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    Nintendo DS FAQ by NDS_Master

    Version: 1.1 | Updated: 08/12/06 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

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    Nintendo DS FAQ: Table of Contents
    1. Copyright
    2. Introduction
    3. FAQs
    4. History
    5. Features
    6. Specifications
    7. Accessories
    8. Menu Screens
    9. DS Lite
    1. Copyright 2006 NDS_Master
    This guide is property of NDS_Master and is copyrighted and 
    protected by United States copyright laws and international treaties. 
    Therefore, the use of this guide in any websites, publications, or any 
    other public documents is illegal and strictly prohibited. This guide 
    may not be posted on the Internet, or any publications, without my 
    express, written permission. If you wish to use this guide you must 
    contact me with your request. To contact me, PM my My Nintendo account. 
    My user name is NDS_Master. Currently, there is no way for the general 
    public to contact me by e-mail.
    2. Introduction
    NDS_Master here, unveiling my latest FAQ to be listed under the category 
    of the Nintendo DS. This time it's about the Nintendo DS itself. I have 
    taken a temporary break from game guides to provide in-depth information 
    on the Nintendo DS hardware. This is the result.
    Let me give you a little information on my personal experience with the 
    DS. I first heard about the Nintendo DS about a week after E3, 2004. I 
    hadn't really watched much of it, but a friend of mine had. He found 
    lots of pictures and information on the DS, and he was really excited 
    about it. When he showed me the information, I also got excited. For the 
    next few months while I waited for it to come out, I did everything I 
    could to learn all about the features of the system. During that time I 
    also decided to write FAQs for it.
    I started writing my first NDS FAQ for the DS in October, two months 
    before the system actually came out. Since the first game was Super 
    Mario 64 DS, I figured I could start writing a guide for the N64 version 
    and make changes when I played the DS version. It worked well, though I 
    only finished the first world before the DS came out. I bought the DS 
    the day it came out and immediately went to work finishing the guide, 
    which was completed the day after Christmas. Since then, I have written 
    many more guides and reviews, and I hope to continue writing about the 
    DS for several more years. Well, onto the FAQ!
    3. FAQs
    You have questions, I have answers. This section is for comments and 
    questions about the Nintendo DS. Some I made up myself, others I got 
    from other people. If you have a question about the DS, you will have to 
    Private Message my MY Nintendo account. My user name is NDS_Master. 
    You'll need an account before you can send messages. I used to have a 
    public e-mail address, but some annoying person decided to sign me up to 
    receive spam. Out of every thirty e-mails I would receive, only one 
    would be a legitimate e-mail. Since my account had sub par blocking 
    abilities, I quit having a public e-mail altogether.
    Q: What colors does the DS come in?
    A: Several. The DS comes in at least four colors in North America, and 
    it comes in even more at Japan. Red, Electic Blue, and Titanium are just 
    a few examples of the DS's many colors. The DS Lite also features a 
    variety of colors in Japan (such as black), but in North America it 
    currently only comes in Polar White.
    Q: Does the DS have online play?
    A: Yes! On November 14, 2005, Nintendo released their first ever 
    Nintendo Wi-Fi game. It was Mario Kart DS, and the online play allowed 
    gamers from all over the world to connect and play against each other. 
    Numerous other Wi-Fi games have come out since then, including Metroid 
    Prime Hunters, and many more are on the way.
    Q: Will online play have a ranking system?
    A: To a degree, yes. Most games keep track of scores somehow, but 
    Nintendo does not have an online ranking system that allows gamers to 
    compare themselves to their other competitors. NintendoWifi.com does 
    have some statistics, but no overarching ranking system.
    Q: How do I hook up to Wi-Fi?
    A: To do this, you will need a Wi-Fi enabled game. Through the game, you 
    will be able to access a menu that lets you set up a connection. Simply 
    go within range of a non-secure wireless router (you can access a secure 
    router if you have its WEP key; however, you cannot use a router secured 
    by WPA because the DS does not support it) and connect to it via the 
    connection setup. Also, you can connect to the USB Connector. Once you 
    have established a connection and have tested it, you will be able to go 
    back to the game and start playing online.
    Q: Does the DS have PDA capabilities?
    A: No. Rumors have been flying for over a year about Nintendo coming out 
    with something to make the DS like a PDA. It still is possible that they 
    will release an add-on, but it is not official. Other companies could 
    possibly be making add-ons that allow you to use the DS as an organizer, 
    so we'll have to wait and see if anything happens.
    Q: When are you going to write an FAQ on the Nintendo DS?
    A: Well, I actually received this question back in February 2005. I told 
    the person that I would write a guide for it, but that I didn't know 
    when I would be able to do it. Here it is. It's a little late, but at 
    least it's here.
    Q: Will the DS work with the Wii?
    A: Yes! Nintendo confirmed this at E3. Because of the Wii's unique 
    control system, it may be possible to play DS games on the Wii. It is 
    also possible that the Wii and the Nintendo DS will connect like the GBA 
    and the GameCube did, though I am not sure how this would work. One 
    thing that Nintendo has confirmed is that you will be able to download 
    demos with the Wii, which you can then transfer wirelessly to the DS. 
    Many more forms of connection will probably be available, but we will 
    just have to wait.
    Q: Why is there not a Super Smash Brothers DS? 
    A: I'm not sure. With its enormous success on the GameCube I would have 
    thought that Nintendo would create an SSB DS. Perhaps they are waiting 
    until next year's E3 to announce it. Maybe they'll release it alongside 
    Super Smash Brothers Brawl. I can hope, can't I?
    Q: Does the DS require two game paks to play multiplayer?
