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Cart-Swapping Tricks: Cheating at Your Own Risk

Soon after the Genesis was launched in 1989, gamers everywhere made a startling discovery. It seemed that by removing certain titles without powering off the system, inserting another game and pressing restart, certain things happened. Some swap tricks merely changed the title screen to its Japanese equivalent while others opened the door to many famous cheat tricks. There was a serious risk of frying your console by performing any of these tricks (although I personally never heard of it happening) but curiosity is a wicked mistress and some of the effects were downright awesome.

Sega-16 has compiled what is believed to be a complete list of all these swap tricks, including the games used and the effect achieved. If there are any that are not listed here, please let us know and we’ll add them (provided they work!).

*WARNING!!*

Use these tricks at your own risk. Sega-16 will not be held responsible for any damage incurred to your system or software.

 

Tricks using After Burner II

MERCS: Level Select & Invincibility

Insert After Burner II into the Genesis. When the Sega logo appears, remove it without powering off the system. Insert MERCS and press reset. You can now choose any level in either the arcade or original mode. Select a round and press A, B, and C at the same time to activate invincibility.

Tricks using Altered Beast

MERCS: Erase the Score of the Best Player

Insert Altered Beast into the Genesis. When the Sega logo appears, remove the cart without powering off the system. Insert MERCS and hit reset. The high score will be gone!

Rambo III: Infinite Lives

Insert Altered Beast into the Genesis. When the title screen with all the statues appears, remove the cartridge without shutting off the power and replace it with Rambo III. Hit restart and then start and ta-da! You have infinite lives!

Space Harrier II: Start with 99 Lives

Insert Altered Beast into the Genesis. When the title screen with all the statues appears, remove the cartridge without shutting off the power. The screen will freeze. Insert Space Harrier II and you’ll hear some weird music. Hit reset and begin normally. You’ll now have 99 lives!

Strider: Infinite Lives

Insert Altered Beast into the Genesis. When the title screen appears, remove the cartridge without powering off the system. Insert Strider and press reset. When you begin playing, your life counter will remain at nine, giving you unlimited lives!

Tricks using ESWAT: City under Siege

ESWAT: Level Select

Insert ESWAT into the Genesis. At the title screen, remove it without powering off the system. Re-insert the game into the Genesis and hit reset. When the level one information screen appears, press start. Press and hold left on the D-pad while pressing A, B, and C at the same time. A number will appear on the screen. Press up or down to choose the desired level.

Tricks using Golden Axe

Altered Beast: Infinite Lives

Insert Golden Axe into the Genesis. When the Sega logo appears, remove it without shutting off the system. Insert Altered Beast and hit reset. You’ll now have an infinite supply of lives (as though you’d actually need it). You can verify that the trick worked by checking the lives counter in the options menu. If it reads zero, it was successful.

Phelios: Expert Mode

Insert Golden Axe into the Genesis. At the title screen, remove it without powering off the system. Insert Phelios and press reset. Now you’ll be able to choose the super hard extra mode!

Tricks using Space Harrier II

Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle: Infinite Lives

Insert Space Harrier II into the Genesis and go to the options menu. Next, remove the cartridge without powering off the system. Place Alex Kidd in your system and press reset. You’ll now have infinite lives!

Last Battle: Level Select

Insert Space Harrier II into the Genesis. At the title screen, press both A and C buttons to access the hidden option menu. Remover the game without powering off the system and replace it with Last Battle. Press reset and when the screen that says “Legend of the Final Hero” appears, simultaneously press A,B, C, and start. You’ll see the words “Chapter 1” which means you can select the chapter you wish to start in by pressing up on the D-pad. Press start to begin the game.

Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker: Invincibility

Woo! Insert Space Harrier II into the Genesis. At the title screen, remove it without powering off the system. Insert Moonwalker and hit reset. You’ll now be invincible (unless you get served by the D.A.).

Tricks using Streets of Rage

Streets of Rage: Lots of Lives

Insert Streets of Rage into the Genesis. When the Sega logo appears, remove it without powering off the system. Re-insert it and press reset. In the options menu, the difficulty should read “6677.” This will give you upwards of fifteen lives per continue. It will also turn some of the game text to Japanese.

Tricks using Strider

Spider-Man vs. the Kingpin: Invincibility, Level Select, 60 Web Cartridges

Need some help getting past Venom and those other nasties? Hyru can help you! Insert Strider into the Genesis. When the purple logo appears in the background, remove it without powering off the system. Insert Spider-Man vs. the Kingpin and press reset. Go to the options menu. If the options are all “(!!!)” then you’ve performed the trick correctly. You’ll automatically begin with 60 web cartridges. If you run low, pause the game, press button A, and resume. For invincibility, pause the game and press buttons B and C at the same time. Resume and you’ll be invincible. This only lasts for a few seconds though. To skip levels, pause the game and hold all three buttons at the same time. You will skip a level every time the combination is pressed. The invincibility trick is especially helpful for beating the Kingpin himself, as his tendency to smack you against the wall takes off valuable time from the clock. With these tricks, saving Mary Jane should be an easy task.

Tricks Using Super Thunder Blade

Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle: Infinite Lives

Insert Super Thunder Blade into the Genesis and go to the options menu. Next, remove the cartridge without powering off the system. Place Alex Kidd in your system and press reset. You’ll now have infinite lives!

Altered Beast: Infinite Power

Insert Super Thunder Blade into the Genesis. When the Sega logo appears, remove it without powering off the system. Insert Altered Beast and press reset. Begin playing and you’ll notice that your stats look all weird. Your power, however, will never decrease!

Ghouls ‘N Ghosts: Access the Japanese Title Screen

Want to see how the title screen of the Japanese version of Ghouls ‘N Ghosts, Daimakaimura, looks? Insert Super Thunder Blade into the Genesis. When the Sega logo appears, remove it without powering off the system. Insert Ghouls ‘N Ghosts and press reset. The game will now boot with the Japanese title screen!

Tricks using Target Earth

Thunder Force II: Stage Select

Insert Target Earth into the Genesis and enter the options menu. Change “pad reset” to “enable” and return to the title screen. The demo will begin and when the enemies begin to fire, remove the game without powering off the system. Insert Thunder Force II and press reset. The letters “MD” should now appear next to the “II” part of the title. Press button A and start at the same time to enter the options menu. Press left and right to choose your stage!

Tricks using Thunder Force II

Fantasia: Infinite Lives

Insert Thunder Force II into the Genesis. Press A and start at the title screen to go to the options menu. Select level 5 of the training mission with five lives. Remove the game without powering off the system and insert Fantasia. Press reset and you’ll now have an unlimited supply of lives!

Tricks that Work with Any Game

Batman: The Video Game: Infinite Lives

Insert any game into the Genesis. At the title screen, remove the game without powering off the system and then re-insert it. Press reset and you should now have unlimited lives.

Revenge of Shinobi: Access the Japanese Title Screen

Insert any game into the Genesis. Remove it (no particular screen required) without powering off the system. Insert Revenge of Shinobi and press reset. You’ll now see the Japanese Super Shinobi title screen!

 

Again, I’d like to point out that these tricks may damage your Genesis and should be done at your own risk. Don’t send me hate mail when you fry your system!

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