will do everything in their power to make sure she and everyone else can get one. God forbid they'd hate to have that pesky "artificial scarcity" problem that embarrassed them so much with the NES Classic.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 3:32 PM on June 28


Can you even get a Switch these days?

So practically the day after I bitched about it on here, I chanced upon iStockNow which claimed that my local Target had just gotten 4. And they had. I waltzed in on Monday morning and they were right there in the case. And Zelda is wonderful.

I have more love for these SNES games than for the NES titles, but yeah, I don't expect to buy this. Best I can hope for is Virtual Console on Switch eventually, I guess.
posted by uncleozzy at 3:33 PM on June 28 [4 favorites]


Golf clap for that title, sir.
posted by Sebmojo at 3:37 PM on June 28 [10 favorites]


I will not buy this or even try to but I will gladly play the ROM of Star Fox 2 Final that somebody will eventually dump from one.
posted by destructive cactus at 3:40 PM on June 28 [4 favorites]


I have more love for these SNES games than for the NES titles, but yeah, I don't expect to buy this. Best I can hope for is Virtual Console on Switch eventually, I guess.

I've always heard the DS version of Chrono Trigger is the one to play, anyway. (Haven't gotten around to it yet, probably will eventually.)

I sure hope there's a decent Virtual Console for Switch before Disgaea 5 breaks my brain entirely.
posted by asperity at 3:45 PM on June 28


Omfg the presales being totally sold out mere *hours* after this console was announced make me so mad I. Can't. Even
posted by Faintdreams at 3:59 PM on June 28 [3 favorites]


My reaction on Twitter when the announcement dropped: "so what you're saying is I can buy a legit copy of Starfox 2 for only $80 and it comes with a SNES and a bunch of games for free?" I'm a huge Starfox fan and 2 (at least, what I've played of the fan-patched beta) is a strong contender for my favorite game in the series. All of the allusions to it in Star Fox Zero felt to me like a heartfelt apology for not releasing/being unable to release the game, and I absolutely want the chance to pay Nintendo for the game. (And yeah, if I can't manage to get one for MSRP I'll be putting the dumped ROM on my Raspberry Pi instead.)

If Miyu and Fay get to canonically join the crew in the future I'll be ecstatic.
Krystal, meanwhile, deserves some independence. I don't feel the need to retcon her out of existence; my personal fanon is that in the Zero timeline she eludes capture and singlehandedly saves Sauria herself, going on to become the Star Fox universe's equivalent of Samus Aran.
posted by NMcCoy at 4:26 PM on June 28


I gave up trying to get one of those NES Classics. I ended up getting a real NES, a bunch of controllers, and an Everdrive for far less than the scalpers want for the mini. I imagine I would take the same approach before trying to get an SNES Classic.
posted by fimbulvetr at 4:37 PM on June 28 [2 favorites]


The Everdrive is great! I have a Turbo Everdrive for my PC Engine and just before news of this Mini SNES hit I had convinced myself to get one for my Super Nintendo. Now I EXTRA want to.
posted by destructive cactus at 4:44 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


so what you're saying is I can buy a legit copy of Starfox 2 for only $80 and it comes with a SNES and a bunch of games for free?" I'm a huge Starfox fan and 2 (at least, what I've played of the fan-patched beta) is a strong contender for my favorite game in the series. All of the allusions to it in Star Fox Zero felt to me like a heartfelt apology for not releasing/being unable to release the game, and I absolutely want the chance to pay Nintendo for the game. (And yeah, if I can't manage to get one for MSRP I'll be putting the dumped ROM on my Raspberry Pi instead.)

Yeah, I'd probably buy this for just a finished Starfox 2, if it were possible to, well, buy one
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:50 PM on June 28


I missed the NES classic. What's the story behind it? Nintendo didn't make enough and it sold out? Any reason why they did this and will it happen again?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 4:56 PM on June 28


They did it because they're Nintendo and that's what they do? It happens to every Nintendo product.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:58 PM on June 28 [5 favorites]


Besides Starfox, is there any reason to buy one of these instead of just getting a Raspberry Pi with Retropie? They're going to sell out instantly, the cables are only 5 feet long, and you won't be able to add games. An emulator can play any game in whatever kind of setup you like, and they're actually accessible. You can already buy SNES-like USB gaming controllers, and if you really want the retro look, you can buy a SNES case for your Raspberry Pi.

