Posted by: seanmalstrom | December 7, 2008

Get Rid of your 1019 Gamecube Memory Cards

1019 memory card

Do you have one of these? Do not use them with your Wii. I learned that the hard way.

Apparently, there is a design problem that Nintendo obviously didn’t anticipate. Since the 1019 memory card has ‘lots’ of information that is compressed, this is likely the reason it fails.

Here is what happens.

You, being the good little Nintendo customer, get the first party 1019 memory card that has plenty of save space. And, also being a good little Nintendo customer, you have your Wii on 24/7 Connect. We all know the Wii stays a little warm with the 24/7 connect. Unfortuantely, gamecube memory cards were never intended to stay warm. If your Wii is standing up, the heat rises upward and there is little memory card nestled inside the warm Wii. The 1019 card likely goes into error due to the compression used on it.

So why does this matter?

If you’re like me, you have all your saved games on there. That is many gameplay hours. But more importantly, it is stuff you have unlocked.

Such as Smash Brothers Melee.

Or getting that perfect score on Metroid Prime 2.

Or, alas, the unlocked tracks on F-Zero GX.

You discover what game *defines* you once you realize your memory card is gone. Some people scream “Animal Crossing!” Others scream “My Ocarina of Time save file!” Some even scream, “Those games I unlocked in Sonic MegaCollection!” And, of course, “It took me years to unlock everything in Super Smash Brothers Melee! NOOOO!!”

But for me, I cried out: “Ikaruga!!!”

With the memory card not working, I instinctively did the Nintendo Last Option. Everyone who has used a Nintendo product understands this. It is like when the patient’s life signs are gone and the long beep fills the hospital room, the doctor puts to chest the electric shock as the Last Option.

I took the memory card and blew on it NES style.

Viola! Ikaruga’s Atari logo appeared (which, in my life, the Atari symbol is a Symbol of Doom). Now, I am sure tons of nerds will be writing to me now saying, “By blowing on the device, you risk rotting out the insides, and blah blah blah.” I only need to get it to work once so I can TRANSFER all the saved files over. That is, everything except F-Zero GX. *sob*

Someone needs to shoot the person responsible for decidng that saved file data cannot be ‘moved’. What a boneheaded idea! Nintendo has done this with Mario Kart Wii and Super Smash Brothers Brawl whose result has me not bother to play to unlock anything.

I understand the desire of Nintendo to make sure that people aren’t passing around saved data so they can just ‘unlock’ everything in the game which Nintendo would define as ‘ruining the experience’. But Nintendo needs to understand that the customer needs to be in control of that experience, not technology. It is because technology fails.

If there are any journalists reading this, please ask this question to a Nintendo person:

With old school games, there was this thing called CHEAT CODES and PASSWORDS. Nintendo Power used to display them proudly in the magazine. There was even a call center of Nintendo Counselors who would tell people secrets on how to beat the game. And let us not forget about the ‘warp zones’ which Miyamoto placed inside the Mario games.

None of this destroyed the ‘customer experience’. Rather, it saved it. People don’t have the time to play through every stage in Super Mario Brothers, so a warp to level 8 will do. Or a password to the final dungeon of Kid Icarus (which was removed in the Virtual Console version).

Why is not allowing people to copy save game files, or even cheating if they desire, wrong today but not wrong in 1986?

It is the customer who defines the game experience, not the company.

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