These days Everdrive cartridges are the easiest way of transferring ROM files over to the N64. But this wasn’t always the case. Back in the late 90s, a company named Bung Enterprises Limited released its Doctor V64 device. This device was marketed originally as an N64 dev kit, and some companies did actually use it as such since it was much cheaper than the official developer kit. The device could also be used as a standalone CD/Video CD Player. But the general consumer of this product was more interested in the ability to modify the device, then dump official cartridges and load the ROM files back to the N64 from CD-ROM.
Nintendo wasn’t very happy about this feature of the device and as you can imagine, law suites soon followed. Over in America Nintendo managed to get the product banned from sale. This didn’t stop Bung, and they continued to sell the device in North America by advertising it simply as a Video CD player and not mentioning its additional features.
Using the device is pretty simple, you sit your N64 on top of it so it connects via the external port on the bottom of the N64. Next, you turn on the V64 and load a CDROM with N64 ROMs into the drive. You can then select one of your ROM files and it will load it into the V64 memory (256mbit is installed in mine). Now you can power on the N64 and it will load the ROM straight from the memory of the V64.
There is one additional part needed, an original game. Since the N64 had copy protection via a CIC chip on the cartridges. The V64 came with an adapter that sat between the N64 and the original game, this adapter simply blocked the original game from booting so the only thing that happened in the CIC chip activated and then waited for the game to boot from the V64.
My V64 was missing this adapter, but any original game could be modified by cutting one of the tracks to prevent the actual game from booting. This is quite handy as it doesn’t take up as much space as the adapter and a fully cased game, so it fitted in my IKEA shelving much easier.
Here are some photos of the device in action.