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How to Play Triforce Arcade Games on the Wii

How to Play Triforce Arcade Games on the Wii

Addendum: This guide contains several off-site links for files.  Over time, it is possible that these links may disappear, as has happened with the RVL Mios v10 link. (I have since provided it locally.)  Should you encounter any dead links, please email me, TheCubist@NerdBacon.com, as soon as you can.  I will do my best to assist you with retrieving the necessary file(s) and also update this article for future visitors.

It’s tough to think of an enticing, attention-grabbing title for this instructional; what I really want to accentuate is that by following this tutorial, you’ll be able to enjoy a couple of arcade-only Mario Kart releases on your Wii, but this makes for a rather clunky title.  A more correct title for the procedure would be Installing QuadForce on Your Wii, but that seems like it might prompt more neglect than the middle ground I’ve already chosen.  However, the goal here is how to play Triforce arcade games on the Wii, so I guess it works out well enough.  Hopefully you’ve made it this far and I’ve piqued your interest with the mere mention of Mario Kart!   It should be noted that in total, this Wii softmod will allow you to play 4 arcade-only Nintendo games:  Mario Kart Arcade GP, Mario Kart Arcade GP 2, F-Zero AX, and Virtua Striker 4.

Mario Kart Arcade GP triforce

We’re going to be learning how to play this on the Wii!

If you understand the concept and want to get straight down to the procedure, feel free to skip down a few sections.  But if you’ve never taken part in softmodding (making software modifications to) your Wii, you may want to give all of this a thorough read-through before taking any action.  I’d like to point out that even though much of this information is widely disseminated across the web, it’s usually presented in several disparate steps.  Like most DIY projects that I choose to tackle, a clear, complete version of “using QuadForce” from beginning to end was severely lacking, so I felt it prudent to put together an account of my own experience and hopefully spare future readers from much of the confusion and wasted time and effort that I endured.

  1. Warning / Disclaimer / Read this first!
  2. What is Triforce?  And QuadForce?
  3. Why the Wii?  Alternate Methods?
    1. MAME
    2. Dolphin
  4. The Process in a Nutshell
  5. Materials
  6. Prepping the SD Card
    1. Formatting the SD Card
    2. Building the “games” Folder
    3. Building the “wad” Folder
    4. Building the “apps” Folder, Part 1
    5. Building the “apps” Folder, Part 2
    6. Adding “The Homebrew Channel”
      1. Downloading LetterBomb
      2. Moving LetterBomb to the Card
  7. Softmodding the Wii
    1. Installing LetterBomb / The Homebrew Channel
    2. Installing QuadForce
    3. Running QuadForce
  8. Controls
    1. General QuadForce Controls
    2. Mario Kart Arcade GP 1 and 2
    3. F-Zero AX
    4. Virtua Striker 4 ver.2006
  9. Extras
    1. Forwarder WADs
    2. Ocarina / GeckoCode Support
  10. The End…?
  11. Links

I.  Warning / Disclaimer / Read this first!

In the event that this is your very first time doing or reading about anything that involves the manipulation of software on a console, you should know that the endeavor carries some inherent risk.  The biggest concern is “bricking” your console, or in other words, rendering it about as useful Brickand functional as a brick.  For the record, I did not brick my console with this procedure.  And I can only assume that hundreds, if not thousands, of other people have succeeded in not bricking their consoles as well.  Most of what is out there and well documented and well discussed probably won’t pose a threat.  The real danger comes from being a developer’s guinea pig or otherwise running poorly tested and/or highly invasive software.

This does not mean that this, or any other procedure, is 100% safe.  There are always going to be unforeseen incidents due to random combinations, user error, the will of the gods, quantum fluctuations, and anything else that could possibly cause a problem.  This isn’t meant to scare you off either.  Keep in mind that there wouldn’t be volumes of information about this stuff if it routinely ruined consoles.  The guys and gals who develop this sort of software are by no means out to destroy Wiis (or any other equipment) and most of the time they go to great lengths to ensure that their software is as safe and stable as possible.  Following instructions is of major importance, as is heeding any compatibility issues highlighted by the makers and users of such software.  But be warned: there’s always a chance, and you should only undertake such activities at your own risk.

Under no circumstances should this or any other Wii softmodding procedures be attempted on the Wii U.  This is extremely dangerous and will almost surely brick your nice new shiny Wii U.  Even in the best case scenario nothing will happen, so please don’t go poking around in the Wii U with software intended for the Wii!

I have not knowingly provided any destructive or malicious information nor linked to any files of the same.   I’ve documented every facet of my experience as thoroughly as possible, and personally, based on my time spent gathering this information, I believe it to be relatively safe when implemented in the form described below.  Now enough with the quasi-legalese; let’s get started.

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II.  What is Triforce and QuadForce?

Triforce Logo

nintendo arcade triforce

This…is…TRIFORCE!

So that what we’re about to do makes a little more sense, it’s important to understand what we’re working with and what we’re trying to achieve on at least a basic level.  Triforce, besides being the holy grail of many Zelda games, is also the name that Nintendo gave to some specific hardware used in some of their arcade machines.  It isn’t all that old (many of the games were released in the mid-2000s) and actually resembles something that most gamers are already familiar with.

It turns out that Triforce is remarkably similar to the technology behind the GameCube, though not exactly identical.  Several games have been developed for the Triforce platform, but since I don’t pretend to know all of the ins and outs behind running these games on other systems, we’re only really concerned with the 4 I mentioned earlier.  Why these 4?  Well, that’s where QuadForce comes into play.

Triforce vs GameCube

Comparison of Triforce and GameCube motherboards…neat, huh?

QuadForceIn basic terms, QuadForce is a sort of Triforce emulator (when it comes to these 4 games at least) that can be run on the Nintendo Wii.  It takes a bit a work to get to a point where QuadForce can actually be used on the Wii, but that’s why I’m here: to put those steps together in a cohesive manner so that you aren’t having to jump all over the web reading tutorials from half a dozen different authors with no continuity from step to step.

