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Vectorman0
05-30-2013, 11:07 PM
I don't have any first hand experience with the valuable Home System games that are more regularly bootlegged, but I would like to be able to tell if something real or not in case I come across it.

For something like a US or Japanese Metal Slug, without having a known legitimate copy to compare it to, does anyone have suggestions on how I could be confident in whether it is a fake or not?

I have a pretty keen eye when it comes to details and quality with gaming stuff. For most any other game system, you could show me a game and I can quickly say if it's real. I'd like to be able to say the same for Neo-Geo, but I do not have a starting point for comparison. I've never seen a real (or fake) four figure Neo game, and from what I have heard, a lot of the fakes are very well done.

If anyone has some insight, please share!

hyper
05-30-2013, 11:48 PM
post some high res closeups of the label edges and corners, watermarked if possible.

Vectorman0
06-02-2013, 04:43 PM
The thing is, I don't have any at the moment. I would like to be able to learn how to tell without having to post here with pictures. Is this a reasonable request?

Pope Sazae
06-02-2013, 04:46 PM
The boots have gotten to good, almost impossible to tell by just looking. wolf had a good thread on this a few years back

SNKorSWM
06-02-2013, 09:56 PM
Nowadays you'd not only have to post pics on the outside, but also need to open up the cart and post the pics of the boards as well.

Xian Xi
06-02-2013, 10:06 PM
Who is the most knowledgeable as far as authentication goes for high end AES games? Would people be willing to pay this person or group for authentication kinds like VGA style or something different? I'm not talking about ridiculous VGA amounts but fair prices for a valued authentication from a respected member.

Joneo
06-02-2013, 10:36 PM
As bad as it seems, you'd probably want another party to authenticate the authentication... regardless of how respected the member was.

totoro
06-10-2013, 05:54 AM
An authentication service would make the hobby fun again and not a nightmare...

WoodyXP
06-10-2013, 07:33 AM
An authentication service would make the hobby fun again and not a nightmare...

http://i4.ytimg.com/vi/sHhPItb-UNo/mqdefault.jpg

Dis cart be real. Apply sticker.

OMFG
06-10-2013, 08:44 AM
I don't have any first hand experience with the valuable Home System games that are more regularly bootlegged, but I would like to be able to tell if something real or not in case I come across it.

For something like a US or Japanese Metal Slug, without having a known legitimate copy to compare it to, does anyone have suggestions on how I could be confident in whether it is a fake or not?

I have a pretty keen eye when it comes to details and quality with gaming stuff. For most any other game system, you could show me a game and I can quickly say if it's real. I'd like to be able to say the same for Neo-Geo, but I do not have a starting point for comparison. I've never seen a real (or fake) four figure Neo game, and from what I have heard, a lot of the fakes are very well done.

If anyone has some insight, please share!

Great to see you back on here. As the others mentioned, it's quite hard to do so without a visual inspection of the games (external and internal), manual, insert, box, etc. The bootlegs have been getting pretty close to replicating the resolution and color of the legitimate games. Also, the inside PCBs would need to be checked out as well.


For the forum: Should we try to gather owners of legitimate home carts in order to photo and catalog the findings here on this site? We could try to keep a record of each game for future use. The only issue I could see is taking photos of the boards inside, which may cause possible damage to the cart label itself.

It will also be a difficult task in finding verifiable members with a pristine reputation.

8man
06-10-2013, 12:49 PM
I don't have any first hand experience with the valuable Home System games that are more regularly bootlegged, but I would like to be able to tell if something real or not in case I come across it.

For something like a US or Japanese Metal Slug, without having a known legitimate copy to compare it to, does anyone have suggestions on how I could be confident in whether it is a fake or not?

I have a pretty keen eye when it comes to details and quality with gaming stuff. For most any other game system, you could show me a game and I can quickly say if it's real. I'd like to be able to say the same for Neo-Geo, but I do not have a starting point for comparison. I've never seen a real (or fake) four figure Neo game, and from what I have heard, a lot of the fakes are very well done.

If anyone has some insight, please share!



Hey Vectorman0,

Send me a pm with the game you're concerned about.

It will be very difficult to tell, if you don't have the real game to compare it to.

Counterfeits are getting really good to the naked eye.
But, there is another level that you're eye can't see.