I want to get the legit, licensed thing, but not if they're going to be impossible to actually obtain.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 6:43 PM on June 28 [4 favorites]


Hopefully they planned ahead this time and are prepared to meet demand. The NES Classic was built on remaindered cellphone hardware they got for cheap and Nintendo couldn't make more if they wanted unless they redesigned the thing from the ground up.

The other advantage to getting the Famicon or Euro edition is the superior case design and the coloured buttons.

And shapes... is correct, other than Starfox 2 and a law-abiding desire to pay Nintendo the upteenth time for the same games, there are no other advantages to purchasing this instead of spinning up your own Retropie with a Pi3 and some usb knockoff controllers.
posted by thecjm at 6:50 PM on June 28 [5 favorites]


I have been so excited to not get a chance to ever buy this thing since it was announced. I mean, I was thrilled to never have any opportunity to buy an NES Mini, but my excitement for never, ever seeing one of these in the actual physical world within my very mortal life is completely through the roof.

Besides Starfox, is there any reason to buy one of these instead of just getting a Raspberry Pi with Retropie?

They're really cute, have charming GUIs, are official products and come in one easy ready-to-go package. So, no, not really, but.
posted by byanyothername at 6:50 PM on June 28 [4 favorites]


Yeah look Nintendo, I have spent a lot of time configuring the settings on my Retropie to be just how I like it as a direct result of never coming into contact with someone who's even seen an NES Classic, so this SNES one is just too late. And as if Nintendo's history of poor availability weren't enough, the fact that you can't get one that has both Super Castlevania IV and Ganbare Goemon/Mystical Ninja since they're each region exclusive is unacceptable.

If anything, to heck with the rest of that junk, I want a system that has only Castlevania and Ganbare Goemon games on it.
posted by elsilnora at 8:21 PM on June 28 [2 favorites]


You folks do know that the Famicom Mini is still available? And that it's hackable? So, there is a way to get a reasonably priced Nintendo system AND be able to mod something?
posted by FJT at 10:39 PM on June 28


Ooh, too late Nintendo, it was last month I hooked up my xbone controller to a Mac with a big HDMI telly and played through Mario, Zelda, Earthbound and a couple others.
What was awesome was I had mapped quicksave and quickload to the triggers (otherwise unused), made for a whole different gaming feel, much quicker.
posted by yoHighness at 12:41 AM on June 29 [2 favorites]


As a counterpoint - I've got an NES classic and a Switch, and feel halfway hopeful I can snag one of these. It's not completely impossible, I think! NowInStock.net and zoolert.com alerts are your friends for finding retail stock the instant it becomes available. And @Wario64, who is the #1 person you can trust to tweet as soon as any preorder goes live (if you're really serious, you'll receive push notifications whenever he tweets).
posted by naju at 12:47 AM on June 29 [2 favorites]


I think there's going to be plenty of these to go round. I heard that French retailers alone are getting 160,000 on day-one, which is double their entire allocation for the NES mini. It was fun to see people going mad for these as soon as they were available for pre-order. Amazon UK sold out their allocation in under an hour, other UK retailers had their sites go down and some started doing crazy things like charging a £50 deposit for a £70 device. But word is that there'll be several batches made available for pre-order and that there will be plenty of stock on launch day. Saying that, I have already snagged two pre-orders...

It's a shame that the scalpers will probably just cancel or return their pre-orders rather than getting stung.
posted by jiroczech at 1:31 AM on June 29


Still doesn't play carts. Likely another €15 board in a fancy case.
posted by lmfsilva at 1:38 AM on June 29


These will be great Xmas presents. Grandpa can play street fighter and mariokart against the grandkids, it will just work out of the box with no emulator configuration/integration to fuss around with, and they are reasonably cheap (with 2 controllers, yay!).
A retroPi can play anything for about the same money if you buy the kit on ebay. But I think the mainstream appeal of a boxed Nintendo product will be substantial for the non-gamer demographic.

