Whether your old Wii's disc drive died out or you bought a Wii U, you may find yourself wanting to be able to play your old GameCube favorites. Sadly Nintendo has not added GCN games to the Virtual Console service and who knows if they ever will. That's where the power of Homebrew comes in. Thanks to the very talented homebrew developers out there, playing GCN games on a Family Wii or Wii U, both of which are incapable or reading GCN discs and have no GCN controller or memory card ports, is now possible. This guide will get you running GCN games from a USB hard drive in no time. As many of you may, or may not know, there are other ways to play GCN games on your Wii or Wii U as well. I thought I should detail them and list their key differences.
Dios Mios/Lite: Original Wii only, Requires installation on the system NAND, does not support audio streaming which is an issue for some games, requires a GCN compatible system for controls.
Devolution: Wii and Wii U Compatible, No installation required, supports audio streaming, requires one time verification of GCN discs due to anti-piracy measures, requires functioning disc drive (for said verification), requires a GCN compatible Wii (verifying GCN discs).
Nintendont: Wii and Wii U Compatible, No installation required, supports audio streaming, does not require a GCN compatible system, does not require a functioning disc drive.
All three apps work well and will definitely get the job done. Which ever one you choose and prefer will be up to you, you can find a link to my Devolution guide in my signature if you want to check that out. Personally I recommend Devolution and Nintendont in tandem with each other if your system has a functioning GCN compatible disc drive. On the chance you run into issues with a game in one app, you never know, it may work perfect in the other. Now without further adieu, I present the guide!
Part 1: Preparation
You will obviously need to mod your Wii or Wii U's vWii before doing this. I have linked the respective guides below in the requirements list. *BE SURE YOU FOLLOW THE CORRECT SOFTMOD GUIDE FOR YOUR SYSTEM! YOU WILL BRICK IF YOU USE THE WRONG GUIDE!*
Aside from the obvious files which will be linked below, you'll also need the following. If it says optional, don't worry about it, it's a convenience item and you can go without it.
- A modded Wii (Softmod ANY Wii Guide) or Wii U system (Virtual Wii (Wii Mode) Softmod for Wii U Guide)
- An SD card and/or a USB device with at least 2gb of free space
- Compatible controller(s) such as a Wii Classic Controller/Classic Controller Pro, Wii U Pro Controller, or a PS3 Controller.
- An emulated memory card [Instructions in guide] (Only needed if you can't/don't want to use a real one)
- Retail GCN discs and the means to rip them (Optional; DO NOT ASK/OFFER WHERE TO DOWNLOAD GAMES)
- GCN Memory Card (Needed for importing your saves to Nintendont, otherwise optional)
Once you have all that it's time to get things going.
Part 2: Backing Up Your GameCube Games
If you have the means to create backups for the GCN discs you own as mentioned above, this section will guide you on how to do so. Please note that although the method below requires you to have access to a softmodded GCN compatible Wii system, there are other ways to rip your GCN discs as well. If you do not have the means of backing up your games I'm afraid you'll be on your own for that due to our anti-piracy rules. That said please refrain from asking for and offering ways to obtain downloads for games. Such comments will be ignored or, if need be, deleted.
Download and extract this: CleanRip.zip
Put the SD card in your Wii and turn the system on. Launch the Homebrew Channel and load CleanRip.
Read the disclaimer and press A, then select USB, select FAT (If your USB drive is not FAT32 STOP right here, format it to FAT32 with a cluster size of 32kb using this guide. Do not continue until you have done this, CleanRip can write to NTFS but your USB loaders will not load the GCN games unless your USB drive is FAT32, has a 32kb cluster size and is marked as primary and active), you'll now be asked to "insert a FAT32/NTFS formatted device". Make sure you have your device plugged into slot 0 (if your system is laying down it will be the bottom port, standing up and looking from behind it will be the one on the right). Press A again and choose yes to download the redump.org files, they are used to verify your games dumped properly.
Last step, insert your GameCube game disc, press A and wait...once it's done (make sure it completes 100%) you're good to go onto the next step.
Part 3: Using Nintendont
Now that you've got your games ripped it's time to start setting things up for Nintendont. Nintendont can be used as either a standalone app or in conjunction with your favorite USB loader. For this guide I will show you how to use it as a standalone app via the Homebrew Channel or with USB Loader GX integration. Nintendont is also capable of loading GCN ISOs from SD cards as well, however this guide is written with USB devices in mind. They give better value when you consider the space you get for the price you pay.
