The Super Mulitap is a video game peripheral developed by Hudson Soft for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Famicom which allows the console to support up to five controllers instead of its built-in two. There were at least 20 similar multitap peripherals made for the SNES, but Hudson Soft's Super Multitap was by far the most popular, not just because Husdon Soft was a bigger name than the others, but also because it was promoted with a popular video game, Super Bomberman. Like with other video game consoles, support for additional controllers would only work on games designed to take advantage of it. In older platforms like the Nintendo Entertainment System, support for more than two controllers was limited to only a handful of games, but developers for the SNES created over 100 games which supported more than two controllers allowing for game play sessions which could accommodate more players. No doubt this increase in entertainment value (not to mention controller sales) helped influence Nintendo to build four controller ports into their next console, the Nintendo 64.
The Super Multitap was released in Japan, the USA, and Europe. In the USA it was released bundled with the Party Pak version of Super Bomberman or individually. In Japan, it was released in three different ways. Each version was sold individually. The first two just used different packaging, but they both included multi-colored stickers for the ports and controllers to help keep the mess of wires in order. The third release, called the Super Multitap 2, was reworked to be in the shape of a Bomberman's head. I've read that the Japanese and American Super Multitaps work interchangeably, but that the European Super Multitap is region-locked for PAL devices, but, if bypassed, works fine everywhere.
Back in the days of the NES, I was always enamored by the idea of a big party with all my friends playing at once, as depicted in advertising for the NES Four Score and NES Satellite. This was especially the case after I bought Gauntlet II and saw that it had support for 4 players simultaneously, just like the arcade game. But, the truth is, being a shy weird kid, I almost never had such parties, and, even if I did, few NES games actually supported four players, and even fewer were any good. So, I was content to not bother with the peripheral. However, when I was totally blown away by Secret of Mana, and saw that it could handle three players simultaneously, my interest was re-piqued, but, again, I didn't know of enough games to justify buying a multitap. When the Nintendo 64 came out, and I saw people playing four player Mario Kart 64, I became really interested. Having bought a copy of The Lord of the Rings: Volume 1 from FuncoLand, and seeing it supported up to 5 players, I finally bought a multitap for my SNES, and, since it was the easiest to come by, I got a used Super Multitap. I finally played Secret of Mana with three players, and, to my dismay, I found that it wasn't that great. It's just too difficult to convince three players to all go in the same direction. We all wanted to do different things, but, because the game locks the camera to the players, we were frequently stuck near the edges. The Lord of the Rings: Volume 1 is even worse because it doesn't lock in the players, and they can easily get lost off screen! It wasn't until I played Super Bomberman that I realized just how well four-player games can actually be on the SNES, but, by that time, I was primarily emulating games on my PC.
I own a US Super Multitap without the box.
This is an incomplete list of SNES games which support more than two controllers.
- nintendo.fandom.com/wiki/Super_Multitap - Review.