    A: Fortunately, no. Most of the games out for the DS use only one 
    cartridge for multiplayer games, using a feature of the DS called Single 
    Card Download Play. This feature allows one DS to transmit all of the 
    data necessary to play a multiplayer game to another DS, which can then 
    play against it. Some games even allow you to download demos onto 
    another system. The demos usually don't have much on them, but they do 
    allow other people to try out a game before they actually buy it. Who 
    knows? Perhaps Nintendo will transmit demos via online play so that 
    gamers across the world can test out games whenever they choose to.
    Q: What is this I hear about a DS Lite?
    A: In January of 2006, Nintendo of Japan official announced the redesign 
    of the Nintendo DS. Because of the popularity of the Game Boy Advance SP 
    many people had expected a redesign. The DS Lite is 2/3 the size of the 
    original DS, and it 20% lighter. Along with that, the DS Lite also has 
    four different brightness setting for the backlight, giving gamers more 
    control over how bright their games are. It also has a thicker stylus, 
    which provides for more comfort and better control.
    Q: Is the DS Lite fragile?
    A: While there have been some reports of cracked hinges on the DS Lite, 
    overall it is a very sturdy system. Perhaps it is not quite a durable as 
    the DS, but it is still strong nonetheless.
    4. History
    The Nintendo DS is an excellent portable gaming system that many people 
    enjoy. It has two screens, a touch screen, great graphics -- everything 
    that Nintendo fans could want. Of course, the Nintendo DS did not appear 
    overnight and send Nintendo into the portable gaming world. Nintendo has 
    fought many battles and gone through many trials to upgrade their 
    portable gaming systems, and the Nintendo DS is the latest result.
    Whether you know it or not, Nintendo did not start out as a video game 
    company. It started out as a card company. Nintendo was originally 
    founded in 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi. For nearly one hundred years 
    Nintendo remained a little known card company. When video games came 
    out, however, Nintendo went beyond playing cards.
    Surprisingly, Nintendo actually appeared on the video game scene with a 
    portable system, not a home console. In 1980, Nintendo released Game & 
    Watch portable games, which allowed die hard video game fans to satisfy 
    their electronic desires no matter where they were. It wasn't until 1981 
    that Nintendo actually released a non portable system, and that was the 
    Donkey Kong arcade.
    The portable gaming market slowed down for several years as Nintendo 
    picked up speed with its new Nintendo Entertainment System. The system 
    brought Nintendo world wide fame and gave it a comfortable home console 
    lead for many years.
    But a home console lead was not enough. Portable games had brought 
    Nintendo into the market, and they would help keep Nintendo in the 
    market. The Game Boy was brought on the line in 1989, exactly one 
    hundred years after Nintendo began. The Game Boy remained Nintendo's 
    only portable system as the NES declined, the Super NES rose and 
    declined, the N64 rose, and the Virtual Boy made its failed attempt at 
    semi-portable gaming.
    With its massive life span, the Game Boy featured many of the best black 
    and white games that ever existed. It had some competition from other 
    portable systems including the Sega Game Gear, but it always came out on 
    top. Nearly a decade after the Game Boy had arrived, Nintendo decided to 
    go with something new. Game Boy Color was born, immersing gamers in the 
    world of color.
    The Game Boy Color did amazingly well, and it was the portable system 
    that started Nintendo's fascination with different colored systems. Many 
    different colors covered the different Game Boy Colors, so each gamer 
    could get the color they liked best.
    The portable era was still not done for Nintendo. In 2001, the Game Boy 
    Advance hit the market with astounding success. Not only did it have a 
    larger screen, it also had graphics as good as those of a Super NES. It 
    was followed by the popular Game Boy Advance Special (SP), which 
    showcased a clam shell design, a backlight, and a rechargeable battery.
    Fans went wild over the SP, discarding their old GBAs for the newest 
    thing in portable gaming. It still played Game Boy Advance games, so 
    those who weren't willing to hand out $99 bucks to make the switch could 
    still play the games.
    The SP helped Nintendo win many battles in the portable gaming world. It 
    obliterated many companies attempts at stealing the portable gaming 
    market. Its price and game selection helped it win a solid victory over 
    the N-Gage, which tried to appeal to gamers with a cell phone and 
    wireless multiplayer. Its $299 price tag sent gamers to the SP with 
    their sides aching in laughter.
    With the success of the SP, Nintendo was ready to make a new jump in the 
    world of portable gaming. It released its newest system, the Nintendo 
    DS, on November 21, 2004. The system had (and still does have) two 
    screens, a touch screen, and 3-D graphics. Nintendo fans went wild over 
    the new system, buying out the system in such a frenzy that some people 
    were able to resell their system on Ebay for over $200, well over the 
    $150 starting price.
    In 2006, Nintendo showed the first pictures of the DS Lite, which is the 
    redesign of the Nintendo DS. It can still play DS and GBA games, but it 
    is much sleeker and smaller.
    With its sleek, new look, the DS Lite was amazingly popular in Japan, 
    America, and Europe, as hundreds of thousands of gamers clamored to get 
    their hands on one. It launched DS sales sky high, giving Nintendo a 
    comfortable position in the portable gaming battle.
    At any rate, the DS has started a new revolution for Nintendo. It has 
    shown that Nintendo does not concern itself with showy graphics and dull 
    game play. Nintendo is ready to move on to the world of interactive 
    bliss by using innovation. How far will Nintendo go with its innovation? 
    Only time will tell.
    5. Specifications
    Nintendo DS Specifications
    Size in Inches (Closed): 5.85" wide / 3.33" long / 1.13" tall
    Size in Millimeters (Closed):148.7 mm wide / 84.7 mm long / 28.9 mm tall
    Weight in Ounces: 9.7 oz.
