The Nintendo GameCube was released at the turn of the century in 2001. It was the first Nintendo console to use discs instead of cartridges. It was also the first console from the company not to release a Super Mario game at launch. Though the console has some imperfections, it made a name for itself with Resident Evil 4 and Super Smash Bros. Melee.
While many gamers were enjoying the console, they felt disappointed by the lack of features. Unlike the Sony PlayStation 2 and Microsoft Xbox, the GameCube could not play DVDs, CDs, or more graphics intensive games on a single disc. Nintendo fans refused to give up on the console. Several third-party accessories were released for the console to increase portability and game capabilities.
Nintendo continued to release new consoles while many were discovering all of the hidden potentials of the GameCube. There are several hidden features not only found within the hardware but also hidden within game discs. Many gamers gave up on the GameCube as soon as the Wii and WiiU were released. Almost two decades have passed, but new features are being discovered for the older console. Not only have tricks been found for games, but also for use with the Nintendo Switch.
Are you still holding onto a Nintendo GameCube and wondering what you could do with it? We have compiled a list of hidden features within the Nintendo GameCube that will remind you why you fell in love with the console in the first place. Even if you think you've discovered every secret, we're sure you'll learn a new trick within our list.
25 Don’t Shelve That N64 Yet
The GameCube was released after the Nintendo 64. Many gamers were apprehensive about the move from cartridge to discs. They may have held onto their old consoles just in case Nintendo reverted back. Others may have preferred the look and feel of the N64 controller.
The Nintendo 64 controller can be used with the GameCube with the right adapter.
With the right adapter, the N64 controller can be used with the GameCube or Wii. Now you never have to throw away those old Nintendo controllers.
24 Unlock A Free Arcade Game
Not every secret is hidden within the GameCube console. There are some hidden features on certain games. F-Zero GX has a secret game on the disc.
After using an Action Replay Code, gamers can unlock the arcade version of F-Zero AX.
If you were able to find this arcade cabinet, you can plug-in your GameCube save game to unlock additional features. If playing on your GameCube, the arcade version will read the console's data, including planes and Time Attack data. Though there are some technical issues, it's a free game included on your disc.
23 Play Games Within Your Game
Animal Crossing allowed gamers to start new lives in a town filled with animals. In the game, players could collect various items, including NES consoles. Each NES console had a different game that gamers could play. There was an NES console without a game that players could dig up, but was unusable.
This item was meant to be a fully working NES emulator.
If you have the software to crack the code, you could use the in-game NES emulator to load ROMs and enjoy your favorite classic NES games.
22 A Hidden Series Of Melodies
The GameCube's secret features are not all gameplay-related. Some of the hidden gems are just fun sounds and images.
The GameCube has multiple start-up sounds.
You can access these sounds while turning on your console. With the controller in hand, press the Z button when the Gamecube logo appears on the screen. You'll hear a monkey screech, along with laughter. While all four controllers are connected, and the Z buttons are pressed, drumming and songs will play. If you didn't hear these unusual sounds, try holding down the Z button when turning on the console instead.
21 No TV? No Problem.
The GameCube was one of the smallest consoles when it was released. Since it was also lightweight, it made traveling with the console much more comfortable. Companies decided to create an adjustable LCD screen to the console. Players didn't have to worry about having a tv nearby if they wanted to play their favorite game. All they had to do was connect the screen and enjoy. If gamers didn't want to worry about power cords at all, they could attach a battery pack and enjoy gaming while on the road or in the sky.
20 Get It Moving
The Wii wasn't Nintendo's first console with motion controls. They began developing a motion controller for the GameCube. Factor 5, who developed the Rogue Squadron series, planned on adding the feature to the game. Unfortunately, the idea was scrapped. With a GameCube Controller, Wii Nunchuck, and the right technical knowledge you can wire both controllers together. This would be a great hack for those who want to re-use their GameCube Controllers for their WiiU. If you don't have the technical know-how, you can also purchase an adapter to connect the GameCube controller to a Wiimote instead.
19 Take The Gameplay To Your PC
The GameCube contained a large library of games. Unfortunately, due to the small disc size, many games were too large for the console. Some gamers didn't want to switch out discs or deal with lower quality games. If you wanted to play these games on a PC instead, you might miss the controller.
Luckily, there's a way to combine playing your favorite PC games with your favorite GameCube controller.
