What is Nintendo’s Triforce? The odd collaboration for arcades

Three companies come together for a weird thing

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Ever heard of the Triforce? Yes? Wrong. You heard of The Triforce, not Nintendo’s arcade board developed in conjunction with Sega and Namco, the Triforce. 

It is fascinating to go through Sega’s work on arcade machines from the Dreamcast era onwards, as they’re these incredible machines that are essentially prolonging the life of consoles way past their original intended expiration date and even adding in cool new features that you didn’t get at home. 

The games weren’t plentiful, but arcade games usually are developed a little weirdly. As they’re intended to draw in large amounts of cash over a course of time for the different arcades they live in, the high cost of selling the full machine or board, along with the lack of need for constant replenishment of different games every single week or month like with home consoles, means that the limited library of the Triforce is actually about average. 

What makes the Triforce unique is that it is built on the Gamecube and uses Sega’s proprietary GD-ROM, or Gigabyte Disc, which the Sega Dreamcast and their other arcade systems used (the NAOMI for instance). Combine this with the powerhouse developers at Namco and it is one of gaming’s curiosities that unfortunately doesn’t seem to be getting many places with emulation. 

How is emulation for Triforce?

While plenty of videos exists out in the wild of these games running at full speed and without too many issues, along with the hardware already being familiar enough to the scene, it is the additional functions from games like F-Zero AX and Mario Kart GP 1 & 2 that are causing the headaches. 

If it needs to connect to something or link up to a camera for instance, like in Mario Kart, it will immediately crash. There are plenty of workarounds, but the common thought is that without reverse-engineering these games, it’ll be tough to do anything with them without a whole list of caveats. 

So what games were available for the Triforce?

From Namco:

  • Donkey Kong Jungle Fever (2005)
  • Donkey Kong: Banana Kingdom (2006)
  • Mario Kart Arcade GP (2005)
  • Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 (2007)
  • Starfox (Unreleased)

From Sega:

  • F-Zero AX (2003)
  • F-Zero AX Monster Ride (2004)
  • Gekitou Pro Yakyuu (2003)
  • Avalon no Kagi (2003)
  • Avalon no Kagi Ver.1.20: Summon The New Monsters (2004)
  • Avalon no Kagi Ver.2 (2005)
  • Virtua Striker 2002 (2002)
  • Virtua Striker 4 (2004)
  • Virtua Striker 4 Ver. 2006 (2006)

The Triforce unfortunately is not particularly supported by any emulation scene and getting the hardware or discs for the hardware is wildly expensive. However, Dolphin’s team did work on a fork of the program that does have some support, but is a little finicky as it hasn’t been updated in 8 years, leaving it in the lurch. 

However, if you’re up for the task, getting it to run gives you an insight into the weirder side of Nintendo’s business. The company has its video game roots in the arcade, so whenever they release a new one into the wild it usually sees this cult following. 

However, if you really want to experience the Mario Kart Arcade games, we’ll be covering Teknoparrot in the near future, along with recommendations on builds you need for it. 

How to play F-Zero AX on Dolphin

In the meantime, if you have a copy of F-Zero GX for Dolphin, use these codes in the properties menu for the game, by right-clicking and choosing properties. Then click on Gecko Codes and configure Dolphin to enable cheats if it hasn’t already been selected. 

Then in the code section copy-paste this in:

For a PAL copy:

