Author Topic: NEO N64 Myth Flash Cart User Guide by Link83  (Read 15908 times)

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Offline Link83

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NEO N64 Myth Flash Cart User Guide by Link83
« on: March 04, 2010, 06:35:48 AM »
This guide is a few weeks later than planned, and it is still a work in progress - but I will be improving it over the next few days. If a moderator think it would be good Wiki material I would be happy to add this guide there and do my best to keep it updated, but I think we might need a new ‘Guides’ section on the Wiki.

My NEO N64 Myth review is also coming soon, but I feel that at the moment a user guide is needed, especially since the N64 Myth Cart does not come with any instructions. This is my first time writing a guide for anything, so I hope some people new users will find this guide useful, as it took me many hours to type!

NEO N64 Myth Flash Cart User Guide by Link83
Introduction
If you have just received your NEO N64 Myth flash cart you may be wondering what you should do first, and how to use it, and it is hoped that this guide will help you get up and running as quickly as possible. I have divided this guide into two parts:-

- "Understanding N64 Games" which discusses N64 games/ROMS, saves types, security chips and regional differences, and what you need know about them to use the N64 Myth Cart.

- "NEO N64 Myth flash cart User Guide" which discusses how to setup the Neo program for the NEO N64 Myth, and how to use it to put games on the NEO N64 Myth cartridge, and what all the other program options are for.

I would recommend reading both sections if you are not very familiar with the N64, or just the second part if you already know enough about the different save types, security chips and game regional differences.

Understanding N64 Games
Games
To use the NEO N64 Myth flash cart to play games you will need an N64 ROM (Which is short for ‘Read Only Memory’) A ROM is a copy of the game data from a real game cartridge, and you can find N64 ROM's from ‘all the usual places’ as they are used with emulators (Please note that I wont be linking to any ROMs in this guide, as it is usually considered illegal to own a ROM if you don’t own the original game cartridge)

Firstly you need to understand that an N64 game can be copied or 'dumped' in a few different ways, and depending on how it its dumped will change how the data inside the ROM file is arranged. For the N64 there are three main ROM file types:-

.Z64 - This format is "Big Endian" which basically means if you think of the game data as being laid out like a book you could read it normally from left to right, e.g. 'ABCD'.

.V64 - This format is 'Byteswapped' which means that alternate parts of the data are swapped around. It’s like reading a book and swapping around every two letters of each word e.g. BADC

.N64 - This format is "Little Endian" which is like reading a book backwards from the last page, e.g. 'DCBA'

If you would like more info about N64 ROM file types I would recommend reading more from this great site:-
http://home.clara.net/smiff/beginner/roms.htm#11

You can check what the file type is of your ROM in Windows by right clicking the file and selecting ‘Properties’, then under “Type of File” it should say if it is Z64, V64 or N64. You may also see some other files types such as ROM, BIN, USA etc, but these will still be one of the above three types and just labeled with an incorrect file extension. You will need to use a program like ‘Tool64’ to find out what the file type really is, you can download Tool64 here:-
http://home.clara.net/smiff/utilities/rom/index.htm#swap

...There is one exception to the above information, and that is the 'no-intro' N64 ROM set, which for unknown reasons uses a mix of the byteswapped V64 format, but also use an .N64 extension! This can make it even trickier to check if your ROM's are in the correct format, and I highly recommend using the program 'Tool64' mentioned above to find out what format your ROM's really are, no matter what extension they may appear to have.

You don’t really need have to understand what all these file types mean, but it is important to know that the N64 Myth Cart currently only supports the Z64 and V64 formats. If your N64 games are not in the Z64 or V64 format you will need to convert them with a program such as ‘Tool64’ linked above (You cannot just change the end three letters of the file name, as this will not change what the file really is!)

It’s also useful to know that cartridge game sizes are almost always measured in ‘bits’ and not ‘bytes’. There are 8 ‘bits’ in 1 ‘byte’, so if you wanted to work out how big a game is in bits or bytes you can do this by dividing or multiplying by 8. An example would be a game like Zelda Ocarina of Time which is 256Megabits (256Mb) if you calculate 256 divided by 8 it equals 32, so Zelda can also be said to be 32Megabytes (32MB) in size, and this is why Windows will state the ROM file as 32.0MB. It’s important to note that bits should always use a lower case ‘b’ (e.g. Kb, Mb, Gb) and bytes should use a capital ‘B’ (e.g. KB, MB, GB) although not everyone sticks with this convention.

If you use a PC with Windows it will almost always tell you file sizes in ‘bytes’ (e.g. Kilobytes, Megabytes, Gigabytes) ROM sizes are usually described in ‘bits’ (e.g. Kilobits, Megabits, and Gigabits) The biggest N64 games were 512Megabit(64Megabyte) although only a few were made that large, and the N64 Myth Cart comes with a 512Megabit(64MB) NEO2 cartridge so it can play even the largest N64 games. You can read more about game sizes here:-
http://home.clara.net/smiff/beginner/roms.htm#10

Save Types
Although you may not realize it many games on the N64 saved your progress in different ways.

The save type that most people will be familiar with is the “Controller Pak”:-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nintendo_64_accessories#Controller_Pak
The Controller Pak is Nintendo's official name for the memory card that plugs into the back of the N64 controller. A large number of N64 games used the Controller Pak for saving, and it is the most simple save type and is quite easy for most people to understand.

