Caltron 6 in 1

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Caltron 6 in 1
Caltron 6-in-1
Caltron 6 in 1 box art
Developer(s) Caltron / Mega Soft / NTDEC
Publisher(s)
  • NA Caltron
  • NA Myriad
BRA Dynacom
Platform(s) Nintendo Entertainment System
Release date(s) 1992
Genre(s) Various
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution Cartridge

Caltron 6 in 1 is a multicart published in 1992 for the Nintendo Entertainment System in North America,[1] released by Caltron, a Taiwan-based video game company which was either closely related to, or simply a pseudonym for, NTDEC.[2] In Australia, it was published under the title Real Players Pack by Home Entertainment Suppliers (HES).[3] This version is regarded by collectors as the rarest HES game. Dynacom released the cartridge as Multi Ação 6-in-1 for the Brazilian market.[4]

6 in 1, as its title suggests, consists of six different games of various genres. The games included, which are mostly clones of other popular video games of the era, are Cosmos Cop, Adam & Eve, Magic Carpet 1001, Balloon Monster, Porter and Bookyman.[2] These games were all previously released separately in Famicom format by NTDEC, often under the name Mega Soft.

The compilation has received poor reviews, with one reviewer claiming that all six games on the multicart are "uniformly awful [and] barely first-generation NES quality", even though they are more playable and are of "much higher quality" than other unlicensed video game compilations, specifically citing Active Enterprises' Action 52 as the comparative example.[2]

Games[edit]

The six games included on Caltron 6 in 1 are:

  • Cosmos Cop is a pseudo-3D into-the-screen shoot 'em up that is similar to Sega's Space Harrier. However, the game experiences a lot of image breakup on the screen due to the NES's limited capability of handling first-person scaling.[2]
  • Magic Carpet 1001 is a horizontal scrolling shooter that was later released on pirate cartridges as Aladdin III and with some graphical and sound modifications as Super Harry Potter. The game has been criticized for its steep difficulty curve.[2] It is the only game on the cartridge that is not a clone of another popular title.
  • Balloon Monster is a clone of Mitchell's Pang and the North American equivalent Buster Bros..[2]
  • Adam & Eve is a single-screen platform game similar to Nintendo's Balloon Fight (itself based on Williams' Joust) in which the player has to kill snakes by bursting the balloons attached to their heads. This game also received criticism in that the game — despite its title — had very little relevance to the biblical story of Adam and Eve.[2]
  • Porter is a puzzle game similar to Thinking Rabbit's Sokoban and Boxxle, where the player has to move boxes into specifically–marked places. This game is criticized for its awkward controls; boxes can only be moved while holding down the A button, and if the B button is accidentally pressed, the level automatically restarts without any warning to the player.[2]
  • Bookyman is a direct hack of Brush Roller, the clone of Alpha Denshi's Make Trax and Kural's arcade game Crush Roller, programmed by Hwang Shinwei in 1990. This game has been considered an inferior clone of their arcade counterparts.[2]

Myriad version[edit]

Myriad 6 in 1 cartridge

When Caltron Industries, Inc. was going out of business, Myriad Games, Inc., a company based in Kingwood, Texas, bought all of their existing inventory of cartridges. Myriad then took the carts and added a very generic (no graphic art) label. They were then packaged in custom boxes with a folded manual. Each Myriad cart and box were numbered individually.

Myriad's only change to Caltron's product was to replace the label with their own. In fact, the edges of the Caltron label are still visible, as the Myriad label is slightly too small to cover it. No programming changes were done, hence the game is exactly the same, including the title screen which still reads "Caltron". The six games on the cart are identical to Caltron's release.

Shortly after the release of 6 in 1, Myriad went out of business for unknown reasons. The game has become one of the rarest unlicensed games made for the NES. Collectors speculate that fewer than 100 copies of this game still exist, and even fewer are complete. The most valuable copies of the game are those with box, instructions and the cartridge with matching serial numbers. The game is worth up to $4,200 according to the NES Rarity Guide.[5] The lowest known serial number is 000003 and the highest is 000888. At least two sealed versions are known to exist.[6][7]

References[edit]