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III.  Why the Wii?  Alternate Methods?

I wanted to take a second to discuss possible alternatives to playing these (and possibly other Triforce) games in ways that don’t involve the Wii, especially since that’s where my journey started.  I didn’t at first set out to softmod my Wii; instead, I’d stumbled across the Mario Kart Arcade GP “ROM,” ascertained that its availability implied that a relatively simple method existed for playing them, and began my quest from there.  I probably should admit that I’m much happier being able to play the games on a console versus my laptop, but I always look into tweaking console software with a bit of trepidation.

The details get a little fuzzy here, primarily due to my lack of success.  If anyone does have any advice regarding either of these methods, please share!  

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a. MAME

What I first ran across was Mario Kart Arcade GP as a ROM much like those used in MAME (multiple arcade machine emulator): zip files with a handful of bizarre file names and extensions.  Typically one places the entire archive file into the “roms” directory of MAME, and MAME will automatically detect said game – at least that’s how simple it’s been for me so far.  However, I found an interesting addendum when downloading these files that pointed me to “another file you may need for these to work.”  No further instructions were provided, but it did point me to a zip file labeled something akin to “Triforce BIOS.”  Sounds reasonable so far, right?

Not knowing exactly what to do, I figured I’d stick the “Triforce BIOS” into the MAME’s “roms” folder and load it via MAME, since it too contained lots of seemingly random file names much like the ROMs.  MAME did indeed recognize it as, well, something, but when I tried to load it, a few errors were cited including a possible lack of sound.  As I let “Triforce BIOS” load anyway, things appeared fairly normal, but a few seconds after loading I was met with a black screen.  It didn’t seem to matter what I did; there was no response at all, and eventually I resigned to hitting ESC to bring me out of MAME altogether.

I tried shoving the files around in a few different places to no avail, and eventually turned to the internet for help.  It was here that I saw a far more widespread method of enjoying these games, namely through the Dolphin GameCube and Wii emulator.

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b.  Dolphin

This all seemed like a piece of cake compared to the directionless approach I was forced to take with MAME.  Many articles suggested that Dolphin could easily run some Triforce games with a bit of configuration, but I wouldn’t be able to use the MAME-like zip files from before.  No, this time I had to track down ISO files (disc images), which anyone who’s burned games will be familiar with.  It turns out that these files were a bit easier to track down, and once I opened up these archive files I was greeted with more recognizable content.  My spirits were up now; Triforce is supposedly a derivative or close relative of the GameCube, I’ve now got a GameCube emulator in tow, and I’ve got bona fide ISOs that Dolphin is itchin’ to run.

I never could find any clear instructions on just what “configuration” was needed for Dolphin, but I did find a different version of Dolphin that advertised itself as being specifically functional with Triforce games.  Whereas the “first Dolphin” that I downloaded initiated a full-fledged install and ran without a hitch, this second one simply extracted to a folder and proceeded to give me multiple “missing .dll” errors.  After considerable rambling I found an official Microsoft package that would “redistribute” these damn .dll files.  Several frustrated moments later, it looked like it was time to start making headway.

When this second “Triforce-friendlyDolphin” was finally up and running, it looked exactly the same as the first one.  Undeterred, I hunted down the extracted disc images, opened them with Dolphin, and got ready to play.  The Dolphin window flickered, flashed, and sputtered…and then proceeded to crash.  The end.  A total waste of time.

Mario Kart Arcade on Dolphin

No evidence yet that the games work on MAME (although the Triforce BIOS “ROM” would strongly suggest so), but clearly it somehow functions correctly on Dolphin…

I half-heartedly searched for a solution to my Dolphin issues, and once I got past all the download links and YouTube videos of people playing the very Mario Kart games I was after, I began to see that lots and lots…and lots of people were having problems running the emulator; not just with Triforce games, but getting it to work at all.  Compounding the issue was the staggering number of multiple versions of Dolphin floating around, making specific issues hard to trace and harder to solve.  Alas, I gave up…but not before one last resort caught my eye…softmodding the Wii.

As I stated early on, I’m much happier to have these games at my disposal via console rather than computer, but I am interested in the specifics of any success stories (or any other useful information) regarding the use of MAME and/or Dolphin to run Triforce games.  If you can shed any light on the issue(s), please do!

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IV.  The Process in a Nutshell

Armed with a reasonable amount of background information and my own personal rationale, now it’s time to take a quick look at just what we’ll be doing and why we’re doing it.  I’ve already mentioned that I was forced to piece together all of these processes, and with minimal explanation as to why this or that needed doing, it was easy to get lost.  Besides setting up the SD card itself, none of this went right for me on the first try.  I hope this guide will spare you from the same!  Keep in mind that this assumes you’ve never done any softmodding on your Wii.  If you have, you’ll likely recognize what it is you have and have not already done.

  • Once we’ve gathered up our materials, we’re first going to set up our SD card “in reverse” so that each subsequent step will be ready to go once the first is completed.  Really all we’re doing here is moving files from the computer to the SD card including games, the actual QuadForce program, a program that enables QuadForce to boot, another program that will actually install QuadForce, and finally “The Homebrew Channel” which will allow us load data directly from the SD card to the Wii.
  • With the SD card ready to go (a feat in and of itself), we’ll put it in the Wii and begin a chain of processes leading us down to QuadForce.  First, we’ll install “The Homebrew Channel.
  • Next, we’ll use a WAD manager to install QuadForce.
  • After that, we use a separate booter to (guess what?) boot QuadForce.
  • Finally, if everything has been done correctly, it’s as easy as clicking on the game we want to play!

These are the absolute bare essentials to getting the job done, but there are a couple of other points worth addressing.

