Five years ago, I bought my second game for the Bandai Datach: Ultraman Club: Spokon Fight!! (ウルトラマン倶楽部 スポ根ファイト!!). Also five years ago, it became possible to play the Bandai Datach games in MESS and make use of scanned barcodes.
In the meantime, MESS became MAME, and it is still possible to play these games (for instructions see below). It’s time for another batch of scanned cards.
These are the 40 cards (unsorted) for the first Datach game, Dragon Ball Z: Gekitō Tenkaichi Budokai. The barcodes (EAN-13) have been read with Bytescout BarCode Reader and can be used with the MESS emulator. I haven’t verified the codes yet, if you find any mistakes then please let me know.
The first one is a small piece of plastic, known as AGB-016 or 6PIN Protection Cover. It is still being sold in the Nintendo Online Shop and protects the Game Boy Advance SP screen when an e-Reader+ or an e-Reader with a link cable port is plugged in. Actually it is a very useful little accessory with the only drawback being it has to be fixed permanently on the e-Reader. The e-Reader then won’t fit anymore in the original Game Boy Advance.
The Bandai Datach Joint ROM System is an add-on for the Nintendo Famicom. It plugs right into the cartridge slot and comes with its own small cartridges. The games are enhanced with barcode cards, similar to the Mattel HyperScan.
The retail package with one include game, Dragon Ball Z: Gekitō Tenkaichi Budokai, is rather easy and cheap to obtain.
Additional games are very rare and even rarer and pricier when the corresponding barcode cards are included. I’ve seen some bootlegs of those games on regular Famicom carts but never tried them so far.
In 2006 the Mattel HyperScan was a short lived console with an interesting concept: Enhance a classic videogame with collectible RFID cards. A concept that was picked up in a similar form by the Skylanders games and maybe someday will be used in Nintendo’s new Wii U console.
Playing the games (and scanning cards) can be described as interesting but not as fun. The games seem unfinished and buggy. And then there are the long loading times, a problem already the NeoGeo CD suffered from back in the days.
There were even some first steps with homebrew programs here and here.