Modder transforms retro NES cartridge into fully-working console & it’s incredible

Rebecca Hills-Duty
NES cartridge Famiclone mod

A modder and YouTuber has managed to cram a whole NES console into an NES cartridge in a remarkable project.

Thanks to the magic of modern electronic technology, a single system on a chip or SoC can contain most of the circuitry needed to run original Nintendo NES or Famicom games. Modern unauthorized versions of the NES are compatible with the original NES games, and are often referred to as ‘Famiclones’.

A YouTube channel simply known as James Channel went on an odyssey to stuff the internals of a Famiclone into an NES cartridge. The modder is a retro game collector, and has a lot of expertise in the fields of electronics and engineering, though his approach can best be described as ‘janky’, his projects somehow still end up in working order.

James noticed that the required circuitry on one of his Famiclones was so small that it might be able to fit inside an original NES cartridge. But, just jamming the Famiclone circuit board into the cartridge was not enough for James. Instead, he wanted the cartridge to still function as a game, with a secondary function of also being a fully working NES clone console.

Using a set of tools that included a set of pliers, side cutters, and even an angle grinder, James stripped the Famiclone down to its bare essentials. Then he opened up a Mario Open game cartridge and installed the circuitry inside. Roughly cutting through the outer shell of the cartridge, he installed a cartridge slot in the front of the Mario Open cart.

Finally, using a homemade ribbon cable, James managed to hook the heavily modded cartridge into itself, so Mario Open was being played on the Famiclone console within the cartridge. Now, the NES is smaller than ever before, and it can even be used as a game, too.