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 Pikmin e-reader cards
Argument: Generic , Closed by: root
MaddHatts @ 2009-12-18 04:38:34

I had a question about the Pikmin e-reader cards, but when I went to the e-Dia, I couldn't find a trace of them.
I notice the front page says that the e-Dia is considered to be in its final stage meaning that it will not be updated. I also noticed that there's no description for many of the Japanese cardsets. How can you possibly consider that final? Did you guys just give up on the project?
Anyway I'm sure you had good reasons. I'd love to see it expanded, but if it's too much work then I understand. I certainly can't volunteer to donate any time to it just now since this year is a really busy one for me (school... ugh.)

So just to come back full-circle, here's my Pikmin question:
How do you play this game?
I have the card sets (they are Japanese cards), I have the e-reader, and I have a GBA.
But when I put them all together it gives me a region error. I thought GBAs were regionless!
I have a Game Boy Player attachment for GCN, and on a whim I tried that, but that game me the same error...

So I thought: Oh, well maybe it's the e-Reader that isn't regionless...
So I bought a Japanese e-reader and tried it again.
Same result.

My next purchase was a cheap Japanese Game Boy Player that I found on Ebay.
So I tried it again.
Same result.

I don't know what else to try. I don't need all these duplicate Japanese items and I really don't want to buy a Japanese GBA, but I'll do it if that's my only other option.

Can you guys think what I'm doing wrong?

I had one other thought which is that perhaps it's meant to be played in conjunction with Pikmin 2 as with a GCN-GBA connector cable. But then why does it keep saying "region error" when I use it instead of something like "please attach me to the GCN now?"
If it is supposed to be used with Pikmin 2, will I need Japanese Pikmin 2 and a Japanese GCN?

I'm sick of buying expensive Japanese items that I can't use and that don't work with anything else I own.

:( Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance.
michal99 @ 2009-12-18 21:36:39

I don't have GC nor the cable, but I do have these pikmin sets unopen and on the back of the pack is this. Which leads me to that you have to connect the GBA to GC and it add something to the game or save. It will not work just with the GBA and e-reader.
MaddHatts @ 2009-12-18 22:10:55

Interesting. Perhaps the answer was right under my nose the whole time.

I am still baffled by the region error I get. I guess my only option is to buy a Japanese GBA...
I would have thought that a Japanese Game Boy Player would have sufficed.

I guess it's a good thing I got the Japanese e+ too... :)

Thanks for the help, though. That's the closest I've gotten yet to the answer.
kazumi213 @ 2009-12-19 03:02:18

GBA is *not* region locked, so forget buying a JPN one.

NGC *is* region locked. If usage of NGC is involved, you're going to need at least a JPN NGC (and GBA?) *game* copy. I don't know anything about NGC, but maybe you can use a loader disc to play the JPN game on your region NGC.
michal99 @ 2009-12-19 06:18:48

Once again the pikmin and also animal crossing and some others e-card will do nothing on GBA. You have to have the GC game and connected GBA as a controller to GC and do a few things in the game to prepare the GBA to be ready to add the things to the game. So buying japanese GBA will do nothing for you. Read the eDia pages.
MaddHatts @ 2009-12-19 16:34:49

Here's why I think that might be inaccurate:

If the only problem with my set-up was the fact that it wasn't connected to the GCN, the error message I would expect would be "Communication Failure."

Instead I see "Region Error" every time I try it on either the GBA or the Japanese Game Boy Player system attached to my GCN.

Unless it's a translation mistake I think the problem actually has to do with the region status of the GBA.
I have Japanese Pikmin e-Cards, a Japanese e-Reader+, and an American GBA so the only thing that is of the improper region is the GBA.

I have a feeling, though, that once I get the GBA, e-Reader, and cards working together properly the only change will be that instead of a "Region Error" message I will get a "Communication Failure" message. When that happens I will have to start looking for a Japanese copy of Pikmin 2 and a Japanese GCN... Unless my Freeloader will work with it... Hmmm...
michal99 @ 2009-12-19 18:17:55

It's your money, but there is nothing like japanese GBA, all GBA have same bios so there is no chance that a software can recognize where did you buy a GBA.
And if you once again look at my picture which I posted you can clearly see that there is a blue E card picture which say X which means it will not work in GBA and there is green E whith O which tell you it will only work with the GC game.


