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The Games

As always seems to be the way, the most of the best games on the GameCube were written (or at least published) by Nintendo themselves. If you’re looking to build up a collection of GameCube titles, you could do worse than get your hands on the following:

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

Although the cartoonish cel-shaded graphics divided opinion, Wind Waker remains a must-have GameCube title. The initial copies of the game also came bundled with a second disk that contained ports of the Nintendo 64 classic (and best game of all time contender) Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Master Quest.

Resident Evil 4

One of the few essential GameCube titles not made by Nintendo, and also one that flicks Vs in the face of anyone daring to call the ‘Cube a kid’s machine.

Metroid Prime

It’s easy to forget now, but for quite some time Metroid Prime was in development hell, with many gamers fearing that the game would be a disaster, especially as Nintendo had handed development duties to the little-known Retro Studios. Reports not long before release that Nintendo were flying over executives to ‘oversee’ the project did little to calm nerves.

We shouldn’t have worried. Metroid Prime successfully rewrote the platformer as a first person action game, and went on to receive both critical and commercial acclaim. Don’t forget to also check out the sequel, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes.

F-Zero GX

Although published by Nintendo and a sequel to as much-loved Nintendo franchise, F-Zero GX was coded by Sega (apparently using a modified version of the Super Monkey Ball engine). Despite springing from the loins of Nintendo’s one time great rival, GX remained true to the F-Zero formula of speed, splendid track design, speed and more speed.

1080º Avalanche

Although it never quite matches up to the brilliance of the Nintendo 64 original, 1080º Avalanche remains one of the best extreme sports on the platform. It also supports the Broadband Adapter for LAN play, which means that, with a bit of technical jiggery-pokery, you can play it over the internet.

Animal Crossing

How do you describe Animal Crossing? A ‘communication game’? A life simulator? Nintendo’s version of Shenmue?

Animal Crossing allows the player to live the life of a little in-game character, guiding them as they build their home, fish, play NES games, make friends and take part in celebrations and holidays.

It all sounds very dull when you try and describe it, but once you start playing, it eats up your entire existence. Approach with caution.

Donkey Konga

Although published by Nintendo (and starring one of their mascots, Donkey Kong), Donkey Konga was developed by Namco and was based on their Japanese arcade hit Taiko No Tatsujin.

Gamers use the Bongo controller to slap and clap in time to a bonkers selection of pop tunes and music from classic Nintendo games. Sequels have also been released that feature different track listings.

Accessories

As well as the usual mix of memory cards, extra joypads and video leads, a number of interesting accessories have been released for the ‘Cube

Wavebird

The Wavebird is Nintendo’s official wireless controller for the GameCube. The Wavebird was far from the first wireless joypad – many unofficial and official wireless pads had been released on consoles as varied as the NES, Mega Drive and 3DO – but it was one of the first to use radio rather than IR.

Unlike the the standard wired GameCube controllers, the Wavebird didn’t feature force feedback.

Game Boy Player

The Game Boy Player unit fits underneath the GameCube and, as the name suggests,allows Ninty fanatics to play their Game Boy Advance games on their TV.

GameCube Game Boy Advance Cable

The GC-GBA cable allowed you to use a Game Boy Advance as a controller and unlock extra features with selected games.

Bongos

Two plastic drums and a built-in microphone used as a controller for the Donkey Konga rhythm-action games and Donkey Kong Jungle Beat.

Broadband Adaptor

The Broadband Adaptor fits into a special slot on the underside of the GameCube, adding a standard Ethernet port to the console. A number of internet and LAN enabled games were released, including Phantasy Star Online and 1080º Avalanche.

The Broadband Adaptor was never officially released in the UK. Instead, we were expected to make do with a dial-up modem adaptor which wasn’t much good for anything really

The Games

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People

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Thanks

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Major events

2001
14 September: Japanese launch
18 November: North American launch
2002
3 May: European launch

Emulators

Mac OS X

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iOS

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OUYA/Android

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Features

Nintendo GameCube

485MHz IBM PowerPC RISC processor
162 MHz ArtX (ATi) graphics processing unit
Four controller ports
Storage: 8cm optical discs based on DVD technology

Panasonic Q

Panasonic-branded GameCube
Built-in full-size Region 2 NTSC DVD player
Released in Japan only