October 25th, 2023


In another episode of Alan gets a whole console for 4 cents, I got a Wii U!

It's a 32GB white Wii U. In the US, white consoles were only used for basic sets or refurbished sets. As my Wii U was the Splatoon bundle, I had a black console. I thought it'd be neat to get the other color aswell.


Curiously, Nintendo TVii never shut down in Japan until Miiverse was shut down. They never removed the icon so it still remains. I thought my system wasn't up-to-date when I got it cause of that.

This system is from the Japanese Splatoon bundle. Judging from the manufacturing date, I presume it's from the first one that doesn't come with the Squid Sisters amiibo. Since the bundle comes with Splatoon preinstalled, it appeared on HOME Menu when I finished the inital setup.

The listing I won didn't come with a Wii U gamepad, so I had to buy one also for 1 yen. Believe it or not, Wii U Gamepads are region locked. There are ways to bypass this, but it consists of having another Gamepad or using a Raspberry Pi Zero/Pico, which I didn't have at the time.

Despite the listing being labelled as junk, the Gamepad works just fine. The previous owner had Quick Start enabled so it also saved their play history. Judging by that Minecraft looking app on the second row, the last time someone played on this was atleast sometime after mid-2017.

If you remember earlier this year, there was a lot of discussion about how Wii U systems were quickly failing, and it's assumed to be the Hynix storage chips on some 32GB systems dying out. I immediately checked the system storage chip, just to make sure it's not a Hynix chip. Thankfully, it's a Toshiba!

Anyways, let's play Splatoon again. Since the system was formatted before being shipped, the game came preinstalled with the initial version of Splatoon. Not much has changed offline since then, so after a quick look, I updated it to the latest version. Weird how the newest update came out only 2 months ago!

The way this game does matchmaking made it hard for me to find matches. I think the game tries to match you with other newbies when you first start the game, who don't really exist anymore. It took me two hours to finally find a few games and level up, at which point, the lobby was full of level 50 players.

My fourth match I ended up spawn camping.

Outside of Splatoon, I used Puchicom BIG, which is a Wii U port of SmileBasic 3. The game shares the same servers as SmileBasic 3, letting you transfer programs between the 3DS and Wii U. When SmileBasic 3 was the latest entry, I barely knew how to program stuff in general, so I didn't mess with it that much.

Years have passed and I kind of understand programming stuff. I made a quick and dirty drawing program. The UI sucks and the controls are a mess. It was made as a quick way to draw and erase. You draw something and press Left to erase everything. There is a way to save images, but I much perfer to screenshot it using a modded screenshot plugin.

Also, I played Explorers of Sky again. I played it a lot when I was younger on a DSTwo flashcart I had. Of course, the game goes for a bajillion dollars online, so Virtual Console is the only way I'll play it these days.

I beat the game after nonstop playing for a week. I still love this game.

A few days after I got this Wii U and played a bit of Splatoon online, news hit that I wouldn't think would happen. Nintendo has announced that 3DS and Wii U online services would finally be terminated early next year. I read this and this was the first time I really didn't believe it. It's over? Now? It really came as a surprise. You drop this on a random ass Wednesday?

Ah, but the 3DS and Nintendo Network is already 12 years old. I guess I should have seen it coming.

I remember around the time Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection was shut down, which was the online multiplayer service for DS and Wii, there was a Animal Crossing: City Folk video uploaded with a group of friends living the last few minutes online. One of the players said "See you in Animal Crossing Wii U!" or something like that. I hope they were happy with Animal Crossing Plaza.

It honestly reminds me of the time in Club Tortimer, a day before Nintendo's E3 2018 conference, where I was like "Tomorrow, this game dies... Animal Crossing for Switch!" and that never happened. It did later, but New Horizons wasn't as fun.

Like, I have 1,000+ hours on Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and a large percent of that was online. There hasn't been much I already haven't said like with Band Brothers P or whatever.

Writing this, I still cannot believe that it's all shutting down. Playing my 3DS online was basically my entire 2010s, even well after the Switch came out, and now it's just over. I know I should've expected it, since it was only a matter of time, but still. Damn.

New surface package! This is one I shipped in August.

This is Golf Paradise, a near launch game that is just golfing. The seller gave me the game, a strategy guide, and a memory card. The listing was only 1 yen and nobody was watching it, so I bought it. I wanted the memory card more than anything else. After it arrived, the seller also gave me two pamplets for the game. I stuffed those in the strategy guide.

