Category Archives: Tutorials

Goodwill Video Game Buying Guide

For a long time Goodwill has been a good source for LEGOs and Video Games for me , but sometimes I’ve just broken even when reselling. To prevent others from losing money , I thought I’d make a guide.

(NOTE : This Guide is for older Systems , not Modern.

KNOWING WHICH GAMES ARE OF LITTLE VALUE:

Though there’s a few exceptions , most SPORTS Video Games for SEGA Genesis , NES , SNES , N64 , and others are basically worthless unless you intend on doing something like making a Video Game Reproduction with it.

 

Also Games that were EXTREMELY POPULAR , especially Pack-Ins (Games included with the System) are , though fun , virtually worthless. They were mass-produced , so many of them are out there.

 

Lastly , GAMES BASED ON TV SHOWS , GAME SHOWS , OR BOARD GAMES are usually useless. Though TV-Show Based Games can be worth some , most are not.

 

Now , let’s assess Games with Value. My local Goodwill charges a flat rate of $5 for Games , so these titles should bring in more money than that so you will profit.

 

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA  , especially Gold Cartridge Games , usually carry some value.

METAL GEAR : SOLID (GBC)  is a rare title , but it’s usually readily available for a high-ish price .

SEGA SATURN GAMES are generally worth lots of money. There are few that are worth less than $10.

 

I hope this guide helps you , GOD BLESS!

 

How to Build a LEGO Miles “Tails” Prower

Today I will show you how to construct a LEGO Miles “Tails” Prower. I’ve included pictures of all the pieces you need for each section.

tails online

First , we will start with the head. Here are the pieces required:

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First , take your yellow 2×2 and attach to two yellow slopes pieces:

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Now get your 2×2 white plate and attach one 1×1 with clip to the plate like so:

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Now take two 1×1 plates and attach a black stud to the bottom of each.

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Now place them on top of the plates with the clips:

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Now get the pieces pictures below:

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Stack on top of the other with the 1×1 white plate on the bottom and place it  between the eyes like this:

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Now turn it around and place a 1×1 Brick in the empty space. The result will look like this:

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Now add the yellow Brick with ears you built earlier:

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Now place a yellow stud on the bottom in the middle. This will allow the head to swivel :

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Next comes the body. Here are the required pieces :

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Now place a 1×2 yellow Brick under the 2×2 yellow plate:

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Now put two Bricks with a stud on the side in the front so they face the left and right :

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Now place a 1×3 piece on each stud like this pictured :

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Now place a plate with knob on the end of  each arm :.

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Next you will place a 1×2 plate with pole on the back of the body :

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Next place a 1×2 yellow plate under the body like this :

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Next are the tails. They are very simple. Place 2 plates with knobs on the plate with the pole. Place a 1×2 while plate on each knobbed plate , and place a tooth piece under each. I know it sounds terrifyingly hard , but here’s a pic of how simple it truly IS!:

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Now place the head on the body. Place it so that the yellow stud under the head is in the middle of the 2×2 on the top of the body :

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This last part is the easiest. Here are your pieces needed :

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Do I even need to describe this step?

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Put that together and attach it to the 1×2 with the clips like sooo:

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Now place a yellow 1×2 plate on top of the plate with clips :

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Now attach this to the front of the bottom of the body and your DONE!!! :

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YOU DID IT! I soo proud of you! Anyway , thanks for reading , and I hope you get the best results. GOD BLESS!!

How to Fix “Jittery” Atari Paddle Controllers

Atari’s 2600 Joystick is likely the most popular Controller for the system ; it’s simple , iconic , and it gets the job done.  While it may be the most popular , some Games require you to use another type of Controller : the Paddle.

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The Paddle is basically a paddle-shaped Controller with a knob on top and a red button on the side. It is required to play Games such as Breakout , Super Breakout , Street Racer , and many other Games. Though an amazing Controller , the Paddle is prone to “jittering” ; the item the Paddle controls jittering or shaking onscreen while the knob is being turned. This makes it very hard to play some Games , as quick reaction time and precise Sprite movement are needed when you’re trying to hit that ball back against the multi-colored wall! This guide requires a lot of work , and it can prove  harder than it looks.

GUIDE

First thing you’ll wanna do is remove the two screws on the bottom of the Controller.

