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CREATED FEB.03.2006
UPDATED SEP.10.2007
CREDITS
ARTICLE WRITTEN BY
MARTIN NIELSEN

Greetings fly out to Patricia Strobel, "FM2000", Christopher Coleman, Joel Nation, Marc Pahlenkämper, "OmeBa".

ADITIONAL
PICTURES
HOME ENTERTAINMENT SUPPLIERS
AUSTRALIA UNLICENSED
During the great days when the Nintendo Entertainment System ruled the video game market the Americans had the opportunity to purchase cheap games that didn't carry an official license from Nintendo of America. The business concerning unlicensed software grew from two companies in 1989, Tengen and Color Dreams, to more than double in 1990 with companies such as American Game Carts Inc., owned by ShareData, and American Video Entertainment, owned by IC manufacturer Maxronix.

Deep down under in Australia yet another company decided to jump the wagon even though it could turn out to become a bumpy ride. The company was called Home Entertainment Suppliers also known as HES and it was formed by Mr. Sebastian Giompaolo. HES has since 1984 been supplying Australians with video game products such as various Atari 2600 single game and compilation carts as well as various accessories.

The company is actually still active today and while the mother company, HES itself, only distributes video game accessories now, a subsidiary called Tru Blu Entertainment was founded in 2003 with distribution of Xbox, PlayStation and PC games in mind. Only a handful of games such as Rugby League, Rugby League 2 and Melbourne Cup Challenge (a horse race track game of some sort) has been released though, all licensed of course.

Anyway HES' entry into the business of publishing unlicensed Nintendo games was made with help from American Video Entertainment, lead by Richard Frick, who had been quite successful in buying and publishing low quality titles from a Taiwanese outlet called Thin Chen Entertainment, probably better known as Sachen Entertainment. The relations to Thin Chen (Sachen) was most likely provided by another AVE worker, Phil Mikkelson, who had been in charge of publishing several Thin Chen developed games while he was working at Color Dreams.

The first game published by HES was most likely one of the games AVE had already published, called Pyramid which is some sort of bad Tetris spin-off that doesn't work very well to give you my oppinion. Well to keep production costs to a minimum HES aquired some left over boxes, manuals and cartridge labels from AVE's production and used these for their release of the game. They did however manage to get their own cartridge shell designed as well PCB for the game. While the PRG (program) part of the ROM was written to EPROMs the CHR (graphics) chip is a 256k mass manufactured chip most likely made by Macronix, just like it is in AVE's release of the game.

I must say that the release of Pyramid is quite funny, not because the game sucks seriously but because the cart and box says American Video Entertainment and all that has been done to make people see that this actually is a Home Entertainment Suppliers release is a small sticker on the box. Another funny thing is that the cartridge label had to be modified a little to fit the HES cartridge.

The PCB is a little messy and looks like it was developed in a hurry and without a circuit to circumvent the Nin10 lockout system which is used in the Nintendo Entertainment System. This was most likely done to be able to change the lockout blocker circuit if customers couldn't get the cartridge to work with their NES deck, it would be cheaper just to replace just the lockout circuit and keep the ROMs. This is just a wild guess though, but it makes some sense my book as ROM chips were quite expensive back then. Click here for a picture of just the PCB.

Anyway HES soon got good relations to especially Tengen and released quite a few of their games, RBI Baseball, PAC-Man, Toobin, Super Sprint and Vindicators, but also adapted their box layout later on after having used hardcase boxes that looks a lot like those used for VHS video cassettes. As HES didn't do any in-house programming of NES games they searched high and low for games and of course got contacts to Color Dreams aswell, releasing their Raid 2020 game - a few more were planned but didn't make it, as well as Sharedata, releasing two of their games - Chiller and Death Race.

The best relationship was probably with Thin Chen (Sachen) and Bit Corp. Home Entertainment Suppliers actually managed to publish a few games for the NES that hadn't been picked up by any company in the US, games such as Duck Maze (aka. Duck), Arctic Adventure (aka. Penguin & Seal), Little Red Hood (AVE had plans to release this one), Othello as well as the most annoying NES game I've ever seen, called Jackpot.

Just like the Atari days HES decided to bring compilation carts to the Nintendo Entertainment System. They were all released as limited offers except for the two variations released of American Video Entertainment's Maxi15 cartridge. Just how limited these released were is hard to say, the easiest to find of the 4 limited offers is the Total Funpak while the Funblaster Pak, HES 6-Pak and Mindblower Pak are a lot harder to stumble upon.

FUNBLASTER PAK features Pipemania, Twin Eagle, Metal Fighter & Little Red Hood. Metal Fighter never saw a release as a single cart by HES, though both Color Dreams and Sachen published the game for the NES. The rarest of games on this cart to find as single game carts is definately Pipemania and Twin Eagle, both of these seems to have been released late, if they weren't actually the last batch of games along with Soccer (distributed by Magexa).