Download and extract this: Nintendont.rar. Now cut/copy and paste the Nintendont folder to SD/apps.
Please click the spoiler for your desired method below to continue the guide.
This is the easiest way to do it. If you're new to Homebrew and are looking for the quick and easy way, choose this method.
Nintendont Standalone App
Open your USB device and create a new folder called "games" (without the quotation marks of course). Next you'll want to open that folder and create one sub folder for each of your games using the names of the games so you know what they are. For example, USB/games/Dragon Ball Z Sagas/
Next you'll have to take the iso file and rename it to game. So in the example your file structure would look like this: USB/games/Dragon Ball Z Sagas/game.iso/
Put the SD card in your Wii and turn it on, then load the Homebrew Channel and load Nintendont. You should see Nintendont's main screen prompting you choose SD or USB. Select USB and you should see a list of your games. Simply find the game you want to play, press A and let Nintendont do it's thing. It could take a minute or two. When you're finished playing your game press the Home button one your controller to be returned to the Homebrew Channel.
This way is more for the people who know what they're doing. It's not necessarily difficult but it does require more effort.
USB Loader GX + Nintendont
Using USB Loader GX gives you a little more freedom with the names of the files and folders but there are a few more steps involved. Open your USB device and create a new folder. For this guide I have chosen to name the folder GameCube. Open the GameCube folder and create new folders for each of your games using the ID tags of the games. For example, if you're using an NTSC-U copy of The Legend of Zelda the Wind Waker you would create the directory USB/GameCube/GZLE01. Now you need to give the ISO the same ID name as the folder. Using Wind Waker as an example again your directory should look like this: USB/GameCube/GZLE01/GZLE01.iso
If you do not know the ID of your games you can find them rather easiliy on http://www.gametdb.com/
Make sure you have USB Loader GX r1256 or higher, latest version as of guide writing: USB Loader GX 3.0 R1260, you can check your revision number by going to USB Loader GX's global settings and clicking page 4, then credits. Rev number will be displayed at the top right next to the word "Credits". N
ow go to USB Loader GX's Global Settings page 2 and choose Custom Paths. Change the Main GameCube Path option to usb1:/GameCube/ and click OK. USB Loader GX should now be able to see your GCN games in the custom path. While still on Global Settings page 2, click Custom Paths again and scroll down until you find "Nintendont Loader Path". Make sure it says SD:/apps/Nintendont. If it doesn't, click on it, navigate to that path and click OK.
Now go to Global Settings page 1 and click Loader Settings. Scroll down until you find "==GameCube Settings==" and on the option labeled GameCube Mode set it to Nintendont, this will make all your GCN games load with Nintendont. You can also have USB Loader GX set to use Nintendont on a game by game basis if you want only certain games to use it. Just click on the game you want to use Nintendont to load and click Settings. Go to Game Load and change the GameCube Mode option to Nintendont then click save. Doing this will allow you to have some games load using one method, such as Devolution, while others would load with another. This is especially useful if you find a game having issues with one loader but working fine with another.
If your games are still not showing in USB Loader GX's main screen, make sure you have USB Loader GX's display filter set to show GCN games. You can do this by clicking on the Select Loader Mode button at the top of the main screen (it will be the 4th button from the left, next to the ABC button). Click the check box for GC Games then click OK.
Part 4: Nintendont Settings
Nintendont has a variety of settings to play with. For the most part you should leave them on their defaults and not mess with them but there are a few that will be important to know about, so I will detail them as best as I can here. Since the two apps list the settings differently I have placed them in specific spoilers. Click one for your desired method.
Nintendont Standalone App
Memcard Emulation: This enables and disables memory card emulation. If you can't/don't want to use a real card, make sure this is ON.
Force Widescreen: This will force games to run in 16:9 widescreen.
Force Progressive: This will force games to display in progressive scan mode.
Auto Boot: This will make Nintendont automatically load whatever the last game you played was.
Unlock Read Speed: I don't know for sure what this does...
WiiU Widescreen: If you're using vWii on a Wii U have this setting set to ON. It will make the app run in the proper aspect ratio.
Drive Read LED: This will make your drive light flicker just as if it's reading a disc. Though it looks neat there's little point in having it on.
MaxPads: This option will let you set how many controllers Nintendont will allow at once. 0 - 4. Keep it on at least 1 but it won't hurt to set it to 4.
Memcard Blocks: This lets you set the size of the emulated memory card. Two points about this, Point 1) make sure you set the size to match your emulated card if you're using one you made without Nintendont such as one you ripped with GCMM. So if your ninmem.raw is 251 blocks you need to make this option say 251. Point 2) If you're creating a new card it's best not to go above 1,019 blocks as anything higher is unstable.
