About Region ID's
About Region ID's

In Mario Kart Wii, Nintendo uses what are called Region ID's to designate separate regions. Each region ID contains the Versus Race region slot, Battle Region slot, and Time Trial Region slot. Before MKWii was released, Nintendo pre-made/configured the first 8 Region ID's. Some region ID's were given colors so players online could tell other people's region IDs.

The Region ID is a hexadecimal number (byte) determined by an algorithm from the main.dol file of the MKW game, and that number is stored on the MKW data save file. The algorithm is done every time MKW is booted. It is a sequence of PowerPC instructions. When you load a MKW disc for the first time, the algorithm is preformed and a region ID number (in hex) is then stored in the newly created data save. If you reload the MKW disc, the algorithm is done again and will then read the data save file for the stored region ID number. If the number from the algorithm doesn't match the number stored in the data save file, MKWii will notify you to create a new data save ('region/country settings have changed' message) or return to the Wii Main Menu.

The resulting number of the algorithm is 'hardcoded' in the USA game and Korean game.  Regardless of what factors are changed on any sort of Wii setting/configuration, the region ID hex number result will never change for USA and Korea. However, the algorithms done for the PAL game and Japan game are more complex. The country code of the Wii (a hex byte stored in SYSCONF file) can alter the result of the Region ID Algorithm. No other factors will effect the PAL/Japan Region ID Algorithms. We know that the system menu (aka region of the Wii) is not part of the algorithm. This explains why running something such as Japanese ISO via HBC on an American Wii doesn't change your region ID whatsoever. The line colors of the region IDs are stored in the StaticR.rel file. The default region ID locations (geo-location when flag is not configured) are stored in the main.dol. One can change the colors for the region ID stored in the StaticR.rel file on their own ISO/WBFS, but this does NOT effect the visuals for other players' screens. You can also change the values of the default geo locations within the main.dol, but once again this doesn't effect the other player(s).

It is also important to note that one (with cheat codes and/or ISO edits) can modify the VS/Battle region slots within a Region ID. However, since the Region ID number itself within the data save is not effected, the Time Trial region slot and WiFI name line color is not effected.

Nintendo created 5 different MKW Discs. NTSC-U, PAL, NTSC-J, NTSC-K and a Chinese/NTSC-C? (Chinese disc never sold to the public, more on that later). The PAL and NTSC-J discs can each give two different algorithm results depending on the country code stored within the NAND (more on that later). Regions 0 - 3, and 5 were all given their own unique color. All other regions Nintendo decided to leave at the default color FFFFFFFF; aka white. However, Nintendo still preconfigured Regions 4, 6, & 7.

Because of the variety of MKW Discs, Nintendo created a variety of Wiis to compensate. There are 6 known Wiis: Japanese, PAL, American, Korean, Taiwan, and Chinese (never sold to public). The PAL Wii can technically be split into European and Australia, more will be explained in the section "The Strange Relationship of Europe and Oceania".

Below is a list of Nintendo's MKWii region IDs. Please note that the list below is assuming no ISOs/hacks/console mods/cheats codes are used.

On WiFi, an online player will have a colored line underneath their Mii Name. The colored line donates what Region ID they are playing in. Here is a list of all the Region ID's----
0 - Japan - Red Line (uses NTSC-J disc & Japanese Wii)
1 - North and South America - Blue Line (uses NTSC-U disc & American Wii)
2 - Europe - Green Line (uses PAL disc & PAL Wii)
3 - Oceania - Yellow Line (uses PAL disc & PAL Wii)
4 - Taiwan - White Line (uses NTSC-J disc & Taiwan Wii)
5 - South Korea - Purple Line (uses NTSC-K disc & Korean Wii)
6 - China - White Line (no public disc available, no public Wii available)
7 - Not Sure? (default Region ID location of Disc; coded in every MKW disc) - White Line
8 to FF - all regions that Nintendo decided not to configure when MKWii launched, these regions will all have white line

As I already told you, the only algorithms that can be effected by outside factors are the PAL and Japan Algorithms, which can only be effected by the country code. Japanese, Taiwanese, Korean Wiis are all country locked unless you hack them. This 'country locked' feature is how Nintendo can use various Wiis to always force MKW to utilize a certain Region ID. It is also safe to say that Chinese non-public Wiis are country locked as well since every time in every Chinese Top 10 had the country code of China. You have probably noted some strange aspects such as Europe and Oceania using the same disc and Wii, Taiwan Wii using the Japanese Disc, and Region 7 all together. I will go into detail of all the non-simple Region IDs to help you understand more and the slick tricks Nintendo used to create more Region IDs while saving money.

