Nintendo Wii News | Play Import GameCube Games on Wii Without Modding!

By James Temperton 28.02.2007 36

A clever little bugger over at the MaxConsole has managed to 'hack' the Wii to play import games. Any PAL system can play any NTSC title using this clever little method, but it takes a bit of speedy manoeuvring. No wire cutting, no faffing about, nothing technical, just taking out one disk and putting in another. Here's how it works, step by step.

  • Shove in a PAL GameCube disk
  • Enter the Disk Channel section
  • Point your Wii Remote at the start button but DON'T start the game just yet.
  • Press the eject button on the Wii then, after a second or so, click on the on-screen start button on the Wii.
  • The speedy bit: the moment your Wii chucks out the PAL disk, quickly whip it out and shove in the NTSC disk (you have to be VERY quick).
  • The game should boot up as normal.

    We tried it out and it works a treat, but it might take you a few goes to get the technique right. Let us know how you get on.

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    I try this very soon. I got Tales Of Symphonia and Baten Kaitos as Imports, because I do not like German translation of RPGs. And when this works I can finally put away my Cube and maybe buy Baten Kaitos Origins from US... That would be great...

    I find your lack of faith disturbing!

    If you already got Freeloader it should work as well.

    MSN: steffenisene@hotmail.com
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    No. The Freeloader I got does not work on Wii.
    At least it did not when using like I normally did on Cube. I may post later on what version my Freeloader is.

    Right now I can say to you: It does work! Baten Kaitos loaded at the second attempt. When ejecting the PAL-disk, you have to be quick, but not lightning-quick. It's important to press the start-button before it got the interrupt from ejecting the disk, before greys out, because then you have a timeframe to put NTSC-disks in and they load up.

    I find your lack of faith disturbing!
    Guest 28.02.2007#4

    Laurelin, you don't get to choose in your country which language you want to choose?
    You could also import from the UK or the Netherlands next time. (but I guess US versions are cheaper)

    Woohoo! If I had any NTSC GC games I'd try it...

    I have a Freeloader anyways, but it's very cool nonetheless!

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    Yes, Bart. I think you are right. I should have bought UK-versions.
    No, Here only German games are offerde by Nintendo. Does make sense, but I want to choose my language. I want to play english-games. Fortunately Zelda always comes with 5 languages to choose from. But I doubt, that others will include more languages on their disks. Remember, that you have to include spoken dialogue too. Prince of Persia always had 3 or so languages included, which included English too (German and French I think where the other two). I would like to buy games in the preferred language, but they do not give me that chance officially. Silly. I have to import them.
    So, buying Japanese-RPG translated to English and not German is a bit silly to do, but they seldom get the atmosphere right in German. It sounds rubbish and often amateurish. English mostly screw the voices up, taking too old ones for the characters and sounding to much like Cowboys (always rushing in and being 'hard as rock'), but at least they got great phrases and well-sounding word-pickings.
    Does anybody know a store where I can buy foreign games aside amazon.co.uk?


    So, I own Freeloader Ver. 1.06B. Does anyone know which Freeloader does work with Wii?


    Beside that: There is a downfall with playing NTSC-disks on PAL-Wii. On Baten Kaitos you have a thick black PAL-stripe on the bottom of your TV-set - at least I have. I own a not-so-expensive CRT-TV, got my screen connected via RGB-Scart-cable from Nintendo and my TV-Type on Wii set to 60 Hz(480i). Does anyone know how to tweak your settings to have full picture on Gamecube-NTSC-titles? I try to do so, but this requires more tests (as Dr. Crusher would have said)...

    ( Edited on 28.02.2007 15:47 by Laurelin )

    I find your lack of faith disturbing!

    wow thats very good, but i dont have any NTSC games... but i got a freeloader anyway!!

    I see all these people insulting the Nintendo corporation because of the lack of mature content. Yet there is something about Nintendo (at least their games) that strikes a certain unadulterated feeling of joy!!!  Pokemon Y - 1048-9263-5562

    Can't get this to work with Donkey Konga JP... =/

    I think only the latest Freeloader works with Wii, but this method could be quicker, I'll try it later. Whichever method you use though, I'm concerned that Nintendo could block it in future with an 'update', which is why I keep my old Gamecube around just in case.

    do Japanese games work using this method?