HES 6-PAK features Cosmos Cop, Balloon Monster, Porter, Magic Carpet, Adam & Eve, Bookyman. This cart is identical to the 6in1 release in the US by Caltron and later Myraid who picked up the remaining cartridge stock from Caltron and released them in new packaging, old wine on new bottles anyone?. The 6-PAK is fairly hard to come by, so good luck.

MINDBLOWER PAK features Math Quiz, Jackpot, Arctic Adventure & Galactic Crusader. While Arctic Adventure and Jackpot both were released as single game carts, the ramining two games, Galactic Crusader and Math Quiz supposedly never were released as single game cart releases, though rumors say that both actually do exist, but I have yet to confirm this with my own eyes.

TOTAL FUNPAK features PAC-Man, Sidewinder, Duck Maze & Othello. This is by far the easiest compilation cart to find and can be found on ebay quite frequently. The games included were all released as single game carts. If I had to say that one of the games could be hard to find as a single game release it would be PAC-Man, but it's not impossible to aqquire.

At least one single game cartridge was released in limited quantities too. Death Race was only offered to members of the HES Game Club. What exactly the offer details were is not yet 100% confirmed, but rumors say that 6 or so dongles had to be returned to enable you to buy the game for AU$60.

Two HES cartridge designs exist, I'm not sure what came first and so on, but one of the two designs was actually released in three various designs, being a normal cart with a so-called HES dongle attach to borrow the nin10 (lockout) information from an official NES cartridge, one being a normal cartridge with "no strings strings attached" (did I just name an Nsync album there? damn!). The third revision is actually almost like the one just mentioned except for a small change of the edge of the cartridge. It's probably done to make it easier to pull a HES cartridge out of a NES console that the idea to add a small plastic bar, or whatever you want to call it, to the edge to secure a better grip.

It seems that this type was used in most, if not all, games released with cardboard boxes, while my 6-PAK game released in a hardcase doesn't feature the bar for better grip.

The other type of HES cartridge used is the Piggyback cartridge where the dongle has been built into the actual cartridge. This type was used all games released hardcases. Existing releases were rereleased with piggyback carts as they were said to have better compatibility but were also a lot bulkier than the normal style cartridges or the ones using the dongle.

The idea to use a dongle most likely came from Sachen as some of their carts come with a small port where a ribboncable can be attached. One of Sachen's cartridge adapters was actually released with such a ribboncable included.

I think it's safe to conclude that dongle cartridge were used for the first generation of games even though it goes against my belief that Pyramid was the first HES release as Pyramid uses a non-dongle cartridge. Well the Piggyback cart was most likely (definately) the mid-era cart while the non-dongle cart was late-era.

This also could explain why Soccer, Pipemania and Twin Eagle are so hard to find, by the time they were released the demand was most likely low and they were therefore manufactured in low quantities. However it is pure guessing from my part though.

HES games have alwayd been identified by the cool looking videocassette like boxes made of plastic. However later in the HES Nintendo publishing lifespan they decided to change to cardboard boxes, a decision most likely made to have HES releases look more like official games. Most of the cardboard boxes are extremely hard to find. Below is an as complete as possible list of HES titles released. The idea with the list also is to uncover how each title was released, meaning cardboard and/or hardcase box, dongle, without or both and so on. Some games came with a printed manual while other had the manual printed on the inner side of hardcase cover paper. The cardboard box releases mostly included a copy of the inlay from a hardcase release as manual.

I've used a few shortnames in the list and the following is an explanation of them.

B = Black & While label
T = White Text Label (text only)
R = Red Label
G = Green Label
C = Color Label

Let get on with the list then....