  • The Wii is able to support GameCube games by more or less emulating the GameCube.  As such, it’s all a matter of software, and what QuadForce will do is actually replace the Wii’s regular GameCube functionality with what is necessary to run the Triforce games.  Although this won’t permanently change or otherwise affect anything, it will be necessary to re-install the correct GameCube “WAD” (and thus uninstalling QuadForce in the process) before GameCube games will again function normally on the Wii.
  • Though the process may seem complex and involved even after the initial set up is done with, you can tidy things up a bit by installing forwarder WADs, which will make these 4 games pop up on the Wii Menu just like any other downloaded games or channels.  You’ll still need to have gone through all the “behind the scenes” motions, but you won’t have to jump through nearly as many hoops whenever you feel like playing.

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V. Materials

Gathering up everything you’ll need for this project is a daunting and lengthy task on its own.  Take it easy, and remember, there’s no shame in taking a break if you need one.  In fact, you may not want to go and grab these all at once and instead read through the instructions picking up each one as needed.  Again, for those of you who’ve engaged in softmodding before, some of this will probably already be in place.  If you’re a first timer, many of these tools will open up all sorts of other doors for you and make future projects a lot easier.

Remember, what we’re truly focused on here is installing QuadForce.  I’m merely walking you through all the things you’ll have to do before you can even get to a point where installing QuadForce is possible assuming that you’re starting completely from Virtua Striker 4 ver.2006scratch (no previous Wii softmodding ever).

  • Games – It’s best to go ahead and start downloading these at the beginning due to their large-ish file sizes.
  • Lexar 8GB SD CardHardware
    • Wii
    • GameCube controller (preferably wired, but wireless should work)
    • SD Card with at least 2GB of storage (you can use a USB drive for the games, but you’ll still need an SD card for the applications, so why use SD and USB when a single SD card can take care of it all?)
  • Software
  • 7-ZipUtilities
    • Formatting/Partitioning Utility such as the EaseUS Partition Master Home Edition (it’s free, but be very careful during the install or it will put all sorts of weird stuff on your computer)
    • An extraction/decompression tool such as 7-Zip (free and lightweight)
  • Optional Software
  • Courtesy of Nerd Bacon – Here are some files available locally that I’ve bundled to (maybe) make your task a little easier!  These do not include LetterBomb (or any other Homebrew Channel installer), the games (due to their massive size), or any utilities (it’s always best to download commercial or proprietary software from the official source).
    • QuadForce Starter Package – I packed as many of the necessaries in here as possible: QuadForce, Dios-Mios Booter, YAWM WAD Manager, and RVL Mios v10.  Within this file are the exact files pointed to by the links.
    • Forwarder Package – All 4 forwarders!

Hell of a list, huh?  Do yourself a favor and refrain from downloading them all at once.  If you insist, at least stick it all in one folder and do not go about extraction or unzipping any of the archives!  Aside from the large game files and the lengthy and mildly irritating Partition Master install, none of these will take any significant amount of time to download and you should have no trouble downloading them as we go.

Let’s get started, shall we?

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VI.  Prepping the SD Card

Properly preparing our SD card involves a number of small steps.  It’s easy to do, but there’s a lot of it, so I’m going to break it down as simply as possible.  If you have some experience softmodding your Wii, you’ll easily be able to skip sections that don’t apply to you without worrying about missing anything.  A few things to remember before we get started:

  • You want to have at least 2GB at your disposal.  These days it’s difficult to find anything below 8GB, and even then 16GB seems to be the current de facto standard.  What we’re doing here will take up a total of roughly 1.7GB.
  • Provided there’s enough available memory, I’m sure that you can continue to use this same card for further Wii exploits, adding to it as necessary.
  • By the same token, if you do have Wii softmodding experience, it stands to reason that you can use your existing SD card and add to it appropriately in order to install QuadForce.
  • If this is your first venture into Wii softmodding, make sure your SD card is blank.  If it isn’t, the following step will wipe out any and all data, so make sure to move over anything you want to save.

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Step 1:  Formatting the SD Card

For this step you’ll need:

First we’ve got to use the exceedingly bulky EaseUS Partition Master Home Edition to correctly format our card.  Obviously this step will be unnecessary for those who already possess a card dedicated to Wii exploits.  I’ll warn you, this Partition Master bastard will try to install all sorts of strange, unrelated things on your computer.  It’ll also be sneaky about getting you to agree to certain things and giving out some personal information.  Read each prompt carefully and eventually you’ll make it through unscathed.

I question the need of such a massive utility for such a mundane task, but anyway, pop the card into your computer, find the appropriate drive on the list of drives in Partition Master, right click, and choose “Format.”  Here’s the important part – you want to make sure that the card is formatted with FAT32 file system and 64KB clusters.  While you’ve got this prompt open, you may want to go ahead and name your card something like “WiiMod” or “Triforce” or anything to help you easily identify it.  Once selected, you’ll see the information go off to the left side of the program.  From here, you’ll need to go up to the toolbar and click “Apply” to have the card formatted.  This ought to be quick and painless.

Note:  I’m unsure why using Partition Master was originally recommended.  If you right click on the SD card in Windows and select “Format,” you’ll be able to do the same thing and select the same “FAT32” and “64KB clusters.”  I should’ve given this a try beforehand, but I didn’t.  If you want to give the Windows formatting utility a shot first, it couldn’t hurt.  Even if it doesn’t work, it won’t waste too much time.  You’ll have all the necessary files by then.  If you do choose this route, let me know how it goes.

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Step 2:  Building the “games” Folder

For this step you’ll need:

For this next step, we’ll be transferring the bulk of our data.  Dedicate a Windows Explorer window to your (now completely empty) SD card directory.  Now create a folder called “games” in all lowercase letters.  What we’re going to do is extract the contents of each archived game file directly into this new directory.  There are a few different ways we can do this.  If you’re familiar with using 7-Zip or other extraction utilities to extract files to different areas of your computer, you should have no problem setting the extraction directory to SD Card:\games\.  You’ll see lots of random letters and numbers for folder names, but don’t worry.  Don’t change anything.  Just extract the files exactly as they are.

