Adventures in Wii hacking

#1

My dad got a Wii from his neighbour once and a while back he asked if I wanted it or if I he should throw it away. Now it is mine and I kind of just thought I’d try out Wii Sports Resort, Wii Fit and be done with it. It started though with wanting to see if I could play my PAL Gamecube discs on this NTSC console with actual component cables. It became kind of a summer project. This thread will be my chronicles.

So the guides on modding are very good and out there. Just followed this:

I used the method which requires connecting to the Internet which can be a slight be pain (at least the Wii supports WPA2 (but not 5GHz!) unlike the DS). You kind of just go to website with the Wii’s Internet browser and it gets the hacking done for you. It took a couple of tries (had to set the display resolution from 16/9 to 4/3 and go from 480p to 480i temporarily to get it going) but after that it’s just a matter of having the right stuff on your SD card.

Bullet points from here on:

  • While SDHC card (>2GB) support was officially added by Nintendo in a later firmware update that doesn’t necessarily mean they will always be compatible. The initial hacking process seems to be where some people experience issues with SDHC ones but after that’s done it’s generally good. Homebrew apps need to have been built with this in mind though so older ones will only work if they were updated. Same goes for Wii games like Excite Truck’s custom soundtracks. You can actually load GameCube and WiiWare games from the SD. Even Wii games can be loaded this way but it will not always be compatible so best use an USB drive.

  • The most compatible type of external USB drive to load Wii discs, GameCube discs and WiiWare stuff from is an externally powered one formatted in FAT32 (use GUI fat32format if on Windows). USB powered ones can be used but if they’re too large they may require a Y-cable for extra power. If you transfer files using Wii Backup Manager it will automatically split larger files to 4 GB pieces. You can actually use an NTFS drive to load Wii games in the .wbfs format but not so for GameCube and WiiWare.

  • Get Priiloader and do a NAND backup with BootMii ASAP to hopefully save you in case of a brick

  • In the Priiloader menu (hold the Reset button on startup to access) you can configure a bunch of stuff including whether to skip to regular Wii menu entirely and go straight to your backup loader on startup. Also activate some extra hacks like making the system region free (not perfect however), block games from installing system updates (do activate this!) and one to automatically skip the Health and Information warning. At first I couldn’t figure out how to save these hack settings properly though but turns out that the “Save Settings” menu options was just jumbled together with another option at the bottom of the menu so I missed it. Odd.

  • Regarding the region free bit that’s been a weird one. As I said Priiloader has an option for “Region free EVERYTHING” but I haven’t been able to get it to work quite right.

    • Attempting to load my legit PAL Wii discs on this NTSC console through the Disc Channel does not work. Black screen and locks up. All this hack does here is let me see what game is currently inserted on the system menu.
    • PAL Gamecube games… half work? Of the ones I’ve tried (all real legit PAL discs):
      • F-Zero GX seems to work fine with no issues. Even boots in 480p somehow despite how that’s not supposed to be an option for PAL GC??
      • Ikaruga loads and I can hear sounds and buttons seem to respond but there is no video. Not sure if the fact that it only supports 576i 50Hz has anything to do with it.
      • Metroid Prime 2: Echoes just boots back to the Wii system menu on load.
    • I’ve only tried one Japanese WiiWare game that I installed to the onboard system memory (NAND) and that works fine. Only issue is that you can’t access the online manual for the game through the Wii Shop Channel (yes, this functionality still works when the regions match despite the shop itself having been shut down).
  • I have however found workarounds for all these games so far though. Gecko OS can be used to to load Wii discs region free as well as patch the game on the fly. Just start it through the Homebrew Channel and press load. MinimaLoader can also be used which just loads it straight away without a GUI prompt.

    • Gamecube discs can actually be loaded through Nintendont. Just choose to load from SD at the start and there will be an option to load from disc as well. Also the program you will want to use to load GC disc images.
  • I have not been able to get the Wii Fit Plus Channel that you can install through the PAL disc to work properly despite my best efforts.

  • While people have manage to remove the darkening epilepsy filter from Virtual Console N64 games for the Wii U there doesn’t seem to have ever been similar progress made for the Wii versions.

Now I lost my stream of consciousness but I will write more soon about some recommended homebrew apps and when I figure out the deal with EmuNAND (let’s you create a fake onboard memory much larger then the regular 512 MB one).

