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Nintendo hid a load-your-own NES emulator inside the GameCube version of Animal Crossing


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Unused feature has been hidden in Animal Crossing for nearly two decades.



While being able to load NES games onto a GameCube is fun, the most interesting part of this discovery is probably what it suggests about an unexplored branch of potential Nintendo history. Remember that the code to load NES games from a memory card was put into Animal Crossing by Nintendo decades ago, not by some modern-day modification of the original game code. That strongly suggests Nintendo was at some point planning an official way to load additional NES files into Animal Crossing through the memory card.


It's hard to say how this distribution might have worked. Maybe special ROM-packed memory cards would have been included with new editions of the game (Nintendo actually did sell versions of the game packaged with memory cards that unlocked special presents for players). Maybe Nintendo would have given such memory cards away in contests. Or maybe, in an alternate timeline, a machine akin to Japan's Japanese Famicom disk-writer kiosk could have let players load NES games onto their own memory cards.


Regardless, it seems that Nintendo may have been planning ahead for some form of retro-game distribution long before the Wii Virtual Console became a thing in 2006. And if you want to make use of Nintendo's unused GameCube-to-NES emulation features today, Chambers has released GitHub source code that lets you generate your own Animal Crossing-friendly NES ROM files. You can test out those files for yourself using a virtual memory card loaded into the Dolphin emulator or on an actual GameCube using special memory card hardware.


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  • Jason changed the title to Nintendo hid a load-your-own NES emulator inside the GameCube version of Animal Crossing

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