This may possibly be the strangest Nintendo 64 game ever.
Ronaldinho Soccer 64 was a bootleg Nintendo 64 game developed by TEG Peru and released only in Brazil back in January 1998. TEG Peru is best known for making hacks for a variety of different consoles but this was their one and only N64 effort. The game is a hack of Konami's International Superstar Soccer 64 with a few differences made including a new Portuguese announcer. International Superstar Soccer 64 was actually sold in Brazil, but it was the exact same version that was released in North America. This Ronaldinho game was likely their attempt at making a game that was better localized for Brazil. That and to make a quick buck.
Here's what the physical cartridge looks like. As you can see it is the epitome of laziness:
First off that is not Ronaldinho, that is Brazilian striker Ronaldo. The front label is printed on some extremely low quality paper. The artwork also isn't wide enough, hence that extra white area on the left side. On the backside of the cartridge there wasn't even a label at all. The cartridge isn't held together by normal screws like you'd expect and it's so cheap and fragile that you'd have to be really careful if you were taking it apart. The game is also very light. We do have a few pictures of the board, courtesy of NESWorld:
This game lacks a real CIC. That means an adaptor such as the Passport III is necessary to play.
As for the game, there are a few cool differences. The English voice announcer is gone and has been completely replaced with a Portuguese one. This Portuguese announcer has a very heavy Spanish accent and his commentary can be a bit confusing at times. Despite changing the announcer all the text for this game remains in English. This means that you need to know two languages if you want to fully understand everything.
When you start this hack you'll find they completely removed the Konami logo. Instead it's a little intro with Ronaldinho.
Directly after that is the logo for Major A Productions which is visually untouched but the background music has been replaced. They removed one logo but kept the other... After that we see the little demo of players playing football. Again everything visually looks the same but the music is different. The Ronaldinho game took the celebration music that plays when you win the World League in ISS64 and are playing it here instead.
Finally we see the title screen:
When I look at this I'm both amazed and perplexed. They managed to edit out those 2 original players and replace them with 2 pictures of Ronaldo. They didn't do a very good job though as you can still see remnants of the old title screen. Look at the player with the red jersey; if you look you can still see his hand on the Ronaldinho title screen. Also that section of the crowd right below Press Start looks a bit funny. The company credits at the bottom have been changed to LAI PEN Computer Group and they added a few flowers.
When we advance to the Main Menu we'll hear that the background music in the menus is different as well. I've gone through all the menus and the only different thing I noticed was that they actually added real player names:
It's not just for Brazil; they did it for all the teams. ISS64 lacked the license to use the real names so good on the Ronaldinho hackers to add them in and get it updated for the 1998 World Cup.
One of the places I really wanted to check for differences was in this game's credits. I Gamesharked my way through 70 games of the World League and made it to the end credits only to find they were identical. I also played that last final game against the World Stars and all logos afterwards were also the same. Too bad the hackers didn't give themselves any credit. It would've been extremely cool to find out how they managed to pull this game off. That's pretty well it for all the visual differences I was able to find.
Here are some audio clips of the two games. Ronaldinho is on the left, ISS64 on the right.
Ronaldinho Intro/Konami Logo
Major A Productions Logo
Title Screen Intro This is for hearing the different announcers.
My very last experiment with this game was to see how the Mr. Back Up Z64 handled it. The Z64 actually recognized this game and was able to dump it. This is neat as the Z64 usually doesn't recognize non-standard N64 cartridges like prototypes. The Z64 unfortunately could not boot this game. If anyone is looking for the ROM of this game then it can be found in the usual places.
If you're looking for a copy Ronaldinho Soccer 64 then you'll have to look pretty hard. The game was only sold in Brazil and even there it's difficult to find. I'd reccomend keeping an eye out on MercadoLivre. Also if you'd like to learn more about TEG Peru and download some of their games, then you can check out their official website. Yes the group is still active and making new games to this day.
Thanks very much to Artur for helping me find this game. Also to NESWorld for the board pictures and SubDrag for making me a Gameshark code that would quickly get me through the World League.