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Thread: Nintendo 64DD

  1. #1
    DD's Collector Faded's Avatar

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    Sep 2006

    Nintendo 64DD


    Now I know several of you have read my other thread about the proposed original Zelda64 game and its expansion called Ura Zelda or Zelda Ura. It definitely was interesting to research more into the game's back-history and get a clear understanding as to what we could have potentially got; however, let's take a look into the proposed Nintendo 64DD add-on which was considered to be a marketing, let alone commercial failure for Nintendo.

    What is the Nintendo 64DD?
    The Nintendo 64DD [Disk Drive] was a disk based add-on that was supposed to come out in North America, Europe, and Japan. Out of all of the countries, once again... a Japanese exclusive add-on. The add-on would sort of have the same features much like the Famicom Disk System and Super Famicom's Satellaview, in that it would not only have its share of new games but also update older games with updated graphics and such with the use of a cartridge and modem to sign into the special software included. The Satellaview had the BS exclusive games which were never released on a physical form [with the exception of reproduction cartridges which can range anywhere in price depending on the game, its rarity, and other determining factors], but instead were released via a satellite that players could sign into the service and download to flash cartridges. Much like the Satellaview, the Nintendo 64DD would include its own service called the RandnetDD cartridge and disk which would respectively hook into both decks of the console and the add-on. This would allow players to get a subscription to the Randnet where they could do a number of features which includes:

    Battle Mode: Play against other gamers and swap scores.
    Observation Mode: Watch other players' game sessions.
    Beta Test: Play sample levels from upcoming games.
    Information Exchange: Use online message boards and e-mail with other users.
    Community: Swap messages with the game programmers and producers.
    Internet Surfing: Surf the Internet with the custom web browser.
    Digital Magazine: Check online sports scores, weather, and news.
    Music Distribution: Listen to music, some of which was yet to be released in stores.
    Editing Tool: Create custom avatars to interact with other users.

    In a sense, you can tell that the Nintendo 64DD was ahead of its time; however let's get into the technical aspect of things. From Wikipedia, the article states:

    The 64DD has a 32-bit coprocessor to help it read magneto-optical discs, and to transfer data to the main console. It was intended to be Nintendo's answer to the cheaper-to-produce Compact Disc that was used for Sony's PlayStation. Sony's CD storage could hold approximately 650 megabytes (MB) of information, compared to the Nintendo 64's 4-64 MB cartridge. The 64DD also has a built in memory expansion pack like the accessory for the controller. The new medium for the 64DD was rewritable and had a storage capacity of 64 MB. The games on normal N64 cartridges could also hook up with DD expansions, for extra levels, minigames, even saving personal data. The drive works similarly to a Zip drive, and has an enhanced audio library for the games to use. The main N64 deck uses its RCP and NEC VR4300 to process data from the top cartridge slot and the I/O devices. To hook up with the 64DD, it needed an extra 4 MB of RAM for a total of 8 MB. Like nearly all disc-based consoles, the 64DD can boot up without a cartridge on the top deck, because it has a boot menu. The 64DD had its own development kit that worked in conjunction with the N64 development kit.
    It definitely has a mystique to it because with the console add-on only being a Japan-only exclusive much like certain games have seen a Japan-only release [i.e Seiken Densetsu 3 for the Super Famicom], it really makes you wonder why we never got the console add-on let alone the games.

    That's all fine and well but what do the games look like?

    Out of all the Nintendo 64 games released throughout its lifespan [ranging upwards to 300+ games], you would expect the 64DD to do the same thing. Wrong, only 9 games were ever released in the life-span of the add-on. This is a bit disappointing because the other console add-ons that were marketed with the older consoles in Japan such as the Disk System for the Famicom and the Satellaview had several games released that were exclusive to that particular add-on at the time of their releases. More or less, there are more proposed games than actual released games for the add-on in this equation which is rather disappointing to see since the 64DD had the potential for growth. All the games that were released are as followed in both their translated names and original names:

    F-Zero X Expansion Kit (???? ???? ???????? ????)?(04/21/00)
    Japan Pro Golf Tour 64 (??????????64 Nippon Puro Gorufu Tsua 64?)?(05/02/00)
    Doshin the Giant (??????1 Kyojin no Doshin 1?)?(12/01/99)
    Doshin the Giant: Rescue from the Front by the Toddlers that Tinkle at the Large Meeting-hall" (?????????? ?????????? Kyojin no Doshin Kaih? Sensen Chibikko Chikko Daish?g??)?(05/17/00)
    Mario Artist: Communication Kit (????????? ?????????????)?(06/29/00)
    Mario Artist: Paint Studio (????????? ?????????)?(12/01/99)
    Mario Artist: Polygon Studio (????????? ?????????)?(08/29/00)
    Mario Artist: Talent Studio (????????? ?????????)?(02/23/00)
    SimCity 64 (??????64?)?(02/23/00)

    Proposed/Canceled [keep in mind that some of these games did see a release in a more dumb-down state on the game pak for the Nintendo 64 or later consoles]