A GameCube controller can be used to play PC games. Before starting, you will need a WiiU adapter and a free USB port. After installing the correct drivers, your GameCube controller can now be used to play your favorite games.
18 Great For Loyal PlayStation Gamers
The Nintendo controllers only grew bigger in size with the N64. The trend continued with the GameCube controller. Some gamers didn't want to deal with such a giant controller. Luckily, some inventive gamers created a converter for the DualShock PlayStation controller. Instead of using the GameCube controller, players could enjoy a smaller joystick instead. Unfortunately, not all of the controller's special features worked with the GameCube console. It was still an option for those who disliked the GameCube's controller.
17 Access Downloadable Card Content
The e-Reader was an early version of DLC from Nintendo. Gamers had to buy the e-Reader itself, along with card packs. The e-Cards had the potential to unlock exclusive items, mini-games, or even extra levels. The device was used with the Game Boy Advance. If the GBA was connected to the GameCube, it could also unlock hidden content on console games. Gamers would load the Game Boy Player Start-up Disc into the console, then insert the e-Reader into the Game Boy Player. After turning on the console, the e-Reader screen would appear. Unfortunately, not many cards were released for the accessory.
16 For The Health-Conscious Gamers
Some gamers never have the opportunity to play games in different regions. Ohenro-San: Hosshin no Dojo was only released in Japan, which means that the world missed out on some extra accessories. The game put you in the shoes of a Buddhist monk in the 8th and 9th century. The game came with a pedometer and walking mat controller that would measure the distances you walked. The game had unique gameplay and accessories that weren't released outside of Japan, but they were a possibility for others.
15 Make Communication Easier
The Nintendo GameCube featured online play. With the right accessories, players could enjoy Phantasy Star Online with players around the world. While many struggled with the on-screen keyboard, others opted to purchase the keyboard. The keyboard accessory was unique because it combined both the controller and a full-sized keyboard.
Outside of the handful of online games the GameCube had, this accessory wasn't necessary for most gamers. It was still an excellent option for those who wanted to chat with their friends online.
14 Recycle Those Old Cables
Nintendo consoles can last for years with proper care. They are less likely to fray or come apart if you aren't rough with them. If your GameCube has been better days, it's possible to reuse its accessories with other consoles. The GameCube's AV cable can be reused with your Nintendo 64 or even your Super Nintendo. Many gamers prefer to use the GameCube AV cord above the older consoles' due to improved quality. If you still have your older Nintendo consoles and don't want to hunt for old components, you'll be happy to know you reuse most of the cords.
13 For Late-Night Gaming Sessions
The GameCube controller is a thick piece of plastic. If you wanted to sneak in a quick game before bedtime without Mom catching you, it was almost impossible to see the controls. Even the brightly colored directional sticks were hard to see unless the tv screen illuminated them.
The Pelican Accessories AfterGlow controller attempts to fix this issue. The controller comes in a clear case that will light up without any additional modifications. Though the controller may be too bright to sneak it past your parents, you can play in the dark without any issues.
12 Make Road Trips More Enjoyable
The GameCube was much more compact than the original PlayStation 2 and Xbox. It was easier to travel with, but some wished they could play while on a road trip. Intec developed a portable battery pack that could be attached to the bottom of the console. It contained around two to three hours of battery life and could be recharged. The battery pack could even charge the optional LCD screen. The GameCube was a unique console that could be docked at home on TV or taken on the go, similar to the Nintendo Switch that would be released almost two decades later.
11 Forge New Friendships
The GameCube had a huge library of games. Many enjoyed the Resident Evil remakes or Luigi's Mansion. Even fewer knew that the GameCube could go online. With the right adapter, players could connect their GameCube to an internet connection. Unfortunately, the library of online games was slim. Most of them were Phantasy Star Online titles, which may not have interested gamers interested in sports or FPS games. Many players may not have had fast enough internet to utilize this feature.
10 Enjoy Movies And Games
The PS2 and Xbox had a feature that GameCube didn't: they could read full-sized discs. The GameCube was limited in that it could only play mini-discs. Nintendo tried to resolve this by releasing a dual purpose console called the Panasonic Q. This console could play not only the full library of GameCube games but also play movies. The Panasonic Q retailed for approximately $324. Unfortunately, gamers weren't as excited about the new console. Due to low sales, production of the console ceased in late 2003.
