Hi! interested in playing old games? for free!? "this sounds great!" you say "how do I do it?!" well your going to need some Emulators.
so... what exactly is a Emulator? well a emulator is a program that "emulates" a gaming console. Dolphin emulates both the Wii and the GameCube consoles letting you play any GameCube or Wii game you wish, Project 64 emulates the Nintendo64 letting you play N64 titles, and the list goes on and on, in this tutorial I will show you how to set up Dolphin Emulator, but its the same process for 80% of emulators.
lets get started!
Step 1: Getting the Emulator!
ok so first your going to want to go to Vimm's Lair (http://vimm.net/) and click "Emulation Lair" after clicking that you going to want to scroll down to the GameCube emulator and click Dolphin.
this will take you to Dolphins site. you will see a large blue Download button, click this.
that will take you to the downloads page, now you can download the "stable" version if you want but it lacks some features so just download the latest Development version(I have never had any trouble with the Dev Version)
don't forget to click save file when you download!
Step 2: Setting Up!
go to your download folder.
now that you have the file you will want to extract it. to extract simply right click and then click extract here or you can extract it to wherever you want to put Dolphin.
now open the folder and click the Dolphin application, it should start. congrats! you now have a emulator!
Step 3: Setting Up Your Controller!
here a quick little step to show you how to set up a emulated GameCube controller
your going to need a controller for this step. I use a Xbox 360 controller with the wireless adapter but any sort of computer controller should work.
in Dolphin click the Controller button and that should open the controller configuration window. set the controller type to standard controller and then click Configure.
now the GameCube controller window should open. if it looks confusing don't worry! its really basic!
first click the device pop-down menu and select your controller(highlighted blue in the photo, my controller died so I am using a keyboard but if you click the arrow next the the blue highlight then your controller should be there in the pop-down menu, if its not then click refresh and it should show up)
now that your controller is selected you need to set up all the buttons and sticks. its really easy, simply left click the button on the menu and then click or move the corresponding button or stick on your controller(when setting up the sticks make sure to move them in the correct direction)
congrats! your controller should now be set up! click ok to close the menus.
Step 4: Add a Game!
now go back to Vimm's lair and click on the "the vault" this will open a window with a bunch of system names on it, click on GameCube, now you should be in the GameCube game vault. find a game you want(I am using Legend of zelda for this example) and click download.(you can only download one game at a time on Vimm's lair)
now that your downloading the game your going to want a place to keep it so go into your documents and create a new folder called Roms, this is were you will put all your Games that you download.(if you get more Emulators in the future then you will want to make some sub folders for each system so your games don't get all mixed up)
now your download should be finished, extract the zip file to your new Roms folder and delete the Vimm's lair text document, its not needed but you should read through it.
ok so now go back into Dolphin and click file then Browse for ISO's, find your Roms folder, highlight it by left clicking once, and click select folder. now Dolphin will check that folder every time you open it for new games.
you should now see you game in the home screen of Dolphin!(if not then hit refresh)
Step 5: Play!
congrats! you should now have a working game! explore dolphin, it has many excellent features.
you should now know how to download and set up most emulators. there is differences in each one but at a basic level they all work the same.
have fun gaming!