Now if next year sees the mini-n64...
posted by bystander at 5:10 AM on June 29


Hahahahaha no. Retropie, baby.
posted by Ipsifendus at 5:12 AM on June 29 [1 favorite]


Fuck it, this will just finalize my will against ever buying one of these system bundles ever and just getting a emulator system/solution up and running that fits my needs.

It'll likely be cheaper and will certainly save me A) the trouble of finding a legit purchasable one, B) sending money to scalpers, or C) falling into the rabbit hole of retro game collecting/purchasing/maintaining of original hardware/carts and interfacing the same with modern tech.

Honestly, until this enforced scarcity combined with lack of protection for consumers against scalpers/resalers is explained to me* then Nintendo remains dead to me. But honestly they have been ever since Gamecube anyway so maybe I'm not their market in the first place, but my two daughters are going to be exposed to some sort of gaming in the next year or so and it could have been them doing it, I can't imagine a better tone than Nintendo but emulators and Steam it is I suppose.

Oh well.

*No, I do not accept "keeping the brand elite" nor "the Apple distribution model" nor "we just. can't. make. enough. to satisfy demand, we swear" as reasonable answers.
posted by RolandOfEld at 5:23 AM on June 29 [3 favorites]


*No, I do not accept "keeping the brand elite" nor "the Apple distribution model" nor "we just. can't. make. enough. to satisfy demand, we swear" as reasonable answers.

Apple's unprecedented demand for NAND flash memory, though...
posted by naju at 5:34 AM on June 29


  A retroPi can play anything for about the same money if you buy the kit on ebay

Yes, RetroPie is very good. Its system support is excellent, and the way it expands to support systems by the availability of images is pretty much magic. I found a couple of NES images on the web, dropped them into the right folder on the Raspberry Pi, restarted EmulationStation, and there was a NES option on the main screen.

It's still a bit of a kit of parts though. Different emulators have different system control keys, and reading the RetroPie wiki is essential for every system you run. I'd still recommend having a keyboard (if only one of those tiny cheap wireless — not BlueTooth — keypads) just for navigating around the backends of your emulators. If you're running a Raspberry Pi 3, it needs a CPU heatsink, as you'll likely want to avoid overheating and throttling with emulators running in tight CPU loops. And for all that's good in the world, use Etcher to write the system µSD card image: it just works, on all systems.
posted by scruss at 5:51 AM on June 29 [5 favorites]


It's still a bit of a kit of parts though.

The hardware parts are super-simple, but understanding how to load ROMs (zipped? unzipped?) and finding the things slowed me down. And I just haven't even started banging my head on using MAME yet.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:38 AM on June 29


I was actually able to buy a NES Classic for retail price ($60). I accomplished this by looking at the SKU online every morning for 3 straight months and then getting spectacularly lucky one day. I told my coworker, who was also trying to buy one, that they were in stock as I added one to cart and completed the transaction. In the 90 seconds it took her to do the same, they sold out.

Desirable consoles being sold out for a while after launch is nothing new, but I always thought they would eventually get it together and have more available. It surprised the hell out of me when Nintendo announced that they were discontinuing the Classic, considering how much demand there was. I guess I could always sell it and retire early. /s
posted by Autumnheart at 7:40 AM on June 29


I've read in a few places that RetroPie setups have some bad lag with controls. Has anyone experienced that?
posted by Sangermaine at 7:45 AM on June 29


And for all that's good in the world, use Etcher to write the system µSD card image

Oh my god thank you, I was looking for an alternative to Win32DiskImager, which I hate.

I've read in a few places that RetroPie setups have some bad lag with controls. Has anyone experienced that?

I couldn't tell you why this is my case, but just as a data point I haven't noticed any lag.
posted by elsilnora at 8:08 AM on June 29 [1 favorite]


I literally just wanna play Earthbound on my HDTV and speakers. What's the easiest way to do that?
posted by gucci mane at 10:16 AM on June 29


What's the easiest way to do that?

Invariably not through legitimate hardware purchases from Nintendo. I'd say an emulator and the mildest of vacations from puritan/capitalist ethics. The specific recommendations above sound good to this tech savvy person.
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:40 AM on June 29 [1 favorite]


I literally just wanna play Earthbound on my HDTV and speakers. What's the easiest way to do that?

