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Encyclopedia > Famicom Disk System
Legend of Zelda Famicom Disk
Legend of Zelda Famicom Disk

The Family Computer Disk System (ファミリーコンピュータ ディスクシステム Famirī Konpyūta Disuku Shisutemu?, FDS) was released on February 21, 1986 by Nintendo as a peripheral to their overwhelmingly popular Family Computer ("Famicom") console in Japan. It was a unit that sat underneath the Famicom and used proprietary floppy disks for data storage. It was announced, but never released, for the North American Nintendo Entertainment System. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 511 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1336 × 1568 pixel, file size: 3 MB, MIME type: image/png) (All user names refer to en. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 511 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1336 × 1568 pixel, file size: 3 MB, MIME type: image/png) (All user names refer to en. ... is the 52nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1986 (MCMLXXXVI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link displays 1986 Gregorian calendar). ... Nintendo Company, Limited (任天堂 or ニンテンドー Nintendō; NASDAQ: NTDOY, TYO: 7974 usually referred to as simply Nintendo, or Big N ) is a multinational corporation founded on September 23, 1889[1] in Kyoto, Japan by Fusajiro Yamauchi to produce handmade hanafuda cards. ... “NES” redirects here. ... A floppy disk is a data storage device that is composed of a disk of thin, flexible (floppy) magnetic storage medium encased in a square or rectangular plastic shell. ... North America North America is a continent[1] in the Earths northern hemisphere and (chiefly) western hemisphere. ... “NES” redirects here. ...


The device was connected to the Famicom deck by plugging a modified cartridge known as the RAM Adapter into the system's cartridge port, which attached via a supplied cable to the disk drive. The RAM adapter contained 32 kilobytes of RAM for temporary program storage, 8 kilobytes of RAM for tile and sprite data storage, and an ASIC known as the 2C33. The ASIC acted as a disk controller for the floppy drive, and also included additional sound hardware featuring primitive FM synthesis capabilities. The floppy disks used were double-sided, with a capacity of 64 kilobytes per side. Many games spanned both sides of a disk, requiring the user to switch sides at some point during gameplay. A few games used two full disks (four sides). The Famicom Disk System was capable of running on six C-cell batteries or the supplied AC adapter. The battery option was included due to the likelihood of a standard set of AC plugs already being occupied by a Famicom and a television. Look up RAM, Ram, ram in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A kilobyte (derived from the SI prefix kilo-, meaning 1,000) is a unit of information or computer storage equal to either 1,000 bytes or 1,024 bytes (210), depending on context. ... In computer graphics, a sprite (also known by other names; see Synonyms below) is a two-dimensional/three-dimensional image or animation that is integrated into a larger scene. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The disk controller (or hard disk controller) is the circuit which allows the CPU to communicate with a hard disk, floppy disk or other kind of disk drive. ... Frequency modulation synthesis (or FM synthesis) is a form of audio synthesis where the timbre of a simple waveform is changed by frequency modulating it with a modulating frequency that is also in the audio range, resulting in a more complex waveform and a different-sounding tone. ... Symbols representing a single Cell (top) and Battery (bottom), used in circuit diagrams. ...

Contents

History

In 1986, the disks' 128K of storage space was quite appealing. The rewritable aspect of the disks also opened up interesting possibilities; games such as The Legend of Zelda (the first FDS game), Metroid, and Kid Icarus were released to the FDS with a save feature. Many of these titles were subsequently ported to cartridge format and released for the NES a year or two later, with saving implemented with password resume or battery-backed memory. Year 1986 (MCMLXXXVI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link displays 1986 Gregorian calendar). ... A kilobyte (derived from the SI prefix kilo-, meaning 1,000) is a unit of information or computer storage equal to either 1,000 bytes or 1,024 bytes (210), depending on context. ... This article is about the first game in the series. ... This article is about the first game in the series. ... For the title character, see Pit (Kid Icarus). ... In computer science, porting is the process of adapting software so that an executable program can be created for a computing environment that is different from the one for which it was originally designed (e. ...


Another appeal of the FDS was its cost: a disk could be produced for a fraction of the price of a cartridge. Disk-based games retailed for less than ¥3,000 (about US$12 in 1985), compared to approximately ¥5,000 (US$20) or more for cartridges. Because floppy disks were less expensive than cartridges, and because of the additional features offered by the Disk System's hardware, many developers produced titles for the system that were sold cheaply at kiosks in retail stores. Also of note was Nintendo's Disk Writer, a vending machine that charged ¥500 to write a new game onto a blank disk or a disk already written with a game. With blank disks costing only ¥2,000 apiece, this approach had obvious advantages over a ¥5,000–7,000 cartridge. Cartridge for the VIC 20 homecomputer In various types of electronic equipment, a cartridge can refer one method of adding different functionality or content (e. ... ISO 4217 Code JPY User(s) Japan Inflation -0. ... “USD” redirects here. ... This article is about the year. ... a pagoda-like kiosk in Lausanne. ...


