Ask anyone which console they have their eyes on right now, and they’ll likely answer with “the SNES Classic Edition.” Nintendo’s highly anticipated console launched just a day ago, on September 29, flying off retail shelves and even selling out at GameStop in a matter of minutes. And while most gamers simply wanted to purchase the new system and have a bit of nostalgic fun with it, others’ intentions weren’t a bit sneakier: People have already started ripping the shoot-em-up title Star Fox 2 to original SNES cartridges.
These tech-savvy players who pirated the title — whose predecessor is one of the Super Nintendo games everyone should play — have also posted the ripped carts for sale on sites like eBay and Etsy. The seller of the homemade regular SNES version of Star Fox 2, known as lvretrogames on eBay, indicated that they tested it out on an original SNES and that it “works great.” However, it doesn’t include a battery slot to save high scores.
Additionally, it appears that one person managed to get Star Fox 2 up and running on a second-model Super Nintendo system, which sports a smaller design than the original console. Take a look at it running on non-SNES Classic Edition hardware in the video below:
The process of extracting the Star Fox 2 ROM may not have been that difficult, as the SNES Classic and the NES Classic use the same type of internal hardware, with only the shell and software differing. This allows any previously released hacking tools to have access (though limited) to the system upon launch. These pirated versions of Star Fox 2 could start a dangerous trend, as popular Nintendo games like Chrono Trigger and the Donkey Kong Country sequels are missing from the SNES Classic Edition. Fans may very well ramp up their ripping efforts with these omissions before too long.
While it remains a little unclear why a Nintendo fan would necessarily want to purchase a bootleg of Star Fox 2, as it doesn’t come bundled in replicated packaging to look aesthetically pleasing amongst a collection, ROM fiends may want to add the ripped game to their SNES emulation treasury. At a price-point of $65 USD, players can get their hands on an unauthentic version of the sci-fi game that almost never was, as Star Fox 2 was released yesterday after years of waiting.
Some may be concerned that these rips will impact the sales of the SNES Classic Edition, but fear not — the console sold out during its pre-order period and is currently selling like mad, with production expected to dramatically increase to accommodate for the high demand. What will be affected, however, is the ROM’s availability and those who are selling it. Nintendo has long asserted that “second copy” situations like this one violate copyright law, and creating and downloading ROMs and emulators is illegal.
For those not wanting to risk getting a big reprimand from the Big N, the SNES Classic Edition comes bundled with a ton of games (Star Fox 2 included!), including The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Castlevania IV, Mega Man X, Kirby Super Star, and Secret of Mana. And with two controllers included, there’s always room for a friend to join the fun.
Star Fox 2 is available exclusively on the SNES Classic Edition, which brings together 21 of the best SNES games into one standalone console.