The Nintendo NES Classic is the ultimate blast from the past enabling players to play with Nintendo games from the 1980s up to the 1990s.
But the release of the miniature version of the classic gaming console has also opened up opportunities for hackers to test this console’s compatibility with other games and through sheer will and ingenuity these hackers were able to break through the Nintendo NES Classic’s software and make it play games that weren’t even supposed to be played for the NES.
According to Digital Trends, as soon as the Nintendo NES Classic was released in November 2016, hackers went to work on trying to tweak the compatibility of the console.
The hackers were able to use a customized version of Ubuntu on the console just days after its launch and by January they were able to add more games to the console than what Nintendo originally intended.
But it didn’t stop there.
Hackers tinkered more with the Nintendo NES Classic and eventually, they were able to add games to the console that weren’t even released for the original NES before.
How they did it required using a program that pretends to work like other gaming consoles and that’s where RetroArch comes in.
According to Auto World News, hacker Madmonkey came up with the RetroArch program, which enables players to use other games for the Nintendo NES Classic.
They said that the RetroArch program mimics other gaming consoles so even if certain games were supposed to be played only on the SNES, Sega Genesis or Game Boy, they can now be played on the Nintendo NES Classic with the use of this program.
Auto World News also said that installing the program is fairly easy since another hacker, who goes by the moniker “Soulctcher,” posted an instructional video on YouTube to help players figure out the RetroArch program.
But despite the fun of playing other games with the Nintendo NES Classic, the legal implications of using an unsanctioned program on a gaming console may strike fear in many law-abiding players.
Also, some people are saying that if players install the RetroArch program the wrong way there’s a high chance that they might “brick” their consoles.
Reddit has the instructions on how to install the program that will enable players to use other games on the Nintendo NES Classic, but players should be careful in following the instructions to the “T” because one mistake and their consoles might end up as paperweight, which is what computer experts refer to as “bricking.”
Gizmodo said that players should begin by creating a save file in the Super Mario Bros first slot on the Nintendo NES Classic. After that, they should connect their console to a computer with the use of a micro-USB cable.
When that’s done, the console has to be booted in “FEL” mode, and the way to do this is to press the power button when the console is turned off and hold it. While holding the power button, the player should also press and hold the reset button.
The instructions also say that while the player is holding the power and reset buttons, he/she should also run a “sunxi-FEL” interface on the computer. There are more details about this program on this link and Gizmodo says that players can download the sunxi-FEL there.
Most computer-related websites say that there aren’t too many risks in downloading the RetroArch program into the Nintendo NES Classic but they still advise people to be careful when doing so.
As for legalities, Nintendo hasn’t released a statement regarding the tweaking of the Nintendo NES Classic to accommodate other games not intended for them but it’s likely that they will soon.
[Featured Image by Shizuo Kambayashi/AP Images]