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Interesting news regarding the Made In Japan/Made In Mexico SNES games

Dec 6, 2018 at 10:54:14 PM
austin532 (82)
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So after looking at the inside of a Made In Japan version of DKC 2 and a Made In Mexico version, it looks like the Japan version is first print despite what we thought. We thought that "all" SNES games released after June 95 were Made In Mexico first and then the second prints were back to being Made In Japan. For some reason DKC 2 does not fall into that catagory. Maybe because it was a bigger budget game?


Made In Japan version

Made In Mexico version

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Dec 7, 2018 at 1:20:12 AM
scaryice (113)
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I have a made in Mexico cart, and yet it says 9548 for that one big chip. It's a copy from Blockbuster Video.

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Dec 7, 2018 at 1:29:49 AM
Ichinisan (29)
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I figured there wasn't enough production capacity in Mexico at first and they still had to use Japanese production for a portion of these big titles at launch. They'd just have to pay higher import fees than the made-in-Mexico carts (after NAFTA).

Dec 7, 2018 at 2:43:09 AM
austin532 (82)
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Originally posted by: scaryice

I have a made in Mexico cart, and yet it says 9548 for that one big chip. It's a copy from Blockbuster Video.
Is it the Not For Resale cart?
 

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Dec 7, 2018 at 6:59:43 AM
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Sign Collector Guy (7)
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I would surmise none of the boards chips were ever made in Mexico. But sent there for assembly.

Dec 7, 2018 at 7:36:12 AM
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jonebone (545)
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I always thought Made in Japan was the first print? I can trace back to a 2012 thread when we discussed it at length.  I've only casually paid attention though.

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Edited: 12/07/2018 at 07:37 AM by jonebone

Dec 7, 2018 at 10:17:10 AM
arch_8ngel (68)
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Originally posted by: Sign Collector Guy

I would surmise none of the boards chips were ever made in Mexico. But sent there for assembly.
I agree... I think it is pretty unlikely that a chip manufacturing facility existed in Mexico in the 90's.

Board assembly on the other hand is way easier and cheaper to tool up and only involves slightly specialized labor.

 

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Dec 7, 2018 at 3:17:19 PM
austin532 (82)
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Originally posted by: jonebone

I always thought Made in Japan was the first print? I can trace back to a 2012 thread when we discussed it at length.  I've only casually paid attention though.

http://nintendoage.com/forum/messageview.cfm?catid=5&thr...
According to Bronty all first print games pre June 95 are Made In Japan and all games post June 95 are Made In Mexico up until mid 97 where games games were Made In Japan again. We now know this is not the case...

 

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Dec 7, 2018 at 5:14:29 PM
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Bronty (65)
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Nice to see people continuing to research.

I don't have any comment at this time as I haven't looked at this in years. Nice work Mike.

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Dec 7, 2018 at 5:20:30 PM
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jonebone (545)
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Originally posted by: austin532

Originally posted by: jonebone

I always thought Made in Japan was the first print? I can trace back to a 2012 thread when we discussed it at length.  I've only casually paid attention though.

http://nintendoage.com/forum/messageview.cfm?catid=5&threadi...
According to Bronty all first print games pre June 95 are Made In Japan and all games post June 95 are Made In Mexico up until mid 97 where games games were Made In Japan again. We now know this is not the case...

 





Can you not be so cryptic and state exactly what date information you see for those of us who dont collect loose carts?

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Dec 7, 2018 at 5:46:34 PM
austin532 (82)
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What do you mean? The dates on the chips? So 9545 means 1995 week 45 (Nov. 6 - Nov. 12) Seeing how the chips were always made at least 3-4 weeks in advance and that DKC 2 was released November 20 1995, that seems about right. This particular one was not the first one off the assembly line but it was definitely first print.


Here is another Made In Mexico version. This one is a little more cryptic but I assume it means 9601. 1996 week 1 (Jan. 1 - Jan. 7) That's well past the release date of DKC 2 by the time it gets to the store sometime in late January.



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Edited: 12/07/2018 at 05:47 PM by austin532

Dec 8, 2018 at 1:08:33 AM
scaryice (113)
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Here's my Mexico copy of DKC2, which I bought used from Blockbuster in the 90s:



 

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Dec 8, 2018 at 2:26:29 AM
austin532 (82)
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Yeah...I don't get it. It's almost as if they made both around the same time. One batch Japan then a few weeks later was the Mexico batch, then back to Japan. That would also explain why the Japan version is much more common. To be fair though 9548 is after the release date and wouldn't arrive at stores until late December.

So unless we find a Mexico version with a very early date like 9544 then I still pointing towards Made In Japan being the first print.

Here is yet another Made In Japan version with a 9545 date. Starting to notice a pattern here as well. The first batch uses the 1J1M-20 boards.



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Edited: 12/08/2018 at 02:21 PM by austin532

Dec 8, 2018 at 6:31:29 PM
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I remember around the time DKC2 came out. There was a lot of promotion coming from Nintendo and I'm sure they were anticipating this to be a big selling title.

I was on a field trip in elementary school at a historic plantation where everyone was dressed up like pilgrims and they churning butter and making handmade wax candles and out of nowhere there's this outdoor Nintendo booth with DKC2 signs and systems set up for people to play. If course, my chaperone wouldn't let us play but some of my classmates told me about how they got a chance to play.

