Multicarts are usually a single game cartridge that has more than one game on it. Since they are very easy to make, a lot of them are made by various pirate companies. They are most commonly found for the NES/Famicom, but they have been produced for many popular cartridge-based consoles, including the Atari 2600, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, and Nintendo DS, among others.
While rarer, "multicarts" (more appropriately called compilation discs) have also appeared on disc-based systems such as the PlayStation.
- A whole bunch of pictures crammed onto the cartridge's art. Sometimes the pictures are from a more recent game (or possibly an unrelated film), or the official art has been edited.
- Misspellings of the game names on the cartridge and/or menu.
- A list on the cart (usually on the back of the box if it's a large number of games) listing the game names in English and/or Chinese.
- Many multicarts have an unusually high number like 200-in-1, 777-in-1, or even 99999999-in-1.
- Most of them use a menu system, although multicarts containing 4 games or less (sometimes considerably more for Game Boy multicarts) are sometimes reset based.
- The carts typically don't hold up their promise, meaning the last few games could be duplicates of the originals.
- With earlier cartridges, the lower the number of games listed often indicated a better cartridge. Lower counts like 4-in-1 often contained larger, rarer games, and sometimes pirate originals or hacks.
- Some carts have stolen artwork from any other games in the game select screen.
- The copyright notices are usually removed from the games. Occasionally the logo is removed as well.
- NES cartridges use "mappers"; mappers are special chips used to enhance later cartridge releases. There are over 256 mappers in total, but multicarts often only support mapper 0/NROM (which are cartridges with no mapper at all) and mapper 4/MMC3 (which is used in some late 80s - early 90s releases).
- Some multicarts also feature mapper 3/CNROM games. Usually there is no support for mapper 3 on the cartridges; the games are heavily modified to run on the multicart's own proprietary mapper.
- Games like Tetris, TwinBee, Dr. Mario, and Arkanoid are often cut down in multicarts to turn them into mapper 0 games (see above). This causes some graphical glitches, but doesn't render games unplayable.
- As they are developed for Famiclones, some multicarts will not work properly on a real Famicom, if at all.
- DIP switches that can "alter" the amount of games on it, although the extra games are usually repeats.
- Many more recent multicarts are much larger (16/32/64/128 MB) than usual, and can contain approximately 150 to 800 different games on them without repeats. Certain ones will not work on a real Famicom.
- On multicarts for all other systems, the games usually retain their copyrights. Known exceptions include some older Genesis/Mega Drive multicarts.
- Atari 2600 multicarts are usually reset-based with no menu system, and can have anywhere from 4 to 128 games (the latter meaning the player would have to ridiculously reset the console 128 times to fully navigate the menu). A handful of later cartridges instead had physical switches sticking out of the cartridge itself to select each game.
- SNES multicarts usually contain about 7 games without repeats.
- Genesis/Mega Drive multicarts are similar to those for the SNES, except some of them contain repeats.
- Some larger Game Boy multicarts are twice as tall as standard carts to accommodate the extra games.
- Some Game Boy multicarts don't have a boot-up menu at all, and instead, employ a physical button on the cartridge itself which resets the system and cycles to the next one on the cartridge.
- Game Boy Color multicarts have backwards compatibility for the Game Boy. However, GBC games that don't work on a Game Boy are exempt from this.
- Game Gear multicarts sometimes have either a small number of games made for it or Sega SG-1000 ports.
- With bootleg GBA multicarts, most (if not all) of the games included are for the Famicom/NES. These kind of multicarts were created with PocketNES, a free NES emulator for the GBA.
- GBA multicarts often list most of the games in alphabetical order, apart from games beginning with one or two certain letters which appear earlier in the list.
- With GBA and recent Famicom multicarts, there are normally several larger Famicom/NES titles included among the frequently included games.
- Nintendo DS multicarts typically include DS games exclusively and many of these contain at least 250 different games. Some of them have additional menu options for games from other systems (NES, Game Boy, etc.), but clicking on them does nothing.
- Many DS carts actually feature a micro SD card shoved inside the plastic (or sometimes just covered up with a sticker). They are likely based on Flash Cartridge hardware.
