Image: Zion Grassl / Time Extension

Remember when we reported on the GameCube's "hidden" disc eject button that lots of people didn't know about? Well, we're back with another 'GameCube 101' post today, and it involves the console's disc tray lid.

As noted by the most excellent John Linneman of Digital Foundry, the shiny black disc (also called a 'jewel') on the top of the GameCube – which has the 'Nintendo GameCube' logo on it – is removable (that's how this amazing mod from Laser Bear Industries is possible, you see). Simply pop the lid open, and on the underside, you'll see some tabs which – when pressed in – release the disc and allow it to slide free.

Image: Maru Chang

Nintendo referred to the discs as 'nameplates' in Japan (product code: DOL-018), and several special-edition GameCube consoles in that region came with unique examples, which you can view here. It's worth noting that the ability to remove the nameplate is only present in the earlier DOL-001 models of the console. The later DOL-101 hardware revision lacks this feature.

Linneman – a man who knows more than his fair share of video game trivia – admits he wasn't aware of this feature, and to be honest, we don't blame him. Nameplates were never sold on their own, so there's no compelling reason to remove them (although UK magazine CUBE did give away an unofficial replacement nameplate into which you could insert custom artwork).

A Gundam-themed GameCube showcasing the special nameplate
A Gundam-themed GameCube showcasing the special nameplate — Image: DecSS

Incredibly, the nameplates even had simplistic 'copy protection' built into them, as noted by

GameCube jewels have part of the plastic in Nintendo missing on the N and d to line up with the notches in the GameCube’s hood so that way only official jewels can fit properly. This is suspiciously similar to how copy protection “worked” (Author’s note: it didn’t really work) on the Famicom Disk System!

Copy protection

Did you know about this feature? Let us know by voting in the poll below, and don't forget to leave a comment.

Did you know about the removable disc on the GameCube's lid? (1,175 votes)

  1. Yes37%
  2. No63%