Friday, August 15, 2008

Wii: Run Homebrew on Your Wii!

WARNING! As of November 17, 2008, Nintendo has released version 3.4 of their System Software.
This release kills the Twilight Hack, and may possibly remove any unauthorized software.

Additionally Nintendo has revised their privacy policy granting themselves permission to install or unistall software on your Wii without your consent!

It is strongly suggested that you disconnect your Wii from the internet until a solution has been found.

The update is voluntary now, but clearly it won't be for long.

More information here:

Well the Wii has finally succumbed to the hackers. It seems that a bug in one of the first games for it, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, has a bug in it that will allow someone to load their own custom software. This has come to be known as the Twilight Hack.

Normally you have to perform the Twilight Hack each time you want to run custom software (homebrew), but some enterprising programmers have written "The Homebrew" channel for the Wii, so that you can just launch stuff straight off of your SD without having to start Twilight Princess each time.

What the Twilight Hack is is a specially modified saved game file, in which the name of the horse is too long. This crashes the game, and causes the Wii to boot off the card.

You will need the following:

  1. A copy of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
  2. An empty SD Card
  3. A Card Reader
  4. WinRAR to extract the files (download here)
  5. The Twilight Hack (download here)
  6. The Homebrew Channel (download here)

Now follow these steps:

  1. Unzip the Twilight Hack to the SD Card. You can delete the README file.
  2. In the private folder are three file paths: /private/wii/title/rzdp/data.bin, /private/wii/title/rzdj/data.bin, /private/wii/title/rzde/data.bin
  3. Keep one of the paths, and delete the others. If you are in Europe or Australia, keep /private/wii/title/rzdp/data.bin. If you are in Japan, keep /private/wii/title/rzdj/data.bin. If you are in Canada or the US, keep /private/wii/title/rzde/data.bin
  4. Extract the Homebrew Channel rar file to your desktop. In the resulting folder you will find a file named "boot.dol" copy this to the root of the SD card (the root of the card is the first level of files you see when you double click on its icon in "My Computer"). You can delete the folder from your desktop.
  5. Now, if you have a Zelda game in progress, save a copy to a different SD card as we will need to delete the copy on the Wii.
  6. Put your SD card with the Twilight Hack into the Wii.
  7. If you have never played the game before, then start the game and go through the process of starting a game. You don't have to actually play it, you can cancel during the opening cinematics.
  8. Now go into the saved game section of the Wii, and delete the Zelda save file.
  9. Now switch to the SD Card and copy the Twilight Hack to the Wii.
  10. Once complete, exit back to the main Channel screen.
  11. Start playing Zelda. You should see a saved game that has almost all the hearts. Select it. If you are in Canada/US there will be two saved games. Pick the first one, if it doesn't work then restart the game and try the other one.
  12. When the game starts, you will see a person. Walk up to him and talk to him, the game will proptly crash and you will see text on the screen.
  13. Follow all the instructions, and the Hombrew Channel installer will run, then the Wii will reset.
  14. When you get back to the channel screen, you will see The Homebrew Channel.
  15. To run homebrew, create a folder in the root of the SD Card titled "apps". You can now create seperate folders in the apps folder for each piece of software. To find Wii software, go to the Wiibrew Wiki.
If you've saved the software correctly, just run the Homebrew Channel as you would any other channel, you will then get a list of programs that are on the SD Card. Click on the program to run it.

Once the Homebrew Channel is installed, you can delete the Twilight Hack from your Wii, and either copy your saved game back, or start a new Zelda game.

In a future post, I will introduce you to several interesting pieces of software, including a Super Nintendo Emulator!!!!

Until next time, get a Wii and keep having fun!

"bah weep graaagnah wheep ni ni bong"


RadioFreeG said...

In term of emulators, that is the holy grail!

Plus, Nintendo does not advertize this, but all of its peripherals are bluetooth, so they will work with other bluetooth toys.