Review Everdrive N8 Pro NES & Famicom Flash Cart – Compared to the Original

hey everybody is la and side-bend we’re taking a look today at the new everdrive and eight pro this is a flash cartridge for the original 8-bit Nintendo systems what we’re looking at today is for the Japanese Famicom but there will be a version for the American NES very shortly and both will work the same and basically what it lets you do is load up a bunch of Nintendo games on an SD card like this one and you can plug it in to your original hardware and use this piece of modern technology on your old 8-bit consoles and it adds some new functionality along with some features that you didn’t get thirty years ago we’re going to explore some of the things you can do with this flashcard and look at how it differs from the prior version of it as well a lot to explore here in this video now I do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure that this came in free of charge from Crick’s who is the maker of this device in the Ukraine he’s got a bunch of these flash cartridges for a number of other consoles as well so you definitely want to check him out and see what else is out there all the opinions though you’re about to hear are my own nobody is paying for this review nor is anyone reviewed or approved what you’re about to see before it was uploaded so let’s get into it now and see what this flash cartridge is all about now the price tag on this will certainly be a lot more than your NES mini or something like that 169 dollars is what it’s selling for at the moment so this is really a specialty kind of device but if you are a real enthusiast it’s

a small price to pay to get the functionality you’re going to see here in a few minutes and I was very pleased with the actual quality of the casing on this one it’s got a very nice high-quality plastic it feels just really nice really good high-impact plastic here on it also I was pleased with how easy it is to get the SD card in and out it really just pops in and clicks in without having to go deep under the case to get it in place there so altogether it felt really nice now this is the version for the Famicom the Japanese version of the NES they will also later release one design for the NES this is the old version that we’re going to compare it to in a little bit so if you are planning to use this on an NES I would hold off until that one is released the functionality is going to be the same and I don’t think this is going to work with an adapter because the cartridge is actually a lot larger than the original Famicom cartridge is worse I don’t know if you’re going to be able to get it into your old side-loaded NES console it’ll probably work with an adapter on the top loader so there will be again a full sized NES version coming out shortly not much else here on the cartridge to look at there is a USB port here for developers to use so if you are designing your own homebrew NES games or Famicom games you can actually address the cartridge without having to pull it out of the console and copy roms back and forth we’re not going to cover that in this video but if you’re interested in that feature I can try to find a developer to bring on to walk us through

some of the things you can do with this there is a bunch of code up on github now to help you use that port so that’s going to be something I’m excited to see people working with in the near future there’s also a button here this button will switch out Famicom disk system games we’ll explore that feature in a few minutes or at least look at how it runs those games but you can also use this to pull up the in-game menu which is another new feature of the n8 that we will be looking at once we plug it into our console to start experimenting with it so today what we’re going to do is pop it into my analogue NT mini console and this is a super accurate clone console of the original Nintendo and Famicom it works with the original cartridges it is based on a field programmable gate array processor so it’s mimicking all of the logic and timings of the original hardware for all intents and purposes this is as good as a real 8-bit Nintendo except we’re able to get high-quality HD video out of it you can plug this into native hardware and it’s going to work exactly the same as what you’re about to see here so let’s boot it up now and see what you can do with this flash cartridge alright so we’ve got our cartridge now booted up and before we started the video I did load up a bunch of roms on this SD card so we can have everything ready to go now to load a game you go into its folder so we’ll go into the demo folder here and we’ll load up Kirby’s Adventure for example and that is it you can get into it and start playing a game whenever you want there’s an on-screen menu that’s now available on the cartridge as well so rather than having to reset the system you can just go and pull up that menu and

