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What is a Game Genie and How to use one?

What is a Game Genie?

I bet you haven't heard the name "Game Genie" in a long time, or maybe you haven't heard that name at all. Game Genie is very much like today's cheating device Game Shark, just insert it into the console, as well as inserting the game you wanted to cheat on, then put in a code in order to preform a specific cheat.

Problems Using the Game Genie

During the time Game Genie was around it caused a few problems on some consoles. Even today you can still buy them off Ebay, or other places that sell retro gaming stuff, just be aware that it may cause you some problems.

Some GameGenies that are meant for a specific consoles may have their own specific problems, such as the Game Genie for SNES, the only issue I can see right now is that it seems to have complications with games that have a performance enhancing chip equipped to it. Such as the Super FX or the S-DD1 chip. You may know a few performance enhancing chip games like Star Fox or Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. Therefore, due to this chip problem, you can not cheat on every Super Nintendo game out there.

Some people have said that they tried it on their friends consoles and it worked fine, but when they tried it on their Super Nintendo it didn't work. Wikipedia's is where I found out about the performance enhancing chip problem. Some other players had a problem about not be able to play a specific game with the Game Genie, however, it wasn't a performance enhancing chip game that is being used on the Game Genie. The solution might be that the Game Genie needs a Master Code in order to apply any cheats for that particular game. Where to find the Master Code? It differs between each game, and which kind of codes being entered, I usually spot these Masters Codes on the top of the list of a particular game when I search for Game Genie codes.

There are may be more problems besides the ones above, you can usually find solutions using search engines and Video Game Forums that discuss retro gaming.

How to use the Game Genie

Even though Game Genie is so last decade, you may never used a Game Genie before, or forgotten how to use one. It is very simple to use, the only thing you have to do is to pick (even mix) some codes you are interested in using. The only hold up is that you can only enter 5 codes at a time.

Some effects may require more than one code in order to work.

Also take note that if the game doesn't have a performance enhancing chip, and still doesn't work in the Game Genie, it might require a Master Code, this is one of may reasons why some effects may require more than one code.

Super Nintendo Game Genie Codes

SNES Game Genie
Game Genie Codes for Super Nintendo Games can be found by clicking on the image above.

One of the major problems with the Game Genie for Super Nintendo is that, it does not work with Super Nintendo games that contain a performance enhancing chip like the Super FX, SA-1, and S-DD1 chip. Some of these enhancing chips will appear in some of the coolest games I have played such as Star Fox, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, and Street Fighter Alpha 2.

Sega Genesis Game Genie Codes

Sega Genesis Game Genie

Game Genie Codes for Sega Genesis Games can be found by clicking on the image above.

On the Sega Mega Drive / Sega Genesis Console, the Game Genie can function as a country converter cartridge as well as it's initial feature, since most of these games are only "locked" to their respective regions by the shape of the cartridges and a set of a few bytes in the header of the ROM file.

Nintendo Entertainment System Game Genie Codes

NES Game Genie

Game Genie Codes for NES Games can be found by clicking on the image above.

The Game Genie attaches to the end of a cartridge and is then inserted into the cartridge port of the console for which it was designed. The loading mechanism of the NES makes the use of the NES Game Genie awkward, as game cartridges for the NES are inserted into the console, then depressed down into the console. The addition of the Game Genie causes the cartridge to protrude from the console when fully inserted, making the depression impossible. Therefore, the Game Genie was designed in such a way that it did not need to be depressed in order to start the game. This design put even more stress on the ZIF socket than standard game insertion, bending pins and eventually causing units to be unplayable without the Game Genie present.

The design of the Game Genie also made it very difficult to insert into a newer top-loading NES. An adaptor was made to deal with the problem, but few were requested, today they are hard to find since the stock was liquidated.

Sega Game Gear Game Genie Codes

Game Gear Game Genie

Game Genie Codes for Sega Game Gear Games can be found by clicking on the image above.

The Sega Game Gear's Game Genie had a more complicated design than those for other systems. When inserted into the cartridge slot, another slot would pop-up to insert the Game Gear cartridge. It also had a compartment which contained a book of codes. The codes were printed on sticky labels to put on the back of the Game Gear cartridge. When entering codes, the player could easily see what to type in rather than looking through the book.

On the screen in which a code is entered for the Game Gear Game Genie, a player typing the word "DEAD" will cause the screen to move up and down, possibly as an easter-egg.

Game Boy Game Genie Codes

Game Boy Game Genie

Game Genie Codes for Nintendo Gameboy Games can be found by clicking on the image above.

There is a version of the Game Genie for the Nintendo Game Boy console. It was inserted into the Game Boy cartridge slot and featured an additional cartridge slot where the Game Boy games were inserted. This version of the Game Genie contained a very small code booklet that was stored in a small compartment on the back. The Game Boy Game Genie's design made it difficult to be used with any version of the Game Boy other than the original due to its size. Although it could be made to work, if one attempted to use the Game Genie on the Game Boy Pocket or Game Boy Color, they would find the large top portion of the Game Genie would come into contact with the top of the Game Boy Pocket / Game Boy Color before it was fully engaged. Therefore the Game Genie would need to be bent backwards placing strain on the mechanism to allow it to be pressed down far enough to reach the Game Boy Pocket / Game Boy Color cartridge contacts. Although, it will work pretty well with the Game Boy Advance SP system.