The continuing saga of my Nintendo 64

Since my previous post where I ordered myself a Japanese N64, things haven’t quite gone to plan.  The original intention was to mod the console for RGB output.  I had been reading the directions here and growing in confidence that performing this mod was well within my ability.  The required components can all be found very cheaply on eBay.  Being a Japanese console it is also a simple matter to cut the casing so it will also play American games, following the instructions here.

The console arrived quickly enough, and came with Japanese copies of Wave Race and Pilot Wings.  I hooked it all up for testing, and was pleased to discover that people were not exaggerating the speed difference between NTSC and PAL.  The fact that all the Japanese text meant I had no idea what was going on, only emphasised the need to play American games.  The next step I ordered myself a gamebit 4.5mm to open the machine, and a Japanese copy of Mario Kart 64 so I had something to play.  This was mostly in case there was a delay to the modding, and because I was sure I could follow Mario Kart even if it wasn’t in English…

Fortunately, I held off ordering the components of the RGB mod until after the gamebit had arrived and I opened the machine.  When I got the tool I sat down to have a look inside and discovered signs that the console had been opened before.  Pushing forward with a growing sense of unease, I found the board contained the dreaded MAV-NUS video chip.  I had successfully purchased a console that couldn’t be modded for RGB output, making the whole exercise pretty pointless.

I was disappointed, and put the whole thing aside for a few days.  On reflection, I decided that I’d resume the hunt for a decent Nintendo 64 picture in a few months giving my finances a chance to recover.  In the meantime I would get hold of an S-Video lead to make the best of a bad situation.  This is now in place, and the quality is much improved over the RF cable, and quite playable.  Just like my childhood though, the Sega Saturn picture makes the N64 look silly.  I’m hoping I can pick up a pre-modded RGB N64 at Play Blackpool.

I’ve ordered myself a few American games anyway, to start the collection and make the most of the machine.  When they arrive I will be butchering the case as mentioned above.  Amongst the games I ordered is an NTSC copy of Robotron 64, so I can go ahead with my original plan of blogging about that.

Such an effort.  Anyway…

This is my current setup, I added the Daytona and Raiden prints this week, to cheer myself up about the whole chain of events.  The 360 and PS3 are connected via HDMI, the Wii is component, Dreamcast via VGA and then the Saturn and N64 go into a SCART switch box.  I change my mind pretty often, but my current intention is to replace the 360 with an Atari Jaguar and to swap out the Wii for a Wii U once Mario Kart 8 appears.  I’m resisting the Xbone and PS4 at present as my PC is more than good enough for current/next gen gaming, and Steam means I save a fortune on games that way too.  The PS3 justifies itself as a Bluray/Singstar/Lightgun Shooter device.

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