If you have a GameCube, and you want to make it awesome, here are the things you need to know about:

  • HDMI adapters (480p / DVI / Component)
    • GCVideo (best)
    • Gana Composite (RSA) to HDMI (cheapest)
    • OSSC
    • Framemeister
    • RetroTink-2X
  • Playing Backup Discs / Region Free
    • (mod chips)
  • (Micro)SD Memory Card Adapter
    • Nintendo SD Gecko (clones)
    • Datel SD Media Launcher
  • GameBoy Player / GameBoy Interface

True HDMI

If you have the original GameCube (DOL-001), which has a port clearly labelled "Digital AV Out", this is super easy and can be done with completely external "Plug 'n' Play" adapters.

There are several worth looking into.

First, check out this review: GameCube HDMI Plug 'n' Play Reviews (2018)

Top Pick

All Picks

DIY Options

Thanks to the magic of economies of scale, it's not any cheaper to DIY the HDMI adapter than to buy it, but you can.

You may be tempted to follow the GameCube HDMI Hardware Mod Howto, But wait! You totally don't have to desolder the the Digital AV port!!

You can just buy the plug:

And, of course, if you think you might ever want to update the software, you'll need these:

Cheating: RCA to HDMI

If you're on a tight budget or have the DOL-101 without the Digital AV Port, Runner Up:

GameBoy Player: OSSC / Framemeister

Even newer TVs should support "standard definition" (SD) 480i and 480p games - because that's what DVDs play at.

However, if you have a really new TV that doesn't support low-resolution 240i and 240p game modes that you might want for certain games, and especially the GameBoy Player, you may want to invest in one of the "kitchen sink" video converters that support all formats.

... or you may just want to find a nice Trinitron TruFlat CRT on craigslist. :)

Alternatives:

Homebrew / Backups / Region Free

If you want to do the fun and interesting things that the GameCube has to offer, you need to mod it.

  • Homebrew softwares
  • Burned backup ISOs (GCMs)
  • Region free play (not just a switch)

Note: "Homebrew" is a generic term that collectively refers to any indie software. There is not a specific piece of software called "Homebrew".

Top Pick

The most convenient thing to use is probably a memory card that's been modified by someone who already has a memory card manager.

  • $35 Softmodded "Swiss" Memory Card by RazorLeafAttack is a memory card created with GCMM, and requires either Wind Waker or Smash Bros in order to load (via a game save hack).
    • Wind Waker variant (requires disc)
    • Smash Bros variant (requires disc)

Note: If you make a personal connection with RazorLeafAttack on GitHub or elsewhere, you can cut out the middleman and get a better deal on the card.

Hardware Mods

For this part you'll actually have to open the case and get your hands dirty - and it requires special screwdriver bits. There are a few different toolkit permutations, this is the one I've used for GameCube, N64, and 3DS:

The mod chip is a simple ATmega8L flashed with XenoAT (a.k.a. Qoob Lite).

When you get it apart you solder the mod chip directly to the board. You don't need to add hook up wire as the back of the board has only solder mask.

If you use fresh flux with fresh solder and a nice, bigger-is-better bevel tip or chisel tip (not a too-small or conical tip), it's very easy to get right (and clean up if you get wrong).

"Softmod", The Easy Way

  • $35 Softmodded "Swiss" Memory Card is a memory card created with GCMM, and requires either Wind Waker or Smash Bros in order to load (via a game save hack).
    • Wind Waker variant (requires disc)
    • Smash Bros variant (requires disc)
  • $33 Datel SD Media Launcher (£25.63 including US Shipping)
  • $30 Datel Free Loader allows you to load backup disks easily.
  • $24 Datel Action Replay will allow you to load from SD cards, but you have to type in about 100 hex codes to do it.

As far as I can tell, there's no way to softmod your GameCube without having access to already-modded Homebrew system.

SD Media Launcher (SD Gecko)

As it turns out, the GameCube memory card can be used to read a normal SD card via the SPI bus.

You could literally bust one open and hand-solder the hook-up wire to the pins... or you can by it for just a few dollars:

You can use this to play backups and indie games without a mod chipusing... pretty much any of the early versions of the launch title discs (Zelda, Smash Bros, Mario Sunshine, etc), BUT you have to have an authentic copy of one of the 3rd party accessory discs (Action Replay, SD Media Launcher, Free Loader etc).

At first I thought it was an SD card with a proprietary pinout in a larger plastic case, but the pure-SD (<= 2GB, not 4gb+ SDHC/SDXC) functionality was developed for animal crossing.

Also, the SD card must be FAT (as in MS-DOS FAT-16) formatted, not FAT-32.

GameBoy Player

Since the player hardware is relatively inexpensive, but the discs are rare and quite expensive, you might be better off doing the Mod Chip thing (above) and playing from a backup copy instead.

Alternative Solutions:

GameCube GameBoy Link Cable

This isn't super useful for most people, but I've always wanted the Tingle Tuner in Wind waker.


By AJ ONeal

If you loved this and want more like it, sign up!


Did I make your day?
Buy me a coffeeBuy me a coffee  

(you can learn about the bigger picture I'm working towards on my patreon page )



Published

2019-8-31



Buy me a coffeeBuy me a coffee


  73% of Goal Reached


Want more like this?