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    Tri-Star/Super 8 Adapter FAQ by MKnibbs

    Version: 0.22 | Updated: 08/20/00 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

                            Tri-Star/Super 8 Adapter FAQ   (rev. 0.22 20-Aug-2000)
    The Tri-Star/Super 8 FAQ contains information about the Tri-Star (also known
    as Super 8) adapter for Super NES consoles. The Tri-Star allows 8-bit NES and
    Famicom games to be played on a SNES.
    This document is currently maintained by Mark Knibbs <mark_k@iname.com>. The
    previous maintainer was Zube <Zube@cs.colostate.edu>. Much of the layout and
    content of this document is due to him.
    The Tri-Star/Super 8 Adapter FAQ is Copyright  1997-2000 by Zube and Mark
    Knibbs. It is freely distributable, *provided that no changes are made*. If
    you want to e.g. convert the FAQ to HTML format to put on your web page, you
    must contact me first.
    Please send any comments, corrections, suggestions, additional information,
    or whatever to me at mark_k@iname.com or mark_k@letterbox.com.
    The latest version of this document should always be available from my web
    page at
    At the time of writing, this should redirect you to
    Revision History (starting from version 0.16)
    0.22  Added details for Players Choice and URL for Innovation, who both sell
           the Super 8 for US$59.99.
          Some recent Super 8s and/or Tri-Stars have no RF modulator.
          Some recent Super 8s and/or Tri-Stars work with the Super Game Boy.
          The SNES Game Genie works with the Tri-Star.
          Dropzone, Kick Off and Qix also have the half-brightness-graphics
          Dirty Harry has problems. (Thanks, Zube.)
          Quattro Sports shows the same problems on a real NES, so removed this
           from the NES games with known problems section.
          The Super Famicom game Fire Emblem shows a message about illegal
           copying of games, similar to Killer Instinct.
          Super Mario RPG does not work through the SNES slot at all.
          Added more information about the Nakitek GameSaver+.
    0.21  Added details of a "swap trick" that can be used to allow protected
           SNES games like Killer Instinct and Tetris Attack to work through the
          Mention that the Nakitek GameSaver+ is compatible with the Tri-Star.
          Added contact information for Multimedia 1.0.
          Removed story about Nintendo, Atari and NES adapter.
          Other minor changes.
    0.20  The "stripey graphics" problem with the Tri-Star (and top-loading NES)
           can be fixed! I have written instructions on how to do this.
          Added note about Famicom audio; the Tri-Star does not support audio
           hardware in Famicom carts out of the box, but can be modified to do
          Mention about building an adapter to connect NES controllers to the
           SNES; added "Is there any way to connect real NES controllers?"
          Mention that there are some scans of the Tri-Star box and inside the
           Tri-Star linked to on my web page.
          Mention about audio overmodulation problem with RF output of NTSC Tri-
          Added details about another manufacturing problem.
          Added note about new design SNES & Super Famicom consoles.
          Mention Dragon's Lair as another NES game that shows up with half-
           brightness graphics.
          Changed section order.
          Other minor changes.
    0.19  Added "Tips and tricks" section, giving information about the test
           menu, how to return to menu from a NES game without switching the SNES
           off then on, and a couple of other things.
          Mention that United Game also sell the Super 8.
          Added pointer to web page with links to scans of the Tri-Star and box.
          Mention about "stripey" NES picture.
          Reversed order of Revision History section, and edited it slightly.
          Minor edits elsewhere.
    0.18  Added information about problems with SNES "Secret of Evermore" and NES
           "Bram Stoker's Dracula".
          Changed style of headings.
          Other minor changes.
    0.17  Added information about the Super 8 from Zube, and changed document
          Various minor changes.
    What is a Tri-Star or Super 8?
