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Famicom “copiers” don’t function like copiers for other gaming consoles. They do not dump cartridge games, but rather play mapper-trained games off FDS disks and also allow users to utilize copy and disk hacking software via the FDS drive. All Famicom copiers utilize a 9V DC, center negative polarity, AC adapter.

Cartridge games were converted by dumping them with custom hardware, disassembling the ROM, tracing through the code, and patching bankswitch functions to the work with the copier hardware.

Loading a Game Doctor Game

To operate a Game Doctor, first connect the Game Doctor into the Famicom’s cartridge slot. Next, connect the RAM Adapter to the top of Game Doctor, the RAM Adapter cable into the back of the FDS, and connect a power supply to the Game Doctor, Famicom, and FDS. When you turn on the Famicom you will see the normal FDS disk prompt. To “activate” the Game Doctor, you must insert a disk in a particular format which contains a hacked “ROM”, only then will you see something outside of the normal FDS loading screen. If the Game Doctor game you load is multiple disk-sided (game is over 64k), you will be prompted to insert the next side once a side has finished loading into the Game Doctor’s memory. This is the only user interface that you will see.

The video below shows what you’ll see on the TV as you load a Game Doctor formatted game with your Famicom Disk System and Game Doctor. The on-screen prompts tell you when to load the next disk side or if an error has occurred while loading a disk. Once all disk sides have been loaded, the game will start without showing the Nintendo Copyright screen. The game in this video is 2 full disks, sides A through D, and is called D.J. Boy, a title hack of Rollergames for the NES.

Game Doctor Format

Famicom copiers have only 2 components: 1) the BIOS which intercepts FDS data flow and reroutes it to Game Doctor memory and starts the game; and, 2) the hardware which is basically ONE multiple-state mapper which can play (C)NROM, U(N/O)ROM, GNROM and two custom “mappers”.

The only disks that aren’t compatible with other copier units are Front FarEast (FFE) format Magic Card disks. However, some Magic Card disks will work in Game Doctors because they’re in the basic Game Doctor format, while others won’t because they’re protected. Most hacked Game Doctor games won’t work in Magic Card copiers because the BIOS actively rejects them, displaying an error message, such as “CAN’T USE!!” The games that will work are usually SNROM hacks (a MMC1 configuration) because the games fit well into UOROM, a discrete mapper playable on any copier.

The table below outlines the game format that each copier is able to play.

NROM
1 Side
CNROM
1 Side
UNROM
2 Sides
GNROM
3 Sides
UOROM
4 Sides
Trained
Hacks
4M Mode
BANKSW
IRQ
Counter
CHR
BANKSW
Game Doctor 1M
   (1987)
O
O
O
O
X
X
X
X
X
Game Converter 1M
   (1987)
O
O
O
O
X
X
X
X
X
Super Game Doctor 2M
   (1988)
O
O
O
O
O
X
X
X
X
Super Game Doctor 2M EXP
   (1988)
O
O
O
O
O
O
X
O
X
Magic Card 2M
   (1988)
O
O
O
O
O/MC
MC
X
X
X
Super Game Doctor 4M
   (1989)
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
X
Magic Card 4M
   (1989)
O
O
O
O
O/MC
MC
MC
X
X
Turbo Game Doctor 4+
   (1989)
O
O
O
O
O
O/MC
O/MC
TGD
X
Turbo Game Doctor 6+
   (1990)
O
O
O
O
O
O/MC
O/MC
TGD
TGD6

Table Key:

O = Game Doctor Format Supported
MC = Magic Card Protected Format Only
X = Format Not Supported
TGD = Turbo Game Doctor Hacks Only
TGD6 = Turbo Game Doctor 6+ Hacks Only

Game Doctor / Copier Units

MagiCard II Turbo

The MagiCard II Turbo is a clone of the original Magic Card (2M), with an additional BIOS. It supports some Game Doctor hacks, but not discrete mappers.

MagiCard II Turbo - On FC

MagiCard II Turbo - On FC

MagiCard II Turbo - Front

MagiCard II Turbo - Front

MagiCard II Turbo - Back

MagiCard II Turbo - Back

MagiCard II Turbo - Bottom

MagiCard II Turbo - Bottom

MagiCard II Turbo - PCB Top

MagiCard II Turbo - PCB Top

MagiCard II Turbo - PCB Bottom

MagiCard II Turbo - PCB Bottom

MagiCard II Turbo - Loading Screen

MagiCard II Turbo - Loading Screen

Venus Game Converter

The 1/2M Venus Game Converter (produced by Venus Electronic Eng. Co.) is essentially a clone of the GD2M.

