27 Dec 2008

Guide to playing "backup" games on Wii

A Guide I made for a friend. Will properly format it and add more details later on when I have the time.

Things you should know/have/do before starting:

1. KNOW the name and version of mod chip you are using.

You would need to update the mod chip to its latest firmware. If your Wii is quite old, you are probably using the WiiKey mod chip. I have the WiiKey and it is one of the most common mod chips in the market, so the following instruction will all refer to the WiiKey. If you do not know if you are using WiiKey, read the "Updating the WiiKey" section below and try the config disc BEFORE you install the WiiKey update to see if you are indeed using a WiiKey mod chip.

2. KNOW your Wii's hardware region.

US (NTSC-UC), Japan (NTSC-J), Europe (PAL) or Korea.

3. KNOW your Wii's firmware version.

Go to Wii settings and see the top right hand corner of the screen (e.g. Ver 3.3U). The letter at the back represents the firmware's region (J for Japan, U for US, E for Europe). The firmware's region and the Wii's hardware region can be different, but it is best to have the same regions so as to avoid any problems with the Wii's menu and system settings. If you get an error message while trying to access the system settings, it is highly probable that you have inadvertently installed a firmware that is not of your Wii's hardware region. Never ever install a firmware update from a Wii game disk as it might contain an update that either renders your mod chip useless, or a firmware that is not of the same region.

4. HAVE a copy of Zelda: Twilight princess. I'll lend you my copy.

5. HAVE a SD memory card (for transferring Save files and installing Homebrew stuff). I'll pass you my SD card next time I see you. Everything is already properly loaded in there so you don't have to search the net for them.

6. DO: Your Wii must be connected to the internet in order to do the firmware downgrading (if that is required).

7. DO: Remove all Gamecube Memory cards from the Wii when installing the firmware or WADs.

Updating the WiiKey

Note: If you do not have a WiiKey, find out what mod chip you are using and get the updates for them. If you do not know what mod chip you are using, skip this section and go on to the next. However, be aware that old firmware of mod chips usually would mean that later versions of Wii firmware could potentially prevent it from running and hence "un-mod" your Wii.

1. Download the WiiKey update from www.wiikey.cn/resources if you are using WiiKey2 or http://www.wiikey.cn/legacy/ if you are using WiiKey version 1.

a) For WiiKey version 1, download the Config Disc image too. Note: Both downloads require the use of BitTorrent. I think I have a copy of it on my SD card though.

2. Unzip the update and config files and burn the images separately to blank DVDs (use the Burn from Image option in Nero. Alternatively, you can use ImgBurn (http://www.imgburn.com/)). Make sure to burn at 4x (or 2x if you want to be super kiasu) and use good quality DVDs.

3. Place this disc into your Wii and run it just as you would run and normal game.

4. Follow the on-screen instructions to update your firmware.

5. Once done, try running your game again.

6. If it doesn't work, insert the Config Disc that you just burned and change "Region Override" to "On". Note: You might require a Gamecube controller for this. If you can't do this part and your game still doesn't work, just go on to the Twilight Hack.

7. If it still doesn't work, you will need to do a lot more to get your game working, starting with....

Installing the Homebrew Channel using Twilight Hack

1. Before starting, make sure you have Zelda: Twilight Princess and a SD card filled with the Twilight Hacked save files AND the Homebrew Channel installer.

2. Insert Zelda: Twilight Princess and play it. Doesn't matter how far you go, just save the game as soon as you get control of your character.

3. Restart your Wii and go to Wii Options -> Data Management -> Save Data -> Wii.

4. Insert the SD card.

5. Delete the save file of Zelda on the Wii.

6. Go to SD card (select the tab at the top), and copy Twilight Hack 0 USA over to the Wii.

7. Insert Zelda: Twilight Princess again and load the hacked save game file.

8. Walk backwards or talk to any character to activate the hack.

9. Follow on-screen instructions to install the Homebrew Channel.

10. At this point your Wii can now install certain software through the Homebrew Channel. Once installation is done, restart the Wii and start the Homebrew Channel.

Installing Wii Downgrader

Note: From this point onwards you will be messing around with the Wii's firmware. In the worst case scenario, if your house power trip while updating the firmware, the Wii might get corrupted, rendering it unable to start up. However, if you follow the steps (and don't trip on any wires), there shouldn't really be a problem.

1. Run the Custom IOS37 rev 03 to install the custom IOS in the SD card.

2. Run the Downgrader from the Homebrew Channel.

3. When choosing the version to upgrade or downgrade to, just take note of a few things:

a) Make sure you choose the correct region to update to (e.g. 3.2U or 3.3U if you have US Wii hardware)

b) Version 3.4 has been known to prevent the Homebrew channel from running. To be safe, and to leave yourself a way to downgrade/upgrade firmware in the future, DO NOT install this firmware.

c) Version 3.3 has been known to prevent certain pirated games from running. However, certain newer games absolutely need 3.3 in order to run. In that case, install 3.3 and downgrade to 3.2 as and when you require it.

d) Versions 3.2 and below do not seem to spoil anything (that is if you have WiiKey firmware 1.9s installed). Best to use 3.2 as it supports almost every game.

4. After installing your preferred firmware version, your game should run properly without any prompt (won't ask you to update). If it STILL doesn't, there could be a couple of reasons.

a) The game is from another region and has an update on it.

In this case, you need to "scrub" that update off that disk. Read the "Scrubbing updates off" section below.

b) The game has firmware 3.4 or above (that is of the same region as your Wii).

In this case, just install the firmware if you absolutely need to but be aware that other pirated games might not work on it anymore, especially those that have been modified or are from different regions. Direct copies of original games would not be affected though.

c) The game has some kind of patch (that is not a firmware update and is ABSOLUTELY needed to play the game) that somehow stop consoles with WiiKey installed from running it.

Tough luck, nothing you can do here. Just don't play it.

Scrubbing updates off

1. If a game has an update on it that keeps prompting you to run it, you could simply scrub it off using the Wii Scrubber.

2. Install the WiiScrubber software from my SD card.

3. Make an ISO image of the game disc using Nero, Alcohol 120%, or ImgBurn.

4. Start WiiScrubber, load the ISO, and select the option to "scrub"/remove/patch the update off the ISO.

5. Burn the new "scrubbed" image onto a new blank DVD, taking care to burn at 4x and use reliable blank DVD media.

6. At this stage, you should be able to run whatever game you want. If it still can't work, nothing much we can do about I guess... You could check http://forums.afterdawn.com/ for more info on your game if it doesn't work and there might be some kind of fix available.

Useful Links

For Animal Crossing game, but also a useful general guide to get games to work : http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/727770

How to extract IOS WAD files to be installed through the Homebrew Channel's WAD manager: http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/728206

Wii Downgrader info: http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/686800

Guide to Twilight Hack: http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/706332

WiiKey and other modding/firmware info: http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/597460

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