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Genesis "yank the cart" tricks


retrorussell

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Hey all.

Have you ever heard of "yank the cart" tricks that are supposedly bad for your Genesis carts, but could produce some interesting effects on the gameplay?

This usually involved pulling out one cart while the power was on (a no-no) and then putting in another cart and pressing RESET.  When you played the new cart some useful effects may take place.

 

I had the okay TOMMY LASORDA BASEBALL and would yank either an ALTERED BEAST or STREETS OF RAGE I believe, and then put in TOMMY LASORDA BASEBALL and hit reset.  When I played the computer would only be able to pop the ball straight up.  If you serve up a meatball to the batter it might hang in the air for an exceptionally long time and then be counted as a walk.  Otherwise IIRC the catcher would get under it and catch it for an out.

 

There's some YouTube videos on this but I just wanted to throw out the topic and let you all divulge tricks you learned.

 

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Can't remember for sure if you are supposed to yank it (eh heh, the cartridge) right at the Sega logo or not but that's what I'm starting to see with some of these tricks. 

Some I just read:

Insert AFTER BURNER II and pull it out at the SEGA logo.  Now put in MERCS and hit Reset.  You can choose any level in Arcade or Original modes.  Also, if you hold A, B and C together when choosing your level you get invincibility too.

 

Insert ALTERED BEAST and pull it out at the SEGA logo.  Now put in RAMBO III and hit Reset.  Start a game.  You now have infinite lives.

 

Put in ALTERED BEAST and pull it out at the SEGA logo.  Now put in SPACE HARRIER II and hit Reset.  You will have 99 lives.

 

Put in ALTERED BEAST and pull it out at the SEGA logo.  Now put in STRIDER and hit Reset.  You will have infinite lives (counter won't drop below 9).

 

Put in ESWAT and pull it out at the SEGA logo.  Now put it back in and press Reset.  When the level 1 information screen appears hold Left and press A, B and C at the same time.  You can now select your starting level by pressing up or down.

 

Put in GOLDEN AXE and pull it out at the SEGA logo.  Now put in ALTERED BEAST and hit Reset.  You will have infinite lives.

 

Woah-- this one is different, it seems!  Pop in SPACE HARRIER II and hold A and C to go to the options menu.  NOW you yank the cart, and pop in ALEX KIDD IN THE ENCHANTED CASTLE and hit Reset.  You will have infinite lives.

 

Go to the options menu in SPACE HARRIER II again and pull the cart.  Pop in LAST BATTLE and hit Reset.  At the words "Legend Of The Final Hero" press A, B, C and Start together.  Press Up to select your level.

 

This time with SPACE HARRIER II, yank the cart at the title screen.  Now pop in MOONWALKER and hit Reset.  You will have invincibility.  

 

Pop in STREETS OF RAGE.  At the SEGA logo yank the cart and put it back in.  Hit Reset.  You will now have over 15 lives per continue (check the options menu-- the difficulty should read 6677; this confirms the trick worked).

 

Pop in STRIDER.  When the purple logo appears in the background yank the cart.  Pop in SPIDER MAN VS. THE KINGPIN and hit Reset.  Go to the options menu and it should have a bunch of exclamation marks to confirm the trick worked.  You will start with 60 web cartridges and when you run low pause, press A and then unpause to refill.  If you pause and press B and C together then unpause you will be invincible for a few seconds.  If you pause and press A, B and C together then unpause you will skip one level each time you do this.

 

Pop in any Genesis game.  At the title screen yank the cart and then pop in BATMAN: THE VIDEO GAME and hit Reset.  You'll have infinite lives.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 12/1/2022 at 4:20 PM, DarthDuke said:

Very interesting stuff! I'm not sure that I'd want to risk ruining my Genesis to try it though. Maybe with a bad looking, barely working one that I could find at a thrift store or something. 

I've tried tons of tricks that were generally labeled as "dangerous to the game/console" like these, but never had any problems afterwards.  I've never heard of other gamers having problems either.  I wonder if any Genesis emulators have a "yank the cart"/"swap the cart" function, like Stella for the Atari 2600 has a "frying" option.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I honestly see no way that pulling carts on a genesis even could do anything bad to the console itself. It’s a solid state machine so there isn't going to be like a corrupt write to hard drive or something. Only thing I could think of would maaaaaybe be if a game had a battery backed save that also needed power from the cartridge port for some part of the save function and you yanked the cartridge while doing a save then you may get a corrupt save file i that cartridge itself. Not sure if any genesis games even worked like this and doubt any did. Even then you should be able to pull the battery out for a bit and get things fixed, albeit, minus your save data.

 

People do this cart swap stuff a lot in certain speedrun categories for nes games. The technical term for what you do by manipulating ram using this technique is that it is a kind of ACE (arbitrary code execution) technique because you are basically “tricking” the genesis to have a memory value that it shouldn’t in a given situation. A much more complicated version of this kind of thing using means other than swapping carts to achieve it is used in speed running certain newer games, probably most notably the n64 Zelda games and Elder Scrolls Oblivion.

 

I haven’t messed around with this stuff much myself since short of just blind guessing it is kind of hard to find useful tricks without looking at ram values in an emulator while you play a game. The tricky thing is always creating a situation that will give you the memory value you want without just crapping the game out or making it unplayable from graphical glitches.

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On 12/11/2022 at 12:53 PM, fiddlepaddle said:

This thread has piqued my curiosity...

If yanking a cart and replacing with another is effectively using some ram locations modified by the yanked cartridge, then couldn't you get the same effect using the Game Genie?

I'm not certain.. I guess it would be worth trying.

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