This is the fifth and final part of my Wii softmodding guide. If you haven’t already, please go through parts one, two, three, and four to get up to speed. In this part of the guide, we won’t be doing any hacking at all — we finished all of that stuff in part four. Your Wii is hacked, now let’s run awesome homebrew software on it!
In this section, we’ll run a Gameboy Advance emulator, install an English Virtual Console version of Earthbound Zero, get familiar with the Homebrew Browser, and learn how to burn a backed up disc. I will also provide invaluable links that no will doubt help you in the near future. I have prepared a third SD pack for you so that you can get started, so go ahead and wipe out your SD card again and extract the files from the pack to it.
Once all that business is done, start up your Wii with your SD card inserted and boot up the Homebrew Channel. You’ll see the familiar WAD Manager, but we’ve got a few new programs here as well: Visual Boy Advance GX, Homebrew Browser, NeoGamma, and USB Loader GX. I’ll discuss what each of these do.
Homebrew Browser — Lets you download new homebrew software directly onto your Wii from the internet. You don’t have to remove your SD card or anything. You can download everything from a PlayStation emulator to a Wii port of Doom using this program. Once downloaded, these programs can then be launched from the Homebrew Channel.
Visual Boy Advance GX — A very good Gameboy Advance emulator for the Wii. You can now play your games on the big screen at full speed with no hassle.
NeoGamma — A popular game backup loader that can launch games from DVD, USB drive, and even SD/SDHC card.
USB Loader GX — Another popular backup loader that specializes in launching games from a USB drive.
Why don’t we go ahead and launch VBAgx? Load it from the Homebrew Channel. Once it has loaded, you will immediately be prompted with a game select screen. For convenience, I have put several popular Gameboy, Gameboy Color, and Gameboy Advance games in SD Pack 3. Why don’t you go ahead and pick one? My favorite is probably Link’s Awakening DX.
Once you’re done playing, you can exit out of VBAgx just like you would anything else on the Wii by pressing the Home button and closing out. If you later want to add more ROMs to VBAgx, all you need to do is insert your SD card back to your computer and place your ROMs in the X:\VBAgx\ROMS folder (X: represents the drive letter of your card).
Let’s try the Homebrew Browser now. Once you boot it up, it will connect to its servers and download whatever content it needs to download. This application automatically updates itself nearly every day to keep up with the latest homebrew releases. If you want to download something from the Homebrew Browser, all you need to do is just click it and press Download. You can play with that for a little bit if you like :)
Now I’m going to talk about NeoGamma and USB Loader GX. These programs both have the capability of launching game images (.ISO files) from USB drives formatted in a WBFS partition. Yes, WBFS is very unusual and probably Wii-specific. You can format your drive to WBFS using a program called WBFS Manager (Google it.) You also use WBFS Manager to move ISO files to the drive. I haven’t seen an operating system yet that can natively access a WBFS partition. Once your ISO files are on the drive, just connect your drive to the Wii (if it doesn’t work, try the other USB port.. it has two of them) and the loader you use should detect the games. USB Loader GX is prettier, but I added NeoGamma because some people just prefer it.
Okay, how about we install Earthbound Zero onto your Wii? Open WAD Manager, use IOS249 and your SD card as the device. Select the WAD and install it like you would any other WAD. Exit WAD Manager and then exit the Homebrew Channel to return to the System Menu. A new game should be on your system menu: Earthbound Zero for the NES. Pretty neat, isn’t it? Oh, one last thing. In order to download new WADs and have them appear in your WAD Manager install list, all you need to do is put them in the “wad” folder on your SD card.
Alright, now as far as playing backed up Wii and GameCube games goes… first you’ll need to get your hands on an ISO file. Once you have that file, you can burn it to a DVD-R using ImgBurn (Google it). I recommend burning at 4X speed. Once the burn is done, all you have to do is put the disc in your Wii, and thanks to our cIOSCORP hack we did in part four, it should pop up and work great!
If you’re interested in playing import games that were released outside of your region, click here.
Alright, to close out this tutorial, I’m going to provide a collection of my favorite places to go for Wii stuff, including where to download Virtual Console/WiiWare WADs and where to download Wii ISO’s. Enjoy.
AfterDawn Wii Section — Home to a lot of great tutorials, including the ones that some of this guide was based on
TehParadox Console Games Section — Sticky thread here has links to nearly every Wii ISO in existence
WiiHacks.com — A great Wii resource
GBAtemp.net — An all-around great Nintendo hacking resource
WiiBrew.org — A great Wii homebrew wiki. You can learn a lot just from reading the articles here.
Here! — I’ll keep posting Wii stuff as I get more into homebrew development and my own personal projects!
I hope my series of tutorials has helped you! Please post comments of your success stories, or if you have questions post them as a comment too. I’d love to get feedback from people who made it all the way through :)