Softmodding Your Gamecube

Cracking the GameCube

By: Xavean – February 27, 2004

This document outlines most of the current (public) knowledge on exploiting a flaw in Phantasy Star Online: Episode I & II by Sega, which allows just about anyone to do some pretty awesome stuff with their GameCube.

Physical requirements for all the following exercises are as follows:
Nintendo GameCube System
A Memory Card 59 or Memory Card 251, preferably without any important saved data (blank is best).
Phantasy Star Online: Episode I & II for Nintendo GameCube.
A Nintendo GameCube Broadband Adapter (the dialup adapter will not work!)
A CAT5 Crossover cable (Generally yellow in color, running between $20-25) OR A basic switch/hub/router and two regular CAT5 cables.
A basic PC with an Ethernet card.

Hooking up your hardware should not be confusing at all. If you can’t get past this on your own, I suggest you give up right now. Hook up your hardware before continuing.

Brief History:
PSUL v1.1 is the program that started it all (or version 1 to be precise). This program emulates a Sega run Phantasy Star Online on your personal computer. When the GameCube attempts to contact the Sega servers, it will be in reality connecting to your own computer. Once the connection is complete, PSUL will allow you to upload data to the GameCube. Thanks to some great guys in the scene, we have useful tools that will run on the GameCube in cooperation with the PSUL program. Many front-end tools have been built since the initial PSUL release. These tools tend to included PSUL built in, eliminating the needs for a dozen programs to accomplish a simple task.

What can be accomplished at this point in time?
Lots of neat things! Right now, we’re able to rip an entire GameCube game disc onto our computer hard drives (which will require 1.4 gigabyte per game). We’re able to browse the files on our GameCube discs on the TV screen, we’re able to send roms to the GameCube itself to boot, and we can emulate NES roms nearly flawless and some N64 roms as well. There is even an emulator for the old Chip 8 systems if my memory serves me correctly. It’s just a matter of finding the tools that people are quickly developing.

What are the drawbacks of doing what you mentioned above?
Well, at this time, ripping GameCube disc images is pretty flawless. However, sending roms from your computer to the GameCube has some draw backs. While the GameCube broadband adapter is capable of a 100 MB/s, Sega for some reason assumed that no one would be using (or for that matter, need) that fast of a connection to play Phantasy Star Online. Therefore, they locked the speed at 10MB/s, making the data stream rather slow. This means that GameCube games being played from a PC hard drive will have lots of sound and FMV skipping problems. They are livable and rarely effect game play, but they exist. Besides that, some games just don’t load for some reason or another, and some may even not save.

How is it that NES and Nintendo 64 emulation is already here?
Back during the early part of 2003, Nintendo issued bonus discs to those people who preordered The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. These discs included an emulated version of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time that was originally released on the N64, as well as a port of an unreleased expansion to the game for Nintendo’s ill-fated 64DD, a disk drive add-on for the Nintendo 64 itself. The way these games worked, is that Nintendo coded an N64 emulator specifically for the GameCube, and wrote the old Zelda rom right onto the disc, albeit with slight changes made to it to work well with the GameCube’s controller. It’s important to note that this emulator upped the resolution of N64 games from 320×240 to 600×480, making the 3D graphics twice as sharp, and the textures twice as blurry. At the end of 2003, Nintendo issued another bonus disc to new GameCube owners, new Subscribers to Nintendo Power, as well as people who bought and registered two of four specific games for the GameCube and Game Boy Advanced systems. This bonus disc included both NES Zelda games, emulated perfectly, as well as the Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, a Wind Waker demo, and a short film clip in homage too all previous Zelda games. It’s unfortunate that the Super Nintendo Zelda game, A Link to the Past was not emulated as well (The game was recently ported to the GBA, and it was thought that including it would take away from sales). Anyway, those emulators have been ripped by some amazing people, and we’re now able to replace the built in Zelda roms with any of our own.