    The Tri-Star is a light (cheaply constructed?) grey, squarish adapter that
    plugs into the SNES, sits mostly on top of it, and allows the playing of 8-bit
    NES and Famicom games on the SNES. It has an RF out and a SNES type multi-out
    connector providing A/V (composite video and audio) output. A lead goes from
    the Tri-Star to the SNES' multi-out port, and you then plug your SNES A/V lead
    and/or RF lead into the Tri-Star. When playing a SNES game, the Tri-Star
    passes through the SNES composite video picture.
    The Tri-Star casing was originally designed for use with the Super Famicom,
    which unlike the US SNES has a flat top surface. You may want to put a small
    book or similar under the Tri-Star if you're using it on a US SNES, or put
    some stick-on rubber feet on the underside of the unit. (The PAL SNES has a
    similar case to the Super Famicom, so there is no problem there.)
    (Note: I have not used a Tri-Star with a new design SNES or SFC Jr., so I
    cannot comment on how well it fits. If you have one of these consoles and a
    Tri-Star, please let me know how well they fit together.)
    The top of the unit has three slots: one for SNES games, one for (US) NES
    games and one for Famicom ("Japanese NES") games. When the SNES unit is turned
    on, the Tri-Star screen shows two options, one for 8-bit play and one for 16-
    bit play. The SNES controllers are used for playing all games, with the B
    button as the NES A button, and the Y button as the NES B button.
    There is hardly any information regarding the unit itself. Not only doesn't it
    come with any instructions, but there is no make or manufacturer anywhere on
    the box. What little information there is as follows:
    The model number is F-012 
    The instructions are "Allows You to Play The Latest 8-bit Games on Your Snes
    (tm)" and "Simply Plug into Your Snes (tm)"
    The copyright year on the title screen is 1993.
    * 16-BIT GAMES
    Note that the RGB output bit is false. There is no RGB support in the Tri-
    Star. There is no S-video support either -- the pass-through lead which you
    plug into the SNES multi-out only carries composite video and stereo audio. So
    you cannot use an RGB or S-video cable to connect the Tri-Star to your TV.
    Compatibility with PAL NES games is limited; see the "PAL issues" section
    For the best possible picture quality, I don't use the pass-through cable.
    Instead I use a switch box. To this I connect an RGB lead from the SNES
    multi-out connector, and a stereo AV lead from the Tri-Star. I have to switch
    between the SNES and Tri-Star outputs depending on whether I am playing an 8-
    or 16-bit game. The Tri-Star selection menu runs on the SNES side.
    Also, at least for the NTSC Tri-Star, the RF output signal is quite weak.
    There is noticeably more interference on the screen when playing a SNES game
    than if you use the SNES' own RF out. With the RF signal output from my NTSC
    Tri-Star, the audio signal is overmodulated. This means that for a given TV
    volume control setting, the sound is louder than with a real NES, and there is
    some distortion at peak levels. This could probably be fixed by changing the
    value of one or two resistors inside the Tri-Star. The distortion problems may
    be less severe or absent with other makes of TV.
    You cannot use a Nintendo RF Switch with the Tri-Star. You must just use a
    straight cable. You can however connect the Tri-Star to the _aerial_ lead of
    the RF Switch, if for example you wish to have your old NES hooked up to the
    TV as well as the Tri-Star. (The comments about the RF switch only apply to
    the automatic switch supplied with NTSC consoles.)
    It seems that more recent models of the Tri-Star, at least those sold in the
    U.S.A. and Canada, do not have the RF modulator fitted. There is just a hole
    in the casing where the RF out connector would have been.
    The picture when playing NES games is not perfect. There appear to be faint
    vertical stripes on the screen. The original Nintendo front-loading NES does
    not have these, but the later top-loading model does. This can be easily
    fixed! See the "How to fix the stripey graphics" section below. If you fix
    this, your Tri-Star will have a better quality picture than a top-loading NES,
    probably as good as the original front-loading NES.
    The Super 8 is a re-badged version of the Tri-Star, functionally identical.
    Everything written about the Tri-Star also applies to the Super 8. See below
    for more on this.
