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Our Complete Guide to the Nintendo 64 Expansion Pak & Jumper Pak

Posted by Chris Evans at

The Nintendo 64 Jumper Pak and Expansion Pak (also known as the 4MB ram expansion, "red top thingy", etc) have long been an area of much confusion for first-time retro gamers. Luckily for you, you've come to the right place to learn everything you need to know about the Nintendo 64, the Jumper Pak, AND the Expansion Pak. First, let's jump into the Jumper Pak and what it does.

Image result for jumper pak pictureImage result for jumper pak

Pictured above are the Memory Expansion slot on the Nintendo 64 and the Jumper Pak that fits in it. The standard N64 Jumper Pak provides the system with the minimum amount of memory it needs to run. Without a Jumper Pak in your system, you wil not see any picture on your TV. It is common for people to think that their N64 is broken because they do not realize it is missing a Jumper Pak. In fact, an in-house we use frequently when a Nintendo 64 isn't working is to pull out the Jumper Pak and clean it like a cartridge. We also sometimes have to swap a Jumper Pak if it appears to be defective. If you find that your Jumper Pak is missing or defective, you can order one below:

And now for the great mystery: What IS the Nintendo 64 Expansion Pak?? Well, Nintendo released the Expansion Pak to double the N64's RAM from 4MB to 8MB. This allowed for smoother graphics, amongst other differences. A few games 

Games that Require the Nintendo 64 Expansion Pak to Play Are:

Outside of those games, the Expansion Pak improves graphics on:

  • 007: The World is Not Enough
  • All-Star Baseball 2000
  • Army Men: Sarge's Heroes 2
  • Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness
  • Command and Conquer
  • CyberTiger
  • Donald Duck: Goin' Quackers
  • Duke Nukem: Zero Hour
  • Excitebike 64
  • F-1 World Grand Prix
  • Gauntlet Legends
  • Hybrid Heaven
  • Hydro Thunder
  • Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine
  • Indy Racing 2000
  • International Track & Field 2000
  • Jeremy McGrath Supercross 2000
  • John Romero's Daikatana
  • Ken Griffey Jr.'s Slugfest
  • Madden NFL 2001
  • Mega Man 64
  • Namco Museum 64
  • NFL Quarterback Club '98
  • NFL Quarterback Club '99
  • NFL Quarterback Club 2000
  • NFL Quarterback Club 2001
  • Nuclear Strike 64
  • Pokémon Stadium 2
  • Quake II
  • Rayman 2: The Great Escape
  • Re-Volt
  • Resident Evil 2
  • Road Rash 64
  • Roadsters Trophy
  • San Francisco Rush 2049
  • Shadow Man
  • South Park
  • Star Wars Episode I: Racer
  • Star Wars Episode I: Battle for Naboo
  • Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
  • Stunt Racer 64
  • Supercross 2000
  • Tony Hawk's Pro Skater
  • Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2
  • Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
  • Top Gear Hyper-Bike
  • Top Gear Overdrive
  • Top Gear Rally 2
  • Turok 2: Seeds of Evil
  • Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion
  • Turok: Rage Wars
  • Vigilante 

Especially if you are using component cables, an AV to HDMI adapter, or composite cables into an HDTV, you should upgrade to the Expansion Pak. You can purchase one here:

 

 

So, now you know if your Majora's Mask, Perfect Dark, or Donkey Kong 64 cartridge just won't load up, it MIGHT be because you don't have an expansion pak. OR, if your system won't show any video, it could be because you are missing a Jumper Pak or Expansion Pak in your Memory Expansion slot. Just remember: if you need any help at all, Off the Charts is here to help!

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  • Thank you so much for your informative article.

    It is pretty confusing with the fluffy naming of the various names for N64 parts/accessories:

    Jumper Pak
    Game Pak
    Memory Pak
    Expansion Pak
    etc.

    Delighted to have clarity on exactly what that red-top 8MB unit does.

    Pity that some unscrupulous persons are selling Jumper Paks as Memory Expansion Paks online.

    Very Best Regards,

    Simon

    Simon on

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