9 Handheld Games Don’t Have To Stay Handheld
Many gamers wanted to get the most of their Nintendo consoles and handhelds. They may have enjoyed playing GBA games but felt the screen was too small.
The Game Boy Player was a dock for the GameCube that allowed gamers to play Game Boy, Game Boy Color, or Game Boy Advance cartridges on a larger screen.
After the boot disc was load, players could enjoy their favorite handheld games on a larger screen. Gamers could play using either the GBA or the GameCube controller. They would have to take the time to map out the controls beforehand.
8 Take A Peek At The Future
The Nintendo Virtual Boy was a game console that worked in black and red. Though it could cause the player some eye strain, it introduced 3D gaming into homes. Some gamers discovered that there might have been plans to bring 3D games onto the GameCube.
The GameCube Service Disc included images to test stereoscopic 3D output.
The feature was never fully released, but if you have the disc, you can view a preview of 3D on the console. Some image previews include helicopters, a Gundam, and models from Quake.
7 Fix It Yourself
If your Nintendo GameCube was running into issues, you could send it to Nintendo. The Nintendo World Class Service used a GameCube Service Disc to diagnose any potential issues with your console. The menu options included an "Auto Test" which automatically ran a variety of diagnostic tests. There were more specific tests if the technician knew what was wrong with the console. The disc only ran on models earlier than 2003. If you have a GameCube that was released at launch, you may be able to find one of these discs and fix your broken GameCube.
6 Experience Games From Another Country
Gamers have had to deal with region-locked video game consoles for decades. One game released in North America may not see the light of day in Australia. The GameCube suffered the same fate. Luckily, the FreeLoader for the GameCube aims to solve this issue.
When using the FreeLoader, gamers can play imported games without having to open up their GameCube case.
The only drawback is if you want to save your game. You'll need a memory card dedicated to each region. If you try to save a Japanese game on a memory card formatted for the US, your data will be overwritten.
5 Unlock Special Game Features
The GameCube – Game Boy Advance link cable allowed gamers to connect their GBA to their GameCube. The link cable can be used on a variety of consoles and handhelds. This cable users to unlock additional content or even as a second screen.
In Animal Crossing, the second screen can be used as an easier way to design patterns or turn an animal villager into a virtual pet. Gamers who owned The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, could use the GBA as a controller or enable multiplayer with three friends who also owned a GBA.
4 Expand Your Network
The GameCube supported several handhelds and games, but many wanted to make multiplayer more accessible. With the XLink Kai, gamers could enjoy online play that was similar to a LAN party.
The selection of games that are compatible are still slim, but you can enjoy Mario Kart: Double Dash or Kirby Air Ride online with friends from across the globe. Phantasy Star Online's servers may have closed, but private servers are still accessible using the XLINK. The connection is reported to be spotty at times, but it's a small price to play to enjoy your favorite online GameCube games again.
3 Reuse It For A Newer Console
If your GameCube console no longer works, but your controllers do, they can be reused. The 4.0.0 firmware update for the Nintendo Switch enabled GameCube controller support. It will require the USB adapter packaged with Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.
The Switch will detect the GameCube controllers as a USB pad.
Unfortunately, there are some limitations. There are no substitutes for the ZL and ZR buttons. Since the Nintendo online subscription begins in September, there may one day be ported GameCube games added to the expanded Switch library.
2 Play Almost Any Digital Media
The GameCube had an extensive library of games, but some gamers wanted more from their consoles. The GameCube could not play audio CDs or movies like its rivals. There were ways to get around the GameCube's media limitations. The Max Media Player allowed the console to read digital media. The kit included an SD card, boot disc, adapter, controller, SD adapter for the Wii's GameCube mode, and small remote control. Users had to transfer their favorite movies and music to a 1GB Micro SD Card, attach a dongle, then connect it into the GameCube.
1 Back-Up Your Save Files
The GameCube memory cards have a bad reputation of corrupting save files. Things may run well one day, but the next day your files are corrupted. The Max Drive tried to resolve this issue. They created a kit, which included a dongle, USB cable, and software,t that would allow users to transfer their memory card data onto their PC for safe storage. It could also be transmitted online if you have a friend that wants to share the data. Though using this third-party software came with risks, it was an option for gamers who were desperate to save their hard work.