TITLE CARTRIDGE LABEL BOX
Arctic Adventure
Standard
YES
Piggyback
YES
Dongle
.
B
C
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
YES
Hardcase
.
Cardboard
YES
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Chiller
Standard
YES
Piggyback
YES
Dongle
.
C
C
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
YES
Hardcase
.
Cardboard
YES
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Death Race
Standard
.
Piggyback
YES
Dongle
.
.
C
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
YES
Hardcase
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Duck Maze
Standard
YES
Piggyback
YES
Dongle
YES
C
C
C
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
YES
Hardcase
YES
Cardboard
YES
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
F15 City War
Standard
YES
Piggyback
YES
Dongle
.
C
C
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
YES
Hardcase
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Funblaster Pak
Standard
.
Piggyback
YES
Dongle
.
.
C
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
YES
Hardcase
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Galactic Crusader
Standard
.
Piggyback
.
Dongle
.
.
.
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
HES 6-Pak:
Real Player's Pak
Standard
YES
Piggyback
YES
Dongle
.
C
C
.
Hardcase
YES
Hardcase
YES
Hardcase
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Impossible Mission II
Standard
.
Piggyback
YES
Dongle
.
.
C
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
YES
Hardcase
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Jackpot
Standard
YES
Piggyback
YES
Dongle
.
C
C
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
YES
Hardcase
.
Cardboard
YES
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Little Red Hood
Standard
.
Piggyback
YES
Dongle
YES
.
C
C
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
YES
Hardcase
YES
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Maxi-15 Pack (V1)
Standard
.
Piggyback
YES
Dongle
.
.
C
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
YES
Hardcase
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Maxi-15 Pack (V2)
Standard
.
Piggyback
YES
Dongle
.
.
C
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
YES
Hardcase
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
YES
Cardboard
.
Mindblower Pak
Standard
.
Piggyback
YES
Dongle
.
.
C
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
YES
Hardcase
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Othello
Standard
YES
Piggyback
.
Dongle
.
.
.
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
PAC-Man
Standard
.
Piggyback
.
Dongle
.
.
.
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Pipemania
Standard
YES
Piggyback
.
Dongle
.
T
.
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
.
Cardboard
YES
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Pyramid
Standard
YES
Piggyback
.
Dongle
.
C
.
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
.
Cardboard
YES
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Raid 2020
Standard
.
Piggyback
YES
Dongle
.
.
C
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
YES
Hardcase
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
R.B.I. Baseball
Standard
YES
Piggyback
YES
Dongle
.
C
C
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
YES
Hardcase
.
Cardboard
YES
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Sidewinder
Standard
YES
Piggyback
YES
Dongle
YES
B
C B
C
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
YES
Hardcase
YES
Cardboard
YES
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Silent Assault
Standard
YES
Piggyback
YES
Dongle
YES
C
C
C
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
YES
Hardcase
YES
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Soccer (Magexa)
Standard
YES
Piggyback
.
Dongle
.
T
.
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
.
Cardboard
YES
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Super Sprint
Standard
.
Piggyback
YES
Dongle
.
.
C
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
YES
Hardcase
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Toobin'
Standard
YES
Piggyback
YES
Dongle
.
C B
C
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
YES
Hardcase
.
Cardboard
YES
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Total Funpak
Standard
.
Piggyback
YES
Dongle
.
.
C
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
YES
Hardcase
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Twin Eagle
Standard
YES
Piggyback
.
Dongle
.
T
.
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
.
Cardboard
YES
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Vindicators
Standard
.
Piggyback
YES
Dongle
.
.
C
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.

Unfortunately not everything HES had in mind for a release actually happened. Below is a list of games that in one way or another was announced, but has yet to be discovered or verified to actually exist.

TITLE CARTRIDGE LABEL BOX
Boom Bang
Standard
.
Piggyback
.
Dongle
.
.
.
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Gauntlet
Standard
.
Piggyback
.
Dongle
.
.
.
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Indiana Jones:
Temple of Doom
Standard
.
Piggyback
.
Dongle
.
.
.
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Math Quiz
Standard
.
Piggyback
.
Dongle
.
.
.
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Menace Beach
Standard
.
Piggyback
.
Dongle
.
.
.
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Pings 'N Wolf
Standard
.
Piggyback
.
Dongle
.
.
.
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Road Runner
Standard
.
Piggyback
.
Dongle
.
.
.
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Rolling Thunder
Standard
.
Piggyback
.
Dongle
.
.
.
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
.
Hardcase
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.
Cardboard
.

One HES release received an update rather quickly and I believe the stock was removed from the market. The release was the Maxi-15 pack and it wasn't really HES' fault that the ROM had to be changed.

HES had licensed a compilation cart from American Video Entertainment called MaxiVision, 15 games on one cartridge. Well it turned out that AVE had included two games in the compilation that they actually didn't have a proper license to use on a so-called multicart. The two games were Pyramid and Double Strike, both made by Sachen.

So the cartridge was revised and the two games were exchanged with Death Race and Blackjack as well as the game (menu) was altered from a guy with no legs, I guess they were supposed to be covered by fog in the lower part of the screen. Instead the Maxi15 logo was shown on the screen.

The most common version of the HES Maxi-15 is what is known as MaxiVision Version 2 (V2), while the Americans are used to the first version (V1) of the MaxiVision. America did see V2 released in very limited numbers and it's a real rarity. In Australia it's the opposite, being V1 which is the most rare.

Unfortunately for the Americans it's impossible to tell V1 from V2 from just looking at the cartridge. The Australians however were treated with a different color label for V2. While V1 has a green label, V2 has a red one. So keep an eye out for those insanely rare green ones! :-)

A few games included a small catalog of HES releases, and some future ones that never made it. You can view the entire catalog below.

I had almost forgotten about it, but HES also released an adapter for the NES called Uniadapter. As far as I know two version exist and what it does is allow foreign games to use with with an Australian NES deck, be it Asian (Famicom), American or European NES cartridges.

One version of the Uniadapter is a piggyback style adapter, where two cartridges piggyback the Uniadapter. The other version is a bit of an oddity. It's a normal HES cart with a major dongle and ribbon cable attached.

ADITIONAL
PICTURES