However, some games actually had a ‘save chip’ inside the game cartridge, which is why you do not always need a Controller Pak to save your progress. Many first party Nintendo have save chips inside the game cartridges (Such as Super Mario 64, Zelda etc) and this is where it can get a bit confusing for some people, as inside different game cartridges could be any one of four different types of save chip. The four save types used and their sizes were:-

EEPROM 4Kbit (512bytes)
EEPROM 16Kbit (2Kbyte)
SRAM 256Kbit (32Kbyte)
FlashRAM 1Mbit (128Kbyte)

You don’t have to know what all these save chips are, but you do have to understand that different N64 games use different save types. This is because the N64 Myth Cart supports all four different saves types, but depending on what game you want to play you may be required to ‘set’ the correct save type for that individual game. To do this you will need to consult this list of N64 games and make a note of the ‘Primary Save' type listed for the game you want to play:-
http://n64.icequake.net/mirror/www.elitendo.com/n64/usa_boot_save_list.html

The above list only covers USA released games, and there are a number of Japanese games that also use cartridge saves that are not included on the list. In these instances it is worth trying to load the ROM on an N64 emulator (Such as Project64 or Mupen64) creating a save file in the game (Not a save state) and then checking in the emulators ‘Save’ folder to see what type of file was created, these are usually called EEP, SRA or FLA which are abbreviations of the four save chip types listed above. For the EEP save type you will also need to check the file size to work out which size of EEPROM to use. Once you know the save type and the file size you can usually make the correct selection for the N64 Myth Cart.

However, a word of caution – not all emulators create the correct save file type or size for each game, in my own testing I discovered a few Japanese games that created a 16Kbit (2Kbyte) EEPROM save file in Project64, but actually required a 4Kbit (512bytes) EEPROM save setting for the N64 Myth Cart. It is likely that the emulator has made a mistake in identifying the original save type for these games, so you may want to test saving in multiple different emulators, or try different save settings for the N64 Myth Cart.

Changing the save type setting for the N64 Myth Cart will be explained in greater detail in the “NEO N64 Myth Cart User Guide” section later.

Security/Lockout Chips
Nintendo used security/lockout chips inside N64 games so that nobody could easily make a pirate N64 game cartridge, and also to prevent people from importing games. These chips were called ‘CIC’s’, or sometimes ‘boot chips’ or ‘boot CIC’s’ as they were needed for the N64 console to even boot-up.

Unlike the older security chips used in the NES and SNES, Nintendo made it much more difficult to bypass/disable these chips in the N64. They did this is a number of ways:-

- Firstly the lockout chip inside the N64 console is actually inside a chip that is also responsible for communicating with the N64 controllers, memory cards and rumble paks. So if you try and disable the consoles lockout chip you cant use any controllers etc!

- They made different numbered CIC chips for different games, and inside the games ROM code there is a small part which had to ‘match’ with the code generated by the CIC chip, otherwise the console would not boot. In total Nintendo produced five different CIC chips for each region, and each different CIC chip generates different code.

For the NTSC region (Japan and America) Nintendo used the same lockout chips inside the N64 games/consoles, and the only thing stopping an American N64 console playing Japanese games (or visa-versa) was some differently arranged plastic tabs inside the cartridge slot that would only allow one regions games to fit.

However, with the PAL region (Europe, Australia, etc) Nintendo used entirely different lockout chips inside the consoles and games, meaning they will not play other region games at all.

The actual lockout chips used inside the cartridges were labeled as follows:-
“CIC-NUS-610X” in NTSC regions (Japan, America, etc)
“CIC-NUS-710X” in PAL regions (Europe, Australia, etc)
(The ‘X’ is where Nintendo used a different number) Since the first part of the chips name was always ‘CIC-NUS’ they were commonly abbreviated to just the last four numbers, so a full list of CIC chip numbers for each region would be:-

NTSC----PAL
6102----7101 (The ‘standard’ boot chip)
6101----7102
6103----7103
6105----7105
6106----7106

You may notice that the 6102 matches with the 7101, and the 6101 matches with the 7102 - This is not a mistake; Nintendo swapped these chip numbers around for the different regions, although it is unknown why they did this.

For a list of which games used which CIC chips please see here:-
http://n64.icequake.net/mirror/www.elitendo.com/n64/usa_boot_save_list.html
A little over 93.5% of N64 games used the 6102/7101 CIC chip, which why it’s commonly called the ‘standard’ boot chip. From the list of all 387 games released for the N64:-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nintendo_64_games
Only 25 games are known to have used a different CIC chip from the standard 6102/7101, although those 25 games do include many of the most popular games for the N64. For a breakdown of which games used which CIC’s please see here:-
http://n64.icequake.net/mirror/www.elitendo.com/n64/usa_boot_save_faq.html#b4

So far nobody has managed to reverse engineer or clone the CIC chips used in N64 games (Pretty secure system!) so to get around the problem the N64 Myth Cartridge has a slot on the back where you insert an original N64 game, so that the N64 Myth Cart can use the security chip inside the original game to boot. When you use an original N64 game in this way it is usually called a ‘boot cartridge’.

Now I mentioned previously that Nintendo used different numbered CIC chips for different games, and that these CIC chips produced different ‘codes’ which have to match with parts of the games ROM, so how does the N64 Myth Cart get around this issue? Well it includes a ‘boot emulator’ which is a special built-in program which patches this security check on the fly, which means that you can boot almost any game using any original game cartridge! This means it can play more than 99% of N64 games using any one original N64 game as a boot cartridge.

What about the last 1% I hear you ask? Well these are just a couple of later ‘Rareware’ games, namely Jet Force Gemini and Banjo Tooie. The reason for this is that the developers at Rare added extra security measures so that these two games check the CIC chips code repeatedly whilst you are playing, not just when the game boots. There are two solutions to this problem:-

- You can patch/crack the game to remove these security checks. There are cracks already available for Jet Force Gemini, but none for Banjo Tooie. Cracks can be found on the Dextrose site here:-
http://www.dextrose-forum.com/index.php?s=3&m=20&fg=35
- You can use an original N64 game that uses a 6105/7105 CIC chip as a boot cartridge. For a list of all the N64 games that use a 6105/7105 CIC chip please see here:-
http://n64.icequake.net/mirror/www.elitendo.com/n64/usa_boot_save_faq.html#b7
This is by far the easiest and most full proof solution since it will work with all the games with extra security checks, since they all use the 6105/7105 CIC chip, this means if you use a 6105/7105 boot cartridge with the N64 Myth Cart it will then support 100% of N64 games.

