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How to Play Imported Games on Your Nintendo 64

November 4, 2013

As you may already know, Japanese Nintendo 64 games don’t properly fit into US N64s and PAL games will not display correctly. In order to play them you can do one of three things:

  • Take the game apart (Japanese games only)
  • Modify your system to accept Japanese games (Japanese games only)
  • Buy an adapter (All games)

Taking the Game Apart (For Japanese games only)

Assuming you have the 3.8 mm security bit, you can just take apart the game and stick the circuit board in your N64. I don’t recommend doing this too often as you might wear down the screw, shell, and eventually destroy the board.

Modifying Your System (For Japanese games only)

You will need a 4.5 mm security bit in order to open the console. To modify your system, you need to cut out the plastic that blocks the imported games from fitting. It is pretty straightforward. You can use a dremel, a sharp razor blade (might take a while), or just drill out those sections with a large drill bit. The following picture was from a system I RGB modded a few weeks ago. It looks like the original owner drilled them out. I ended up cleaning it up before I sold the system but you get the idea.


It may not come out pretty but if you don’t want to spend any money then this is definitely the way to go.

Buying An Adapter (For all games)

I prefer buying the adapter for a couple of reasons. First, you don’t have to alter your console. Second, some adapters have cheat codes built in along with the ability to play PAL games on your NTSC system (or vice versa). My favorite adapter (also the cheapest when I last looked) is currently the Nintendo 64 Passport Plus 3. It does all of these things. You can get them for around $30 on eBay.

N64 Passport Plus III Front N64 Passport Plus III

Once you decide the method you prefer, check out the Japanese Bomberman 64. Have fun!

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