Tutorial wiiflow - my own tutorial to use it with emulators

spinoman

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hi, here is my tutorial for setting up wiiflow as an emulator frontend.

i wrote this cause i found a bit messy to rely on someone's other pack with settings already done,
instead here i'm using only original material... let's start!

my goal is to play super mario bros with a nes emulator using wiiflow.

step 0: your wii is already soft-modded with hbc installed, must have a sd card formatted in fat32.

step1: download all necessary files

download last official version of wiiflow from here:
https://github.com/Fledge68/WiiFlow_Lite/releases
you need two files:
https://github.com/Fledge68/WiiFlow_Lite/releases/download/v5.4.6/wf_internal_plugins.zip
https://github.com/Fledge68/WiiFlow_Lite/releases/download/v5.4.6/wiiflow_v5.4.6.zip

download wiiflow channel installer from here:
https://storage.googleapis.com/goog...om/wiiflow/WiiFlow_Channel_Installer_v1.1.zip

(optional) download a channel of your choice from here:
https://sites.google.com/site/wiiflowiki4/forwarder-channels

download last version of the rhapsodii shima theme from here:
https://gbatemp.net/threads/rhapsodii-shima-5-4.555062/

step2: copying all files to sd

unpack wiiflow_v5.4.6.zip, WiiFlow_Channel_Installer_v1.1.zip and rhapsodii shima theme to root directory of sd.
you have to install first the older files, cause newer have probably an updated version of platform.ini inside.
overwrite if requested.
copy the context of wf_internal_plugins.zip in sd\wiiflow\plugins\ directory
create a sd\rom\ directory
create a sd\rom\nes\ directory

step3: make some settings

in homebrew channel launch the channel installer app and install the channel. you'll use it when you have to exit an emulator and you want to return directly to wiiflow.
(optional, if you don't like the aspect of the channel installed you can install another channel with a wad manager, but AFTER this step 3)
now in your system menu you have a new icon for wiiflow. launch it.
after some time the program starts. press home button and go to settings.
on page 2 change theme from "default" to "rhapsodii shima"
on page 4 change return to channel from "disabled" to "WiiFlow"
on page 11 change source menu on start from "no" to "yes"
hit back, wiiflow should restart.
now press home button a couple of times to go again to settings
on page 12 enter source menu settings, change enable source flow from "off" to "on",
new options will appear, change sourceflow smallbox from "off" to "on", hit back.
now hitting B you can appreciate the beauty of this theme and go around to the different sections.
if everything works, press home button until you can shutdown wiiflow.

step4: preparing to emulate a game

the rom for super mario bros is already somewhere in your files, you know.
put supermariobros.zip in sd\roms\nes directory.
we choose to emulate super mario bros using last official fceugx release. you can find it here:
https://github.com/dborth/fceugx/releases/download/3.4.7/FCEUltraGX-3.4.7.zip

open the zip file, rename boot.dol to fceugx.dol and put it in sd\wiiflow\plugins\

step5: search for the right magic number

in sd\wiiflow\plugins_data\ find the platform.ini file and open it
you have to search a section which recalls the emulator you choose. here's what we find:
#FCEU GX
46434555=NES
56434555=FDS

46434555 is the magic number we must use. NES is the console code used to determine which type of covers to use.

step6: preparing a plugin ini file

we need one ini file for each emulator, we'll prepare one on the basis of the other ones we have.
go to sd\wiiflow\plugins\ directory and copy and rename wii.ini to fceugx-347.ini then open it.

[PLUGIN]
magic=4E574949
dolfile=boot.dol
arguments={device}:/{path}/|{name}
romdir=wbfs
rompartition=-1
filetypes=.wbfs
displayname=Wii
coverfolder=Wii
covercolor=ffffff
bannersound=
consolecoverid=

we must edit to this:

[PLUGIN]
magic=46434555
dolfile=fceugx.dol
arguments={device}:/{path}/|{name}|{loader}
romdir=roms/nes
rompartition=0
filetypes=.zip
displayname=Nintendo Entertainment System
coverfolder=nes
covercolor=ffffff
bannersound=
consolecoverid=NES

a) we've changed the magic number to what we found in platform.ini;
b) we've changed the name of dol file;
c) we've changed the arguments line (is requested by the emulator);
d) we've changed the romdir;
e) we've changed the rompartition to 0 (sd);
f) we've changed filetypes (zip is the format of our super mario bros rom);
g) we've changed the displayname (you can put what you want);
h) we've changed the coverfolder (see step 9);
i) we've changed the consolecoverid to what we found in platform.ini

step7: check/modify the theme

we have to be sure that the theme is pointing to the right magic number.
go to sd\wiiflow\source_menu\Rhapsodii Shima\ directory and open consoles.ini
this is the section which interest us:

[BUTTON_8]
autoboot=
cat_page=1
category=0
image=NES.png
image_s=NES.png
magic=46434D4D
source=plugin
title=NES

change magic number from 46434D4D to 46434555 and save it.

step8: play the game

now launch wiiflow, go to retro consoles section, choose NES and you should see your super mario bros game.
choose it and play it with A button.
home button, exit and ok to return to wiiflow. everything ok? we can go on.

