Nintendo VS. System
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|Platform||Based on NES|
The Nintendo VS. System[a] is an arcade system developed and produced by Nintendo, first released in 1984. It is an arcade hardware that is based on that of the Nintendo Entertainment System, containing much of the console's chips and processors within. All games released for the system are ports of NES games, some being heavily altered to accommodate for the hardware. The system had a heavy focus on two-player cooperative play. The system was released in three different configurations - upright "VS. UniSystem" cabinets and sit-down "VS. DualSystem" cabinets. Games are on chips that can be plugged into the board, allowing for one side to have a different game than the other.
The VS. System was designed primarily as a kit to retrofit Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., Popeye, and Mario Bros. machines; as such, they require the same special monitor that these coin-ops use. These monitors use inverse voltage levels for their video signals as compared to most arcade monitors. Commercially available converters allow one to use any standard open frame monitor with the game.
Almost all the games on the VS. System run on identical hardware powered by a Ricoh 2A03 Central processing unit, the same found in the Nintendo Entertainment System but with the exception of special PPUs, or video chips designed for this circuit boards (RP2C04-0001, RP2C04-0002, RP2C04-0003, RP2C04-0004, RC2C03B, RC2C03C, RC2C05-01, RC2C05-03, RC2C05-04, and RP2C03B). Each chip contains a different palette that arrange the colors in different configurations chosen apparently at random. Most boards can be switched to a new game simply by swapping the program ROMs, though the appropriate PPU must also be used; if not, the game will appear with incorrect colors. Several of the later VS. games employ further measures of protection by using special PPUs which swap pairs of I/O registers or return special data from normally unimplemented regions of memory. Attempts to run these games in other VS. Systems will result in the game failing to even start.
Some dedicated VS. double cabinets were produced which look like two games butted together at an angle. A single motherboard powers both games on those models.
The VS. Table, a steel sit-down cabinet for the VS. DualSystem, allow play for up to four players simultaneously. This cabinet uses the same motherboard as the double cabinet.
Because the VS. System has the same CPU that is in the Nintendo Entertainment System, VS. System games can be ported to the NES with modifications to the console including extra memory banks and additional DIP switches.
Some games are different from their Famicom/NES versions. For example, VS. Super Mario Bros. is considerably more difficult than Super Mario Bros.; some of the levels were reused in Super Mario Bros. 2 for the Family Computer Disk System. The graphics are also different from their Famicom/NES counterparts; for example, VS. Duck Hunt has more details and animation sequences than its console counterpart.
The following is a list of all known Nintendo VS. System games, however, it is believed more exist in the form of prototypes, unreleased and released only for a short period of time for market testing. The launch titles for the hardware are Vs. Mahjong and Vs. Tennis in or about February 1984. All of the games for the VS. System were published by Nintendo, including those that were released by third party companies on the Nintendo Entertainment System.
- VS. Balloon Fight (Japan only: October 3, 1984)
- VS. Baseball (Japan: March 1984; North America: July 1984)
- VS. Clu Clu Land (Japan only: December 5, 1984)
- VS. Dr. Mario
- VS. Duck Hunt (North America: May 1985)
- VS. Excitebike (Japan: December 5, 1984; North America: February 1985)
- VS. Football (unreleased)
- VS. Gumshoe
- VS. Head to Head Baseball (unreleased)
- VS. Helifighter (unreleased)
- VS. Hogan's Alley (North America: May 1985)
- VS. Ice Climber (Japan: February 1, 1985; North America: March 1985)
- VS. Mach Rider (North America: November 1985)
- VS. Mahjong (Japan only: February 1984)
- VS. Motocross (unreleased)
- VS. Nintendo 500 (unreleased)
- VS. Pinball (Japan: July 26, 1984; North America: October 1984)
- VS. Slalom (Developed by Rare Ltd.)
- VS. Soccer (North America: November 1985)
- VS. Stroke and Match Golf (released in "Men's" and "Lady's" versions) (Japan: July 26, 1984/Both versions North America: October 1984/Men's version; December 1984/Lady's version)
- VS. Super Mario Bros.
- VS. Tennis (Japan: February 1984; North America: March 1984)
- VS. Urban Champion
- VS. Volleyball
- VS. Wrecking Crew (Japan only: July 26, 1984)
- VS. Atari R.B.I. Baseball (1987 and 1988 versions)
- VS. Battle City
- VS. Family Boxing
- VS. Family Tennis
- VS. Kung Fu Heroes
- VS. The Quest of Ki
- VS. Super Sky Kid
- VS. Star Luster
- VS. Super Chinese
- VS. Super Xevious: GAMP no Nazo
- VS. T.K.O. Boxing
- VS. Tower of Babel
- VS. Valkyrie no Bōken: Toki no Kagi Densetsu
- VS. Great Tennis (unreleased)
- VS. Ninja JaJaMaru-kun
- VS. Mighty Bomb Jack
- VS. Trojan
- VS. Blaster Master / Lionex (prototype)
- VS. Freedom Force
- VS. Platoon
- VS. Tōkaidō Gojūsan-tsugi (prototype)
- VS. The Wing of Madoola (prototype)
- VS. Tetris
- PlayChoice-10, another arcade series from Nintendo
- Nintendo Super System, arcade system based on the Super NES
- "Nintendo Vs. UniSystem/DualSystem Chipsets". www.pc-10.com. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
- "Nintendo Vs. Unisystem Nintendo Vs. Dualsystem Arcade Manuals, PPU, PCB info, daughter board info, Nintendo Vs. Instruction Cards, game info,". www.johnsarcade.com. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
- Assenat, Raphael. "Modding a NES to run Unisystem VS arcade games (1/14)". www.raphnet.net.
- McLaughlin, Rus (September 13, 2010). "IGN Presents: The History of Super Mario Bros". IGN. p. 3. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
- "other unMAMEd Arcade Games up to 1990". unmamed.mameworld.info.
- "Urban Champion - NintendoWiki". niwanetwork.org.
- "Flyer Fever - Golf / Pinball".
- "Flyer Fever - Vs. Wrecking Crew".
- "Flyer Fever - Vs. Balloon Fight".
- "Flyer Fever - Excite Bike / Clu Clu Land".
- "Flyer Fever - Ice Climber / Excite Bike".