go to exit game and it will bring you back out to the front screen and that’s the basic core functionality of a flash cartridge to be able to very quickly load up roms on a single device from an SD card now one thing that you can do on a flash cartridge that you can’t do on an original cartridge is save your state and what these are are essentially snapshots in time as you’re playing the game so right now we’ve got contra running and it’s kind of just in its attract mode I can pull up the on-screen menu here and load up a snapshot I took a little bit earlier so I saved the state right when I started so I can jump right to the beginning of level 1 here for example without having to go through the menus and all that good stuff so pretty quick way to get into the game if you want as you all know it’s sometimes hard to devote several hours to get through an nes game so you can kind of save your progress and come back to it later and one thing that the ever drive and a pro adds over the old version is that you can now have up to 100 different positions saved for every game so you can see right now it’s on slot 0 0 and I saved another save state into slot 0 1 so if I go and load that now it’s going to bring me to the beginning of the second level here of course you want to make sure that you don’t have a bullet coming at you right when you do save that state because that will certainly cost you a life there but you can see how this could be really useful and now that I’m going through the level here maybe I want to save my state right here so I’ll go back to that menu and I’m going to add 1 to slot 2 I’m going to click Save here that’s going to write another save state to the card and now I’ve got 3 I can choose from and I’ve got a lot more to go another cool thing with the

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everdrive Pro is that it also keeps a timestamp as to when you did that because there’s a real time clock built into this cartridge again that’s not on the old one so you can see when you made that save state to make sure you’ve got the one that you want to go to and then if I wanted to go back to the beginning 1 I can just load that one up there or I can go back to save state 2 and load that and you get and ideas to how this works and it’s really neat to be able to do this on original hardware as well and be able to get some functions that you might experience on modern hardware on something that is now three decades old now another feature that’s integrated into the flash cartridge is the ability to cheat using game genie codes and I earlier selected a few cheats for a contra that I put in so you can go into this menu here and you can load in a bunch of cheats that you can find on the Internet this particular cheat is going to allow me to pick up the spread weapon after I am killed in the game so let’s jump back into the game here we’re going to start it up but once more and when we’re in the game now as we’re playing we’ll start off with our normal weapons but every time I get killed I’m going to start now with a spread shot instead so let’s jump into the game here I’m gonna just go do the first level real quick we’re gonna get killed and then when I come back look at that I’ve got a spread shot which I’ll have now every time I die and start over again of course if I pick up a different weapon that will change but nonetheless it seems to be working and what’s also cool is that this doesn’t appear to be

messing up my save States so earlier we did those save States and I wasn’t running the cheat when I did that but check it out if I start the game here I’ve got my regular weapon I died and now on the save state save we’re still able to use that cheat as well so that is pretty cool stuff another cool thing is that it will retain the cheat in between sessions so if I exit the game here and go back to contra again the cheats will stay on there and we’ll save to that game settings so that means you can put a bunch of these cheats in and not have to type them in every time you load the game up it will retain that we tested it a little bit earlier where we shut down the console and turned it back on again so even in between a power cycle those cheats will stay associated with that rom file now another neat thing that you can do with this cartridge is run the famicom disk system games we’re gonna boot up vs Excitebike now in Japan they had a special floppy disk system that you could use with your Famicom this will allow that system to run inside of the cartridge and as you can see here we’ve got vs.

Excitebike running now this was a version of Excitebike that we did not get in the US although I think there might have been an arcade version somewhere but we couldn’t run this on the home system like owners of the Famicom in Japan could and one of the cool things about versus Excitebike is that it added a two-player split-screen mode to this very popular game so if I had a friend here with me they would be seeing themselves running around on the track above there while I was split-screen here on the bottom and it runs really nicely here and it’s a really fun game now this will work on the American NES but one thing to keep in mind is that the Famicom disk system actually had its own special audio mode that would only work on the Japanese console you can get the American one to work with a modification but it’s likely if you are using this particular ever drive you will not get that special audio mode that pertains to the Famicom disk system games so zelda on the american console won’t sound right because it did have enhanced audio on the disk system and also a game like Castlevania 3 that we’re going to check out next will also not work correctly on an American na yes but will on this analog console along with the original Famicom let’s check that out now so here is Castlevania 3 this is probably one of the most well known examples of add-on audio that are out there so in Japan they had a special audio chip that greatly enhanced the music of this game and a little bit earlier I recorded some from the cartridge have a listen [Music] so if you are familiar with Castlevania 3 here in the US this certainly sounds a lot different if you are familiar with the Japanese version and this didn’t sound quite right it is likely my fault because there are a lot of variables here with my particular setup one is that there is an audio mix setting on the analog console that we’re using which you of

