For the past two years, a Nintendo Wii console from around 2011 has been sitting on my TV shelf with a stack of games, all Guitar Hero, and two guitars. They have been sitting there for two years because I have constantly said that one day I would play what was once my ultimate favorite game. So this Christmas I finally did, but there was a big effort involved in recreating some nostalgia (and getting the much needed dopamine hit in 2021).
While I have wanted to give Guitar Hero once again in the last two years, it’s much longer since I actually played.
The Wii I bought in 2011 (source unknown). It was never mine, but it showed up one day and no one came back to pick it up. So I did what any music-obsessed person would do in their 20s and bought it all Guitar Hero things by someone on Gumtree. Looking back, this was a bit risky, but I diverge.
Fast forward to the end of 2021 and of the two guitars, one is completely useless – the part that connects to the Wii controller is both burnt and frayed, the result of leaving a controller connected to it for several months in a hot apartment many years ago. The second guitar, strum bar is sticky to the touch. Nothing has been spilled on it, the rubber (?) Is just about to dissolve.
One Wii remote got a battery explosion, but the other worked fine. But I refuse to throw anything out. And to prove a point to a friend, I decided that this short vacation break I was finally going to play Guitar Hero.
But of course it was not as simple as that player Guitar Hero
Of course, I had to connect the Wii to the TV. Over Christmas, I reviewed the LG 4K Smart QNED 91 MiniLED TV, which is a 2021 model TV with 2021 ports. That is, no coaxial connections. Shocking, I know.
Jaycar wanted $ 89.95 for a Composite AV to HDMI converter, so of course I bought a cheaper and probably much less reliable device from Battery Expert (currently on sale for $ 19 instead of $ 30, if you also want to try your older console .). It connects to the Wii, then plugs in an HDMI cable and runs it from the TV. You also need to connect the converter to power through a micro-USB. It all looks damn ugly, but that’s the price you pay for fun, guys.
That Guitar Hero landing screen came up, sound came through. Fantastic. But my Wii controller would not work. Replacing the batteries with new ones did not solve the problem, so I went down to EB Games and bought a new one. But it still would not work. So I googled.
Enter the power of candles (and the Internet)
candles? Yup. I was not only keen on a romantic Guitar Hero sesh. Two candles can work instead of the Wii’s sensor rod.
How? Well, the Wii sensor bar contains two infrared LED bulbs that the controller recognizes to triangulate the positions between them. The only reason the sensor rod connects to the Wii is to power the infrared bulbs. Because this is independent of the Wii system, you can easily replace the Wii sensor rod with two lit candles.
(The blinds are there because the legs of the TV are sitting too far from the wall and my cat thinks it’s fun to walk behind the TV and threaten to overturn it all).
My Wii controller worked (so did the old one, FYI), and while I constantly had to yell at my cat to get out of the case, I got a short time over Guitar Hero again (even if it was just on medium difficulty). The screen was so bloody blurred and my eyes absolutely killed me, but all this was worth the six hours I then spent soaking in dopamine.