Memcard Multi: This setting lets you choose if you want your games to save to a single card or each have their own card. The benefit to having them on their own cards is if corruption occurs to the memcard file it would only effect the one game. ON = 1 card for all saves, OFF = individual cards for each game.
Native Control: Turning this on will make Nintendont use the controller plugged into the GCN port. If you don't have or won't be using a GCN controller then turn this setting off.
USB Loader GX + Nintendont
Wii U Widescreen: If you're using vWii on a Wii U have this setting set to ON. It will make the app run in the proper aspect ratio.
Memory Card Emulation: This enables and disables memory card emulation. There are two ON options. ON (Multi) will make all your games save to a single card, Individual will make your games save to there own dedicated cards. The benefit to Individual is that if corruption occurs on a game save for whatever reason, it would not effect your other saves.
Memory Card Blocks Size: This lets you set the size of the emulated memory card. Two points about this, Point 1) make sure you set the size to match your emulated card if you're using one you made without Nintendont such as one you ripped with GCMM. So if your ninmem.raw is 251 blocks you need to make this option say 251. Point 2) If you're creating a new card it's best not to go above 1,019 blocks as anything higher is unstable.
USB-HID Controller: This is for if you're using one of the many compatible USB controllers instead of a GCN Controller or a WiiMote.
GameCube Controller: This option will let you set how many controllers Nintendont will allow at once. 0 - 4. Keep it on at least 1 but it won't hurt to set it to 4.
Native Controller: This will enable a GCN Controller to work. If you have one and want to use it set this to ON. This will disable all other types of controller.
LED Activity: This will make your drive light flicker just as if it's reading a disc. Though it looks neat there's little point in having it on.
Part 5: Setting Up An Emulated Memory Card
Nintendont, like Devolution, allows use of an emulated memory card for people who either can't use a real one or don't want to use a real one. However, unlike Devolution, the file type Nintendont uses for its emulated memory card is more universal. This section will instruct you how to use a backup of your real GCN memory card (Note:Part 5a requires you to have access to a softmodded GCN compatible Wii). If for whatever reason that is not an option for you, please skip to Part 5b. Otherwise keep reading Part 5a to learn how to backup and use your existing saves.
Part 5a: Extracting Saves From a GCN Memory Card
Plug your GameCube memory card into slot A and load GCMM v1.4b from the Homebrew Channel. You will be asked to choose either SD or USB (I chose SD but it's up to you if you want to use USB instead). Use A (for SD) or B (for USB) to make your choice and you will now see a screen detailing which buttons preform what functions. In order for Nintendont to read the memory card you need a raw dump, so press B & - (minus) at the same time. Now select the slot your memory card is plugged into by pressing A and wait for the program to work its magic. Once it completes Press A and then Home to exit to the Homebrew Channel. Plug your SD card into your computer, navigate to the "MCBACKUP" folder on the root of the device you used and look inside for a file named something like "1019b_2013_01Jan_09_14-37-17.raw". In order for Nintendont to read this file properly you must rename it first. Navigate to the memory card raw on your SD card or USB drive and rename it to ninmem.raw. Note: If you're doing this guide on an old Wii make sure you remove the GameCube memory card from your Wii before continuing, you only needed it plugged in to rip your save data. Leaving the memory card inserted while trying to use emulated memory may possibly result in corruption.
Part 5b: Creating a New Emulated GCN Memory Card
Part 6: Special Thanks
Creating a blank emulated memory card is very quick and simple. All you need to do is enable Memory Card Emulation via your loaders settings (also set the cards size, 1019 or smaller is recommended), start a game and, if asked, format the card. You'll now have a blank emulated memory card ready for use. If you wish you can have the loader give each game their very own memory card. The purpose to this is if a emulated card corrupts you would only lose data for the card that corrupts and not all your data. In my experience corruption is about as rare as on emulated memory as it is on a real card, but this option is there if you feel safer using it.
To make the loaders use individual cards look for the following settings respectivly.
USB Loader GX: Memory Card Emulation (Set to Individual)
Nintendont Standalone App: Memcard Multi (Set to OFF)
Crediar and the Nintedont Team for Nintendont
Teudj for Devolution
USB Loader GX Team for USB Loader GX
Emu_kidid for CleanRip
Suloku for GCMM
WiiHacks Staff for various guides and info that made this guide possible