Written by Paul Monopoli

So, riddle me this Batman. What happens when you take 1 Super Famicom,

& one Barcode Battler 2?

Well, the answer is: Not a hell of a lot. Add in the specially designed Barcode Battler Interface for the Super Famicom/Super Nintendo however,


& we’ve got ourselves this setup.

The idea behind this is really inventive. Take a game & determine the strength of the characters in play by scanning a barcode through the Barcode Battler. The Japanese may be wacky, but their innovation with electronics is arguably second to none. This is especially so when we’re talking about Nintendo systems, as many unique devices are made for them that other systems never see. The Famicom, Super Famicom & Gameboy all got their own versions of the Barcode Battler interface. If you’re interested in getting one, all 3 show up on Ebay & Yahoo Japan on a semi regular basis.

I already had the Barcode Battler interface & the unboxed Conveni Wars game, but I recently purchased both together in the single pack (as you can see in the 3rd picture above). I’m a collector, what can I say? Also it was 800yen (approx $8AU) which made me think it was worth it. So I have 2 interfaces, & 2 versions of the game. Let’s hook it up to the TV in the bedroom & see how we go.

So there’s the title screen. I’ll just go on record as saying I had to use my boxed version of the game, as the unboxed one didn’t work. I might have to give it a clean. Anyway, let’s get into the game & see what there is.

I had the Barcode Battler on already but the Interface wasn’t showing any lights. Is it meant to? Well I plugged in the second interface. Same deal. I turned the Barcode Battler off & on, then unplugged & replugged it in. Now the “ER” light comes on the Interface. I try the original interface. Same light now comes on. OK, so “ER” might mean ERror, but it might not.

OK, let’s scan something… Nothing. Let’s try something else… nothing. Now I’ll just point out here that I have no Barcode Battler cards, but the manual clearly shows that you can use any barcode.

As you can see in the lower left part of the manual, any barcode can be used from the cards or anything else. After a few tries I figure it’s time to do some cleaning. I’m assuming the interface is fine as 2 of them are showing the same thing, so we’ll check out the Barcode Battler itself. It’s time for some Methylated Spirits. I’ve seen this done before when cleaning EFTPOS systems at the supermarket back in my teens, so I figure this should be fine right?

You fold the piece of paper until it’s tight enough to touch the scanner, wet it with metho & then wipe.

The end result? Well it STILL doesn’t scan…

What does the manual say?

Ummm… I dunno… I ASSUME I’m doing everything correctly. The Barcode Battler turns on, but even when it’s not plugged into the Super Famicom it won’t scan barcodes… then again I don’t know when it’s supposed to be able to as both manuals are in Japanese…

We’ll end our little experiment here for now. I thought it would be interesting have a look at & was hoping to provide you with a little gameplay to have a look at, but the game won’t continue unless you’ve scanned barcodes for your character & presumably the opponents as well.

The Barcode Battler only cost me 100yen ($1) so I’m not exactly crying over it. If I get another one we’ll revisit this again, but for the time being it’s an interesting look at another peripheral that never reached the English speaking world.

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