Anyhow, I'd bet for this particular title, the number of units they wanted to have ready on launch date was more than they'd be able to accomplish at one factory before launch so maybe they cranked them out at two factories at the same time

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Dec 8, 2018 at 9:21:40 PM
austin532 (82)
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That makes sense as to why the dates are off like that. Still doesn't explain why DKC 2 would be made in japan first when all SNES games were now being made in mexico. My guess is because it was a highly anticipated game as you say, they used better quality machines.

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Dec 10, 2018 at 4:05:34 PM
austin532 (82)
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Yet another MIJ with a much later date 9601. So from what I see the first batch was MIJ, the second batch was MIM, and the third batch went back to MIJ....wow. WTF Nintendo?

s-l1600

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Dec 14, 2018 at 7:27:24 PM
CZroe (28)
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I always knew this because I bought DKC2 on launch day and it had a plastic-coated label. I sold it in 1996 to get my N64 and bought another new copy in 1997 that had the paper label. I bought Killer Instinct at-launch too and it was the first 1st/2nd-party game I found where every North American copy was made in Mexico. While DKC2 was definitely available with and without the plastic-coated label, I bought all my games new at-launch and Killer Instinct was the first 1st/2nd-party title I ever saw without the plastic coated label.

Every SNES/GB new release from then on was done the same way. When the N64 and GBC arrived they also had labels without plastic coatings though Japan continued to have plastic coatings on their cartridge games. I continued to buy all my games new, at launch, and it wasn't until Fire Emblem on GBA that Nintendo finally switched back to plastic-coating labels in North America. Though there may have been another earlier release that I skipped, I was buying just about every 1st party GBA title at launch. Earlier GBA games with plastic-coated labels were mostly bootlegs (unbelievably common during the GBA's life) or later prints of earlier games.


Edited: 12/14/2018 at 07:33 PM by CZroe

Dec 14, 2018 at 9:42:01 PM
austin532 (82)
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By plastic coated label I assume you mean a more shiny glossy label? Was the DKC 2 you bought on launch day a MIJ or MIM?

What's weird is that Killer Instinct came out before DKC 2 and yet you are saying it was a MIM version?

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Dec 15, 2018 at 2:39:10 AM
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K.Thrower (120)
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Originally posted by: austin532

By plastic coated label I assume you mean a more shiny glossy label? Was the DKC 2 you bought on launch day a MIJ or MIM?

What's weird is that Killer Instinct came out before DKC 2 and yet you are saying it was a MIM version?
If he bought DKC2 at launch and sold it in 96 to buy a N64, he wouldn't have been able to open it as we can today.  Gamebit drivers weren't available outside of service centers until the early 2000s.

The fact that this was a expected to sell well is enough to mitigate Nintendo producing it in Japan and Mexico to meet sales demand as mentioned before.  It is very likely there was no "first" in this instance, but simultaneous production to stock up for the highly anticipated sequel to one of the best selling and acclaimed games Nintendo had released to date.  The -1 is interesting, but probably used as an identifier for the production plant rather than a software code changes as usual.  Someone would need to check and see if there is actually any revisions to the code to verify if that is the reason for the -1.

 

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Dec 15, 2018 at 3:11:20 AM
austin532 (82)
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You don't need to open the cart, it says right there on the label if it was MIJ or MIM. All gamebit drivers are basically just a female torx so anyone could open them.

While it's true that there is no true first print per se, I consider the MIJ versions with an early date to be first.

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Dec 15, 2018 at 10:45:58 AM
CZroe (28)
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Weird. For some reason I had a strong memory of DKC2 launching earlier, like that summer, and Killer Instinct launching that fall since I don't recall them being released so soon together. I was so sure DKC2 came first that I didn't even bother looking them up. I also don't recall any desire to play Killer Instinct on X-Band intruding on our quest to 102% complete DKC2, but now I think that's because Killer Instinct was not supported on X-Band yet at the time. Guess I was wrong about it being “every” game at-launch since KI.  

I realize now that I formed my impression that DKC2 was first entirely because the abnormal wear that caused me to take notice with KI did not show right away. When it did, I quickly noticed all the other games that had similar wear were after KI and so it only made sense to me when I assumed DKC2 was just before KI.

The lines were blurred for me a little more than most because my local Wal-Mart did not have Killer Instinct for more than a week after the launch date which, now that I think about it, explains why I "reserved" DKC2 at Toys R Us instead (much further away). We weren't about to go through that again with Wal-Mart. We'd already wasted multiple trips for KI, which was worse than it sounds since we had to arrange rides with friends' parents only to leave empty-handed.

That reminds me: We didn't have a car when KI launched but we did when DKC2 launched. That last summer I had to spend hours each day riding my bike to and from Blockbuster Video for the World Videogame Championships II so we definitely didn't have a car to drive up to TRU that summer. Guess we got our car only a week or two before DKC2 launched.

I was home schooled that year and recall convincing my mother to pick it up from TRU BEFORE classes, then having to do classes with the game taunting me in the other room. It was excruciating! Yeah, Definitely not Summer before KI. I should have realized DKC2 came after but I didn't put any more thought into it than "plastic-coated label at launch = older."

I wouldn't recall what code was on the label or box of my launch copy.  


Edited: 12/15/2018 at 10:55 AM by CZroe