Am I out of luck?
Well, I decided to hack our Wii today to play this sweet game, but upon starting it up for the first time in awhile it wanted to updated. I figured sure. Why not? That's when I started realizing... I'm kinda screwed with 4.3u. From what I read I can't play burnt games with 4.3. I haven't seen a way to downgrade to 4.1 (on a system that has never been hacked, but it's not originally 4.3 I don't think) and I don't own Lego Indiana Jones or Smash Bros.
All my research had lead me to believe i just download something but now i'm finding out that's not the case with 4.3 and it looks like i kinda screwed myself by upgrading to 4.3. any ideas?
I'm guessing you didn't bother with Priiloader; this would've avoided the fail. I'm sorry, you cannot resoftmod a 4.3 Wii without one of four original/retail games as mentioned in mauifrog's guide. About the only other option would be a hardmod (to allow for a backup of one of the titles to operate for this softmod technique).
While you're at it, Introduce Yourself