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CREATED MAY.19.2002
UPDATED FEB.23.2010
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TEXT WRITTEN BY
MARTIN NIELSEN
DATACH - JOINT ROM SYSTEM
THE JAPANESE ALADDIN DECK ENHANCER?
The Datach Joint Rom System is an accessory for the Famicom released in its late years, being 1992, more precisely December 29th 1992. The gadget was released with a game pack-in, a game spin off from the popular Dragon Ball Z series, and that choice was most likely made to make the Datach attractive.

What we have here is a system that works pretty much like the Aladdin Deck Enhancer that we know, and the Aladdin Deck Enhancer was actually released that very same year. The Datach unit includes a lot of the usual gimmicks that makes a Famicom/NES game work and only the ROM chip, being the actual game, is then placed in a seperate cartridge. Now what makes the Datach different from the Aladdin Deck Enhancer is that it features a barcode reader and this is where "Dragon Ball Z: Gekito Tenkaichi Budokai", as the pack-in game is called, became a perfect fit for the system.

The Datach unit of course has a normal Famicom cartridge connector at the bottom of the unit, and on the backside is a smaller slot for the Datach ROM cartridge which is around the same size as an old Gameboy (Color) cartridge, but around 2 times as thick as a Gameboy cartridge. At the top side of the unit is the barcode reader and during a game you would swipe credit card like cards for all sorts of help in the game, pretty much like Pokemon these days.

Not all games for the Datach used the barcode feature, most likely because it was a pain to use. So Bandai also released games that probably could have been normal cart releases, and some were released as normal game carts aswell, like Crayon Shin-Chan: Orato Poi Poi, another horrible game based off a popular character to make the Datach look attractive it seems.

But the Datach was released so late in the Famicom's lifespan that it probably never should have been made. In 1994 the Famicom was discontinued by Nintendo and the Datach game called "J League: Super Top Players" was one of the last Famicom games to be released.

A total of 5 Datach games were released during 1993, then a single released title in 1993, giving the Datach a total of 7 games which is not impressive at all. With that said too, most Datach games are nearly impossible to find while the Datach unit is pretty common.

The total list of games released for the Datach is a follows:

TITLE DATE PRICE
Dragon Ball Z (pack-in) 12/29/92 7800 yen
Ultraman Club 04/23/93 2800 yen
SD Gundam World 04/23/93 2800 yen
Crayon Shin-Chan 08/27/93 2800 yen
YuuYuu Hakusho 10/22/93 2800 yen
Battle Rush 11/13/93 2800 yen
Datach J.League Super Top Players 04/22/94 2800 yen

Bandai later on reinvented the Joint Rom system for the Super Nintendo and called it "Sufami Turbo".

Once again Bandai decided to release the gadget very late in the console's lifespan, being June 28 1996. The Sufami Turbo doesn't feature the barcode part though, I guess Bandai realized it was useless. Sufami had around 13 games released for it, mostly games based on "SD Gundam". It features 2 cartridge slots and the idea is that two games can share "resources"...