Alright, so Nintendo has failed to deliver any options for gamers to play retro Nintendo titles on current systems.
Nintendo Switch online has an anemic selection of games, and only recently did the company add a scant few N64 games to the offerings, for a substantial fee, too. Can you tell we’re a bit upset about it?
Who knows whether we’ll ever be able to play old GameCube games on the Switch. But in the meantime, lots of people want to play these old games, and not everyone has the option of buying a working retro system and paying exorbitant prices for the games themselves.
But don’t worry: Nintendo might not be giving us the games we want, but fans have worked hard to make the impossible possible.
This article will explain how to play Mario Kart: Double Dash on PC, strictly through legal means.
Now, even though the process isn’t really that complicated at all, it is sad that we have to do all this legwork just to play an old game.
Plenty of other companies re-release old games all the time, and they’re readily available on current consoles and/or PC game platforms.
Nintendo apparently doesn’t feel like doing that, preferring instead to charge a whole bunch of money for a subscription service that gives you access to some of their old games that we all love so much.
But that’s enough salt for now. Let’s talk about how to get the game running on your computer. Oh yeah, and this method works for Windows PCs, Macs, and Linux systems as well, so don’t let the title fool ya.
Step 1: Download a GameCube Emulator
Ok, so first up, you’ll need an emulator to play Double Dash on PC.
Emulators are software programs that emulate various gaming consoles, but within a computer operating system.
Emulators are typically created by fans who reverse engineer consoles to create something resembling the original system.
Emulators, on their own, are completely legal. You can download an emulator, or multiple emulators, with no hassle. You won’t get in trouble for having emulators on your computer.
In fact, for playing Double Dash and any other GameCube game on your PC, we recommend Dolphin, the most famous GameCube emulator out there.
Just click that there link and download the version of Dolphin that works best for your specific system. Dolphin works with Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Downloading and installing Dolphin is incredibly easy, especially if you’ve installed any program before.
If you download Dolphin from the official website, you won’t need to worry about sneaky attempts to install other software you didn’t want in the first place.
Just find the right folder and let the installation run. It won’t take very long at all.
Legal precedent has established the legality of emulators, so you don’t need to worry about that. It’s legal, and having emulators on your computer is just fine.
However, getting a copy of the game to play on an emulator is a much more tricky topic.
Step 2: Dump a Copy of the Game
Ok, so this is the trickiest part of the whole deal: you need to get a copy of Double Dash to play on your PC via an emulator.
Now, you can find illicit ROMs of the game online, but we’re not going to tell you where because it’s not actually legal to pirate a copy of the game from the internet.
You can choose to go that route if you don’t mind the legal considerations, but we definitely aren’t going to tell strangers on the internet to go ahead and pirate a game.
The legal way to get a playable PC copy of Mario Kart: Double Dash is to dump the game contents to a PC, external USB device, or SD card.
You are legally allowed to dump a game you’ve bought to your computer. Technically, it’s supposed to be for keeping a backup copy, but you’ll be fine.
No matter how you got your ripped copy of Double Dash (wink wink), all you need to do now is to point Dolphin in the direction of this file, then Dolphin will do the rest, as long as your ripped copy of the game is functional.
Just make yourself a folder somewhere in your system and label it properly, maybe something like “Legal Game Files.”
In Dolphin, you’ll see a prompt in the big white box to set a file path. Just double-click this and browse for the folder you just made. From then on, as long as you don’t move that folder around, Dolphin will be able to find those game files, all of which are definitely legal for you to have because you’re a responsible person and you’ve done your very best.
Congratulations! The hard part is over. All that’s left now is to run the game and play it with a controller.
Step 3: Connect a Compatible Controller
Thankfully, emulators are very accepting when it comes to controllers, far more than any gaming console ever has been.
Dolphin offers custom controller mapping, so as long as you have a controller that has a USB connection, you can map each button and input to cover all the controls you’ll need in-game.
But of course, if you want a more authentic experience, you can use an actual GameCube controller, via a simple USB adapter like this one.
You can also buy a contemporary controller modeled after the GameCube controller, though the quality of these controllers can be a bit iffy.
Whatever controller you choose to use, just plug it into a working USB port on your computer and make sure that Dolphin has recognized the controller. You might have to close down Dolphin and start it up again after you’ve connected the controller.
From there, start the game and enjoy the wash of nostalgia and joy that’s just part of the Double Dash experience.