Family BASIC

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Family BASIC
File:Family Basic box art and contents.JPG
Developer(s) Nintendo with Hudson Soft and Sharp Corporation
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Platform(s) Family Computer
Release date(s) June 21, 1984
Genre(s) Basic Programming
Mode(s) Create, Play, Load and Save
Media cartridge
System requirements Famicom Data Recorder or any cassette tape player with headphone and mic plugs.
Input methods Keyboard, standard controller

Family BASIC or Famicom BASIC is a dialect of the BASIC programming language that is used to program the Family Computer, its cartridge came with a computer style keyboard, and required a cassette tape recorder to save games that were created. Packaged with an instructional textbook and the Family Basic Keyboard, the software was released to consumers in Japan by Nintendo in co-operation with Hudson Soft and Sharp Corporation on June 21, 1984, with a second version, with added memory, and features known as Family Basic V3 release in February 21 1985.

Several visual components seen in Nintendo games, such as backgrounds and characters from Mario and Donkey Kong games (circa 1984-1985), were made available as basic Family Basic development parts, or have appeared in pre-made Family Basic games.

Game creating and saving

Programs can be saved using the Famicom Data Recorder peripheral, basically the Famicom equivalent of the Commodore Datasette. Contrary to common thought, the Famicom Disk System cannot be used together with Family Basic because both the disk system's RAM adapter and the Family Basic cartridge need to be inserted into the main unit's cartridge slot for each respective peripheral to function.


  • In WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgames!, one of 9-Volt's Minigames involves the Famicom Basic keyboard.
  • There were plans to release the program to the U.S., but Nintendo decided that they did not want to market the NES as a computer system.
  • Version 1.0 was never released but Versions 2.0, 2.1, and 3.0 were. V.3.0 had a few tweaks and already created games were included.

External links

fr:Family BASIC

ja:ファミリーベーシック pt:Family BASIC fi:Famicom BASIC sv:Famicom BASIC

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