GameCube

Region Free with circumvention utilities

Introduction

For GameCube, Nintendo threw in their usual array of region-locking tools, but because for the first time the games media was disc based they were unable to house custom chips on the carts for any changing of the protection later down the line. What instead they came up with was a propriatry version of DVD on mini-DVD discs, each with a capacity of 1.5GB in size, with code on the system that will only boot a game if it matches both the requirement of Nintendo’s in-house disc format system (so as to block copied games), and the native region code (so as to block out-of-region legitimate games).

However, like Action Replay before it, Datel once again managed to crack the protection and release a special disc – this time purely for booting foreign games on a PAL GameCube, rather than just their usual memory editing cheats disc. This disc is called Freeloader.

Usage

WARNING – DO NOT MIX JAPANESE AND EU/US SAVES ON THE SAME MEMORY CARD!

Japanese saves use a completely different file format on the GC memory card to EU/US ones, due to language encodings. If you attempt a save on a card that doesn’t match, the memory card contents WILL BE ERASED.

With that warning out of the way – Freeloader is simple enough to use. Much like the Dreamcast Utopia CD you boot the GameCube up with the disc in the slot and follow the instructions. For the below example I’ve used a Japanese copy of Sonic Heroes.

The GameCube disc boot screen for Freeloader.

The GameCube disc boot screen for Freeloader.

Open disc cover, take Freeloader out, put game disc in.

Open disc cover, take Freeloader out, put game disc in.

Wait a moment for it to load...

Wait a moment for it to load...

And then the game boots normally!

And then the game boots normally!

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