Golden Axe tall-cart bootleg for Sega Mega Drive

tl;dr Bootleg Mega Drive games are common, but this is the first tall-cart I have found

These tall-carts are quite common on Famicom, I see them all the time. Usually for multi-game carts, but this is the first time I’ve seen one for Sega Mega Drive.

A multi game cart for Famicom
Some Famicom bootlegs and multi-game carts use the same case

When I saw it at the flea market at first I thought it was some kind of ROM hack of Golden Axe for the Famicom, but on closer inspection it was actually a Mega Drive cart. Bootleg Mega Drive games are common, I have stacks of them, but they’re always in regular sized carts.

Golden Axe bootleg cart label
The large label features the box-art and is missing the game logo

The label features the artwork from the Japanese and PAL releases. Interestingly there’s no logo anywhere on the label, not even the name of the game in Chinese (since this is a Taiwanese bootleg) or otherwise.

There’s actually no Sega branding anywhere on the cart. It just says “TV.Game Cartridge” on the front, and “Home Game Computer” on the back.

Golden Axe bootleg for Mega Drive cart back
The back of the cart

The game works fine and even has the Sega logo splash-screen before the game loads, which is often removed from bootleg Mega Drive games.

Golden Axe bootleg cart with protective end cap
Cart with protective end-cap

These kind of carts come with a protective cap for the end that slides on. Naturally this is easy to lose and so commonly missing.

End label split

End label split

The seam at the top of cart has opened and looks like someone might have been inside, or at least tried to. I couldn’t get the case open, though, otherwise I would have taken a picture of the board inside. I didn’t want to force my way in because the tabs that hold these carts together break easily.

Bootleg Golden Axe in a Sega Mega Drive MK1
Here’s the cart sticking out of a dusty Mega Drive MK1

The nice thing about these tall carts is that they stick out of the console so much. With normal Mega Drive carts the artwork is obscured when the cart is inserted into the system, but with this tall cart you can see all of the label.

I didn’t used to bother much with bootleg carts, but I’m more and more interested in bootlegs over genuine games because of all the interesting artwork, labels and the different kinds of carts.