Virtual Console Release: Mega Man 4 for NES

August 6, 2009

For some reason, Nintendo is being a bit slow on releasing the rest of the Mega Man series for the Virtual Console.  Here’s so you don’t have to wait.  Definitely not my favorite retro Mega Man game, but it still manages to hold its own at times.  See for yourself:

I’m aware that there’s already injections of this and its two sequels floating around on the net, but none of them have custom manuals and proper banners like my releases do!  Enjoy!

Download:  HERE

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Virtual Console Release: Karnov for NES

July 31, 2009

Here’s another release I injected today: Karnov.  Like I said, I’m first trying to do all of the games that I had as a kid, and that includes the really weird games too.  Karnov is the epitome of a weird NES game.  My mom gave me this game as a gift when I was a kid, and just by looking at the box art, I knew it was going to be really off the wall.  As soon as I put it in to try it out, my hunch was right.  This game makes absolutely no sense.  Why does Karnov ride in and out of levels on a lightning bolt?  Why can you only get hit twice before you die? When you get hit, you turn blue — is Karnov suffocating when you get hit?  Why are so many things in this game orange?  Why does Karnov jump like he’s on the moon?  Why is there zero gravity when you fall from a cliff?  Why are animated statues and snake/dinosaur hybrids trying to kill you?  This game makes no sense.

Includes official-like manual and all the custom images to make this a proper release.  Enjoy.

Download:  HERE


Complete Wii Softmodding / Hacking Guide, Part 5: The Fruits of Your Labor

July 27, 2009

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!

Earthbound Zero.  By the time youre done with this section, itll be installed on your Wii.

Earthbound Zero. By the time you're done with this section, it'll be installed on your Wii.

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.

SD Pack 3

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.

VBAgx will faithfully emulate any GB, GBC, or GBA game.

VBAgx will faithfully emulate any GB, GBC, or GBA game.

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 🙂

USB Loader GX has a very user-friendly GUI.

USB Loader GX has a very user-friendly GUI.

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.

Huge Virtual Console/WiiWare WAD Library

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 🙂


Complete Wii Softmodding / Hacking Guide, Part 2: Setting Up

July 20, 2009

Welcome to the second part of my softmodding guide for the Nintendo Wii.  If you have not completely read the first part, please do so before continuing on.  In this part of the guide, we’re going to get all of our files together and prepare the Wii for a proper softmod.

If you have already attempted to hack your Wii to some degree, you will need to do everything you can to put it back to a virgin state.  I can only provide a few suggestions to doing that, as it’s impossible to completely remove all of your hacks once you’ve done something to it.  If you haven’t hacked anything on your Wii before, you can skip all of the following steps. I attribute credit on this part of the guide to Dogeggs, Tona, bsmalley23, and Davi92 of http://www.wiihacks.com.

  1. Download the cleanup tools here and extract them to the root of your SD card. Don’t use an SDHC card.
  2. If you are running system menu 4.0 or earlier, do an official Nintendo update to 4.1.  This will delete a lot of your hacks.  You can also skip step three.
  3. If you are running system menu 4.1, downgrade to 3.2 using cIOS Downgrader 1.2 and then do an official Nintendo update.
  4. If you have preloader or DVDx on your Wii, run NAND Clean (part of the cleanup tools).  Say yes to everything it asks you to delete.  Do NOT run this until you have done an official update from Nintendo.
  5. Now, load AnyTitle Deleter (also part of the cleanup tools) and delete any IOS you have installed with a number higher than 200.  Do not delete any others along with those or you will most likely brick your Wii.
  6. If you have Bootmii, run the installer and uninstall it.
  7. Again in AnyTitle Deleter, go to Installed Channels and delete any channels that you have custom installed (backup launchers, pirated virtual console/wiiware, injected wads, etc.)

As an alternative, if you don’t have Bootmii and are not on 4.1, just delete all of your installed non-default channels (including the Homebrew channel) and then update to 4.1.  The update should overwrite any preloader you have installed (including preloader 0.28 and 0.29) and you should theoretically be clean.

Your previously hacked Wii should now be clean and running System Menu 4.1, but I’m not responsible for any unlikely damage that may result from trying to undo your hacks.  Most likely, everything will still work, as I’ve done this myself.

If you haven’t already hacked your Wii and read over that, don’t be intimidated or overwhelmed.  There’s a lot of material to cover, and that’s why this guide is split into different parts.

The next thing we’re going to do is check the serial number on your Wii to ensure that we can softmod it.  You can find your serial number on the side (or bottom) of your Wii… you’ll know it once you see it.  It’ll look something like this:

Wii Serial Number

Wii Serial Number

The model number in this picture is an LU10.  There are many many different model numbers floating around out there.  My personal Wii, for example, is an LU37, and I’ve seen members on various forums who have had numbers all the way up to LU90. Nintendo released the LU64 line around the middle of March 2009, and since that batch was released, there have been protections in place to stop a hacker from installing a cIOS.  These protections have since been circumvented, but only with about a 50% or less success rate.  The other 50% end up with a bricked Wii, and because of that, this guide will not support LU64+ models.

If you have an LU64+, however, there is still hope.  Your safest route would be to install a no-solder modchip.  As the name implies, these chips do not require any type of soldering and are designed with ease-of-installation in mind.  Plus, you will still be able to do everything that any softmodded Wii can do… you’ll just have to spend money on the chip.  The most popular Wii modchip by far is the WiiKey, but as you can see for yourself in the picture below, they are hardly simple to install and can be rather intimidating to a beginner.  The chip that I would recommend for LU64+ users is the DriveKey, which you can find here for 50$.  Also on this page is an illustration of how easy they are to set up.

An installed WiiKey

An installed WiiKey. Scary, eh?

Okay, now for those of you doing a clean install who have never tweaked your Wii, let’s get prepared:

  1. Back up everything on your SD card to your computer.
  2. Format your SD card to FAT32.
  3. Make sure your network access to your Wii is working.
  4. Disconnect any Gamecube controller or memory card you have connected to your system.
  5. Download the SD Pack I put together by clicking here.
  6. Extract the SD Pack to your empty SD card.
  7. Free up as much memory on your Wii as possible.  I’d recommend having at least 400-500 blocks free.

You can now continue to part three by clicking here, where we’ll finally get our feet wet and start doing some hacking.