If you don’t patch/crack these games, or use the correct CIC, then you might get whatever strange problems were deliberately programmed into the game. For instance:-
- Jet Force Gemini will still boot with the wrong CIC but you won’t be able to run, jump or shoot.
- Banjo Tooie won’t boot at all (Black screen) and unfortunately there are currently no patches available, as it has very heavy protection.

Game Regional Differences
This is quite a complex topic which I will try to make as simple as I can. As with many other consoles N64 games can be divided into three main regions:-

- Japan (NTSC)
- USA (NTSC)
- Europe and Australia (PAL)

Now its important to note that all NTSC N64 consoles and games are technically identical - a USA N64 motherboard is exactly the same as a Japanese N64 motherboard. There is only one thing that prevents a USA N64 console from playing original Japanese N64 games (or visa-versa) and thats some plastic tabs in the consoles cartridge slot which match some small slots on the back of the game cartridges, this means only one regions games will physically fit in the console. If you would like to play both USA and Japanese N64 games on your NTSC N64 then there is a simple modification you can perform which will allow all N64 games to fit:-
http://www.mmmonkey.co.uk/console/nintendo/n64-cart-tabs.htm
(Note that this modification is not necessary to use the NEO N64 Myth Cart as it has a special 'region free' casing which means it will fit in any N64 console without any modification)
As USA and Japanese N64 consoles are basically identical, it is best to think of them as both being one region - NTSC.

European and Australian N64 consoles are known as PAL models, this is because they have some key technical differences in hardware that makes them different to NTSC consoles, including different security lockout chips as discussed in the previous section.

Hopefully you now understand that N64 consoles can bascially be categorised as being either NTSC or PAL, so at this point it might be a good idea to explain what NTSC and PAL actually means. Basically, different parts of the world use different TV standards:-
NTSC (Used in the USA, Japan, etc):-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NTSC
NTSC has 480 lines on the TV screen and is 60Hz, which means the TV screen is refreshed 60 times a second.
PAL (Used in Europe, Australia etc):-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PAL
PAL has 576 lines on the TV screen and is 50Hz, which means the TV screen is refreshed 50 times a second.

Due to the difference in TV standards games that were developed/designed for one region (often NTSC) needed to be programmed slightly differently to work correctly in the other region. If a game was not changed (or ‘optimized’) for the PAL region this often resulted in a game that runs 17.5% slower than the NTSC version and has black bars at the top and bottom of the TV screen to fill up the extra lines – this is obviously not very desirable!

Many early PAL N64 games were not ‘PAL optimized’ at all, for instance PAL Super Mario 64 and Lylat Wars (Star Fox 64) were ‘unoptimized’ and run slower than the USA versions, and have black bars at the top and bottom of the screen. PAL N64 games from 1998 onwards (e.g. Zelda Ocarina of Time) or games originally developed in a PAL country (e.g. GoldenEye) tended to be PAL optimized and run at the same speed as the NTSC version and do not have black bars.

On earlier consoles such as the Mega Drive/SNES most PAL games tended to be exactly the same as the NTSC version, only the console hardware was different, and this resulted in black bars and slower speeds for many games. However since the Hz (Hertz) rate was set in hardware, by modifying the console and fitting a physical switch it was possible to swap between 50Hz/60Hz when you wanted - this allowed PAL gamers to force many PAL games to run at the same speed as the NTSC versions. Unfortunately the same is not true for the N64, as the Hz rate is set by a combination of software and hardware and the games are actually coded differently and tell the N64 which hertz rate to output, there is also no ‘hardware over-ride’ that we know of. This is important to understand, because these technical differences can lead to game regional compatibility problems which are not the fault of the NEO N64 Myth Cart.

NTSC N64 console owners
If you have a NTSC N64 console you can play any NTSC game on the NEO N64 Myth Cart with no problems, including USA and Japanese games (USA and Japanese ROM’s are often denoted by a (U) or a (J) in the title) However, you may have some problems playing PAL (European) games, but since there were only five ‘PAL exclusive’ N64 games this is not much of a problem. The list of PAL only N64 games are:-

F-1 World Grand Prix II
F1 Racing Championship
Premier Manager 64
Taz Express
40 Winks (Unreleased, but is available as a ROM)

As you can hopefully see, NTSC N64 owners have very little to worry about in regards to region compatibility. From the above list the game that is probably most desirable to play is the unreleased '40 Winks'. As this is a PAL N64 game it displays a region error message if you try to load it on an NTSC console, however a clever coder called 'Zoinkity' has released a patch for the game which bypasses the region check and allows the game to run on an NTSC console. You can download the 40 Winks region patch here:-
http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/539/

PAL N64 console owners
If you have a PAL N64 console you can play any PAL game on the NEO N64 Myth Cart with no problems (PAL ROM’s are often denoted by an (E) in the game title) However you may have problems playing some NTSC games, and unfortunately the list of NTSC games unreleased in the PAL market is quite large. There are a few possibilities as to what can happen if you try to play an NTSC game on a PAL N64:-

- The game will run fine but will be running in 60Hz just as it would on an NTSC N64.
- The game will run but might have graphics/speed/sound glitches (e.g. popping/cracking sounds in the music)
- The game will display an error message saying "THIS GAME IS NOT DESIGNED TO BE PLAYED ON THIS SYSTEM"
- Finally, you might just get a black screen – the game wont even load.

So what can a PAL N64 gamer do if they want to play NTSC games that were not released in PAL areas? You have two choices:-

Patch the NTSC games to play on a PAL N64
There is a program called ‘PALadin’ that is designed to patch an NTSC game to work on PAL N64 consoles. Its quite an old program by today’s standards, and it was designed to work with DOS prompts, which is not very user friendly, so there is also a ‘front-end’ program called ‘S-Paladin’ which works in combination with PALadin and makes it easier to use it on more modern PC’s. You can download both programs from here:-
http://home.clara.net/smiff/utilities/rom/index.htm#region

To use PALadin:-
- Download and extract both programs and then put them both in the same folder
- Double click S-Paladin and the program will load up
- Use the folder structure to select the ROM you want to patch.
You now have numerous patching options, but the most basic way to use the program is to:-
- Tick the ‘Convert Video’ box at the top right
- Select the ‘Convert to’ mode (Most of the time you will want to leave it set to the default PAL setting)
- Finally click ‘Convert’ to change the ROM to support PAL video modes.