    7th Legion
    Automobili Lamborghini Add-On
    Banjo-Kazooie 2 (released in game pak as Banjo-Tooie)
    Communication Game (Online game by PostPet development team, japanese famous E-mail software.)
    Creator (later integrated into Mario Artist: Paint Studio)
    DD Sequencer
    Desert Island: No Man's Island
    Dezaemon 3D Expansion Kit
    Digital Horse Racing Newspaper
    Doubutsu Banchou (Animal Leader, released on Nintendo GameCube as Cubivore: Survival of the Fittest)
    Dragon Warrior VII (ported and released on the PlayStation instead)
    DT Blood Masters
    Famicom Classics Vol. 1
    Far East of Eden: Oriental Blue (cancelled, it became a Game Boy Advance title of the same name)
    Final Fantasy VII (development actually never started on Nintendo 64, was later released for the PlayStation)
    Fire Emblem 64 (scrapped, some elements of the plot was later used on the first Fire Emblem for Game Boy Advance, Fire Emblem: F?in no Tsurugi)
    Gendai Dai-Senryaku: Ultimate War
    Hiryu no Ken Stadium DD Real Version
    Hiryu no Ken Stadium DD SD Version
    Hybrid Heaven (released in game pak)
    Jungle Emperor Leo (Kimba the White Lion)
    Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (released in game pak and moved to Nintendo 64)
    Mario Artist: Game Maker
    Mario Artist: Graphical Message Maker
    Mario Artist: Sound Maker
    Mario Artist: Video Jockey Maker
    Mission: Impossible (released in cartridge)
    Mission: Impossible 64DD
    Morita Shogi 64 (released in cartridge)
    Mother 3 (EarthBound 64) (cancelled, it became a Game Boy Advance title of the same name)
    Mother 3.5 (EarthBound 64 Add-On)
    Ogre Battle Saga
    Pokémon 64/Pokémon RPG
    Pokémon Stadium (moved to Nintendo 64 game pak)
    Pokémon Stadium Expansion Disk
    Pokémon Stadium 2 (also moved to Nintendo 64 game pak)
    Project Cairo
    Quest 64 Add-On
    Resident Evil 0 (Release on Nintendo GameCube)
    Rev Limit
    Seaman (Release on Dreamcast)
    SimCopter 64
    SnowSpeeder (Released in game pak)
    Super Mario 64 2
    Super Mario RPG 2 (released in game pak as Mario Story in Japan and Paper Mario in the rest of the world)
    Tonic Trouble Add-On
    Toukon Road: Brave Spirits Add-On
    Twelve Tales: Conker 64 (released in game pak as Conker's Bad Fur Day)
    Wall Street
    Ultra Donkey Kong (released in cartridge as Donkey Kong 64)
    Ura Zelda the expansion disk to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
    Yosuke Ide's Mahjong Juku
    Zelda 64 (released in game pak as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)
    Zelda Gaiden (later released in game pak as The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask)

    It really is sad to see these games either be flat out canceled or just moved to the Nintendo 64 in a more premature state considering the 64DD had boasted so much in its technically specifications. As I said in my previous thread about Zelda 64DD, the game would make use of the internal clock and would use the 64DD's technical aspects to its advantage which would have made it an entirely different game altogether instead of what we got with Ocarina of Time. Don't get me wrong, Ocarina of Time is still an amazing game but I have the feeling that Zelda 64DD could have been even better since it would make use of the ill-fated 64DD add-on.

    What did the add-on look like?

    Now fortunately enough, we can see all these games and the Disk Drive in action. Again, the fellows over at Hard4Games have done a complete review of all the games in their entirety, while adding their bits of humor into the mix, all of which can be seen below in the spoiler tags


    So what is there to really say?
    There really isn't much to say about the 64DD aside from the fact that it seems to follow the same fate as the Virtual Boy. It definitely is an add-on for those looking to complete a Nintendo collection like myself. Since only so many were made, the 64DD is highly expensive and the games are no laughing matter at prices either since half of them are imported from Japan which means the shipping is highly inflated. Some of the games are good, but some of them are just awful. Doshin the Giant did see an English release on the Gamecube; however, it was only released in Europe and Japan. I did get the chance to play Doshin the Giant since I own it, and it really is a game that takes some time getting into if you can stand playing it for more than 15 minutes. Mario Artist never saw a release outside of Japan on any other console. The other games really never saw international releases on another console but certain elements from these games have reappeared in several different Nintendo releases. Definitely worth owning if you are collector, but if not... then I don't know, I'd probably steer clear unless you want to complete the Nintendo 64.
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  2. #2
    Dedicated Member
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    Sep 2010

    Re: Nintendo 64DD

    yeah dude

  3. #3
    Japanologist Wilio's Avatar

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    Dec 2005
    Somewhere in time

    Re: Nintendo 64DD

    Really informative thread on something that not a lot of people know. And for a collector's item, the price is less than I expected.

  4. #4
    DD's Collector Faded's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Re: Nintendo 64DD

    Quote Originally Posted by Saul Goodman
    Really informative thread on something that not a lot of people know. And for a collector's item, the price is less than I expected.
    Prices usually range between 400USD to about 1000USD, excluding the cost of shipping and handling from Japan. They are rather expensive but not as expensive as a boxed Super Famicom JR.

    Thanks for your input, I tried to put all my knowledge into this thread because Nintendo and its history is the primary focus for collecting.
    YouTube Channel | Community Channel
    Steam: chaotic50
    PSN: iFadeDx
    Skype: darkdemonusertim

    Feel free to add me, just let me know who you are.


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