Now for a piece of American NES history as the Game Action Replay newer was available in Europe, even though the accessory brand "QJ", also
known as QuickJoy, has been spotted in several European countries. The Game Action Replay was manufactured and distributed by STD Entertainment (USA).
The box says copyright 1991 by STD, meaning it's one of their early products.
What this bad boy does is that it allows the user to save in almost any game and at any point in the game they wish to save, a pretty nifty
device I must say. But unfortunately everything isn't find and dandy with the Game Action Replay. Why you ask? well something as simple
as it doesn't fit inside a NES console unless you rip the damn thing apart and remove a metal bar inside the NES deck as well as remove the lid that
protect the cartridge slot from dust when the NES is not in use. This was a major design flaw that could have been avoided by placing the cartridge
slot further back on the Game Action Replay.
But as if that wasn't bad enough, it was later discovered that the program used to run the Game Action Replaywas stored in some sort of RAM, I'm no
techie here, which was powered by a battery included in the cartridge. Once this battery run dry the Game Action Replay wouldn't be much more than a
useless piece of plastic.
Fortunately Kevin Horton of CopyNES fame came to the rescue and created a program to upload new firmware to the Game Action Replay once the battery
has been exchanged with a new one.
To save a game the user had to press the Select and A button simultaneously and the screen would then flash for a second, indicating that the save
was successful and then Select and B simultaneously to retrieve a saved game. The Game Action Replay is capable of storing five
save for one game only. The saves are of course also stored after the NES console has been switched off. If you press Select, A and B
simultaneously you'll se the menu shown a bit further down on this page.
I havn't messed a whole lot with the Game Action Replay myself as I havn't been tempted to rip apart a NES console to even make it fit, not that I
think it'll work with a European NES console anyway. But the gadget has a few features which I'll try to explain here.
Built-in is a slow motion feature which is said not to work very well, and why really? (cheaters!). The options are Normal, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4 and 1/5.
Slow motion flash... Should help remove some of the slow motion flicker problems but supposedly doesn't.
Function Key... Here you can toggle between the Start or Select key to be the one the Game Action Replay uses when you save or restore a saved game.
Game Type.. Supposedly most games work with setting A, but if the game you're playing doesn't then try picking another letter.
Save Screens... Here you can select any of the 5 save slots to save to.
Load Screens... Guessed it alreay? this one allows to load any of the 5 save slots.
Scan screens... This one is used to take a closer look at the save games made.
The Game Action Replay as definately a weird but cool piece of Nintendo history, i still wonder why they didn't make a product that would actually
fit inside the NES without modifying the NES Console.
As for STD Entertainment (USA), it turns out it was a Venture Capital company with Chinese investors, which probably could explain the
"Made in China" written on the box. STD manufactured a range of accessories for Sega and Nintendo systems during the 1990's. The company
was quite successful and managed to grow from $250.000 to 4 million in sales in just 18 months.
On September 5 1995, Recoton, a New York, U.S.A. corporation, aqquired the STD Group of companies, who I believe later became InterAct Accessories,
and the Performance brand used by InterAct.
The Game Action Replay has been rumored to having been developed by Bung Enterprises in Hong Kong, a former manufacturer of varioud game copying
devices for almost every Nintendo console, as well as Sega, PC-Engine and so on. I have not been able to verify the rumors but the rest of the STD
"family" was also based in Hong Kong, including their R&D team, and they could've had relations to Bung Enterprises.
Thanks again for reading one of my articles...