    Size in Grams: 275 g
    DS Lite Dimension
    Size in Millimeters (Closed):133.0 mm wide / 73.9 mm long / 21.5 mm tall
    Size in Grams: 218 g
    Upper Screen: 3-inch, semitransparent reflective Thin Film Transmitter 
    (TFT) color Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) that has 256x192 pixel 
    resolution and .24 mm dot pitch, along with a built-in backlight
    Lower Screen: Same capabilities as the upper screen, along with a 
    transparent analog touch screen
    Color: Able to display 262,144 colors
    Central Processing Units
    Main Processor - ARM946E-S
    Runs at 67 MHz; capable of running up to 200 MHz
    Cache: 8 KB Instruction Cache, 4KB Data Cache 
    TCM: 8KB Instruction, 4KB Data
    Sub Processor - ARM7TDMI
    Runs at 33 MHz; capable of running up to 133 MHz
    Main Memory: 4 MB
    ARM9/ARM7 Shared - 32KB 
    ARM7 Internal RAM - 64 KB 
    VRAM - 656 KB
    2D Graphics Engine
    Background - Maximum 4 layers 
    Objects - Maximum of 128
    3D Graphics Engine
    Maximum 4 million vertex per second geometric transformation
    30 million pixels per second maximum fill rate
    120,000 polygons per second maximum
    Wireless Communication: IEEE 802.11 along with Nintendo's proprietary 
    Sound: 16 Channel ADPCM/PCM surround sound provided by stereo speakers
    Input: Port for DS game cards, separate port for Game Boy Advance 
    Controls: Touch screen, A/B/X/Y Buttons, D-Pad, Start and Select 
    Buttons, L and R Shoulder Buttons, Power Button, Volume Control, Built-
    in Microphone
    Output: Headphone Port, Microphone Port
    Battery: Lithium Ion Battery charged using an AC adapter; lasts 6-10 
    hours during regular game play and lasts several hundred hours on sleep 
    Additional Information
    Languages: English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese
    Colors: Titanium, Electric Blue
    Additional Features: Stylus holder, wrist strap connector, power light, 
    charge light, charging port, built-in PictoChat software, real time 
    clock, touch screen calibration
    6. Features
    The Nintendo DS is a new portable gaming system, but it is so much more 
    than that. It has so many great features that one cannot ignore. If you 
    want to learn about its exact technical specifications, check out the 
    specifications part of the FAQ. This section is for down-to-earth 
    information about all of the features in the Nintendo DS.
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              g. Game Boy Advance Card Slot
    a. Dual Screens
    It's one of the best features for the Nintendo DS and by far the most 
    obvious one. The Nintendo DS has dual screen (DS = Dual Screens). 
    Surprisingly, this basic fact about the DS is what has most people 
    confused. They simply cannot figure out why someone would need two 
    The answer is simple: enhanced game play. With two screens, game play is 
    actually simpler and easier than with one. One screen controls the 
    action, the other controls the statistics. With a full screen devoted to 
    statistics, there is no reason to clutter the top screen. It can be used 
    just for the action, and you don't have to look at specific information 
    unless you decide to look down (or up).
    Obviously, some of the statistics still remain on the action screen, 
    mainly because the developers thought that they would be useful up 
    there. It's there choice. Besides being a place to shove statistics, the 
    lower screen also has many other uses. It can be used as a map, allowing 
    you to glance down to see exactly where you are and where you need to 
    Also, game designers can put both screens together in a game, forming 
    one large screen. There is a slight problem because of the small gap in 
    between the screens, but it is not one that affects game play. With two 
    screens working as one you can get a huge picture of the game, providing 
    even more enjoyment.
    b. Touch Screen
    While the dual screens are the most obvious, the touch screen is the 
    most advertised feature of the Nintendo DS. The lower screen is a touch 
    screen, meaning you can play games by using a stylus. This opens up 
    unlimited opportunities, and it is debatably the best feature of the 
    Nintendo DS. Using the touch screen, you can play a variety of games 
    that would normally be impossible. If you survey the DS's library, you 
    will see that there are many games that rely on the touch screen for 
    their control.
    The possibilities with the touch screen are endless.  Many games use the 
    touch screen for mini-games. These mini-games give you ultimate control 
    with the touch screen, as you can interact with many aspects of the 
    mini-games. The touch screen is also used as an analog stick for some 3-
    D games. With the touch screen, you can move your character to the exact 
    location you want at the exact speed you want. It is also used for 
    general control. Nintendogs, Yoshi Touch & Go, Kirby: Canvas Curse, and 
    many other games would not be possible without the full control that you 
    get with the touch screen.
    Because of the many possibilities, the touch screen has given DS a new 
    meaning. Although it is typically considered the Nintendo Dual Screen, 
    it does have another name. Since the touch screen provides so many new 
    and different aspects in game play, DS has also come to mean Developer's 
    System, suggesting that it is more fun for the developer than the gamer. 
    After all, the developers can do virtually anything they want with it. 
    Yes, the touch screen is an awesome addition.
    c. Microphone
    No, this isn't a microphone attachment; it's an actual microphone built 
    into the system. Located just below the touch screen on the left side of 
    the system is the microphone. Now, why would anyone put a microphone 
    into a portable system? Nintendo put it in because of the added 
    enjoyment it could bring to game play. The touch screen is a great 
    innovation, and the microphone, though less popular, is also a great 
    Because it can only be used in so many ways, the microphone is often 
    overlooked in game design. In some games, however, the microphone is put 
    to use. Yoshi Touch & Go, for instance, allowed gamers to use the 
    microphone. If they happened to draw clouds that they did not desire, 
    they could simply blow them away with the microphone. Nintendogs also 
    used the microphone in an amazing way -- gamers could teach their dogs 
    up to fifteen different voice commands! When the dogs had learned the 
    command, they would obey their master whenever he or she told them what 
    to do. Gamers could actually interact with their dogs by speaking. 