- There is one known multicart for Nintendo 64. It features the original Mario Party trilogy and fifteen NES games, which seem to be running on an unidentified homebrew emulator.
- While not actually cartridges, many multigame compilations were released for disc-based systems like the Dreamcast and Playstation 2. Almost all of these discs exclusively feature various Mario games for NES and SNES, and are often branded as Super Mario All-Stars collections.
- Some VCD/DVD players (mostly portable; all of them with a specific SunPlus chipset) are bundled with a disc featuring NES games (called the Game VCD) and 2 controllers, The Game VCD claims to have 300 games, but there's only a small number of unique games.
- Arcade games such as Pandora's Box run certain games mostly Neo-Geo and CPS1 games on an outdated Final Burn Alpha version while some 3D Games such as Tekken 2 and Plasma Sword ran slower than on actual hardware due to them being run on an outdated MAME version as well.
- PlayStation compilation discs may have some content such as music or FMV ripped out in order for every game in it to fit within one disc.
Famicom/NES and Game Boy Advance (PocketNES)
- Super Mario Bros. (probably the most common, and many have slight variations such as using graphics from the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2, a different logo, or hacked to make something like Pandamar)
- Galaxian and Galaga
- Contra and Super C (usually the NES version)
- Dr. Mario
- Mario Bros.
- Adventure Island
- Tetris (most commonly Tengen's, but BPS' version appears as well with Tengen's typically referred to as Tetris 2; Nintendo's version is rarely, if ever, seen)
- Early Namco titles (Pac-Man, Battle City, Mappy, etc.)
- Early Konami titles (Circus Charlie,Road Fighter, Yie Ar Kung Fu, etc.,)
- Tank 1990 (Battle City hack)
- Duck Hunt/Wild Gunman/Hogan's Alley (the different modes are sometimes separated on the menu. These are usually excluded from GBA multicarts due to the lack of light gun support)
- Donkey Kong trilogy (Donkey Kong 3 is normally called "Gorilla 3")
- Early Hudson Soft titles (Nuts & Milk, Bomberman, Binary Land, etc.)
- Popeye (should not be confused with Popeye II)
- Japan exclusives (such as Choujikuu Yousai Macross and Urusei Yatsura:Lum no Wedding Bell)
- Dian Shi Ma Li
- Star Force
- Star Soldier
- Hwang Shinwei games
- Hummer Team games (typically Sonic 5, Garou Densetsu Special and/or Aladdin)
- Most other first-generation Famicom games which are 40KB or less.
On more recent multicarts (post-2010), larger games are commonly included. Some of these are:
- Adventure Island 1-4
- Various later Mario titles
- Ninja Gaiden 2 and 3
- Robocop 1 and 3
- Double Dragon Trilogy
- Target Renegade (Usually as a bootleg title hack called "Double Dragon IV")
- Nekketsu/River City Ransom Series (Usually listed as "Hot Blood")
- SNK Games (Usually Guevara (Japanese Guerilla Warfare) and Ikari 3)
- Certain LJN Games (Back to the Future, The Punisher, Terminator 2)
- Later Capcom Releases (Mega Man Trilogy, Street Fighter 2010, Chip n Dale 1-2, Talespin, Duck Tales and Darkwing Duck)
- Tiny Toon Adventures 1-2
- Snow Bros.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series
- T&C Surf Designs (Mostly mislabeled as "Tenage Hutant", possibly a misspelling of the unrelated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series)
- Bubble Bobble Part 2
- Kick Master
- Super Contra
- Contra Force
- Contra bootlegs (Mainly Super Contra 6 and both Super Contra 7 and its title hack, Super Contra 8)
- King of Fighters '97 (or more specifically, the King of Fighters '99 hack that changes the title screen and omits the final boss fight with Rugal, causing the game to loop in an endless cycle.)
- Mario Numbered Hacks (Usually Mario 6, Mario 14, Mario 10 and Super Mario World 9, will be included, which are hacks of Tiny Toon Adventures, Kid Niki 3, Jackie Chan's Action Kung Fu and Adventure Island 2, respectively.)