course would not have on the original hardware but the cartridge also has its own audio settings for cartridge audio so this is a good opportunity now to jump into the main menu on this device to see what all of the different options are and Before we jump into all the other stuff let’s go over to that option menu and go over to the audio balance and you can see all the different settings here based on the chip that the cartridge might be simulating there is an FPGA built into this cartridge that will simulate all these different mappers and you can see what they are set to right now there’s a couple of presets for audio so right now I have mine on Famicom AV if I hit the select button here you can see there’s another setting for Famicom original that adjusts the mix differently there’s also an nes 47k mod that gives you a different setting there as well but you can jump around to different settings here and adjust the audio as you see fit unfortunately you can’t do this in the middle of a game so you have to set it here jump into the game see how it sounds and then jump back again so keep that in mind but you do have a lot of granular control here over cartridge audio so while we’re in this menu we may as well look at some of the other settings you have available through this main menu so we’ve got the general options for the cartridge which we’ll jump into now what you got here up front is the in-game menu feature so right now we’ve got it set to standard and what this means is that when we do initiate the button combination to pull up that menu will see the menu what you can do instead if you want is have it not show you the menu at all and you can do what they call a qss mode and what this will do is not bring up the menu but give you one set of buttons to push to save a state and another set of buttons to push to load the state I prefer the menu just because I can jump around to different save state numbers but if you wanted something faster without a menu in Queen you can do that without seeing the menu and that’s something you might

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want to do you can disable cheats completely if you want so perhaps you’ve got a cheat that’s screwing things up and you want to just disable it briefly you can go in and turn cheats off universally even if you have a cheat assigned to a ROM it won’t insert itself into the game when it loads up and then you can turn this back on and everything will work again file sorting is important because this is something that often was a difficult thing on Prior versions of the everdrive you can sort files on the card which might take a little bit of extra time for things to load up but generally on this new cartridge they seem to be doing quite well so I have mine set to on FDS Auto swap is something of interest because if you are using those family calm disk system games it will automatically swap the discs if this is set to on which is the default and generally that’s not a problem but we did find earlier that the Legend of Zelda would not play its intro music if you had this set to ons if you wanted to hear that fds audio on Zelda turning this option off will require a manual piece of work to get that disc to switch over and the only thing you really have to do is just push the button here at the top of the cartridge to do that swap if you disable it here in the menu so that’s what that does we’ve got the in-game combo button here which will set the save state keys for when you’re in that qss mode you can basically have it do a combination of two different buttons whichever two you wish so that’s something you can do this gives you some information as to what happens when you do hit those triggers based on the STD or the qss mode below that is the audio balance that we were just in and then if you want to set up the clock you can go to RTC setup to set the date and time and jumping back to the main menu here we have a few other things worth

looking at one feature I like is the recently played section so it’ll go back and give me a log of everything I played in order so I’ve got roms in a lot of different folders and I can very quickly get back to stuff here without having to navigate through that that’s pretty useful device info will give you information about the firmware version of your particular cartridge and a few other things like how many times it’s been booted up and how many games you’ve played that’s kind of cool diagnostics we’ll run through some diagnostics of the device and of course about is self-explanatory now if we select a ROM here with our a button we can select and start what you’ve been seeing me do select only we’ll load it into memory but not actually run it cheats are what we saw before ROM info will give you all the details about what you’re about to run how big it is and this includes both the PRG and the CHR and the SRM so you’ve got all the information as to how much ram this or how much memory this device will end up taking up we also have an indicator as to what mapper that this game uses so it’s detecting what mappers it needs to load on to the FPGA to get everything working so if you’re trying to troubleshoot this might be a good way to do that because you’ll know exactly what the cartridge is expecting to see there beyond that you have some things where you can go into the hexadecimal of the cartridge or floppy disk you’re about to run and then what I suggest you not do is use the delete option which will remove files from the card now if you’re running with the prior edition of the ever drive the n8 you might be wondering what the pro does different and there’s actually quite a bit that’s different and I’ll put a link down below to a master list of things but there are a couple of key features that I think are worth mentioning here the first is the speed of the menus and just loading things up so I’ve got this folder