If you can't get this then you're lost.
kazumi213 @ 2009-12-19 18:51:04

"There are multiple available packs of Pikmin e-Reader cards, both released only in Japan after the release of Pikmin 2. Each card contains a number of simple Pikmin-based mini-games, which can be played by connecting the e-Reader to a Game Boy Player connected to a GameCube in which the Pikmin 2 disk is placed."

"Pikmin 2 e-Reader: In Japan, after the release of Pikmin 2, Nintendo released e-Reader cards that contained minigames. Some of these minigames required the player to pluck all the Pikmin in an area in a set amount of steps, or to try to get Pikmin from one point to another. These cards were not released outside of Japan, as the e-Reader was not released in Europe, and had been discontinued in North America at the time. The cards contain region-specific encoding which blocks their use with North American e-Readers."

So you need:

- JPN NGC game
- JPN NGC or a way to load JPN games on your NGC (region locked)
- JPN e-reader (region-locked)
- Game Boy Player (it shouldn't be region locked, but I don't know)
- ANY (for sure) GBA console

Maybe you don't even need a GBA, but I don't really know how the GBP works.
MaddHatts @ 2009-12-19 19:12:56



Listen, my question isn't about how to set it up any more. Look back at my last post.

My question is now this:
Could you explain why it says "Region Error" when it should be saying "Communication Failure"?

If there is no such thing as a Japanese GBA,...
Then why does it say "Region Error"?
How does it know I'm not a Japanese man sitting in Japan with the GBA I purchased in Akihabara, my Japanese e-reader, and several Japanese Pikmin e-cards?
Shouldn't it be telling me "Communication Failure" when I try to use it with just the GBA?
(note: I'm not suggesting that you're wrong that the BIOS is identical. I'm wondering why it gives me such a strange error message)

That's the mystery here, not how to hook it up.
Trust me, the first scan you posted explained the setup for me perfectly the first time. I am not confused even a little about that.

I hope you can understand the source of my confusion now.


Heh, you're actually quoting my own words back at me. I added that line to Wikipedia after I discovered my NA e-Reader giving me a "Region Error" message. Since then I've tried a JP e-Reader and mysteriously it produces the same message. I said before that I thought GBAs were regionless, so I'm glad to accept both of your claims that the BIOS is identical. Fine. I'm mystified by the fact that it complains about my region instead of complaining about the connectivity of my setup.

Maybe it's just a bug with the use of these cards.
I can't imagine any reasonable explanation for it.

Thanks for all your help both you you. I'm sorry to see I was unable to express myself very clearly, but I appreciate all the scans and helpful advice.

michal99, you said you had unopened packs, but do you have the full set? I have only 5/6 most annoyingly. Also where did you get yours? I got mine from Play-Asia two or three years ago. Do you know of anywhere else that I might look for the last pack?
kazumi213 @ 2009-12-19 21:09:36

Whether a GBA is required or not, ANY will do.

Just tell us: are you using the JPN NGC Pikmin 2 game?
MaddHatts @ 2009-12-19 22:10:49

I understand that's what you guys think. :D
But... That just brings us back to the only actual question that we are still left with:
QUESTION: Why does it say "Region Error" when it should be saying "Communication Failure"?

In answer to your question about the JPN NGC Pikmin 2 game, the answer is no. I don't have a JPN NGC Pikmin 2 game.
...But please don't tell me that I need a JPN NCG Pikmin 2 game or I can't play because I know that already!
I'm hoping my Freeloader will help me get around having to buy a Japanese gamecube. But........ My question is about something different.

Why is it that when the Japanese Pikmin e-cards are slid through the Japanese e-Reader+ that is inserted into the (apparently regionless) GBA the screen tells me that I am using equipment from the wrong region rather than telling me that my GBA is not connected to the Gamecube (which should logically be the only problem) ?
michal99 @ 2009-12-19 22:54:09

Because e-card + (which the pikmin cards are) was designed after the e-reader hw was released and that's why you have to connect it to NGC and let it to "modify" the e-reader. Don't look for anything special here.

To card - I do have yellow, red and blue series 1-4 (60 card total) so if you want them let me know.
MaddHatts @ 2009-12-19 23:08:22

Wait, so you're suggesting that I should try to use a Japanese e-reader+ with my GBA and attach it to my GCN using a GBA-GCN linking cable in order to play the game?

Hey that just might work!
Why didn't I think of that?
michal99 @ 2009-12-19 23:15:03

And with the game as the game is the keypoint.