If anyone wants to do this themselves feel free to ask questions while all this stuff is fresh in my mind.

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#2

the wii is hard to beat as a 4 player emulation box for all previous Nintendo consoles especially if you get controller adapters.

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#3

When I graduated from middle school, my classmate Jacob wanted to hang out with me for the first and last time, and he took his Wii to my house so I could softmod his Wii for him. I showed him about loading roms and videos and stuff. It was fun.

Wow, I’m kind of a baby.

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#4

It didn’t result in you greatly underestimating how long it would take to get things working right, sitting there troubleshooting weird problems that would come up when you’re halfway done and can’t actually easily revert everything but still haven’t made it usable while you friend lost interest hours ago and went off to do something else?

Oh wait, that was me with my friend’s Xbox so long ago…

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#5

one tip i have is that when you’re playing isos of wii games, exit the game before turning the wii off. because if you turn it off at the wrong time ingame, not only will the game no longer work, but nothing i tried will make it work again, not even deleting everything related to the game and re-installing it.

tbh though, for stuff that doesn’t use motion controls, dolphin is probably the best way to play wii/gc stuff. or maybe a wii u, i dunno

#6

That’s a really weird glitch that I hope someone has fixed by now! Thanks for the advice though, will follow.

If I had a Wii U I’d probably just go all in on that instead.
It most definitely is better to emulate through Dolphin probably. Even the Rogue Squadron games work near perfectly these days, don’t they? Still though, I do kind of like just the feeling of playing things on the actual hardware and the thing also had bunch of Wiimotes and nunchuks with it that sync so easily without me having to even think about custom drivers (that I know are probably just included with Dolphin at this point). I will say though that the only way I was ever going to bother with this Wii Balance Board to try Rock n Roll Climber was if syncing it was as easy as holding down a button on the console for 2 seconds. Also how easy it is to do multiplayer.

Kind of surprised actually how decent the games that support 480p at least look on my 4K LCD. I guess modern TVs really have gotten better with that stuff? Glad I also picked what was seemingly the last year anyone ever bothered to still have any component cable inputs to buy mine.

#7

Oh hey, I know some people hate them but I still like Miis and but mine is real lonely in that plaza. I made a really shitty Popuko and Pipimi (I guess anime hair colours only came with the 3DS??) but want something other then defaults cheering me on as I do pushups on a plastic board. So please, make me some Miis for company:

https://rc24.xyz/goodies/mii/
(requires flash or Adobe AIR so I understand if you are unable)

Make weirdos or yourselves, whatever, and give me a link (it’s the text at the bottom edge of the editor)

1 Like
#8

I’m mostly just interested in getting back to playing the GameCube PSO online again. You can load an ISO of the game in Devolution to emulate a dial-up modem over your Wi-Fi connection and then swap the DNS server to one of the GameCube-friendly private servers, and it seems like the easiest way if you don’t want to put up with Blue Burst’s hideous UI font and running on a PC

1 Like
#9

Wait is the wii u useful for something now

#10

Yes:


Even plays Gamecube games!

I missed these previous Wii threads



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#11

I hacked my Wii just because I was unwilling to have to shake the Wiimote in order to roll in Donkey Kong Country Returns.

Totally worth it.

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#12

Recent hacks made it so the game pad works with Game Cube games so you can play f-zero on a tiny semiportable screen like god intended

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#13

you’re a goddamn legend

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#14

To clarify, that was not sarcastic, I hated that when I played it

#15

Speaking of hacking, check if your Switch has the gift here by entering its serial number:

https://ismyswitchpatched.com/

#16

I’ve never had this problem in the 10 years of using the broken disc drive wii I clumsily hacked in middle school and I’m sure I haven’t been careful about turning it off
On that note I’m genuinely unsure how that thing has survived this long despite the many Arizona summers, frequent travel, and all the times its been left on over night
It worked as an emulation box for me for many years, I played all 3 mother games for the first time on it back in middle school, and many other games later just to use a gc controller

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#17

Kind of want a hacked wii again because it is perfect for HDTV lightgun games (wii and SNES)

#18

my brothers hacked wii’s fan died and he screwed it to a plank with an added dc blower fan to keep it cool. far as i know its still chugging along but now it doesnt even have a case. survived many years on the floor of a crappy college apartment.