With video configuration out of the way, setting up everything else in Demul is fairly easy. Lets start with controls. Open the “Config” menu and choose “Controls”. The window shown below will then appear.
If you read our Introduction to the Dreamcast, you will know that the Dreamcast console had four controller ports. Demul can emulate all four controllers, allowing you to play the best of the Dreamcast local multiplayer games. You can use keyboard or a suitable USB game controller, you simply need to tell Demul how to map the controller buttons on your pad.
Click on “Joy 1” to configure player ones controller and the window shown below will open.
Configuring your controller is simplicity itself, just click on the button you want to configure, then press the key on your keyboard or button/stick on your game controller that you want to correspond to that input. So for “UP” you’d press up on your gamepad, or perhaps the up arrow on the keyboard. For reference, the original Dreamcast controller looked like this:-
The face buttons are laid out exactly the same as on an Xbox 360/Xbox One controller, although they are coloured differently, and the Xbox 360 controller makes a good substitute for the Dreamcast original.
Notice at the bottom of the window there is an “Alternative settings” box. If you have a different type of controller you prefer for different games (for instance many gamers like the 360 controller for FPS and driving games but a different controller for fighting games) you can use this box to configure a different set of bindings without needing to reconfigure every time you change controller.
Click on “OK” when you are done configuring your controller. You can repeat the process for the other players now too, if you want to play multiplayer, or come back and do those later. Click on “OK” to close the controller configuration window completely when you are done. Don’t forget you will need to configure the Maple Device Manager to play local multiplayer games, so we will take a look at that next.
Maple Device Manager
Maple is the name of the bus that connects a Dreamcast console with its controllers. Dreamcast controllers feature two expansion ports. Typically the top one is used for visual memory units and the one underneath is used for things like vibration/rumble packs or the Dreamcast microphone. Demul can emulate some of these peripherals too. From the “Config” menu, choose “Maple Device Manager”. The window shown below will then open.
The window lets you configure exactly what controls are attached to your virtual Dreamcast. Port A, B, C and D represent the controller ports on the console, and the boxes underneath list what peripherals are attached. You can choose up to four (although Dreamcast controllers typically only supported two). In the picture above, there’s a controller in port A, but nothing in ports B, C and D. The controller in port A has a VMU (memory card) and a Purupuru attached. A Purupuru is a rumble/vibration pack. If you choose this and your controller has a vibration feature it may vibrate if the Dreamcast game supports it, but this doesn’t always work.
As well as controllers, Demul supports some other peripherals that were available for the Dreamcast, namely Keyboards, Light Guns and Mice. Light gun emulation is not something we’ve tested yet, but keyboard and mouse should work for games which support that option.
As for peripherals, you can chose “VMS”, “VMU” or “PURUPURU”. We’re not entirely sure what the difference between VMS and VMU (Visual Memory Unit) is, as they both seem to mean the same thing in Dreamcast terminology. There was a non-visual memory card released for the Dreamcast, though these are usually simply called Memory Cards. If anyone does know the difference between these two settings, let us know in the comments. Note that Dreamcast microphones currently aren’t emulated.
Click on “OK” when you are done configuring these settings. All that’s left now is to configure the GD-ROM emulation. Open the Config menu again and choose “GD-ROM”. The window shown below should now open.
There’s not much to this window. Basically, you click on “Selet” and then browse to where your Dreamcast game image is stored. Then, just click on “OK”.
You’re now all set, seriously, you’re done configuring things, how cool is that? Click on “File” and then choose “Run Dreamcast”. Assuming there’s nothing wrong with the Dreamcast game image you selected, your game should now start and you can start playing.