Wonderswan Cartridges

      Comments Off on Wonderswan Cartridges


back from holidays. So I decided to finally open up my WonderSwan games (all nine of them) from back in the day in 2007. I used a Torx 6 (T6) screwdriver for the cartridges as well as the WonderSwan Crystal (which might actually be T7). The edge connector has 48 pins starting on the very left when the cartridge is upright, label facing out of the WonderSwan (the receptacle inside the SwanCrystal had numbers).

First thing I noticed was the complete lack of obvious ROM and cartridge codes. To my surprise, Bandai used OTP ROMs, which explains the lack of ROM version codes. No visible stamps (like for Nintendo revisions and presumably place of origin) on the cartridges either. There’s a sticker on the back of each PCB though, 8 arabic digits, no obvious pattern.

Codes seem to be SWJ-(developer)[C](game number; 2 or 3 digits)[game version].

I have developers BAN for BANDAI and SQR for SquareSoft. Optional C means Wonderstan Color. Arabic game number is somewhat self-explanatory. Optional alphanumeric game version, i.e. SWJ-BAN01C is Digimon Adventure Anode Tamer, SWJ-BAN01D is Digimon Adventure Cathode Tamer. Digimon Link System “Digital Partner” has two numbers, SWJ-BAN02C and SWJ-BAN02F. Some carts were apparently also numbered consecutively on their label, though only my Digimon carts feature this.

PCB codes aren’t much help either, as its seemingly only (PTE|PTS|WSS)-[0-9]{4}[A-Z]?. All my PTE carts have the Bandai 2001 controller, all my PTS carts have the Bandai 2003 controller. My single WSS cart has Bandai 2003, though it conspicuously lacks the “Bandai” text. Alphanumeric revisions, with no letter for initial and A (and presumably B, C, …) for following revisions.

Notably, Digimon Adventure 02 Tag Tamers is SWJ-BAN032 (my only 3-digit cart), does not have a WonderSwan Color/Crystal logo, yet features a PTS pcb.

I have the following PCBs

  • PTE-0016: beatmania for WonderSwan
  • PTE-0021C: WonderSwan Mainboard
  • PTE-0037
  • PTE-0037A
  • PTS-0108
  • PTS-0114: Digimon Link System Wireless Adapter PCB
  • PTS-0133
  • PTS-0133A
  • PTS-0148A: WonderSwan Crystal Mainboard
  • WSS-0003

So yeah, that’s it for now. Still working on the Virtual Boy dumper software tho 😉 However, I already did order a “junk” WonderSwan Color from eBay for a spare edge connector receptacle, so I might build a dumper for this in the future. Kinda wish I had gone with a “universal” adapter style like the Retrode, so I could “just” transform my Virtual Boy dumper into a WonderSwan Dumper. Oh well…

EDIT: The junk WonderSwan arrived and I updated the PCB list above to include it. Also, luckily it was only considered junk because of appearance, not because it didn’t work 🙂