Coloured Carts

If you've been purchasing a lot of Nintendo 64 games then you've probably gotten a few game cartridges that came in a different colour. We saw 296 games get released here in North America and 42 of them ended up coming in a different colour. This is the full list of colours that publishers had the choice of using:

  • Blue
  • Yellow
  • Red
  • Green
  • Emerald Green
  • Pink
  • Beige
  • Dark Grey
  • Medium Grey
  • Grey (Standard)
  • Black
  • Gold (extra $0.20 per cartridge)
  • Silver (extra $0.10 per cartridge)

What makes that list very interesting is that some of those colour options that Nintendo provided did not get used for any commercial releases. If publishers wanted to do a coloured run, then they were required to order a minimum of 50000 copies and if they had chosen gray, then they could not change their mind. With the exception of the gold and silver colours, coloured cartridges did not cost anymore than gray ones. Coloured cartridges also did not take any longer to manufacture than the gray ones did. The limit of 50000 was as of late 1999 as this number was changed to be much lower in the following years.

Of the 42 coloured cartridges that did get released, 13 of them were re-released in a gray cartridge. Why exactly they were re-released in gray is unknown. Here is a full list of every coloured cartridge as well as which ones had gray re-releases:

GameColourGray variant?
007 The World Is Not EnoughBlueYes
Aidyn Chronicles: First MageBlackYes
All-Star Baseball 2001RedNo
Armorines: Project S.W.A.R.M.BlackNo
Army Men: Air CombatGreenYes
Army Men: Sarge's Heroes 2GreenYes
Bass Masters 2000BlueYes
Batman Beyond: Return of the JokerBlackNo
BattleTanx Global AssaultGreenNo
Battlezone: Rise of the Black DogsBlackNo
Donkey Kong 64YellowNo
Earthworm Jim 3DYellowNo
ECW: Hardcore RevolutionBlackNo
Fighter Destiny 2BlackNo
Hydro ThunderBlueYes
Jeremy McGrath Supercross 2000RedNo
Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask GoldNo
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of TimeGoldYes
Madden NFL 2001BlueNo
Madden NFL 2002BlackNo
NBA Jam 2000RedNo
NFL QB Club 2001RedNo
Nuclear Strike 64BlackNo
Pokemon Stadium 2Gold & Silver No
Power Rangers Lightspeed RescueBlackNo
Rally Challenge 2000BlackNo
Rayman 2GreenNo
Road RashBlackYes
Rocket: Robot On WheelsRedNo
Rugrats in Paris: The MovieBlackYes
Scooby Doo! Classic Creep CapersBlackYes
Tom Clancy's Rainbow SixBlackYes
Tony Hawk Pro SkaterBlueNo
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2YellowNo
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3BlackNo
Turok 2: Seeds of EvilBlackYes
Turok 3: Shadow of OblivionBlackNo
Turok: Rage WarsBlackYes
WCW Backstage AssaultBlueYes
WWF No MercyBlackNo
WWF Wrestlemania 2000BlackNo

Here's a list of all coloured carts released in the PAL format:

  • Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask - Gold
  • Pokemon Stadium 2 - Gold & Silver
  • Turok 2: Seeds of Evil - Black

In addition to the above three, Australia had two more coloured carts:

  • Donkey Kong 64 - Yellow
  • Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - Gold

If you're interested in a downloadable list of what all coloured and grey cartridges were worldwide, give this a download.

The publishing information about coloured cartridges was obtained by our friend over at NESWorld. These documents were from Acclaim and are dated between July 13 1999 and October 4 1999. Thanks very much to them for sharing!

Written by Kevin Ames
March 7 2014