Virtual Console Release: Mega Man 6 for NES

August 9, 2009

This completes the Mega Man games for the NES.  Obviously, this was the last one that was released for the NES and probably is my least favorite of the bunch.  Regardless, it is here for you to enjoy, because I know that it certainly has its fans.  See for yourself:

As usual, custom images and a custom manual are included.

Download:  HERE


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 1: An Introduction

July 18, 2009

This is the first part of my guide on how to softmod your Wii.  This part will merely serve as an introduction to the concepts that you will need to grasp before undergoing this, at times, risky procedure.  However, as you will see below, the risk does not come without great reward.

Risks of Softmodding Your Wii:

  • Unless each step is followed perfectly to the dot, you will likely kill, or brick, your console.
  • After the process is over, if you make some sort of mistake like doing a firmware update, you run the risk of bricking your console.  I’ll have the things you should be wary of throughout this guide.

Advantages of Softmodding Your Wii:

  • You will be able to play any backed up Wii game from a copied DVD-R, USB drive, or SD/SDHC card.
  • You will be able to play any backed up Gamecube game from a copied DVD-R.
  • You will be able to install any WiiWare or Virtual Console release for free.
  • You’ll be able to play imported games from other regions.
  • You will be able to run homebrew software, such as emulators, to play classic games for systems that the Virtual Console doesn’t even support like the GameBoy Advance.
  • It’s free — most of the things you will need are common household accessories.  You don’t have to spend money on a modchip and then worry about trying to install the thing.
  • You can get into homebrew development, which is what I’ll probably be doing a lot of =P

The reason I am writing this guide is because when I softmodded my Wii not too long ago, I had to pull information on how to do it from about three different sources.  It wasn’t as cohesive as it should’ve been, and there were many unnecessary steps that just furthered the risk of bricking my Wii.

Before you start softmodding your Wii, there are a few terms you need to be familiar with in order to really understand what you’re doing:

System Menu — The Wii’s “operating system”, though it really isn’t an operating system per se.  The System Menu is the GUI where you can access all of the different channels on your console, including the Disc Channel and the Wii Shop Channel.

Virgin Wii — A Wii that has never been hacked or tweaked in any unofficial way.

IOS — Probably stands for Input/Output System.  You can think of an IOS as a mix between a patch, a driver, and a plug-in.  There are dozens of them already installed on your Wii.  They are identified by their number (ie, IOS31 or IOS60), and they all serve a unique specialized function.  For example, IOS53 enables the Nintendo 64 expansion pack, and this IOS is required to be installed to run the Virtual Console version of The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask.

cIOS — Stands for Custom Input/Output System.  This is a custom IOS that has been developed by a hacker, and is essential to running a lot of homebrew software on your Wii.  When you install a cIOS, it typically installs itself on the Wii as IOS249, well outside of the range Nintendo uses for releasing patches and updates.  Coincidentally, one of the first things that Nintendo’s repair guys check for on bricked consoles sent in is if IOS249 is installed.  If it is, they void your warranty.

cIOSCORP — I have no clue what the -CORP suffix stands for (nor why we need such elaborate abbreviations), but what cIOSCORP does is simple: it allows you to load backed up Wii and Gamecube games from the Wii’s disc channel instead of having to use a custom loader.  cIOSCORP is really a massive massive patch that turns every IOS on your Wii into a cIOS.  This a very complex procedure, but fortunately we have a simple installer that will do all of the work for us.

mIOS — The mIOS is a special IOS that runs automatically when a Gamecube game is loaded.  Think of it as your Wii’s “Gamecube driver.”  At some point in the guide, I will have you install a custom mIOS so your Wii will be capable of loading backed up Gamecube games.

*.wad — WAD files are kind of like a .zip file or .rar file for the Wii.  These files install some kind of content onto your console, which could be anything from a custom IOS to a Virtual Console game.

Homebrew Channel — A custom channel that you will install that enables you to launch homebrew applications, such as the WAD Installer.

