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DRM SUCKS. F-Zero AX in GX is another reason why

On 03/13/2013 at 03:10 PM by Chris Iozzi

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Nobody around here needs me to tell them about the debacle EA is facing with some shitty Sim City shenanigans. Just when EA starts to look OK in the eye of the average gamer they go and screw it up. People are STILL having a hard time getting that piece of junk to work, Diablo III had problems too but this whole thing is looking to be a botched release at a new magnitude.

Nobody around here needs me to also tell them why DRM sucks. Having to be always connected even when playing a single player game is completely ruining the charm of our hobby. nobody wants to be babysat while playing a game and being held at the mercy of your internet connection and the parent companys servers to let you continue. Multiplayer stuff I can see, but to basically sell a license to play a game through the net clouds without actually OWNING anything and charging full price is a disgrace. I really hope the message goes out loud and clear to these big game companys to leave well enough alone.

This DRM stuff and cloud based sales can take away other charms of our hobby that some may not have even thought of yet. Take for example the recent discovery of the arcade counterpart to the Gamecube racer F-Zero GX hidden in the old Gamecube disks. If you were lucky enough to find one of the arcade units, named F-Zero AX, you could use your Gamecube memory card to upload your save and continue your game there, you could also unlock the arcade tracks in the home version. But they just discovered the entire arcade version of the game including exclusive screens, music, and gameplay modes are accessable and playable in their entirety, locked away on each copy of the orginal Gamecube disk. This code has finally come out of hiding after 10 years when some dedicated hackers took a crack at the game code. Other hidden gems like this could be found in old games like deleted levels and test modes that could be activated with some crafty Action Replay work.

F-Zero GX is one of my favorite Gamecube games. Its beautiful and fast, makes any Wipeout game look like a pinewood derby. The Gamecube controller, while not the best controller in the world, worked perfectly for this game, almost as if it was designed to pilot one of these hyper hover racers. I think its fantastic that 10 years later I have a reason to dig it out and try something new. This kind of stuff makes the hobby so much richer and I think its another aspect of gaming we can see disappear. If by chance there is some residual content that gets installed by a DRM controlled title, it can be carved out after the fact so nobody finds it. No fun, EA. You know, FUN? Remember that? 

So years from now when EA pulls the server for this Sim City, will the game be gone for good?Think EA won't do this? Think EA will honor your $60 purchase by keeping the game alive? Well they pulled the online features from their Hasbro Game Night collection on Xbox 360. I loved playing Yahtzee, Battleship, and Jenga on XBL, but before the life cycle of the console, they pulled the plug. They even went to far as to promote a sale on the full version of the games but failed to mention you can't play online anymore. Way to go! Can't wait to shovel out MORE money to you clowns.


If you want to know more about how to unlock F-Zero AX in GX, go here:




Nick DiMola Director

03/13/2013 at 03:14 PM

Awesome! I love F-Zero GX and I never got to play AX, so this is actually super exciting. Once I get my game room set back up, this is first on the agenda.

True Gamer At Heart

03/13/2013 at 03:22 PM

Wow thanks for the link man..Did not even know that about fzeroo gx!!


03/13/2013 at 03:37 PM

Thanks for the Share on F-Zero. Also Simcity is sinking faster then Atlantis, EA has really screwed it up with DRM. If somebody want to crack a game they will find a way no matter what. Why should the honest people suffer?

Chris Iozzi Staff Alumnus

03/14/2013 at 08:23 AM

agree, plus the whole thing about the disk in the retail version is pretty much just for show. I guess all it does is install Origin? Pathetic.


03/13/2013 at 03:41 PM

I've read somewhere that a company has to maintain a product for at least ten years but I'm sure EA has hired enough sleazy lawyers to find loopholes around that, Lar. My friend Alex was disappointed because Sim City used to be one of his favorite franchises.


03/13/2013 at 03:48 PM

My brother told me that there was some code hidden deep within Goldeneye on N64 that allows you to play one of the first systems ever made, and about 10 or so games for it. I have no idea how it works or how to unlock that though. I think it's awesome they hid AX in there. DRM is a bunch of garbage that needs to go away fast. Yell

Jason Ross Senior Editor

03/13/2013 at 05:29 PM

I believe it's an Amiga emulator, and it was made literally just to see if the developer could do it. More interesting is the unused code that was meant to work with some kind of camera to put your own face on characters in multiplayer.