    There are scans of the Tri-Star box, main unit and inside the main unit
    available from my web page.
    Where can I get a Tri-Star?
    NCS (http://www.ncsx.com/) no longer carries the Tri-Star. :(
    Telegames Inc. (http://www.telegames.com/) carries a "SUPER NES 8-BIT
    ADAPTER" for US$79.95. It is probably a Tri-Star.
    Also see the Super 8 section below. The Super 8 is more or less identical to
    the Tri-Star, and three companies sell it for US$59.99.
    In the UK, the following two companies carry the PAL version of the Tri-Star
    for 39.99:
          Fire International Ltd                    Telegames Ltd
          46-48 Silver Street                       Kilby Bridge
          Doncaster                                 Wigston
          DN1 1HT                                   Leicester
          England                                   LE18 3TE
          Tel.: +44 (0)1302 321905                  Tel.: +44 (0)116 2880445
          Fax:  +44 (0)1302 322061                  Fax:  +44 (0)116 2813437
    Fire International are probably the main importers of the Tri-Star into the
    UK, and I recommend you use them. They can also order an NTSC Tri-Star for you
    (if you don't specifically ask for one, they will send a PAL model). They may
    have to specially order an NTSC Tri-Star (at least, that is what happened when
    I bought mine). If you want an NTSC model, make absolutely certain that you
    specify that you want an NTSC-M Tri-Star and not a PAL one.
    Has anyone ever seen a Super 8 and if so, where can one be bought?
    In the United States, at least four companies sell the Super 8. Please let me
    know of any others. All charge US$59.99 plus postage, except United Game whose
    price last time I checked was $94.99(!). Check the total cost before placing
    an order, of course.
           Innovation (also known as Ultimate Game Club)
           1491 Boston Post Road
           Old Saybrook, CT 06475
           Tel.: (860) 395-3090
           Multimedia Empire, Inc.
           18 Saint Mark's Place
           New York City, NY 10003
           Tel.: 1-800-413-5823
           Fax:  1-212-539-1645
           Player's Choice
           This company has several retail stores, see the web site for addresses.
           Tel.: 1-800-942-0426
           United Game Source
           254 East Eau Gallie Blvd.
           Indian Harbour Beach, FL  32937
           Tel.: 1-321-777-3309 
           Fax:  1-321-777-3940
    The box is a funky pink, purple and blue. Here are the bits from each side
    (from a Super 8 that was purchased from Innovation):
    Front: Innovation (R) Super 8. Put the NES back in SNES!! Play All your
    favorite Nintendo Games on your Super Nintendo!!! There is also a picture of
    the Super 8.
    Top Flap: By Innovation(R) Super 8 (and a smaller picture of the Super 8).
    Super 8 By Innovation(R) (another picture)
    Front Slot  
    SNES & Super Famicom Cartridges
    Middle Slot
    Nintendo Cartridges
    Rear Slot
    Famicom Cartridges
    * Now play your favorite 8 Bit NES Games on your Super Nes!
    * You never need to remove Super 8 to play.
    * Plug in SNES, Super Famicom, NES or Famicom Games.
    * On screen cursor allows you to choose what type of game you wish to play.
    * Requires a T.V. or VCR that has Audio/Video inputs to work otherwise buy the
    VideoLink By Innovation to convert A/V to RF.
    * Requires SNES A/V Cable NOT included. To order SNES A/V Cable or the
    VideoLink see bottom of box.
    Picture of back of TV and back of Super 8 / SNES
    How to Hook Up Your Super 8.
    If your TV does not have A/V inputs, plug the A/V cable into your VCR. Do not
    plug in RF Cables on the SNES or the Super 8.
    * If you have a mono TV or VCR, plug yellow cable into video input & either
    the red or white cable into audio input
    * If you are connecting A/V Cable to your VCR, select external input on your
    VCR in order for the Super 8 to work. Refer to your VCR manual for location
    of external input switch.
