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Unlicensed Game

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Darwin: [Picks up a game from a bargain bin] Hey, look! They have a new Legend of Zelmore! [Looks at the game's case] Wait, what? The Tale of Zolmore? For PolyStation? [Opens the game's case] There's not even a disc inside! It's painted on the box! It's a knock-off!

A Shoddy Knockoff Product in the form of an entire Video Game. These were most common in the mid 90s, due to the relative ease of spriteswapping before the Video Game 3D Leap.

Though an intent to decieve is usually behind their creation, as is the case with most Shoddy Knockoff Products, an unlicensed game can also come about in open defiance of a console manufacturer's policies. This was particularly common with (but not exclusive to) the Atari 2600 and NES, as Atari and Nintendo had a reputation in the industry at the time for putting exceptionally draconian restrictions on their licensees. Game cartridges that come about this way may have unique mechanisms for circumventing their respective system's antipiracy measures.

The Bootleg Games Wiki is a considerably large catalogue of these. While Sturgeon's Law definitely applies, some bootleg games have made names for themselves, and may have tropes of their own.

See also Game Mod, which many bootlegs are, as well as Fan Game and Fan Sequel, which many bootlegs would dubiously qualify as. (Sometimes fan games and mods are outright stolen and sold as bootlegs.) Compare and contrast Homebrew Video Games, as the line that separates them can be particularly blurry and often comes down to the context in which it was made.

Games under this category include:

Examples covered on the source material's pagenote 

Non-indexed examples

(Remember, you're free to make pages about them!)
  • Aladdin (Hummer Team), based on Aladdin (Capcom)
    • Aladdin II (Mega Drive)
  • Aladdin (Super Game), based on Aladdin (Virgin Games)
    • Aladdin II (Famicom)
  • Barver Battle Saga: Tai Kong Zhan Shi (Taiwanese Final Fantasy clone for the Mega Drive. Received an official English translation and release from Piko Interactigve in 2018, as Brave Battle Saga.)
  • Bee 52
  • Bio Hazard (Famicom demake of Resident Evil using assets from Resident Evil Gaiden)
  • Bob Bros: The Legend of Time (A stripped-down mobile device asset flip of Super Mario 64)
  • Castle of Deceit
  • Chiller (NES port of the arcade game)
  • Chinese Kung Fu/Challenge of the Dragon (Sachen knockoff of Double Dragon I, offered to Color Dreams for Western publication but they rejected it and made an original game also titled Challenge of the Dragon)
  • Deathbots
  • Era's Adventures 3D
  • F-15 City War (FC/NES knockoff of Thunder Blade)
  • F-22 (Generic vertical shmup by Inventor, featured in truncated form on various plug-&-play Famiclones)
  • Final Fantasy VII (Famicom demake by Shenzhen Nanjing Technology. Received a fan-made Updated Re-release with English translation in 2013.)
  • Firehawk (NES Desert Strike clone by Codemasters, unrelated to the arcade game Fire Hawk or the sequel to Thexder)
  • Gaiapolis (Famicom/NES version)
  • Galactic Crusader
  • Impossible Mission II (NES port)
  • Iraq War 2003
  • Lei Dian Huang Bi Ka Qiu Chuan Shuo (combination of Pokémon Yellow and Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen)
  • Magic Dragon (R-Type knockoff for Famicom)
  • Monino Save Story
  • Operation Secret Storm
  • Pokeball Coach Pokemon Go
  • Pokémon Stadium for the Genesis
  • Pokemon 2000 (Hack of Hudson Soft's Felix the Cat, not to be confused with the aforementioned Dragon Co. game)
  • Robodemons
  • Rocman X (Thunder Blast Man)
  • Shi Kong Zhi Lun (Famicom demake of Chrono Trigger, made by Shenzhen Nanjing Technology who also developed the above mentioned Final Fantasy VII demake.)
  • Shui Hu Feng Yun Zhuan (Golden Axe clone based on the Chinese novel Water Margin, as well as "borrowing" assets from Streets of Rage, Street Fighter II, and Knights of the Round. Surprisingly, the game received English translation by Piko Interactive in 2015 as Water Margin: A Tale of Clouds and Wind, with the much of the copyright infringing elements removed.)
  • Silent Assault
  • Squirrel King (Mega Drive knockoff of Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers)
  • Super Contra 7 (Standalone Contra game with sprites and backgrounds ripped from Mighty Final Fight.)
  • Super Evolution, a generic gacha Mobile Phone Game based around collecting blatant Pokémon gijinkas with poorly translated names (e.g. "Shellhelmet" for Shelmet) and poor Japanese voice acting.
  • Tagin' Dragon
  • The Adventures of Captain Comic (NES port of the MS-DOS game)
  • The Dragon (Famicom beat 'em up starring a Bruce Lee Clone with sprites ripped from Mortal Kombat, not to be confused with the aforementioned Challenge of the Dragon)
  • The P'radikus Conflict
  • Tom & Jerry 3 (Famicom conversion of the Genesis game Tom & Jerry: Frantic Antics)
  • Twin Eagle (Area 88 knockoff by Sachen, published by American Video Entertainment as Double Strike in the US to avoid confusion or legal conflict with the Taito/Seta vertical shmup also called Twin Eagle)
  • VR Fighter vs. Taken 2 (Megadrive crossover of Virtua Fighter and Tekken)
  • Wait and See! (Based on the Russian animated series Nu, Pogodi!, but steals artwork from Bugs Bunny)