Monday, August 19, 2013

The Dreamstation Famiclone

The Dreamstation was a console I stumbled upon at a local flea market, after I spotted a yellow pirate multicart on top of its box. It was also my first proper Famiclone console. I had just bought the 57000 Video Games less than a month prior, but the Dreamstation was my first complete in box, with everything needed to get started right away Famiclone console.
Up to this point I was only familiar with the numerous handheld clones and the clunky 57000 Video Games, so when the Dreamstation actually worked as well as any of the officially branded systems I own, I was kind of shocked! The Dreamstation isn't flashy or splashy but it did exactly what I wanted it to do, it worked. The video quality was good, the sound quality was what you would expect from an NOAC, yet a year later I found out that the Dreamstation had a trick up its sleeve.

One night I was playing my (official) Famicom copy of Bases Loaded when I noticed the volume was much lower than any of the other games I had been playing, so I simply turned the volume up. Shortly after the game started I heard voice clips and additional sound effects I had never heard from the game before. The  Dreamstation was somehow emulating the FM synthesis chip from the Famicom.

None of my other Famiclones will play these voice or audio clips hidden deep within the game's coding. And the NES was never given the FM chip, so when I play that cartridge in my NES all volume levels are normal, but the game play is devoid of any real noise, I can tell there are missing sound effects. I'm not exactly sure how the Dreamstation is able to emulate or replicate the FM chip, but I know for a fact it does.
Besides being able to emulate FM sounds and overall functioning better than any of my other Famiclones, the Dreamstation isn't without it's faults, simply the short controller lengths. I covered this in my controller extension cable article. But to their credit the A and B buttons are laid out like an actual NES, with A and B shoulder buttons as a cool bonus, meaning I can use these controllers without getting confused by backwards controls.
In addition to the controllers the Dreamstation also included a gun, which looks insanely too real to be used outside of the home. The trigger on mine was snapped off by the previous owner, but even so the light gun is quite accurate and comfortable to hold. Not surprisingly the included pirate multicart has quite a few variants of games to test the gun out, which is handy.

Not only did the seller toss in the above mentioned cartridge, which looks a lot like a Nintendo 64 cartridge, they also included the yellow cartridge, as I stated at the beginning of the article. Both cartridges are filled with the standard pirated games as well as some random hacks tossed in. Finally I have a pirate cart with Dream Mary built in! (Super Mario Bros. with the wrong scrolling)
I've seen many other Famiclones in this shell with various other names, but I'm not sure if they are the exact same board inside or not. Which makes me wonder if they would all be able to emulate the FM chip. So far the Dreamstation is my favorite Famiclone console that I own, but if there is a better Famiclone on the market I'm sure I'll track it down!


  1. Nice find! I just started to collect famiclones and with started i mean i just bought my first and only famiclone, I find the console in a wal mart, it came with a 101 in 1 cartridge, tho console looks and sounds well also plays well but i don't have famicom carts to test it better.

    1. Good to hear! What kind of Famiclone did you get?

  2. I actually have one of these. It's in a pretty good state, except for the controllers where the direction pad has been broken. But i think it would still work. Thank you for this insight :D I enjoyed the dreamstation very much, and its a surprise to read about a console emulating a famicon (i had no idea what that was in my childhood).

  3. Hello.
    I recently bought this Famiclone (surely used), but it seems that controllers are "not native". They looks like PS controllers and there is word "Dendy" on each of them. And there is no light gun. Have you pinout of the light gun and DB9 port of the Dreamstation? May be I can buy compatible one (or adapt a light gun from another Famiclone).