    Made in China. Innovation is a trademark of Innovation Technologies. Super
    Nintendo, SNES, Famicom & Super Famicom are registered trademarks of Nintendo
    of America, Inc. This product is designed and manufactured by Innovation. It
    is not designed, manufactured, sponsored or endorsed by Nintendo of America,
    To order other Innovation products call (203) 395-3090 or write to:
    Innovation 1491 Boston Post Road  Old Saybrook, CT  06475
    SNES A/V Cable = $9.99 + $5.00 Shipping.
    VideoLink = $49.99 + $10.00 Shipping.
    The picture of the Super 8 on the box is funny in that the "Super 8" label on
    the front of it is not from the picture of the Super 8 itself. The "Super 8"
    bit is part of the box artwork. This can be seen as the position of the Super
    8 label is at an impossible angle with respect to the position of the picture.
    The menu screen has a line under the pretty Tri-Star banner (!) that reads
    "Super 8 by Innovation 1995."
    The trace that is cut in the Tri-Star is similarly cut in the Super 8. (See
    the "Does a Super Game Boy work in the SNES slot?" section.)
    The Super 8 casing is exactly the same as the Tri-Star casing, apart from the
    Super 8 label. Given the other similarities, the Super 8 seems to be a re-
    badged version of the Tri-Star.
    Although the Super 8 box says that you can't use an RF cable for hooking up
    the Super 8 to your TV, you can. Perhaps the Super 8 failed to get FCC
    approval when the RF jack is used.
    Are there any limitations regarding compatibility?
    Important: If you have a PAL NES and/or SNES, see the "PAL Issues" section at
    the end of this document.
    The biggest limitation appears to be that the second controller's Select and
    Start buttons do not work. This is not much of a problem on games where the
    first person can select a two player option (Pinball), but it renders two
    player versions unplayable on games where the second controller's Start button
    must be pushed for the second player to enter the game (Narc, Burgertime).
    The reason for this flaw may be due to the original design of the Famicom
    (the Japanese version of the NES), which did not have Select or Start buttons
    on the second controller. Other than this, compatibility with NES and Famicom
    games is very high. It may be possible to modify the hardware so that these
    buttons work, but this would be complicated.
    Note that really the Tri-Star contains a *Famicom* clone console. This means
     Like a real Famicom, it has audio in and out lines on the Famicom-type 60-
      pin connector. This means that Famicom games which incorporate extra sound
      hardware in the cartridge sound as they should, unlike when you use a
      Famicom-to-NES adapter with a real NES. (But this feature is disabled; see
      the next paragraph.)
     Also like a real Famicom, the Tri-Star does not include the PCM sound
      channel which is built into the NES. This means that some NES games which
      use sampled sounds may not sound right. For example Galaxy 5000 has snippets
      of speech from other drivers on a real NES. On a Tri-Star the speech is
      unintelligible, though not completely absent; there is a kind of muffled
      sound instead.
    A real Famicom has audio in and out pins on its cartridge connector. Some
    games have extra sound hardware in the cartridge, and the audio in & out pins
    are used to mix the extra sound channels with the console's own sound. The
    Tri-Star also has these pins. However, the audio in & out are connected
    together on the Tri-Star board. This means that any extra audio channels will
    not be present. In this respect it is similar to playing a Famicom cartridge
    on a real NES.
    It is very simple to cut a trace on the Tri-Star board so that the audio in &
    out work properly. You may want to do this if you have any Famicom carts which
    incorporate sound hardware. Note that cutting this trace will mean that there
    will be *no sound at all* from NES games, unless you plug a NES-to-Famicom
    adapter into the Famicom slot (this would connect the audio in & out pins,
    allowing NES sound to be heard). Of course, if you have a NES-to-Famicom
    adapter, it's not necessary to use the NES slot at all...
    Some SNES joysticks (e.g. Quickshot) do not work.
    Super NES games with known problems:
     "Super Mario RPG" (Nintendo/Square) fails to work at all.