    Although the microphone is frequently ignored, it does have plenty of 
    uses and it makes a great addition to the Nintendo DS.
    d. Speakers
    Listen to Nintendo DS advertisements and you are bound to hear something 
    about the speakers of the Nintendo DS. While previous portable gaming 
    speakers have been largely ignored, the speakers on the Nintendo DS have 
    been advertised over and over again.
    Nintendo has a good reason for advertising its latest speakers; they are 
    the best ones Nintendo has made to date. Instead of using mere speakers 
    that simply make noise, the Nintendo DS using high quality surround 
    sound speakers.
    These speakers have really high quality, so the sound in the Nintendo DS 
    is better than ever. However, that is not what is best about them. Their 
    best feature is their surround sound. If a loud enemy is on the left 
    side of the screen, the majority of the sound will come from the left 
    speaker, making the game sound and feel realistic.
    The surround sound is even better when headphones are added to mix, as 
    each headphone ensures that only one ear hears the intended sounds. It's 
    at its best, however, when the system is hooked to a surround sound 
    stereo section. With surround sound working, the subwoofer pumping, and 
    the speakers screaming, there is no better way to enjoy the awesome 
    sound capabilities of the Nintendo DS and its games. Whether you're on 
    the go or just relaxing at home, the Nintendo DS will have speakers 
    suited perfectly for you.
    e. Clamshell Design
    Protection. It's what every single person wants. Whether it's in a 
    secure home or a vehicle with a five star rating, protection is what 
    everyone wants. Because of the high demand for protection, Nintendo 
    packed the Nintendo DS full of it.
    First, there's the clamshell design. When a gamer is done with the DS, 
    all he needs to do is to close the system. The clamshell design allows 
    the hard shell of the Nintendo DS to protect some of the weak features -
    - such as the screens and buttons -- while the DS is not in use. Many DS 
    systems have been dropped during the course of their life, but the 
    majority of them survive the falls. My DS was also subject to a life 
    threatening fall when I set it on a high shelf that I did not realize 
    was secure. The shelf and the DS fell several feet, but when it was over 
    the DS barely had a scratch. It still works perfectly.
    This section may be about the clamshell design, but since security is 
    what the design is for I though I should include some of the other 
    security features of the Nintendo DS. The touch screen is one of them.
    Since the touch screen is subject to so much use, Nintendo made it more 
    secure than any of its previous screens. It is over three times as 
    thick, so it can withstand nearly all of the intense pressure that is 
    applied to. While it is not immune to scratches, it will still function 
    perfectly despite their presence. Unless you are extremely abusive to 
    your system, it will last many, many years.
    Also, there is shock proof design. All of the functions of the DS are 
    controlled by many little processors, wires, and other technical 
    objects. If one of these objects became disconnected, it would cause 
    severe trouble for the DS, potentially causing it to no longer work. 
    Nintendo has solved this problem with shock proof design. Basically, the 
    design keeps all of the parts of the DS connected during abnormal 
    circumstances such as falls. As this design is completely hidden inside 
    the DS, it is impossible to see. Nevertheless it is still there, making 
    sure the DS is always safe.
    f. DS Card Slot
    The Nintendo DS is a coin operated machine. You stick a quarter in, and 
    you get great game play. Not really, but it is a fairly similar 
    comparison due to the minute size of the DS cartridges. They are only 
    about as large as a quarter, making them exceptionally portable.
    What's best about the small size is that the DS cartridges have not 
    sacrificed any quality to attain the size. In fact, they are probably 
    Nintendo's best cartridges ever. Each cartridges has an amazing 128 
    megabytes of space. To put that into perspective, Super Mario 64 DS, 
    with its 36 touch screen mini-games, its 150 stars, and its 3-D game 
    play, only used up 16 megabytes of space.
    The cartridges are also secure. When dealing with older cartridges, you 
    quickly realize that they can easily lose saved game data. I cannot even 
    recall how many times I have beaten all of the games in Super Mario All 
    Stars just because the cartridge lost information. Fortunately, the DS 
    cartridges are designed not to lose information.
    Speed is also an attribute of the cartridges. When you select 'Start 
    Game,' the game will start. Waiting is not necessary. The cartridges are 
    small in size, large in space, slow in losing game information, and fast 
    in loading. You could not find a better combination.
    g. Game Boy Advance Card Slot
    The DS game card slot is no surprise; after all, almost any person could 
    figure out that a DS plays DS games. The GBA card slot, however, is a 
    little different. Not only can it play every single Game Boy Advance 
    game out, it can also be used in many other ways.
    First, we will focus on the ability of the DS to play Game Boy Advance 
    games. Every single game in the GBA library will work on the DS. This 
    will provide hours of great GBA fun. Unfortunately, the DS cannot play 
    Game Boy Color or regular Game Boy games. It also cannot utilize the 
    mutliplayer function of any Game Boy Advance game, so you will have to 
    settle with single player.
    What else is the GBA slot used for? Well, it can also be used for 
    accessories. When Nintendo displayed the DS, it specifically said that 
    the GBA slot would be used for DS accessories. Nintendo has already 
    created one accessory, called Play-yan, which can play MP3 files and 
    video off a SD card. Online play, available later this fall, also 
    requires an add-on which will probably fit snugly in the GBA slot.
    And if you're looking for special secrets, the GBA slot is also the 
    place to go. If you have a certain GBA game in the slot along with a 
    certain DS game, sometimes bonus features will appear. For instance, if 
    you have a Kirby GBA game in the slot when you play Kirby: Canvas Curse, 
    you can unlock one of the characters long before you normally would have 
    been able to. Nintendo has already used this ability for many games 
    (Wario Ware Touched!, Kirby: Canvas Curse, Advance Wars Dual Strike, 
    etc.), and it probably will continue to use it in the future.
    h. Lithium Ion Battery
    To keep game play lasting as long as possible, the Nintendo DS contains 
    a lithium ion battery. The battery fits securely inside the DS, and you 
    should never need to access it. If you ever do find the need to look at 
    it, just unscrew the tiny screw on the right side when your DS is 
    upside-down. I would not recommend that you do that, however; let a 
    trained professional handle any problems that arise.