An Authentication Program for high-end AES games sounds really good.
______________

You need someone that has a passion for the Neo Geo.
You need someone that has a pristine reputation (including 100% feedback).
You need someone with professional high-resolution graphics experience:
(Film, plates, offset printing)
You need someone with all the AES games.

hmmm.... 8man


Believe it or not, I can verify if a game is real based on high-res photos.

I'm concerned as much as you.
Over the past year, members have been pm'ing me, and asking me to verify if their recently purchased high-end AES games are real. They have sent me high-res photos of their games, and guess what? 1/2 of the games that I've inspected are counterfeits.

You have to understand, I was contacted because the buyer was concerned about something they saw. I'm not saying every other game is fake, but if you have doubts about something you're seeing, 1/2 the time you're probably right.

These counterfeits are coming from Europe (France and Germany). In other words, I would be very concerned when buying a rare AES game from France or Germany.

If the cart sticker is fake, then there's no need to open the cart.


Create a Catalog of high-resolution insert, sticker, and manual scans?

I wouldn't create a catalog or website that has high-resolution images.
This is the first place a counterfeiter is going to go.


Will I start a full-fledged Authentication Program for high-end AES games?

Possibly in the future.

For now, if you are concerned with your recent rare AES purchase,
send me a pm, and I will help.

Xian Xi
06-10-2013, 01:48 PM
I think 8man would be good for it. A full fledged program would be damn cool.

StevenK
06-10-2013, 02:01 PM
I think 8man would be good for it. A full fledged program would be damn cool.

I agree. If it was to happen I also think a small charge would be in order - not because I think 8man needs or would even want the money, but just to discourage people with no genuine doubts or fears sending in everything they bought as a matter of course and overwhelming any system that was put in place with sheer numbers.

Having said all this, over the last week I've been doing quite a bit of practicing opening up AES carts and looking inside - it's really pretty easy once you know how, and at no risk to the label or cart as long as you're haven't got hands like sledgehammers.

Until something is set up my advice to anyone would be to get a couple of the cheapest carts you can find and get used to opening them up with your fingernails only, working on the tabs at the front and moving backwards, not with any tools which is where the real risk lies.

If you're serious about buying high end carts it'll be the best £20 you'll ever spend.

Xian Xi
06-10-2013, 02:13 PM
The only thing that needs to be figured out in the program is how carts will be labeled/known as authenticated. There will be the collectors that want a game just authenticated and then it goes back in storage and then you got the gamer who loves to play them but wants them to be legit as well. You can always do the VGA style plexi case for the collectors and probably a sticker on something for the gamers.

StevenK
06-10-2013, 02:19 PM
The only thing that needs to be figured out in the program is how carts will be labeled/known as authenticated. There will be the collectors that want a game just authenticated and then it goes back in storage and then you got the gamer who loves to play them but wants them to be legit as well. You can always do the VGA style plexi case for the collectors and probably a sticker on something for the gamers.

I don't think something like this will work - either the manuals and inserts get trashed like Dion's authentication program or if the authentication is not physically attached to it, like VGA, then it becomes open to being forged. Fake game with forged authentication, back to the same problem.

The only way I can see it working is for it to be authenticated for your own peace of mind, so you know your own games are real. Any buyer of the game will have to have it authenticated themselves.

Colorado Rockie
06-10-2013, 02:39 PM
The only way I can see it working is for it to be authenticated for your own peace of mind, so you know your own games are real. Any buyer of the game will have to have it authenticated themselves.

Exactly. I would also be willing to pay a fee to have some of my homecarts authenticated by 8man

SNKorSWM
06-10-2013, 09:44 PM
I can see 8man being inundated with hundreds of thousands of requests, you'd see people trying to authenticate Magician Lord. XD

Xian Xi
06-10-2013, 10:04 PM
I don't think something like this will work - either the manuals and inserts get trashed like Dion's authentication program or if the authentication is not physically attached to it, like VGA, then it becomes open to being forged. Fake game with forged authentication, back to the same problem.

The only way I can see it working is for it to be authenticated for your own peace of mind, so you know your own games are real. Any buyer of the game will have to have it authenticated themselves.

I agree, it should only be for your piece of mind. For the people that just want to sell legit high end games maybe there should be a program that will help people sell high end legit games from a trusted source, win-win for both seller and buyer. This way nothing needs to be gay'd up with stickers and stamps all over it.

