Neo N64 Myth Cart Review

Discussion in 'Official GBAtemp Reviews' started by amptor, May 19, 2010.

May 19, 2010

Neo N64 Myth Cart Review by amptor at 4:08 AM (32,100 Views / 0 Likes) 0 replies

  1. amptor
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    Banned amptor Banned

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    <!--coloro:red--><span style="color:red"><!--/coloro-->GBAtemp.net review of the...<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->

    <!--sizeo:5--><span style="font-size:18pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><b>Neo N64 Myth Cart</b><!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->

    <img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neosnes/neeoteam.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    Manufactured by:<a href="http://www.neoflash.com" target="_blank">Team Neoflash</a>
    Review samples supplied by: <b><a href="http://www.ic2005.com" target="_blank">IC2005 SmartShop</a></b>
    <a href="http://www.ic2005.com" target="_blank">http://www.ic2005.com</a></a>

    By amptor - 18th May 2010

    <b>Review Contents & Index:</b><ul><li><a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#introduction">Introduction</a>
    - <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#features">Official Neo N64 Myth Cart features list</a></li><li><a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#contents">Packaging and Contents</a></li><li><a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#design">Cart Design</a></li><li><a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#setup">Setting Up & Using</a>
    - <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#hardware">Installation - Hardware</a>
    - <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#menu">Installation – Neo2 Ultra Menu and USB Device Drivers</a>
    - <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#connection">Installation - Connection to PC</a>
    - <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#transfer">Transferring ROMs</a>
    - <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#general">Usage - General</a>
    - <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#homebrew">Usage – Nintendo 64 Games & Homebrew</a>
    - <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#expansions">Usage – Nintendo 64 Cartridges and Expansions</a>
    - <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#gui">Neo N64 Myth GUI (Menu)</a>
    - <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#compatibility">ROM Compatibility</a></li><li><a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#support">Homebrew Support</a></li><li><a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#conclusion">Conclusion</a></li></ul><div class="reviewbreak"><a name="introduction">Introduction</a></div>
    In May of 2006, Neo Flash announced their 10th project, the Neo N64 Myth cart. This highly anticipated cart would be the only third party N64 flash cartridge made to date and would offer a true 100% compatibility for the complete worldwide ROM set.

    This cartridge differs from most N64 backup units released in the late 1990s in form factor. It loads from the top of the console rather than the bottom and does not require batteries or any external power source. Most of the older units sat underneath the console and had their own independent power supply and were quite large.

    <div align="center"><a href="http://pix.gbatemp.net/12432/IMG_0110.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://pix.gbatemp.net/12432/IMG_0110_th.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://pix.gbatemp.net/12432/IMG_0111.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://pix.gbatemp.net/12432/IMG_0111_th.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://pix.gbatemp.net/12432/IMG_0113.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://pix.gbatemp.net/12432/IMG_0113_th.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://pix.gbatemp.net/12432/IMG_0119.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://pix.gbatemp.net/12432/IMG_0119_th.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a></div>

    This review will show how to install, configure, and operate the cart as well as go into detail about which ROM images work and how to configure them in the Windows based Neoflash menu software.

    <a name="features"></a><b>Neo N64 Myth Features:</b><ul><li>Boot N64 Homebrew/Backups</li><li>Supports Neo2 Flash RAM Cartridges</li><li>Supports Clean, Trained, and Homebrew N64 (Nintendo 64) ROMs</li><li>GBA Slot (For Storing ROMs On Flash RAM and Expandability of Storage)</li><li>Automatically Detect Save Type and CIC Type from Header Information</li><li>Multiple Region and Multiple CIC Chip Support</li><li>Supports All (SRAM) Save Types</li><li>Boot With Addons Attached</li><li>Expansion Slot</li><li>USB 2.0 Port</li><li>ON/OFF Switch (Currently for Toggling Between 2 ROMImages)</li></ul><div class="reviewbreak"><a name="contents"></a>Packaging and Contents</div>
    The Neo N64 Myth package comes inside a nice resealable plastic clam shell (no scissors needed!) and includes the Main Unit, 512Mbit (32 Megabytes) Neo2 Myth GBA Flashram Cartridge with 16Mbit (2 Megabytes) of menu space, USB 2.0 Cable, Software Installation Mini-CDROM, and Cardboard Insert.I tried to turn the unit on without any Flashram Cartridge in it and it gave me a black screen. I had the same result if I did not have an N64 cartridge plugged in the expansion slot with or without the Neo2 Flashram Cartridge inserted. The Flashram Cartridge came blank and required a format before putting ROM images on it.

