One of the greatest features of the N64 was the innovative controller pak feature, allowing you to bring your saves to your friends house, or keep your saves when renting and re-renting games from Blockbuster, sure the
Playstation featured the same memory card saving but it had to have such because it was CD based, unlike the cartridges used by the N64.
Unfortunately the original Nintendo64 controller pak only featured 256kbit of memory, a limitation of 123 save pages and 16 save slots. A few games actually required an entire Controller Pak for their saves, making this
type of saving quite costly. InterAct Accessories released a device called DexDrive which would allow you to backup your saves to a PC, but if you then had to use the specific save again, you would first have to backup
whatever was on the Controller Pak and then restore an existing backup... a quite tedious task.
Nintendo never released Controller Paks with higher capacity, but tird party companies who already had been making unlicensed 256kbit Controller Paks were now looking into increasing the capacity of their products.
A lot of companies added switches to their controller paks, to access various sections of 256kbit memory. Most were able to cram 1mbit of memory into 4 selectable slots, but others went even further and created Controller
Paks with even higher capacity and one even managed to make one without a switch.
That company was Datel, already known for their Action Replay cheat device brand as well as other dodgy N64 accessories such as the awfully rushed Game Booster.
Datel managed to make a 4mbit memory pak which would increase the storage 16 times compared to the original Nintendo64 Controller Pak. Not only that but the cartridge would also not feature a switch to select banks of
123 pages, instead the Datel 4meg featured linear mode, making everything selectable without the need to switch between banks, "Gone are the days of button pressing" Datel wrote on the back of the box. The MegMemory also
came in a 1meg version.
The gadget features a Toshiba TC554001 memory chip and Datel's own GAL16LV8C controller chip. On the back of the PCB there's a Lithium CR2032 battery, keeping everything powered, and making sure that your saves will
be lost at some point, doh! but hey that's no different than the rest of the Controller Paks out there.
Unfortunately Datel ran into problems with compatibility, as did a lot of other unlicensed Controller Paks, and they mentioned at least a few more in the cardboard manual that came with the MegMemory. One other thing
I've experienced is that it may take quite a while to start the memory manager in a lot of games (hold start during boot) and sometimes the memory manager won't even load and the game crashes, such as Supercross 2000.
Eventhough the device was massive advertised in television adverts...
Video is courtesy of 64dd.net
And in magazines...
I don't think these were widely available, the supply of these seems somewhat limited, probably because of the price tag back in the day. Today they're pretty hard to find complete, loose carts however show up on
ebay from time to time, but be careful - most are dead by now.
Another thing that also has to be noted is that these Controller Paks are a pain in the *** to remove from an N64 Controller, someone in the design department made the plasic shell a tad too big...
Other companies went even further and created 8mbit Controller Paks, but no other managed to do it without switches.