The NES Classic Edition console, also known as the NES Mini, is the product most of us 70s and 80s babies have been waiting for. Unfortunately, Nintendo stuck us with only 30 games, with no way to add more... until now. Just like I said would happen in my review of the NES Classic Edition, the modding community has given us a way to add as many games as we want.
The process to add more games is fairly simple, and very straight forward. If you've ever modded any console or flashed an Android phone with a custom ROM, you have all of the skill necessary to mod the NES Classic.
The first step is to plug a USB cable into your Windows PC and connect it to the rear micro USB port of the NES Classic. For this step you can use the included power USB cable that comes with the console itself.
If you can't contain yourself, and must try this immediately after finishing, you can also connect a HDMI cable to the console so that it is ready to test and ready to play after we finish.
Using the link in my description below, download Hakchi2 from github and extract the zip file. If you intend to do more than one NES Classic, do not modify the zip file in any way and retain the zip file. You will want to extract Hakchi to a new folder each time you work on a different console, more on this in a bit.
Do you have your ROMs ready to go? I hope so! If not, you need to get those ready to go in an easy to access folder. What if you don't have ROMs? Then Google is the best friend you have at the moment, I can't help you with that.
Next, if your NES Classic is on, turn it off. From the Hakchi folder you extracted earlier, run "hakchi".
Once the program opens, you should see a screen like this. The beauty of this program is the process to flash is almost entirely automated. You only have to follow a few easy steps. The idea here is you setup everything in Hakchi first, and then you flash your console.
The first thing you must decide is if you want to keep the original 30 games on the console. I do not, so I will be unchecking the box here. If you ever want to add the original 30 back, you simply re-check this box and follow these steps again.
Next I will add the games I want on the system. I have already copied all of those ROMs to a single easy to access folder. Simply click "Add more games" on the bottom left, and a browse window will open. Go to the folder with your games, and select the games you want to add either with ctrl+click, shift+up or down, or ctrl+a to select all. Click open, and your games will be added to the left column. If you mistakenly added a game you don't want, you can simply uncheck the box next to it.
At this moment you may notice a few notifications stating certain games need to be patched. Accept the patch for any games needing it so they will work with your NES Mini.
Now that we have our games selected, we will want to have box art to display on the NES Classic home screen. To do this we will have Hakchi automatically scan and download box art from Google.
Click File, then click "Download covers for all games."
Hakchi will automatically download the box art you need, but it isn't perfect. After the process is done, you will want to go through each one individually, and check to make sure the box are is correct, and up to your standards.
If you want to search for more on Google, simply click the Google button next to the box art you want to replace, and double click one of the alternatives you see. You can also browse to an image elsewhere on your PC if Google doesn't have what you need.
Next you will want to go through each game and check the accuracy of the number of players for it. Of the 51 games I uploaded, 5 or 6 of them were incorrect and needed to be updated.
While you're on this screen, I would check the titles to make sure they say what you want them to say. If you want to alter your titles, this is the time to do it.
Next click the Settings menu item. This is where you will tweak the console to fit your personal taste and needs. You can choose your console type NES or Famicom, Controller hacks (such as pressing select and down to return to the home screen without pressing reset), disable home screen music if you like, and change the number of game seen at one time.
Keep in mind that if you install more games than this setting is set to, there will be a folder in your list of games that you must access to see the rest of your games. Depending on the settings, there could be multiple folders.
After you have made your tweaks, locate the "Synchronize selected games with NES Mini" button on the bottom right, and click the button.
A message appears stating you will need to make a dump, or copy, of the kernel image of your NES. Why? Because if you mess up, this will allow you to restore your NES. It's also used to make the modded version Hakchi will install. The reason this must be done for each and every individual NES is a bit technical, but this MUST be performed for every NES Classic you mod. You cannot use the Kernel of another NES, so make sure you place this backup in a very protected place, like on Google Drive or something. Select "Yes" to move to the next screen.
The instructions on this screen are very straight forward. Just follow them in order.
Make sure the power button is switched off. With the USB cable connected from the system to the NES Mini, hold the reset button and turn on the system. Keep holding reset until your computer acknowledges a USB device has been connected, the power LED will NOT be on if done properly.
The first time you do this, you will need to install the driver. I've already done this before, so I will skip this step.
The rest is just letting the software do its thing, and confirming you want it to procede.
After everything is finished, wait for the LED on the NES to turn off. If it doesn't turn off after Hakchi is finished, double check to make sure it's finished and wait at least two minutes before pressing the power button.
At this point you can now turn your NES back on to check your work. Your screen should look similar to mine [See video].
There is one thing to note about this procedure. This will only work for up to 90 games. If you go crazy and decide to do something like install the entire NES library, you will have to look up the alternative procedure for adding more. The procedure is nearly identical to this, but there is an extra step to be aware of.
► Hakchi2: http://twst.it/2m0P4Wd