Re: In Defense of NKit
Thanks for your thoughtful post. There's so much disinformation about NKit, WBFS, and RVZ that I don't bother correcting people. Anyone can visit my NKit page
and see reality, if they're willing.
People get hung up on the Wii but NKit was designed for GameCube
games and remains the ultimate format for playing on console. NKit for Wii is a different beast.
Every game in the Wii Vault has its update partition removed making it significantly smaller yet still play perfectly. RVZ must include the update, so for that reason an RVZ download will always be larger
than an NKit download from The Vault. NKit may compress the smallest but usability's important too, and WBFS remains the smallest format that works on both console and Dolphin (hence I've offered both formats).
I delayed crowdsourcing the Wii Vault in the hope I could switch from NKit to RVZ. That way people could download RVZ for Dolphin and WBFS for console. Sadly there's still no way to make an RVZ in Linux via the command line. NKit also has a bug generating a Wii NKit ISO in Linux. So for now that just leaves WBFS.
Note that Dolphin for Windows now ships with a command line utility called DolphinTool.exe that can convert an ISO to RVZ, however it's not currently distributed for Linux (RHEL in particular). There's also no single tool capable of converting an RVZ to WBFS. It may not be the smallest but when it comes to practicality, WBFS is still king.
I've seen many people complaining about NKit, and how the Wii vault should switch to RVZ. The most recent "argument" against NKit had so many errors, I felt compelled to write this. While it is true Dolphin does not officially support NKit, and does warn against using it for emulation, it is not because the NKit format is bad, it is because it was never meant for running in Dolphin.
The claim that you can never convert NKit back into its original file is blatantly false. I won't go into too many details, but the fact that the tool to restore an nkit.iso to a regular iso can be downloaded here (https://vimm.net/vault/?p=nkit) should be enough to dismiss this claim. Related to this claim is NKit breaks games. While it is true many NKit games do not run properly on Dolphin, it is not because the games themselves are broken, it's because NKit files were not designed with Dolphin support in mind*. You would not call a book "broken" if it was written in a language you couldn't read, why should this be any different?
Another potential "issue" with NKit files is you need to convert them before playing on official hardware. While this is an "issue" with NKit, replacing every NKit file with an RVZ will *not* change this. Neither format was designed to be run on original hardware. To RVZ's credit, it will run on Dolphin with no(?) issues (it would be an issue if they didn't run, their whole purpose is to run on Dolphin).
Now, to be clear, I am *not* against including RVZ downloads. RVZ files have their advantages, such as often being slightly smaller than their NKit counterparts, along with their ability to natively run in Dolphin. However, at this time I do not believe out right removing the NKit option is the way to go. It is/was the smallest option being provided, so removing it without a "viable" alternative seems counter-intuitive. At present, the RVZ format cannot be generated automatically, while NKit files can be. So unless someone feels like manually converting an entire romset to RVZ, we are stuck using NKit. Additionally, while RVZ provides smaller individual files, NKit may provide smaller collections** (which to me seems to be a better option for storing entire romsets).
Feel free to disagree/tell me I'm full of BS, just make sure to explain why.
*This is an assumption on my part. If NKit was designed with Dolphin support in mind, you really dropped the ball on that one devs