A Z64 backup unit for the N64, commonly referred to as the “Mr. Backup.” This model recently showed up in the Neo-Geo Forums, one of the premier places on the web to buy and trade ultra rare game devices related to hacking and modding. In this instance, the owner has apparently added a 4GB laptop hard drive, which is supposedly filled to the brim with assorted N64 roms. The filthy pirate!
The Z64 was actually the Rolls-Royce of such hardware during its day for many reasons, imho. Not only was the design super sexy (at least compared to similar units for the SNES and Genesis), but also utilized cutting edge technology at the time. Whereas the Game Doctor (the most commonly known backup device for the SNES) ran games from 3½-inch floppy disks, the two different models of the Z64 (as far as I know of) supported either burnt CDs and Zip disks. Remember those?
Here’s a video of the latter version, which is the one I have the most familiarity with; a buddy of mine who was heavy into the bootleg scene had one, it was his pride and joy. Never-mind/please enjoy the creepy dungeon-like quality of the dude’s apartment:
Because I don’t understand Portuguese, all I can do is recall from memory; I believe you always had to have a cart in the slot for the console to boot up with the device attached. The long load times, if I also remember correctly, is because each rom was so heavily compressed and had to be decompressed before being played (hence why the unit’s menu claims to have 606MB free at one point on a 100mb capacity Zip). But the real reason why the disk version was superior to the optical media version is that one could copy contents from a cartridge onto the Zip within the unit (whereas you had to burn roms onto the CD on a PC).
Thanks for the heads up, drozdal!
Guest post by Matt “Fort90” Hawkins