NES and N64 Compatibility:
The emulators from Nintendo work nearly perfectly, however, they are only compatible to an extent. My testing of the NES hasn’t been extensive, but I know that Ninja Gaiden, Yo Noid! and Metroid are just a few of the games that work perfectly. The only requirements are that the rom size is under 256Kb, and the rom uses the first (and earliest) mapper, #1. A program I will mention later on will let you know if the rom you load works of not. As for the N64, the emulator itself came with a list of games that Nintendo built in, which I assume they wanted the thing to be compatible with. Those games are:
Animal Forest
Cruise’n USA
Dr. Mario
Legend of Zelda
Mario 64
Mario Kart
Mario Party 1
Mario Party 2
Mario Party 3
Panel de
Pokemon Stadium
Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Yes, there are misspellings and repeats of the same game, but that is the list none the less, as Nintendo had it. I’ve tried some of those games, and they don’t work. Others not listed work as well. I don’t have a compatibility list, nor do I know of any current one as this current date.

Where can I get NES, N64, or GameCube Roms?
Here are some great sites I can recommend: , , ,

File tools needed:
PSUL v1.1 (download here)
Paradox’s GC Disc Server v1.4.0 Beta (download here)
Cubesoft’s Phoenix v2.1 (download here)
GameCube ISO Ripping Server (download here)
Paradox’s N64 Disc Server 1.0 (download here)

Creating a workable memory card file:
*required once before any other actions
Recommend program: PSUL v1.1

If you’re feeling lazy, use Phoenix and let it do it for you. I don’t detail that here right now though. Read later on for more usage of Phoenix.

The goal here is to create a PSO file on the memory card that allows PSO to connect to the server each time, like it was its first time. This is done by PSUL itself once it connects.
First off, we need to configure both our GameCube’s and PCs. First, make a new Local Area Connection on your PC. I’ll trust that you’re capable enough to do it on your own.
Once that is done, go to “My Network Places�, right-click on “Local Area Connection� and click on “Properties�.
Select “Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)�, and click “Properties�.
On the General tab, click “Use the following IP address� and “Use the following DNS server addresses�.
Enter the following: IP address:, Subnet mask:, and leave the Default Gateway blank.
Enter the following: Preferred DNS server:, and leave the Alternate DNS server blank.
Click “Ok�, and “Ok� once again.

Now your connection for your Ethernet card is set up. Note that if you are using broadband internet, you may need to change the IP address and DNS server to automatic to get your internet working again.

Now we need to set up your Phantasy Star Online data file. Like I mentioned above, it’s best to use a blank memory card. If you have PSO data on the current memory card, delete it now.
Start PSO now, with a blank memory card.
Select “Agree� with the disclaimed that comes up, and push A.
Select “No� to continue, and push A.
A data file will be made on your card.
Press Start, Choose “Online Game� and push A.
Select the slot of your memory card, and push A.
Select “Yes�, and push A.
Select “Yes� again, and push A.
Repeat twice again.
Select “Network Setup� and push A.
Select “Edit Menu� and push A.
Push A on the white text box, and write in a new service provider name, and push “End�.
Go to Next, and Push A.
Select “Manually set an IP Address� and “Do not automatically disconnect�.
Leave all other settings the same, and push “Next�.

IP Address:
Subnet mash:
Default Gateway:
Primary DNS:
Secondary DNS: Blank
Push “Next� twice.
Push Save.
Push “Return to Game�
Push “Yes�

Now that you’re back at the main screen, go to “Online Gameâ€? again and create a PSO Character file. Just be quick about it, since you’ll never be using this character to actually play PSO.

Agree to the licensing information, and enter in your registration numbers that came with your copy of PSO, as well as an easy to remember password, and select “Yes� ONLY ONCE!!

Now, start PSUL v1.1 on your PC using the command prompt “psul -s�.

Select the second “Yes�, and now PSO will connect to your PC.

Immediately when the PSO Lobby loads, you’ll get a disconnection message. PSUL allowed PSO to connect briefly enough to save all your registration information. Now your memory card is ready!

Ripping a GameCube ISO to a PC:
Recommended program: GameCube ISO Ripping Server

This tool is 100 Kb/s slower than the built in tool in Cubesoft’s Phoenix. The reason I recommend it however, is whenever I used Phoenix, the ISO process would just stop at 100% and the file would never be created. Use Phoenix if you wish. The steps for that are self explanatory, as are the steps for this.

Phoenix’s ripping tool is just a built in version of the GameCube Server which runs on the GameCube itself, but Phoenix shows the process and writes the file to the PC instead of GameCube Server.