    The battery is charged with the free AC Adapter that comes when you buy 
    a Nintendo DS. Simply pull out the prongs on the main part of the 
    adapter and plug them into the nearest power outlet. Then, insert the 
    other plug into the External Extension Connector in the back of the DS 
    unit, right next to the DS card slot.
    Now, two lights accompany the battery to give you vital battery 
    information. Each light is an LED light, and they are both located next 
    to each other on the lower right side of the system, just below the 
    touch screen. The light on the left will only turn on when you are 
    charging your DS system. It will be orange. When your system is fully 
    charged, the light will turn off. The light on the right will activate 
    whenever the DS is on. It will be green most of the time, but it will 
    occasionally flash red when the DS starts running low on battery power. 
    At that time you will still get around 30 minutes to an hour of play 
    time out of it, but you should probably charge it as soon as possible. 
    The light will also flash on and off when the DS is in sleep mode, and 
    it will double flash whenever the Wi-Fi is on.
    The battery takes around four hours to charge, so keep that into 
    consideration whenever you start charging. On a full charge, the battery 
    will last approximately 6-10 hours, depending on what game you are 
    playing, whether the backlight is turned on, whether Wi-Fi is on or off, 
    and how loud the sound is. The average play time is around 8 hours. The 
    DS also has sleep mode for DS games (it does not work with GBA games). 
    Whenever you close the system, it will deactivate the screens while 
    still keeping the game at the same position. Open the system and the 
    game will return to the spot where you left it.
    How long does sleep mode last on a full charge? I tested out sleep mode 
    on a full charge to figure out how long it would last. After 120 hours 
    on sleep mode, I finally gave up seeing how long sleep mode would last. 
    Then I played Super Mario 64 DS with both backlights on and full sound 
    for another 5 hours before the battery died. That being said, the DS 
    probably lasts a good several hundred hours on sleep mode.
    If you have read the instruction manual, you have probably read some of 
    the information about the battery. One thing that is says is that the 
    battery will probably only be at 70% of its normal capacity after you 
    charge it 500 times. This may alarm some people, but it's no reason for 
    alarm. Let's say that each charge lasts eight hours. That would be 4,000 
    hours of game play before the battery would be 70%. That's 167 days of 
    nothing but DS gaming. I highly doubt anyone will play it that much 
    before the DS is well past its prime, and even then you still get 70% of 
    the battery life.
    7. Accessories
    Nintendo didn't put their portable system into the market with a few 
    games and leave it. Advertising heavily the GBA game slot, Nintendo 
    informed gamers worldwide that it would have special add-ons for the DS. 
    Already Nintendo has something for the GBA slot, along with regular 
    accessories. Check out accessories with the Nintendo Seal of Quality 
    Need protection without high costs? Nintendo's smaller case is just what 
    you are looking for! It has room for the Nintendo DS to fit comfortably 
    inside of it, and it also has a small pouch for games and a stylus or 
    Worried about your DS? Get a case. This higher priced case by Nintendo 
    has more than just a place for your DS; it has a place for your games 
    and accessories as well. A zipper pocket on the side of the case 
    provides a perfect resting place for your DS. The main case, when 
    unzipped, holds nine DS games securely. Two additional pockets contain 
    room for extra styluses, wrist protectors, games, and chargers.
    Nobody's perfect. Since no one's perfect, somebody is bound to misplace 
    their charger sooner or later. When they do, however, they still have 
    gaming hope. Nintendo has released a charger accessory that gamers can 
    buy whenever they need a new way to power up their DS. It also works 
    with the GBA SP, in case they lost that charger during their trip to New 
    Stylus Pack
    Need an extra stylus? Or two? Or three? This pack is just what you need. 
    Purchase the pack at you nearest video game dealership to receive three 
    Nintendo brand styluses for use with your Nintendo DS portable video 
    game system.
    For now, Play-yan has only been released in Japan. It is a media player 
    for the DS, and it fits in the Game Boy Advance card slot. By saving 
    songs and video files onto SD cards and inserting them into Play-yan, 
    gamers can listen to music and watch movies on the Nintendo DS.
    8. Menu Screens
    This is the "walkthrough" section of the game guide. Frequently asked 
    questions aside, this is the place where you will learn how to access 
    and fully utilize the many features contained in your DS system. This 
    section is divided into many sub sections, so you can scroll down until 
    you find exactly what you need. Let's begin.
    Before you can use your DS, you first need to press the Power button to 
    turn it on. The Power Button is located just above the D-Pad. When the 
    system turns on, it will display health and safety information about 
    using the system. A message saying: "Touch the Touch Screen to continue" 
    will appear and start flashing. At this point you can press any button 
    on the DS or the touch screen to continue.
    Initial Startup
    The first time you start up the DS, you will be asked to select the 
    settings that are right for you. This section deals with those settings. 
    If you want to change the settings later, just consult the Settings Menu 
    later in this section.
    First, you will have to choose a language. In case you couldn't guess, 
    they put this at the beginning so that you could read the information 
    later on. Six panels will appear with six different languages on them. 
    Tap the panel with the language you want on it and select Confirm.
    Next comes the background color. The DS has sixteen of them to choose 
    from, so use that fresh, new stylus to select the one that is best for 
    you. Confirm your choice to move onto the next screen.
    Your system needs a name, so you will have to give it one after you 
    choose your color. An onscreen keyboard will replace the many colors 
    that were on the screen, and ten little black squares will show up just 
    above the keyboard. Tap the letters that you want to go into the black 
    boxes to form your user name, and choose Confirm to move on.. If you 
    want to learn more about using the onscreen keyboard, scroll down to the 
    User Menu.
