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Swapping Playchoice Games

It is possible to play games, normally not available on Playchoice-10 just by replacing a few EPROMs on an individual game PCB.

Note: You can only use certain NES roms on certain Playchoice game pcbs. The spreadsheet below can help you determine which eprom's are used with which pcb.

Download my Playchoice PCB and NES Hack Specifications Spreadsheet (80 KB)

Here is an example changing a game using a Small Board (Style One) playchoice game:

1. locate the 2 EPROMs with the code U1 and U2. These chips contain the actual game data. (Advanced users note: U1 corresponds to the PRG file and U2 corresponds to the CHR file)

2. Remove U1 and U2 and replace them them with the desired game data. (You can find replacement game files on this site in the Playchoice and NES game sections) Note: Its good to keep a back up so don't re burn over the original eprom's.

3. Be careful removing the chips so you don't bend or break the pins (legs). View my video about proper EPROM removal and replacement (3.9 MB QuickTime).

4. Be sure the chips are reinserted in the proper direction or you may damage your game files. Rotate the board clockwise so the connector pins are on the left. You should be able to read the chip labels (and any chip text) from the top down. (Advanced users note: TMNT 2 has a chip that has a reversed label. Note the direction of the chip text (not the label) before reinserting this chip or it will be damaged and need to be replaced. (I've mistakenly done this twice))

5. EPROM U3 must stay, this eprom is not modified. U3 contains the playchoice title and menu data. It also communicates with the security chip on the game PCB. This chip cannot be removed or the board will not work.

6. Now test it out and it should work fine!

7. To restore your game to its original form, swap back in your old EPROMs and it should work fine.

Beware of Mask ROM Game Boards

Please note that the Nintendo Playchoice PCBs use either Mask ROMs or EPROMs and only the EPROM version is compatible with game swapping among Playchoice and NES games. If you want to swap games on the following boards be sure they are using EPROMs and NOT Mask ROMs. If you are unfamiliar with what the chips look like, see the photo below.

  • Double Dragon
  • Gauntlet
  • Ninja Gaiden
  • Mega Man 3
  • Metroid
  • Rad Racer
  • Super Mario Bros. 2
  • Super Mario Bros. 3

View my section on Playchoice PCB Variations for more information on which games use BOTH Mask ROMs and EPROMs.

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