If you should feel the need to dump an N64 game but don't own one of those Backup Devices like the Doctor V64 or Mr. Backup (Z64), well you're not totally out of luck,
if you own an Action Replay Pro or a GameShark Pro.
The Action Replay Pro (GameShark Pro) was the Nintendo64 cheat device flag ship developed by Datel and distributed by InterAct in the US. Not only would it work out of the box as a game cheat
device, memory card manager (backing up cartridge save games too), the Action Replay Pro also had the ability to connect to a PC program called "Game Software Code Creator" through the parallel
Now this is where things get really interesting, backup wise. Because not only will the Code Creator software let you look for ways to cheat in games, upgrade the
Action Replay/GameShark firmware, but last but not least the program is also able to "Dump Cartridge Rom".
Please note that both the Action Replay Pro and Gameshark Pro are universal, meaning they will work on any N64 console. So what you need to dump an N64 rom is:
- Nintendo64 console (with power cords etc)
- Action Replay Pro or GameShark Pro ( Software version 3.2 or higher )
- Parallel port cable DB-25 (male-female)
- Game Software Code Creator software
( Download Version 1.10.101 here )
- The cartridge you'd like to dump
Now here's a step by step guide to dump an N64 cartridge using the "Game Software Code Creator", I of course expect that you either have it already or have downloaded it above, unzipped the zip archive and
started the program.
First go to "File -> Configuration" and choose Nintendo64 as your system.
If you're unsure about the LPT settings, power up the N64 with the GameShark/Action Replay inserted and press "AutoDetect Settings" in the program. If everything works you should see the popup windows below.
Now press save to close the Configuration window.
If you didn't power on your Nintendo64 before, with the GameShark/Action Replay as well as the game inserted, now is a good time to do so.
Then go to "Ram Edit -> Open Window".
This is where the action goes on. Dumping a Nintendo64 cartridge is very simple, just press the "Dump Cartridge Rom" in this window and press Yes to the warning box below and your ROM backup will begin.
Backing up a cartridge may take anywhere from 10-15 minutes to well over an hour for a 512mbit ROM.
I'd of course suggest using a real backup device if you absolutely have to dump a cartridge rom. But in some cases a real backup unit just won't do the trick, such as if you own a Nintendo64 Development Flash
Cartridge (Prototype) as most of these wont be recognized by any copier.
When dumping an N64 Prototype you have to dump all 512mbit as the size of the cartridge isn't known.... and this is where dumping roms using a GameShark/Action Replay can get very fustrating....
If "the sun and the moon" isn't exactly right, your backup may stall at any point and with roughly an hour to backup 512mbit, it can be a very tedious task to make a backup.
Please note that I've had better backup results if my Nintendo64 own had a JumperPak in the expansion port instead of a Memory Expansion Pak, but I'm sure some would say that's bull**** but that's a fact, especially
when dumping prototypes.
After a ROM dump has been made you can use a program such as Rtool or WinROM64 to resize the ROM to the correct size, or just leave it as it is.
That's it!... have fun :-)