    <div align="center"><a href="http://pix.gbatemp.net/12432/1_package_front.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/1_package_front.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://pix.gbatemp.net/12432/2_package_back.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/2_package_back.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a></div>

    Inside are the following items:

    <div align="center"><a href="http://pix.gbatemp.net/12432/3_contents_front.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/3_contents_front.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://pix.gbatemp.net/12432/4_contents_back.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/4_contents_back.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a></div>

    <div align="center"><a href="http://pix.gbatemp.net/12432/5_design_front.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/5_design_front.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>
    <a href="http://pix.gbatemp.net/12432/6_design_back.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/6_design_back.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a></div>

    <div class="reviewbreak"><a name="design"></a>Cart Design</div>
    Let's take a closer look at the Neo N64 Myth Cart itself.

    The Neo N64 Myth comes in a black housing which will fit in any region of N64 console since they all have the same shape of opening for the cartridge. It has two slots on either side on the back which likely was done by Nintendo for hardware region protection.

    <div align="center"><a href="http://pix.gbatemp.net/12432/7_design_slot_back.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/7_design_slot_back.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a></div>

    On the top side is a USB 2.0 port and a GBA (GameBoy Advance)cartridge slot for the Neo2 Myth Flash RAM Cartridge.

    <div align="center"><a href="http://pix.gbatemp.net/12432/8_usb2_port.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://pix.gbatemp.net/12432/8_usb2_port_th.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a></div>

    Behind is the expansion slot where any cartridge containing a CIC chip is inserted.

    <div align="center"><a href="http://pix.gbatemp.net/12432/9_expansion_port.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/9_expansion_port.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a></div>

    <div class="reviewbreak"><a name="setup"></a>Setting Up & Using</div>
    <a name="hardware"></a><b>Installation - Hardware</b>
    The Neo N64 Myth Cart fits in the cartridge slot of the deck as pictured. The back of the device has an N64 cartridge interface to allow the user to plug in a cartridge containing the appropriate CIC lockout chip for the games to be loaded. This interface can have a cartridge plugged into it while programming it through the USB cable or can be empty. I had no problems either way.

    Most people say that it is preferable to plug in a game that uses a 6105 CIC chip, but I have found that some games require a 6102. You will only need those two chips and no special save type cartridges. Examples of CIC chip cartridges in this review are Super Mario Kart (CIC 6102) and Perfect Dark (CIC 6105). Both of these cartridges are very common and should be very cheap. These photos show the respective cartridges plugged in as the console would be ready to be powered on when the (not pictured) stock N64 power supply that came with the console is plugged in.

    <a name="menu"></a><b>Installation – Neo2 Ultra Menu and USB Device Drivers</b>
    The CD-ROM provided with the Neo N64 Myth Flash Cart contains an installation file which has the appropriate USB drivers included and flashing software. Www.neoflash.com has the latest version of it in their downloads section and their forum gets news of the latest updates to the program.

    It is necessary to install the Neo2 Ultra Menu software before plugging the cartridge in to the PC. This way, it will find the driver when it is hooked up.If the driver is not already installed, plugging the device in will cause a driver not found error and put it under Unknown Devices in Device Manager.

    After the main program is installed, it will launch the driver installation. Be careful to notice this because when I first installed the software I did not realize that it launched a second installation after it completed. Click through and allow it to install the drivers for the device. During installation, some antivirus software may misleadingly report some DLL files as backdoor trojans. Just tell the antivirus to ignore these warnings and proceed. Once it is finished installing the drivers, the computer will be ready for the device to be plugged in.

