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CREATED APR.21.2011
UPDATED APR.21.2011
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TEXT WRITTEN BY
MARTIN NIELSEN
ACCLAIM ARTSEND TOOL
AN INHOUSE DEVELOPED N64 CODING TOOL

This is the N64 ArtSend which is pretty much unknown, mainly because it wasn't an official tool for developers. A few third party developers obviously didn't like what they were offered from Nintendo, so they set out to create their own tools. Acclaim was one, no only did they import and use Doctor V64 "game copiers" for their development but they also created at least one tool to help them in their many Nintendo64 development projects.

Click to enlarge

The PCB above is Acclaim's ArtSend tool, a custom PCB hosted in a shell that looks like it was taken from a donor game. At the top of the PCB there's a cartridge connector which is used to borrow the CIC info from another cartridge, as the ArtSend has no onboard CIC chip. What's needed is a 6102 CIC and no other, luckily it's the most common one.

On the backside there's a standard DB-25 male connector which I'm guessing was used to hook the thing up to a PC with some ArtSend tool which has yet to be discovered in the ruins of the Acclaim belongings.

When powered up, the cartrige shows the following....

Sofar 3 of these cartridges are known to have surfaced, all in the hands of a single collector until recently.

What exactly the cart was used for is unknown, other than loading art onto an actual N64. It's known however that the cart was used for at least one major project at Acclaim, being the creation of Turok 3: Shadows of Oblivion.

Back in the last 1990's Discovery Channel ran a series of documentaries called "Forbidden Places" and in one of the episodes Discovery visited Acclaim Studios in Austin, where David Dienstbier gave them a tour through the Turok 3 development room. A few screen caps were posted at Dextrose (a "scene" website back in the N64 days) from the show, and guess what some screen caps had to show?

If you'd like to see the rest of the screen caps, I have a mirror of the Dextrose page available here.

Unfortunately the Discovery episode is no where to be found....

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