NTDEC / Asder
Ntdec asder
Origin Xinyi district, Taipei, Taiwan
Years 1983-present
Consoles Famicom / NES
First Game Pokey
Sounds used NTDEC
Aliases Mega Soft, Caltron, Multi-Idea Co., Ltd
Related companies Rex Soft, Tip Top

NTDEC (Nintendo Electronic Co., 任天堂電子有限公司) is a company that produced pirate Famicom and NES cartridges from 1988 to 1991, and numerous unlicensed original games from 1991 onwards, although the company itself has been active since 1983. Since 1993 it has operated under the name Asder (亞斯德科技有限公司), and currently produces children's educational products.[1]

History Edit

Early history Edit

NTDEC Life Force

Pirate copy of Life Force with the copyright crediting NTDEC. (Salamander name on cartridge but Life Force in-game)

According to Asder's website, the company was founded in 1983, but its activities at this point were unknown. The Famicom was released the same year but widespread piracy of its games had not yet begun. It may have been involved in Atari 2600 games, or non-gaming products.

Piracy (1988-1991) Edit

NTDEC produced a large number of pirate copies of Japanese Famicom games between 1988 and 1991, which were sold worldwide. Unusually among pirate cartridge manufacturers, NTDEC cartridges are often identifiable by the company logo on the cartridge and the in-game copyright notice modified to read "NTDEC", as well as the rear label featuring a green "QUALITY GUARANTY" (sic) stripe (although this label was also used by other companies).

Two NTDEC employees were arrested in 1991 for the company's activities distributing cartridges in the US, and legal action was brought against the company by Nintendo shortly after for copyright infringement, as well as its use of the "Nintendo" trademark in its company name. [2][3]

NTDEC original games (1991-1993) Edit

Before 1991, NTDEC is only known to have released one original game, Pokey (1989). However, between 1991 and 1993, NTDEC published many more original games in Asia, some of which were distributed in parts of South America and Europe. Most of the games released in 1991 used the "Mega Soft" name, but the "Caltron" name was used for several releases in 1992, including the Caltron 6-in-1. This is possibly the most well-known of NTDEC's products as it received a release in many more countries than their previous games, including the US. Caltron itself listed a Los Angeles address and phone number on a survey card included with the game; this was presumably the address also used by the US "Mega Soft" company named in Nintendo's lawsuit. However, after this point NTDEC appears to have abandoned both the Mega Soft and Caltron names, and simply used its own name in its games.

Asder (1993-Present) Edit

Nintendo's legal action of 1991 concluded in 1993 with Nintendo being awarded $24,059,062 plus attorneys fees of $108,829.00 and costs of $709.80, and a worldwide permanent injunction preventing NTDEC from infringing Nintendo's intellectual property rights. At this point the company ceased operations under the NTDEC name. However it appears to have simply renamed itself to Asder Electronic Co., Ltd, which continued to produce NTDEC's Famiclones, and released educational computer systems and TV game joypads containing Mega Soft games, as well as several original Famicom titles continuing NTDEC's CN-xx numbering.

Asder is not known to have developed any original Famicom games since 1994, although it released the Famicom-based PC-95 keyboard presumably in 1995, and another Famicom-based keyboard, the PC-2000, possibly in 2000.[4] It currently produces educational products such as children's "laptops" with simple low-res mono LCD screens, as well as a keyboard-based plug & play TV system and its own educational game console, the "A.Smart", but the latter two systems appear to be based on a 16- or even 32-bit architecture rather than Famiclone hardware.

List of games produced by NTDEC Edit

As NTDEC / Mega Soft / Caltron Edit

  • Adam & Eve (1991) (NTDEC)
  • Balloon Monster (1991) (Mega Soft, Caltron)
  • Bookyman (1991) (NTDEC, Mega Soft) (Hack of Brush Roller by Hwang Shinwei)
  • Caltron 6-in-1 (1992 (Caltron)
  • Cosmos Cop (1991) (Mega Soft, Caltron) (CN-08)
  • Destroyer (1992) (NTDEC, Caltron)
  • Dream Fighter (1993) (Asder) (CN-17)
  • Fighting Hero (1991) (Mega Soft)
  • Fighting Hero III (1993) (NTDEC)
  • Go! Benny! (1992) (NTDEC, Mega Soft)
  • Hit Marmot (1991) (Mega Soft)
  • Magic Block (1991) (Mega Soft)
  • Magic Carpet 1001 (1991) (Mega Soft)
  • Master Shooter (1993) (NTDEC)
  • Pokey (1989) (NTDEC)
  • Porter (1991) (Mega Soft)
  • San Guo Zhi: Chibi Zhi Zhan (三國志-赤壁之戰) (a port of Warriors of Fate) (NTDEC) (CN-20)
  • Sea of Dreamland (1992) (Mega Soft)
  • Skate Boy (1992) (Caltron)
  • Super Gun (1992) (NTDEC)
  • Tank (1992) (NTDEC, Caltron)
  • War in the Gulf (1991) (Mega Soft)

As Asder Edit

  • Asder 20-in-1 (1993) Games that have so far appeared only on this cartridge and Asder Famiclones, but may have received single cart releases earlier:
    • Benico
    • Top Hunter
  • Cobra Mission (1994) (CN-27)
  • Huang Di (possibly 1994)
  • JP Ronny (1993)
  • San Guo Zhi: Qun Xiong Zheng Ba (Unknown date)
  • Zhen Ben - Zhi You Ji (1994)

Unknown Edit

  • Dragon Palace Adventure (Unreleased)
The pearl turn

The Pearl Turn screenshot.

  • The Pearl Turn (Listed on a Famiclone box with other Mega Soft games, whether it was released or not is unknown)

Other Famicom products Edit

  • Powerful 250 in One multicart (1991) (NTDEC)
  • NT-xx series Famiclones
  • NTDEC Stick Turbo Jr.; clone of an ASCII product
  • Asder PC-95
  • Asder PC-2000

Related games Edit

These have features such as fonts and the sound engine in common with NTDEC/Asder's games, and as such may have shared some development staff, but they appear to have been released by other companies.

  • Elfland (1992, credited to "Tip Top")
  • Lethal Weapon (1994, credited to "Go Go") (Actually a port of Lethal Enforcers; unrelated to the film or NES game of the same name)
  • All games by Rex Soft

Trivia Edit

  • The sound effect used in the Asder intro is almost identical to one from S.C.A.T..
  • NTDEC originals were distributed in South Korea by Game Line.
  • NTDEC apparently sold Memory Controllers chips (most notably MMC3 clones) to smaller publishers in the early days. It would have been too expensive for those to produce their own.[5]
  • In Argentina (and maybe the rest of South America?) NTDEC had a subsidiary named NTD C.

References Edit

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