Welcome to Collectors Corner! Each week I’ll be bringing you a special article on the special editions of consoles and other Nintendo merchandise that I love. Ever since I was a kid Nintendo’s special editions have stood out to me, and I’m excited to share that passion with you all.
A few weeks ago, I brought you guys a look at several special edition GameCubes, one of my favorite consoles. I mentioned a few reasons why the GameCube stood out to me, but left out the one part of the GameCube that I’ve most enjoyed and that has stood the test of time. This week I am going to show you some of the special edition variants of the greatest video game controller ever conceived by man: the GameCube controller.
For the love of controllers
Everything about this controller is great. It’s comfortable, it’s buttons are extremely satisfying to press, the analog triggers are the best we’ve ever seen on any console, and even though it looks like strange, deformed boomerang, it fits perfectly in almost any hand. Another great feature of the GameCube controller is that it came in a wide variety of colors: 25 color variants, if the Wavebird is included. I’m here today to talk about some of my favorites.
Released on August 24th, 2004 as one of the many Club Nintendo exclusives, from a time when Nintendo rewards weren’t small digital titles and discounts on current games, this controller was released exclusively in Japan for 500 Club Nintendo points. I’ll be honest: Wario isn’t my favorite, but there’s something about the color scheme on this controller that draws me in. These days they go for a lot more than 500 Club Nintendo points, so if you want to nab one for yourself, they consistently go for over $200 on eBay.
Resident Evil 4 and Chainsaw
This controller comes from back in a time when third party developers played nice with Nintendo’s consoles and Nintendo allowed more mature games to grace the disc tray of the GameCube. Released as a standalone product three months after the initial release of Resident Evil 4, this bloodied chainsaw controller was about as edgy as you could get with the Nintendo GameCube, even if the chainsaw blade doesn’t actually move. Destined to be a collector’s item, each controller is numbered out of 50,000, and no two controllers have the same blood splatter pattern. Despite the collector-centric make and distribution, this controller can be found on eBay starting at $80.
Resident Evil 4 also got the bundle treatment in Europe, which resulted in a slightly less edgy, although still cool looking, standard controller. Black on bottom with a silver face sporting the Resident Evil 4 logo in place of the standard Nintendo logo. Would you like to own the only GameCube controller to have the Silver/Black color scheme? Right now there’s only one listing on eBay, and it’s for the entire RE4 bundle, and it’ll run you $128 plus some expensive shipping, handling, and importing from the U.K.
One of my absolute favorite GameCube controller variants, this beautiful controller took a page from the Indigo/Clear controller’s book and kicked it up a notch. It was released exclusively in Japan on July 22nd, 2004. In addition to being exclusive to Japan, it was also exclusively available as part of two separate bundles, the Enjoyment Plus Pak, and the Pokémon Colosseum Enjoyment Plus Pak. These transparent beauties are available pretty consistently on eBay starting around $50, just make sure you’re buying an official Nintendo one.
Lodge Net Controller
Back in the day, some North American hotels had a service available called LodgeNet. This service was used to provide Nintendo games to hotel guests on a pay-to-play basis. In 2003, this service was updated to feature a select number of GameCube titles. In order for this to work, a special, LodgeNet controller was created. The LodgeNet controller was jet black, and featured six special buttons in addition to the standard GameCube controller fare. These additional buttons were used to navigate the on-screen interface. The addition of these six buttons caused some things on the controller to move slightly, compared to a standard GameCube controller. The start button is moved down, along with the standard Nintendo logo moving from the middle of the controller over to the right, sitting right above the control stick. No other controller Nintendo produced had the logo in this specific location.
Other oddities include having “© 1997 Nintendo” imprinted on the back of the controller, which is strange, since the GameCube didn’t launch until 2001, and this controller didn’t make its debut until 2003. There are small, rubber feet on the back of the controller, possibly to prevent damage, and there are also caps on all screws to prevent tampering. The controller had a specialized, coiled cord that couldn’t connect to a normal GameCube. Removing this controller from the hotel room would cost you $29.95 back in the day. That small fee didn’t phase collectors, although they can routinely be found on eBay for pretty cheap now. I actually just bought one myself for $12.99.
There it is, my friends! A small look at a passion of mine. The one Nintendo thing that I will one day have a complete collection of: GameCube Controllers! If you’ve got a favorite and we missed it, I’m sure we’ll get to eventually. The GameCube controller had many, many special editions, and I would love to come back to these and take another look. Join us next week for a very special Collectors Corner featuring the first home console I ever owned!
Fun fact: I talk about GameCube controllers yet again in Collectors Corner in Part 2!Leave a Comment