CPU type NTSC: Ricoh RP2A03 (8-bit)
PAL: Ricoh RP2a07 (8-bit)
CPU speed NTSC: 1,79 MHz
PAL: 1,66 MHz
RAM Motorola MCM2018AN45
16 Kb (2 KB)
Cartridge size (MIN - MAX) 128 KB - 4 MB
PPU NTSC: Ricoh RP2C02 5,37 MHz (8-bit)
PAL: Ricoh RP2C07 5,32 MHz (8-bit)
VRAM PPU external
Motorola MCM2018AN45
16 Kb (2 KB)
Palette 52 colors; 16 entries
MAX resolution 256x240
standaard resolution 256x240
Min - Max spritesize 8 x 8 - 8 x 16
MAX number of sprites 64
Head soundchip PSG sound
  • 2 Pulse wave channels
  • 1 Triangle wave channel
  • 1 Noise channel
  • 1 DPCM channel
The 8-bit CPU of the manufacturer "Ricoh" operates at 1,66MHz if it's PAL (European), or 1,79MHz if it's a NTSC system (American). The NES was released at the beginning of the 8-bit era.
The NES uses "raster based graphics"(sprites). There is installed an 8-bit PPU, which calculates all the pictures. The most used resolution is 256 X 240. 52 colors can be used, 16 colors at once.
A 5-channel PGS chip(programmable sound generator) is installed in the NES. There are four analog channels, and one digital
The NES had less speed in comparison to other 8-bit gameconsoles. Thanks to the big offer of software, this system was the best selling 8-bit system. The game "super Mario bros 1", and the later releases of this serie played a big part in the sale of the NES. A good commerce also helped the NES.
Many games have been released on the NES. Some of those needed higher specifications then the NES had. A simple solution for this problem: The gamecartridge got some extra chips implented.

The next chips were used:


  • Manufacturer: Nintendo
  • Used in: Metroid, Legend of Zelda, ect
This chip is used in many NES games made by Nintendo. The chip makes it possible to scroll horizontally, and vertically. Due to the bigger amount of memory larger gameworlds were possible.

These NES games were using the MMC1:

Akumajou Dracula 2
Battle Chess
Bubble Bobble
Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest
Deep Dungeon 3
Doraemon RPG
Doraemon: Giga Zombie no Gyakushuu
Dr. Mario
Dragon Warrior
Final Fantasy
Final Fantasy 2
Kamen no Ninja: Hanamaru
Keroppi to Keroleen no Splash Bomb!
Dr. Mario
Mega Man 2
Rockman 2: Dr. Wily no Nazo
STED: Iseki Wakusei no Yabou
STED: Starfield of Memorable Relics
Venus Senki
Venus Wars
Yo! Noid
Yuushi heno Tabi
The legend of Zelda
Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link
Zelda no Densetsu 1: The Hyrule Fantasy


  • Manufacturer: Nintendo
  • Used in: Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!, Punch out!!
This chip was only used in (Mike Tyson's) Punch-Out!!. This chip was used because the game had some very big sprites. The characters in the game had to move their arms and legs too. The memory was also expanded greatly.


  • Manufacturer: Nintendo
  • Used in: Super Mario bros 2, Super Mario bros 3, ect
Many Nintendo games used this chip. It gives more memory and let the game scroll separately. This scrolling was used in "Super Mario bros 3" to scroll the "playfield", and hold the 'status part'.

These NES games were using the MMC3:

8 Eye's
Adventure Island 2
Adventure Island 3
Adventure Island 4
Armed Dragon Fantasy Villgust
Daikaijuu Debrus
Daikaijuu Deburasu
Downtown Nekketsu Koushinkyoku Soreyuke Daiundoukai
Downtown Special: Kunio-kun no Jidaigeki dayo Zen'in Shuugou!
Dragon Slayer 4: Drasle Family
Final Fantasy 3
Fushigi no Umi no Nadia
Fuzzical Fighter
Great Monster Debrus
Hoshi no Kirby: Yume no Izumi no Monogatari
Hudson's Adventure Island 2
Hudson's Adventure Island 3
Hudson's Adventure Island 4
Ike Ike! Nekketsu Hockey-bu Subette Koronde Dai Rantou
Kawa no Nushi Tsuri
Kirby's Adventure
Kouryuu Densetsu Villgust Gaiden
Legacy of the Wizard
Mario Bros. 2, Super
Mario Bros. 3, Super
Mario USA, Super
Mega Man 3
Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water
Nekketsu Kakutou Densetsu
Ninja Gaiden Episode 3: The Ancient Ship of Doom
Ninja Ryuukenden 3: Yomi no Hakobune
Rockin' Kats
Rockman 3: Dr. Wily no Saigo!?
Super Mario Bros. 2
Super Mario Bros. 3
Super Mario USA
Takahashi Meijin no Boukenjima 2
Takahashi Meijin no Boukenjima 3
Takahashi Meijin no Boukenjima 4
Technos Samurai: Downtown Special!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: The Manhatten Project
Tiny Toon Adventures [NTSC]
WWF WrestleMania: Steel Cage Challenge
Yume Koujou: Doki! Doki! Panic


  • Manufacturer: Nintendo
  • Used in: Fire Emblem, Fire Emblem Gaiden en Famicom Wars
This one is almost identical to MMC2. The only difference between those two is the bigger amount of memory the MMC4 can switch.


  • Manufacturer: Nintendo
  • Used in: Castlevania 3, Kirby's adventure, ect
The MMC5 chip was the best, and most expensive of the MMC chips. This chip has been avoided many times by the developers of games due to the price of this chip. The chip expanses the memory, add two sound channels, and enables vertical scrolling. This chip let the game use 16,384 tiles, where first only 256 tiles were possible. Every tile can have an own color.

These NES games were using the MMC5:

Castlevania 3
Kirby's adventure
Just Breed
Metal Slader Glory
Gun Sight
Uchuu Keibitai SDF
Nobunaga's Ambition II


  • Manufacturer: Nintendo
  • Used in: StarTropics, StarTropics II
This one is allmost the same as the MMC3 chip, the only difference is 1KB extra RAM. This RAM could be written to a battery.


  • Manufacturer: Konami
  • Used in: Akumajou Densetsu, Madara, Esper Dream II, Nigel Mansell's World Challenge
This MMC had extra RAM and Video-RAM. Three soundchannels were added.


  • Manufacturer: Konami
  • Used in: Lagrange Point
This MMC was more advanced then VRC6. It had all the options of the VRC6, but also a 6-channel synthesis audio.


  • Manufacturer: Namco
  • Used in: Erika to Satoru no Yumebouken, enz
With this chip, the games got eight extra soundchannels.

These NES games were using the NAMCO106:

Erika to Satoru no Yumebouken
Final Lap
King of Kings
Mappy Kids
Megami Tensei II
Rolling Thunder
Sangokushi 2
Youkai Douchuuki


  • Manufacturer: Sunsoft
  • Used in: Batman: Return of the Joker, Mr. Gimmick, ect
This chip of the manufacturer Sunsoft could summon the "split screen effect" with a minimal CPU-usage.
A special version of the FME-7, called the Sunsoft5, had also three extra soundchannels. This Special version was used in the game "Gimmick!".