Difference between Region ID and Disc Region
Before I can go into some Region ID's into detail, you must know the difference from Region ID compared to Wii Disc Region. There are four official disc regions that Nintendo made. They are: - 0 (Japan), 1 (America), 2 (PAL), and 4 (Korea). If you caught on quick, then you have noticed that the number of disc regions matches the number of public official system menus for the Wii (Japan/J, America/U, PAL/E, and Korea/K). The system menu reads the disc region number stored in the disc image and sees if it matches the system menu region. If it doesn't, the disc shows an error. The non-public Chinese disc must has its own disc region (most likely #5) so the Chinese system menu of the Chinese Wii could read the disc. You are probably wondering about the Taiwanese Wiis and their disc region. Earlier, I showed you that the Taiwan Region ID uses the NTSC-J disc. So by deductive logic, you now know that Taiwan Wiis have a Japanese System Menu. Now there are 8 official games that Nintendo speficially made as 'Taiwanese/Traditional Chinese". The disc ID for the Traditional Chinese games are NTSC-T. And the fourth letter for the game ID is 'W'. Here are the 8 Taiwanese games:

SB4W01 - Trad Chinese Super Mario Galaxy 2
SMNW01 - Trad Chinese New Super Mario Bros
SSQW01 - Trad Chinese Mario Party 9
RSPW01 - Trad Chinese Wii Sports
RZTW01 - Trad Chinese Wii Sports Resort
RHAW01 - Trad Chinese Wii Play
RFNW01 - Trad Chinese Wii Fit
RFPW01 - Trad Chinese Wii Fit Plus

As you can tell, I didn't put the word Taiwanese next to each game name. Technically, they are not Taiwanese games even though they do go in the Taiwan Wii and it is marketed for the Taiwan customer. These games all have the Japanese disc region code (0). Obviously this is needed so the games can be read by the Japanese System Menu of the Taiwan Wii. The fourth digit in any Wii game ID is it's Language Code, not it's disc region code. Same thing with the fifth digit in the disc ID (the final T, in NTSC-T). Since these Traditional Chinese games have the Japan Disc Region Code, they can also be read by Japanese Wiis. Now that you understand disc region codes, lets talk about some specific region ID's in detail

The Korean (NTSC-K) Region
When Nintendo launched MKWii in 08, they decided to reserve region ID #5. They configured Region ID #5 to have purple line. There were plans for Nintendo to enter the Korean market with their Wii but it was put on hold for quite some time. A little bit after a year when MKWii launched, Nintendo finally released the Korean Wii. The all new Korean Wii came with its own system menu, mii channel (able to use Korean characters), and was country locked to the Korean country code. When the Korean Wii was released, a number of games were released but a Korean MKWii was put on hold til April 2009. The new NTSC-K Korean MKW disc (like all other Korean discs) ran on its own disc region code thus meaning only the Korean System Menu can read it. Because the Korean Wii came with an all new Mii Channel capable of using Korean characters, this caused non-Korean MKW players to only see question marked squared box's if they encounter a Korean Mii Name. Nintendo made the main.dol algorithm of the Korean game to always result in 5 regardless of the country code. The Korean game disc is the rarest of all the MKWii discs, however due to Taiwan Wiis being the rarest of the Wii Consoles, the Taiwan region ended up being the most uncommon region (not including China since it can only be accessed with hacks) in MKWii when the official Game Spy Servers were up.