here called big folder and I’ve got a whole bunch of roms in there and they just pop up immediately I can very quickly jump through the file listing here this is with file sorting turned on so it’s really a lot faster it does have some bit of Co processing going on in the cartridge to speed this process up another thing this new one does is load games a lot faster so a little bit earlier I ran both Kirby on the old cartridge and the new one to see what the speed differences are and you can see the new cartridge really boots up a lot quicker now another feature unique to the na pro is a built-in NSF music player so if we go over here to NES music you can see I’ve got a few NSF files on my card one of them is a song that makes use of a VR c6 chip for audio and what will happen here is the cartridge will simulate that upon its FPGA and deliver the music the way it’s supposed to be played so if I click play here it’s going to load the built-in player and we’ll get that Super Mario Land remake audio playing here for you [Music] this one also has a larger FPGA or field programmable gate array chipped in and I think that’s going to make a big difference down the road as we see more homebrew take advantage of some of the things that this cartridge and some other ones similar to it can provide one of the big differences here is that this one has a lot more memory for loading games it’s got a total of 16 megabytes now in these days in the 21st century 16 megabytes is not a lot of memory but for an NA yes it’s a huge amount of memory far beyond what was on the original cartridge and this can now load games you couldn’t load before


I’ve got one I want to check out so let’s load it up real quick alright so I’ve got a list of roms here courtesy of smoke monster that were too big for the original ever drive so we’re going to start off here with Final Fantasy 7 which I believe was a remake or what they call ad make of that game and it’s pretty big it’s 2 megabytes here according to the ROM info so let’s go ahead and load that one up now and see what happens and there we go I do have some things kind of screwed up on screen here I’m not sure if it’s supposed to look like that or not but the game does run and I’m able to get into it and have everything work properly including all of the text here so for the most part this one seems to be working another game that folks wanted me to check out was action 52 so let’s go over and check that out real quick and we’ll load that up and see if that loads it does and a little bit of a spoiler I did play the audio earlier when I was live-streaming this and it does work with the audio as well so some of these larger games here appear to be working on the n8 due to its larger amount of memory and again you can go up to 16 megabytes on a ROM now and I would love to see what the retro community does with that but you can see here one of the action 52 games running and getting some things not looking so good here so I don’t know if this is my analog console or perhaps there are some things they still have to work out on some of the mappers but by and large it does seem to be loading up games whoops that did not load up before so that’s pretty encouraging another one we’re gonna check out here if I can get out of the menu is rockman 4 – infinity this one is about a megabyte in size so let’s load that one up and see what happens and there we go that one is loading up as well so it looks like we’re off to a good start here with some of the larger roms that you couldn’t run before as far as overall compatibility is concerned this one appears to be supporting right now about 182 mappers and I don’t think the compatibility is going to be all that much different from the old version I was reading that Crixus trying to bring as many of the mappers that he’s developing for the new cartridge over to the older one so a lot of those edge case rums will certainly work on the Pro and many will probably work on the original n8 as well so really I think the

new cartridge brings a lot of quality of life improvements for the general retro consumer the cartridge is faster for navigation it’s faster to load up games it’s more convenient because you can pull up that in-game menu and jump out to select another game very easily without having to get up and reset the console and everything you get more savestates 99 versus 1 that’s a pretty good reason there as well and of course you’ve got more memory and a larger FPGA which I think will help with home brews in the future developers though will really like the fact that there is a USB option on this cartridge for doing development projects and whatnot as well so there’s a lot of compelling reasons why the new cartridge is certainly better but from a compatibility standpoint the old one is still pretty good and if you don’t need all of this stuff I think you probably can get one of these while they’re still available at a pretty good price that’s going to do it for this look at the everdrive n8 pro a nice improvement over the original I am sure I missed things in this review that some of you probably came looking for so if there are things that I didn’t cover that you want to see do let me know down in the comment section and we’ll put an update video up in a few weeks and cover some of the things that I might have missed there’s a lot of features packed in this thing and I am sure some of you are looking for more so let me know what you’d like to see in the future on this one and until next time this is LAN Simon thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by the LAN TV supporters including gold level supporters the four guys with quarters podcasts cristela Greta Tom Albrecht Brian Parker in Cali an Kumar if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to LAN TV slash support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe

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