PALadin, is a really useful program, but it won’t make every NTSC game work on a PAL N64 console. In some cases the game will work but might have crackling/popping sounds in the music, or it might just display a region error message. You can try changing the PALadin patching options (Such as the ‘Fix country-check’ option) and trying again, but some NTSC games might still refuse to work on a PAL N64, this leads me to the second option:-

Buy an NTSC N64 console, AV cable, and one NTSC game
This may sound a bit extreme, but it’s actually quite a good option, as nowadays NTSC N64 consoles can be bought for around $10.00 on ebay.com (Excluding shipping, although they can still be bought for around $25.00 even including shipping) The only problem is finding sellers who are willing to ship to your country.

You don’t even need the US/Japan power supply or a step-down transformer, since you can use your countries original N64 power supply with any region N64 console (For instance, if you live in France you can use an original French N64 power supply with a US N64 console)

You will also need at least one original NTSC N64 game to plug in the back of the NEO N64 Myth Cart to bypass the NTSC N64’s security chip, but these can also be picked up for only a few dollars.

There are a couple of great things about this option:-
- As you would expect, compatibility for NTSC games is 100%
- You can still use all your PAL N64 accessories with no problems; this means you can use your original N64 power supply from your country with no step-down concerns at all. You can also use all your PAL Controllers, Expansion Paks, Rumble Paks, Controller Paks, Transfer Paks, etc. with no problems.

There are only a couple of minor downsides:-
- If you still want to play PAL N64 games as well you will need to have two N64 consoles setup, or switch consoles when you want to play PAL games.
- Your TV must support NTSC signals, although almost every European TV made in the last 10-15 years supports NTSC.

One minor consideration is that if your NTSC N64 console does not come with a Composite AV video cable you will also need to buy an NTSC N64 Composite or S-Video cable. Its not a very well known fact, but PAL and NTSC Nintendo AV cables are slightly different, as PAL video cables have an extra resistor inside that NTSC cables do not:-
http://gamesx.com/wiki/doku.php?id=av:nintendomultiav
You can easily buy an NTSC N64 Composite cable on ebay, or an even better idea is to pick up an N64 S-Video cable which will also give you better picture quality, and since no PAL S-Video cable was ever made you don’t need to worry about any possible NTSC/PAL cable differences. Also note that it is possible to modify a PAL Composite cable into an NTSC one by removing the extra resistor, although afterwards you can only use that cable with NTSC Nintendo consoles.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2010, 02:52:45 AM by Link83 »

Offline Link83

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Re: NEO N64 Myth Cart User Guide by Link83
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2010, 06:36:33 AM »
NEO N64 Myth Cart User Guide
Package Contents
When you first get your N64 Myth Cart you will notice inside the packaging it comes with four things:-

- NEO N64 Myth Cart
- NEO2 512Mbit Cart (Small white cartridge, usually already plugged into the NEO N64 Myth Cart)
- USB cable (Standard Type-A to Mini-B)
- Software/Driver Mini CD

The first thing you will need to do before you can use your N64 Myth Cart is install the ‘NEO2 Ultra Menu’ program onto your PC, this is the program you will need to use to add ROM’s to the N64 Myth Cart.

The NEO2 Ultra Menu is included on the Mini CD that comes with the N64 Myth Cart, and V2.95 was the first version to support the N64 Myth Cart. However, the program is frequently updated so if possible it is best to find the latest version, which is often available in the NEO forums. As of 23rd March 2010 the latest is V3.04 and is available for download here:-
http://www.neoflash.com/myth/NEO2_Ultra_Menu_V3.04_AppSetup_100322.rar
The file is compressed using WinRAR, so once you have downloaded the file you will need to extract the contents onto your desktop using WinRAR (or WinZip etc)

Installation
Depending on which version of Windows you are using this process may be a little bit different for you. I am running a PC with Windows XP Professional SP2 32-bit, so the following instructions and pictures might not match exactly what you see, but hopefully it will give you a good idea what to expect.

Firstly I recommend closing any open programs that you don’t need running, this is just to help prevent any conflicts during the installation process. Next double click on the setup file you extracted previously, the latest one is called “NEO2 Ultra Menu V3.04 AppSetup 100322”. Once you double click the file a window will pop-up called the “NEO2 Ultra Menu InstallShield Wizard” asking if you wish to continue installing, please see these pictures for more info:-

Simply click 'Next' and you will be asked where you would like the program to be installed to, the default location is:-

C:\NEO2 Ultra Menu

Personally I left it in the default location, but you could change it to the Program Files folder if you wish. Click 'Next' to continue and the program will start installing, this should only take a few minutes, and at the end just click 'Finish' to exit the InstallShield Wizard.

As soon as I finished installing I found that that the ‘Device Driver Installation Wizard’ popped up to install new drivers:-

Simply click 'Next' and then 'Finish' to install the NEO2 drivers.

Connecting
After installing the NEO2 Ultra Menu you will be ready to connect the NEO N64 Myth Cart. To begin with its best to ensure that the small white NEO2 cartridge that is plugged into the top of the N64 Myth Cart is firmly inserted, feel free to remove and reinsert it if necessary.