The Strange Relationship of Europe and Oceania
The PAL Wii can be split into two subcategories: European Wii and Australian Wii. Now these are both PAL Wiis, they are entirely the exact same Wii except the Euro Wii comes with the ability to select European Countries and the Australian Wii has the ability to select Australia or New Zealand for the country. You're probably wondering what tirkc Nin used to achieve this. If you take any European or Australian Wii and reformat it, you will have the ability to choose a range of European countries AND Australia/New Zealand. Once you choose a Euro country and finish the Wii's setup, you will no longer have access to select Australia/Oceania. Same thing if you selected Aus/Oceania after reformat, you lose the ability to select a European country unless of course you reformat the Wii again. This nifty trick allowed Nintendo to use the exact same Wii but cover two region IDs at the same time. Nintendo made the main.dol PAL algorithm to change based on the country code. If the game read a Australia or NZ country code, the algorithm would result in the number 3 (yellow line). Any other country code would cause the algorithm to always result in the number 2 (green line). This also helped cut cost in manufacturing. Now since you can easily format the PAL Wiis to switch between Euro & Oceania region, there is one way to tell if it is an original Euro or Aussie Wii. Look at the serial number on the Wii - LEH/KEHxxxxxxxxx = European Wii from the factory, and LAH/KAHxxxxxxxxx = Australian Wii from the factory.

The Taiwan Region, P.S. There is no Taiwanese ISO!
The main.dol algorithm of the NTSC-J disc can have two different region ID results. If the game reads the Taiwan country code (80 hex; 128 decimal) then the algorithm spits out region #4 as a result. Any other country code causes the algorithm to result in region #0. Before MKWii was even launched, we know that some staff ghosts were done using a non public/prototype Taiwan Wii (this was proven when the ghost data was examined and showed Taiwan country code was used). So we know that Nintendo reserved region ID 4 to be Taiwan well before MKW was released. However, it took til July 2008 for Nintendo to release the Taiwan Wii. As you already know, the Taiwan Wiis use the Japanese system menu, and you know that so called "Taiwanese NTSC-T games" actually use the Japan Disc Region Code. I do not know why Nintendo didn't bother to make an official Traditional Chinese (RMCW01) version of MKWii. Probably because of R&D costs and all other MKWiis wouldn't be able to read the Trad Chinese characters; an issue present with the Korean game that Non-Korean MKW users can't read Korean Mii names on WiFi.

The misunderstood China region
Nintendo reserved region ID #6 when they launched MKWii. They decided to make this the China Region using the white line. A Chinese MKWii disc nor Chinese Wii console were never released to the public. Since every time in every Chinese Top 10 has the Chinese country code, if is safe to assume that there is Chinese Wii that is country code locked (like the Taiwanese, Japanese and Korean Wiis).If you watch this video HERE, you will see one of the Chinese players in the tops have a Mii name that no current MKWii disc can read. This proves that there is a dedicated Chinese MKWii disc. Also there is ascii data for a 'CN' (China) disc region within the MKWii's main.dol proving the Chinese MKW Disc had its own disc region which means there was obviously a Chinese Wii System Menu. Since this disc and wii were never made public, there are a few theories that we can come up with. My theory is Nintendo wanted to advertise to the Chinese market right after MKWii was released. Nintendo made some prototype Chinese Wii Consoles and MKWii discs, and brought them to various Chinese malls/venues for customers to demo. The customers at the demos set some mediocre Time Trials and played some WiFi. Afterwards, Nintendo decided not to pursue the Chinese market. They destroyed the demo wiis and discs. However, the Time Trials set in the China region were never deleted off of the Gamespy servers. This is why there are the Chinese Regional Tops we saw (before Nintendo shutdown the Gamespy servers), and the fact that the Chinese regional tops never changed. The Chinese Top 10 was more like the "Shitty ass China Demo Top 10". Since Taiwan/Trad Chinese games use 'W' in their game ID, the China/Simplified Chinese MKWii Disc probably used 'C'. So the game ID would be RMCC01/NTSC-C.

Hey, you said the non-public Chinese Disc is probably RMCC01! I have this iso! It's the real Chinese ISO, it's in Chinese language!! Wtf is going on???
That ISO you have is actually a custom made ISO and the urban myth of it being the rare Chinese ISO is still being pushed around as truth. First, that ISO is in Traditional Chinese language, not simplified. So if it even was somehow a secret ISO, it would have been a Taiwanese ISO. Nintendo never made this iso nor had anything to do with it. A mkwii player living in Taiwan (A9 Star), took a RMCJ01 iso and made BRFNT edits so the iso could used traditional chinese language. He probably did this due to the disappointment of Taiwan players having to use the japanese game. While his work is much appreciated, he made a fatal mistake. He named the game ID RMCC01 when it should have been RMCW01 if he wanted to follow Nintendo's rules for their Traditional Chinese games. The second "C" in A9's ISO Game ID stands for Custom, not China/Chinese/Simplified Chinese. Because he used RMCC01 game ID, this caused so much misinformation to spread throughout the community.