8man
06-11-2013, 12:25 AM
I was considering stamping, marking, or numbering all parts of the game.

But, as with KOF 2000 English AES, counterfeiters are already making fake stamps and numbered stickers.

If I offer a service, it would be for the collector's peace of mind.
Knowing that his/her Rare AES game is the real deal.

I would create a database that would hold the owners information.
A serial number would be given to track the game throughout history.

The database would be accessed through a QR code scan.
No need to remember websites or username and passwords.

All you need to do is apply the QR code sticker. Put the sticker in a place that can't damage anything. Apply it to the inside cover of the soft or snap case. Looks classy!

http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/1673/insidedz.jpg


Try it out. Scan the QR code below with your smart phone or iPad.

http://img842.imageshack.us/img842/3306/qrcodeg.jpg

It's a mock-up, and the buttons don't work.*
But, you'll get the idea.

The database can be called up instantly from anywhere using your smart phone.

And each QR Code will be unique, no two will be the same.

A counterfeiter will never be able to duplicate one of my QR Codes.
The web link will always point to my site.



* "Game History" button.
See who owned this game in the past.

"Update Registration" button.
For security reasons, the user will not be able to update the database. When the user clicks this button, we will be contacted, and we will update the database accordingly. Changing location, new owners names, etc.

Teddy KGB
06-11-2013, 12:54 AM
That's actually pretty damn cool Mark.

stormy
06-11-2013, 03:40 AM
Sounds like a good idea. I would be interested in something like this as well.

Xian Xi
06-11-2013, 03:42 AM
Very sweet Mark. I love it.

MCF 76
06-12-2013, 07:37 AM
I was considering stamping, marking, or numbering all parts of the game.

But, as with KOF 2000 English AES, counterfeiters are already making fake stamps and numbered stickers.

If I offer a service, it would be for the collector's peace of mind.
Knowing that his/her Rare AES game is the real deal.

I would create a database that would hold the owners information.
A serial number would be given to track the game throughout history.

The database would be accessed through a QR code scan.
No need to remember websites or username and passwords.

All you need to do is apply the QR code sticker. Put the sticker in a place that can't damage anything. Apply it to the inside cover of the soft or snap case. Looks classy!

http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/1673/insidedz.jpg


Try it out. Scan the QR code below with your smart phone or iPad.

http://img842.imageshack.us/img842/3306/qrcodeg.jpg

It's a mock-up, and the buttons don't work.*
But, you'll get the idea.

The database can be called up instantly from anywhere using your smart phone.

And each QR Code will be unique, no two will be the same.

A counterfeiter will never be able to duplicate one of my QR Codes.
The web link will always point to my site.



* "Game History" button.
See who owned this game in the past.

"Update Registration" button.
For security reasons, the user will not be able to update the database. When the user clicks this button, we will be contacted, and we will update the database accordingly. Changing location, new owners names, etc.

This is awesome! I was hoping someone would do something like this. I have 3 games that I would love to have authenticated to give me some piece of mind.

totoro
06-17-2013, 03:04 AM
The majority of my carts have been "unofficially" authenticated by Mark...
He is the only one i would trust for this service .

Pope Sazae
06-17-2013, 12:12 PM
I just scanned that QR code and I really like what you have done here, even as a mock-up it comes across as first class.

Edmond Dantes
08-16-2013, 10:55 PM
Why would you put the authenticator on the CASE?

You know what'll happen? The bootlegger will give an authentic case to a fake cart.

Put the sticker on the cart.

Vectorman0
08-17-2013, 01:12 AM
I didn't notice this thread had more replies until Edmond just bumped it.

8man, I don't have a game in hand I'm concerned about, as I can't afford expensive home carts. This thread I made was more out of curiosity and hoping to gain knowledge on the matter. I do hope to end up getting a few of my favorites like Magical Drop III or Blazing Star, but that would be years down the road when I have an actual career - hopefully one day.

Right now I manage a retro videogame store and there is a very slight chance someone could come in hoping to sell a high end home cart. Before I write a big check to buy it, I would need to be quite confident in its authenticity. I doubt this will actually happen, but it would be neat.

