GameShark

GameShark is the brand name of a line of video game cheat cartridges and other products for a variety of console video game systems and Windows-based computers. Currently, the brand name is owned by Mad Catz, which marketed GameShark products for the Sony PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo game consoles. Players load cheat codes from Gameshark discs or cartridges onto the console's internal or external memory, so that when the game is loaded, the selected cheats can be applied.

GamesharkLogo
GameShark logo

Products

When the original GameShark was released, it came with 4,000 preloaded codes. Codes could be entered, but unlike the Game Genie, codes were saved in the onboard flash memory and could be accessed later rather than having to be reentered. The cartridges also acted as memory cards, with equal or greater storage capacity to the consoles' first party memory cards.[1] It was originally released for the Sega Saturn and Sony PlayStation consoles in January 1996.[2] It was a runner-up for Electronic Gaming Monthly's Best Peripheral of 1996 (behind the Saturn analog controller).[3] Models for the PlayStation had an Explorer option that allowed gamers to access most PlayStation disc files, and it was possible to view FMV files stored on the CD. The later models of the GameShark also had a Use Enhancement Disc option. The Enhancement Disc, which InterAct sold for $4.95, allowed users to upgrade the GameShark and add codes to the code list from the disc. Only a few examples of these Upgrade CDs were known to have been published.

The PlayStation Gameshark had the following standard features: View Video Image, which allowed users to see the last image stored in the PlayStation's Video RAM, View CD Image, which allowed a user to search the game CD for image files, Play Music, which would play the CD audio, and View CD Movie, a function that allowed a user to view FMV (full motion video) files found on the disc. Also included was the option to use an Enhancement CD in order to upgrade the Gameshark and add new codes found on the disc.

GameShark Pro

The GameShark Pro series contained a feature that allowed players to find their own codes. During gameplay, the user presses a button on the device to open a code search menu. Finding a code is done by searching memory locations either for specific values or for values that have changed in a certain way (increased, decreased, not changed, etc.) since the last search. After the first search, subsequent searches only look at memory locations that match the specified criteria from the last search. By performing multiple searches the list of matching locations is gradually reduced. Once the list is reasonably small the user must determine which of the found locations is the correct one by modifying them one at a time and seeing what effect it has on the game.

In some games the resulting code may only work in one level or it may cause problems in other parts of the game due to memory locations being dynamically assigned. In these cases the user has two options: attempt to locate a pointer to the data block that their code is attempting to modify, or change the game's programming which is usually located at the same place every time. If a pointer is found, and the device supports it, a new code can be made which determines the correct location to modify from the pointer. If the device does not support pointers the game programming must be changed instead. Generally the user must use external tools to find the code that accesses this data. If the code is reading from memory it may be changed to read a constant value; if it is writing, it may be changed to not perform the write. These changes may not have the same overall effects as when actually modifying the game's code. For example, a user may disable the routine that causes the player character to lose health when touched by enemies, only to find that health is still lost from other hazards.

Nintendo 64 GameShark

Gameshark-Trio
GameShark 2.2 (top), Pro 3.0 (left), and Pro 3.3's added SharkLink port (right)

One of the many Gameshark products was the one for the Nintendo 64. The Nintendo 64 GameShark was the most popular cheating device available for the system, becoming popular after well-known titles such as GoldenEye 007 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time were released. Because of the complex nature of these games, there were many aspects of them which could be modified to produce unique effects. For example, unused content was discovered such as a distant tower on the "Dam" level of GoldenEye 007.

The Nintendo 64 Gameshark Pro featured an in-game code search menu. Versions 3.1, 3.2 & 3.3 had a parallel port on the back, allowing the device to be connected to a PC with a program called SharkLink. This was intended primarily to make entering large amounts of codes easier, but was also used for advanced hacking. The in-game code search required that an Expansion Pak be installed and that the game did not actively use the Pak for memory.

PlayStation GameShark Pro

GameShark-PlayStation
The original hardware-based GameShark for the PlayStation

The PlayStation Gameshark Pro contained much of the same functionality as the standard PlayStation GameShark, as well as unique features only found on the Pro. The advanced features were: Code Creation, which gave users the option to save newly created codes to a standard PlayStation memory card to share with others, and V-Mem (Virtual Memory), which gave users access to an onboard Memory Card feature where they could store up to 8 full memory cards worth of saves. The Shark Link software suffered from the same problems that plagued the N64 version. The final firmware/software update for the Playstation GameShark Pro hardware was version 3.2 (v3.2), which was made available on physical media titled "The BigWave 4".

