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Oftentimes it is best to play games in the manner in which the developers' intended the game to be played. However, in some cases, doing so may be impossible, or a user may wish to obtain more from a game through emulation or cheats. Whatever the case, this guide will walk you through the steps required to emulate Drawn to Life—Particularly Drawn to Life: Collection—on PC.

Please note that while this guide contains information relevant toward emulating Drawn to Life neither this guide, nor the wiki as a whole, advocates illegal misuse of the emulation software, Drawn to Life property, or any other game to which this guide may make mention of or the information apply to. As such, this guide will not contain links to sites where Drawn to Life ROMs may be located. Please support the official release of the game.

What is Emulation and Why Is It Useful?Edit

Put simply, emulation is the process that enables something—in this case, game software—to run on a system other than what is explicitly supported.

Emulation may be useful for a variety of reasons:

1: It may allow users to run software not supported by their system that they'd otherwise be unable to enjoy, given that they do not already own a supported system.
2: Emulation may provide users more tools to accomplish certain tasks not supported by the original system, such as taking screenshots or recording video/audio.
3: In some cases, emulation can even provide the user ability to create "save states" and revert the software to previous saves.

Though there are many possible positive features of emulation, there are drawbacks as well. Oftentimes, emulation is a resource-heavy process, as the host system has to dedicate more resources to making sense of foreign software. As such, it is essential to have a fairly-powerful PC in order to emulate. Additionally, poor ports may create flaws or glitches within the emulation, and may even make it impossible to do certain tasks.

For example, in most game ROMs of Drawn to Life: Collection, the emulation creates slight visual distortion in some game segments, causes faint "ghost" sprites to appear over other game elements, and causes the emulator software to crash at the credits of the first game.

Setting up the Emulator Edit

In this guide, the emulation software used is DeSmuME ( v0.9.11 recommended). Head over to the software's dowload page, and download the correct file for your system OS. The installation process for each operating system supported by DeSmuMe will now follow.

Note: This is only a brief overview. It may be within your best interest to view the official documentation and README files. Additionally, the quality and features provided by the DeSmuME software differ depending on your OS. Though they're all the same version, not all features may be present.

Windows Edit

Download the correct version of DeSmuME for your system (32/64 bit) and run the .EXE provided. Files and Folders will be created in the directory of the .EXE upon launch.

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Mac OSX Edit

After downloading the .ZIP for Mac, extract the archive and copy the DeSmuME.APP to your Applications folder, then launch the app to start the software.

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Linux (Ubuntu 12.04+) Edit

Before we begin, have something calming nearby (perhaps music or some tea?) as the installation process for Linux builds is a bit trickier. May God have mercy on your soul. All installation processes here require the GTK+ and SDL libraries. If you're compiling, you'll also need to have gcc installed. Luckily, these should all come preinstalled on your system. If not, download and install them.


Easy, but outdated (not recommended) If your only goal is to be able to run DS titles and you're not concerned with a loss of features or poor performance (and you're unfamiliar with the process of compiling software), then this method may be the best for you.

Simply open your terminal (CTRL+ALT+T or SUPER+T) and type the following commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install desmume

If successful, you will now have DeSmuME 0.9.9-1 (outdated) installed on your system. You can then run desmume in the terminal to launch the software, or check your Applications launcher.

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Hard, but most recent (recommended) If you want as much as you can get out of emulating a kid's DS game from 2007 and you want all the features possible, then this method is best for you. Buckle up, because this is likely to be a wild ride. Generally, I'd recommend installing DeSmUME on a fresh install to avoid Dependency Hell, but you should still be able to install on much-loved older installation with few issues.

  1. After downloading the tarball for the linux build, create an easy-to-type folder and extract the contents of the tar.gz into it.
  2. Open the folder in terminal and run ./configure then make.
  3. If the compiler didn't throw too many errors and warnings (it's probably going to throw a few, so don't be too concerned if it does), try running make install to install the program on your system (in /usr/local/ by default).

If successful, you will now have DeSmuME 0.9.11 installed on your system. You can then run desmume in the terminal to launch the software, or check your Applications launcher.

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Medium, most recent, but also a bit ridiculous (very not recommended [but it works, kinda]) If you're seriously unable to get any other installation to work, then this method still isn't for you but you can try it anyway. To its credit, this method is useful as a way to obtain features from the Windows build not present in the native Linux build.

1. Install WINE on your system by running:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install wine

2. Download the Windows .ZIP for DeSmuME from the software's website, then extract the archive contents into a folder of your choosing.

3. Right-click the Window's Executable (.EXE) in the folder and select "Open with Wine Windows Program Loader".

The program should now be running under WINE. It may be a bit buggy here and there, but emulation and other core features should work fine.

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Running the GameEdit

If you've successfully installed DeSmuME, then now's probably a good time to play some games. In order to use DeSmuME, you'll need something to emulate—in this case, a Nintendo DS ROM. DeSmuMe runs ROM files with the extension ".NDS". In order to play Drawn to Life: Collection—or any other DS game—you'll first need it's ROM file.

Once you have obtained the desired .NDS ROM, emulating is as simple as opening DeSmuME, File > Open, then selecting the ROM.

Happy emulating!

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