06003F30 00000288
818D8364 280C0000
41820278 3C6C000B
38630640 3883000C
38A0000C 4BFFF5F5
3CAC0019 80857E44
64844001 90857E44
BBC30040 BFC5BAD0
3C6C0011 A003C662
280000A4 4082000C
380000A2 B003C662
380000C0 9803F91A
A0A3C65A 3C006000
280500AE 4082000C
3C8C002F 90042A10
28050010 408200C8
3C63001E 9003C784
3C630002 3800002A
B0031848 3800002C
B003184C 38000029
B003186C 3800002B
B0031870 3C6C0030
3C006000 90031AA8
3C003C00 60003FA0
90031C14 3C009001
600000D0 90031C18
3C003C00 60003FCC
90031C1C 3C009001
600000D4 90031C20
3C004800 6000010C
90031C24 3C003CE0
60004323 90031C38
3C0090E1 600000C8
90031C68 3C003800
6000007F 90031D30
38003F40 B0031D36
3C009061 600000EC
90031D38 3C004BFF
6000FEEC 90031D3C
3C004BFF 6000F9E8
9003208C 280500AD
40820050 3C8C002F
3C003C60 60008000
9004BA38 3C003863
60003F1E 9004BA3C
3C003806 60000001
9004BA48 3C007000
6000FFFE 9004BA50
3C0080ED 60008B1C
90049658 3C00809F
600032C0 900401C4
280500B1 40820010
3C8C0030 800499F8
900D8B1C 2805009C
40820040 3C6C002F
38000002 98039C97
98039DCF 98039F9F
9803A12B 9803A21B
9803A8EF 3800000E
98039CD7 98039E13
98039FDF 9803A16B
9803A25F 9803A933
3C8C000C 38846B80
38640028 38A00018
4BFFF419 38000001
980C0133 38000000
900D8338 3C6CFFF8
3C003800 6000000D
9003F958 3C808000
80043F24 28000000
4082001C 3C00000B
6000002E 90043F20
3C000039 6000001D
90043F24 3C6C0007
A0043F20 B0030E42
A0043F22 B0030E4A
A0043F24 B0030E52
38003860 B0030E58
A0043F26 B0030E5A
3C6C0009 3C004E80
60000020 90037ACC
80010014 48017750
0401B900 4BFE8630

On NTSC (US):

06003F30 00000284
818D831C 280C0000
41820274 3C6C000B
3863FADC 3883000C
38A0000C 4BFFF5F5
3CAC0019 8085D550
64844001 9085D550
3CAC0018 BBC30040
BFC511DC 3C6C0010
A0032A86 280000A4
4082000C 380000A2
B0032A86 380000C0
98035D26 A0A32A7E
3C006000 280500AD
4082000C 3C8C0033
9004DE1C 28050010
408200CC 3C630022
90037B90 3C630003
3800002A B003C754
3800002C B003C758
38000029 B003C778
3800002B B003C77C
3C6C0034 3C006000
9003CE94 3C803C00
60803FA0 9003D000
60803FCC 9003D008
3C809001 608000D0
9003D004 608000D4
9003D00C 3C004800
6000010C 9003D010
3C003CE0 60004323
9003D024 3C0090E1
600000C8 9003D054
3C003800 6000007F
9003D11C 38003F40
B003D122 3C009061
600000EC 9003D124
3C804BFF 6080FEEC
9003D128 6080F9E8
9003D478 380000D7
98035817 3800002C
9803582B 280500AC
40820054 3C8C0032
3C003C60 60008000
90046E44 3C003863
60003F1E 90046E48
3C003806 60000001
90046E54 3C007000
6000FFFE 90046E5C
3C0080ED 60008A9C
90044A64 3C8C0033
3C00809F 600032C0
9004B5D0 280500B0
40820010 3C8C0033
80044E04 900D8A9C
2805009C 40820038
3C6C0032 38000002
98034FBB 9803509B
980351A7 980352DB
980353B3 3800000E
98034FFB 980350DF
980351E7 9803531B
980353F7 3C8C000C
38845404 38640028
38A00018 4BFFF415
38000001 980C0133
3C6CFFF8 3C003800
6000000D 9003FB50
3C808000 80043F24
28000000 4082001C
3C00000B 6000002E
90043F20 3C000039
6000001D 90043F24
3C6C0007 A0043F20
B0030CEE A0043F22
B0030CF6 A0043F24
B0030CFE 38003860
B0030D04 A0043F26
B0030D06 3C6C0009
3C004E80 60000020
90037428 80010014
48016DF4 00000000
0401AFA0 4BFE8F90

Load up the game and after a couple of messages about GX save data, you should load straight into AX. They’re similar games, but it’s fun to experience the arcade game without much of an issue. 

All images are sourced via Sega Retro.