If this makes you uncomfortable, you can use more of a drag-and-drop method.  Get your SD card window handy and make sure you’re in the games directory.  Now open any one of the game files in your extraction utility.  In all 4 cases, you should see a folder at the top level.  From the extraction program itself, you can drag this folder over to your games directory, and the data will automatically be decompressed and transferred to your card.

Games Folder

This is what your games folder should look like by the end of this step.

Assuming you’re going ahead and using all 4 games (and the English, not Japanese version of Virtua Strikers), your end result should read something like this:

  • root\games\GFZJ8P\
  • root\games\GGPE01\
  • root\games\GGPE02\
  • root\games\GVSJ8P\

In each of these folders, you’ll see a file named (literally) game.iso and possible a folder named sys.  If there is no sys folder, that’s ok.  There is a strange redundancy in GGPE01 that I don’t understand, and something that you should take care of before moving on.  In addition to the items mentioned above, you’ll notice another file, GGPE01.zip.  I don’t know why this is in there; it contains the exact same game.iso and sys folder.  The best thing to do is to go ahead and delete this zip file before proceeding.

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Step 3:  Building the “wad” Folder

For this step you’ll need:

Now we’re going to go back to our root directory on the SD card and create another folder, “wad” again all in lowercase.  The only thing that we really must put in here is the the QuadForce file from earlier, but if you still want to play GameCube games in your Wii from time to time, we’ll need to add the RVL-mios file as well.  Downloads to both files are provided in the list of materials.  When finished downloading and doing any necessary extracting, you should be dealing with 2 files (don’t worry about any other files included into QuadForce download):

  • quadforce_4.0.wad
  • RVL-mios-v10.wad

Put both of these files directly into the wad folder on your card, and step 3 is finished!

Wad Folder

Completed wad folder.

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Step 4:  Building the “apps” Folder, Part 1

For this step you’ll need:

This is another quick and easy step where we’re going to be dealing with the DIOS-MIOS Booter download.  Go back to your root SD card directory, but don’t create a new folder just yet.  Instead, find the extractable file you downloaded for the DIOS-MIOS Booter.  You can extract directly to the root directory of the card, or you can drag-and-drop like before.  When you open the file for browsing, you’ll notice that the only thing at the top level is a folder called “apps.”  Drag this directly over to your SD card, and you’re done!

What you should now have are 3 folders at the top level of the SD card: apps, wad, and games.  Within the new apps folder, you should see a folder called dios-mios-booter, and within that folder a few files.  If everything looks good, move on to step 5 for the next addition to the new folder.

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Step 5:  Building the “apps” Folder, Part 2

For this step you’ll need:

With our new apps folder created, we now need to add a WAD Manager to the mix.  If you download the YAWM file from the materials list, you’ll find yourself with another extractable file.  We’re going to do the exact same thing here that we’ve been doing; as usual, you’ve got 2 choices.  You can either extract the file’s contents directly to the apps folder, or drag the top level YAWMM_EN folder over to apps on your SD card.

Apps Folder

Finished apps folder.

When finished, your apps folder should now have 2 folders: dios-mios-booter from step 4 and YAWMM_EN that we just added.

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Step 6:  Adding “The Homebrew Channel”

For this step you’ll need:

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a.  Downloading LetterBomb

Up until now, we’ve mostly just been shuffling files around.  It may seem random and excessive, but believe me, this is the distillation of a number of different steps.  Our final task with the SD card is getting “The Homebrew Channel” ready for installation; “The Homebrew Channel” is essentially the gateway into this wild word of “Wii hacking.”

There are a number of different ways to install “The Homebrew Channel” onto your Wii, but as long as your Wii’s system software is up-to-date, the LetterBomb method that I’ve linked to in the materials list should be sufficient.  If this does not work, there is a very informative page at the WiiBrew Wiki that’ll help you choose an exploit.  If you’re in the US and your system software is up-to-date, however, you should be able to follow these simple instructions to install LetterBomb.  Should you have to take an alternate route, remember, the key to this step is merely getting “The Homebrew Channel” installed.  As long as you can get that done, you’re good to go.

We need to get a couple of pieces of information before visiting the download link I’ve provided for LetterBomb.  First, we need to make sure that our Wii is connected to the internet.  I’m not going to explain how to do that, but even early Wiis have built in wi-fi.

Next, we want to make sure we have version 4.3 of the Wii System Menu.  To do this, turn on your Wii, and click on the “Wii” icon on the lower left of the screen.  Then click on “Wii Settings” on the right.  Now look to the upper right of the screen.  If your Wii is up-to-date, you should see “Ver. 4.3” followed by a letter.  The letter simply denotes the country, and LetterBomb can actually take care of country codes U, J, K, and E.  You may want to take mental note of your letter, but if you’re in the US, it’ll be U.  If you don’t have 4.3, scroll over a couple of pages and update your Wii or go to the link above and choose a different exploit.  If by some chance it goes beyond 4.3, you’ll need to look into downgrading your Wii’s software which is outside the scope of this article.  Bottom line: the average Wii user will be running 4.3.

Don’t exit it out of here quite yet, because we’re going to need to find our Wii’s MAC address before continuing.  From the page where we looked at the version information (Wii Options > Wii Settings from the main menu), go over to page 2, and then click “Internet.”  From there, choose “Console Information” and in big bright letters, you should see your console’s MAC Address.  Either copy it down or just leave the screen up, ’cause we’ll be using this string of characters in just a moment.

LetterBomb Site

Here’s what the site where you’ll download LetterBomb looks like.

Now you’re ready to click on the download link I provided above, or you can just click here to get started in a new tab.  On this page, you’ll need to select your region-specific version.  Since we’ve already verified that we’re running 4.3, we only need to select “4.3U” assuming you’re in the United States.  Otherwise, match up your selection with the information given on your Wii.