    Wait does this work only for Gamecube games or Wii games too? And does the disk you put in at the beginning have to be a Gamecube game? If so, how come

    Still a proud member of the 'omfg amazing water in games' society

    Briliant i will try this later, i have the original Datel action replay and that does not work, also the freeloader does not work, but Datel ahve releaswd a wii specific version that does, i was going to buy that but not now Smilie, thanks for this. LSSmilie

    It has to be a Gamecube-disk, because the system checks for disk-type. When you use Gamecube-PAL and later Gamecube-NTSC, only then does Wii not reboot and change to Wii-disks.
    Maybe it works with Wii PAL to NTSC too, but I can not check that, since I only own the two NTSC-games mentioned above. Since Wii checks first on PAL-Disk if it's okay to play this disk and change disks after that check, there is nothing to assume that it does not work with PAL-to-Japanese-disks, especially because they are NTSC too...


    There is nothing wrong with my settings, btw. I tested settings with 50 HZ (576i) - that's PAL-standard, folks - and the black bar on the bottom of the screen is still there. Maybe my TV-Set only renders 480 lines and fills the remaining 176 bars with... black. Gamecube does zoom the lines up the whole 4:3 TV-set.

    I find your lack of faith disturbing!

    Donkey Konga (J) does not work. It think this was one of the games that was having issues with the Freeloader as well, as the saves are a bit dodgy on it.

    However, using this new method, I managed to boot my Freeloader (which wouldn't boot before), then just swapped the Freeloader for DK and voila Smilie

    I made a video showing the method:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tR-BzBXAYm4

    Interesting!

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    AFAIK the Jap games don't work (I tried myself with WE6FE) but if instead of the jap game you swap your PAL disc with the Freeloader 1.6B then you can boot it and use it to boot the jap game.

    There is nothing wrong with my settings, btw. I tested settings with 50 HZ (576i) - that's PAL-standard, folks - and the black bar on the bottom of the screen is still there. Maybe my TV-Set only renders 480 lines and fills the remaining 176 bars with... black. Gamecube does zoom the lines up the whole 4:3 TV-set.

    I assume you've tried it in 480i? I don't think it would make any difference though, when you play a Gamecube game on Wii it automatically switches back to 50Hz, then if the game supports it you have to set it back to 60Hz mode within the game, this should do it straight away if its an NTSC game, it does with Freeloader. Anyone else having the problem?

    I assume further Wii handles NTSC different from Cube. Wii just turns the first 480 lines of PAL into NTSC - maybe even change to RGB or changes the format to PAL (I do not know, I have a very cheap 51-cm-TV. Wii then leaves the remaining 176 bars black - it's like the so called 'PAL-bars', only combined at the bottom.
    Gamecube may be accessed NTSC-mode of my TV the right way. He showed it full-frame. Wii does not.

    I had the impression also, that 60 Hz changed back to 50 Hz after accessing Gamecube-mode on Wii. Since European Gamecubes never had progressive scan, it may be difficult to get anything other than interlaced mode. But it did access NTSC right, didn't it? Why doesn't Wii access NTSC-Mode right? Why does Wii only fill 480 lines on PAL TVs and not like Cube 576?
    I changed my Wii to 480i - that may seem to be RGB-mode with 480 lines in interlaced-mode, right?


    *lol* I think we should open a new thread some place other. But it's fun to hack this...

    Again: What beamrider said, is true: It should be running on 60 Hz with 480 lines fullscreen right away, since it is an NTSC-game.
    BUT: Wii thinks there is a PAL-Game in the slot, because It does the test at first. Then AFTER the test I switch the disks and now there are only 480 lines to display, but Wii thinks there are 176 more lines to add to the so-checked PAL-game. Then there are 176 lines unused on a PAL-TV-Set. Is that right? (only a theory of mine...)

