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Getting a N64


Bluejam
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Hi guys,

 

Been playing with Project 64 and although it works pretty well I have an urge to get the real thing.

 

I've got a modded Wii but Wii 64 seems to be flaky.

 

Prices for an N64 are all over the place on ebay at the moment but i'm more worried about how it will look on a HD telly. Havent got a CRT anymore.

 

Tell me RLLMUK, will plugging in a N64 into these new fangled hd telly's burn my eyes and ruin fond memories or should i stick with Wii 64 and Project 64?

 

cheers all.

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If you get a decent scart cable it still looks decent. I guess the issue is that the N64 never looked that sharp and it's really noticeable these days, but there are still plenty of games that look great.

 

oh and if you've got the cash,get an everdrive. The more desirable N64 games are getting more and more expensive. One Conker is the price of an everdrive!!

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If you have an early NTSC US machine it can be RGB modded but it's not an amateur job. It needs a board and amplifier soldering in place.  The option I use is running an NTSC US console via S-Video and using a SCART converter to plug it into the telly. It's quite a bit better than composite and you get full speed which makes a huge difference in stuff like Mario Kart. I think also you can mod a PAL machine to output S-Video.

 

This has the added bonus of US games generally being a bit cheaper in my experience, but having used them on several other systems now, an Ever Drive is the way to go unless you really are a collector.

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If you want a PAL RGB mod you need the early French models as they had the parts required present. I recently bought an RGB modded French N64 and the difference when playing is astounding.

Was going Composite->Framemeister->HDTV@1080p now going RGB SCART->Framemeister->HDTV@1080p

 

Cost me about £60 posted on eBay so not much more than getting a non modded UK one.

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That PAL-console-compatible RGB board seems to be a game changer.

 

My N64 is by far my most neglected old machine, and the thought of replaying a few games suddenly becomes very enticing.

 

Specifically I'm thinking of the holy Treasure triumvirate of Sin and Punishment, Mischief Makers and Bangaioh, but it nags me that I never did fully complete Mario 64. I barely got 80-90 stars when I eventually played through on my own copy about 15 years ago. I also got pissed off that I unknowingly-at-the-time forfeited full star collection by not catching that fucking rabbit that appears in the lower level of the castle hub. Bastard disappears after you collect a certain number of stars from the main stages, if I recall correctly.

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56 minutes ago, Camel said:

 

This used to be the case, yes, but as pointed out by gunrock above, it now seems you can mod any version to output RGB.

 

http://etim.net.au/n64rgb/

 

 

These are £20 plus shipping from australia (38AUD rather than 44AUD), if I buy 5 or more.

 

I have 2 N64s to mod.

 

Would anyone be interested in a buying club before I put it to committee for permission to do so?

 

Or does anyone know a local supplier/fitter?

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I'd recommend getting yourself an NTSC version of the N64. 

You don't need to use a step down as a UK N64 Power supply will work, but that means scavenging one from a PAL N64. 

 

It's defo worth getting an N64 with an RGB mod.. or getting the N64 modded. 

The early N64 consoles with serial numbers starting in NS1,NUJ1 or NUS-001 can be cheaply modded Although it now looks like any N64 can be modded for around £30 - http://www.videogameperfection.com/product-cat/console-modsrepairs/nintendo-64-modsrepairs/

 

The cheap alternative is an S-video cable... about £5. 

 

It will look great on a CRT, but crap on a new TV as the N64 outputs a 240p image contained in one interlaced field.

 

I'd strongly recommend getting an XRGB Framemeister. This box of tricks is immense and worth the premium imo. It comes in about £200. I own one and I love it so very much. 

 

 

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the "any n64" £30 price is fitting only, you ave to provide the board, like the etim AU version, so more like £50

 

the "compatible model" £30 is an rgb amp supply and fit. Me am check serials...

 

or £200 for an HDMI mod...

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21 hours ago, moora said:

If you get a decent scart cable it still looks decent. I guess the issue is that the N64 never looked that sharp and it's really noticeable these days, but there are still plenty of games that look great.

 

oh and if you've got the cash,get an everdrive. The more desirable N64 games are getting more and more expensive. One Conker is the price of an everdrive!!

I love reading posts like this. I pay no attention to prices on retro games but love reading about them, had a quick eBay check and finally my policy of never trading anything in is "Coming up Milhouse".

 

At least it would be if I ever wanted to sell anything... 

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I find soldering / modding consoles extremely satisfying, but I've never worked on an N64 before. I wouldn't hesitate getting stuck into installing that RGB board though - I'd totally forgotten how much I adore the small library of games long stored away. 

 

And whilst I haven't done much research lately about the roundabout cost of a new used moddable N64, an appropriate RGB board and SCART cable (if my Game Cube RGB SCART lead isn't compatible).. this potential 'universal' board bulk buy seems like a more attractive proposition..

 

And I'm pretty sure my Japanese carts somehow booted my PAL N64 into a 60hz output mode via the Passport III converter - not that I understand how that would work though, or whether I'm sadly mistaken due to how long it's been. I think I need to blow the dust off of a certain storage box..

 

 

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There are. 

The Framemeister however, is built with retro consoles in mind. Upscaling alternatives tend to see the 240p signal as a 480i signal, then attempt to deinterlace it then convert it to 240p then upscale all unnecessary with lots of unwanted lag. 

 

The Framemeister outputs stats on it's current processing speed and a 240p > 1080p upscale takes about 1.5 milliseconds, which is stupid fast. With a good TV, there's no perceivable lag. 

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If you want an Nintendo 64 go for an RGB Modded NTSC unit if possible as it improves the picture quality no end. That said as the N64 output most games at 240p even when upscaled via a scaler, games will still look very fog due to the default N64 graphic settings. In fact if you have a Wii U I would seriously suggest you think about buying the games on that instead.

 

Case and point this is Sin & Punishment recorded on a real N64 via S-Video and upscaler: (Make sure to view both at full screen and 720p for best comparison)

 

 

Now compare how it looks on the Wii U Virtual Console version:

 

 

The Wii U gives a much sharper and cleaner picture and no amount of modding your N64 even with HDMI or using a upscaler will make a real N64 look as good as the VC version. That said the Wii U VC only has a handful of games to select from at the moment. Worth weighting up all your options before taking the plunge.

 

 

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Thanks for the replies guys. Some things to think about. I've got one of those N64 - USB converter things and a official n64 controller to use on Project 64 to see if that satisfies my urge to play some N64 stuff. Not the same of course but might stop me being ripped off on ebay!

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I have an rgb modded Japan N64 and the quality over standard is a lot better.

 

Don't start off with a pal unit as so many of the games are plagued with poor pal conversions etc.

 

I run mine through an Sony PVM monitor and in this way the image is crystal clear and looks equal if not better than any other original format. 

 

Now I love the N64 and bought an import console at launch but a lot of the games don't play as well as they used too but some are still very fun and look great.

 

My favourites to this day are:

 

Mario 64

Pilotwings 64

Fzero X  

Blastcorps

Wave Race 64

Starfox 64

Doom 64

Goldeneye 64

 

there are other good games but these are my personal favourites that I feel still hold up well after all these years.

 

Remember, if you do have a pal unit and want to go NTSC your controller and pay will work fine on a NTSC model so all you need is a replacement console. 

 

 

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