May the Fourth be with these 2 classic Star Wars Themed Portables.
Celebrate Star Wars Day with Hailraizer and the Darth64 Nintendo 64 Portable and the Dreamtrooper Dreamcast portable, each created in 2008. These are the portable mods you’re looking for!
Both of these portables were crafted together in a frankencasing method (a process of forming different parts of plastic together with bondo or epoxy putty to create a more uniformed, structured case) from the Lazer Doodle children’s electronic toy that creates a rudimentary picture by moving a bar of colored LEDs back and forth. Screen bezels, controllers, buttons and console parts are added into the case for the overall themed designs.
The Darth 64, which was designed to resemble Darth Vader’s helmet, features a stock PSone screen (with original backlight), 5000maH of Li-Poly batteries, Hori-64 controls for a Gamecube style joystick and directional pad, rear shoulder buttons with twin z buttons for each side, and a relocated cartridge slot to insert the games flush with the back of the unit.
The Hori Pad was selected as the controller of choice for the Darth64 for it’s streamlined layout, closer to that of a gamecube controller, and as it’s form factor and size were most suitable to mold into the Lazer Doodle case. A bit blasphemous by today’s standard, but they weren’t as finite in 2008 as they are today.
Many of the N64 Portables of the Time Period had an omitted the L button (not used in many games) and put the Z button in it’s place. Playstation shoulder buttons were used to for a different aesthetic, keeping both L and R shoulder buttons while having twin Z buttons under each of them.
L brackets were used to mount the cartridge slot to the heatsink/rf shielding, then bolted to the N64 motherboard to prevent the slot from wobbling causing the games to freeze. Screw wells were also Abs cemented and epoxied into the case for stability to keep the motherboard in place. 2 Li-Poly 5000mah batteries were wired in series for the required 7.2volts, averaging just over 3 hours of battery life.
After the success of the Darth 64 (and another Lazer Doodle flea market find) Hailraizer looked to create another Star Wars themed portable, this time with the Dreamcast in the shape and style of a Stormtrooper helmet, again featuring a 5″ PSone screen, 5000maH Li_poly Batteries, built in memory card, programmable face buttons, and a Dreamcast logo power LED on the front of the unit.
Actual Dreamcast first party controllers aren’t fairly easy hack apart (can’t really split the board and difficult to remove and relocate parts) a third party Quantum Fighter Pad was selected for use instead, as all the parts are already separated for easier placement. Since the Left and Right Triggers are analog, the controller uses a slider/magnet setup to register how much force is placed when using the trigger. The default trigger mechanism was too long to comfortably fit inside the portable. so the magnetic sliders were removed and originally cut onto Xbox triggers did not work as planned, so Saturn triggers from a 3D controller were drilled and epoxied onto the original trigger mechanism instead.
The internals are always a thing of beauty in Hailraizer’s portables, nice, tidy, and clean every time with the placement of all the components are parts well thought out and executed. A work of art to be sure, admired by newcomers and seasoned portablizers alike.