Playing Nintendo 64 Games on Your PC

Years ago, several independent attempts were made at porting the Nintendo64 onto the PC, all with huge flaws, poor technical assistance, and even worse controller, video, and sound support. However, as time went by the good folks who went to work on the “Project64” emulator nearly perfected it, eliminating almost all glitches and supporting practically every game you can think of. PJ64 essentially takes the processing style of Nintendo64 and uses your computer to mimic it, allowing you to open any Nintendo64 game and play it immediately. It is very fast, very easy to use, and with the right plug-ins will contain almost every option imaginable. In fact, with Project64 games like Goldeneye and Perfect Dark will play out very similarly to any modern first person shooter on the PC. To get started, download the emulator (check the links section.) As I stated above, other emulators will work, but PJ64 is widely regarded as the best. Next, it is important to make sure that the drivers are up to date, specifically the “Controller” driver. NRage Input v2.2 is in my opinion the best driver because it offers several imperative features for the mouse that other independent drivers do not. For example, every Nintendo64 game is built off of the single joystick controller that controls both movement and the direction the player wishes to look on screen. In order to move, the joystick must be pressed forward. With a mouse, constantly rolling forward to move would not be practical. NRage has considered this and has several different options that allow the player to move forward and back with keyboard keys while looking left to right with the mouse. When a player is aiming in Goldeneye or Perfect Dark, he or she can press a key to make the mouse act like the joystick fully, making sniping very simple and more like a PC first person shooter. The details are a little bit complicated and it can be hard to set up, so I’ve also included MY set up for Perfect Dark (and Goldeneye) in the links section. In this set up, “E” is the action key: reload, open doors, change weapon function etc. Right clicking will give the mouse full movement as if it were the joystick, allowing players to aim up and down. Mouse scrolling will sort up and down the weapons list, whereas holding down mouse 2 will bring up the list on screen. Mouse 3 and 4 are optional, but zoom in and out when sniping (otherwise use the arrow keys.) W and D will move forward and backward, and clicking will fire weapons. All of these options can be changed in the input section of NRage’s controller driver, but I find these controls to be the most practical. I have provided a link to NRage’s FAQ section, which will offer solutions to common problems.

The other option to play these games instead of using a mouse would be to attach a Nintendo64 controller to your computer, which is a cheap but potentially frustrating option. A USB-PSX or USB-N64 adapter has been circulating around sites like Amazon and Ebay for years now for around $10.00. However, only certain controllers will work with this adapter (a lot of the cheap spinoff controllers will NOT work) and sometimes the sensitivity on the analog is hard to adjust. I also found that they break easily.

In terms of games, the quickest way to get the actual gaming peripherals is just to search Www.TheTechInsider.ORG for them. After they are downloaded just go to File- gt;Open in Project64 and play away! It is a very magical feeling when you have your laptop and four USB adapters connected to the TV through HDMI. Considering there are thousands of good Nintendo64 or PSX games that you can download instantly and play with up to three friends, playing games on a PC has a major advantage to playing them on Nintendo64. In other words, you will have an unlimited amount of games to play for free minus the cost to purchase the adapters.

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