I finally got a GameCube again. And I decided to get a Gameboy Player with it.
I've always wanted a Gameboy Player, but I was always discouraged by how expensive the boot discs were. (The Gameboy Player hardware itself is very easy to find and since the hardware itself is region free, you can get it from anywhere, very cheaply.)
But recently, there has been some development on this front, namely the Gameboy Interface or shortened GBI.
So what is it? It is basically a Homebrew replacement for the official boot disc, but it even has more features and improvements.
For example, video quality is better with it, as the official disc will make it display in 480i or 480p (but with some weird softening filter as I understand it), but GBI can output 240p which is very nice for CRT's and upscalers such as the Framemeister.
So how do you get the Gameboy Interface? It's actually very easy and anyone can do it, as long as you have the right tools.
One thing you need is some way to get custom save files on a memory card for your GameCube. Personally, I used my hacked Wii and the app GCMM to copy over a hacked Zelda: The Wind Waker save file which can be used to launch homebrew.
Another alternative, which is much easier, is to buy the SD Media Launcher which is a little package of a memory card with a SD card slot and a disc that any GameCube can boot (I am not sure how that is possible.) Once you have it, you transfer the Gameboy Interface program to a SD card and put it in the "SD Card/Memory Card-adapter", then put the SD Media Launcher Boot Disc in and simply start the app using a nice list view.
Personally I didn't feel like buying that thing. I might eventually because there are some other uses, but I wanted to go with what I had.
There are multiple savegame exploits for the GameCube that makes it launch homebrew. On top of my mind, you can use these games to do it:
(You can see all the ways over at the GC-Forever Wiki: Booting Homebrew)
I decided to go with Zelda: The Wind Waker, as I don't play it very often and it only requires one button press (compared to Melee where you have to go through some menus).
So here's how to do it with Zelda: The Wind Waker, using a hacked Wii and GCMM (I assume you already put GCMM inside the
apps folder on your Wii's SD Card, like any other Wii Homebrew App):
.gcifiles. You have to pick the one that corresponds to your region of the game (PAL or NTSC etc.)
.gcifile on your Wii's SD Card, inside a folder called
.gcifiles that the archive has. Read the forum thread to figure out which version you want. Just get the standard one if you are unsure.
.gcifile to your Wii's SD Card, inside the
There you have it. It's very easy. And cheap too, if you already had the game.
What I had here are the instructions for how to do it with Wind Waker, but the procedure is almost the same with all the other games. The only difference is how you trigger the exploit: In Wind Waker you just need to hit Start. In Melee you have to go into Options -> Name Entry or something like that. The way you copy save files etc is exactly the same.
Even if you didn't have a compatible game, the SD Media Launcher isn't expensive either. Certainly not as expensive as the Gameboy Player Boot Disc.
Also, once you have a "hacked Memory Card", you can easily copy the hack over to your friends' memory card, using the Gamecube or Wii's own memory card management interface, just like you would copy any other save file (just make sure to copy both the hacked save file, and the "Dolphin Application".)
I suppose you also could burn a disc of the official Gameboy Player boot disc, and boot Swiss instead of Gameboy Interface to run a burned disc, but why bother when GBI is much much better.