Region 7; wtf is this?
Every main.dol of every MKW disc has a region 7 default geo location. We know that Nintendo preconfigured region 7. However, it is the only region to change default geo locations depending on what MKW Disc is used. Here's what I'm talking about ---

Default geo locations of Region 7 by Disc:
- NTSC-J Disc - Tokyo, Japan
- NTSC-U Disc - D.C., USA
- PAL Disc - Berlin, Germany
- NTSC-K Disc - Seoul, South Korea

You will quickly notice that the region 7 location defaults to its main region ID location. Even though NTSC-J disc and PAL disc can each access a 2nd region ID, they both default to their most common region ID location when region 7 is in use. Now for the non-public Chinese disc, its region 7 location is very likely the default geo location of the Chinese region (Beijing). The alternating geo locations per disc is the only element of the region ID that Nintendo preconfigured. They didn't bother with the color of the line thus Region 7 has a white line.

In conclusion, we know that Nintendo pre-configured the first 8 region ID slots (#0 to #7) right before MKWii initially launched in April 2008. We know that there was a Chinese Wii Console and MKW Disc. The console had its own Mii Channel that can create names with Simplified Chinese characters. The MKW Disc had its own 'CN' disc region as well. Also, it is safe to say the Chinese Wiis were country-locked (can't be changed via Wii settings). It is and always will be impossible to access the China region without hacks. The obsession of Region ID's by many players helped thrived the competitiveness of the MKWii community. Without Nintendo using these interesting region IDs, MKWii might have not become the greatest racing video game of all time.

Here are pictures for every region ID default geolocation (except region 7 which as I mentioned before, varies per disc)
Japan - http://mkwii.com/pics/regionid/region0.png
Americas - http://mkwii.com/pics/regionid/region1.png
Europe - http://mkwii.com/pics/regionid/region2.png
Australia & New Zealand - http://mkwii.com/pics/regionid/region3.png
Taiwan - http://mkwii.com/pics/regionid/region4.png
Korea - http://mkwii.com/pics/regionid/region5.png
China - http://mkwii.com/pics/regionid/region6.png

Every region ID (except China) is setup to be as if they were done legitimately. Obviously, since nobody has the Chinese MKW disc, i just used PAL in honor of Xer who was the first to get on China via hacks (done on PAL disc).

To better understand the variety and differences of all the Consoles & MKW Discs, visit this html page - HERE
Pictures of Taiwan and Korean Wiis - HERE

Last night I was bored and doing some ascii searches on the game's memory. 

At Base Address 8028AF09 (NTSC-K/RMCK01 version of MKW), starts the ascii string 'CN'. This is next to US, ER, JP, and KR. Those abbreviations are for the 4 disc regions. If you had read the original post above, you will know that each system menu has a corresponding disc region it reads.

0 (Japan disc region for Japanese system menu)
1 (American disc region for American system menu)
2 (Euro/PAL disc region for PAL system menu)
4 (Korean disc region for Korean system menu)

I speculated in the past that due to deductive logic, there was a S.Chinese MKW Disc, Wii Console, Mii Channel for the Console, and a 'China' disc region number for the S.Chinese MKW Disc so that the S.Chinese Wii System Menu could read the disc. 

And my predictions are correct. The CN comes right after the 4 other disc region abbreviations (which the disc region abbreviations come after the Console Area abbreviations). Obviously this shows that there was a 5th Disc Region for China. Thus, this proves there was a S.Chinese Wii System Menu which proves there was a S.Chinese Wii Console. And since the 9th ranked LC China player had a S.Chinese name which the symbols can't be read by the normal or Korean Mii Channel, we know 100% there was a unique S.Chinese Mii Channel created for the Console.

Probably why nobody knew about this China disc region because Region Changer applications and other setting.txt modifer programs only allowed you to choose between the 4 standard disc regions. 

Well anyway, now we have proof. Most likely the disc region number for China is 5 (1 above Korea since it's mkw region ID is also 1 above Korea's).

Discovered by me on Aug 8, 2018. Keep in mind, this was super easy to find. Somebody else probably already discovered this Base Address info. Please let me know if this is the case.
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