GameShark CDX

With the introduction of the 9000 model of the PlayStation, the parallel port was removed. This had been the only way to use the GameShark, as it plugged directly in to that port. InterAct then created a GameShark that did not need it. The GameShark CDX came with a boot CD along with a card resembling a standard memory card, which stored the codes. Even though the CDX could be upgraded, it is not known if InterAct created an upgrade for the CDX. The CDX is not compatible with either PS2 system.

GameShark 2

The GameShark 2 was very much like the CDX Game Shark that came out for the original PlayStation, but for the PlayStation 2. It even included features that could only be found on the GameShark Pro, but like the CDX Game Shark that came out for the original PlayStation codes could be saved to a memory card, one which resembled that came with the CDX version. It was released the Fall of 2000 and included a CD-only Game Shark 2 for the original PlayStation 2 containing over 14,000 codes.

GameShark for Game Boy

Released in 1998 for the Game Boy and Game Boy Color. Preloaded with codes for 158 games, but unfortunately, new codes could not be saved. It did however contain a feature called Game Trainer, which was a way to create new codes. Memory Erase was an additional feature which allowed users to clear all saves from a Game Boy cart. The GameShark for the Game Boy can also be used with the Game Boy Advance, as long as the cart connected is either for Game Boy, or for Game Boy Color. It cannot be used for Game Boy Advance carts.

The original Game Boy GameShark could be used with the Game Boy Color, which it predated. However, due to the low height of the outside cartridge slot, the connected game cartridge would be pushed outward by the Game Boy Color's battery compartment, which, unlike those of previous Game Boy models, curved outward from the rear surface of the device. The later GameShark Pro featured a longer cartridge which held the connected game cartridge higher so as to avoid this flaw.

The GameShark Pro for Game Boy allowed for saving new codes.

Media

Almost as soon as the GameShark made its appearance on the store shelves, new codes began to appear in the gaming magazines of the day. In order to create more interest as well as a way to get the word out on their new products, InterAct created a newsletter called 'Dangerous Waters' (which was published eight times a year starting in 1996 and featured new codes), a phone number which players could call for the up-to-the-minute latest codes, and a website with exclusive codes that could only be accessed by those with a full Dangerous Waters membership.[1] GameShark.com also first appeared on the net around this time. Due to the increasing popularity of Dangerous Waters, it went from a black and white 8 page newsletter to full color bimonthly by 1999, and featured game reviews as well as tricks. Then, in June 2000, Dangerous Waters was transformed into a full-fledged magazine called GameShark Magazine and continued to be published bimonthly, reaching up to 20 pages long and containing many more codes. However, due to problems with Mad Catz, GameShark Magazine ceased publication with the Holiday 2001 issue. This last issue was a double issue, containing the last GameShark Magazine issue, as well as a special issue by IGN as it was their 2001 Buyer's Guide. It featured new games and systems that were available at the time. It also included a Game Shark CD Sampler disc which featured codes for the PlayStation 2, as well as a handful of game saves.

Brand history

When the Game Boy device was first released, InterAct acquired the rights to sell Datel's Action Replay and Pro Action Replay devices in North America; these devices were sold under the GameShark and GameShark Pro names. InterAct released GameShark devices for the Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Saturn, Dreamcast and Nintendo 64. After InterAct's parent company, Recoton, went bankrupt, the rights to the GameShark name were acquired by Mad Catz, who relinquished the North American Action Replay distribution rights. Following this, Mad Catz sold game save devices under the GameShark name instead of the traditional cheat device, and Datel marketed the Action Replay in North America directly. Since acquired by Mad Catz the original site for Gameshark has been shut down, and no products associated with Gameshark have been sold on their site.

All platforms

Sega-Saturn-GameShark
GameShark for the Sega Saturn

GameShark products have been released for the following platforms:

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Cheating Comes to 32-Bit Systems". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 78. Ziff Davis. January 1996. pp. 88–89.
  2. ^ "32-Bit Game Busters". GamePro. No. 88. IDG. January 1996. p. 23.
  3. ^ "The Best of '96". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 92. Ziff Davis. March 1997. p. 90.

