At some point, someone made a batch of counterfeit copies of the legendary PC Engine Arcade Card CD game Ginga Fukei Densetsu Sapphire through the Swiss company Care4data.
Unlike most of the bootlegs from asian companies like Everanime or Son May, there are no new unique brandings or changes made to the original packaging. It was made to look as close as possible to the real thing with the intention of passing it off as such.
Since then, several people have been selling them online as the real thing through eBay and elsewhere. Most of these sellers know exactly what they are doing. Some of them are even honest about what they are selling and the average price in these cases is about $60 U.S. But there are also legitimate sellers out there who don't know that what they're selling is fake and who are also victims.
This is why I put this section together. You'll find enough information here to not only easily figure out if you own a fake copy of Sapphire, but also how to quickly spot a fake for sale online.
Table Of Contents
The Peel Away Strip
With Sapphire and most other brand new PC Engine CD games, the peel away strip is close to the bottom(less than a centimetre). But the counterfeit has it's peel away strip a full inch from the bottom and it crosses the "Sapphire" section of the logo.
On the back side, it crosses just below the yellow squared section describing the Arcade Card requirements.
Below are thumbnails of the sealed bootleg Sapphire and a legitimate sealed Fatal Fury 2 ACD. Fatal Fury 2 was released close to the same time as Sapphire and is also an Arcade Card game by Hudson. So it's safe to say that it shows more or less exactly where the strip would appear on a legimate sealed copy of Sapphire.
As you can see, on a sealed real PC Engine CD game, the strip crosses through the Catalog Number on the back side of the Spine.
However, on the sealed fake Sapphire the strip is at least a full inch higher, pretty much 1/4 the way up the case.
The Inner Ring
The fastest way to determine for sure if the disc itself is a counterfeit, is to determine what is printed on the inner ring of the CD.
The Arcade Logos
The glossy finish of the bootleg makes the Arcade Card logos appear darker in my scans than they actually are.
One of the easiest ways to spot a fake is that all the Arcade logos will be very bright neon-orange.
The following images are estimations of the difference in color between logos and are not reproductions.
The Plastic Inner CD Case
The white inner case of the original Sapphire is the same as most PC Engine CD games: it is a dull white solid plastic with a smooth finish.
The inner case of the bootleg however, is a cheaper bright white plastic and the entire CD area has a textured feel to it. Also, the half-circle indentations along the top and bottom have an extra inner half-circle ring inside of them.
The left side area of the inner case which is exposed when the case is closed is also noticibly different.