     "Donkey Kong Country", "Killer Instinct", "Tetris Attack" and the Super
      Famicom game "Fire Emblem" do not work through the SNES port. Instead a
      notice about unauthorised copying of video games is displayed. You can get
      around this by using a "swap trick"; see below for details.
     "Secret of Evermore" (Square) works up until part way through the end of
      game sequence. When your craft is about to land to pick up Elizabeth, the
      console seems to hang with a blank screen. This was probably not intentional
      on the part of Squaresoft's programmers.
     The Super Game Boy does not work properly, but the Tri-Star can be easily
      modified (really mended) to allow this. See below.
    NES games with known problems:
     "Bram Stoker's Dracula" (Sony Imagesoft) PAL version -- if you jump up at
      the beginning of the game, some graphical corruption appears momentarily.
      There is an occasional "slow-down" effect here as well. However, the game
      seems okay after the first screen or so. A real NTSC NES plays this PAL
      game without graphical problems.
     "Dirty Harry" --  On a normal NES, the first two presses of the Start
      button display title and programmer screens; the third press brings up the
      "Start Game" or "Enter Password" screen and the fourth starts the game. If
      nothing is pressed, the game cycles between a graphical title screen, the
      title screen and the programmer screen. On the Super 8 however, it simply
      cycles between the screens.  No amount of button pushing on either
      controller gets to the start game screen.
     "Dragon's Lair" (Elite) -- graphics are around half the normal brightness.
     "Dropzone" (Mindscape) -- graphics are around half the normal brightness.
     "James Bond Jr" (THQ) -- graphics are around half the normal brightness.
     "Kick Off" (Imagineer) -- graphics are around half the normal brightness.
     "Noah's Ark" (Konami) and "The Immortal" (Electronic Arts) both have some
      parts at half normal brightness.
     "Qix" (Taito) -- graphics are around half the normal brightness.
     "Firehawk" (Codemasters) -- one version of this cartridge (without the
      built-in switch) does not work, but this game also fails on a top-loading
    Most or all other Famicom clones also exhibit the half-brightness problem.
    What is the swap trick to allow games like Killer Instinct to work?
    Some games do not work through the Tri-Star, instead displaying a notice about
    not running on game copiers. There is a way to play them without removing the
    Tri-Star. It involves removing a cartridge while the console is switched on,
    so this is risky. Do not blame me if you damage your console and/or Tri-Star
    by doing this! I really don't recommend it, but it worked okay the one time I
    Here's what you need to do:
     Turn the SNES off
     Plug a SNES cartridge that does work through the Tri-Star into its SNES
     Turn on the SNES. Choose 16-bit at the selection menu so that the SNES game
     Wait a few seconds to get to the game's menu screen or game screen.
     Hold down the SNES Reset button. Keeping the Reset button held down, remove
      the SNES cartridge and replace it with a problem one like Killer Instinct.
     Release the Reset button. The protected game should then start without a
    Thanks to George Gruschow for discovering this technique.
    Can this unit play "locked-out" games? 
    Yes, almost all unlicensed games work. Games that assume the lockout chip (of
    older NES machines) is present do not work. A UK Firehawk cartridge is the
    only one that I know of, although probably all US versions of this game have a
    switch in the cartridge to allow the game to be played.
    Is there any way to connect real NES controllers?
    Yes, though this is only possible for normal controllers. Exotic things such
    as the Zapper are impossible to connect, at least without major modifications
    to the hardware and boot ROM. I do not know about the Power Glove, Power Pad
    and R.O.B. since I do not own these. R.O.B. is likely to work since it only
    emulates a normal controller.
    The SNES controller is backwardly compatible with the NES one. Because of
    this, it is easy to make an adapter to allow NES controllers to be hooked up
    to the SNES. You can take NES and SNES controller extension cables, cut them
    in half and join two of the pieces together to make an adapter. In fact, by
    joining the other two pieces, you can make an adapter to connect SNES
    controllers to a NES. For detailed instructions on how to do this, see my web
    Will the gun from Lethal Enforcers (SNES) work with the shooting games?
