SuperCIC = The best mod for your Super Nintendo

If you own a Snes and some import games, your best bet to playing them up to now was using a converter or disabling the CIC chip inside the console.

There are many different types of converters, and they vary a lot with compatibility. The basic ones work by passing the Snes the CIC chip signals from the local cart and the game info from the import cart, tricking the Snes into thinking that it has a local game plugged in. Nintendo got wise to these converters and built checks into later games that locked out the game if it didn’t pass them. after this, more advanced converters came out such as the Datel programmable universal adapter, which allowed you to enter codes to get round the extra checks in most of the troublesome titles, but neither of these options can play ALL games (SA-1 titles being the main problem).

Datel programmable universal adapter

After reading this thread on the nesdev forums last year, I made a mental note to check back periodically to see if it went anywhere. I checked back in May to find that forum user ikari_01 had released SuperCIC.

SuperCIC is a PIC microcontroller based CIC replacement which works in any region Snes. Its main features are:

  • lock allows the region to be set+saved by holding the reset button.
  • region can be set to 50Hz, 60Hz, or autodetect based on key CIC.
  • selected region is indicated by LED color (uses a dual LED).
  • has a ~9s timeout before switching from detected to forced region to trick most games. This feature can be enabled/disabled using a configuration pin on the lock.

I bought me a PIC programmer, some PIC 16F630 chips and got to work. I won’t bother with a guide as Klaus at Wolfsoft.de has already done a great job with his.

I opted to remove the CIC chip and use the resistor, I then mounted the SuperCIC in an IC socket nearby (the resistors you can see go off to the tri-colour LED).

SuperCIC Installed

My Snes now runs all my games, no matter what region, even my only SA-1 based cart, PGA Tour 96.

Best option is to do the mod to an American Snes, snap the tabs off and you have a system that will play ANY game with no need to mod the cart slot.

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