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Then , you will want to remove the knob. This can be done by pulling straight up on the knob ; no twisting , just pulling.

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Use an adjustable wrench or pliers to remove the nut under the knob.

Now , the part that senses the movement of the knob will be free.

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The next step is rather tricky.

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Those little metal flaps seen must be bent back. This can be done using a small flat-head screwdriver , a knife , or anything small enough to get under the flaps. Bend the flaps back to free the rest of the contraption.

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You will find this inside. Separate it from the other parts. Now you must clean it THOROUGHLY .

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Soak the bottom completely and clean the metal part and under the winged flaps. Be careful though not to be too strong with your cleaning so that you don’t break the metal. Be sure that you clean very well so that you don’t have to re-clean the Paddle.

Also clean the metal casing so that any goop will not get back on.

Next , clean the circular sensing part:

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This will take a lot of cleaning , just like with the other part. Continue to clean it with a alcohol-soaked Q-Tip until there is no gunk , then remove the alcohol (and remaining goop) with a dry Q-Tip.

Now , reassemble the contraption , keeping in mind that  first the black part goes into the casing , then the circular sensing part , then the metal part with the grooves on top.

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While it’s partly disassembled , make sure to test the controller.

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Now , place it back into the Paddle. Make sure that the part attaching the wires points towards the bottom of the Controller (Where the “Paddle” Sticker is on the other side) .

Make sure the button is on correctly and that the wire is coming out of the Controller through the hole.

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Make sure also that the two wires are away from each other , so that they do not connect , which could possibly cause some “jitters”.

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Now put the nut back , and make sure it’s nice and tight , because if it’s loose it will cause “jitters”.

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Now put the knob back on and you’re done!!

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I hope my guide helped you , GOD BLESS!

Tips to Get Your NES Running Again!

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NES. Known also as the Famicom (“Family Computer”) or just “Nintendo”  , the Nintendo Entertainment System still stands strong today as a functioning System , and there are also companies today making reproduction NES’s . But if you’re like me and using the original products , you may have encountered problems with them , some due to age , and some due to design. You may think your old NES is worthless because it won’t function , but there is almost no way that it CAN’T be returned to functioning order ; as an added bonus , most of the methods can be used with common household products or with cheap materials.

Problems include scrambled images , the NES turning on and off rapidly , and it not functioning. This occurs from dirt / dust on the 72-Pin connector (“Cartridge reader” for those who don’t know) or on the Cartridges , and the blinking is put into action by a chip (“10NES” lockout chip) designed to lock out pirated or unlicensed Games (Supposedly , cutting the fourth pin on this lockout chip will eliminate the blinking , but I’m not willing to risk). Lastly , the 72-Pin connector may be over-worn.

Those who grew up with the NES remember blowing the Cartridge to get the Games to work with the System. That will work temporarily , but not only will the problem return , but it blows the dust and/or dirt into the insides of the Cartridge.

You will not want to blow the contacts of the Cartridge , but instead clean it with a Q-Tip or a specially designed Cleaning Swab:

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It’s not required to resume function , but it is good to clean the insides if possible , but Cartridges often use special screws that can only be unscrewed with a special bit. These bits can be purchased online and are easy to find.

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Follow this guide for cleaning the Cartridge and repeat if needed. Now that the Cartridge has been taken care of , we must evaluate the 72-Pin connector.

Cleaning the dust or dirt from the 72-Pin connector CAN be done by putting rubbing alcohol on a Cartridge and putting it in the NES , but this is not really a good idea , as it is not designed to clean the System and whatever dirt on the Cartridge is possibly transferred to the Pins and vice-versa. I recommend getting a NES Cleaning Kit. I bought my NAKI NES Cleaning Kit at my favorite store for a buck , and it really helps out.

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This Cartridge is designed to clean the 72-Pin connector by the included solution (likely just rubbing alcohol) being applied to the “Contacts” and the Cartridge being inserted into the NES. Also , the solution can be applied to the swabs and , as shown above , can be used to clean the Cartridge contacts.

I hope my guides help you in getting your NES running! Thank you for reading , GOD BLESS!

Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis (GBA) Review

Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis was released in 2006 for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance System. The Game is a port of the hit 1991 Video Game for the SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis and also has an “Anniversary Mode” where Sonic can Spin-Dash , an ability originally not seen until Sonic the Hedgehog 2. The Game has been reviewed as a terrible port of the original by others , and today I will review the Game myself.

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I got my copy on eBay (won an Auction) for $8.18 . From the reviews I read , I expected it to be a Glitchy mess , something I might not have been able to beat. When I got it , I found that all the Reviews had one thing in common : they were all WRONG.

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(Sorry , my Camera doesn’t do well with screens)

When you first start the Game you get “Licensed by Nintendo” followed by the Classic “Say Guh!” that we all know ; something that you would never hear back in the 90’s. The user is then greeted with the above. Just like the original version , the Game goes into Demo if the Start Button isn’t pressed within a certain amount of time. Once Start is pressed , a Menu opens up allowing the player to choose Original Mode , where the original Classic is played , Anniversary Mode , where Sonic can Spin-Dash , and Options where the player can turn either the Sound Effects or BGM or both on or off . The Juke Box option is unlocked if the Game is beaten. Beating the Final Boss in Original Mode unlocks all the Sound Effects. Beating it in Anniversary Mode unlocks all the BGM (Back Ground Music).

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If a Zone is beaten in one Mode , it is unlocked saved in its own data , and unlocked and saved on the other , so you don’t have to beat the Game twice.

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The Game saves your progress automatically , but if you want to delete it , hold the Left and Right Trigger and press Start while on the Title screen and you will be given the option to delete it or not.

This Game was criticized for its jerky and sometime slowed down Gameplay , bad Music , the fact that the Game was zoomed in a little to accommodate the GBA , the idea that the Game can’t keep up with Sonic , making him unable to be seen , in which case he could get attacked by an unexpected enemy , and Glitches. All of these are untrue , except the slowdown and a few Glitches. Also the second (Music) is subjective so that doesn’t really count , and the third (Zoom-In) is not a problem. Here is my Review of those:

Jerky Gameplay:

It is claimed that this Game has jerky Gameplay. This is not true. There is a little bit of “bouncing” when going up a slope , but that is not jerky.

Slowed Down Gameplay:

There are slowdowns if too many things are happening at once. This also happened with the original Genesis version , but not as easily as with this. To make it just as good as the original , go to “Options” and turn off the BGM and SFX.

Bad Music:

This Game’s Music is a GBA remix of the SEGA Genesis original. The Music is very “GBA-y” and emulates the original Music. I could see how this would upset someone , but the Music is not bad at all.

Zoom In:

There is a bit of a Zoom-In to make up for the difference between a regular TV and the GBA’s screen. This makes a little bit of the top and a little bit of the bottom of the Game appear to be cut-off , but it’s only noticeable a few times throughout the Game . No problem at all.

Sonic speeding ahead of the screen? Not a chance , ever. I played the whole Game , Spin-Dashed , and matched (and sometimes even beat) my time records that I had on the original version with no screen being left behind.

Glitches:

In the Game there are very few “added” or “new” Glitches. The only real Glitch that I have found is that if you stand in between the Crusher and the floor in the Final Boss and the Crusher lifts , it will count as a crush and Sonic will lose a life. I’ve heard of other Glitches involving moving objects that can crush , but this is the only one I’ve encountered.

There are differences between this version and the original , like the Music , some of the Sounds and the Spin-Dash , but that’s part of the fun of it! There are very little “physical” changes made to the Game , and the Graphics are perfectly intact .

Honestly , this Game is a good port of the original ; though it’s not Arcade Perfect , it’s a lot like the original while being a fun remix. In my opinion , this Game is VERY underrated , and I gave it the Review it deserves. Thank you for reading , GOD BLESS!

SEGA Genesis AV Adapter Revised Review

I got my Genesis for $20 from a woman at my Church. The RF Unit was great , but
I was getting tired of it fading to static and looking fuzzy. To solve this , I
bought the AV Adapter . I must say , it gives PERFECT , SHARP Video and STUNNING
, CLEAR Audio. It’s much easier to plug in and use than the RF Unit , because I
had to set mine to Channel 4 since the Game was extra-fuzzy on Channel 3 (TV is
on that Channel , so there was interference) and you have to use the remote to
get to that Channel (it won’t let you do it from the TV , which I would like to
do when I go to turn on the Genesis). With this I could just change it to the AV
Channel and turn on the Genesis.

