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How did you blow your NES cartridge?

Alexander Sliwinski, @Sliwinski
October 28, 2006
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Gamers from the first Nintendo era know all about blowing that NES cartridge. There was something stupidly magical about blowing the cartridge and suddenly it all worked. For those too young, here's a quick breakdown: Before PlayStation and Super Nintendo -- there was the NES, which universally had an issue that you'd stick in a game and get a blank or messed-up screen. Then you'd proceed to take out the cartridge and using various blowing techniques get the thing to work again.

Beyond1nfinite has written about various techniques he recalls from the "old skool." We certainly recall "The Harmonica Blower," who would blow into the cartridge like it was a harmonica and get spittle on the insides. Another one that brought back memories was "The Banger," who wouldn't blow, but just bang the cartridge, although can't remember that ever working. The most frighting one on the list is "The Alcoholic." Did people really ever put alcohol on a Q-tip to clean their cartridge? That just sounds like crazy talk.

Anyway, the protocol around here was to blow and then follow it up by putting the cartridge almost all the way in. Then press down and make the cartridge pop in the rest of the way. Worked every time. Anybody remember other techniques?





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