~ Debunking the Asian Bootleg theory

I originally bought an Asian CIB copy of Sunsoft's Batman for the Sega Mega Drive in the late 90's to replace my original copy which I imported back in August 1990. I know this date is correct because I still have the receipt (click)

I owned the US copy of Batman and had little reason to play this one so I had set it up on my shelf with my other Mega Drive games and there it stayed for several years. It wasn't until I was snapping and sharing a picture of it on Facebook that I noticed it didn't match the other copy of Batman (Mega Drive) and seeing the familiar blocky style Sunsoft cartridge casing.

I thought it may have been a Chinese knock-off, but I had my doubts since I've seen many Chinese bootlegs over the years and none of them came with perfect manuals, boxes (especially a custom made Sunsoft "mini" clam shell style box), and even a Sunsoft/BATMAN specific warranty card.

Click for larger resolution

Here is my Asian Batman cartridge which was purchased as brand new with the case, insert, instructions,
warranty card, all identical to the Japanese version, but with a much different looking cartridge shell and label.

If you've browsed my website you will realize that I always try to scan either the cover or insert of each and every game I own.
I have well over 4,000 scans on my site so a fake insert or reprint would be instantly obvious to me.

Even the best Chinese bootleg insert is going to look slightly worse than the original in which it was copied from, but this as you will see, is 100% identical to the Japanese MD version. But as you can see from these 400dpi scans they are exactly the same quality!
(Asian MD insert) VS (Japanese MD insert)


The owner of Retro Megabit (https://retromegabit.com/tag/sunsoft/) showed off his
identical Asian copy which he also thought was a bootleg copy as well.

Click for larger resolution image ~ Image courtesy of  Retromegabit.com

I've actually seen multiple copies like this which are identical to mine. He has this to say about his Asian Batman:
"At first I thought it might be a knock-off but someone told me there were many localized version of games for Asian markets
(like Hong Kong) that were in English and came in the standard cartridge case."

"For a time I wondered if this one was a knock-off. But Iíve seen been told that it was common for some releases to receive changes for a particular region. This particular Batman is likely regionalized for Asia market and has a different plastic cartridge compared to the Japanese release"


Some other testimonials to support to my theory that this is in fact an alternative version made specifically for the Asian market and NOT a bootleg:

Back in the 90s I picked up quite a few MD boots in Asia, they almost never came with any kind of manual just the case and cart. I believe Batman pirates just came in a normal sized snaplock case."

Here is an example of a common Batman Mega Drive Chinese bootleg.  It's in a normal sized Mega Drive case and with no manual.
For the Asian Batman MD cart that I had bought to not only come in the exact same snapcase, as well as a perfect manual and warranty card would be unrealistic to believe a Chinese bootlegger would, or even could replicate these things so perfectly!

Click for larger resolution image ~ Image courtesy of eBay


"In the 90's there were bootlegs for popular games made by the Chinese. I remember the Slam Dunk tv animation game was one of them. My friend even gave me one as a gift, and it came with manual and box everything. The only way to tell the difference is the paper that they used for the manuals. It was slightly thicker."

So here is the mini manual to Batman from the Asian MD release. It may be hard to tell from a picture, but the paper is the exact same semi-gloss quality paper and matches the other Japanese version of Batman 1:1. There is no doubt in my mind that it is 100% authentic and not a bootleg.

Click for larger resolution image

Also, when is the last time you've seen an Asian Mega Drive bootleg come with a warranty card? Never.. that's when!


"With that white/green board, def. not genuine. If look inside you will find no chips just a black spot inside. ( a quick weight check might prove it ). "

While it is true that a majority of Japanese Mega Drive chip boards are brown, it's not that cut & dry. I've seen some which are white (Such as with Rainbow Islands Extra)  so to see one which is green is not really throwing off any flags IMO.

Here is the chip board found inside of the Asian Batman cartridge.

Click for larger resolution image

Here is the "Black spot" which T.D. was talking about, but as you can see by the picture above that it's definitely not that.
It's nearly identical to the 1st Party Sega chip on the right.

Click for larger resolution image

Then you have the weight. I not only weighed the cartridge, but also, the case, insert, and manual, and it checks out.
Both the Japanese as well as the Asian Mini snapcases + inserts weight exactly
2.6oz / Case + manual = 2.9oz / Case + manual + cart = 4.7oz

Picture proof aside, common sense always tells the truth. So here are some reasons why this is not a bootleg.

1. Batman - Mega Drive in the 90's was dirt cheap. Many copies could be purchased for under $10.

2. Asian knock offs don't have any reason to make a 1:1 perfect copy of anything. There was no copyright law in the 90's, and I'm not even sure there are any now, or at least I don't think they take them serious.

3. To think they would take the trouble to match the same paper grade and weight on both the insert as well as the manual is absurd.

4. To include a perfect Sunsoft / Batman warranty, to design perfect "Sunsoft Mini Snapcases" just to make perfect bootleg copies for the few Sunsoft games that utilize them is silly.


Au... (Long time eBay seller [17+ years] with 100% positive feedback, specializing in import video games).
"[I've] never come across the Asian variant you have and I'd likely have guessed it to be a bootleg too, though nobody would ever go through the effort of making such good replica cases, manual and warranty card so don't think that's the case either. Repros are always easy to pick out because they never match up quality wise.

In Taiwan, for the SFC, from time to time you'll come across what looks like bootleg Rockman X3 games. The box, manual, and case are all definitely reproductions but the actual inner PCB is the proper North American Mega Man X3 board. Likely they couldn't meet demand or some odd reason they did it. Also, there is a Taiwan variant SFC system that everything looks identical other than being in Chinese but if you actually open up the system, there's no Nintendo branding on the inner boards and chips like the Batman cartridge you have, so clearly Nintendo and Sega at time did make odd variants."


Below you will find more pictures comparing both the Japanese and Asian Mega Drive versions of Batman.


Please click on a picture above to view higher resolution [3000px] versions..


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