step9: adding covers

you can add a cover for your game.
if you want a flat cover create sd\wiiflow\covers\nes
if you want a full cover create sd\wiiflow\boxcovers\nes

you can find full covers here:
https://gbatemp.net/threads/cover-collections-for-emulators-with-cover-support.324714/
and here:
https://gbatemp.net/threads/cover-collections-part-2.559649/
once downloaded find the right one and unpack it to sd\wiiflow\boxcovers\nes\
probably you have also to rename it.
if your rom is supermariobros.zip then your cover should be named supermariobros.zip.png
open wiiflow again and control if your cover is shown.
if not, press home button and try to reload the cache.

step10: adding some info
you can add info, a cart disk image and a snapshot to your game.
if you do this, your rom.zip isn't renamed but the name that appears on wiiflow maybe different (wiiflow is now using the database to name the games).

first download the files indicated in wii flow lite official thread:
https://www.mediafire.com/file/4blrpsqqn5g0bdu/Wiiflow_Database.7z/file
https://www.mediafire.com/file/xegmyb7uxid4nki/Wiiflow_CartDisk.7z/file
http://www.mediafire.com/file/6a563zva8c7weew/Wiiflow_Snapshots.7z/file
these are pretty big files but you can use only the portion that interest you (in our case, the Nes directory of every file).

open the database.7z file and extract only nes section in
sd\wiiflow\plugins_data\Nes\ directory
it should now contains NES.ini and NES.xml files.

open the cartdisk.7z file and find and extract yourgame_2d.png file in
sd\wiiflow\cart_disk\Nes\ directory

open the snapshot.7z file and find and extract yourgame.png file in
sd\wiiflow\snapshots\Nes\ directory

now, if you start wiiflow and choose your game, pressing + button should show some infos and images of super mario bros game.

if your rom is a patched or unofficial translated one, your game won't be probably recognised. whatever the reason you could try this:
you have to calculate the crc of your rom file using one of several tools available online and offline. one online is at:
https://toolslick.com/programming/hashing/crc-calculator
browse your file and calculate "CRC checksum in Hex", you'll obtain something like 2f05681f
open NES.ini file in sd\wiiflow\plugins_data\Nes and search for super mario bros game.
you'll find:
Super Mario Bros.=1245AA|A5C2849E|A1491AA1|B693999A|1D2F046F|7D5FAA58|3337EC46|E66...
1245AA is what interest us, the key code to the game, the rest are crc for the several versions of the game that exist.
you have to add 2f05681f in that line, separating your crc from the others by the | character.
Super Mario Bros.=1245AA|2f05681f|A5C2849E|A1491AA1|B693999A|1D2F...
now, save NES.ini file and delete gametdb_offsets.bin in the same directory.
now enter wiiflow, home button, reload cache and your game is now in the database.

if your cartdisk and snapshot image aren't recognised, what to do? remember the key code of super mario bros 1245AA in NES.ini?
rename your cartdisk image to 1245AA_2D.png
rename your snapshot image to 1245AA.png
it should work now.

it's also possible to add a trailer for each game but to me the space required is too big (around 30-40 megabytes per rom), please refer to danimal wiiflow tutorial if you are interested...

step 11: to thank all people
a great thanks to fledge68, wiimpathy, tetsuo shima, danimal and the others who made this possible!

edit: corrected some typos, updated step10
 
Last edited by spinoman,

timewarpgamer

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Awesome guide; exactly what I was looking for. For those who want to launch games from USB, be sure to put in "1" for the rompartition, like so:

magic=46434555
dolfile=fceugx.dol
arguments={device}:/{path}/|{name}|{loader}
romdir=roms/nes
rompartition=1
filetypes=.zip
displayname=Nintendo Entertainment System
coverfolder=nes
covercolor=ffffff
bannersound=
consolecoverid=NES

On another note, I tried following the guide to setup wiimednafen to launch PCEngine ROMs. Everything works fine and Mednafen launches through WiiFLow, but instead of the selected game launching automatically, Mednafen is at the "Load" step. At which point I can manually choose a game and it works fine; however I'd prefer that the correct game automatically loads. Any tips on how I can do that?
 

spinoman

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On another note, I tried following the guide to setup wiimednafen to launch PCEngine ROMs. Everything works fine and Mednafen launches through WiiFLow, but instead of the selected game launching automatically, Mednafen is at the "Load" step. At which point I can manually choose a game and it works fine; however I'd prefer that the correct game automatically loads. Any tips on how I can do that?

you can try this:
download the last "official" wiiflow plugin pack from
https://storage.googleapis.com/goog...google.com/wiiflow/WiiFlow_Plugins_Pack_v7.7z
and use the mednafen version inside
(wiimednafen-mod3.dol 5222336 bytes).
it's the version i'm using and it works.
also make sure that the arguments line in your ini file is correct: this is what the loader uses to pass the rom to the emulator...
 
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timewarpgamer

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spinoman, thank you very much. I'm now launching from Wiiflow into Mednafen for pce engine games seamlessly. That plugin pack is also a big help, in general.
 
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