Homebrew Guide to Using the Paddle Controller with Mario Kart DS?

HomebrewThis article could have been titled “How to Add Cheat Codes to Your R4DS?” as what am I about to describe to you is essentially that, but hey, I figured the title is eye-catching, so do bear with it :).

Produced by Taito to go along with its release of Arkanoid DS, the Paddle Controller does seem a little limited in application. However, did you know that you can actually play Mario Kart DS using the same Paddle Controller?

It does require some “cheating” on your part since the Paddle Controller is not officially supported by the game, having been released some two years before this odd-looking controller hit the market. Support for the Paddle Controller can be implemented by means of Action Replay or any flashcart with a built-in cheat function.

Since I don’t have an Action Replay, here’s a guide on how to add Paddle Controller support for your Mario Kart DS on the R4DS.

There are some prerequisites. You’ll need a couple of things:

Once you have downloaded the R4 Cheat Code Editor, remember to uncompress it to somewhere easily accessible. You’ll be using the Cheat Code Editor for most part of the guide.

  1. Start the Cheat Editor by clicking on the r4cce.exe file.
  2. Once in, select File -> Open
  3. Look for the CHEAT.DAT file located in the _system_ folder of your R4DS MicroSD card, and click on the Open button
  4. This will cause all the Cheat Codes stored in the CHEAT.DAT file to be listed out, by game, on the left pane. Look for Mario Kart DS.
  5. Click on the Add Code button in order to enter one of the two cheat strings to enable Paddle Controller support for Mario Kart DS.
    Enter the following information (obtained from prerequisite 1.) in the corresponding text boxes:

    • Code Title: Virtual D-Pad Patch
    • Comment: Press SELECT+START to patch
    • Code List: 94000130 FFF30000 023FE074 012FFF11 E0000000 00000030 E92D003F E3A04301 E2844E13 E3A01402 E3A02402 E4920004 E1500004 05021004 E3520623 1AFFFFFA E8BD003F E12FFF1E 023FE074 E3520003 D2000000 00000000

  6. Click on the Add Code button again to enter the second cheat string. Enter the following information (obtained from prerequisite 1.) into the corresponding text boxes:
    • Code Title: Paddle Controller Handler
    • Comment: by Yasu software (usay.jp)
    • Code List: A4000136 00000000 023FE074 012FFF11 E0000000 000000A0 E92D003F E3A04301 E2844C02 E1D400B4 E3800023 E1C400B4 E3A0140A E5D13000 E5D10001 E1833400 E1A03A03 E1A03A43 E59F5060 E3550A0F 01A05003 E2444C01 E1D413B0 E2010030 E3500030 11A05003 E58F5040 E0433005 E59F203C E3730008 B0822003 E3530008 C0822003 E3720C01 B3C11020 B3A02000 E3520C01 C3C11010 C3A02000 E58F2010 E3A04402 E1C410B0 E8BD003F E12FFF1E 0000F000 00000000 023FE074 E3520003 D2000000 00000000

  7. Once this is done, it’s time to save the changes that you have done to the CHEAT.DAT file. Click on File->Save to do so.

Now, replace the MicroSD card back into the R4DS flashcart. Before starting the Mario Kart DS ROM on the R4DS, be sure to enable the cheat codes by visiting the Cheat Menu via highlighting the ROM and pressing Y.

Once the game is started, press the Start and Select buttons simultaneously. After that, pressing left or right on the direction pad will calibrate the Paddle Controller’s centre point to its present position.

Use the Paddle Controller to move left or right (but not up and down) when it comes to menu options and during the race. Be warned though that the Paddle Controller can be quite sensitive, which would lead to some over-steering action :).

Here’s a video of me playing MKDS with the Paddle Controller:

The Paddle Controller for the Nintendo DS is available at Play-Asia with the price tag of USD 19.90. Lets just hope that other developers would take advantage of this new controller in order to justify the price tag.

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