    <div align="center"><a href="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neosnes/neo_about.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neosnes/th/neo_about.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a></div>

    As with many aftermarket Chinese hardware devices, plugging in the USB cable and allowing Windows search for the appropriate driver caused a driver not found error and put it under Unknown Devices in Device Manager. Had I installed the Neo2 Ultra Menu V3.02 before plugging it in, Windows would have automatically found the driver and it would have been ready to go. This is simply all that needs to be done and works without a hitch. Before plugging in the Neo N64 Myth, just run the installation executable from within the downloaded RAR or the installer located on the included CDROM.

    After the main program is installed, it will launch the driver installation. Be careful to notice this because when I first installed the software I did not realize that it launched a second installation after it completed. Click through the queries and allow it to install the drivers for the device. During installation, some antivirus software may misleadingly report some DLL files as backdoor trojans. Just tell the antivirus to ignore these warnings and proceed. Once it is finished installing the drivers, the computer will be ready for the device to be plugged in.

    <a name="connection"></a><b>Installation – Connection to PC</b>
    Plug the Neo N64 Myth into one of the PC's USB ports using from the top side of the cartridge's USB port with the A to mini B cable supplied. I did all of my testing using a genuine Canon USB cable just to be safe because sometimes generic cables tend to be bad from the factory and can cause a lot of issues. Although we are not reviewing USB cables here, I read on their forum that the supplied yellow USB cables were often faulty. This came with a black one which should be fine. You may use a longer cable than what is supplied or a USB A to A extension with it. I tested this and it does not diminish the signal for data transfer.

    <a name="transferring"></a><b>Transferring ROMs</b>
    Launch the Neo2 Ultra Menu software. It automatically detects what type of Myth cartridge is plugged into the USB port. In this case, it will show N64 Myth underneath the File and Help menus in a dropdown box. The interface software is mainly separated into tabs which each have a different function from advanced configuration, memory management, formatting the card, linking, and adding ROMs to the Neo2 Flashram Cartridge.

    <div align="center"><a href="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/neo_advance.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/neo_advance.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a></div>

    First we will look at the Advance (or Advanced) tab. This is mainly where you can set up the SD Card directory if you are using a Neo2 SD Cartridge (we won't worry about this because this feature is not yet available and the sample did not come with one). You can also change settings for GBA ROM flashing (in this case, they call it burning) and under Super you can change the skinning of the Neo2 Ultra Menu GUI and change SD Mode and Slim Loader options. These extra settings under Advance and Super should not be changed, but theSkin option can be. I'm leaving all of these on default because the software is still in its early stages anyway.

    <div align="center"><a href="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/neo_memory.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/neo_memory.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a></div>

    Next is the Memory tab. Again, most of these items are not going to be used. The N64 U2 section has some tools which since there is no included documentation in the help menu only appear that they partially work. These are for the N64 Myth too, so I should not get too far ahead. Just leave these items alone unless you know what you are doing. In the case of this review, none of these were needed for the games to function.

    <div align="center"><a href="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/neo_format.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/neo_format.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a></div>

    Under the Format tab are options to format the Menu memory on the Neo N64 Myth labeled "Menu Format" as well as the Flashram Cartridge's memory which is labeled "ROM Format". Choosing Fast Format under any of these of course will be dramatically faster than Standard Format of the two and Low Level Format of the ROM. Menu Type Select should be N64 Myth and should not be changed unless you are formatting a Neo2 Flashram Cartridge for a different device in the one you are currently using and plan on using it to store the appropriate ROMs for that device. GBA/NDS Reserved should only be used for their respective systems and ROMs. Do note that of course since this is a N64 device, it will not play games for any system besides N64 and will not work if plugged into anything other than a N64 console.

    <div align="center"><a href="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/neo_link.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/neo_link.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a></div>

    The Link tab allows you to select a game save mode, game path, and upload the save mode to the Neo N64 Myth.This is another tab that is not really necessary to change anything in, so I will move on.