Proceed by entering in your Wii’s MAC address; this is essential to “receiving the message.”

By default, “Bundle the HackMii Installer for me!” should be checked, but make sure it is just in case.  Enter in the CAPTCHA code, and continue by clicking on cut the red wire.  A download should initiate, and yet again, you’ll receive another archival-format file.  Now we can start moving this stuff to the SD card.

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b.  Moving LetterBomb to the SD Card

This process is much like what we’ve already gotten so used to.  First of all, we need to move the folder labeled “private” directly to the SD card root directory.  This will be your fourth top level folder on the SD card, along with apps, games, and wad.

Next, you should notice a boot.elf file amongst a slew of text files outside of the private directory.  You’ll want to move this over to your SD card root as well.  This should be the only loose file at the top level.

The text files are mostly there for general information and troubleshooting; I’d advise you to keep them, but they do not need to be loaded on the SD card.  An alternative to the above transfers is to simply extract the contents of the LetterBomb file to the card’s root directory and then manually deleting the text files from the card so that boot.elf is the only standalone file.

Ready to move our operations to the Wii?  Good.  If everything has been smooth sailing so far, it’s time to put our tedious work to use.

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VII.  Softmodding the Wii

Finally it’s time to put our efforts to use!  The good news is that we’ve been diligent enough in our SD card preparation that there’s no need to repeatedly remove the card from the Wii, put it back in the PC, back to the Wii, and so on.  Sure, we could’ve gone about the process more incrementally and tackled one process at a time, but our current status positions us at the head of a chain of dominoes.  Indeed you’ll see how, in addition to setting up QuadForce, we need the WAD Manager to install it, the DIOS-MIOS Booter to boot it, and “The Homebrew Channel” to open the door to these tasks.

Before we do anything, make sure you safely remove your SD card from your computer.  With the Wii powered off, insert the SD card, and turn on the Wii.  It may be tempting to rush over to the SD card icon and click, but don’t!  It won’t do you any good.

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Step 1:  Installing LetterBomb / The Homebrew Channel

I scored one of my easiest successes of the entire process when using LetterBomb, but it may not work for everyone.  If you’re not using LetterBomb, just be sure that by some means or another, “The Homebrew Channel” gets installed on your Wii.  This is the all-important first step.

The Homebrew ChannelIf you already have “The Homebrew Channel” installed, then you can skip this step completely.

Maybe I was a bit lucky in getting this particular step to work on the first try without a single hitch (seriously though, I deserved a little bit of luck by this point).  From what I’ve gathered, this is perhaps the most tricky step of the lot.  Once you have “The Homebrew Channel” installed, you’re out of the weeds.  It seems that there’s a solution for nearly any problem, but finding that solution is key.  Even if you’re on target to use LetterBomb so far, there are still a couple of things that can go wrong.  Don’t be discouraged.  Even if it doesn’t go as planned, I have yet to run across a situation where it was flat out impossible to install “The Homebrew Channel.”  Keep pushing, keep digging, and make WiiBrew.org your best friend.  You’re bound to find a solution somewhere on the site.  Feel free to share any problems and solutions with me as well so that this document can be expanded to assist even more potential Wii softmodders!

LetterBomb Icon

One of the messages on your Wii should look like this!

With the Wii on and SD card in place, you’ll want to go to the Wii Message Boards.  (This is the little mail icon in the lower right of the main menu screen.)  Remember the exceedingly literal “letter bomb” graphic from the download page?  You should see a piece of mail that looks like this lurking around your “mailbox.”  If you don’t see it immediately, try moving backwards (or maybe forwards) a day or so.  You should eventually see this “letter bomb;” now all you’ve got to do is click!

A test of sorts will initiate.  For the time being, and for our end goal, all you want to worry about is whether or not “The Homebrew Channel” can be installed.  Once the test has concluded, click “Continue.”  From here, you want to go to “Homebrew Channel” and then select “Install Homebrew Channel.”  Don’t worry about anything else.  If at any point there are any more prompts, be sure to push forward, but again, do not worry about installing anything else.  

Install Homebrew Channel

After “The Homebrew Channel” has successfully installed, you are free to exit this menu (by pressing “Home” on the Wii Remote or following any onscreen instructions to exit) and return to the Wii main menu.

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Step 2:  Installing QuadForce

Now that you have “The Homebrew Channel” installed (be it through LetterBomb or another exploit), you can begin manipulating all those files we put on our SD card!

You should now notice that your nearest, formerly empty channel has been replaced with “The Homebrew Channel.”  Click on it and start it like any other application on the Wii.  Assuming all is well on your SD card, you should see at least 2 clickable icons; these correspond with the folders within the card’s apps folder, which in our case is the DIOS-MIOS Booter and YAWM WAD Manager.  The next matter of business is installing the QuadForce WAD file, which we’ll initiate by selecting the WAD Manager.

Depending on whether or not you included the RVL-mios WAD on your card, you may have 2 options when it comes time to install.  Obviously we want to install QuadForce, so go ahead and start the process, carefully following any onscreen instructions.  After everything is finished, we’re almost ready to jump in!

Note:  By performing this step, we’ve effectively replaced the Wii’s ability to run standard GameCube games.  The similarities between the GameCube and Triforce make this possible, but it still doesn’t make them interchangeable.  The QuadForce installation will persist indefinitely.  Therefore, in order to once again use the Wii for GameCube games, we’ll have to repeat this step and install the RVL-mios WAD instead.  This in turn bumps out QuadForce.  Only one of these can be installed on the Wii at any given time, but fortunately, flipping from one to the other is a simple ordeal.  If you didn’t bother sticking the RVL-mios on your SD card, don’t worry.  You can always put the SD card back into your computer and transfer RVL-mios as instructed.

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Step 3:  Running QuadForce

QuadForce is now installed, but if we didn’t have the DIOS-MIOS Booter, we’d have a tough time going much further.  You ought to be able to get back to the main menu with “The Homebrew Channel” without incident after the QuadForce install.  We want to be back on the same screen that popped up after “The Homebrew Channel” was selected and where we clicked on the WAD Manager.

