Demul Setup Guide – Part 3 – Everything else

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.

Part 1 – Getting Started
Part 2 – Video Plugins


  1. matt says:

    I chose Mortal Kombat Gold, it’s a .bin file. It seems to have no affect. Does demul play .bin files? Please help!

  2. Matthew Cody says:

    I’m having a challenge with nullDC v.1.0.4 (build Aug 21 2011@04:07:01). Specifically, I’m trying to get a Thrustmaster Racing Wheel Red Legend Edition… and yes, it’s a cheap wheel.

    For the life of me I just can’t figure out which plugins to select; I’m thinking it’s Maple, but all the combinations I’ve tried don’t give me a way to access a wheel.

    I have seen YouTube videos of people playing Dreamcast games who claim to be using a wheel – but what the hell am I doing wrong?

    • BuckoA51 says:

      How does the wheel show up in Windows? Can you calibrate/test it in game controllers?

      • Matthew Cody says:

        I can calibrate it in Windows for sure – it shows up, for some reason, as FGT Rumble 3-in-1. Wheel axis seems to be fine (X for wheel, Y for accelerator pedal) and Axis 2 is the brake.

        I’m going to go through the guide above and see if I can get there – if not I’ll post a few screenshots!

        • Matthew Cody says:

          Yeah, I ripped it all out and started over with DEmul. Unfortunately I’m still stuck – I see where the controller config is done, but I see no way to establish the driving wheel as a controller.

          • BuckoA51 says:

            Have you tried telling Demul it’s just a regular gamepad and binding it that way?

            • Matthew Cody says:

              I have not, but I appreciate the advice. What would the values be for the wheel, the accelerator and the brake though?

              • BuckoA51 says:

                Wheel as analogue stick left/right, pedals as left/right analogue triggers.

                • Matthew Cody says:

                  Thank you – my apologies for not replying sooner (because I sincerely and truly appreciate the help)… I”m just getting slammed at work lately. I’ll try to bang this out over the weekend.

                  Incidentally, I work in NYC and spent a few hours at Barcade recently – where they had 18 Wheeler America – so I have a renewed sense of urgency to get this damn wheel working!

                  Thanks again.

                • Matthew Cody says:

                  So… I click on “Joy1”, then I get a range of choices: standard controller buttons, extended controllers buttons, etc.

                  Under “analog” on “standard controller”, I see the following:

                  Up – JOY0_AXIS0_UP
                  Down – JOY0_AXIS0_DOWN
                  Left – JOY0_AXIS0_LEFT
                  Right – JOY0_AXIS0_RIGHT

                  The LTRIG and RTRIG seem to default to “JOY0_ANL1_KEY+”, and I cannot assign them. I tried multiple buttons – nothing.

                  I’m also unable to assign the ABXY buttons, even though they test perfectly under Windows.

                  I go into “alternative settings” and all the assignments are cleared (showing NONE). I clikc on “up”, and it defaults to JOY0_ANL1_KEY+” and I cannot reassign it.

                  I’m really stumped!

                  • BuckoA51 says:

                    Have you unplugged all other controllers? Can you try with the latest alpha build of Demul instead?

                    • Matthew Cody says:

                      I did unplug all other controllers (excellent advice) and I believe I’m on the latest Alpha build now.

                      I’m going to completely switch platforms and see if I can lock this down. It’s very strange – the wheel behaves perfectly nicely under Control Panel (while testing). I’ll keep at it!

  3. Matthew Cody says:

    It appears that the wheel is giving a constant input of JOY0_ANL1_KEY+. At least that’s what I’m starting to suspect – every time I select an action (up, down, a, b, etc) in the Joy1 configuration that’s what pops up with no action on my part.

    I did make some minor progress – I switched the pedals to ‘combined’ and all of a sudden I’m able to configure left and right wheel inputs (which is great)… but cannot map pedals.

    Getting closer I suppose!

    • BuckoA51 says:

      That makes sense, depending on how the wheel is configured at driver level, Demul might think that you’re turning/pressing it when you’re not. The only way around that is to edit the axis if your wheels driver software supports that.

      • Matthew Cody says:

        Not sure, but this is a cheap Thrustmaster and the only config I see is via Control Panel. in Control Panel it looks clean – but in both the emulator (and Outrun 2006 for PC) I keep getting that “scrolling/constant input” effect… I’m really starting to think this may be an insoluble problem OR a hardware issue of some kind.

        If I could get it to work in a PC game but not the emulator, fine – but with two different test cases giving me problems, I’m really starting to wonder.

  4. Matthew Cody says:

    So… I threw my old Logitech controller in, and had it configured in about 90 seconds. I’m getting some kind of anomalous input from the wheel – which sucks – but I’m going to run it by Thrustmaster and if that doesn’t work, I’ll just return the damned thing.

    If anyone has any further suggestions I’d welcome them – but thanks very, very much for all the help so far!

    • BuckoA51 says:

      When you view the axis for the wheel in game controllers, what position are they at when the wheel or pedals are centered/neutral?