    Next its time to set the internal clock of the Nintendo DS. You'll need 
    to choose both a date a time. To set the time, press the up and down 
    arrows that are above the hours and minutes. Press Confirm. The date is 
    set the same way, only with it you have to set the month, date, and 
    year. Once the date is confirmed, you'll need to enter you birthday 
    choosing the correct date a month. Upon confirming your birthday the 
    system will inform you that it needs to shut down. Give it permission to 
    power down, and it will do so automatically.
    Touch Screen Menu Screen
    The next screen will have seven different options for you to choose 
    from, which are accessed by seven panels. You can either touch the panel 
    you desire, or you can use the D-Pad. If you use the D-Pad, press the A 
    button to select a panel
    The panel at the very top of the touch screen allows you to begin 
    playing the DS game that is inserted. It will display the name of the 
    game and a little information about it, as well as a picture. If you 
    select that panel, game play will begin immediately. Should no game 
    happen to be in the DS card slot, this panel will be faded.
    Just below the DS Game Play panel on the left side of the screen is the 
    PictoChat panel. On the lower right corner of the PictoChat panel is a 
    Wireless Communication icon. That indicates that when you enter 
    PictoChat, the DS's wireless communication will activate. Tap the panel 
    to access PictoChat (see my PictoChat guide for information on using 
    To the right of the PictoChat panel is the DS Download Play panel. It 
    also has a Wireless Communication icon. Select the panel and the DS will 
    go into another screen and start to search for software to download. If 
    it finds any, a panel will appear with information about the software 
    that is available to download.
    Under both the PictoChat and DS Download Play panels is the GBA Game 
    Play panel. If a GBA game is the slot, you can select this panel to 
    begin game play. You can also select it when accessories are in the GBA 
    slot. When no GBA card is in the GBA slot, this panel will be faded and 
    you will not be able to select it.
    At the bottom left corner of the touch screen is the Backlight icon. It 
    is represented by a little sun. Tap the sun (or select it with the D-Pad 
    and press A) to turn both backlights on or off. Because it is difficult 
    to see when the backlights are off, it is best to leave them on all the 
    time. The lower right corner of the touch screen is the Alarm icon, 
    which displays an alarm clock. Tap it to enter the alarm clock mode 
    (more info in the Clock Menu)
    The Settings panel is at the bottom middle of the touch screen. It is 
    the smallest panel, and it displays a Nintendo DS system. When you tap 
    the panel, the DS will take you into the Settings Menu. From there you 
    can access many different menus that allow you to change many different 
    Top Screen Menu Screen
    Although it is only for display, the top screen features many important 
    pieces of information. The top screen display remains mostly the same no 
    matter what menu you are in, though it does provide essential knowledge 
    about what you are doing.
    At the top of the top screen there is a bar. I would name the bar's 
    color, but I can't. You get to choose which color you want for your DS, 
    and the top bar will be that color. On the left side of the bar you will 
    see a name. That is the user name that you have chosen for you DS.
    A good distance to the right of the user name on the top bar you will 
    see some numbers. That is the time. Since you input the time into the 
    DS, you cannot blame the Nintendo DS if you are late for classes. It 
    tracks the time, even if its the wrong time. Also, the time is in 
    military time. Basically, that means that instead of starting at 1 again 
    after 12, it goes all the way to 24. If you see that the time is 17:34, 
    it is actually 5:34 PM.
    Next to the time is the date. If your language is English, the month 
    will first and the date will follow. Some countries have the date first, 
    so if your language is not English then the date may come before the 
    month. Just a word of warning for you English speaking people who prefer 
    to have a language other than English show up on your DS.
    Beside the date you will see a small, rectangular shape. The shape is 
    actually supposed to be a Nintendo DS system (couldn't you tell?). It 
    has two screens; one is red and the other is blue. Which screen is red 
    and which is blue? That is up to you. Whichever screen you choose to 
    play Game Boy Advance games on, that one will be red. Should you choose 
    to play GBA games on the touch screen, then the lower half of the 
    rectangle will be red. It's just a quick way of seeing which screen you 
    chose to play GBA games on.
    To the right of the GBA Display Screen icon is a big letter. It is 
    either A or M. If an A is displayed, then you have the DS set on Auto 
    mode (meaning the DS will go straight to a game if a game is inserted). 
    An M indicates that the DS is set on Manual mode (which does not take 
    you straight to a game).
    Finally, we come to the last item in the bar. Pushed to the top right 
    corner of the top screen is the Power Indicator. The Power Indicator, as 
    it is called in the "Official Nintendo DS Instruction Booklet," is 
    actually a picture of a battery. Hopefully, yours is green. Now, you may 
    be thinking that this Power Indicator is cool like the one in the PSP 
    that tells you how much battery life is left. Wrong! It stays green for 
    the majority of the time, and it becomes red when the battery is running 
    low. It is exactly like the Power Indicator LED that is just below the 
    touch screen, which turns red when the battery begins to run low. So, if 
    you ever get a strong urge to take a pencil and jab the Power Indicator 
    LED until it breaks, then you will find the Power Indicator icon on the 
    DS useful. If not, well, it's pretty much a waste of space.
    NOTE: I do not advise taking pencils and attempting to destroy the Power 
    Indicator LED. Doing so will cause many negative effects to your DS 
    system, including ugly graphite remains near or in the place where the 
    Power Indicator LED was.
    Now that the bar is done, we can move on. Underneath the bar, on the 
    left side of the screen, is an analog clock. It tells the time with 
    moving hands. It's what people used for telling time around four hundred 
    years ago. Unless you have mastered the art of telling time with hands, 
    just look at the digital time.