Next plug the included USB cable directly into your PC - it is important that the USB cable is plugged directly into your PC and not into a USB hub, as these have been known to cause problems since they often do not provide enough power for the N64 Myth Cart. Even powered USB hubs can cause issues, so it’s best to only use a USB port on your PC motherboard. Next plug the other end of the cable into the small Mini USB port on top of the N64 Myth Cart (You could also connect the USB cable to the N64 Myth Cart first if you like, and then connect it to the PC - it does not really matter which is connected first)

When you connect for the first time you will need to install the drivers for the N64 Myth Cart (Called the "USB SlimLoader IV" by Windows) Just look at these pictures and follow the steps below:-

1) As soon as you connect a bubble will pop-up on your desktop saying “Found New Hardware – USB SlimLoader IV” just wait a few seconds and step 2 will happen by itself…
2) A “Found New Hardware Wizard” window will pop-up asking if you wish to connect to Windows Update to find drivers for the N64 Myth Cart, just click “No, not this time” and click ‘Next’
3) Click “Install this software automatically (Recommended)” (If it is not already selected) and click ‘Next’
4) It will automatically start installing the drivers; this may take a few minutes.
5) At the end it will say “The wizard has finished installing the software for USB SlimLoader IV” just click ‘Finish’ to exit
6) One last bubble will pop-up, just to let you know that “Your new hardware is installed and ready to use”, you can close this or it will disappear by itself after a few seconds.

You should only need to install the drivers the first time you connect the N64 Myth Cart (Or if you reinstall the NEO2 Ultra Menu)

The NEO2 Ultra Menu Program
Now is the time to load up the NEO2 Ultra Menu we installed earlier, if you followed this guide there should now be a shortcut called ‘NEO2 Ultra Menu’ on your desktop, simply double click that and the program will load up.

There are five sections (or pages/tabs if you prefer) to the ‘NEO2 Ultra Menu’ program, they are labeled:-

- Advance
- Memory
- Format
- Link
- N64 Myth

I will be explaining what each section does as best as I understand it, but I will start with the section I recommend you use first of all:-

“Format”

The format tab does pretty much what its name suggests; it allows you to format the flash memory on the NEO2 cartridge that’s plugged into the N64 Myth Cart. For those that may not know what a ‘format’ does, in basic terms it completely clears the NEO2/N64 Myth Cart of any data or settings it may have previously had, and it prepares it for use with N64 ROM’s.

The first thing that you need to do before formatting is select ‘N64 Myth’ from the ‘Menu Type Select’ section on the right-hand side, this specifies that we will be using this NEO2 with the N64 Myth Cart. Next we need to select what type of format to use, there are two different types of format for the Menu, and three different types for the ROM. The different format types are explained at the bottom of the format page, but to expand on their brief descriptions:-

- Fast Format
This is the quickest format type, but is not really recommended. A fast format makes the N64 Myth Cart ‘forget’ what data it has on it, but it doesn’t actually clear any of the data, and it will not fix any formatting problems you may have - for these reasons most people do not consider a ‘Fast Format’ a proper format, and its only useful if you are in a real hurry, and even then its not recommended. It’s always best to use at least the Standard Format.

- Standard Format
This will erase the whole cartridge including the menu and any game ROM’s, It will also mark any ‘bad blocks’ on the flash (See below for more info on bad blocks) A standard format takes around 16minutes for a 512Mbit NEO2 cart.

- Low Level Format
This is best used when you first receive the N64 Myth Cart; think of it a bit like a deep clean. The data is completely erased and then checked three times to ensure that it’s clear and that all bad blocks are marked. A Low Level Format takes a quite a long time to complete, around 20minutes for a 512Mbit NEO2 Cart.

You may see mention of ‘bad blocks’ and wonder what this means, in simple terms flash memory chips usually have a number of bad areas inside them where files cannot be saved to, this Wikipedia link explains it quite well:-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_sector
It is normal for all flash chips to have a certain number of ‘bad blocks’, it’s a bit like dead pixels in LCD screens. Manufacturers make special provisions to prevent data from being saved to a bad block, and when you perform a low level format certain blocks are marked as ‘bad’ so that they don’t get used. If you don’t perform a low level format these blocks may not get marked as bad and they may end up being used, which could cause file corruption, so its always best to start with a Low Level Format.

The first time you use the N64 Myth Cart I would recommend you completely format the NEO2 by doing the following:-

1) First make sure that you are not trying to format if you are using a laptop with a low battery, or if you’re in the middle of a lightning storm and feel that the power could go out at any time!
2) Load up the NEO2 Ultra Menu and select the ‘Format’ section
3) Select ‘N64 Myth’ in the ‘Menu Type Select’ on the right hand side
2) Under ‘Menu Format’ select the ‘Standard Format’ option
2) Under ‘ROM Format’ select the ‘Low Level Format’ option (Or at least the ‘Standard Format’ option)
4) Click ‘NEO2 Format’ on the right hand side
5) A prompt will pop-up asking “Are you sure you want to format NEO2?” click ‘Yes’ to start the format.
6) Go and watch TV for a while, or carry on surfing the net while you wait for the NEO2 to format, this could take up to 20minutes for a low level format. A small progress bar runs along the bottom which should give you an idea as to how long is left.
7) Once the format is finished you will automatically be taken to the 'N64 Myth' section of the NEO2 Ultra Menu (Please see below)

I only recommend formatting the first time you receive your N64 Myth Cart, or if you are experiencing problems burning games. It is not necessary to format the N64 Myth Cart just to clear your ROM list.

“N64 Myth”

This is the section you will be using the most of the time in the NEO2 Ultra Menu, from this you can burn your ROMs and backup/restore your saves.