This memory card is unique as I think it's from a launch console. There are system updates installed on the memory card, all of which were from the utility disc that the early SCPH-10000 systems came with. Most people haven't seen these icons, mostly because the PS2 came out overseas when these updates were obsolete.

If you didn't know, the PS2 did have multiple system updates during its lifetime. The PS2 launched without the DVD Player software installed, so the system was bundled with an update disc which installed said software to your memory card. A few months after the PS2 came out, Sony had preinstalled the DVD Player software into the firmware of SCPH-18000 systems and beyond, discontinuing the requirement of the utility discs. After that, the DVD player software would be updated every system revision and DVD update discs would only come bundled with IR remote control packages.

The DVD Player install discs are one of the more common uses of system updates. The PS2 also had update discs to support hard drives, install PSBBN, or Linux. These days, the most popular use of a system update would be FreeMCBoot, which acts as a system update that the PS2 uses. System updates would be abolished in SCPH-900XX systems as PS2 updates weren't being developed at that point.

The weird part of all of this is what happened with this update I have. Shortly after the launch of the PS2, people found out you can remove DVD-Video region locking with a key combo. Soon, Sony recalled the Utility Disc for a replacement that patched the issue and bundled the new version with later systems. They went the extra step, making the DVD player completely blocked from booting & installing at all on future models. That means this software update has no use to me.

It's cool to have, but as the utility disc it came from was bundled with every system at the time, it really is worthless.

Next is Baby Universe, the PS1 title.

Baby Universe is more of a tool rather than a PS1 game. The name of the game is 3D-Kaledioscope and that's exactly what it is. You change funky shapes and textures and they look crazy on screen. That's not the only thing this game does though.

Another feature it has is the SoundScope. If that sounds familiar, that's because this is where the PS1's visualizer on later models came from. Every PS1 after SCPH-700x would come with the SoundScope visualizers when pressing SELECT during CD playback.

Outside of that, that's it. It's an artistic technical showcase.

The last software I got is Doko Demo Issyo and its expansion, Koneko mo Issyo. These pair of games require the PocketStation to be played. Being very popular, these games costed only a yen.

Not much can be said about this game. You choose a friend and you kind of hang with them.

One thing about this game is that it's hard to play it because all my batteries are dead and I have no free space on my PocketStation. This game takes up the whole 15 blocks. You need to have a PocketStation plugged in to start the game or you can't get past the data entry screens.

Koneko mo Issyo works almost identical to Doko Demo Issyo, but requiring both the Koneko mo Issyo and the Doko Demo Issyo disc. It's sort of the same but instead of the regular cast, it's kittens.

There's also i-mode mo Issyo, which adds some sort of mobile network support to Dokodemo Issyo, so it's not really worth it to me. The game's service has long been shut offline, so it seems to be Doko Demo Issyo with an extra useless option.

Next is another surface package but from July. It took 12 extra days before it arrived and I assumed it got lost before it arrived one night.

First up is DanceDanceRevolution 2ndREMIX. One thing that I noticed when I put the disc in was that it has a million CD-DA tracks. It seems like the game's soundtrack isn't compressed like the other DDR games.

This game has a few APPEND discs released, both adding music from CLUB VERSION. APPEND discs are usually really cheap, so I might buy them later down the line.

Next is Ayumi Hamasaki VISUAL MIX Dome Tour 2001. This was the other entry of Sony Music's FourthView series. It's focused on Ayumi Hamasaki's tour. Considering this is footage of a tour, I'm wary of uploading footage from the concert itself.

I have touched upon FourthView before, as I have another game with the technology, but to summarize: Sony Music was toying with the idea of having VR-like software for the PS2. The technology was achieved by having machine with 8 cameras pointed at various directions.

A small preview of the music mixing software using the presets.

This game comes in two discs. One contains the VR concert footage and one contains the music mixing and browser.

The browser application allows you to view an Ayumi Hamasaki fan homepage. As this game came out before the PS2 Network Adapter was released, it does not support the Network Adapter and requires a specific USB modem to be connected, which I don't have. The fan homepage is probably long dead or doesn't support the PS2 anyways.