Legally at this exact moment in time and assuming the SNES Classic is unobtainable? Buy a Nintendo Wii U and download the game from the eShop. This is not the cheap solution at MSRP $300 for the console and $10 for the game. It is not the cost-effective or future-proof solution. It will, however, get the job done.
posted by Servo5678 at 12:46 PM on June 29


Likely another €15 board in a fancy case.

That Allwinner SOC, a bit of RAM, and a flash chip does not cost Nintendo €15. I suspect that's closer to the fully assembled cost including the case and controller(s). First one's a doozy, though. Good injection molding dies aren't cheap.

As far as emulators go, just about any STB will do for anything up to the PSX. It's only when you get into PSX and GameCube that you need to start thinking about it very much. Hell, if you have a TV that runs Android TV, even fairly slow seeming models will work for 8 and 16 bit systems.

For my money, I'd get a Fire Stick, Fire TV, Mi Box, or Shield TV rather than a RPi. Not that there is anything wrong with a Pi, but I prefer things that are useful for many things. (I run all the emulators I care to run on a Shield TV, but it is $200, so not the best option if you don't care about 4k streaming and/or Gamestream/Geforce Now..I do use it to play PC games on my TV among many other things, so it was worth it to me)

Point is that you can easily install RetroArch or individual emulators on anything that runs Android, so a large fraction of the population needs to buy either no hardware at all or at worst whatever gaming controller you happen to like. To be 100% legit you would need original carts and a way to dump ROMs, though.
posted by wierdo at 1:45 PM on June 29 [1 favorite]


I should say that if Nintendo does end up producing enough that I can get one for MSRP, I'll probably buy a SNES Classic, despite a decent repro SNES controller being much cheaper. I much preferred the ascii pad back in the day, though. The shoulder buttons were much easier to use than the original controller was, so I'll be sad not to have it.

Original NES and SNES controllers are/were made for small hands, which I haven't had since the late 80s. :(
posted by wierdo at 1:51 PM on June 29


I almost dropped $80 last fall on a StarFox 2 replicant cartridge made from the leaked code but decided I had already spent enough money at the retro gaming convention. This one is a no-brainer for me if I can get it for MSRP. If I can't, I'll eventually pick up a SF2 cartridge made from the released product. But I'm not going through the trouble that everyone had to go through to get an NES Classic.
posted by dances with hamsters at 3:01 PM on June 29


I'm extremely impressed with the game selection - every game is exactly what I would've picked myself.
posted by Veritron at 9:16 PM on June 29


The US version of the SNES really was fugly.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 2:51 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]


  … RetroPie setups have some bad lag with controls. Has anyone experienced that?

Haven't experienced that at all. Then again, RetroPie is running on top of a general-purpose multitasking OS, so it can't achieve the cycle-perfect accuracy of a dedicated real-time processor. It's still very close, though.
posted by scruss at 5:11 AM on June 30


Polygon has a first look at the hardware.
posted by naju at 6:35 AM on June 30


There were about ten posts about pre-orders on hotukdeals (a UK based website where users post online/instore sales and deals). Pre-orders were completely closed within two hours of every post, sometimes within 20 minutes. The website I used to preorder closed its pre-orders in two hours -- I suspect that's because it was 8am when it was posted.
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 7:13 AM on June 30


Get on this switch inventory on Amazon quick...
posted by naju at 6:27 AM on July 7


I'm extremely impressed with the game selection - every game is exactly what I would've picked myself.

It's got 2 out of 3 of the games I spent the most time when I had the SNES (Mario Kart and FFVI).

And the third is SimCity. Which I love to bits on the SNES, since it's my first SimCity and arguably favorite "pick up and play" SimCity (tied with SC2K). Honestly, I think it would have been a good pick and a good representative of the small library of sim/strat games the SNES had: Utopia, SimAnt, SimEarth, Populous, Civilization, Theme Park, Aerobiz Supersonic, and all the other Koei games like Uncharted Waters, PTO, Three Kingdoms).
posted by FJT at 10:15 AM on July 10


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