      • Matthew Cody says:

        From the “Thrustmaster Control Panel” (Windows 10 settings):

        THIS is interesting:

        As I play with the pedals they sometimes react, and sometimes the entire controller “disappears” (no reaction to any inputs). I was testing the pedals – and then got distracted… so what happened was that when I came back in 2 minutes, the controller no longer responded to inputs.

        I cycled it a half dozen times and it’s a repeatable problem.

        Incidentally, when it IS responding: Y axis (brake) was 0 to 100 and RZ axis (accelerator) was 50% to 100%. Wheel left/right was perfect. But again…. after about 30 seconds idle it just… dies.

  5. Jacob says:

    How to put coin ???
    I can’t start a game.

  6. Hotrod says:

    I need help every time I click on Run Dreamcast this comes up. Error(HRESULT = 887a0004) Create Device and Swap Chain failed

  7. ggwyn says:

    Some games wil work with my 360 controller (Powerstone 2, Bangai-O) but others will not (MDK 2, Outtrigger) Demul sees the contrroller fine but those games do nothing but go to the controller/VMU slecet screen and I cannot do anything

  8. TImothy Jenkins says:

    So I am having trouble with jet set radio. I can’t seem to spray paint graffiti with more than 1 move. Like the multiple sprays won’t work when I try to do it. Any ideas? This seems like a common problem.

  9. Matt S. says:

    I seem to be having an issue with getting Demul to recognize my Dualshock 4 controller. I’m using Inputmapper and have gotten the controller working with most other emulators. But, when I go to configure the controller with the padDemul plugin by clicking Joy 1 and then clicking on the buttons to remap, all I get is “JOY0_ANL3_KEY-” in any field I click. I’ve tried using exclusive mode in Inputmapper to no avail. Does anyone know if I’m doing something wrong or if I need to configure something else first? Thanks for any help!

    • BuckoA51 says:

      I’ve noticed that in Demul sometimes too. Try pressing the direction/button you want to map on the controller before clicking the button in Demul.

  10. Angel says:

    I have an issue with demul. Is this a known bug or there is something I can do to fix my issue? Both Tomb Raider games cannot detect the controllers nor the vmu. I can see it says please insert vmu, but I do have one set. Plus no response with controllers as well. Other games work fine though. In addition, some games like Evolution, cannot detect controller port A but only works with port B. I hope someone can help me, unless the emulator is still buggy.

  11. Tomato says:

    Is there any way to set it up using an Xbox 360 Controller because when I plug mine in and try to set the buttons it doesn’t do anything and keeps the timeout counter keeps going down. I don’t get why its not working because I’ve seen other people use controllers.

    • BuckoA51 says:

      Which version of Demul are you having difficulty with? Is it an Xbox 360 controller or Xbox One?

      • Sam says:

        Hey man, this is gonna be a shot in the dark so I hope this works, I’m basically having the exact same problem, I’m not using an actual xbox controller however, but a cheap knockoff one that I can plug into my pc and stuff, its worked extremely well with Steam and a ton of other emulators like dolphin but I’m not sure how to configure it, if you aren’t able to email me you can send me a dm on discord because I check that pretty often

  12. asd says:

    Apparently when you load a state you saved earlier, the whole thing crashes.

    Is there anyone managed to get load state to work?

  13. Andy Wan says:

    Anyone managed to get Dinput controllers (ie. PS3 to PC PS3 controllers, etc.)


  14. TheWilluigiBigmak says:

    So I tried setting up the my GameCube controller in the input mapper, but it doesn’t seem to detect Left and Right on my control stick (I’m well aware that I have to hold the direction/button when caliberating with a controller other than an Xbox controller) It detects the buttons, D-Pad, Up and Down on the control stick fine on the controller. It doesn’t detect left or right on the control stick (as well as the c-sitck, but I’m only using the emulator to play MvC2)
    Any thoughts on how to fix this?
    (Before you ask, yes, the controller does work on other emulators including Fightcade (Surprisingly), Dolphin, and Project 64 to name a few. It also (somehow) works on the PC version of UMvC3.)

  15. Sean Curtis says:

    trying to play bangai-o but dcemul wont recognize the rom. mounted it and it says insert disc…

  16. josael says:

    So i cant map my buttons from my ps4 T.E.S + stick to demul. nothing happens when i try to map them. any advice?

  17. LeonidasProcion says:

    Hi, I’m trying to play Sonic Adventure 1, and I have a problem. I followed all the steps, but now the screen says “please insert game disc”. What should I do?

  18. DemonHaseo says:

    So I’m having an issue where DEMul will recognize my controller, up until the game actually starts. It works on the BIOS, and pressing start skips through the Dreamcast boot up logo, but then when I’m on the games (In this case Evolution – The World of Sacred Device) opening cinematic before the title screen, and once I get to the title screen, the game refuses to accept any button inputs. I’ve tried remapping the buttons to anything from my keyboard to my Xbox One controller and it just refuses to do anything but sit on the screen.

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