Authorities Bust Attempt to Smuggle Spiders in Famicom Cartridges

Authorities Bust Attempt to Smuggle Spiders in Famicom Cartridges

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Nintendo Has a Secret Message For Famicom Mini Hackers

Yesterday, the Spanish news site Crónica reported federal authorities in Mexico nabbed a shipment of spiders being sent from Guadalajara, Mexico to Maryland, USA. The spiders were packed in pirated Famicom cartridges.

It took a couple of decades, but Sony and Sega have finally presented irrefutable proof on why the industry's jump from game cartridges to CDs was the right choice.

NeoGAF user Remk kindly(?) offered a translated summarization of the adventure. The original story contains a video that shows the haul, just in case you want it.

Don't worry: It's not like the authorities crack open the cartridges and spiders spill out in a hellish cascade. The critters are neatly packed in vials. Frankly, it's an impressive use of the empty space that fills most cartridge games, and I suppose it's better than live cockroaches turning the PlayStation 4 into their own personal crash-pad.

One question lingers: Who the hell wants to smuggle spiders, whether via a misappropriated Famicom cartridge or by other means? When something is smuggled, it indicates there's a profitable demand for said thing. Nobody goes through the hassle and danger of smuggling unless the payoff is worth it.

Spiders in games are OK. Spiders IN games are not OK.

Well, the demand for exotic spiders and exotic insects in general is quite high. People are arrested all the time for attempting to bring wild animals through airport scanners, but bugs are in especially high demand from collectors. Certain insects that thrive in Guadalajara's hot, dry climate may not thrive in Maryland, where the winters are chilly and the summer air is made out of hot soup. Some enthusiasts will do whatever it takes to fill their terrariums, even it if means befouling the Famicom's memory.

This is the part where I say "People who keep spiders as pets are crazy," but I'm in no position to judge. I'd love to have a few pet snakes, or even a giant ant farm. I guess I wouldn't even say "no" to a pet spider in the right circumstances. Centipedes are totally out, though. 17+ legs of nope.

Whatever your tastes, make sure you get your animals legally, and from ethical sources. Not even a pirated repro cart of Jurassic Park deserves to be stuffed to the brim with exotic spiders. At least the smuggler didn't use any carts with pretty label art.

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Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve,, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

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