Article and Photos by Paul Monopoli.

Here’s the rundown on the Sufami Turbo. It was released in 1996 by Bandai in a rare agreement with Nintendo. In an effort to cut the costs of cartridge manufacturing, Bandai created this little system to go on top of the Super Famicom & use smaller cartridges that Bandai themselves could make in house without using Nintendo’s own expensive process. This saved Bandai money which in turn ensured they could sell their games for a cheaper price. The Sufami Turbo is often compared to the Aladdin Desk Enhancer, which was a similar device created by Codemasters to be used on the NES. The difference is that the Sufami Turbo was an official device, while the Aladdin was unofficial.

 

Over the very short lifespan of the device only 13 games were released:

In order:

  • SD Ultra Battle: Ultraman Legend
  • SD Ultra Battle: Seven Legend
  • Poi Poi Ninja
  • SD Gundam Generations: part 1
  • SD Gundam Generations: part 2
  • Gegege No Kitarou
  • SD Gundam Generations: part 3
  • SD Gundam Generations: part 4
  • Gekisou Sentai Car Ranger
  • SD Gundam Generations: part 5
  • SD Gundam Generations: part 6
  • Sailor Moon Stars Panic 2
  • Crayon Shin Chan

These are displayed in the order of the numbers on the side of the boxes. According to the Japan Wikipedia this is not exactly the order the games were released in, but it’s close. This may the order they were manufactured in. The actual release dates are as follows:

June 28th 1996

  • Sufami Turbo hardware
  • SD Ultra Battle: Ultraman Legend
  • SD Ultra Battle: Seven Legend
  • Poi Poi Ninja

July 19th 1996

  • Gegege No Kitarou

July 26th 1996

  • SD Gundam Generations: part 1
  • SD Gundam Generations: part 2

August 23rd 1996

  • SD Gundam Generations: part 3
  • SD Gundam Generations: part 4
  • Gekisou Sentai Car Ranger

September 27th 1996

  • SD Gundam Generations: part 5
  • SD Gundam Generations: part 6
  • Sailor Moon Stars Panic 2
  • Crayon Shin Chan

Other games were planned for release. This pamphlet which came with the Sufami Turbo itself shows that Tetris 2 + Bombliss was planned for release, but it never saw the light of day: This is strange choice due to the fact that Tetris 2 + Bombliss was released for the Super Famicom in 1994, 2 years before the Sufami Turbo came out.

What makes this stranger is that Bandai didn’t make Tetris 1 + Bombliss. Was this supposed to be the start of 3rd party support for the Sufami Turbo? Were companies going to start releasing their back catalogues onto the Sufami Turbo? Who knows??

The Sufami Turbo could be purchased on its own or with a game. I’ve only seen 5 pack in games & own 2. The pack in games I’ve seen show up on Ebay & Japan Yahoo Auctions are:

  • Poi Poi Ninja
  • SD Gundam: Generations part 1
  • SD Ultra Battle: Ultraman Legend
  • Sailor Moon Stars Panic 2
  • Gegege No Kitarou

Here are the Poi Poi Ninja pack in & the SD Gundam Generations part 1 pack in:

Notice the number codes on the side of the packaging are the same as the games themselves with an “S” next to it.

 

So, 13 games & the ability to link them up. Sounds great right? Sailor Moon can take on Ultraman, an SD Gundam can be ported into Poi Poi Ninja right? Well, this was believed to be the case for a long time & the WIkipedia entry even stated this was the case. Ahh Wikipedia… it kinda proves that having an online encyclopaedia that anyone can modify really is a bad idea. I rewrote the Wikipedia article when I started collecting the system & games & at the time of writing this it’s correct.

The only games that could be linked are:

Poi Poi Ninja – Poi Poi Ninja

This link up only allowed the linking of save data. So you & a friend could play with your individual cartridges in the same game.

SD Gundam – any of the other 5 SD Gundam games:

& the 2 SD Ultraman/Ultraseven games:

With the Gundam & Ultraman games the cartridge in slot A would be the main game cartridge you play on while the cartridge in slot B would contain the additional data used by the game in slot A.

Sufami Turbo games came with a very clear image in the lower left corner of the box which shows whether or not a game is linkable:

Have a look in the lower left corner of SD Ultraman. 2 cartridges are displayed meaning it has the ability to link up with another game. That other game of course being SD Ultraseven.

Ge Ge Ge No Kitarou on the other hand has only one cartridge displayed in the lower left corner meaning that a linkup with another game is not possible.

Discuss in the forums.

(NOTE: Paul is the original author of this article, and has granted me permission to use the photos and text for this article, and I didn’t procure this article from SNEScentral.com)

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