Nintendo Gamecube |OT| Nintendo's Original Console on the Go


#1

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Despite its small quantity of genre-defining games, the Nintendo 64’s flagging sales led to the announcement of its successor, code named Project Dolphin, in May of 1999. This system, officially titled the Nintendo GameCube, would be released in Japan and North America in 2001 and in Europe and Australia in 2002. The GameCube fixed Nintendo’s quality over quantity problem, not only packing the console’s library with at least one entry in every major Nintendo franchise, but also with third-party exclusives and day and date multiplat releases, often with resolution and other benefits over the PS2 counterparts. Altogether almost twice as many GameCube games (661) were released as on the N64 (388).

Sure, the Gamecube finished well behind the PS2 and even slightly behind the original Xbox in system sales, but if you’re Born to Play and can love a console with a handle, the GameCube is unparalleled. The GameCube kicked off new franchises such as Luigi’s Mansion and Pikmin, fan-favorite subseries such as Metroid Prime, and even localized the Nintendo 64’s life sim Dōbutsu no Mori into the hit title Animal Crossing. Additionally, you can attach the Game Boy Player to play Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance games, or connect the GameCube to Game Boy Advance link cable to unlock new modes and costumes in select titles. Even Mature Gamers™ are covered with three new Resident Evil games and the world’s first chainsaw controller.

Do you still tote your GameCube over to friends’ houses, or do you play your GameCube exclusively “docked” to your TV? Or do you play GameCube titles on the Wii, on the Wii U using the homebrew Nintendont, or via the Dolphin emulator? Regardless, all are welcome here in the Retro Game Boards Nintendo GameCube (abbreviated NGC in Japan and GCN elsewhere) Official Thread the thread.

Hardware Specs

CPU:

  • IBM PowerPC Gekko @ 485 MHz

Video:

  • 162 MHz ArtX-designed ATI “Flipper” ASIC GPU (9.4 GFLOPS)
  • 480p (mostly NTSC), 480i (PAL/NTSC) or 576i (PAL)
  • Supports 4:3 and 16:9 anamorphic widescreen

Memory:

  • 43 MB total non-unified RAM

Audio:

  • Audio processor integrated into Flipper: custom 81 MHz Macronix 16-bit DSP
  • Stereo output (may contain 5.1-channel surround via Dolby Pro Logic II)

Storage:

  • 8 cm miniDVD optical disc (1.5 GB capacity)
  • Removable Nintendo GameCube memory card (up to 8MB), connect to a Wii and turn on WiiConnect24 until fried

Connectivity:

  • 4 controller ports, 2 memory card slots
  • 2 high-speed serial ports
    • 1 port for a broadband or dial-up modem adapter
    • 1 unused port (most models)
  • 1 parallel port reserved for the Game Boy Player
  • AV out ports
    • Analog: Custom Nintendo multi out port supports RGBS over SCART (PAL only) S-Video (PAL/NTSC), and composite (PAL/NTSC) up to 480i. Stereophonic analog audio output.
    • Digital (DOL-001 model only):
      • YCBCR synthesized to YPBPR component video (NTSC-U) or D-Terminal (NTSC-J) up to 480p.
      • Stereophonic Inter-IC Sound digital audio (not used by any cable).
      • Likely would have driven the in development stereoscopic 3D (only included in Luigi’s Mansion)
      • Hold B on startup to enable progressive scan, but you probably knew that if you shelled out for component cables. Note that progressive scan is automatically enabled on the Wii when the system’s video output is set to 480p.

The Games

The Nintendo Difference:

  • Existing Franchises

  • New Franchises and Spin-Offs

Third Party Exclusives / Timed Exclusives:

  • The Capcom Five (of which four titles were released):

  • More Notable Titles:

Notable Multiplats:

GCN lead platform

Play as Link!

Uses the modem adapter for online play, includes exclusive content

GCN is director Michael Ancel’s preferred platform to play the original release

Accessories

Controllers:

Standard

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/41/Gamecube-controller-breakdown.jpg/625px-Gamecube-controller-breakdown.jpg

WaveBird (wireless using RF)

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/48/Wavebird.jpg/714px-Wavebird.jpg

Resident Evil

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/ea/Re_controller.jpg/800px-Re_controller.jpg

Dance Dance Revolution Mario Mix Action Pad

DK Bongos

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c8/DK_Bongos.JPG/800px-DK_Bongos.JPG

Game Boy Connectivity:

Game Boy Player

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/50/GameCube-Game-Boy-Player.jpg/445px-GameCube-Game-Boy-Player.jpg

Nintendo GameCube - Game Boy Advance Link Cable

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3e/GameCube-GBA-Link-Cable.jpg/800px-GameCube-GBA-Link-Cable.jpg

Links With More Info


Getting the Best Picture from your Nintendo GameCube

RetroRGB GameCube Output Comparison

Dolphin Emulator

Racketboy Games That Defined the Nintendo Gamecube


RGB OT's Mega Thead
#2

Great console, loved it back then and still do now!


#3

I have fond memories of playing Rogue Squadron 2 and Waverace Blue Storm during college. I still have a spare unit waiting for a HDMI mod.


#4

This console was a beast considering how small and affordable it was when released. Nintendo loved the design so much that it became the basis of their console architecture for 15 years.