    <div align="center"><a href="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/neo_myth.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/neo_myth.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a></div>

    Finally we are at the good part.The final tab is N64 Myth and is where ROMs are added, cleared, and backed up from the Neo N64 Myth cart. Simply click on Add Rom, select the ROM or ROMs (yes, it does batch adding), and click on Open to add them to the list. Clr ROM will completely clear the list of ROMs but will not delete them from the device until the N64 Burn option is selected. Backup ROM will copy the entire contents of the Neo2 Flashram Cartridge that is inserted in the Neo N64 Myth to the PC, quering for a folder and file name for the ROM image. Refresh will load the list of games stored on the Neo2 and N64 Burn will copy whatever games or changes are made to the list to the Neo2 and Neo N64 Myth cartridge's menu areas respectively.

    <div align="center"><a href="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/neo_rename.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/neo_rename.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/neo_savetype.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/neo_savetype.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/neo_cic.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/neo_cic.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/neo_mode.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/neo_mode.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a></div>

    <a name="general"></a><b>Usage - General</b>
    Now to show how the device runs.Fully assembled, the Neo N64 Myth should have the Neo2 Flashram Cartridge plugged in to the top open slot between the mini B USB port and the ON/OFF switch, N64 cartridge plugged into the back of the device, and plug the Neo N64 Myth directly into the cartridge slot of the N64 system. After this, assuming that there are ROMs on the Neo2, the N64 is ready to be powered on.

    The Neo N64 Myth menu system is as simple as it can ever be. Only one or two ROMs are supported at a time on the device and are selected by the switch on top before powering on the console. A menu system much like in the other products Team NeoFlash manufactures is planned in the future with more features.

    <a name="homebrew"></a><b>Usage - Nintendo 64 Games & Homebrew</b>
    Having a complete set of CIC types at my disposal, I was able to test every type of ROM. There were games made in the past that could cause problems without the same CIC attached to the older backup units and it was interesting to find out whether or not Team NeoFlash bypassed any of this protection. A few games on the system were also too large for most of the backup devices to load and the Neo N64 Myth would show full compatibility with the entire ROM set including games larger than 512Mbit.

    Games that are region locked do still behave in that manner. The Neo2 Ultra Menu does not have any fixes built in to convert PAL to NTSC or vice versa. This is being discussed as a plugin to be added to the program later on. Currently, the only ways to change region protections are to either apply an IPS fix for the game that was made by an experienced programmer or use a tool such as Ucon64 to convert the games.

    Also most games that were copy protected in the past no longer are an issue. Any game that had copy protection not related to region locking will run as long as it is a clean dump. Cracked ROMs will not necessarily boot up on the Neo N64 Myth Cart and can black screen while region fixed ROMs will work fine.

    The Neo N64 Myth comes with 512Mbit of flashram on a Neo2 Flashram Cart which can be filled with up to and no more than that amount of game images as long as it is only 2 games. The largest commercial N64 games were 512Mbit.

    Living up to all of its promises, the Neo N64 Myth Cart played all of the ROMs I tested. I encountered no problems as long as I had just a few different CIC available and the appropriate tools to convert from PAL to NTSC in order to get rid of 50hz cropping on a 60hz screen.