Game Converter - On FC

Game Converter - On FC

Venus Game Converter - Front

Game Converter - Front

Venus Game Converter - Back

Game Converter - Back

Venus Game Converter - Bottom

Game Converter - Bottom

Venus Game Converter - PCB Top

Game Converter - PCB Top

Venus Game Converter - PCB Bottom

Game Converter - PCB Bottom

Bung Game Doctor 1M

The Game Doctor 1M was produced by Bung Enterprises.

Bung GD1M - On FC

Bung GD1M - On FC

Bung GD1M - Front

Bung GD1M - Front

Bung GD1M - Back

Bung GD1M - Back

Bung GD1M - Bottom

Bung GD1M - Bottom

Bung GD1M - PCB Top

Bung GD1M - PCB Top

Bung GD1M - PCB Bottom

Bung GD1M - PCB Bottom

Bung Super Game Doctor 2M

The Super Game Doctor 2M was produced by Bung Enterprises.

Bung GD2M - On FC

Bung GD2M - On FC

Bung GD2M - Front

Bung GD2M - Front

Bung GD2M - Back

Bung GD2M - Back

Bung GD2M - Bottom

Bung GD2M - Bottom

Bung GD2M - PCB Top

Bung GD2M - PCB Top

Bung GD2M - PCB Bottom

Bung GD2M - PCB Bottom

Bung GD2M - PCB Side

Bung GD2M - PCB Side

Bung Super Game Doctor 4M

The Super Game Doctor 4M has two custom bankswitch modes: an enhanced CNROM mode which allows you to run up to 2M hacked games (16K banks), and a 4M mode which uses 8K banks. Games which use CHR-ROM must be hacked to use four 8K CHR RAM banks. The GD4M can play many hacked MMC1-like mapper games and a small number of hacked MMC3-like mapper games, but to overcome the lack of CHR RAM bankswitching, they must use the CPU to simulate bankswitching by shuffling around data. This causes many graphical glitches so the experience is nothing like playing the game on a real cartridge.

Bung GD4M - On FC

Bung GD4M - On FC

Bung GD4M - Front

Bung GD4M - Front

Bung GD4M - Back

Bung GD4M - Back

Bung GD4M - Bottom

Bung GD4M - Bottom

Bung GD4M - PCB Side

Bung GD4M - PCB Side

Bung GD4M - PCB Top

Bung GD4M - PCB Top

Bung GD4M - PCB Bottom

Bung GD4M - PCB Bottom

Venus Turbo Game Doctor 4+

Much like the GD4M, the Venus Turbo Game Doctor 4+ has two custom bankswitch modes: an enhanced CNROM mode which allows you to run up to 2M hacked games (16K banks), and a 4M mode which uses 8K banks. Games which use CHR-ROM must be hacked to use four 8K CHR RAM banks. The TGD4+ can play many hacked MMC1-like mapper games and a small number of hacked MMC3-like mapper games, but to overcome the lack of CHR RAM bankswitching, they must use the CPU to simulating bankswitching by shuffling around data. This causes many graphical glitches so the experience is nothing like playing the game on a real cartridge.

A Game Saver unit can be plugged into the rear of the copier for real time game saving. It requires boot software to load and save game data. Holding down the button on the top of the TGD4+ when powering on the Famicom will show the RAM Check Screen.

Venus TGD4+ - On FC

Venus TGD4+ - On FC

Venus TGD4+ - Front

Venus TGD4+ - Front

Venus TGD4+ - Back

Venus TGD4+ - Back

Venus TGD4+ - Bottom

Venus TGD4+ - Bottom

Venus TGD4+ - PCB Top

Venus TGD4+ - PCB Top

Venus TGD4+ - PCB Bottom

Venus TGD4+ - PCB Bottom

TGD4+ - Check Screen

TGD4+ - Check Screen

Venus Turbo Game Doctor 6+/M

The Turbo GD 6 can either have 2 or 4M of PRG RAM and 2M of dedicated CHR RAM. It also has all the previous modes of the older units, but the enlarged CHR RAM allows it to run more modern games which extensively use CHR ROM animation, granted all non-CNROM, UOROM, and GNROM games need to still be hacked. Games won’t have all the screen flashing glitches like on a GD4M, but hacked MMC3 games will still have glitches on split screen effects. A game hacked specifically for the TGD6 will not work on other copier units.

The TGD6 is significantly more advanced than a Game Doctor, which was made of discrete MSI, while the TGD6 is LSI+MSI. It was the first unit to emulate CHR ROM with DRAM. The functional improvements over TGD4/GD4M are 256K CHR DRAM and CHR bankswitching with 1k granularity.

A Game Saver unit can be plugged into the rear of the copier for real time game saving. It requires boot software to load and save game data. Holding down the button on the top of the TGD6 when powering on the Famicom will show the RAM Check Screen.