Before starting this process, be sure to have the GOD (GameCube Optical Disc) of the game you wish to copy handy. You’ll have 10 seconds to swap discs.

Start GameCube Server, and write the name and location for the GOD ISO to be saved. You have an option of saving the file as a .gcm or an .iso file. Same data, different extensions. Pick as you wish.

The IP addresses for both the GameCube and the PC will be defaulted to what we used when making our memory card, which is pretty universal among GameCube tools.

Click “Start Serverâ€?, and once the command prompt window opens, begin a Online Game in PSO. Once the lobby loads, the PC program quickly hijacks the process and a red screen appears. After a few seconds, it will tell you to swap GODs. Do so, close the lid, and you’ll have an hour wait until the ISO is fully copied. Enjoy!

Loading a GameCube ISO from a PC:
Recommended program: Paradox’s GC Disc Server v1.4.0 Beta

Like GameCube Disc Server, I chose this over Phoenix because I’ve had more success rates. Phoenix should be well regarded though, as it features both Paradox as well as two versions of “Star Cubeâ€? built in. It makes me wonder why it doesn’t work sometimes.
Open Paradox. Select Image File. Click on the “!� box to browse for a GOD (GameCube Optical Disc) ISO on your hard drive in either .gcm or .iso format. Once you select your ISO, Click “Run Iso�.
Begin the Online Game process in PSO, and once the Lobby appears, Paradox hijacks PSO and streams the ISO. As I noted before, game music and FMV will be choppy, due to the restraint that Sega imposed on data being sent between their servers and the GameCube itself.

Viewing Files on a GameCube Disc:
Recommended program: Cubesoft’s Phoenix v2.1

We finally get some usage for the mother of all GCN front-ends. I choose Phoenix because it’s built in, simple, always works, and saves some time by using the command prompt itself.

Simply open Phoenix, click on the “Extras� tab, select the “GameCube DVD Browser�, and click “Load�.

Begin the Online Game process, and it’ll load. Follow the on-screen steps.

Playing NES games:
Recommended program: Cubesoft’s Phoenix v2.1

Once again, Phoenix comes in handy. Not only does it do most of the command prompt work for us, it will notify us if our rom is valid or not. (Not all valid roms will load in the end).

So start by opening Phoenix, click on the “Loaders� tab. Select the task, “Load a NES Rom File�. Browse for an uncompressed rom. If no error is given, click load and keep your fingers crossed.

Since this uses the Zelda emulator from the Collection Disk, it works the same. In game, push “Z� to bring up a window for the NES emulator, which does various things like reset.

At the beginning of emulation, it asks if you wish to save or not. I have no idea if this works with any other battery save games for the NES (We’re their any others than Zelda anyway?), but you can always select yes. Enjoy your game! I’ve only test a few NES games. My successes include Ninja Gaiden, Yo Noid! and Metroid. I assume all Zelda’s work as well.

Playing Nintendo 64 games:
Recommended program: Paradox’s N64 Disc Server 1.0

God bless Paradox. They come through once again, where their Phoenix inclusions do not. Use this exactly like you would when booting a GCN ISO.

When the program finally loads into GameCube memory, it will say loading game. Don’t be worried by the Legend of Zelda picture, since that is what the emulator was built for. It’s unknown, how many games work, but if you read my prior information, you’ll see the list that Nintendo intended to have working.

Loading various .DOL files:
Recommended program: Cubesoft’s Phoenix v2.1

If you’ve been following us to the end, you boot .DOL files similarly to NES roms and the like. Read above to find out more. It’s very simple. Since .DOL files (standing for Dolphin) are the most command home brew GCN programs, you’ll want to know how to do this. I recommend Phoenix once again, because I am too lazy to do any command prompt work myself.

Copyrights and Information:
All programs and tools are copyrighted by their respective authors. All references to Nintendo or Nintendo products are copyrighted by Nintendo. Ninja Gaiden is copyright Tecmo Inc. Yo Noid! Is copyrighted by Dominos Pizza I guess.

This informational file is copyright to I, Xavean, for exclusive usage on EmuHelp and their certified partners. While I gathered all the information contained in this file from all over the internet, I typed everything that you see here myself. Please respect that and give me credit where it’s deserved.