Rarewitchproject would have more information in either case. Google 'em.

Jason Ross Senior Editor

03/13/2013 at 08:28 PM

There we go. Checking into it, it's an emulator for the ZX Spectrum 48x. Whoops!


03/13/2013 at 08:36 PM

That's awesome! Thanks for looking into it! It looks like you need a patch to get it to work. How are you supposed to patch a N64 game without running it through emulation? lol. Undecided

Chris Iozzi Staff Alumnus

03/14/2013 at 08:24 AM

I forgot all about that Spectrum emulater in Goldeneye, I do remember hearing about it though. Love things like this! Thanks for posting the link.


03/13/2013 at 04:01 PM

That's what i never understood about DRM, won't all those games be useless? Wow, what a way to enrich the industry. They knew this would happen don't anyone belive otherwise how dare they create a service that was never garenteed and failing the pubkic with an unusable product.Frown


I Have GX but I suck soo hard at it, the GBA games i'm pretty good at though Smile

Chris Iozzi Staff Alumnus

03/14/2013 at 08:26 AM

I love F-Zero but I have to admit I'm not the best at it. Such a great beautiful game though. I bought a S-video cable for my Gamecube just for that game.

Jamie Alston Staff Writer

03/13/2013 at 04:10 PM

Good point.  DRM just sucks the fun out of the video gaming culture if you ask me.

Chris Iozzi Staff Alumnus

03/14/2013 at 08:24 AM

you said it.


03/13/2013 at 04:47 PM

I may just need to grab a copy of F-Zero GX then.... erm... wait, do I already have it...? I have no clue!! WTF, this backlog is getting out of hand, hardcore!

EDIT: nope, looks like I still need to get it. Hopefully the price doesn't spike up. 

Super Step Contributing Writer

03/13/2013 at 05:25 PM

Well, I know what game I'll be hooking up my Gamecube to play soon! Thanks for sharing the link!

Edit: Son of a bitch though, I need a Gameshark for it, apparently.

Chris Iozzi Staff Alumnus

03/14/2013 at 08:25 AM

Gameshark or Action Replay

Cary Woodham

03/13/2013 at 06:47 PM

I saw F-Zero AX in an arcade in Seattle once.  But I was on vacation and didn't think to pack my GC memory card.  I've seen the Japanese version of AX at arcade auctions, but I don't think my GC card would've worked. 


03/13/2013 at 08:51 PM

I give EA 4 years to pull the servers and close up shop on Sim City then paying customers will be sitting with a simcity box wjth a useless disc just think how ps2 games would be if you only could play online who would want to buy a game, and in a way EA is being biased people who dont have internet  EA is saying we dont need your buisness , me personally would never buy a game that I cant play unless im online and the people who do buy these games are just giving EA the green light to keep screwing us.


03/14/2013 at 10:29 AM

DRM is evil. That is all.


03/14/2013 at 09:18 PM

I'm not really sure how DRM relates to locked content on a decade-old Gamecube game.

Anyway, I'm listening to the latest episode of Giant Bombcast, and they spent a while talking about the SimCity debacle.  What I took from that discussion was that EA doesn't try to be evil or anything (nobody at EA is saying, "This went well/we wanted this."), but as a company they don't really work hard at fighting that image with the consumer.  DRM is a contentious subject, but it'd be naive to think that companies could do without it or similar measures.  Piracy has hit the PC hard, and that fact is evident in the giant drop in PC exclusives and measures that publishers are using to protect their products--really, their investments.  This isn't to say that EA or other companies can get off scot-free for crummy service or overly intrusive DRM, but I think fans and the gaming community on the whole need to look at it as a "'how,' not 'why'" issue.


03/24/2013 at 09:55 PM

and thus the lesson is learned.

Now you see why I despite EA with all the tatics they do to us gamers. online pass, origin, constant on DRM internet requirements. it's times like these that gamers need to vote with their wallets and avoid these games that have ANY of these features. They'll get the message eventually.

Wish I could find the AX arcade to unlock those features in my copy. I guess I need to see in doing some arcade traveling in the near future.

Chris Iozzi Staff Alumnus

03/26/2013 at 11:20 AM

You don't need an arcade unit to do it. Just an Action Replay or other cheat device.

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