    Almost certainly not, though it has not been tested. The two types of gun
    probably work in completely different ways. The same goes for the SNES Super
    Does a Super Game Boy work in the SNES slot?
    Not out of the box. In some cases the Super Game Boy border comes up, but the
    game never loads. In others, it loads and plays painfully slowly, complete
    with super-slow sound effects. Super FX games may also have problems running
    on an unmodified Tri-Star.
    However, the Tri-Star can be easily modified such that the Super Game Boy will
    work normally. See my web page for instructions on how to do this. The cause
    of the problem is that the Tri-Star does not connect one of the SNES game pak
    connector lines through to the SNES cartridge. You just need to re-connect
    this line on the Tri-Star PCB. The instructions include an explanation of why
    the Tri-Star may have been made like this in the first place.
    Some recent Tri-Star/Super 8 units are apparently compatible with the Super
    Game Boy. In this case there will be no need to modify your unit.
    Do Game Genie-like devices work in any of the slots?
    NES and SNES versions of the Game Genie work in their respective slots.
    Datel's NES Pro Action Replay (not sold in the USA) does not work.
    Datel's SNES Pro Action Replay 2 does work.
    A "Game Action Replay" will not fit in the slot, but if the cover is taken off
    the Tri-Star (by removing 4 screws), it will. Games inserted into the Game
    Action Replay slot may work through the Tri-Star, but this has not been
    The Nakitek GameSaver+ works. However, due to its shape you cannot have a NES
    or Famicom cartridge plugged in at the same time as the GameSaver+. The
    GameSaver+ allows you to play SNES games in slow motion, and take a "snapshot"
    of your position in a game whenever you want, which can be restored at any
    time. Protected games like Killer Instinct work fine through the GameSaver+.
    If you have a GameSaver+, this is better than doing the slightly risky "swap
    trick" described above.
    Can one return to the main screen without switching the console off and on?
    Yes, but only from playing a NES game. See the next section.
    Tips and tricks
    I discovered some things about the Tri-Star which are not mentioned on the
     By holding down buttons A & X when the SNES is turned on, a test menu
      appears giving the ROM checksum. The checksum for my Tri-Star is 187C. Zube
      told me that the checksum for his Super 8 is F61E. If your value is
      different, let me know. There do not seem to be any other things in the test
      menu; pressing any button just returns to the normal selection screen.
     Holding down the Y button when the power switch is turned on causes the SNES
      game to start immediately. Holding down B when power is turned on causes the
      NES game to start immediately.
     When playing a NES game, if you press Reset whilst holding down buttons A &
      X, you go back to the test menu (& therefore onto the 8/16-bit selection).
      You do not need to turn the power off then on.
     You can also hold down the Y button whilst in a NES game, and press Reset to
      directly start the SNES game instead.
    I have not found a way to return to the selection menu after playing a SNES
    game, short of turning the power switch off then on. If you discover that this
    is possible, please let me know.
    What happens if both 8-bit slots are filled? 
    The conjecture is that neither program would work. This has yet to be tested,
    as it risks damaging the Tri-Star and possibly the games.
    Do four-player NES games such as Smash TV work with a SNES multi-tap?
    Probably not. This has yet to be tested. It may well be possible to connect a
    NES four-player adapter like the NES Four Score to the SNES, and play four-
    player NES games that way.
    Do Super Famicom games fit in the SNES slot without an adapter?
    Yes. In fact, the Tri-Star also acts as a "universal adapter", allowing many
    PAL SNES games to be played on a US SNES. To play more recent PAL titles, most
    of which include a 50/60Hz check, you will have to modify your SNES. Details
    can be found on my web page.
    Who made this silly thing?
    The name of the manufacturer is not known.
    Any recent problems in manufacturing?
    CyberBlade <cyberbld@enter.net> reports that a recent batch of Tri-Star
    adapters from NCS have a non-working RF port. Caveat Emptor.
