Fake The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild cartridge spotted in second-hand store

Image Credit : Aeon Town Mito South Hard-Off

Written by. Nick Mosier based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2022-05-17 15:59 JST)



The Japanese second-hand store chain Hard-Off has found a fake The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild cartridge at one of their stores. The cartridge was purchased by the Aeon Town Mito South Hard-Off location and reported by their Twitter account.

The tweet explains that if the numbers on the front and back of the cartridge don’t match, players should be concerned that it’s a fake. Legitimate Nintendo Switch games will have matching numbers between the middle section of the sequence on the front and the left section of the sequence on the back. The pattern is a little different for development kits, but for the most part, you should see a similar string of characters on the front and back.

As for what numbers you’ll see printed on Nintendo Switch cartridges, it will vary depending on the game. For example, the back of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild cartridges appear to start with “AAAAA.” However, if you look at the back of the fake cartridge in the tweet above, it says “KYOTO.” Games will typically have a seemingly meaningless sequence like “A001W,” so seeing “KYOTO,” the city in Japan where Nintendo is based, is a red flag.

A legitimate copy of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild


We’ve seen dummy Nintendo Switches and packaging for non-existent games that look somewhat convincing, but it’s rare to see a fake cartridge that’s this elaborate. Twitter user @taka5874 retweeted the report saying that Nintendo Switch ROMs are difficult to fake and that the cartridge Hard-Off received is likely a mock-up with no ROM inside.

This incident points out the risk involved with buying used games. If you want to be extra safe, it’s probably best to buy new or the digital version of a game.

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