One unique thing about the browser is that it uses a limited version of the NetFront browser. Since the internet was slowly being integrated with video games, comapnies were trying to get browsers on these things. Funnily enough, people were disappointed when the Browser option on the PS2 main menu didn't actually lead to an internet browser.

There were 2 browsers I know of on the system: EGBrowser and NetFront. EGBrowser (pronounced Easy Browser, Japanese sillies) was produced by the same people who made the Dream Passport/Dreamcast Web Browser series. NetFront is a browser made by Access, which has been since incorporated in many browsers to this day, such as Nintendo Switch and Kindle. These browsers were produced very early in the PS2's lifespan and had multiple versions.

EGBrowser was one early browser, releasing on April 12th, 2001. This version only supported a USB modem, since it was still a popular method to connect online and Japanese network adapters did not come with a modem port. There was also a lite version of the software which did not support MP3 playback.

Here's an old video of me playing with an English translated version of EGBrowser BB, explained in the next paragraph.

A year after the official network adapter was released, EGBrowser would be rereleased with proper network adapter support, being the only version which supports an ethernet connection. I also read you can save e-mail data to the hard drive, but I haven't been able to check that out.

NetFront wasn't the same. It supported ethernet out of the box. This version was most commonly used with other programs, such as VISUAL MIX, as its main purpose was to be as lightweight as possible.

Of course, these browsers aren't useful anymore, since they don't support most things online and you can't really do things like share save data. Lame. As everyone knows now, browsers are very fickle software and are open to exploits, so manufacters aren't really allowing them to be used as openly as people once had. I guess that makes sense.

Thinking about it now, how many systems have atleast 1 web browser exploit?

Next is Space Channel 5 for the Sega Dreamcast!

This is my first Dreamcast import. The Dreamcast is region-locked and this requires a boot disc to play on my US Dreamcast. Thankfully, my Dreamcast is MIL-CD compatible, so I can burn one of the million region-free boot discs to play it!

I should get an S-video cable for my Dreamcast. This video looks way too bright and blurry. I'm afraid of buying a cable that's composite over S-video though...

Next is this Famitsu magazine dated November 21st, 2003. The industry was already in the 6th generation at this point.

One of the things they advertise on the cover is a PSX DVR contest.

The chart page. It's already 2003 and there are still atleast 1 PS1 game on the top 10. PS2 dominates practically every position, only giving up 10 places for other platforms.

The USA ranking chart. All PS2.

This was a contest, where you'd get points from buying Famitsu branded magazines and sending them to the publisher. For 24 points, you could drop an entry to win a PSX DESR-5000 model. 3 people would win and this contest was years ago so who knows who won.

I like DVRs and I usually see these boxes pop up often on Yahoo Auctions. I would want to import one, but looking at the specs scare me. 5.6 kilograms? That's going to cost around $100 minimum to ship it over here... If I even want to mention the failure rate, then it's way more likely that I get a dud! I don't think it's worth it, even if there are some recordings left on the box.

It's really weird hearing how these boxes are considered rare for the longest time only to figure out that they're just usually expensive. I'm looking at listings right now and see a bunch of them, just expensive.

Last for the surface package is Puyo Puyo 7. Puyo DS games are a little hard to fight for cheap, but sometimes cheap listings get ignored and I can win one without any competition. This game has a save file with the story fully completed!

The next few things I shipped over Airmail. It recently opened back up for America since it's closure back in 2020. Even though I used to ship stuff over Airmail and SAL all the time, it's pretty obvious how impatient FedEx made me. Airmail packages usually take 2 weeks to arrive and I used to be okay with it. Well, it's cheaper though!

I got Made in Ore or Warioware: D.I.Y.

As the game was used and very customizable, I backed up the save data as soon as I got it. The game is one of the few DS games to use a NAND chip, so I had to use my DSi LL to back up the save. If I used Checkpoint on my 3DS, it would only back up a 1KB file.

The previous owner seems to have only done the job requests. The sprites are all the templates, so it's nothing worth looking at.

After checking out everything, I cleared out the save and created this. It's simple. I'll make some other stupid games later.

The single 3DS game I love to talk about is Daigasso Band Brothers P. I bought the game since it was listed by a Yahoo Auction seller for only 1 yen and left uncompleted for months. It had to get a home and I like the game so... why not?