    (edit: I typed faster than I thought and choked a lot of letters. sorry. corrected.

    ( Edited on 28.02.2007 21:48 by Laurelin )

    I find your lack of faith disturbing!

    I assume further Wii handles NTSC different from Cube. Wii just turns the first 480 lines of PAL into NTSC - maybe even change to RGB or changes the format to PAL (I do not know, I have a very cheap 51-cm-TV. Wii then leaves the remaining 176 bars black - it's like the so called 'PAL-bars', only combined at the bottom.
    Gamecube may be accessed NTSC-mode of my TV the right way. He showed it full-frame. Wii does not.

    I had the impression also, that 60 Hz changed back to 50 Hz after accessing Gamecube-mode on Wii. Since European Gamecubes never had progressive scan, it may be difficult to get anything other than interlaced mode. But it did access NTSC right, didn't it? Why doesn't Wii access NTSC-Mode right? Why does Wii only fill 480 lines on PAL TVs and not like Cube 576?


    The way it works with freeloader by my understanding is that it uses PAL 60Hz mode, which is different from NTSC (other than that it uses 60Hz/480i), PAL machines don't support NTSC. But I think you're right, the Wii is running it as a 50Hz game but missing out the extra 176 lines, I've experienced the same thing playing imports on Playstation 1 (which doesn't support 60Hz). I'd guess that Freeloader is designed to automatically trigger the PAL 60Hz mode before the game loads, and you won't be able to get it without Freeloader because theres nothing in the games themselves to trigger it (since NTSC Gamecubes run in 60Hz by default).

    I would be interested to see if you can play GC imports in progressive scan on a PAL Wii (with Freeloader or otherwise). I don't see why not, because in those games there must be some sort of trigger which switches to progressive scan mode, and since PAL Wiis support progressive scan it should just do it.

    I changed my Wii to 480i - that may seem to be RGB-mode with 480 lines in interlaced-mode, right?

    Thats right, but I think those settings are bypassed when playing Gamecube games. It just defaults back to 576i, 50Hz, 4:3, no matter what you set your Wii to, until the game tells it otherwise, but thats how the Gamecube worked - it didn't have much in the way of system setup, everything was done within the individual games.

    ( Edited on 28.02.2007 23:16 by beamrider2600 )

    what a excellent find. nice Smilie

    ( Edited on 01.03.2007 02:55 by Maquis )

    Hopefully a real freeloader for Wii will encompass gamecube games also, although i managed to pull of this method it is cumbersome and does not work all the time, it requires you to force in the disc which could fuck up that motor, its also a quick fire way for scratching your GC discs. LS

    ( Edited on 01.03.2007 06:44 by Linkyshinks )

    Yah, I also hope a Wii Freeloader is released, seeing as I really want the new Naruto Shippuuden game for Wii, & it'll never make it to UK! >.<

    Hopefully the Wii won't do a 360, & not be able to have any Action Replays or Freeloaders Smilie

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    Oh fucking A!!!

    You do not have to force your GC-disks in for swapping. After you eject the first disk (PAL one), Wii lights up the blue light for a short time. When you shove the NTSC-disk in with some delicacy, then there is no motor running, because it stopped after ejecting the PAL-disk. Insert the NTSC-disk before Wii reboots and you'll be fine.

    But better get an actual Freeloader, because you have your games be displayed on the whole PAL-TV and not only on NTSCs only 400something lines. It may be not the same with sophisticated CRT-TVs with fancy NTSC recognition, but I doubt that it will be different because of the above stated 'I think it's PAL when it's really NTSC with lesser lines' and got a lot of black space below the 480 lines (I talked about 176, but there are only 96, because NTSC has 480 if I am not mistaken. PAL has 720x576 pixel).


    Again: It is doable without dmaging motors, scratching disks or exploding Wiis - just don't be brutes when changing the disks. have the second at hand when the first is taken out but don't force the motors...

    ( Edited on 03.03.2007 15:01 by Laurelin )

    I find your lack of faith disturbing!

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