    <a name="compatibility"></a><b>The ROM only and ROM with SRAM games I tested work flawlessly and are:</b><ul><li>Beetle Adventure Racing (PAL) - <b><!--coloro:#008000--><span style="color:#008000"><!--/coloro-->PASS<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--> automatically detected 60hz with no cropping</b></li><li>Hexen (PAL) cropped) - <b><!--coloro:#008000--><span style="color:#008000"><!--/coloro-->PASS<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b> </li><li>Cruisin' USA (PAL) cropped - <b><!--coloro:#008000--><span style="color:#008000"><!--/coloro-->PASS<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b> </li><li>Mario Kart 64 (NTSC/U) Pokemon Stadium 2 (512Mbit NTSC/U) - <b><!--coloro:#008000--><span style="color:#008000"><!--/coloro-->PASS<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b> </li><li>Perfect Dark (NTSC/U)Rogue Squadron (6103 CIC NTSC/U) - <b><!--coloro:#008000--><span style="color:#008000"><!--/coloro-->PASS<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b> </li><li>Mega Man 64 (NTSC/U) - <b><!--coloro:#008000--><span style="color:#008000"><!--/coloro-->PASS<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--> FlashRAM save type works fine</b> </li><li>Star Wars Shadow of the Empire (NTSC/U) - <b><!--coloro:#008000--><span style="color:#008000"><!--/coloro-->PASS<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b> </li><li>Star Wars Shadow of the Empire (NTSC/J) - <b><!--coloro:#008000--><span style="color:#008000"><!--/coloro-->PASS<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b> </li><li>Killer Instinct Gold (NTSC/U) Goldeneye (NTSC/U) - <b><!--coloro:#008000--><span style="color:#008000"><!--/coloro-->PASS<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b> </li><li>Neon Genesis Evangeleon (NTSC/J) - <b><!--coloro:#008000--><span style="color:#008000"><!--/coloro-->PASS<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--> IPS cracked game runs fine, but clean ROM will black screen</b> </li><li>Rakuga Kids (NTSC/J) - <b><!--coloro:#008000--><span style="color:#008000"><!--/coloro-->PASS<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b> </li><li>Rakuga Kids (PAL) - <b><!--coloro:#008000--><span style="color:#008000"><!--/coloro-->PASS<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--> PAL was cropped, but PAL to 60hz converted got rid of cropping</b> </li><li>Super Smash Bros (NTSC/U) - <b><!--coloro:#008000--><span style="color:#008000"><!--/coloro-->PASS<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b> </li><li>Diddy Kong Racing (NTSC/U) - <b><!--coloro:#008000--><span style="color:#008000"><!--/coloro-->PASS<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b> </li><li>Aero Fighters Assault (NTSC/U) - <b><!--coloro:#008000--><span style="color:#008000"><!--/coloro-->PASS<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b> </li><li>Doom 64 (NTSC/U) - <b><!--coloro:#008000--><span style="color:#008000"><!--/coloro-->PASS<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b> </li><li>Donkey Kong 64 (NTSC/U) - <b><!--coloro:#008000--><span style="color:#008000"><!--/coloro-->PASS<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b> </li><li>Paper Mario (512Mbit NTSC/U) - <b><!--coloro:#008000--><span style="color:#008000"><!--/coloro-->PASS<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b> </li><li>Magical Tetris Challenge (NTSC/U) - <b><!--coloro:#008000--><span style="color:#008000"><!--/coloro-->PASS<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b> </li><li>Robotron 64 (NTSC/U) - <b><!--coloro:#008000--><span style="color:#008000"><!--/coloro-->PASS<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b></li><li>Re-Volt (NTSC/U) - <b><!--coloro:#008000--><span style="color:#008000"><!--/coloro-->PASS<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b></li><li>Re-Volt (PAL) - <b><!--coloro:#008000--><span style="color:#008000"><!--/coloro-->PASS<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--> used PALadin to country fix it so it will run. It was causing a black screen unpatched.</b></li><li>Toon Panic (J Prototype) - <b><!--coloro:#008000--><span style="color:#008000"><!--/coloro-->PASS<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b></li><li>Bakuretsu Muteki Bangai-O (J) - <b><!--coloro:#008000--><span style="color:#008000"><!--/coloro-->PASS<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b>

    Roms that had some issues:

    <b>None.</b></li></ul>Amazingly enough, I encountered no problems with games that previously needed cracks. Diddy Kong Racing would not allow the controller to work on older copiers without a crack and corresponding CIC chip, but on the Neo N64 Myth Cart, it runs fine regardless of what CIC is inserted. A few other games can be a little picky and require their original CIC type to be inserted still, but those games are very few and far between. Rogue Squadron required a CIC 6103 to be inserted and it refused to run from the so-called universal 6105 chip found in Perfect Dark and the 6102 chip in Mario Kart 64 would not run the ROM either. Banjo-Tooie would not boot without a CIC 6105 chip and Goldeneye 007 would not run without a CIC 6102.

