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TurboGrafx16 Emulation: Ootake Tutorial

About Ootake

Ootake is a good emulator for TurboGrafx and TurboGrafx16-CD. Some even say it's the #1 TurboGrafx16 emulator. Unlike MagicEngine, Ootake is free! It also lets you boot CD games from their CD image and record movies. Ootake's downside is that it's not very user friendly. This is mostly due to the fact that Ootake has been translated from Japanese. Hopefully this tutorial will help you get your head around Ootake in no time!

*If you would like to download Ootake, I have it in my emulators page.

Extracting & Placement

I suggest you make a new folder called "TurboGrafx16" or "Turbo Duo" or "PC Engine" within a folder called "Emulation". You don't have to, but it makes things a little easier for you if you're not too computer literate. Extract all the contents of this emulator's zip file into the TurboGrafx16 folder. If you don't know how to extract files from a zip file then read this. Put all of your TurboGrafx16 ROMs into the TurboGrafx16 folder too. Ootake does not have zip support, so you have to extract your ROMs from their zip files. Double-click on to open it.

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Loading a game (Hu-CARD)

This is where things begin to get confusing, so bear with me here.

1. Make sure your TurboGrafx16 ROMs are in the same folder as Ootake and they need to be unzipped.

2. Double-click on to open Ootake.

3. Ootake's famous confusing green window pops up (click the thumbnail towards the right). Disregard the weird unlegible symbols. Click on to load a TurboGrafx16 game, or rather, a Hu-CARD game.

4. So if you put all your TurboGrafx16 ROMs in Ootake's folder, you should see them here; as shown here. Click on the game you want to play, then click Open.

5. If Ootake starts the game, jump to step #8. If it didn't, then Ootake presented you with this window saying you have a BAD ROM. Click Yes to continue.

6. Ootake will (hopefully) prompt you with a "Conversion was complete" window. Just click OK to continue.

7. Then Ootake sends you back into the Open ROM image window. Double-click on the Install folder, click the freshly converted ROM, then click Open.

8. If Windows prompts you with The color scheme has been changed to Windows 7 Basic and makes your colors look weird - don't panic, that's normal. Everything will automatically go back to normal when you close Ootake. So that's it, you've loaded a game with Ootake! Easy, huh? =P

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Booting CD games

1. First you need the TurboGrafx16-CD BIOS. I have it right here (it's 138 KB). Extract the BIOS from its zip file and toss it into Ootake's main folder.

2. Insert the CD game, if you haven't already.

3. Double-click on to open Ootake.

4. Ootake's famous confusing green window pops up (click the thumbnail towards the right). Disregard the weird unlegible symbols. Click on to load your TurboGrafx16-CD/Turbo Duo game.

5. Press whatever key you set for "Run" and the game will begin.

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Booting ISO/MP3 or BIN/CUE CD games

Haha, things are going to get a little crazy here! Ootake does let you play CD games from their CD image, but ONLY if you use Ootake's built-in CD ripping function. That means you still need to burn the ISO/MP3 (or BIN/CUE) as a valid TurboGrafx16-CD game. If you don't want to go through the trouble of doing this, you should know that Mednafen has support for running games from their ISO. Anyway, so to continue here jump to the part of my Ootake tutorial about burning ISO/MP3 CD games...


...Okay so you burned your ISO/MP3 CD game as a valid TurboGrafx16-CD. Now to get Ootake to rip it, or rather, it calls it "installing".

1. Insert your TurboGrafx16-CD game into your CD-ROM, boot it up with Ootake and begin the game.

2. Access the menu by pressing the Alt key or Esc key or left click on the screen.

3. Click on the CD-ROM then CD FullInstall (Audio also), as shown here.

4. Ootake will prompt you with the Install box. Patiently wait as Ootake "installs" your TurboGrafx16-CD. This will take around 10-45 minutes (depending on the size of the game and the speed of your CD drive). Everything's finished and OK when Ootake prompts you with a message that it completed.

5. You can close Ootake now. Re-open Ootake, and this time at the green window click .

6. Ootake will take you to the "Install" folder. Click on the CD game you installed, then click OK.

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Setting up your keyboard or gamepad

Here's how you set up your game keys or buttons on your gamepad.

1. Ootake requires you to load a game first before you gain access to the menu, so do that.

2. Access the menu by pressing the Alt key or Esc key or left click on the screen.

3. Click on the Input menu then Configure Pad #1, as shown in the thumbnail toward the right.

4. A DOS-like prompt will pop up. Do as it asks and press the keys you would like for UP, RIGHT... Button I, Button II... etc.

5. That's it! :)

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Save states

Save states save the exact spot you are in a game.

Saving via keyword shortcuts

Simple press the S key to save. To recall your saved state, press the L key.

Saving via the main menu

This method has more options than with keyboard shortcuts.

1. During gameplay, access the menu by pressing the Alt key or Esc key or left click on the screen.

2. Click on the File menu. Click on Save State to save a state.

3. OR, if you want to save in one of the 50 save slots Ootake offers (this sure beats the 10 or 20 all other emulators offers!), in the File menu click on Save State another or Save State another II, as shown here, and click on any slot you'd like.

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Capturing screen shots

Save states save the exact spot you are in a game.