External links

Datel

Datel (previously Datel Electronics) is a UK-based electronics and game console peripherals manufacturer. The company is best known for producing a wide range of hardware and peripherals for home computers in the 1980s, for example replacement keyboards for the ZX Spectrum, the PlusD disk interface (originally designed and sold by Miles Gordon Technology) and the Action Replay series of video game cheating devices.

Datel was the brainchild of Mike Connors, who still runs the company and has been mentioned in The Sunday Times as one of the UK's top thousand richest people.

Game Boy Advance

The Game Boy Advance (GBA) is a 32-bit handheld video game console developed, manufactured and marketed by Nintendo as the successor to the Game Boy Color. It was released in Japan on March 21, 2001, in North America on June 11, 2001, in Australia and Europe on June 22, 2001, and in mainland China on June 8, 2004 as iQue Game Boy Advance. Nintendo's competitors in the handheld market at the time were the Neo Geo Pocket Color, WonderSwan, GP32, Tapwave Zodiac, and the N-Gage. Despite the competitors' best efforts, Nintendo maintained a majority market share with the Game Boy Advance.

As of June 30, 2010, the Game Boy Advance series has sold 81.51 million units worldwide. Its successor, the Nintendo DS, was released in November 2004 and is also compatible with Game Boy Advance software.

Game Boy Player

The Game Boy Player (ゲームボーイプレーヤー, Gēmu Bōi Purēyā) (DOL-017) is a device made by Nintendo for the Nintendo GameCube which enables Game Boy, Game Boy Color, or Game Boy Advance cartridges to be played on a television. It was the last Game Boy-based add-on to a Nintendo console. It connects via the high speed parallel port at the bottom of the GameCube and requires use of a boot disc to access the hardware. Unlike devices such as Datel's Advance Game Port, the Game Boy Player does not use software emulation, but instead uses physical hardware nearly identical to that of a Game Boy Advance. The device does not use the enhanced effects used by the previous Game Boy accessory, the Super Game Boy, which was released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1994.

Game Boy accessories

This is a list of video game accessories that have been released for the Game Boy handheld console and its successors. Accessories add functionality that the console would otherwise not have.

Game Genie

Game Genie is the name of a line of video game cheat cartridges originally designed by Codemasters and sold by Camerica and Galoob. The first device in the series was released in 1990 for the Nintendo Entertainment System, with subsequent devices released for the Super NES, Game Boy, Genesis, and Game Gear. All the devices temporarily modify game data, manipulate various aspects of games, and sometimes access unused assets and functions. Five million units of the original Game Genie products were sold worldwide, and most video game console emulators feature Game Genie code support. Emulators that have Game Genie support also allow a near-unlimited number of codes to be entered whereas the actual products have a much smaller limit, between three and six codes.

In mid-1993 Codemasters began development on a "Game Genie 2", with Galoob again due to market and distribute the device in North America, but ultimately no Game Genie devices were released by Codemasters for the fifth generation of consoles. However, other companies have produced similar hacking devices such as the Code Breaker and GameShark. The Game Genie brand was later revived by the company Hyperkin, who released cheat systems for newer consoles.

Interact

Interact may refer to:

Interaction

Interact Incorporated, a U.S. telecommunications company founded in 1981

InterAct, a U.S. public safety software company founded in 1975

Inter-ACT, Inter-Act, InterACT, three different subsidiaries, created in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, of U.S. software and consulting company Advanced Computer Techniques

InterAct, a subsidiary of Recoton that owned the GameShark brand for a while

interACT, trade name of Advocates for Informed Choice, a U.S. organization advocating for the civil rights of children born with intersex traits

InterACT Disability Arts Festival, a three-day New Zealand event begun in 2011

Interact Home Computer, a briefly-extant 1979 U.S. personal computer

InterAct Ministries, a U.S. missionary agency focusing on the North Pacific Crescent, founded in 1951

InterAct Theatre Company, a U.S. organization based in Philadelphia, founded in 1988

Rotary Interact, a service club for youths that is part of Rotary International

Jenga World Tour

Jenga World Tour is a video game published by Atari, which is based on the popular Jenga game. It uses the standard gameplay of Jenga, but gives it slight tweaks in order to create different scenarios.