    H. Meun bought a PAL Tri-Star that did not work properly -- the controllers
    did not function. It turned out that the end pins of the NES & Famicom
    connectors were longer than the others, and they were bent to be nearly
    parallel to the circuit board. This was probably done on purpose, to secure
    the connectors during manufacture before they are soldered to the PCB. It
    seems that one or more of these longer pins was short-circuiting with another
    track on the PCB. Trimming the longer pins seemed to fix the problem.
    Some other people have reported problems which are related to the video switch
    chip inside the Tri-Star (this selects whether the NES or SNES picture
    How to fix the "stripey graphics"
    As mentioned above, faint vertical stripes are visible on the Tri-Star's
    picture. These are quite noticeable, especially when playing a game that
    scrolls horizontally, such as Super Mario Bros. Nintendo's own top-loading NES
    consoles have this problem too.
    This problem can be easily fixed. If you open up your Tri-Star and take the
    top off, you will see there is space for a capacitor behind and to the left of
    the Famicom slot; a circle with a + sign is printed on the board there.
    Buy a 1000uF electrolytic capacitor (rated at 6.3V or above; I used a 50V
    one). There is a fair amount of space inside the case, so it doesn't have to
    be very small. You can get one from Tandy/Radio Shack or any electronics
    supplier; it should not cost much.
    Using desoldering braid and a soldering iron, remove the solder that is
    blocking the two holes inside the circle. Insert the capacitor, making sure
    the positive terminal is in the hole towards the rear of the board (where the
    + sign is printed), and the negative terminal is in the other hole, nearer the
    front of the board. Push the capacitor down close to the circuit board so most
    of its legs are through the other side.
    Carefully solder the two legs of the capacitor on the underside of the board,
    and cut off any excess wire. That's it! Put the Tri-Star back together and
    test it out. Enjoy your stripe-free picture.
    A similar modification could probably be done to the top-loading NES. Contact
    me if you want information on how to do this.
    PAL issues
    This section is only relevant if you have a PAL SNES, NES and/or Tri-Star.
    The Tri-Star is available in both PAL and NTSC versions. If you live in a
    country which uses the NTSC TV standard, such as the USA or Japan, you should
    buy an NTSC model.
    If you live in a PAL country, the situation is trickier. Buying a PAL model
    will allow you to use the RF output, but in common with other PAL consoles
    (including the PAL NES) there are black borders at the top and bottom of the
    screen, and games play 16 2/3% too slowly due to the lower frame rate.
    If your TV can handle an NTSC composite signal, you can buy an NTSC Tri-Star,
    and play games full screen at the correct speed via an A/V lead. These leads
    are widely available -- the Nintendo 64, SNES and Tri-Star use the same kind
    of lead.) If your TV cannot handle NTSC composite, the picture will be in
    Due to lockout chip differences, an NTSC Tri-Star will not run as-is on a PAL
    SNES. You either need to use a universal adapter (a very clumsy solution), or
    disable your SNES' lockout chip. For details on how to do this, see my web
    It is vital to understand that, regarding software compatibility, the PAL Tri-
    Star is EXACTLY THE SAME AS THE NTSC ONE! This means that the PAL Tri-Star can
    run almost all NTSC NES and Famicom games, including those which do not work
    properly on a real PAL NES.
    However, some PAL NES games do not work properly on an NTSC NES, and vice
    versa. Taking the previous paragraph into account, this means that SOME PAL
    NES GAMES DO NOT WORK PROPERLY ON ANY TRI-STAR! Examples of this are Asterix,
    Digger T. Rock, Elite, Time Lord (all unplayable due to corrupted graphics),
    PinBot, Double Dragon III and High Speed (these hang the console). Some
    others have very minor corruption which does not affect game-play.
    If you only have PAL NES cartridges, you may be disappointed with the level of
    compatibility. The majority of games work, but there are likely to be some in
    your collection which do not.

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