Capturing a screen shot via keyword shortcut

Simple press the Prt Scr key (Print Screen). Ootake will spit the screen shot into a new folder called "screenshot", which is in Ootake's folder. By default, Ootake saves screen shots in 200% zoom and in BMP format. You can change it by following the directions below.

Capturing a screen shot via the main menu

1. During gameplay, access the menu by pressing the Alt key or Esc key or left click on the screen.

2. Click on the File menu. Click on Output Screenshot to save a state.

3. OR, you have options! In the FIle menu, click on Setting of Screen Shot; as shown here, then click on the option you'd like. Here Ootake lets you customize exactly how it captures the screen shot. You can capture it at smaller zooms, bigger zooms, or with screen renders applied.

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Full screen mode

By default, Ootake will open up as a window (Window mode). Press the F12 key to enter full screen mode. To go back into window mode, press F12 again.

• By default, Ootake has the screen stretched out, which is more noticeable in full screen mode. Don't like it? Here's how you change it:

1. During gameplay, access the menu by pressing the Alt key or Esc key or left click on the screen.

2. Click on the Screen menu, then click Real Stretched (Default).

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Screen renders (disabling TV Mode)

Unfortunately, Ootake doesn't have those beautiful 2xSai/ Eagle/ HQ2X screen filters that we've been spoiled by with other emulators. Instead it just has "TV Mode", which is what it calls its scanlines filter. By default, Ootake has "TV Mode" enabled, with the scanlines density set to "TV Mode (fast)".

If you're not a big fan of scanlines (like me), here's how you disable it:

1. During gameplay, access the menu by pressing the Alt key or Esc key or left click on the screen.

2. Click on the Screen > Mode > Non-Scanlined (Fast), as shown here.

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Copying TG16-CD games

Things are little tricky here because the CD copy feature of burning software can't successfully copy TG-CD games. You'll need Ootake's help with this. Hop on over to the part of this tutorial about installing TG16-CD games. What Ootake's install feature essentially does is rip your game as a CUE/ISO/WAV. And then using premium burning software (or ImgBurn, which is free) you can burn a copy of your game via the CUE file. If you need help with that, scroll down to the next question and read the part about "Burning with the CUE file".

*What is a CUE/ISO/WAV? TG16-CD games are made up of audio tracks and 1 or 2 ISO tracks (the game data). When you rip a TG16-CD game it spits out the audio tracks as WAV files, it spits out the ISO tracks (track 2 is always an ISO track), and a CUE file is created (a text file with a list of all the tracks). The CUE file is important because burning software requires it for burning a copy of the game.

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Burning TG16-CD games from ISO/MP3 archives

If an ISO/MP3 archive you downloaded comes with a CUE file, then you have the option of burning the game as a valid TG16-CD game for play with MagicEngine or the actual Turbo Duo system. Note that the Turbo Duo system does not require modding in order for copies to work on it. ISO/MP3 archives come with two ISO files and a bunch of MP3s.


I. Convert MP3s to WAV
First you need to convert the MP3s to WAV. You can do so quickly and efficiently with an awesome free program known as WinLAME; you can download WinLAME here (1.5 MB). Here are directions to convert MP3s to WAV with WinLAME:

1. Open WinLAME. Click on the button, look for the folder where the MP3s are, select them all, then click on Open. You should see the MP3s you selected listed on the white box. Click Next to go to the next screen.

2. You'll arrive at the "Output Settings" screen. Under "Output Module", choose Wave Output, as shown here. Click Next to go to the next screen.

3. You'll arrive at the "Presets" screen. The default is fine, just click Next to go to the next screen.

4. You'll arrive at the "Encoding" screen. Click to begin the converting.


II. The CUE File

With the MP3s of your ISO/MP3 archive all converted to WAV, you're now ready to burn it as a valid TG16-CD game. To do so, you'll be needing that CUE file I talked about. Without the CUE file you cannot properly burn the game. What's a CUE file? The CUE file is a set of directions that tells the burning software how to properly burn the TG16-CD game's ISOs and audio tracks. There's one important thing you need to check for with the CUE file. Open it up in notepad and check if the files listed have an MP3 or WAV file extension.
• If they have an MP3 file extension then you need to change all of them to WAV.
• If they're already with WAV then do nothing.


III. Burning with the CUE file
Burning a CUE file is tad different than regular burns. Instead of going to "Burn data CD" as you normally would, you need to use the "Burn Image" option. Most mainstream burning software has such a feature. Software like Nero Burning Rom, Easy CD Creator, FireBurner. If you're too poor (like me) for the good burning software, there's Imgburn, a 100% free burning program. So to burn the game with these programs:

Burning with Imgburn: Click Write image file to disk, then click the magnifying glass to select the cue sheet. Lower write speed to around 4x-12x. Then click the large pretty picture of the CD to burn.

Burning with Nero Burning Rom: Go to the Recorder menu then Burn Image (but first make sure you're in normal mode instead of Express mode). If you're given the option to burn the game as "Track-at-once" or "Disc-at-once", choose "Disc-at-once". Make sure to burn the game at a slow speed (like around 4x-12x speed).

Note: Do not use a DVD-R or DVD-RW for burning TG16-CD games! You must use a CD-R or CD-RW.

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