Adding ROM’s to the N64 Myth Cart is really quite simple, here’s what you need to do:-


1) Select the ‘N64 Myth’ section in the NEO2 Ultra Menu
2) Click the ‘Add ROM’ button near the top right
3) A pop-up box will ask you to select the ROM, simply navigate to the ROM you want to burn and select it then click ‘Open’ and the ROM will be added to the list (Make sure the ROM is in Z64 or V64 format)
4) Click the ‘N64 Burn’ button at the top right to start burning the game
5) It may take a while to burn the ROM, depending on how big the game is. Here are some approximate burning times using NEO2 Ultra Menu V3.01:-
64Mbit = 1minutes 55seconds
128Mbit = 3minutes 50seconds
256Mbit = 7minutes 30seconds
512Mbit = 15minutes 10 seconds
6) When finished a prompt will appears saying “N64 Burn Finish!” just click ‘OK’
7) You can now unplug the USB cable from the N64 Myth Cart
8 ) Plug any original N64 game into the back of the N64 Myth Cart
9) Insert the N64 Myth Cart with the original N64 game attached into your N64 console and start playing!
10) If you decide you want to play a different game then just remove the N64 Myth Cart from the N64 console, reconnect it to your PC, go back to the 'N64 Myth' section, click ‘Clr ROM’ and just repeat the above steps with a different game.

If you want to add two N64 games to the N64 Myth Cart first make sure that they will both fit in the flash memory of the NEO2. The N64 Myth Cart comes with a 512Mbit NEO2 cartridge so you can add any two games up to 256Mbit in size on the N64 Myth Cart (If you want to use two bigger games you will need to purchase a larger NEO2 cartridge, please see the FAQ at the bottom of this guide for details)

To use two games simply repeat steps 2 and 3 twice, and then step 4 after you have added both games - you cannot add a second game once a game has already been burnt to the N64 Myth Cart. If you already have a game on the N64 Myth Cart you must click ‘Clr ROM’ and add both games at the same time.

Once you have the N64 Myth Cart plugged into your N64 console you can switch between both games using the small switch on the top of the N64 Myth Cart, although only flick the switch when the N64 console is turned off.

For 75% of N64 games the above steps are all you need to do, however for around 25% of N64 games the process will be a little different. As already mentioned in the ‘Understanding N64 Games’ part of this guide, some N64 games have a save chip inside the actual game cartridge, and there were four different save types used:-

EEPROM 4Kbit (512bytes)
EEPROM 16Kbit (2Kbyte)
SRAM 256Kbit (32Kbyte)
FlashRAM 1Mbit (128Kbyte)

This N64 Myth Cart supports all these save types, but at present you must manually select the save type required by the game you want to play. This is a simple process, all you have to do is consult this list of N64 games:-
http://n64.icequake.net/mirror/www.elitendo.com/n64/usa_boot_save_list.html
Check what the ‘Primary Save’ type is for the game you want to play, and then once you have added that game to your list (See step 3 above) click the little box that says ‘CARD’ to the right of the game name and a small dropdown menu will appear:-

You can then select the save type for the game you want to play, but remember - you must select the save type before you click ‘N64 Burn’ or it will not work!

To backup your saves click the game number shown under the ‘NO.’ column, such as ‘001’, this will highlight the game, and then click ‘Backup Save’ to backup the games save file as either a EEP, SRA, or FLA file. By default the game save will be stored in the ‘N64’ folder which is located inside the ‘NEO2 Ultra Menu’ program folder.

To restore the save simply click ‘DownLoad Save’, and then select the save file you previously backed up to restore it back onto the N64 Myth Cart. The save files should be compatible with N64 emulator save files (Although I feel I should mention though that at present I personally have had problems backing up saves and restoring save files, so have been unable to test this feature)

One extra thing that is worth mentioning is the default 'CARD' save option actually does two things:-
- It is the correct setting to use if the game you want to play originally used a Controller Pak (Memory Card) for saving.
- If you select the 'CARD' setting for a game that originally used a cartridge save type, and then use a boot cartridge that also has the same save type as the game you have burnt, then the CARD setting will make the N64 Myth Cart use the save chip inside the original N64 game to store the burnt games save files. However, there are two downsides to this; 1) It will overwrite any save files that might already be on the save chip in the boot cartridge, and 2) You cannot as yet backup this save file from the boot cartridge even if you leave the boot cartridge plugged in when connecting to your PC, although it is possible the N64 Myth Cart Menu that is currently under development may allow you to copy the boot cartridge save file to the NEO2 SRAM to allow you to copy it to a PC.
For these reasons its best to always select the correct save type for the game you want to play, that way the boot cartridge is only needed for the CIC security chip.

The NEO2 Ultra Menu will soon have support for ROM auto-detection and patching features, which will allow it to recognise any N64 game and select the save type automatically, as well as other great features. For a full list of planned features please see this thread:-
http://www.neoflash.com/forum/index.php/topic,5998.0.html

“Advance”

Most of the options in this section are self-explanatory, and for the most part you don’t need to change any of them. The only two options that you may currently be interested in changing are the “Beep notify when burn finish” which is quite useful in letting you know when a ROM has finished being burnt to the N64 Myth Cart, and the ‘Skin’ setting which allows you to alter the skin/theme of the NEO2 Ultra Menu to make it look a bit flashier. Apart from these two options I would leave all the other settings alone when using the N64 Myth Cart.

“Memory”

Another section that you will probably not use all that often, however there are three interesting things you may want to use, which are the SRAM backup(Read), SRAM restore(Write), and the Verify SRAM Battery options.

There are two SRAM backup and restore options, the top middle one will backup/restore the SRAM on the NEO2 cartridge, and the SRAM option on the middle right will backup/restore the SRAM on the N64 Myth Cart, this is because both cartridges have 2Mbit of SRAM built in, although currently only one is used for games saves. You may be wondering why you can backup the SRAM if you can already backup individual game saves in the ‘N64 Myth’ section, this is because the ‘Memory’ section allows you to do complete SRAM dumps, in other words its a copy of the entire SRAM chip, not just one individual game save, which can be useful if you have multiple game saves and want to backup and restore them all at once.

The other useful option is the ‘Verify SRAM (Battery)’ option, which allows you to test if your N64 Myth Cart and NEO2 SRAM batteries are still keeping a charge.

“Link”

I have to be honest here and say I don’t currently know what this section is for! I have not seen any info about it, but I am guessing it may be used for the Mega Drive 3in1 Myth Cart which I don’t own. For now I would just forget about it when using the N64 Myth Cart, but I will update this section if I find out what it’s for.

