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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.
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.
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.