- Street Fighter VI (12 Peoples Version)
- Mortal Kombat 4
- A wide variety of games from Inventor and Nice Code
Game Boy (Color)
- Super Mario Land (sometimes using the Super Pika! Land hack)
- Super Mario 4
- Battle City
- Puzzle Boy I and II
- Sonic 3D Blast 5 (and/or other Makon Soft games)
- King of Fighters 96 (at least in the more recent carts)
- Many other first-generation Game Boy games
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Sunset Riders
- Rambo III
- The Flintstones
- Michael Jackson's Moonwalker
- Ms. Pac-Man
- Shove It!
- Streets of Rage (more often than not, it will be referred to as its original Japanese name "Bare Knuckle")
- Many other games which are 512KB or less
- Super Mario World
- Sonic the Hedgehog (hack of Speedy Gonzales: Los Gatos Bandidos)
- Tom & Jerry
- Top Gear
- Mega Man X
- 11-in-1 Ball Series - By J.Y. Company, this cartridge was released throughout the world and subsequently re-released during the 90s. It is one of the most known multicart in countries where the Famicom was not available officially.
- Super 45-in-1 - By J.Y. Company, this is the only cart known to have the full version of the Famicom Super Mario World. As well as this, many J.Y. and Ka Sheng multicarts in general usually contain a small number of Famicom games about 256KB in size and/or at least one pirated game, usually by Hummer Team.
- 260-in-1 (and variants) - Includes many of Hwang Shinwei's games, many of which are known to have been unreleased on their own.
- Super Game's multicarts usually contain at least one pirated port of a game such as Earthworm Jim 2. This was probably done to include more space on the cart for the game. (They usually include a few more games to fill up the rest of the cart.)
- Action 52 - Known for its original games but also infamous for the poor quality of them. The menu is stolen from the Supervision 52-in-1 and modified somewhat.
- Maxivision 15-in-1 - Unlicensed NES games made by various game companies such as Color Dreams, Sachen, and American Video Entertainment. Distributed in North America and Australia by AVE and HES respectively. An updated version replaces the Sachen titles due to a licensing issue that prevented AVE to put Sachen games on multicart.
- Caltron 6-in-1 - Includes six games made by NTDEC. Also sold as Myriad 6-in-1.
- Asder 20-in-1 - Update to the Caltron 6-in-1 that adds some of NTDEC's other early releases and includes Benico and Top Hunter, which don't seem to have got stand-alone releases.
- The 9999999-in-1 multicarts that were frequently bundled with Famiclones and usually had Unchained Melody (original track performed by The Righteous Brothers with the above image as the background) or Can You Feel The Love Tonight (originally performed by Elton John, had Super Lion King's graphics used as a base, but the music seems to be covered from scratch) as the background music. The first type is known to exist in several variations, including the undumped ones, such as the one bundled with Haili LM-888. (neither animations nor music are present, includes four unique games)
- Super New Year Cart 15-in-1 - This multicart is known to have only games developed by Hummer Team, and some exclusive games that latter appeared in Samuri/ZDog,re-releases of games previously published by ABAB Soft, like Rings (Panda Adventure hack), War, and Titenic (but a lot of stuff were cut), and hacks of their other games, like :
- CoolBoy 400-in-1 Real Game - this multicart is known to have a lot of games in it, and with no repeats of other ones (like the majority of multicarts), the size of this multicart is 32 megabytes, and some variants of it have plus 3 games.
- Super 24-in-1 - this multicart was published by J.Y. Company contains both unlicensed games and licensed ones, 2 Rex Soft games, 5 Hummer Team games, 1 Cony Soft game, the other unlicensed game is Rockman 7 (NES), a hack of Mega Man 6
- Super 68 in 1 - an oversized cartridge for the Game Boy released in early to mid 1992, containing a large selection of games, no duplicates, including some (at the time) recent big releases such as Adventure Island II and Tiny Toon Adventures: Babs' Big Break.
- Crash Bandicoot Collection 1, 2, 3 - a collection of the first three Crash Bandicoot games on one disc for the PlayStation, long before the official release of Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy. Unlike most compilation discs, all content in this compilation are intact due to the games being small in size by PlayStation standards.