Important:  If you plan on playing these games right away or even giving them a simple trial run, you should plug in your GameCube controller before loading any games.  You can plug the controller in at any point before now or even power on the Wii with it plugged in, we just want to make sure that it’s plugged in before we try to play a game or else it may not work and we may be forced to perform a hard reset.

This time we’ll be clicking the other icon, the one for the DIOS-MIOS Booter.  You’ll now be presented with a prompt that should have a listing of our 4 games and some instructions on what buttons to use to navigate.  Before going any further, I recommend accessing the options for each game as per the onscreen instructions.  Scroll over a few “pages” until you see “Pad Hook Options” and make sure to enable this feature.  Go ahead and do this for each of the 4 games.  Why?  This will let you use your GameCube controller to exit the games so that you won’t have to manually reset the Wii.  More on the specifics in a bit.

After exiting the options menu, you’re free to go!  You can begin playing any of these games whenever you wish!  The next time you turn on your Wii and want to get back to these, all you’ll have to do is open “The Homebrew Channel,” run DIOS-MIOS Booter (as long as QuadForce is still installed), and select the game you want.

Mario Kart ArcadeNote:  When playing either of the Mario Kart games, you’ll run into references to a “Mario Card.”  Originally these were small cards that players would carry with them to the arcade.  The machine would then impart save data and other records to the card so that when the player came back, they could play the game with their previous achievements intact.  Version 4.0 of QuadForce actually supports this feature, so you’re free to go about as if you actually had a Mario Card!  (And somewhere to put it…)  The only catch is that if you choose not to continue or otherwise cause the game to prompt you to remove the card, you’ll be forced to reboot the Wii.  A small price to pay for a working save feature!

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VIII.  Controls

Since they’re readily available, I thought I’d pass them along.  Most of it is easy to figure out, but nonetheless, here you go.  Remember, once these games are activated it’s all about the GameCube controller.

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a.  General QuadForce Controls

Remember those Pad Hook Options I told you to go ahead and enable?  These allow you to use the GameCube controller to initiate a reset or power down the Wii completely.  Without these, you’ll have to manually power down the Wii to leave the game.

  • Reboot the Wii – R + Z + Start
  • Power Off the Wii – R + Z + B + Down

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b.  Mario Kart Arcade GP 2Mario Kart Arcade GP 1 and 2

  • Accelerate – R
  • Brakes – L
  • Jump and Slide – Tap L
  • Use Items – A
  • Make Menu Selections – A
  • Cancel – B
  • Steer – Analog Stick

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F-Zero AX arcadec.  F-Zero AX

If it asks you to calibrate your controls, rotate the analog stick a few times.

  • Accelerate – A
  • Brakes – B
  • Boost – Y
  • Drift Left – L
  • Drift Right – R
  • Steer – Analog Stick
  • Change Camera Angle – D-Pad

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d.  Virtua Strikers 4 ver.2006

If it asks you to calibrate your controls, rotate the analog stick a few times on each of the controllers you’re using.  This game can support up to players, just be sure to have both controllers plugged in before booting.

  • Start – Start
  • Virtua Striker 4 ver.2006Shoot – A
  • Sprint – B
  • Short Pass – Y
  • Long Pass – X
  • Move – Analog Stick
  • Tactics 1 – Up (D-Pad)
  • Tactics 2 – Left (D-Pad)
  • Tactics 3 – Right (D-p=Pad)

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IX.  Extras

Here are a few fun extras you can try out if you feel so inclined.  I haven’t personally tried any of them yet (though I plan to in the near future) but I found this information alongside much of the general QuadForce info and felt it only fair to pass it on.

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a.  Forwarder WADs

For this step you’ll need:

Normally to load a game, we have to open up “The Homebrew Channel” and then run DIOS-MIOS Booter before making our choice.  These files are WADs which, once installed, will provide icons on your Wii’s main menu that you can click on.  This doesn’t bypass any of the work we’ve done; QuadForce must still be installed and everything else must be completed, but once it is, we can get to the games a little quicker.

All we have to do is download one or more desired “forwarders” and put them in the wad folder of the SD card.  Then put the card back into the Wii, open “The Homebrew Channel,” and install these WADs with the WAD Manager, just like how we installed QuadForce.  That’s it!

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b.  Ocarina / GeckoCode Support

For this step you’ll need:

I’m not exactly sure where the terms came from or what else they encompass besides what I’ve got listed below, but here it is anyway.  If anyone can shed light on what Ocarina and GeckoCodes are, do tell!

Go back to the root folder of your SD card, and create a new folder called “sneek” all lowercase as usual.  (It’s possible that the root directory looks a little differently than it did when you finished up with it before; this is 100% normal.  Leave everything alone!)   Now go back to the archive file you downloaded that included the QuadForce WAD – the one where I told you not to worry about any of the other files.  You’ll see a file called kenobigc.bin.  Move this file over to your new sneek directory, and you’re ready to put the SD card back into the Wii.

I haven’t personally played with this change yet, but you should now be able to input certain codes a la Game Genie for different effects.  I don’t know if any others exist, but here are links to the 2 pages that were originally included with this information:

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X. The End…?

Mario Kart Arcade GP DX

This entire process afforded me the solution to 2/3s of my problem, but there doesn’t yet look to be any way of emulating Mario Kart Arcade GP DX, the latest release in the series.

There still doesn’t appear to be any way of emulating the newer Mario Kart Arcade GP DX from 2013, but I’ll be keeping my ear to the ground!  Early reports suggest that it’s not built upon Triforce however, so it won’t be as simple as using a patch, or adding a game, or installing a new WAD.  I still believe that there ought to be a viable solution to running these games on MAME, and I do hope some clever reader will swoop down and inform me.