By now you’re probably wondering what
the problem is with this product. Well , here it is. When you use the AV Adapter
on a Model 2 Genesis (Can’t speak for anything else , as I don’t own a Model 3 ,
Nomad , or 32X) and you play ANY Sonic Game (excluding Spinball and Mean Bean
Machine ; there are no Rings in the latter) you have a big problem with the
Rings Sounds and BGM. When you get one Ring : nice , great sounding , “GLING”.
Next time , very faint , almost impossible to hear when running through multiple
Rings , “gling” , just like with the Emulated Compilations made for Modern
Systems. Also most of the Music in STH3 and S&K sounds off. Very , VERY
annoying . I also found that the Sub-Boss Music was missing the main part of the
BGM in Sonic 3 and Knuckles! Plus the Final Boss BGM in Sonic 2 was “Drowned
out” by the Death EGG Robot stomping. That pushed me off the edge , to the point
that I wanted to return the Product. But , before I did that , I did some
experimenting . I put the red wire in the white hole and that fixed the STH2
Final Boss Music and the S3K Sub-Boss Music , but then the Doomsday Zone Boss
was missing part of the BGM. So that meant I had to switch the cables around
when a different BGM plays. Very troublesome.

After a few days using this
, I switched back to the RF Unit. I plugged it in a fidgeted with it and got the
Picture quality looking much better. This cable has way too many Sound problems
, and no amount of crystal clear Picture can make up for that. The idea is good
, but it doesn’t work. If I try again , I will get the one made by Retro-Bit ,
as they seem more quality. This is what mine was like , and it MAY just be this
cable , but I’m not sure. If you can think of a way to fix any of these problems
, please tell me in the comment section below. GOD BLESS!

How to Fix a Mulfunction SEGA Genesis Remote

If the buttons or D-Pad on your SEGA Genesis remote is either:

A. Have to be pressed down hard in order to work

B. Has a slow reaction time

or C. Don’t work at all

then you need to follow this simple guide (Click the picture to view the video) :

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This will fix any problems with non-working buttons/D-Pad as well as eliminate reaction time between the button being pressed and the sprite moving. GOD BLESS!

LEGO Star Wars BrickMaster Review

I was at GoodWill the other day and while the employees were stocking the book shelves , I noticed something on their cart. It was the Atlantis and Castle LEGO BrickMaster books! After I scooped them up and began to take off someone handed me a LEGO Star Wars BrickMaster book as well! The original price was $30 each , but we only paid $2.50 each. Now to the review! It took me a while , but I built all of the models.

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Here are the first models :  AAT(Armored Assault Tank) Battle Tank and Nu-Class Attack Shuttle.

The both look nice , especially the AAT . The AAT’s secondary laser canons move up and down/360 degrees. The turret swivels and the primary laser canon moves up and down. The NCAS’s wings , cockpit , secondary and primary laser canons move.  A problem is that the 2 transparent Bricks that make the display stand aren’t enough to leave it in “fly” position. Neither of the models hold Minifigs  , sadly.

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The second models ; LAAT/R (Low Altitude Assault Transport / Reconnaissance) and STAS (Single Trooper AirSpeeder)

Both are great models ; lots of articulation and weapons. The LAAT/R definitely looks the best . It has blasters (wings)  , canons (below swivel) , and a primary canon (swivel).  The STAS is smaller , and less exciting , as it has no moving parts except the tiny laser under the ship. It still looks really neat though. These two models hold Figures  , which makes them much better.

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The third models , S-Wing and Mobile Missile Platform.

The S-Wing looks very cool with its six (6) separate blasters , hinged wings , and sleek design. The MMP looks great too. It has a giant laser canon , and a ground vibration censor (blaster-looking thing in the front). Not as sleek a design , but still great.

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Now , the last (and my favorite) models , the AT-RT (All-Terrain Reconnaissance Transport) , and VTS (Varied Terrain Speeder).