    All save types and CIC type were auto detected in the NeoFlash menu and nothing was incorrectly assigned to the ROMs.

    <div class="reviewbreak"><a name="expansions"></a>Usage - Nintendo 64 Cartridges and Expansions</div>
    As long as the cartridge is plugged into the back of the Neo N64 Myth cart, it can boot automatically without any user intervention just like an original Nintendo cartridge. The Neo N64 Myth Cart is fully compatible with all Nintendo 64 add-ons such as Action Replay and 64DD as well as all controller paks which do various things such as rumble and/or save. The appropriate CIC chip contained in an original cartridge must be plugged in for games to run as mentioned earlier, but many games can run with a different CIC installed.

    Some games are picky about the CIC and have programmed into their boot strap to not run or not function properly without the proper CIC detected. In this review, I have every CIC type available for testing. A few of my cartridges had the mask ROM chip removed for flashram save type on an older backup unit, but this is not necessary at all for the Neo N64 Myth Cart since it has all save types built into its programming.

    <a name="gui"></a><b>Neo N64 Myth GUI</a></b>
    When you turn on the N64, the game selected on the switch boots right up just like an original N64 cartridge.

    <div align="center"><a href="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/IMG_0468.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/IMG_0468.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/IMG_0469.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/IMG_0469.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/IMG_0470.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/IMG_0470.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/IMG_0484.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/IMG_0484.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a></div>

    Here is a 512Mbit game in action. This is Pokemon Stadium 2 booted from a CIC 6105 flash chip contained in a Perfect Dark cartridge.

    <div align="center"><a href="http://pix.gbatemp.net/12432/IMG_0128.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://pix.gbatemp.net/12432/IMG_0128_th.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://pix.gbatemp.net/12432/IMG_0129.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://pix.gbatemp.net/12432/IMG_0129_th.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://pix.gbatemp.net/12432/IMG_0131.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://pix.gbatemp.net/12432/IMG_0131_th.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://pix.gbatemp.net/12432/IMG_0132.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://pix.gbatemp.net/12432/IMG_0132_th.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a></div>

    Another 512Mbit game. This time it is Paper Mario. These two games above demonstrate no copy protection issues with first party titles.

    <div align="center"><a href="http://pix.gbatemp.net/12432/IMG_0136.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://pix.gbatemp.net/12432/IMG_0136_th.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://pix.gbatemp.net/12432/IMG_0134.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://pix.gbatemp.net/12432/IMG_0134_th.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://pix.gbatemp.net/12432/IMG_0135.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://pix.gbatemp.net/12432/IMG_0135_th.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://pix.gbatemp.net/12432/IMG_0137.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://pix.gbatemp.net/12432/IMG_0137_th.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a></div>

    And what would an N64 hardware review be without this game? It runs perfect.

    <div align="center"><a href="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/IMG_0140.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/IMG_0140.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/IMG_0142.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/IMG_0142.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/IMG_0144.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/IMG_0144.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/IMG_0145.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/IMG_0145.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a></div>

    Trained games also work. This is S.C.A.R.S. with a +3 trainer.

