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.



Quick Checklist

HCD5080 printed on the middle left of the top side and HRH800925-1SAAS printed on the middle right of the top side on the inner ring of the CD.   * CARE4DATA KEC2CMG924CDREO * 1 printed on the bottom side with IFPI LM46 in tiny letters above the 'CDREO', followed by a long barcode, on the inner ring of the CD.
The inner ring is thin and the same as a normal PC Engine CD game. The inner ring is ridiculously thick and noticibly different than a normal PC Engine CD game.
The Arcade logos are a dull darker orange. The Arcade logos are a bright neon-orange.
The Sapphire logo on the front cover has a pale lemon-yellow to pale bubblegum-pink gradient. The Sapphire logo on the front cover has a vibrant orange to vibrant hot-pink gradient.
The girl's outfit is made up of shades of purple. The girl's outfit is made up of shades of blue.
The blue background of the back insert is lighter and the blue screenshots are darker. The blue background of the back insert is darker and the blue screenshots are lighter.
Clear solid colors. Almost every square on the back insert such as screenshots have a white boarder on the top and right sides.
Peel away strip is less than a centimetre from the bottom. Peel away strip is one inch from the bottom and crosses the Sapphire logo.



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.


Counterfeit Sapphire
Legitimate Fatal Fury 2
Click to view full size
Click to view full size

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.


HCD5080 -printed on the middle left of the top side.
HRH800925-1SAAS -printed on the middle right of the top side.
The original has a thin inner ring.


* CARE4DATA KEC2CMG924CDREO * 1 -printed on the bottom side.
IFPI LM46 -tiny letters above 'CDREO'
There is also a big, long barcode which follows the CARE4DATA code. Alltogether, the printing takes up over half of the length of the inner ring, which is noticibly fatter than the on original.




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.


The real case is smooth and flat with very thin slits.


The fake case has wide, pointed, jagged slits that that are very noticible to the touch.