So apart from playing these 4 games, what’s next?  Truth be told, I don’t often become interested in these sorts of projects for their own sake; I probably never would’ve dug into all of this softmodding if not for wanting access to these 2 Mario Kart entries.  It’s hard to say how much further I’ll journey into this world, which is one of the main reasons I wanted to write such a comprehensive start-to-finish guide on the matter.  I can definitely understand and appreciate the different goals behind all these processes, and I can see why a single document detailing all of it isn’t readily available.

However, if you’ve come this far, you’ve just scraped the surface.  The good news is that a lot of the hard work is done – you’re already inside.  I really have no idea what else is possible with Wii softmodding, but I’ve scrambled through enough literature to know that the possibilities are endless.  I encourage anyone interested to keep digging and then come back and share interesting findings.  With everything we’ve done, future processes will likely be as simple as sticking a few files on your SD card and then installing a new WAD.  So get out there and tell me what you’ve found that was worth your time!  Remember though, be careful and don’t brick your Wii!

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XI.  Links and Resources

Well, we’ve been over a ton of stuff in this guide, and I will freely admit that there is still much I don’t know.  These links are meant not only to reiterate the download sites, but also to point you in the direction of any supplemental information that your unique situation may warrant.  I’ve also included the various sources of 99% of the information given just in case you want to compare notes or read an alternate take.

Not to toot my own horn (too much), but as you browse through these resources, I think you’ll see that many of them assume a fair bit of preexisting knowledge on the part of the user.  Putting together the complete picture was the difficult part, and that’s what I’ve tried to do here when I couldn’t find it elsewhere.

Helpful Sites and Further Reading
  • WiiBrew.org – Lots and lots of info, wiki-style, on Wii softmodding, homebrew, exploits, and more.
  • WiiBrew.org – Homebrew Channel – General information about The Homebrew Channel plus several exploits allowing The Homebrew Channel to be installed.
  • WiiBrew.org – Homebrew Setup – Excellent page on specific set-up procedures for setting up The Homebrew Channel.
  • CompleteSoftmodGuide – Another decent resource for general info on the subject and links to various software.
  • QuadForce Guide – Where my softmodding journey began and where much of this article was drawn from.
  • ModMii Software – This site offers an interesting software package (ModMii) with the aim of putting all sorts of Wii exploits at your fingertips.  This could be a great tool if you plan taking your Wii softmodding to a higher level.
Local Nerd Bacon Downloads
(UPDATE 11/5/2016: A lot of these links have been killed, but we know for sure that these work! Get your forwarders in this set, and your ISOs from EmuParadise!)
  • Getting Started – QuadForce Package (7z file) – Here is a file I’ve put together containing several of the required files.  Since LetterBomb required the specific MAC address to generate the correct files before download, I haven’t included it.  The package with my Wii’s MAC address would be useless to anyone else!  What I have included is the QuadForce 4.0 rar file, the DIOS-MIOS Booter (7z format), the YAWM WAD Manager, and the RVL-mios WAD (version 10) that you’ll need handy to once again use GameCube games on the Wii after the QuadForce install.
  • Forwarder WADs (7z file) – A set of forwarder WADs for all 4 games.
Utilities
  •  7-Zip Extraction Utility – If you don’t already have this tool, get it.  It handles the extraction of all major archival formats (the files for this project come in no less than 3 formats: .zip, .rar, and 7-Zip’s very own .7z), it’s free, it’s lightweight, and allows you more flexibility than Windows when building your own archive files.
  • EaseUS Partition Master Home Edition – I’ve questioned the need for this rather large tool, but here it is anyway.
  • WinMD5Free – A compact, user-friendly utility to check the veracity of any ISO file.  Moderately useful for the task at hand, but also good to have around when burning games.
Methods That Didn’t Work (Figure these out and get back to me.)
The Games
  •  LetterBomb – Homebrew Channel Installer (zip file) – You’ll need to make sure your Wii is running version 4.3 of the System Menu and have your Wii’s MAC address handy.  Make sure the checkbox is checked and click “Cut the Red Wire.”  This is one file I can’t host locally because special files within the package are tailored to the MAC address.
  • YAWM – WAD Manager (zip file)
  • Dios-Mios Booter (7z file)
  • QuadForce 4.0 (rar file) – This is a direct link to the file (off-site).
  • RVL Mios v10 (dead link) Download Locally (wad file) – Optional, but you’ll need this WAD to restore GameCube compatibility to your Wii after installing QuadForce.

That ought to be enough to keep anybody busy for a while!  Take a look around, and be sure to clue me in on any interesting finds!  Any ambitious souls out there…?  Please take a crack at running Triforce on MAME and/or Dolphin and talk to me about the results!

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Did you learn anything?  Were you trying to accomplish exactly what I was when you came to this guide?  Or maybe you just needed a piece or two of it?  Have I left out something important?  Ignored a critical component?  Neglected a shortcut?  Share your thoughts with me!  I’d love to hear about successes, failures, and anything in between.  In the end, I’ll be happy enough if someone learned something from my rabid efforts!

Written by The Cubist

Written by The Cubist

The Cubist


Co-founder, Head Author, & Site Technician

Find out what these ratings mean and how I rate video games.

I collect as much video gaming paraphernalia as I can get my hands on, especially when it comes to hardware. With over 40 systems including oldies like the ColecoVision and Intellivision, obscurities like the CD-i and 3DO, and the latest and greatest including the Wii U, PS4, Xbox One, 3DS, and PS Vita, I get easily overwhelmed. Most of the time you can find me firmly nestled sometime between 1985 and 1995 when it comes to my games of choice, but I’m also having a great time seeing what the 8th generation has to offer.

