Retro Forum

Topic: GameCube memory cards

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KingMike

1. Posted:

I ordered a Japanese copy of Wind Waker, and then I remember hearing memory cards don't play nice across regions.
What's the deal again? Will my US card get wiped if I try to put it in a JP Cube with the JP game?
Or does that mean I can make a save file on the US card with the JP Cube (leaving my other US saves intact) but I won't be able to load the JP file afterwards on my US Cube (not that I'd need to, and that's a prohibited discussion anyways probably).
(hopefully it won't conflict my existing US WW save I think I made. I already have a US WW, but I can't recall if the last time I played it was mine or my friend's game+card+console)

KingMike

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RadioShadow

2. Posted:

To clear a few things up, the GameCube Memory card can be formatted to:

  • Japanese Mode
  • Western Mode

This is determined by which BIOS your GameCube / Wii is using. If it is the Japanese BIOS, it will formate to "Japanese Mode". If it is the USA or Europe BIOS, it will format to "Western Mode".

The main reason it is done this way is because the save banner text uses either:

  • Shift-JIS & ASCII (Japanese Mode)
  • ASCII & ASCII Extended (Western Mode)

I'm guessing your going to use a Freeloader to load the game? Well all that does is tell the game to load. The BIOS will still use the default BIOS (USA or Europe). Most Japanese games will however save fine on a memory card in "Western Mode". The only issue you will find is the Japanese games store the save banner text are stored using Shift-JIS (Japanese characters), but the game will display them in ASCII characters (so you will see random letters).

Other than that, the game will play fine. I just tried the Japanese Wind Waker version, and I ran into no problems. There are some games that do have issues when running on the wrong BIOS:

  • Kururin Squash: The main text is displayed in ASCII. However, game saves fine and is playable.
  • Donkey Konga 1-3: The games won't save. Game is playable.
  • Mr Drillier: Drill land: The games won't save. Game is playable.
  • F-ZERO GX (JP): Missing graphics, but there is a Action Replay code to fix problem.

If you do have a US / JP GameCube, you can add a Region Switch to select the Japan or USA BIOS. This would allow all Japanese games to work. Just remember to use a different Memory card when using the Japan BIOS. http://www.mmmonkey.co.uk/game-cube-region-switch/

Hope this helps.

Edited on by theblackdragon

RadioShadow

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KingMike

3. Posted:

I have two GameCubes, one US and one Japanese. No boot discs or anything of that type.
So would that mean I would need a separate card for the Japanese Cube?

KingMike

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RadioShadow

4. Posted:

Pretty much, yes. If you try and use the "Western Mode" memory card on the Japanese GameCube, it will come up with a message asking to formate it.

The good news is you can use any GameCube memory card that you own. The GameCube will automatically format the memory card to the correct mode. Simply view the memory card options in the BIOS mode and a message will come up.

Edited on by RadioShadow

RadioShadow