A cheating device is any device or method that is used to manipulate gameplay in a way other than permitted in a game's original programming. Examples of popular cheating devices used with Animal Crossing include the Action Replay line of devices produced by Datel and the GameShark line produced by MadCatz. There also exists a variety of ways to modify the data of an Animal Crossing save file through the use of specially designed computer programs such as the Animal Crossing Map Editor for Animal Crossing: Wild World and ACToolkit for Animal Crossing: City Folk.
Cheating devices that are inserted into a console are generally seated between the console and the game, allowing them to regulate interaction between the two. This often involves temporary or permanent changes to a game's code or save data. Alternatively, the device may simply load replacement save data into the game's memory rather than affecting gameplay directly.
The GameShark name was originally used to market products manufactured by Datel in the United States with the company InterAct serving as a local distributor. In 2003 InterAct was sold to MadCatz by parent company Recoton, which had fallen into bankruptcy. While MadCatz kept the GameShark name, Datel held onto the rights to release its proprietary line of cheating devices (aka Action Replay) in North America. This resulted in both companies producing cheating devices for the Nintendo 64 and Nintendo GameCube under different names.
Many versions of the GameShark exist for the Nintendo 64, with later releases offering enhanced features such as the ability to connect to a PC. These successive releases were also made necessary by Nintendo's consistent programming attempts designed to prevent the use of cheating devices. After InterAct's acquisition by MadCatz, Datel's products could no longer be sold under the GameShark name. This resulted in the release of Action Replay branded cheating devices by Datel which are otherwise identical to GameShark branded products.
While there are no known codes specific to Doubutsu no Mori, as neither the GameShark nor the Action Replay saw Japanese release, it is possible to create custom codes for the title using these devices.
Instead of inputting codes, the GameShark for the GameCube simply came loaded with game saves, more of which could be downloaded online. Due to its inability to actually manipulate programmed gameplay elements, it sold poorly compared to Datel's Action Replay device. As it is now a discontinued product and its official site no longer online, its compatibility with Animal Crossing cannot be confirmed. However, an archive of available game saves as of May 2010 does not list Animal Crossing as a supported title.
The main benefit offered by the Action Replay line of cheating devices is their ability to manipulate a game's code to produce novel gameplay experiences. Early devices even allowed users to generate their own codes; unfortunately this feature is not maintained in current versions.
Datel began shipping its Action Replay device for the GameCube to retailers on February 18, 2003. It was the first cheating device available for the system and would remain the sole device until GameShark's GameSave release about a year later. The Action Replay came pre-loaded with codes for Animal Crossing as noted in their late January press release.
Two versions of the Action Replay device were produced. The original device allows for the input of custom codes which are saved onto the memory card packaged with the device. The second version, labeled v1.2 or higher and marketed as Wii-compatible, does not allow custom code input. The updated device also features a new logo and is available as an individual Mini CD or packaged together with an Action Replay branded memory card. In addition, it does not contain the code for Super Mario Bros., thereby only providing access to three of the Forbidden Four. For these reasons, the original Action Replay is often sought after, making it harder to find and more expensive in second-hand markets.
There also exists a specialized Animal Crossing Ultimate Codes disc marketed under the Action Replay brand which features the same codes as the updated Action Replay device (and therefore does not contain the code for Super Mario Bros.).
Action Replay codes
Using an Action Replay on Animal Crossing, it is possible to give one certain items (such as the Snowman Series) or modify the bug/fish log to say they have caught everything available. The players can also grow and shrink using the C-control stick, and jump using the Z button, which can be used to get onto the train track, jump into the river, and get to the island.
Animal Crossing: Wild World
Wild World is capable of many Action Replay codes. Built into the Action Replay are codes that give the player an infinite supply of any item (not including "not used" items by default), infinite Bells, the ability to reduce their mortgage by huge amounts, the ability to remove weeds, and so on. There are also programs, such as AnimalMap, which can create powerful codes to change acres in the town, spawn items on the world map, duplicate buildings, and give "seeds" – buildings that are held in the inventory, which make buildings when dropped. Jumping is not possible, as Wild World has no Z-axis for both players and non-playable characters.
Animal Crossing: City Folk
City Folk has no Action Replay codes, but uses game saves instead. Game saves can be installed using Action Replay for Wii. Despite this, there is a way to alter the game's files using the Homebrew Channel and using Gecko codes via Cheat Manager.
Game save editors
Animal Crossing Map Editor