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HES NES Nintendo Australian Games

In the late 1980s and early 1990s HES ported games from American Game Cartridges, American Video Entertainment (AVE), Bit Corp, Color Dreams, Epyx, Thin Chen Enterprise (Sachen, Joy Van, etc.) and Tengen onto the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) as unlicensed titles, although they did not release games by Camerica or Active Enterprises. Some of the games HES distributed had no companies credited and their developers remain unknown. Most games were released in plastic cases like a video box with printed instructions on the inside, however sometimes the AVE titles were released in their original AVE boxes with a HES sticker simply stuck over AVE’s original one. HES at the time became widely known for their unlicensed distribution of NES games at budget prices. Nintendo tried to fight against all unlicensed companies by introducing a Nintendo Seal of Quality on all their products which signified that titles adorning the symbol are guaranteed to operate on their NES hardware. To combat this, HES introduced their own seal that mimicked Nintendo’s seal, possibly in the hope of confusing buyers.

In a further attempt to limit the success of unlicensed companies, Nintendo changed the hardware of later revisions of the NES, so unlicensed games would no longer work. Therefore, early HES games are not compatible with many of the later NES consoles. In order to circumvent this, HES developed the ‘Piggy Back’ or ‘Dongle’ games, where one could insert an official NES cart into the HES game and it operated the country code of the official title instead of HES’. This was so successful that HES also used the same technology to build a device to entirely bypass the 10NES security protocol which was released as the HES Unidaptor. The adapter allowed 72-pin and 60-pin NTSC NES/Famicom games to be played on a PAL NES.

HES introduced games to Australia that were not released elsewhere in the western world, and these have become very sought after.

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