How to emulate all Kingdom Hearts on PC

How to emulate all Kingdom Hearts on PC

Kingdom Hearts is one of the most famous videogame sagas of the last twenty years, and its success only seems to increase with the passage of time. In fact, millions of players have become passionate about the story of Sora and his companions from the world of Square Enix, Disney and Pixar, and the recent announcement of the fourth chapter of the series has stirred even more the spirits of all those who do not see the time to start a new adventure. If you want to fill the wait for the new title by replaying the previous ones with joysticks, a bigger screen and a better resolution you are in the right place, since in this article we will explain how to emulate (legally) all the main Kingdom Hearts on your PC. br>
Starting from the beginning: what is emulation? Explaining briefly, an emulator is a program that plays a console using computer hardware. The more modern a console is, the more difficult it will be to emulate given the effort required by the hardware; for this reason the simplest consoles to emulate are the PlayStation 1 and 2, the Nintendo DS and 3DS and the various GameBoys.

In the first paragraph we specified that we will deal with legal proceedings, since the emulation itself take advantage of free computer programs, made available by developers. On the other hand, what is not legal is to download the titles to be emulated through the internet; for this reason, in this guide we will explain how to emulate games that must already be owned by you, in order to extract the necessary files to be inserted in the various emulators. Specifically, we will cover Kingdom Heart I and II (PS2), Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (Nintendo DS), Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep (PSP) and Kingdom Hearts: 3D Dream Drop Distance (3DS).

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Step 1: extract the BIOS files

The first step to be able to emulate the two Kingdom Hearts for PS2 is to extract the BIOS files directly from your PC using ImgBurn. Once you have downloaded the program from this link, open the icon: you will be asked to install other unnecessary items then select "custom installation" and deselect them to download only what you need.

Once the installation is complete , insert your disk into the computer, open ImgBurn, click "mode> read", choose the destination of the file (we advise you to create a folder and name it "BIOS" in order to have all the files in the same place) and click the symbol of the CD at the bottom. At this point you just have to wait for the program to finish extracting the game, and you can go to the next step, that is to download the emulator.

Step 2: download the PCSX2 emulator

You will then find a window entitled "Select BIOS ROM" in which you must uncheck the "use default setting" checkbox. Then click on “Open in file explorer” and choose the folder in which you have inserted your BIOS files. By doing so, the files will appear in the previously empty area, and you just have to choose your region (Europe) and click on "finish" to complete the installation.

Step 3: start the game

The last step is finally to be able to start Kingdom Hearts I or II on your PC. From the PCSX2 main screen go to “CDVD> ISO Selector> Browse” and choose in the game file. Once done, click on “System> Boot from ISO (Complete)” to finally start the initial screen of the work.

Step 1: Download GBA backup tool

To be able to extract Game Boy Advance games you will first need to download GBA backup tool to your computer. Then move the entire zip folder to your flash cart (the R4).

Step 2: Extract the ROM file from the Nintendo DS

Insert the flash cart and the game into the Nintendo DS and make sure that both are correctly recognized in the console's home menu (sometimes you have to insert the Game Boy Advance cartridge several times before it works). Then start the flash cart and navigate to the place where you downloaded the GBA backup tool, which should look like a normal DS game with a GBA cartridge as a logo; start the program and in the screen that appears click "A" to select the game inserted in the console.

Then click "B" and "A" again to save the file on the flash card. Once complete, turn off the Nintendo DS and remove the flash card, which you will insert into your PC to be able to move the ROM file.

Step 3: Download the mGBA emulator

To be able to play the titles for Game Boy Advance on your PC you will need the mGBA emulator, which you can download from the official page by selecting the version suitable for your operating system. Then extract the file, choose the “installer version” and wait for the program to install. At this point you can configure the keyboard or pad commands and you are ready to play!

Step 4: start the game

To start Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories open mGBA, click on “ File> Load ROM ”, navigate to the place where you placed the game file you copied from the flash card and click“ Open ”; the opera will start instantly.

Kingdom Hearts

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days and Kingdom Hearts: 3D Dream Drop Distance

Regarding Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days and Kingdom Hearts: 3D Drop Distance, the procedure you will have to follow in order to emulate both games on the PC will be practically the same: you will need a 3DS with custom firmware (so to speak, modded), the physical copy of the two titles, the GodMode9 program with which you will convert them into .nds and .CIA files and, finally, two different emulators for the two titles.

Step 1: download and install GodMode9 in the 3DS

The first thing you have to do is download GodMod9, turn off your Nintendo 3DS, insert the SD card into your computer and from the zip you downloaded copy the “” file in the / luma / payloads / folder of the SD. Finally, copy the “gm9” folder to the root of the SD. Now that the program is installed you can reinsert the SD card into the console and proceed with the extraction of the files.

Step 2: Extract the .nds and .CIA files from the Nintendo 3DS

To extract Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days or Kingdom Hearts: 3D Drop Distance insert the cartridge into the console and turn it on while holding down “Start”; doing so will start GodMode9. Navigate to “[c:] gamecart” and follow the steps applicable to the game you want to extract: for the Nintendo DS title you just need to select “[title] .nds”, while for the Nintendo 3DS one you will have to select “[title]. trim.3ds> NCSD image options> Build CIA from file ". By doing so you will have both files ready to be emulated on your computer.

Step 3: Download the DeSmuME and Citra emulators

Although the procedure for extracting the games for Nintendo DS and 3DS is the itself, the two consoles require two different emulators in order to run the titles on the computer. We are talking about DeSmuME for the first console, and Citra for the second. You can download both emulators from their official pages, and the installation procedure will be very simple and intuitive for both of them.

Step 4: Start the games

Now that you have both emulators installed in the your PC you just have to start the two Kingdom Hearts. As for DeSmuME, click on “File> Open ROM” and choose the game file you extracted in the previous step; this will start immediately. For Citra, on the other hand, click on "File> Install CIA" and choose the file of the work you want to emulate, which will be installed quickly; once the loading is complete, double click on the title to start it.

Kingdom Hearts

Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep

Finally we will talk about Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep , released in 2010 for the PSP; to be able to emulate it on your PC you will only need the console with custom firmware, its USB cable to be able to connect it to the computer, the original game disc and the PPSSPP emulator.

Step 1: extract the game from the PSP

To start, in the main menu of your CFW press “Select” to open the PRO VHS menu; here go to "USB Device" and change the default setting from "Memory Stick" to "UMD disk" (remember to return to the first after completing the procedure). Exit the menu, insert the game disc and connect the console to the computer via the USB cable.

Now go to “PSP settings” and select “Initialize USB connection”; usually the console would mount the memory stick, but since you changed the default setting it will mount the UMD disk. From your computer, open the explorer and you will find the disk ID, which will be considered as a removable drive; click it to see the game's ISO file and simply copy and paste it to your preferred location on your PC. At the end of the procedure you can disconnect the PSP and proceed with the installation of the emulator.

Step 2: download the PPSSPP emulator

To play Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep on your PC you will need of the PPSSPP emulator, similar to the one you have already downloaded to run the PlayStation 2 titles. You can download it directly from the official page, and the installation will simply consist of extracting a zip file and running it as administrator.

Step 3: start the game

After running PPSSPP as administrator click on “Upload” and find the ISO file of the game that you have transferred from your PSP. The emulator will load the work exactly as it would on its original console.

This is all you need to emulate the main chapters of Kingdom Hearts on your PC! You are now ready to relive all of Sora's adventures, this time on a larger screen and with even more enjoyable graphics.

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