Venus TGD6M - On FC

Venus TGD6M - On FC

Venus TGD6M - Front

Venus TGD6M - Front

Venus TGD6M - Back

Venus TGD6M - Back

Venus TGD6M - Bottom

Venus TGD6M - Bottom

Venus TGD6M - Switches

Venus TGD6M - Switches

Venus TGD6M - PCB Top

Venus TGD6M - PCB Top

Venus TGD6M - PCB Bottom

Venus TGD6M - PCB Bottom

TGD6M - Check Screen

TGD6M - Check Screen

Venus TGD6+ - Front

Venus TGD6+ - Front

Venus TGD6+ - Box

Venus TGD6+ - Box

Bung Multi Game Doctor 1 – 4M/8M

Bung Enterprises/Makko Toys Co., Ltd. – Multi Game Doctor 1 (MGD1) was released in 1989, and includes a series of unique adapters that allow it to be able to backup games for FDS, SNES, Mega Drive, and PC Engine.

The MGD1 is available in 4M or 8M versions, uses 32x32k RAM chips, and has a Famicom cart slot (60 pin) so users can play backed up PCE/MD/SFC games off FDS disks. Bung later released a 3.5″ floppy which supports 1.44MB disks. There are two versions of the MGD1, the original black version and a newer silver/grey version.

The MGD1 is able to dump and write FDS disks, including Game Doctor disks, using MGD.exe or MGDLinker.exe (by ToToTEK) and a parallel port to DA15 cable.

Bung MGD1 4M - On FDS

Bung MGD1 4M - On FDS

Bung MGD1 4M - Front

Bung MGD1 4M - Front

Bung MGD1 4M - Back

Bung MGD1 4M - Back

Bung MGD1 8M - PCB Top

Bung MGD1 8M - PCB Top

Bung MGD1 8M - Side

Bung MGD1 8M - Side

Bung MGD1 - Box

Bung MGD1 - Box

Bung MGD1 - Ad

Bung MGD1 - Ad

Bung MGD1 - Ad

Bung MGD1 - Ad

Bung Game Master 6M and Master Link

The Game Master 6M and Master Link were produced by Bung Enterprises. The Game Master is unique because it has a built-in Game Doctor, but also has functions that allow you to perform save states with cart and FDS disk games in either the internal memory or onto FDS disks, play games in selectable incremental slow motion, and copy disks with a built-in copy program.

The Game Master features a menu accessible by pressing the Select, A, and B buttons at the same time. To create save states, the user presses the Select and A buttons at the same time, the screen briefly flashes and the save point is created in the Game Master’s memory. To load the saved save state from memory while still playing the game, press the Select and B buttons at the same time. The screen will briefly flash and the last save position will load. The game save states can also be managed through the Game Master’s menu.

The Master Link connects to the Game Master with a pass-through female-to-female DA15 cable, which allows save states to be copied onto FDS disks and the Game Master’s disk copying functions to be utilized while playing cartridge games.

The user manual for the Game Master is available in ZIP format, translated to English by Rob Budrick. Also available is a direct link to the PDF on Google Docs.

Game Master & Master Link

Game Master & Master Link

Game Master - Front

Game Master - Front

Game Master - Back

Game Master - Back

Game Master - Bottom

Game Master - Bottom

Game Master - PCB Top

Game Master - PCB Top

Game Master - PCB Bottom

Game Master - PCB Bottom

Master Link - Front

Master Link - Front

Master Link - Back

Master Link - Back

Master Link - Bottom

Master Link - Bottom

Master Link - PCB Top

Master Link - PCB Top

Master Link - PCB Bottom

Master Link - PCB Bottom

Game Master - Menu Screen

Game Master - Menu Screen

Venus Game Saver

The Venus Game Saver is a optional accessory device compatible with the TGD4+ and TGD6+/M that is able to load and save game data using boot software. This was a breakthrough that set it apart from the GD4M in that it allowed a user to perform a real time save. Apart from real time save, there is no way to backup save RAM to disk before powering off and losing your RPG game save.

Venus Game Saver - Front

Venus Game Saver - Front

Venus Game Saver - Bottom

Venus Game Saver - Bottom

Venus Game Saver - Box

Venus Game Saver - Box

Venus Game Saver - PCB Top

Venus Game Saver - PCB Top

Venus Game Saver - PCB Bottom

Venus Game Saver - PCB Bottom

Venus Game Saver - Boot Disk

Venus Game Saver - Boot Disk

Venus Game Saver - NTSC Boot Disk

Venus Game Saver - NTSC Boot Disk

Thanks to kyuusaku for copier information and assisting with editing this page.

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