    The calendar is the last things on the screen. It is just below the bar 
    on the right side of the screen. Depending on the month and year, it 
    will have between 29 and 31 little boxes in it that are number. They 
    show the days of the months. At the very top of the calendar is the 
    month and year, and directly below that are the abbreviated days of the 
    week. They allow people to know which day it is. The current day is 
    highlighted by the color you chose. So, if the 8 is highlighted and it 
    is in the Th column, then you know that it is Thursday the 8th of 
    whatever month it happens to be (again, different languages cause 
    different abbreviations). I'll assume you can figure out the other 
    abbreviations on your own.
    DS Download Play Menu
    When you select Download Play from the main menu, you will go to the 
    Download Play menu where you can search for and choose games that you 
    want to download. Upon entering the Download Play menu, a panel will 
    appear on the touch screen saying: "Looking for software available for 
    download..." Little orange blocks will move around next to the words in 
    a triangular shape. Another panel will appear at the bottom of the 
    screen saying Quit, which you can select if you want to leave Download 
    Play. A panel will also appear on the lower part of the top screen 
    showing two DSs and saying: "Download software via DS Download Play." 
    You'll also notice that the Power Indicator LED will flash twice every 
    so often to indicate that the wireless feature is activated.
    If the DS finds software to download, a new panel will pop up with 
    information about the download, such as the name of the game, the signal 
    strength, and the person sending the download. Versus downloads also 
    show the maximum amount of people per download and how many people are 
    in the versus. A Select panel will also appear on the bottom of the 
    touch screen. With each new software that the DS finds, a new panel will 
    appear on the touch screen with information about the content. Just tap 
    the panel that you desire.
    After selecting the panel that you desire, a message will appear on the 
    top screen giving more information about how to play the game. A message 
    will also appear on the touch screen saying: "Would you like to download 
    this software?" If you want to start downloading, select the Yes panel 
    on the bottom of the touch screen. If not, tap the No panel. The A 
    button also works for selecting yes, and the B button automatically 
    selects no.
    Press yes, and a new message will appear on the touch screen that reads: 
    "Downloading." You can cancel the download at any time by pressing 
    Cancel. The game will not start downloading until the person sending the 
    download agrees to send it to you, so make sure that he sends it as soon 
    as everyone is ready to download. Sometimes it takes a while to download 
    a game, even if the signal strength is high, so just be patient. When 
    the game totally finishes the download, you will be ready to play.
    Settings Menu
    This is the main part of the DS system; it is where all of the important 
    things take place. When you select the Settings panel on the main menu 
    screen, all of the other panels will disappear and four square panels 
    will appear. (Quit and Select panels also appear on the bottom of the 
    touch screen.) The first panel is purple and has a wrench on it. The 
    second is blue with a clock and calendar. The third is green with a 
    person, and the fourth contains a target in front of an orange 
    background. Tap one of the panels to see its options.
    Options Menu
    Touching the wrench will bring you into the options menu. Three new 
    purple panels will appear above the wrench with different pictures: a 
    globe, a Game Boy Advance system, and an arrow pointing at a rectangle.
    The first is the globe; this is Language menu. When you select the globe 
    panel, you will enter another screen with six panels. Each panel has a 
    language on it. If you tap a panel and then select Confirm, the system 
    will use that language. The six languages are English, German, French, 
    Spanish, Italian, and Japanese.
    To the right of the globe is the Game Boy Advance. Press it to go to the 
    GBA Mode menu. The touch screen will display a Nintendo DS system, and 
    to the right of the system will be two panels -- a Top Screen panel and 
    a Touch Screen panel. This menu allows you to select which screen you 
    will play Game Boy Advance games on. Tap either panel to select it, and 
    then press Confirm to finalize your choice. You can also touch the 
    actual screens on the DS system to make your choice (the onscreen one, 
    not the real one).
    At the very top is the Start-Up panel. Choose it and two large panels 
    will appear. One will have Manual Mode on it, and the other will have 
    Auto Mode on it. Each panel has a lengthy description of what it does, 
    so just read the panels to decided which option would be best for you. 
    Use Confirm to accept the new setting or Cancel to keep the old setting.
    Clock Menu
    Time is of the essence; and the DS can do what no other Nintendo 
    portable system has done before: tell time! With its embedded real time 
    clock, the Nintendo DS can tell you what time it is no matter where you 
    are. Just read on to learn how to set the clock to the right time.
    Above the Clock panel you will see three panels. The first one pictures 
    an Alarm Clock. (You can tell its an alarm clock by the large bells on 
    it. On second thought, you've probably never even seen an alarm clock 
    like that in real life. You're smart: figure it out.) When you enter the 
    Alarm menu, numbers will appear on the touch screen. They are the hours 
    and the minutes. Each one has arrows above and below it. Tap the 
    appropriate arrows to make the time increase or decrease. You can also 
    adjust the time with the D-Pad; just use up and down to change the time 
    and use left and right to change between hours and minutes. You can tell 
    which one you have selected by which one is highlighted. After you set 
    the alarm time, tap Confirm to finalize it. If you want to turn the 
    alarm on, press X or tap the Turn Alarm On panel at the top of the 
    When the alarm is on, both screens will have black backgrounds. The top 
    screen will display the current time at the top of the screen, and it 
    will have the alarm time just below that. Below the alarm time is the 
    time remaining until the alarm goes off. The touch screen has an Alarm 
    icon as well as instructions on how to turn the alarm off. After five 
    seconds, both backlights will deactivate to save energy. You can also 
    put the DS in sleep mode while the alarm is on without turning the alarm 
    off. Make sure you have the volume turned all the way up and put your DS 
    to sleep until its time for the alarm to sound.
    The highest of the Clock menu panels is the Date panel. It makes three 
    sets of number appear when you select it. One is the month, one is the 
    date, and one is the year. You can adjust the date by pressing the up or 
    down arrows above or below the various numbers. When you are satisfied 
    with your choice, choose Confirm to make it final.