In many ways, it was ahead of its time. The controller, with its big “A” button was clearly designed to simplify contextual controls. And I think the philosophy of the oversized A button morphed into the simple elegant solution that we have all come to know and love as the Wii remote (which had its own oversized A button).

Wind Walker also paved the way for many people who now enjoy non-traditional art styles in their games.

Metroid Prime was a tour de force on everything that you could ever want in a new single player game. It had such an impact on the industry and was a complete work of art.

F-Zero GX is still the greatest racing game ever made - full stop.

And Super Smash Bros. Melee has one of the most devoted followings of any game ever made.

It’s hard to believe that Nintendo got so much right and made such a timeless system and still only experienced very modest sales of the thing. Personally, I love the GameCube and think it was the best system of its generation.


#5

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One of my favorite Gamecube games. Great fun even if you don’t like sports games (like me), pick up and play up to 4 players. You can unlock costumes from Space Channel 5, Phantasy Star, Fighting Vipers and more.

Everyone should get a copy of it, it was only released for Gamecube and Arcades.


#6

Yes as gamecube!

GCN was the first console I ever bought on launch day with my own money and it’s still one of my favorites. Melee ensures I’ll be playing the GCN for the rest of my life!


#7

While doing background research on the GameCube it really struck me just how ahead of its time the system was. Not only did the A button influence the Wii mote, but also Nintendo patented motion controls for the GameCube! And Factor 5 was prototyping them in Rogue Squadron. Nintendo almost packed stereoscopic 3D into the console prior to 3D TVs and 10 years before the 3DS! And Luigi’s Mansion supports it. I could also make a case that Animal Crossing and The Legend of Zelda Collector’s Edition were dry runs for the Virtual Console. Really puts into perspective just how much Nintendo likes to iterate on ideas rather than releasing something undercooked.

Taken as a complete package I would rank the GameCube first in its generation as well, although the Dreamcast is a close second for me. Thanks to the GCN my PS2 was a glorified DVD and Shadow of the Colossus player.


#8

Wow, I played a lot of Beach Spikers multiplayer but had no idea it had Sega unlockables. That’s awesome!


#9

I love the GC (despite the mouse sized d-pad). I do think some of the big franchise stuff was disappointing (Wind Waker had too much dull sailing, Sunshine had plenty of flaws, Waverace didn’t have the same charm) but I was blown away by the Pikmin series, having the best Resident Evil games, how addictive Jungle Beat was, etc… Billy Hatcher’s underrated, and much more polished than the disappointing Sonic games at the time. BG&E’s amazing but I happened to have the almost identical Xbox one. And it was cool how Rebel Strike had the arcade Atari Star Wars arcade game as it was the first time an emulated version was officially released.


#10

The GameCube is a favorite of mine, and I would argue that it’s exclusives are some of the most unique games ever. Nothing feels quite like the stuff on this system, and I really can’t put my thumb on why that is, exactly.

Also, I bought my component cables new for $70 in 2012. That rip off was suuuch a good deal.


#11

I paid $180cad for a D terminal cable which I cut the end off and wired for RCA jacks. Looking at the price now I have no regrets!


#12

The GameCube was my favorite system that gen because it loaded games the fastest and it had the Wavebird. I love the Wavebird. Metroid Prime and Animal Crossing were probably my two most played games on it. Great memories and I still have a good collection of 50+ games complete.


#13

Beach Spikers is still really cheap. Thanks for the tip! I just bought a copy on ebay.


#14

This game needs to be added to the OP.


#15

Great OT for a great console. We got one for Christmas in 2002 I think. Having never owned a console that required a memory card before we ended up playing the beginning of Starfox Adventures about 20 times before we went to buy one. Melee was fine, we just had to unlock stuff again.

Definitely a system I keep coming back to over the years.


#16

The best ever designed console.

To have that much power (The Rogue Squadron games had the highest polygon counts of any games that generation, fully bump mapped at 60fps!), in such a tiny, quiet, reliable box. AND it was the cheapest the whole generation. Sorcery.


#17

This was the last console I really got into before college, career and life got in the way (I ignored Wii for most of its lifespan and only recently got into it). In the last couple of years I got nearly all the GC games I want to play, before things get to SNES levels of crazy. Viewtiful Joe was one of my games of the generation, equally as high as Metroid Prime. I wasn’t as crazy about Wind Waker and Sunshine as I was for its N64 predecessors but I still put a good amount of time into each.

I have fond memories of staying in and playing my way through Lost Kingdoms II during a chilly winter. It was a game I would always see on the shelf at a local GS. I finally gave in and got it (I think new for $20-30) and let it collect dust for a bit before finally giving it a try when I didn’t know what else to play in my then small GC backlog. Worth it.

Other fond memories include a solid month of Animal Crossing and being engrossed by the creepy Lovecraftian atmosphere of Eternal Darkness. That one is on my list of games to revisit someday.


#18

I really liked your post! I think it’s amazing how all these years later I Associate situations with games I played years ago.

Home sick is luigi’s mansion
Staying in on a cold day is mario 64/mario kart 64
Listening to Metallica is diablo 2


#19

Nostalgia is a hell of a thing.


#20

For sure. I played Metroid Prime during a cold and rainy Fall which sort of fit with the opening area with rainfall. My Gamecube laser actually failed around this time and I had to travel pretty far in the rain to the nearest licensed repair center (basically an ordinary little TV repair shop where they mail it in). Out of warranty and therefore $80 :anguished: but it became part of the experience I remember from back then!