Fix for black screen in Nintendo Wii virtual console games

Martin Brinkmann
May 24, 2007
Updated • Jun 27, 2013

The following fix should help users who do have problems with some virtual console games for the Nintendo Wii that display only a black screen after starting them, while the sound plays normally in the background. This does not work in all occasions but should work if you get the Wii menu when you press Home, and works only for games that received an update for the interlaced mode.

Try out the following to see if this fixes the issue. Start the game normally until you see the black screen. Connect the Nunchuck to the Wiimote and press Home to see the menu options. Now press A + 2 + Z together which should result in a short "ping-like" sound.

This should have activated the interlaced mode. Leave the menu and you should see the normal game screen and not the black screen anymore. To change the mode again press A + 1 + Z using the same method as above.

This was tested on various Wii systems with component cables and was found on the Wii Errors website.

Update: the Wii Error website is no longer available on the Internet, and we have removed the link pointing to the website as a result. It also unlikely that Nintendo Wii users will still get the error, as Nintendo should have fixed it by now for all users. This is of course only true if the Wii has been updated in the meantime, either by having it connected to the Internet, by purchasing a newer model version, or by having the Wii updated through a game DVD.

If you are still experiencing black screens when playing Wii games I suggest you update the console first by connecting it to the Internet to make sure you are running the latest firmware. The issues should be a thing of the past afterwards.


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  1. Johney said on November 28, 2015 at 1:12 am

    i have the same problem using a cheap ass knock off vga box convertor wich does accept composite and s-video input,HOWEVER it only accepts 480i signals NOT 240p signals.
    I tryed to force the wii switching into 480i mode by using the above trick but no luck.
    It’s strange because snes supermarioworld and supermario 64 just works fine but supermariobros does Not .
    Why dit nintendo not just programmed the wii to output in either 480i or 480p and NOT allow any idividual out to output at 240p,because that would,ve solved the problem.
    By the way,why dit nintendo not solved this problem of all their own games from whatever game system?
    Other game company’s has the same problem.

  2. Jeff said on February 6, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    I came across this exact problem about a year ago, the only virtual console that worked was N64 I just solved it by plugging the wii directly into the tv instead of going through the dvd player.

  3. William said on March 12, 2010 at 7:01 am


    plug in a classic controller to activate the wiimote then switch to nunchuck

    Switching to HD worked for me although pic is grainy

  4. Oumen said on February 2, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Plz help me with that after burning dvd wii image at 4x .prince rival swords …… By imgburn .. The game logo showed in the tv screen and i clicked at the game channel to start but a black screen showed without sound any body can help me solving this problem plz . Thnx alot

    1. Kaasjoch said on February 22, 2010 at 7:49 pm

      ye i have the same problem
      switch to hd mode isnt able, perhaps cus my tv isnt hd,
      and the a2z trick doesnt work, because the mote gets disconnected, i cant even open the home screen

      black screen, no sound, no controls, what to do?

  5. Rodney said on July 11, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    Fix Black Screen Go to settings and set to 480p vs 480i will black screen spread the word

  6. Frank said on April 20, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    I’ve ran into that problem last night.

    My WII was connected using RCA cable trough my cable box (PVR Scientific Atlanta 8300HD). Everything was working fine except for Virtual Console Game.

    After having tried the A+Z+1 / 2 button fix, (which result in nothing), I’ve tried connecting the WII directly into my TV. That fixed the problem. It seems that the cable box was interfering with the signal of the WII.

  7. Matt said on November 24, 2008 at 6:22 am

    What worked for me when the screen was black and only audio was changing the tv screen resolution from 480i to 480p.

  8. Rob said on September 6, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    Selecting HD resolution instead of standard worked for me as well.

  9. Graham said on July 16, 2008 at 6:48 am

    You need to go into the OPERATIONS MANUAL before the key combo will do anything. The Home menu is not enough. Just hold all the buttons together while pointing at a free area of the screen – holding down A+Z and alternately pressing 1 and 2 should result in ding sounds.

    Setting interlace mode like this has allowed me to play Donkey Kong Country (SNES), which was previously just a black screen with audio. I have not purchased other games which people appear to be having problems with, but I’d imagine this fix would work for them too.

    I’m using an HDTV capable LG computer monitor with component input. I have my (Australian, PAL) Wii set to HTDV, 16:9.

    Strange that this undocumented feature is undocumented!

  10. Dz said on September 2, 2007 at 6:09 pm

    i was having this problem and the fix listed above did not work either. I went into the Wii settings and changed the resolution of the screen th HD and not Stadard TV, that seems to have fixed the problem

    1. Stulem said on July 8, 2012 at 10:17 am

      This works by pressing the home button, going into operations guide the DO NOT point the wii-mote at the screen and press z-a-2. This worked on a 51″ Samsung. And then press z-a-1 to turn the interlace off.

    2. sandy said on February 20, 2012 at 3:58 am

      I was also having just a black screen with sound only. Changed the wii screen settings from standard to hdmi and this fixed the problem.

  11. vanik said on August 27, 2007 at 6:26 pm

    This doesn’t seem to work for me. Pressing A + 2 + Z at the same time doesn’t make any sounds at all. Do you hold them for a certain time? Is there a certain order you press them in?

  12. Martin said on July 5, 2007 at 9:45 pm

    Nancy that depends on what is happening when you try to start it. I would contact Nintendo support and ask them what to do. You can find phone numbers on your wii manuals and at

  13. Nancy Read said on July 5, 2007 at 9:42 pm

    My daughter was playing with her new Wii, when it suddenly stopped. We knew there was a thunderstorm in the distance but hadn’t reach our area yet. Do you think the Wii is totally “fried” or is there a place that will repair it? Thanks for your help.

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