Twilight Hack / Bannerbomb — Unfortunately, the Homebrew Channel doesn’t install itself on its own.  The Twilight Hack method was the original method for installing the channel, which involved using a hacked savegame for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess to load a homebrew application from an SD card.  As of System Menu 4.0, this exploit has been patched and is obsolete.  Bannerbomb is the new way to get homebrew software onto your Wii, and it is much more easier and convenient than the Twilight Hack.  With Bannerbomb, all you have to do is simply upload the channel from your SD card and you’re done.

Sorry if that was slightly boring, but I promise it will pay off in the long run.  You really will need to be able to understand the things you’re messing with to feel confident about doing these hacks.  Here is a list of the things you’ll need to get all the way through this guide:

  1. An up and going Wii console (remote, sensor bar, and all).  All of them work with the exception of Korean models and a series of models which I’ll discuss in the next part.
  2. A spare USB flash drive.  Most flash drives are Wii-compatible.  I would recommend you have one with at least 1GB space.
  3. A spare SD card.  You can find these in most digital cameras.  Again, I recommend you have at least 1GB of space, but 512MB will probably work.
  4. A means of editing things on your SD card.  The majority of laptops have an SD card slot, and if you pulled yours from a digital camera, surely you have a way of plugging in your card to your computer.
  5. A willingness to read over every word and detail in this guide.  If you skimmed over anything in this introductory part, go back over it.  You’ll probably need the information at some point.  If you skim in the later parts and miss even one detail, chances are you’ll join the mass amounts of noobs who did the same thing and bricked their Wii.
  6. Network access on your Wii.  This could be either through a Wireless Access Point or a USB Network Adapter.  If you have a laptop, chances are you can turn it into a Wireless Access Point through what’s called an ad-hoc connection.  If you want to go that route, Google the words “ad hoc connection” with your operating system.  From personal experience, I can tell you the easiest OS to do this on is Mac OSX.
  7. A computer running at least Windows XP.  Vista and 7 will also work.  If you have a Mac, when the need arises, I suggest you either use Boot Camp, Parallels, or VMware to get Windows going.  If you have Linux, then you probably already have some sort of dual booting in place.
  8. Basic technical knowledge of how computers work.  If you’ve followed this guide along so far and have an inkling of an understanding of what I’ve been talking about, then you’ve probably already got that.

There are a few optional things you may need later down the road depending on what route you want to go when it comes to launching game backups.  The Wii can only read DVD-R discs, with a few rare, and I do stress rare, exceptions.  As a general rule, DVD+R discs are incompatible.  If you’re wanting to go ahead and buy some DVD-R’s, the best brand out there for Wii backups is without a doubt Verbatim DVD-R’s with Advanced AZO dye.  You can find a 50 pack of those at any Best Buy (or probably any other computer store) for about 30$.  That may seem expensive when it comes to buying DVD’s nowadays, but you get what you pay for.

Other FAQs:

Q: After I softmod my Wii, will I be able to play online or use WiiConnect24?

A: Yes.  Online play has absolutely no problems, and Nintendo can’t force you to update your firmware with WiiConnect24 — it’s optional.

Q: Will the Wii Shop channel still work?

A: Yes, even though you’ll probably not need it anymore.

Q: Will I still be able to update to the latest firmware?

A: Yes, but I wouldn’t recommend doing it through ordinary means.  You will have to use a special homebrew updater developed by Waninkoko which will stop Nintendo from overwriting all of your hacks and tweaks, possibly bricking your console in the process.

Q: I’ve already tried to do some softmodding work to my Wii with little success.  Will I still be able to follow your guide?

A: Probably.  I will provide a method to make your Wii a virgin again and remove most, if not all, of the hacks you have on it, but you’ll be doing that method at your own risk.

Q: I’ve updated my Wii to the latest firmware, 4.1.  Will I still be able to follow your guide?

A: Yes.

Q: Do I absolutely have to have an SD card to hack my Wii, or can I do it with only a USB drive?

A: You will absolutely need an SD card because of the way that the Bannerbomb exploit works.

Well, thanks for reading through this long-winded introduction.  If you’re still serious about softmodding your Wii and some concepts are a little foggy, I would suggest reading through it again just for good measure.  If you have any questions, just ask me by leaving a comment.  You can continue on to part two by clicking here.