Discussion about
ahmadimran

August 10th 2009 11:01 am

How many of us blew into our cartridges?

I'm sure I'm not the only one who did this.

Used to blow into the game cartridges when they wouldn't load. Just a quick blow phwwwoosh and then, magic! lol

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66 replies
AustinGarrod

you could say i gave all my games a good blow...
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XxSaNiOuTLaWxX

Hahaha... I LOVE IT!!! I just did it yesterday on my NES!!! Brings back sooo many memories... endless hours of classic gaming fun! Everyone blew into their cartridges, it was a ritual!!! LoL, I did even before I started the game... you know? Just in case =P
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coologuy1957

I played a ton of Atari 2600 before we got our NES and I don't recall blowing into the cartridges on that console. I remember adjusting the cartridges. I don't remember blowing into cartridges before or after the NES really....
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joenewman21

Imagine how easier our life would have been if we all knew about, and had access to a replacement 72 Pin connector.

I also used the Game Genie to avoid the blowing (sounds so wrong haha).

But honestly like I don't see what if anything blowing on a cartridge 4000 times would do to help improve the situation, but we still did it.
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TaZ2471

Guilty. But I want to know how we all knew to blow into it, at 8+ years old, without running to internet forums ;-). Add to that the cartridge thigh/butt-slapping, in-console nudging...ah the good old days...
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coologuy1957

thats what I'm saying! I don't know how we all knew, but we did... we did anything we could to play some more games...
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mooney

IMHO, we blew into the cartridges because that's what had worked so well with the earlier generation of cartridge consoles like the atari.

/me notices that half of the pacman intro screen is presently colored magenta / pulls cartridge, blows mightily into base, reinserts cartridge.

ah, that's better.
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coologuy1957

its amazing how people will all figure out a way to make something work at the same time even without anyone telling them... this NES trick is certainly one of those things....
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coologuy1957

they did release a top loading one.... eventually...

en.wikipedia.org­/wiki­/Nintendo­_Entertainment­_Syste...

This console is rare and I really want one!!! (and I want it to have its OWN page on this site)

also released a redesigned snes...

en.wikipedia.org­/wiki­/SNES­_2
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goombakid

I know they released on. I meant, instead of releasing the lunch box one first, they should've just released the top loading one first.

They do have consoles that play both NES and SNES games on the same console. All top loading. There are some that are NESOAC (NES On A Chip) and cannot play games properly (US version of SMB2). Connector wise, you won't be able to use your old skool NES controller or the Zapper.

Yeah, I'm in the market for one of those top loader NES consoles. I think one of the used game shops has one...might check them out.
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coologuy1957

Nintendo didn't know Americans would use the NES as a coaster!!! LOL - thats why they redesigned it in such a way were you can't place anything on it and why the SNES looks so odd too.

There are plenty of these available online if you got the dough:

cgi.ebay.com­/NES­-Nintendo­-Entertainment­-System­-TOP...

cgi.ebay.com­/Nintendo­-NES­-Top­-Loader­-6­-Games­-2­-Con...

cgi.ebay.com­/Nintendo­-NES­-Top­-Loader­-w­-accessories...
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goombakid

Why didn't they just release a top loading unit instead of this stupid lunch box of a console? A friend of mine had a Famicom and he never had to blow the cart to make it work.

But yes, everyone that I know who had an NES had to blow that freaking cart every time we had to play. Even with new games for some reason. We've also done the "wiggle", the wipedown, the cleaning cart, and also double carting, where you put the game in, press it down, and put another game above it. Seems to work 80% of the time, as opposed to the 50% blowing did.
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coologuy1957

This made using the Game Genie even more annoying! Two contacts to clean and blow on and having to shimmy that big two-piece getup to make it work! But you could moon jump in Super Mario Bros.! So it was all worth it...
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Bigbadbikernerd

Yep. Had to blow on them as well as push them in, the pull them out slightly before pushing them down...
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coologuy1957

I guess the real question is "who didn't blow into their cartridges?"
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dcam

I blew like a mad man into my cartridges.
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pkmnct

I used to blow into the cartridge... now i found that is you put the cartridge in and wiggle it around with the power on it seems to work.
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finalbroadcast

@ryanpmack But with all the "retro" consoles that allow you to play your games, there can't be too much incentive to try and repair one to working order, beyond collections. Even if one did fix it, I would advise using one of the cheapo modern consoles and keeping the NES pristine.
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ShortDude

I still blow into my cartridges it's magical. i still play my sega genesis and nintendo 64 and blowing the cartridge always worked.
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coologuy1957

Thanks for the info. I will definitely do this once my NES stops doing anything. However, for now I take great pride in the fact that I can still get games to play on the original system with nothing replaced. It may take a little longer, but it takes you back and there's great nostalgia in it...
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ryanpmack

There was a design problem with the 72-pin connector that cartridges went into that caused it to get loose over time and resulted in all of us blowing and slapping our games/systems to get them to work. The redesigned top-loading NES was made to fix this, but Nintendo didn't make many of them (the market was pretty saturated by then and the SNES had already been released)
en.wikipedia.org­/wiki­/Nintendo­_Entertainment­_Syste...