This item comes with everything. At this point, Nintendo was cutting back on instruction manuals, so it only has the digital manual sheet. It also comes with a code for 100 tomatoes, which is used to buy more music, though this code has been useless since the music shop closed in 2020. It was common for people to buy multiple copies of this game to refill on tomatoes, so I wouldn't be surprised if it was already used.

Like Monster Hunter, the game's save data lie within the SD card. Once I put the game into my 3DS, it loaded up my songs and scores.

Recently, I managed to reach 1 million fans. I don't have exact numbers, but thats clearing around ~100 songs on Pro atleast once. I've been playing since 2016 or so, so that took a while.

Next is also related, Daigasso Band Brothers, the first game in the series. This entry had a smaller song list and a more limited edit tools.

Checking the save data, the previous owner cleared a good bit of Amateur charts, but also made their own songs. It all seems to be an award ceremony song and Ode to Joy. Considering the fact they seem to be royalty-free music, I assume maybe the owner copied them from a music textbook or something.

This game is one of the only games for the DS that has an expansion pack. It adds 20 songs and was only avaliable on Nintendo's online store. I haven't found a good listing for one, but past auctions sell for pretty cheap. I'll get it one of these days.

Last game is Doubutsu no Mori e+ for the GameCube. The original Animal Crossing had multiple re-releases in Japan, with this being the final re-release in the country. This version would add e-reader support from the overseas version.

When I recieved the game, it actually came with the previous owners cards. Not just Doubutsu no Mori, but also Pokemon and some other cards. This copy came bundled with an e-reader, which probably came with a few starter packs.

I can't use these since I don't have an e-reader myself. I heard that e-reader cards are also region locked, so these cards won't work with an e-reader I can get here. I don't think I'll get an e-reader anyways, it seems useless.

I bought the single used in the intro. I haven't seen it anywhere online in full, so I just decided to buy it. The copy I got is in pretty bad shape, but the CD works and that's all I needed. I ripped it and listened a couple of times, but I won't lie, I got tired of it pretty quickly.

I got a new monitor at Goodwill. It's an Acer H236HL. While it's old and basic, it's something I really needed. My old 16:9 monitor was from 2008 and had failing speakers. That wasn't my main issue though, the issue was it that it was really big. The monitor base was 13 inches thick! This new monitor is only 6 inches, so I have a lot of free space on my desk now.

Only issue is that it's a monitor without speakers. I need speakers for Splatoon! I wired up the audio output to my PC's audio input and set it up to output the audio coming from the monitor. It's fine now. I think there might be some delay to it, but I can try getting used to it.

Outside of that, I've been on just looking at HDD recorders from Japan. I haven't done this for about a year. No use in getting one when all of them have failed hard drives and don't support the TV standard here in America. They look really cool though. I was looking at a few and remembered about the standalone Sony nasne.

Sony has had a history with recorders and video game systems, as you might know about the PSX DVR. For the PS3, Sony released an accessory called the 'torne' which allowed the PS3 to record stuff too. The thing with torne was that you needed a PS3 to use it. Later, nasne came out and released

One thing I haven't looked into was replacing the hard drive of the nasne. You see, while HDD recorders are cool and all, what happens if the hard drive dies? You might be thinking of just replacing it, but you can't! If it dies, there's no service menu to reinstall the firmware! Some recorders encrypt their drives too! You have to send it to a service center to replace it, and I heard a lot of the time that it's cheaper to just buy a new recorder.

It turns out, shortly after I stopped looking at HDD recorders, the question was answered. The nasne doesn't do any sort of HDD trickery at all. No locking, no encryption, no verification. All you need is just an early firmware file, a hard drive with 2TB or less, and screw around with Linux. Only a few minutes later and the nasne will work just fine and communicate with the torne apps normally.

That's cool! The issue now is that TV doesn't broadcast in ISDB here, so anything this thing will catch is garbage. I was reading the online manual and found out that you can use nasne as a file server with a setting change. At this point, I'll take whatever excuse to buy it.

I won a 1TB model earlier in the month. No clue if the drives work, but I'm pretty sure they're dead. I heard that it doesn't matter if you do it on the early 500GB model or later 1TB model, it just has to be a Sony nasne and not the later Buffalo nasne. If all goes well, I plan to just move captures I have on my hard drive to the nasne. I have a lot of stuff I need to get off this computer and I have no more SATA ports on my motherboard for more storage drives.

Now I just need a hard drive to use...