    User Menu
    The little green panel with the man on it is the User panel. It brings 
    up three additional green panels when you select it. One has a birthday 
    cake, one has a person talking, another has a name with a line pointing 
    to a person, and the last one has sixteen small squares.
    In the middle is the User Name panel. It's the one with the name (though 
    it looks more like a solid bar) and a person. Tap the panel to enter the 
    User Name menu. Inside the menu is an onscreen keyboard with ten black 
    boxes above it. The black boxes are where your user name will appear as 
    you type it in. Needless to say, the user name can only be ten 
    characters long.
    The onscreen keyboard is in the middle of the screen. Just tap a letter 
    and it will appear in the black boxes. If you make a mistake, tap the 
    backspace key, tap the Erase panel at the bottom left of the screen, or 
    press the B button. To the left of the keyboard is a menu that lets you 
    choose the keyboard style that you want. There are five boxes in the 
    menu, and they let you choose from normal English letters to Japanese 
    characters to pictures. Just tap a box to change the keyboard style. 
    When you have finished entering in your user name, tap the Confirm panel 
    directly below the onscreen keyboard. It is in a different place than it 
    usually is, so take note of that.
    To the right of the User Name panel is the Message panel. When you 
    select the message panel, an onscreen keyboard will appear with 26 black 
    boxes above it. It is just like the User Name menu, only you can have up 
    to 26 characters in your message. The message will appear whenever 
    someone taps your name during a PictoChat session. Since the characters 
    will go onto the next line whether you want them to or not, it is best 
    to finish a word before going into the second line of black boxes. If 
    you want to keep all your words intact you may want to use spaces to 
    push the overflowing word completely into the second line. When you are 
    finished, tap the Confirm panel to save your settings.
    The Birthday panel is to the left of the User Name panel. Select it to 
    choose your birthday. After it is selecting, two numbers will appear on 
    the screen. One is the month, the other is the day. Use the up and down 
    arrows above and below the numbers to choose the month and day of your 
    birthday. Whenever it is your birthday the DS will start with a special 
    sound. In PictoChat on your birthday, a special message will also 
    appear. Other than that, it doesn't do much. After inserting the correct 
    birthday, choose Confirm to save it.
    The last of the User panels is the Color panel. It is the box with 
    sixteen squares in it at the top of the screen. The Color menu has 
    sixteen different colors. Tap a color to preview it. Everything that 
    uses your chosen color will change to the color you tap. When you have 
    the color that is right for you, select Confirm. If you want to leave 
    your color the way it was, choose Cancel.
    Touch Screen
    The last panel in the Setting menu, the orange one with the target, is 
    the Touch Screen panel. It allows you to calibrate your touch screen. 
    When you decide to calibrate your touch screen, everything will 
    disappear from the screen. A lone box with a + in it will appear on the 
    top left of the touch screen, and a message will appear near the middle 
    of the touch screen with the words: "Press B to cancel." The message 
    should be self explanatory. To calibrate the touch screen, tap the 
    center of the + inside the box. After you tap the first box, it will 
    slide down to the lower right side of the touch screen. Tap it again, 
    and it will slide to the middle of the touch screen. Tap it one last 
    time to finish calibrating the touch screen.
    If you successfully tapped inside the box for all three taps, a new 
    message will appear saying: "Calibration complete. Touch the marks to 
    test the calibration." Four new boxes will appear on each corner of the 
    touch screen. Slide your stylus over them to test out the calibration. 
    They will turn blue when they register that the stylus is over them. If 
    you are satisfied with the results, select Confirm to save the 
    calibration. If you want to try again, choose the Try Again panel at the 
    top right of the touch screen. The Cancel panel will return the touch 
    screen calibration to the way it was before the test.
    Beta Main Menu Screen
    This has nothing to do with your DS system or even using your DS system, 
    but I thought I'd throw it in because I found it to be interesting. In 
    the instruction manual, there are actually pictures of the Nintendo DS 
    Beta Main Menu. I purchased my DS system the day it came out, so they 
    may have changed the pictures since then. So if your instruction booklet 
    doesn't have them, then it was probably changed since the first one came 
    Anyway, get your instruction booklet out and turn to page 44. It will be 
    in the French section. Look at figure 18. You will see that the 
    PictoChat panel is different, the Download Play panel is different, and 
    the Settings panel is different. You can see the beta screen again if 
    you look at figure 22 on page 47. I'm not sure why these screens are in 
    the book, I just thought they were interesting so I put them in this 
    FAQ. And yes, I have tried changing the language to French to see if the 
    screen would change. It doesn't, even if you have exactly the same 
    settings that are shown in the book.
    9. DS Lite
    It's finally here! People have been anticipating a DS redesign for quite 
    some time now, and Nintendo has finally displayed the DS Lite, a smaller 
    version of the Nintendo DS. Looking more like an Ipod than a DS, the DS 
    Lite brings portability to what has been frequently classified as a 
    bulky portable system.
    Although it is similar to the DS in features, the DS Lite does have some 
    new items on the table. First, instead of switching the backlight on and 
    off by tapping the backlight button, you will be able to toggle through 
    four different backlight settings to find one that is right for you (you 
    cannot turn the DS Lite's backlight off).
    Depending on what backlight and volume settings you use, the DS Lite's 
    battery life will vary. It can last up to 19 hours with the lowest 
    backlight setting, but with full power it lasts closer to 5 hours.
    System Recognition
    One interesting thing to note is that a game can tell if it is in the DS 
    Lite or not. For example, on the starting screen of Mario Kart DS, Mario 
    says "Woohoo!" when the game is on the DS. If you insert the game into a 
    DS Lite, however, Mario will say "Here we go!" instead. Will Nintendo 
    use this for fun like it did in Mario Kart DS, or will it use this 
    feature for something more major? We will have to wait to find out.

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