There are replacements for this part available online and installation is pretty easy: takes just 10 minutes and a phillips screwdriver. I've done it to my own NES and for a couple friends and family members.

If your NES power light only blinks red when you power it up and you have a hard time loading games, replacing this part is the most common solution.

I got my replacements from a great guy on eBay a few years ago, but just checked and he's no longer selling them. They are available on Amazon from the below affiliate link for only $12 (that's including shipping), there's some cheaper shipping options if you click into the "used & new" section https:­/­/www.amazon.com­/dp­/B000A3IA0Y

They're also available various other places online if you google for "72 pin NES connector"

Good illustrated replacement instructions can be found at www.jandar.net­/nes72pin/
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samhim

Wiggling the cartridge back and forth while it was inside the NES seemed to work better for me.
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stolenpotatoes

I used to do this and still do if often, as i still use my NES, and SNES quite often
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coologuy1957

Glad to see the NES is still kickin and people are still loving/blowing it!
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dunce002917

I did! I had the 2 tap and blow technique... Works like magic
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tremendoh

You better believe it!
My brother and I also used alcohol moistened Q-tips - WHY? LOL
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dane78

Blowing worked sometimes, but I had more problems getting the cartridge to stay down. Pushing it just far enough to scrape the top worked, but I ended up just jamming the black case above the cartridge. My blood pressure still rises thinking about that stupid flashing screen.
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coologuy1957

lol for real! f you yellow screen... and f u white screen too!! *grrrrr*
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coologuy1957

Thats what I do now mostly is just adjust it while the mechanism is pushed down - just move it from side to side and in and out until it works. Then, when it mostly boots up but theres some pixels off, I tap/slap it until its just right....
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coologuy1957

just like with my girlfriend....
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b00t

Honestly, I loved that trick. Sadly, by the time my NES was on its last legs, I had a new trick: adjusting the position of the cartridge. This worked on most consoles, and basically, depending on the result of the first try, I would adjust the position to get a solid-coloured screen (as opposed to the blinking). From there, I would try and nudge the cartridge until it started up. (left or right, further into the console, or eve further away from the contacts). This trick worked miracles to me, and has provided me with many a night of pwning people as Chin in Double Dragon 3.

Has anyone else tried this method?
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coologuy1957

Man - I would slap my NES on the butt ^^that guy would blow his ^^^that guy would throw'em around. this game stuff is starting to sound way too kinky... would be sexier except my Xbox 360 keeps giving me the "red light special"!!
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Fleui

I'd first tap them on the floor, but always ended up tap them real hard on the floor or the worst, throw them on the floor til it works, lol
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phathom

Every Nintendo owner gave their system/cartridge a blow job to get it working. Or use that scrubber thingie with the rubbing alcohol to clean the cart contacts.
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coologuy1957

eww classic consoles are so dirty....
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deinfinityx

Ha that was classic
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coologuy1957

lol
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pixelauth

Wow...yeah. I did it - though I haven't thought about it for a while. My NES died two years ago, so I haven't had the nostalgic thrill of doing that in quite some time. Yes, coolguy, we ALL did it. And it was wonderful. Wish blowing into a 360 would turn that redeye green...
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evantravers

Worked every time.
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rankinaaron

Used to blow into the cartridge, stick it in and then wiggle it from side to side, all the while pressing reset and/or the power button. It was like a sacred ritual...
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Griffin1

If that didn't work my mom would bust out the hair dryer and blow around on the inside of the NES through the cartridge door, which amazingly worked about half the time.
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skelleyton

I remember we would have to blow into the cartridges every time we tried to use the console to get it to work. At that point it became more of a ritual then something that actually needed to be done. We did actually have the cleaning kit for the NES cartridges and the console, and that seemed to work fairly well if the game refused to work. That console received quite a bit of abuse when trying to get an obstinate cartridge working :)
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Inmyforces

I used to play for hours on end, and the game would get super hot. We put the cartridge in a zip-lock bag and stuck it in the freezer. Stuck it back in the game after about 20 minutes, and got hours more play out of it.
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xerocint

It worked. Simple as that.
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MrChris

I was told that the blowing coated the contacts in a very fine spray of spit on the cartridge which helped make a better connection through conductivity.
I called shens but I'm not 100% opposed to the explanation.
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kris

I've heard this story as well, though when I heard it the explanation also mentioned that spit is corrosive and caused degradation of the cartridge.
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liz

probably, but it worked all the time! fogging the contacts works more
often than just blowing at it.

I prefer the penny between the cart and the support bar method.
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AlanMuir

And this led to cans of compressed air.
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reefinyateef

For some reason Mario 3 requires the most blowing for me ... Maybe cause it had more data than most cartridges?
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manbeard

As an 8 year old I did blow the cartridges, but I'm not sure why dust ever go into the cartridges to begin with.
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