GameShark: Backing games for preservation

While looking up data on the N64’s parallel port, I came across this interesting article on the subject written in early September by the writer over at nintendoplayer.com about the Gameshark and prototype carts. Now I suggest you have a look at it, it’s quite a good read and well illustrated.

Now I’m not going to go through and cover everything that was said in the article but I did want to talk about the idea of game preservation, particularly for the N64.

The good news is that a lot of the work has been done for the sake of backing up all the official games for pretty much every console, especially one as popular as the Nintendo 64. The problem that happens is that while all of the consumer-grade ROMs have been ripped in all their glory but everything that hasn’t been released has been lost to the void.

The way that games were backed up in the past were done with the Dr. V64, the CD64 or the Z64 zip drive. What interested me about this article is that the writer found a way to perform a backup by using a much more modest piece of kit: the GameShark. Well, not so modest if you consider that you’ll need to have an old computer with a parallel port to connect it to. (These were the days before USB making everything so much simpler)

The good news is that thanks to these backups, we can then play unreleased and homebrew games on an emulator or a flash cart. What becomes an experience that is limited to just one person can be shared for the whole world to enjoy.

There are some prototypes like Conker: Twelve Tales that might never see the light of day so because of that I commend the writer over at nintendoplayer.com for trying to get a prototype ROM added to the archive. The more complete we can make it, the better.

What I’m saying is – if you have a prototype cart or something unique, be sure to share it with the world. You’ll still have the exclusivity of owning the original cart but now everyone else will know that you helped build the archive and share the excitement of playing an unreleased product.

Articles across the web

When you think about backing up N64 games, you might be thinking about using a V64 or a CD64. Someone found a way to do it using a GameShark cheat device.
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