EverDrive 64 v2 backup device Review
EverDrive 64 v2 backup device with SD interface
- 64Mbyte (512mbit) SDRAM for ROM data (max ROM size 64Mbyte)
- SD and SDHC cards are supported
- FAT16/FAT32 support. Unlimited partition size for FAT32
- SD to SDRAM transfer speed up to 23 Mbyte/s
- Emulation features
- Gamepack saves support (SRAM, SRAM128Kbyte, EEPROM16k, EEPROM4k, FlashRam)
- GameShark cheats
- IPS/APS patches
- Region free - PAL ROMs can be played on NTSC systems and vice-versa
- CIC boot emulator. Enough to have CIC6102/CIC7101 to play any games
- No extra software needed
- Byteswapped and non-byteswapped ROMs are supported
- USB port 800k - 1Mbyte/s - USB port useful for developers (optional)
This happens to be one of the cheaper options for flash kits for the N64 though the price is still highish apx £100 GBP/$130 USD for a pre assembled cart with CIC chip installed, mostly due to the expensive build of these boards/chips added to that, the CIC chip that is required for each region console, these are not cheaply made like kits for handheld Nintendo consoles, even the better higher priced GBA kits use cheap components in comparison.
Build & overall look
The board itself is perfect and fits inside a retail cart just fine with a small alteration to it, to add an SD slot that is slightly off centre at the top of the cart, optionally a USB port can also be added, but this is only for developers, USB does not add anything for your average gamer, you can also buy these already assembled inside a N64 cart case, though these are old N64 cart cases so some surface scratches and scuffs may be visible, most alternative flash kits require an original cart on top of the flash kit to provide the required CIC chip but this cart has this installed inside the flash kit so no extra bulk is added when inserted into the system, also note that you do require an SD card or Micro/Mini SD to SD converter.
First Time setup
The first thing you are required to do is make sure you have an SD card or a Mini/Micro SD inside an SD adaptor and ensure it is formatted with Fat 16 or Fat 32 (Fat 32 is the better option) then download the latest OS package from krikzz.com/pub/support/index.php?dir=ed64/os-bin/ and extract that (keeping the folder structure) to the root of the SD, once that is done you can then start extracting Rom files onto the SD (Both N64 and NES roms (NES roms must be in *.NES/*.nes format)), you can either extract those to there own folder or just on the root of the SD, do not copy anything into the ED64 folder though, that is just for OS files.
Using the Everdrive 64 v2
Now that the SD is prepared, insert the Everdrive 64 into your N64 and turn the console on. You will then be presented with the Main screen that will simply show the contents of your SD card.
From there I recommend you press Z to open the Main Menu.
Select Options here and press A
In the Options Menu make sure both IPS/APS and Auto IPS is set to ON, the rest is up to you. Press B to back out of the Menu's (This only needs to be done once as those settings are saved)
Now you can simply select the folder you stored your games in with the d-pad or the analog stick, (up/down to scroll through and left/right to change page) it will be highlighted in white and press A then select the game you want to play (up/down to scroll through and left/right to change page) and press A again to bring up the File Menu
Just use the Select and start option to load your game.
Once you are finished playing a game that has saves built in to the cart, you must press RESET on the console for the save data to be recorded on the Everdrive 64 v2 (This will be complete once the Everdrive has loaded again), for games that support saving to a Controller Pak (external Memory Card) they do not require that extra step, for those games you can turn the console off directly.
One last thing if you want to quickly load the last game played just start up the N64 and once in the Main screen of the Everdrive just press Start, that will load in the last game played.
This is almost perfect, with a few exceptions that I will quickly run through, overall anyone would be very happy with what they have though.
This supports all regions.
There are a few known games to have issues, but there are also patches to fix most issues. Games with fixes are:
- Banjo Tooie NTSC [U]
- Battletanx NTSC [U]
- Donkey Kong 64 PAL [E] & NTSC [U]
- Jet Force Gemini PAL [E] & NTSC [U]
- Star Wars Episode I – Racer PAL [E] & NTSC [U]
Games with no fixes currently:
- Banjo Tooie PAL [E] – PAL version does not have a patch
- Dezaemon 3D NTSC [J] – Save type is not supported, but otherwise fully playable
- Doubutsu no Mori NTSC [J] - (Animal Forest aka Animal Crossing) this is the only game to use a Real Time Clock not featured in the Everdrive N64 v2
- Mario no Photopi NTSC [J] – Uses hardware to read Photo's from external media that was built into the original cart, the Everdrive SD slot can not be used that way, otherwise the game does work
- Pokemon Stadium Kin Gin/Pokemon Stadium 2 [All Regions] - Has issues due to a cut off for 64MB rom handling when the correct save type is used for this game (the correct save type shares the 64MB memory slot) but this is the only game with that issue, you can still play this fully without bugs with the incorrect save type set, but then you can't save progress.
- Modded Super Mario 64 [All regions, but most of these are NTSC [U]], the game itself runs fine but, most the mods expand the rom, the N64 itself can't handle those (This has got more to do with the Console though not the Everdrive 64 itself)
- High Res Mods, more to do with N64 hardware but those will not work either
- Other Hacks and Mods certainly not all mods but there will be a few that will eventually crash out, as a lot of the mods and hacks are targeted at emulation rather than play back on real hardware
- Games that had extra hardware as part of the cart will not have those supported, like Mario no Photopi that is already listed.
Expansion Pak/4M Expansion
Some games do require this to be able to play them, these include Donkey Kong 64, The Legend of Zelda - Majora's Mask and Perfect Dark, others games use this to boost graphics also but do not require it.
Controller Pak/Memcard/Memory Card
Although the Everdrive 64 does support saving, it only supports saving of games that originally saved directly to the cart, but most games only supported external saving to a Controller Pak, for those games you will require a Controller Pak or a 3rd party Memory Card.
Quick note for NES emulation
Additionally to the N64 compatibility there is also the NES emulator included though you do require a dedicated Controller Pak (Memcard/Memory Card) for saving (as in this is all that will be used for), this is also a very old emulator and does not support all the NES mappers, i.e. not all the old NES games are playable.
As part of the OS for the Everdrive 64 v2 there are folders inside the ED64 folder, that are for storing various files, some you can add to yourself, these are:
- AUTO – for storing patches & cheat code files, I recommend you store fixes in there
- CPAK – for backups of your Controller Pak (Memcard/Memory Card) created by the Everdrive 64
- SAVE – generated automatically after you hit RESET on the N64 control deck
Directly inside the ED64 folder there is also a text file called save_db that can be edited in notepad to fix save types for certain games that fail to detect correctly.
For any other sort of patch like hacks ect I would stick to a patching an original rom directly rather than using an auto patch, so you have the option of playing both the untouched original and the hack, but for fixes the above is a great idea.
Cheat files are just text files stored in the AUTO folder named the same as the rom file, the text format games something like:
Address Value Description AAAAAAAA VVVV DDDDDDDDDD
e.g. 8006333F 0001 have blue key
Note: that no code description is shown on the Everdrive 64 v2 though and code support is limited at this time
You can even replace the background shown in the gui if you create a 640x480 16bit bmp image and place this in any location on the SD, then find the image and press A on it to give you the option to Set as Wallpaper.
You can buy the Everdrive 64 v2 at Retrotowers.co.uk. It's currently listed at £109.99