I have always loved the walkers in Star Wars and though this is a Prequel/Clone Wars walker , it is still the best of the models. It has a moving antenna , the legs move at two joints each (foot and legs) , it has a Clone Trooper blaster holder in the back , controls , and a blaster canon. It stands up well , which is very hard to do with LEGO (I’ve built a Minifig-scale AT-ST before , and balancing , even while standing on a baseplate , is a hard thing to make a LEGO model do).

The VTS is the best of the Droid ships. It has a large swiveling cannon , a nice design and the Droid fits nicely. While I was typing the review , I noticed something in the book’s picture of the finished model that wasn’t shown in the instructions: more blasters!

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I looked over the instructions over and over , and these are not present. If you wish to add these you must follow these instructions:

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Remove the Droid cockpit controls , both sets of Bricks on the side , and the 1×4’s with the dark grey 1×2’s on them from the front of the model. Then replace the light grey 1×4 with the structure pictured. Then just put all the pieces back in their place , and you’re done.

Now for the review of the book itself!

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Information about the models ,  their real counterparts , tips , and little comics are given throughout the book. There is also great artwork on the pages  , and there is a nice compartment that holds the bag of Bricks you get . The bag is actually really good quality and is reuseable , the book is about the same quality as the LEGO Encyclopedia/Dictionary books . One huge problem I found was the instructions. The instructions aren’t well put together (kind of ironic) : you don’t get the list that shows you the pieces used in a given step , and the steps are very crowded (too many things being done in a single step). After you get through that , you have great models for your collection. Is it worth the $30 price tag? Actually , yes! Here’s how:

240 LEGO Bricks

X 10 cents (average price) per Brick = $24.00

+ 2 Minifigs

+ Hardcover book and instructions

=Totally worth it!

This is my review! Please comment , GOD BLESS!

LEGO Minifigure Keychain Removal

Today I have decided to dig up an old favorite from my first blog , 5000 Bricks. If you remember this one , you’re an old-timer!

LEGO Keychain Removal

Lego keychains are LEGO minifigures that have a keyring inserted in their head. They are just like regular minifigs (some even have double-sided heads!) but they have been adapted to keychains by the legs being glued , and the head being attached by the screw. These are cool as keychains , but they are also a good way to get rare minifigures (Anakin , Leia) for a low price ($5). There are many , many ways you can remove these , and because they are all online , they must be true! Well , not realy. I have only found 2 methods successful , one of which damaged the hair. The first method everyone has tried , force (strength , not THE force), does not work , unless the Hulk is your dad. I tried a collection of methods on Leia , and her hair got a bit damaged through the trials. No method of pulling or candle heat or a combination will work. Finally , my dad used a hammer to remove the loop attaching the minifigure to the keyring. That’s a red-neck dad for ya! And yes , that damaged the hair. Later , when removing Anakin’s keyring , my dad touched the tip of metal in Leia’s head with the soldering iron and removed it.

The only truly successful method was the famous soldering iron method. This is simple and removed the keychain without any modification to the to it. Here are some retro pictures that were used in the original post!

Failures:

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Paint over the metal:

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Leia’s broken screw and Anakin’s perfect one.

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Perfectly removed!!

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What’s the side effects? (NOTE: Scratches are from previous methods , not the soldering iron.)

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There is a video to the soldering iron method here . Thanks for viewing , GOD BLESS!!

How to Fix a Non-Working Sega Genesis Cartridge (Works with Any Cartridge)

Sega Genesis cartridges are made to last. They are big enough not to get lost , yet small enough to be manageable . Their strong shell and small amount of vulnerable parts makes them very hard to accidentally ruin. The only way to really destroy one is to soak it in water. But a common mistake is someone thinking a game doesn’t work when really it just needs to be cleaned!

Problem: Sega Genesis cartridge doesn’t work or only works sometimes.

Solution: Don’t worry. Your game is not ruined , it’s just dirty. Get a Q-Tip and about half a cap of rubbing alcohol . Did the Q-Tip into the alcohol and clean the exposed contacts lightly so you don’t break part of the Q-Tip break off on them. After that , get a paper towel and rub them again to remove any excess alcohol. Pull off any of the ripped Q-Tip that is stuck on the contacts , and leave the cartridge out for a while to assure that it is dry.

NOTE : Do not soak the contacts or cartridge , as it will result in the destruction of your cartridge.

Hope this helps , and remember it may take a few times before you get all the dust off. GOD BLESS!