After celebrating its 13th birthday a little under two weeks ago, Dolphin, the popular GameCube/Wii emulator, has just released a new batch of updates that are available for download right now. Over the course of Dolphin’s life, the community-driven development team has sought out to perfectly emulate the hardware of the GameCube and the Wii. Along the way, however, many games have either had technical problems with emulation, or they are unable to run at all. The latest updates seek to not only rectify these problems, but to get one step closer to perfect emulation. In addition, other minor fixes and quality-of-life updates have come bundled with these major fixes.
Some notable games with odd technical problems, such as Red Steel, Far Cry Vengeance, Hikaru no Go 3, and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, all had major issues running on more recent versions of Dolphin. These issues, however, were partially fixed by running the games on older versions of Dolphin. These issues ranged from audio cues not functioning properly, to not having any audio, to issues with games softlocking. After meticulous trial-and-error testing with Dolphin’s code, and digging around game files, one developer managed to fix all of the issues plaguing these games. Not only are the games running smoothly now, but they are practically glitch and error free.
As well as these significant fixes, Dolphin has included other minor problem fixes for a few other titles. In some games, the textures and shading would not work as intended and would result in hilarious glitches. In one such game, Star Fox Adventures, the main character’s shadow would not register correctly and would instead display a space ship in place of the player’s shadow. A temporary fix has been implemented to mostly load the correct shadow. Another title that had an odd problem is Zapper: One Wicked Cricket. The game would crash unexpectedly, and as it turns out, this crash was due to an error with Dolphin itself. The game should run without fault now.
Netplay, the online multiplayer component of Dolphin, has also received a small update. Resetting netplay settings will no longer prevent the player from having errors connecting. Dolphin has also improved setting up controls for MacOS. The previous way of setting up inputs for a Mac were more chance than clockwork. Now, it is much easier to set up a controller for Mac users, and as a bonus, this update also fixes some controller issues some users were experiencing with Mac.
Last but not least, the final update features the ability to emulate the ejection of a disk mid game. Although this feature is useless to most, some gamers of the speedrunning community use disk ejection as a part of their speed run. With this silly yet authentic feature, Dolphin is one step closer to achieving perfect emulation.