Nintendo pushed the Disk System extensively in Japan, releasing all of its software exclusively on disk for nearly two years. However, the machine was not as successful as was hoped. Nintendo turned off developers at the outset by demanding partial copyright ownership over any games developed for the FDS, causing many licensees to simply ignore the system outright. Four months after the release of the FDS, the first 128K cartridge-based game, Ghosts 'n Goblins, was released. Memory prices went down and battery backup technology improved faster than Nintendo had anticipated. Thus, the FDS's storage capacity and saving abilities were no longer as appealing to developers. Publishers and retailers complained that the Disk Writer machines, while great for game buyers, were severely cutting into their profits. The final nail in the Disk System’s coffin was an unlicensed device that connected two FDS systems in order to copy games. After a brief surge of FDS sales following the device's release, in 1993, Nintendo ordered all the vending machines to be dismantled. Despite this, Nintendo provided a service to rewrite Disk Cards until September 30, 2003. This article does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... is the 273rd day of the year (274th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Hardware versions

Sharp released the Twin Famicom (ツインファミコン Tsuin Famikon?), a composite console of both Famicom and Disk System under license. Sharp Corporation ) (TYO: 6753 , LuxSE: SRP) is a Japanese electronics manufacturer, founded in 1912. ...


Technology

The FDS disks were somewhat proprietary 2.8" X 3" 64K-per-side double-sided floppy. These "Disk Cards," as Nintendo called them, were a slight modification of Mitsumi's "Quick Disk" 2.8" square disk format which was used in a handful of Japanese computers and various synthesizer keyboards, along with a few word processors. Some of the QuickDisk drives even made it into devices in Europe and North America, though they were somewhat rare. Mitsumi already had close relations with Nintendo, as they manufactured the Famicom and NES consoles, and possibly other Nintendo hardware. Mitsumi Electric Co. ... A floppy disk is a data storage device that is composed of a disk of thin, flexible (floppy) magnetic storage medium encased in a square or rectangular plastic shell. ... “NES” redirects here. ...


BIOS

Nintendo's flagship mascots Mario and brother Luigi make an appearance in the FDS's BIOS. After turning on the system, a "battle" between the two characters would begin over the color scheme of the Nintendo sign and screen border, until a disk is inserted into the FDS. The sprites used are from the NES version of Mario Bros. Mario ) is a video game character created by Japanese game designer Shigeru Miyamoto and the official mascot of Nintendo. ... This article is about the Nintendo character. ... For other uses, see Bios. ... This article is about the original arcade game and its ports. ...


Piracy

Within a year of its release, piracy of the FDS disks became rampant via use of slightly modified QuickDisks and different disk copying techniques. Hacker publications such as Backup Technique (which later became Game Labo, still published today) and Famicom Kaizō Manual showed the plans to make various devices to copy the disks along with very simple plans to convert QuickDisks to FDS disks. At least a couple issues of Backup Technique even advertised products like the Dubbing Boy and the Dubbing Boy II for copying the disks, which were commercialized versions of some of the do-it-yourself projects that the publications wrote articles on. To thwart this piracy, Nintendo changed one of the ICs in the drive to a newer version and made slight modifications to some of the traces on the other PCB within the drive. Techniques were quickly published to build modification boards to circumvent these measures. Certain software techniques were used by some programmers to thwart the copying of their disks, but even these were circumvented by certain unlicensed FDS programs like Disk Hacker (versions include 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, and II), Kosodate Gokko, Copy Master, Disk Keeper, and others, which facilitated the copying of disks.


Reliability issues

Blue disk with shutter
Blue disk with shutter

While the Disk System was years ahead of its time in terms of a disc-format game console, the system and games both have reliability issues. The drive belt in the drive is a proprietary size, and standard floppy drive belts are too big. In addition, no drive in the US uses that size belt, so replacement belts must be obtained from Japan. Until 2004, Japanese residents were able to send their systems to Nintendo directly for repairs/belt replacements, but Nintendo of America does not service them. Those buying Disk Systems from second-hand sources will want to verify that the system has been tested before purchase. The old belts have a habit of breaking or even melting on occasion. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 503 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (784 × 935 pixel, file size: 220 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Famicom Disk System... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 503 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (784 × 935 pixel, file size: 220 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Famicom Disk System...


