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Nintendo Disc Date Codes

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I just discovered that Nintendo's disc based games have date codes on them, so I figured I share for the two people that care about this stuff. To figure this out, I scraped some GameCube ring codes from http://redump.org/discs/system/gc/region/Am/. My scraper sucks but it pulled 364 codes which is good enough for my purposes.

If you turn over any Nintendo disc (GameCube, Wii, or Wii U) there are three relevant codes. I've highlighted them on my Wind Waker disc below.


The red code (C03B2606 on my disc) is the code that contains the date code. It is in the format AYYMDDBB.

  • A - I'm not sure what this indicates. For GCN it's most commonly C with 1, 2, A, and B as other options. I've put a bar chart with the count of the GCN games I've scraped in the spoiler below. I checked a couple Wii and Wii U disc and got some more including 3, 5, and E. I just noticed that a number indicates the game was manufactured in Japan and a letter indicates the game was manufactured in USA.
  • YY - This is simply the two digit year. So, 03 from my WW disc would be 2003.
  • M - This is encoded as A=Jan, B=Feb ... L=Dec. So, B from my WW disc would be February
  • DD - Again, simply the two digit date. So, 26 from my WW disc would be the 26th.
  • BB - Like A, I'm not sure what this is either. Lower numbers are more common (starting with 01). I've put another bar chart with the count of the GCN games I've scraped in the spoiler below.

So, the date on my WW disc is February 26, 2003 which is exactly a week after the US build date according to TCRF.

The blue code (DOL-GZLE-0-00 USA on my disc) contains the standard game code plus some revision info. Format AAA-BCCD-E-FF GGG.

  • AAA - Your standard console code (DOL = GCN, RVL = Wii, WUP = Wii U)
  • B - Type of media, usually G for Game (others include D for Demo, P for promo)
  • CC - Game code. For my disc ZL is for WW (ZeLda).
  • D - Language/region code. E = English (USA) (see the rest here)
  • E - Disc number starting at 0. (See Resident Evil as an example of a second disc with code 1)
  • FF - Rom revision starting at 0. If the code on this disc changes this number is incremented.
  • GGG - Region of manufacture. I've seen USA or JPN.

Finally the green code is always S0 with the exception of a SSBM disc on redump that has S1 (possible data entry error?)

The other codes are an IFPI manufacture ID code (IFPI LL08) and a tooling stamp (M1S6).





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I should mention that just because the date code changed doesn't mean that anything else has been changed (like the game version). Conversely, these date codes are not constantly being updated like the date codes found on IC chips. They are more like the NES box date codes where they are only occasionally updated. Taking Wind Waker as an example, redump has 7 listed.

  1. 103B2504   DOL-GZLE-0-00 JPN   S0, 02/25/2003
  2. 103B2505   DOL-GZLE-0-00 JPN   S0, 02/25/2003
  3. 103B2601   DOL-GZLE-0-00 JPN   S0, 02/26/2003
  4. 103B2701   DOL-GZLE-0-00 JPN   S0, 02/27/2003
  5. A03B2609   DOL-GZLE-0-00 USA   S0, 02/26/2003
  6. A03J1507   DOL-GZLE-0-00 USA   S0, 10/15/2003
  7. C03B2606   DOL-GZLE-0-00 USA   S0, 02/26/2003
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  • 10 months later...
3 hours ago, Hiccup said:

Ahh awesome! That fills in the blanks. I didn't even think to see if the first character correlated with the mastering code. And disc batch makes sense since the frequency diminishes as the number grows. Although I see you are also confused by Melee's S1 code. But I didn't know anything about layer type either. 

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