On March 12, 2009, a new version of Pokémon was released in the United States. Platinum, the remake of the Diamond and Pearl series, was translated from Japanese to English and sales began in all major electronic stores. However, the game was compatible with only the Nintendo DS. Obviously, everyone wanting to play Pokémon Platinum, or any other DS game for that matter, is unable to. In the following text, I will instruct how to play Pokémon Platinum on your computer, without the use of a real Nintendo DS.
First, you need a Nintendo DS emulator. An emulator is an application that emulates, or acts like, a different platform. A Nintendo DS emulator obviously acts just like a Nintendo DS gaming system, and is capable of playing any game that was originally meant for the real Nintendo DS. The one that we will be using is the NO$GBA, which is downloadable for free off its main website. A few key things to keep in mind about the emulator is that (1) it requires specific and special set-up to be able to read and save the game properly, and (2) it is not compatible with any wireless features present in Pokémon Platinum. Otherwise, the game plays just like it would in a regular Nintendo DS, with the two screens on your monitor, corresponding buttons on your keyboard, and the stylus for the touch screen as your mouse pointer.
However, if you play with NO$GBA, you may notice that once in a while, you get a "microphone wave in failure" and your emulator is forced to close. When you reopen your game, you’ll find to your dismay that your save file has been reverted to when you first opened the game that session, before the game crashed. This happens because the updated save file is only written when you properly shut down the emulator by closing it normally. The save file is not written each time you save in-game. So, when you get the "microphone wave in failure," your emulator closes abruptly and terminates instead of properly exiting and recording your new game data. This bothered me very much when I was playing Pokémon, particularly because I did not restart my emulator often and get my save file written. I searched around for quite a while to find a good fix for this issue, and after a good amount of time, I ran into an application that improved the functionality of NO$GBA and gave it more features.
Meet NO$Zoomer, a utility application dedicated to making NO$GBA better. What NO$GBA doesn’t have, NO$Zoomer does. For example, if you have used other emulators before, especially for Game Boy Advance, you will have noticed that you are given the option of resizing your window to make your emulator show a larger screen. When you first use NO$GBA, you will notice that you are unable to resize the emulator window. However, with the aid of NO$Zoomer, you can resize at your will, and even make the emulator take up your entire screen. Note that more processing power is required to run a larger emulator screen, so your game may start lagging if you make it too large.
But that’s not the main thing that we’re worried about here. NO$Zoomer comes with a feature that disables the microphone on your emulator, so no "microphone wave in failures" occur. By research, I’ve uncovered that the fatal error occurs when there’s a conflict with the usage of your micrphone, and some incompatibilities with other appliations trying to access the microphone causes the overall failure. By disabling the microphone alltogether, you avoid the trouble of NO$GBA ever having to access the microphone in the first place. This does remove one feature from Pokémon Platinum – you are unable to record a sound for Chatot’s cheep, which then results in your inability to control the power of its move Chatter. However, this has no affect on the actual progression of the storyline, and if you truly insist on recording a sound for your Chatot, you can temporarily enable your microphone after you’re sure you have your save file fully written.
So essentially, to start playing the game, all you have to do is run the NO$Zoomer and point it to the ROM. The ROM is an image file with a .nds extension that contains the information of the actual game. These ROMs are currently illegal to possess (except under very strict computer program limitations on exclusive rights under Section 117 of the US Copyright Law), and any myths about deleting them within 24 hours of downloading are false. Some people say that as long as you own the original game and have ripped and dumped the actual game directly to your computer by yourself, but this is also false. For example, just because you bought a game for your Xbox doesn’t automatically mean you can get the same game for free to play on your Wii or PS3. Because of this, and to comply with the terms and conditions of my website host and to comply with all proper laws, I will not provide any information on where to acquire these ROMs, but I’m sure that you can easily do it yourself.
The emulators, however, are not illegal to distribute. These emulators have been made by programmers that wish to distribute their software as freeware so everyone can use them at their own will. A package of all the software and settings files discussed in this blog post (except the ROM) is available for download. Click here to initiate the download (Courtesy of MediaFire). You will need a decompressor like WinRAR or 7Zip to open the file.