    <div class="reviewbreak"><a name="support">Homebrew Support</a></div>

    Homebrew ROMs work fine. I found that only onehomebrew ROM can be programmed to the Neo FlashRAM Cart at a time, otherwise they would not run. Of course, since theseare hobbyist made programs, it is expected that some may not runor require additional tweaks. There may be ways to add different ROMs to the homebrew emulators for example.<ul><li>3DS Model Conversion by Snake - <b><!--coloro:#008000--><span style="color:#008000"><!--/coloro-->PASS<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b></li><li>Berney Must Die! by Nop_ (POM '99) (Trained) - <b><!--coloro:#008000--><span style="color:#008000"><!--/coloro-->PASS<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b></li><li>Pong by Oman - <b><!--coloro:#008000--><span style="color:#008000"><!--/coloro-->PASS<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b></li><li>MAME 64 Emulator V1.0 - <b><!--coloro:#008000--><span style="color:#008000"><!--/coloro-->PASS<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b></li><li>Game Boy Emulator (POM '98) (Illegal Mode Enabled) - <b><!--coloro:#008000--><span style="color:#008000"><!--/coloro-->PASS<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b></li><li>Spice Girls Rotator Demo by RedboX - <b><!--coloro:#008000--><span style="color:#008000"><!--/coloro-->PASS<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b></li><li>Cube Demo - <b><!--coloro:#008000--><span style="color:#008000"><!--/coloro-->PASS<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b></li><li>Dragon King by CrowTRobo - <b><!--coloro:#008000--><span style="color:#008000"><!--/coloro-->PASS<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b> </li><li>Mind Present Demo 0 by Widget and Immortal (POM '98) - <b><!--coloro:#008000--><span style="color:#008000"><!--/coloro-->PASS<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b></li><li>SNES 9X Alpha by Loom-Crazy Nation - <b><!--coloro:#008000--><span style="color:#008000"><!--/coloro-->PASS<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b></li><li>Liner V1.02 by Colin Phillipps of Memir - <!--coloro:#FF0000--><span style="color:#FF0000"><!--/coloro--><b>FAIL <!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--> black screen</b></li><li>VNES Emulator + Galaga - <b><!--coloro:#008000--><span style="color:#008000"><!--/coloro-->PASS<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b></li><li>N64 Stars Demo - <!--coloro:#008000--><span style="color:#008000"><!--/coloro--><b>PASS</b><!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></li></ul><div align="center"><a href="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/IMG_0148.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/IMG_0148.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/IMG_0149.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/IMG_0149.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/IMG_0150.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/IMG_0150.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/IMG_0151.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/IMG_0151.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/IMG_0152.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/IMG_0152.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/IMG_0153.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/IMG_0153.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/IMG_0154.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/IMG_0154.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/IMG_0155.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/IMG_0155.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/IMG_0156.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/IMG_0156.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/IMG_0157.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/IMG_0157.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/IMG_0158.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/IMG_0158.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/IMG_0160.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/IMG_0160.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/IMG_0162.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/IMG_0162.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/IMG_0163.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/IMG_0163.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/IMG_0164.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/reviews/neon64/th/IMG_0164.JPG" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a></div>

    Here are screen shots of some of the homebrew ROMs. These run fine as expected and the emulators even work properly. One homebrew ROM tested gave only a black screen. This possibly is a poorly coded ROM.

    <div class="reviewbreak"><a name="conclusion"></a>Conclusion</div>
    Being the first and only 3rd party commercial FlashRAM cartridge available for the N64, the Neo N64 Myth Cart is a very impressive device. Every game I threw at it worked immediately and the build quality is nothing short of outstanding. Sure it may seem to be pricey to some, but look what you are getting and also fabrication of custom printed circuit boards these days is not often cheap.

    Similar to the Bung Enterprises Doctor V64 Jr. in form factor, this device is very compact. Most backup units were large things that sat underneath the console and took up the expansion port on the bottom.If any enthusiast has a 64DD, this will be beneficial to use because it frees up that port.You can plug the Neo N64 Myth Cart on top and the 64DD on bottom and even plug in an Action Replay between the Neo N64 Myth Cart and the console if needed.

    One feature that makes this device stand out far above the Doctor V64 Jr. is the fact that it requires no power source. The Doctor V64 Jr., like other products they released later such as the MGD3, had a compartment for AA batteries. These batteries would drain while the game is stored and the console is not powered on. Also AA alkaline batteries had a tendency to leak and could easily corrode the power terminals inside the device. Luckily, with modern technology, the Neo N64 Myth Cart was made with FlashRAM chips and totally eliminates the need for any external power besides the power supplied by the console to run a game.