As an aside, I don't like the idea of a grading service. I think it takes the job of authenticating from the entire community, and puts it into the hands of one or few people. I hate the VGA, both the business and the customers/collectors/speculators supporting it. I see it as all about greed, and little to do with collecting. So I may be biased here. That said, 8man's mock up looks quite nice, and I'll have to think more about my stance.


This is where I'm at:

In terms of print quality, one basically need to compare it next to a known original to be able to tell. (or have seen enough that they have the experience)

The only other way is to open the cart and check for wave soldered PCB's. Bootleggers haven't gone so far as to do this, right? (putting any discussion/argument of AF3 aside) This would work for all Japanese games, but for English games, it would be more difficult to say when it's possible an authentic Japanese homecart was sacrificed.



I have some more thoughts, but it's time for bed. I'll definitely be back soon since I know this topic has more interested.

TikTekTak
08-18-2013, 03:24 AM
Why would you put the authenticator on the CASE?

You know what'll happen? The bootlegger will give an authentic case to a fake cart.

Put the sticker on the cart.

The QR system would defeat this method. As you could simply look up who owned the game last. When you buy the game from the counterfeighter
just ask for his real name and if he doesn't give it you don't buy. That'S the good thing if a cart is bound to a person. Even if counterfeighters would produce fake qrcodes it would be useless as the QR codes are interlinked with the database and only real ones poinbt to the owner.
When you get such a cart from the previous owner you let 8man relink it to you (there has to be some security in place though that a counterfeighter can't relink it to himself).

What I fear though is that all which is digital can be hacked. I f some hacker got into the database and alters stuff or simply destroys it.

@8man:
Who told you that most of the boots come from germany as well as france? I never saw too many coming from there. Most I saw were either from france or spain.

Edmond Dantes
08-28-2013, 05:30 AM
What I fear though is that all which is digital can be hacked. I f some hacker got into the database and alters stuff or simply destroys it.


About that hypothetical hacker, personally I'd defeat that by backing up the database regularly--disable the internet connection, put it on a USB thumb drive, write-protect the drive (some have this little switch you can flip to do that) and then re-enable the internet link.

Then, if the database is ever hacked or destroyed, it can be re-uploaded.

8man
01-13-2014, 10:37 AM
** 2014 Update **

I'm in "beta" mode with my Authentication Program.

I can verify most fakes from high-res photos, but the fakes are getting better.

I have already verified 5+ AES fakes, and the scary part, one of the fakes had a real manual. So, some counterfeiters are now including at least 1 real element, and the rest of the parts are not legit.

http://imageshack.com/a/img542/5733/8nn3.jpg

To be 100% positive, I need to verify your game in person using my high-end loupe and graphics knowledge. I have a professional background in producing ultra high-res graphics using loupes, negatives, film, plates and offset printing. (SNK used offset printing). I will also compare your game to an original 100% legit AES game (from my complete AES library).

To get started, contact me via e-mail: SNKauthentication@comcast.net
(my neo-geo.com PM box gets too full, too fast)

You have to pack the games well, and ship them to me.
Once I inspect and authenticate your games, I will contact you and let you know how much the return shipping is.

Since I'm in "beta" your games will be documented and registered in my database.
And, as a bonus, all the elements of your game will also be professionally graded:
Case, Insert, Manual, Cart, Sticker, and baggie.

Once I go full public, your will receive all the paperwork and be able to view the database.

I'm working with FedEx now to get discounts on shipping for you guys.
It may take a while, because they base discounts on shipping volume.

8man

clubberlang
01-13-2014, 12:17 PM
I like to thank 8man for authenticating my 2 aes titles. My U.S. Metal Slug 3 and Japanese Metal Slug 5 that I purchased back in 2013 from Waku 7, I knew they were legit, but I wanted a reliable tracking record for my games if I ever decided to sell them in the future. If you have any doubts about any games being counterfeit, 8man is the guy to see and his prices are very reasonable too.

xsq
01-14-2014, 04:06 AM
this might actually be a step into the right direction to make the homecart market bearable again.... best of luck to you 8man!

totoro
01-16-2014, 06:21 AM
Finally!!!:buttrock:

Neodogg
02-11-2014, 08:22 PM
this sounds awesome!

Hans Grösse
07-18-2014, 02:52 PM
I'm glad a service like this exists. Hopefully it can be used to take down some frauds and eBay scammers.