FAQ
Q: Which NEO cartridges work with the N64 Myth Cart?
A: Only NEO2 cartridges work with the N64 Myth, the NEO3 is not compatible. Here’s a list of the NEO2 cartridges currently available on ic2005.com:-

NEO2 Lite 512M Flash Cart + SL4
http://www.ic2005.com/shop/product.php?productid=39&cat=5&page=1
The same as the one included with the N64 Myth Cart, only this one includes two extra casings.

NEO2 Lite 1024M Flash Cart + SL4
http://www.ic2005.com/shop/product.php?productid=40&cat=5&page=1
Like the 512Mbit NEO2 cart that comes with the N64 Myth, but this one has double the space with 1024Mbit flash memory.

NEO2-SD Flash Cart + SL4
http://www.ic2005.com/shop/product.php?productid=41&cat=5&page=1
Has 128Mbit PSRAM and 256Mbit flash memory. It sticks out a bit from the N64 Myth Cart, but should be able to support full size SD cards once the N64 Myth Cart Menu is released (See below)

NEO2-TF (microSD) Flash Cart + SL4
http://www.ic2005.com/shop/product.php?productid=42&cat=5&page=1
Has 128Mbit PSRAM and 256Mbit flash memory and fits flush with the N64 Myth Cart, it should also be able to support microSD cards once the N64 Myth Cart Menu is released (See below)
NEO2 TWIN 2in1 Flash Cart
http://www.ic2005.com/shop/product.php?productid=58&cat=5&page=1
The same as the NEO2-TF microSD listed above, but this one comes with an MK5 key for use with the Nintendo DS – the MK5 key is not really any use for the N64 Myth Cart, but this bundle is $10 cheaper than the standard NEO2-TF above!

NEO2-PRO 1024M Flash Cart + SL4
http://www.ic2005.com/shop/product.php?productid=119&cat=0&page=1
Has 256Mbit PSRAM and 1024 Mbit flash memory, which is twice the PSRAM and quadruple the flash memory compared to the NEO2-SD and NEO2-TF. It sticks out a bit from the N64 Myth Cart, but should be able to support full size SD cards once the N64 Myth Cart Menu is released (See below)

All NEO2 Cartridges from IC2005.com are listed as including an ‘SL4’ which is short for ‘SlimLoader IV’, so if you buy one you will no longer have to use your N64 Myth Cart to burn games to the NEO2 cartridges.

A Menu system for the N64 Myth Cart is being developed which will hopefully allow the use of the NEO2-SD, NEO2-PRO or NEO2-TF to load games from SD/microSD cards, but this is not yet available. I will update this guide when the menu gets released.

Phew! I think that just about covers most aspects of the NEO N64 Myth Cart (As of March 2010) if you have any suggestions for aspects that should be covered in this guide please let me know

This guide may be copied elsewhere as long as credit to me ‘Link83’ is given  :)
« Last Edit: April 30, 2010, 05:08:51 AM by Link83 »

Offline Link83

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Re: NEO N64 Myth Cart User Guide by Link83
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2010, 06:37:18 AM »
Post reserved for future use!  ;)
« Last Edit: March 04, 2010, 11:22:15 AM by Link83 »

Offline Dr.neo

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Re: NEO N64 Myth Cart User Guide by Link83
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2010, 01:31:27 PM »
it's so great Link83 ! i'll put it to the neo driver CD for N64 section!  ~sm-43.gif~

but why i can't open any photo in your second message?
In my world,have 0 and 1 only ......Matrix World......

Offline sanni

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Re: NEO N64 Myth Cart User Guide by Link83
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2010, 05:55:51 PM »
Great work  :-*

A few additions:

"know that the 'standard' Z64 format is the only ROM format that the N64 Myth Cart currently accepts"

As far as I remember the ROM is stored byteswapped in the flash of the Neo N64 Myth Cart. You can test this by flashing a *.z64 and then read the flash back with madmonkeys programmer. So naturally the *.v64 format is also supported.
Also nowadays most of the ROMs with the *.n64 exstension are also byteswapped, so they are just *.v64 with the wrong extension. The whole "no intro set" has the *.n64 extension but is byteswapped and not wordswapped.

Offline Conle

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Re: NEO N64 Myth Cart User Guide by Link83
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2010, 11:25:42 PM »
Good work but you could include my plugin +plugin host which does save type detection + conversion of any rom type to binary and make it easier.

(Until the plugin is embedded in the official software of course)

Offline Link83

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Re: NEO N64 Myth Cart User Guide by Link83
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2010, 07:18:53 AM »
it's so great Link83 ! i'll put it to the neo driver CD for N64 section!  ~sm-43.gif~

but why i can't open any photo in your second message?
Thanks very much Dr.neo, I am very glad you like it :)

I dont seem to have any problems opening the pictures myself, is anybody else having problems? Or is Imageshack blocked in certain countries? and if so what would be a better picture hosting site?

Great work  :-*

A few additions:

"know that the 'standard' Z64 format is the only ROM format that the N64 Myth Cart currently accepts"

As far as I remember the ROM is stored byteswapped in the flash of the Neo N64 Myth Cart. You can test this by flashing a *.z64 and then read the flash back with madmonkeys programmer. So naturally the *.v64 format is also supported.
Also nowadays most of the ROMs with the *.n64 exstension are also byteswapped, so they are just *.v64 with the wrong extension. The whole "no intro set" has the *.n64 extension but is byteswapped and not wordswapped.

Thanks sanni, I had not actually tested a V64 file myself, I was just basing that of this post from Conle the other month:-
http://www.neoflash.com/forum/index.php/topic,5967.msg43664.html#msg43664
However, I have just tested a V64 format ROM and it does appear to work, so I guess V64 format support has been added since the end of January? Anyway, thanks for pointing it out - I have updated the guide now.