Mad Catz

Mad Catz Global Limited (formerly Mad Catz Interactive, Inc.) is an American company that provides interactive entertainment products marketed under Mad Catz, GameShark (gaming products) and TRITTON (audio products). Mad Catz developed flight simulation software through its internal ThunderHawk Studios, developed flight simulation and chess hardware under its Saitek brand, published games under its Mad Catz brand, and distributed games and video game products for third-party partners. The company was incorporated in Canada and headquartered in San Diego, California. Mad Catz had offices in North America, Europe and Asia.

Nearer My God

Nearer My God is the third studio album by American rock band, Foxing. The album was released on August 10, 2018 through Triple Crown Records.

Nintendo 64 accessories

This is a list of accessories for the Nintendo 64 video game console.

Rochard

Rochard is a science fiction platform game available for the PlayStation 3 through the PlayStation Network, for Microsoft Windows, Linux and Mac OS X through the Steam online distribution platform, and for Linux as part of the Humble Indie Bundle 6. Developed by Recoil Games, the game revolves around the manipulation of gravity and the use of a G-Lifter, a gravity device used to easily move heavy objects around. The title combines increasingly challenging environmental puzzles with action, humor and a story of rich twists.

The game's launch dates for the PlayStation Network were September 27, 2011 in the US and September 28, 2011 in Europe. The worldwide Steam launch of the Windows version took place on November 15 of the same year.

SharkWire Online

SharkWire Online is a specialized GameShark device with a serial port and modem added, accompanied by a now defunct dialup Internet portal service. Launched in January 2000, it was sold only in the US, by InterAct which is most famous for its GameShark and Dexdrive. This unlicensed platform was the only Nintendo 64 online service to have been released other than Nintendo's official Randnet service which had already been released only in Japan in December 1999.

Silent Storm engine

The Silent Storm engine is a turn-based tactics game engine developed by Nival Interactive for their video game Silent Storm. The engine was reused for Silent Storm: Sentinels, Night Watch, Hammer & Sickle and Day Watch. A modified version of this engine was used for Heroes of Might and Magic V.

Video game console emulator

A video game console emulator is a type of emulator that allows a computing device to emulate a video game console's hardware and play its games on the emulating platform. More often than not, emulators carry additional features that surpass the limitations of the original hardware, such as broader controller compatibility, timescale control, greater performance, clearer quality, easier access to memory modifications (like GameShark), one-click cheat codes, and unlocking of gameplay features. Emulators are also a useful tool in the development process of homebrew demos and the creation of new games for older, discontinued, or more rare consoles.

The code and data of a game are typically supplied to the emulator by means of a ROM file (a copy of game cartridge data) or an ISO image (a copy of optical media), which are created by either specialized tools for game cartridges, or regular optical drives reading the data. Most games retain their copyright despite the increasing time-span of the original system and products' discontinuation; this leaves regular consumers and emulation enthusiasts to resort to obtaining games freely across various internet sites rather than legitimately purchasing and ripping the contents (although for optical media, this is becoming popular for legitimate owners). As an alternative, specialized adapters such as the Retrode allow emulators to directly access the data on game cartridges without needing to copy it into a ROM image first.

VisualBoyAdvance

VisualBoyAdvance (commonly abbreviated as VBA) is a free emulator of the Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance handheld game consoles as well as of Super Game Boy and Super Game Boy 2.

Besides the DirectX version for the Windows platform, there is also one that is based on the free platform independent graphics library SDL. This is available for a variety of operating systems including Linux, BSD, Mac OS X, and BeOS. VisualBoyAdvance has also been ported to AmigaOS 4, AROS, GameCube, Wii, webOS, and Zune HD.

Wizard101

Wizard101 is a 2008 massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) created by KingsIsle Entertainment. In the game, players take on the role of students of Ravenwood School of Magical Arts in order to save the Spiral, the fictional galaxy in which the game is set, from various threats. Players battle enemies by casting spells using a turn-based combat system similar to collectible card games.

Pirate101, a sister MMORPG set in the same universe, was released in 2012.

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