Currently in love with: Mortal Kombat

Email me anytime, about anything: thecubist@nerdbacon.com

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15 Comments

  1. rom links are down/broken and the channel forwarder links to wii are down/broken. Any chance you will upload these or provide another source.

    thanks

     
  2. The links to the games are all dead. Does anyone know of mirrors? Or could I ask for some uploads to a site like mega? This seems like a really great project and I’d like to have the experience but none of the triforce isos seem to be available anywhere

     
  3. the link to RVL-mios-v10.wad doesnt work does anyone know where to find a copy. I have been searching but cant find a working link

     
    • Hey Jason, I’ve emailed you about this as well but I’m also posting a similar message here for anyone with the same problem:

      The off-site link to the RVL-mios-v10 is in fact broken, but the file is available here locally as well.

      1. Go to the “Links & Resources” section or click on “Links” in the table of contents near the top of the page.
      2. On this part of the page you should see the heading “Local Nerd Bacon Downloads.”
      3. Click on “Getting Started – QuadForce Package” and this should have many of the relevant files, including the RVL-mios WAD. It’s a large-ish 7z file so download it and look through it thoroughly – I promise it’s there!

      If you’re still having trouble, email me (TheCubist@NerdBacon.com) and I’ll email you the file directly.

      And thanks for checking out the article!

       
  4. Joe – I’ll try to email you on the subject but I’ll address your issues here as well for anyone else reading:

    Virtua Striker Forwarder Wad – I’m sorry to hear that this doesn’t work. The next time I start fooling around with QuadForce I’ll check it out myself, dig around, and see what else I can find on the subject.

    Erratic Cursor Movement – I had this happen a few times myself, and I finally tracked down what the issue was on my end. It seems that if the analog stick on the GC controller is pressed AT ALL during the time that any of the games are loading, it goes CRAZY when the game does load. I had this problem with one of the Mario Kart games where I couldn’t do anything because the cursor was flying around uncontrollably and remembered similar happenings on the GC itself.

    If NOT AT ALL touching the buttons on the controller during ANY loading doesn’t work, make sure the controller works properly on your GameCube as well, just in case.

    Button Configuration – I don’t know of any way to modify the controls; it probably isn’t included in QuadForce at all.

    Calibration – Rotating the analog stick for calibration was simply what my source said when I gathered up this information. It worked fine for me, and honestly I doubt it does much at all. To even begin to understand what’s happening there I’d at least need to understand what happens on the original arcade game.

    I’m sorry the experience didn’t go smoothly for you. I had a hell of a time getting everything in the right place, but once it was, everything functioned properly for the most part. I would theorize that the majority of your issues are stemming from the rather rudimentary mapping of arcade controls to the GameCube controller. It seems to me that the process was carried out in a very straightforward manner, ultimately leading to some weird situations that the controller can’t replicate, such as the insertion of coins. I still can’t get the multiplayer aspect either Mario Kart game to work for this very reason.

    The entirety of QuadForce is obviously a bit clandestine and imperfect, though (in my experience) it worked well enough to at least play the games albeit in a basic fashion. I seem to remember reading, throughout my quest for info, that QuadForce probably wouldn’t ever be updated. However, the good news is that several people appear to be interested in reviving Triforce games for play outside of the arcade, so it’s very possible that there may be more finessed ways to play these games, if not now then in the future.

    I’d love to be able to help you out a little more if I could. Let me know if you have any success with the controller or anything else you might want to discuss.

     
    • Joe Pinetreebush says:

      Hi the Cubist,
      Thank you for answering. No problem about the delay. As a good Spanish citizen I assume everybody is on holiday in August at some point.
      I tested everything again. These are the outcomes:
      Erratic cursor movement: It made no difference for me not to touch any of the buttons, short of the start button, at the right moment.
      Calibration: I tried to rotate gently and slightly just in case it didn’t have any particular effect on the playability of the game.
      Virtua Striker wad: I uninstall and install again. By the same token, once again it made no difference unfortunately.
      I appreciate not only your effort to elaborate such a good tutorial and also Crediar’s endeavour but it seems to me there is a long way to go to get a decent playable game, or at least that is my experience.
      I have been mulling over the possibility that the rudimentary controls you mention do not meet minimun requirements to my otherwise functional wireless GC controller but who really knows?
      It is good news that there are people interested in playing this game properly and that gives us some hope to have a more decent playable version in the near future. Maybe it is just a matter of changing a couple of things to the present iso file.
      Thank you for your time and if anybody there figures out how to fix these issues, suggestions are welcome.

       
  5. Joe Pinetreebush says:

    Sorry, I should have asked the Cubist, who is the author of this very complete tutorial with which I learnt to finally get it after days of search on the internet. The only thing I am not sure about is the “rotate the analog stick a few times” part which does not work properly (at least for me) Could you, or anybody reading this, kindly tell us if there is a way to calibrate controls to play the game adequately?

     
  6. Joe Pinetreebush says:

    After playing many hours, struggling with the controls I can say that it’s a real pity the person who made this game available did not configure the controls properly to have them as default from the very beginning. 1) Choosing a team is a complete lottery as the cursor (or whtever is called) keeps moving rapidly. 2) By the same token, once playing a game the players have the tendency of throwing the ball out of the pitch all the time. It’s nearly impossible to make them shoot at the right direction making very difficult to bat any other team. All in all, in spite of these drawbacks, having it on Wii is a real breakthrough and the fact of having a tutorial like the one on this website by Nerdbacon to get it on Wii is awesome. An finally, this is a question for Nerdbacon: Do you think there is a way to improve the game’s playability in the future?

     
  7. Joe Pinetreebush says:

    Very good tutorial. The clearest on the internet on this subject. I could play and evaluate Virtua Striker 4 after some days of endless search. Pity I couldn’t manage to have good controls of the GC pad and the Virtua Striker 4 forwarder does not work properly, just rebooting the wii each time. But in any case best tutorial ever on Triforce.

     
  8. Good work on the foolproof guide Nerd Bacon
    this is a very detailed and informative post for
    getting quadfore to work on the wii!
    and remember nerds don,t BRICK your wii!

     
  9. Pingback: Mario Kart Arcade GP - Arcade - Nerd Bacon Reviews

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