I am not sure about the no-intro set using a byteswapped .N64 format though? From what I read here:-
http://www.hyperspin-fe.com/wiki/?title=Changing_Nintendo_64_roms_from_GoodTools_format_to_No-Intro_format
The no-intro set uses the byteswapped .V64 format? (Not a byteswapped .N64 format, which would be quite strange) I am curious though why the no-intro team choose the V64 format over Z64, does anyone know why?

Good work but you could include my plugin +plugin host which does save type detection + conversion of any rom type to binary and make it easier.

(Until the plugin is embedded in the official software of course)

Thanks Conle. Although I have used your excellent plugin as a stand alone application I must be honest and say I dont entirely understand how to use your plugin in combination with the NEO2 Ultra Menu :-[

I have tried copying the 'N64' folder from inside the 'sn64plug_project_bin_1_0_0_7' folder to the NEO2 Ultra Menu's 'Plug_In' folder, but could not get it to work. I even tried reinstalling the NEO2 Ultra Menu and copying your plugin files before launching the program for the first time, but this didnt seem to help either. If you could tell me the best way to add your plugin I would be very happy to add it to the guide though  ;D
« Last Edit: March 05, 2010, 10:03:10 PM by Link83 »

Offline sanni

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Re: NEO N64 Myth Cart User Guide by Link83
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2010, 03:59:16 PM »
Yes, the no-intro set uses the V64 format, but strangely all the roms have the N64 ending.



I thought you might mention this in your brilliant user guide, because it can lead to confusion.

Offline Conle

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Re: NEO N64 Myth Cart User Guide by Link83
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2010, 09:50:07 PM »
Quote
Thanks Conle. Although I have used your excellent plugin as a stand alone application I must be honest and say I dont entirely understand how to use your plugin in combination with the NEO2 Ultra Menu

You can't use it with Neo2 ultra application until ShivenYu is back from vacation  ::sm-05::

It will be embedded soon.

Offline Link83

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Re: NEO N64 Myth Cart User Guide by Link83
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2010, 11:00:41 PM »
Yes, the no-intro set uses the V64 format, but strangely all the roms have the N64 ending.

I thought you might mention this in your brilliant user guide, because it can lead to confusion.
Thanks sanni, that seems really strange! I wonder why no-intro decided to do it that way? ???

I have just now added an extra paragragh about the no-intro set. Since I only have the Goodset myself could I just ask if the no-intro ROM's work fine with the N64 Myth Cart, with no changes necessary? I would guess they do because they are V64 format, but thought that maybe they wouldn't show up when trying to add them in the NEO2 Ultra Menu because of their .N64 extension. If they do work fine with no changes necessary I will mention that as well.

You can't use it with Neo2 ultra application until ShivenYu is back from vacation  ::sm-05::

It will be embedded soon.
Ah, sorry Conle, I thought it might already be working with the NEO2 Ultra Menu and that I just was not using it right ::sm-02::

I have added a small paragraph about your plug-in now, but will add further details once you can use it with the NEO2 Ultra Menu, if thats ok with you?
« Last Edit: March 05, 2010, 11:05:57 PM by Link83 »

Offline Conle

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Re: NEO N64 Myth Cart User Guide by Link83
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2010, 12:06:52 AM »
Quote
I have added a small paragraph about your plug-in now, but will add further details once you can use it with the NEO2 Ultra Menu, if thats ok with you?

I think it would be better to mention that the programmer will have autodetection
and patching features soon.
 ~sm-37.gif~

Offline Link83

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Re: NEO N64 Myth Cart User Guide by Link83
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2010, 12:26:39 AM »
I think it would be better to mention that the programmer will have autodetection
and patching features soon.
 ~sm-37.gif~
No problem, I have changed that paragraph now - hopefully it is closer to what you suggest? Please let me know if not.



I have also changed all the photo links from ImageShack to Photobucket, hopefully Dr.neo can see the pictures now?
« Last Edit: March 06, 2010, 12:29:01 AM by Link83 »

Offline Conle

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Re: NEO N64 Myth Cart User Guide by Link83
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2010, 12:42:09 AM »
Yes its much better now!  ~sm-37.gif~

Offline sanni

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Re: NEO N64 Myth Cart User Guide by Link83
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2010, 11:00:46 PM »
Here is another thing to include in your guide:

I managed to do the trick by using this method from abignale:
If anyone else has problems with neo2usb.dll, you can try this:

Download winusb.dll, efsadu.dll and msjava.dll from dllcentral.com. Put them in your NEO2 Ultra Menu directory, then reregister the Neo2Usb.dll file (regsvr32 "c:\NEO2 Ultra Menu\Neo2Usb.dll")


That really helped me today, without the winusb.dll the neo2usb wouldn't register :D
« Last Edit: March 08, 2010, 05:02:13 AM by sanni »

Offline sanni

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Re: NEO N64 Myth Cart User Guide by Link83
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2010, 01:10:27 AM »
Here is another piece of helpfull information

How to "unbrick" your Neo2 cart:

Sometimes the Neo Programmer can crash while formating. From that point on you can't use your Neo2 cart with the programmer anymore. It will always give the "USB Error please replug" message.


To fix this:

1) download madmonkey's neocmd
2) you may also download and install this
3) download the two files attached to this post.
4) put them in the same directory as neocmd
5) un- and replug the Neo Myth cart
6) run unbrick.bat.

7) Un- and replug the Neo Myth cart again
8 ) start the official Neo Programmer
9) You now get the "detroied" error message
10) click on the Format tab and select the following settings:
Menu Format: Normal Format
Rom Format: Fast Format
Menu Type Select: N64
11) press "Neo2 Format"

How to "brick" your Neo2 cart:
(only for bug hunting purposes)

In Neo Programmer click on the Format tab and select the following settings:
Menu Format: Fast Format
Rom Format: Fast Format
Menu Type Select: GBA/NDS
Then press "Neo2 Format"
« Last Edit: March 08, 2010, 01:16:08 AM by sanni »