- Introduction To Zoids Import Games

    If you've been a fan of Zoids for a while, you've probably come across the frustrations that most Zoids games are in Japanese. While there are some I haven't had a chance to mess with (later DS game consoles, Xbox and Xbox 360, etc.) I have been able to successfully play several import games on american consoles. Many people believe that the only way to do this is to modify the console, and that simply isn't true. Unfortuantely, the products used to access import games without modifying a console are becoming harder to find, so all I can do is tell you what to look for.

    Also, for legal reasons, I won't be going into just downloading roms of these games. Normally I don't support this, but I can understand the frustrations of not being able to find games in the first place (or at least, there are some I've been hunting for a while,) so to each their own.

Gamecube Games

I'll start with the Gamecube consoles since this is probably what a few of you are familiar with. To play import games on a Gamecube, your best bet is the Freeloader. This is a swap disc that you insert into the gamecube, and wait for it to load. It will hit a screen where it asks you to insert the disc. You may need to hit another button first depending on the version of freeloader. Simply remove the freeloader disc from the game cube and then insert your import disc, and it should play.

Playstation Games

    Now, the Playstation gets a little more complicated. You've got two major options, but neither are perfect. The main problem here is the lack of full compatibility for any option depending on the console you're using.

Slide Card:
    For both swap disc types you'll want a slide card, which is just a piece of plastic. Both should come with one (if memory serves) but I'll start with Breaker Pro since that one I know comes with a slide card.

Breaker Pro:
    The Breaker Pro is a swap disc like the Freeloader is for the Game Cube. This item is a bit more complicated to use. It comes with a slide card and a spring. I don't use the spring, so leaving that out for now. The Breaker Pro is to play Playstation X games on a Playstation 2. It does not work for Playstation 2 Imports (so if you're stuck on "Booting Disc", this is probably why.)

Swapping a Disc:
    The object is the same. Swapping discs. To do this, you'll probably need to remove the piece of plastic on the door of your playstation, which has the "PS2" logo on it. This should slide right off without much force, so careful not to break anything. After you've done that, insert the Breaker Pro disc and it should load automatically (if it does not, open and close the door again.) Then place the thin side of the slide card (that has the hook on it) into the Playstation, by sliding it up right underneith of the door. You should feel slight pressure, and be able to push it to the right. You'll feel the door mechanism slide open. Then pull out, and pull the door open. Remove the Breaker Pro disc, then insert your import game. Push the door shut, then place the slide card back underneith of it, at the far right end. You should be able to feel the hook catch the edge of the door mechanism. Slide it back left again until you hear it click. Then press any button to continue.

    It is important that you do not use the open and close button on the Playstation at all for this. This will "reset" the playstation's 'knowledge' of the disc, and it will immediately understand that something is amiss, and will not read the import game if you do.

Fliptop Lids:
If you're concerned about man handling your playstation too much, some models of playstation have a fliptop lid. This replaces the top portion of your playstation with an opening fliptop lid. A PS2 will not recognize when the fliptop lid is opened, so you can swap the discs much easier. Make sure that the lid you're thinking of buying is made for the model of PS2 that you have. Check the sticker on the back/bottom of the PS2 to be sure that the numbers match up, and don't buy one that doens't have the model compatibility listed.

Swap Magic:
    Swap Magic is the next Playstation Import swap disc. These can be kind of iffy sometimes. Like other swap discs, it can take 1-3 tries to get it to work/read correctly on the console, so if it doesn't work at first, don't despair.

    Swap Magic works the same as Breaker Pro, but it has two discs. The first is a "CD" disc. This is for playing PSX games. I've personally had trouble using this on a PS2 console, so I don't know if it's actually supposed to work on them, or if I just got a bad disc. It may be intended to work on PSX consoles only. The "DVD" disc is for Playstation 2 games. Like the Breaker Pro, just insert the Swap Magic, wait until it loads, then swap them out using the slide card.

Hand Held Games

    Most handhelds are not region locked. I've heard that the DS Lite and later consoles are, but I have not confirmed it myself. The DSi/XL have been able to play some import games such as Zoids Colloseum. All GB/GBC/GBA Zoids Games should work on permitting consoles.