In addition, the disks themselves must be tested and verified to work on both sides, as the FDS disks’ construction can allow dirt to get into the disk, or even for the disk to demagnetize over time. Even one bad sector on a disc will render it unplayable. In an effort to save money on production, Nintendo opted to not use disk shutters (a feature seen on 3.5” floppy disks) to keep dirt out, instead opting to include wax paper sleeves as with the older 5.25” floppies. The only exception to this were certain games that were special released on blue discs (which did have shutters). A bad sector is a sector on a computers disk drive that cannot be used due to permanent damage, such as physical damage to the disk particles. ... A floppy disk is a data storage device that is composed of a disk of thin, flexible (floppy) magnetic storage medium encased in a square or rectangular plastic shell. ... A floppy disk is a data storage device that is composed of a disk of thin, flexible (floppy) magnetic storage medium encased in a square or rectangular plastic shell. ...


Games

Square Co., Ltd. had a branch at one point called 'Disk Original Group', a software label that published Disk System titles from Japanese PC software companies. The venture was largely a failure and almost pushed a pre-Final Fantasy Square into bankruptcy. (Final Fantasy was to be released for the FDS, but a disagreement over Nintendo's copyright policies caused Square to about-face at the last minute and release the game as a cartridge.) Square Co. ... Final Fantasy ) is a console role-playing game developed and published in Japan by Square (now Square Enix) in 1987 and published in North America by Nintendo of America in 1990, and is the inaugural game in Squares flagship Final Fantasy series. ...


Nintendo released a disk version of Super Mario Bros. in addition to the cartridge version. The Western-market Super Mario Bros. 2 originated from a disk-only game called Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic. This article is about the Super Mario Brothers video game for the NES. For other uses, see Super Mario Bros. ... SMB 2 title screen (Japanese version) Super Mario Bros. ...


Launch titles

For information on launch titles, see the Famicom Disk System section of the article on launch titles. This is an incomplete list of launch titles for various games consoles. ...


Mr. Disk

Nintendo would hold game score contests, and the mascot was called Disk-kun (Mr. Disk). Some of the prizes to these contests included 2 gold prize disks, one for the game Golf US course, and one for Golf Japan course (Not to be confused with the title simply called Golf). These two gold disks had metal shutters on them, like the aforementioned blue disks. Other prizes were a stationary set, and a gold cartridge version of the game Punch-Out!!! In the gold version of Punch-Out!!!, the final boss was Bald Bull.


Legacy

Like other now-defunct Nintendo hardware (such as R.O.B. and the Zapper), the FDS makes the occasional cameo appearance in newer video games. For other uses of R.O.B., see Rob. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Peter Jackson in The Fellowship of the Ring (top), The Two Towers (middle) and The Return of the King (bottom). ...


The FDS BIOS appears in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door along with its signature theme music. The same BIOS also appears in the Japanese-only Super Famicom enhanced remake of Famicom Tantei Club Part II: Ushiro ni Tatsu Shōjo, which was originally a FDS game. Also, some backgrounds in Tetris DS are stylized to imitate the appearance of the FDS BIOS. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is the sequel to the Nintendo 64 video game Paper Mario, and is the fourth in the series of Mario role-playing game titles that includes Super Mario RPG, Paper Mario, and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. ... This article should be merged with Super Nintendo Entertainment System The Super Famicom design differed from that of the American SNES, though the controllers are almost the same. ... Tetris DS is a Touch! Generations puzzle game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS. THQ announced Tetris DS before E3 2005, and scheduled it to make an appearance at the show. ...


The FDS game Nazo no Murasame-jō's disk makes a cameo in Pikmin 2. Nazo no Murasame-jō lit. ... Pikmin 2 ) is a real-time strategy video game developed by Nintendo for the Nintendo GameCube. ...


Disk-kun appeared as a trophy in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Disk-kun also makes a cameo appearance in WarioWare: Touched! for the Nintendo DS, in one of the microgames. He appears as a tattoo on a rock star's arm in Jimmy's microgame set. Super Smash Bros. ... “NDS” redirects here. ...


See also

This is a list of Famicom Disk System video games. ... This article is about Nintendos emulation feature and download service. ...

External links

  • Video of Famicom Disk System features at Powet.TV
  • More Disk System video at Powet.TV
  • Video Game Den - Famicom Disk game reviews, screenshots, boxart
  • Famicom World - More information on the Famicom Disk System

  Results from FactBites:
 
Famicom Disk System - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1050 words)
The Famicom Disk System, attached to a late-model AV Famicom
It was a unit that sat underneath the Famicom and used proprietary floppy disks for data storage.
The Famicom Disk System was capable of running on six C-cell batteries in lieu of the supplied AC adapter, even though the Famicom itself was not portable.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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