Cartridge Karaoke

This seems like a pretty niche genre, but does anyone know of any 8/16 bit karaoke games? The one example I have already on my computer is a Taiwanese one for the Famicom that I happened to see when I was looking through Chinese rom sites. I made a video just now playing a few songs.

For comparison, here's the original versions of the songs I played. (Edit: after posting these I discovered that when I try playing the embedded version I get a "Video unavailable" error (for copyright reasons?), so you'll probably have to click on the video title in the top left corner to watch them on YouTube.)

The first one was 妳知道我在等妳嗎 (Do you Know I Am Waiting). It was maybe a bad choice for the first song to play, since the chiptune rendition was long and kind of boring, but I guess it doesn't sound bad. I appreciate that the guitar solo was preserved! (In some form at least.)

The second was 春風吻上我的臉 (The spring wind kisses my face). I suspect that this was based on some 80s or 90s cover of the song that I can't find on Youtube, since it sounds very different from the original, though the lyrics are clearly the same. (In case you're confused, the lyrics in the following video are read from right to left.)

The last one was 其實我還是有些在乎 (Actually, I still care a little). I think the chiptune version sounds pretty good!

I like that each song has some tiny looping animation that has nothing to do with the music. From what I've seen, it looks like each animation is unique, there aren't any repeats at all. Playing through this game makes me imagine an alternate universe where instead of YouTube, or even MTV, the only way to watch music videos of any kind is to go the store and buy a Famicom cartridge that has an 8-bit version of the songs you want on there with weird looping animations.

Anyway, there must be a whole bunch of these right? I imagine most of them aren't on YouTube at all. If you know of any, it would be neat if you could record a few minutes and maybe try to find videos of the original songs.

You can do a karaoke mini game in Takeshi no Chōsenjō using the microphone on the famicom's 2nd controller.

Here's another Korean unlicensed game. It's translated here as "Friends Who Sing With Crows" and comes with a microphone that plugs in the top of the cartridge.
Starts at 26:54:

I don’t know much about this subgenre; to me karaoke in a cartridge immediately evokes Super Robot Taisen. (Note: F is a CD-ROM game.)

Ah yeah, this rules!! I know I‘ve seen some of these before, I just can’t place where and when. Thanks for recording this one! I‘ll poke some friends who collect bootlegs and see if they’ve got anything to add here.

Bootleg Games Wiki has a few:

Family Noraebang by Daou Infosys

HG101 talks about in in their History of Korean Gaming

까치와 노래친구 (KKachi-wa Norae Chingu) - Famicom (1994)

This is the one I posted a video of previously.

Sunday Funday: The Ride by [Wisdom Tree](

MusicBox by [Inventor](

The [Karaoke Studio]( series by Bandai

I‘ve actually tried out that Bandai Famicom Karaoke Studio thing before, but at the time my Japanese was not up to the task, and I didn’t know any of the songs, either. Wonder how it works if those are not issues! Seems like a curiosity (albeit a very charming one) in this day and age!

@chazumaru#3786 I‘d never played any of the Super Robot Taisen games, so I didn’t know about the karaoke mode. It‘s such a nice thing to add! Seeing it makes me feel these games are probably a lot more interesting that I’d thought they were. I love the idea of games that are meant as total celebrations of some particular genre of non-game media.

@hellomrkearns#3898 Wow, Family Noraebang actually sounds great, I think. I really love that custom sound chip it has. I know absolutely nothing about the kind of Korean music suitable for karaoke in 1994, so it's fun to look these songs up and compare them to how they sound in the game. Here's the third song from that video:

I got excited by the mention of the Bandai one, thinking that an official release might be higher quality than the bootlegs, but it really doesn't seem to be? I guess the bootlegs have the advantage that they were released much later, so they had access to expansion chips, more storage, and more expertise working with the Famicom sound chip.

Not a cartridge, but I assume folks on this forum know about the Daytona USA karaoke mode that was put into the XBox 360 release 8 years ago?

whoa I actually did not know about this, somehow. I guess I need to see if there's still some way to buy this thing!

me and my pal Tanguy got to sing the burning rangers theme with Mitsuyoshi at a party once.

Adding in singing to an already challenging arcade racer makes it shockingly more difficult.

@hellomrkearns#3898 I'm only popping into this thread to mention how, even though I have only scant interest in karaoke itself, almost everything about that Bandai Karaoke Studio image is just perfection, especially the hardware and its labelling!

@antillese#3972 nice! the Sega Saturn version had karaoke mode too!

‘To see music lyrics, select ARCADE MODE, then put laps to ’‘Normal’‘ and hold Up while selecting a track with button C.’

The karaoke tracks (without vocals) are all separate tracks on the CD. Redbook Audio, baby!

what the heck, I‘m feeling like a real noob over here if I didn’t know that!!!

@exodus#4015 I tried to find a video without any luck, but pretty sure I did try it a while back.

hey I'm one of the Friends Who Collect Bootlegs I guess!

金曲KTV is an interesting one in the scheme of these things because it was apparently made by Sintax, which might be a name you know quite well if you know bootleg Game Boy games. IIRC it also used the "microphone jack on the cart" approach like the Korean one. The Famicom controller mic wasn't really tenable for these things because they were mostly aimed at Famicom clone owners, and all but the earliest clones omitted it due to its limited usefulness.

There have been a bunch of other karaoke games on Famicom hardware that all kinda blur into one for me but I think it was moderately common in China for the "educational computer" type of clones to also have some simple karaoke software bundled along with them. Usually they'd just come with a handful of public domain standards in both English and Chinese, and I don't think they had any kind of mic included, so more of a novelty than a serious attempt at home karaoke.

then several years passed and the Plug n Play was invented so naturally Fami-karaoke made its way into some more dedicated hardware - notably "Croaky Karaoke" by ABL:

This came with four licensed songs plus ten more public domain renditions.. unfortunately the songs seem to have been composed for NTSC speed while the console was mostly sold in PAL regions, so they all played too slow. But they tried! It supported expansion cartridges for extra songs, but I don't know if any were actually released.

there was also a French version:

There were some other attempts at plug n play karaoke on more advanced hardware too - the most notable is probably Takara's e-Kara. This one had MIDI-like music and colour photo backgrounds so basically gave you the authentic karaoke-machine experience, and a wide range of cartridges was released for it, especially in Japan. It was also released in Europe but the selection of cartridges was much more limited.

I also remember seeing one somewhere which was, I think, part karaoke and part DDR clone, and all the songs were production music? Can't find that one anymore though.

EDIT: also there was definitely a Chinese karaoke cart being made for the Mega Drive at some point but I'm not sure if it came out or what

@taizou#4033 very cool. I wonder if Frank has that for his NES on a Chip collection?

Thanks for all of this! Now I've gotta get my buddy Al in here who collects some of this stuff in Taiwan…

Golgo 13 on the FC would play the theme song when paused and display the lyrics. If you sang into the second controller mic, it would score you on your performance.


Not a Karaoke game, but a hidden Karaoke Mode, on a real deal ROM chip integrated circuit on a PCB game cartridge.