    Data transfer to the device is a breeze with USB 2.0. Some older backup units had parallel port as an option to transfer ROM images and this method was pretty slow. The only thing that this device lacks is the ability to dump your own games. This should only become an issue for someone who has acquired a rare and un-dumped game. Also there apparently are hobbyists that want to only dump and play the cartridges they already own. For whatever reason that may be is fine, but realistically ROMs are not digitally signed per individual cart and were mass produced off of one master copy, so acquiring the ROM from the internet or some other source would be the same image byte per byte as the ROM contained on whatever original cartridge in question.

    In conclusion, this device is highly recommended for any N64 fan. It will run every ROM image that exists (assuming that it is not a bad dump of course) and is transparent to the N64 console so any add on available will work with it. There are no issues with any of the various save types and CIC chip protections and it is very convenient to use due to that.

    It took me a while to decide what rating to give this since these days it is great to have a device that supports some sort of expandable media such as SD or CompactFlash, but this device truely shines and is the only N64 backup unit currently being made and also the first and only FlashRAM cart ever made available to the public for sale for the N64 system. This device truly deserves GBATEMP Gold award. Team NeoFlash did an excellent job on this device.

    I would like to thank Team NeoFlash and IC2005 for providing the sample for the review and building such a high quality device for hobbyists.

    <b><font color="green">Pros:</font></b>
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Fits perfectly in N64 console
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Multi CIC chip compatible+ Game instantly runs when booted up
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Programmable Actel A3P125 FCPGA microchip logic core
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> 512Mbit of FlashRAM which is the same size as the largest commercial ROMs
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Supports all games of the region corresponding to the console
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Supports all different save methods for saved games
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Supports homebrew ROMs
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Games load instantly when N64 is powered on
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> USB 2.0 is relatively quick and easily reprogrammed
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> No CD-Rs or Zip disks to fidget with or slow parallel port cable
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Supports multiple roms up to the capacity of the flashram
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Clean, crisp display when playing games and no noise/interference
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Removable flashram cartridge for more storage and replacement
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Larger 1024Mbit Neo2 Flash Cartridge available
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> ROMs are stored indefinitely until flash RAM is erased or overwritten
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Continued menu, firmware, GUI, and hardware development support
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Neo2 SD for SD memory card support is currently work in progress to be added later
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> High quality printed circuit board and onboard components
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Low solid state part count compared to old CDROM and Zip based copiers
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Does not use external power supply or require batteries to store games
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Does not require external power while flashing ROMs. Can be alone and not plugged into a console

    <b><font color="red">Cons:</font></b>
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> No mass storage device support such as SD, TF, CF (SD support is still being worked on)
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> No drag and drop support directly to flash memory (SD will have this)
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> N64 console user interface is virtually non-existent
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> No built in cheat code program (Action Replay is being worked on to be added to Neo2 Ultra Menu software)
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> No real time save
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> No built in region fix (Just use the appropriate region ROM or region fixed ROM)
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> Takes a while to flash games
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> Plastic black and not grey like original N64 cartridges
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> Updating the core programming requires a separate USB adapter which is not included
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> Supplied 512bit cartridge will only hold one 512Mbit game or two games only up to 512Mbit
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> Takes a few minutes to program the Neo2 Myth Flash RAM Cart

    <img src="http://www.gbatemp.net/up/award_gold.png" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    <b>External Links:</b>
    -<a href="http://www.neoflash.com" target="_blank">Official Team Neoflash Website</a>
    -<a href="http://www.ic2005.com" target="_blank">Official Neoflash Worldwide Distributor</a>

    Where to buy?:
    -<a href="http://www.ic2005.com" target="_blank">IC2005 SmartShop</a>

    <!--sizeo:1--><span style="font-size:8pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->This review was written for GBAtemp.net ONLY. The article and all included photos are property of GBAtemp.net
    If you see this review on any other site please let me know via e-mail - amptor [@at@] gmail [.dot.] com<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->
     

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