Installing gpSPhone (a GameBoy Advanced emulator)
intel Mac & PPC
Emulators for almost every old hunk of junk computer (I personally programmed with BASIC on an Atari
400) or video game console have been around for ages. The GameBoy Advanced is no
exception. There is a project called
which is being developed by ZodTTD with some help from NerveGas.
I will be using Fugu to upload the files in this tutorial. These instructions can be applied to any files you want to add to your
iPhone, provided you already have SSH installed. If you have not installed BSD Subsystem, OpenSSH, or BossPrefs (via the Installer) or used
Fugu before, then you must read this tutorial first.
Launch Installer and click the Install icon. Press the Games folder and scoll down the list to find
the ZodTTD Required Library. Install it. Then go back to the Games folder and install
gpSPhone. Press Home to relaunch the SpringBoard when it has finished.
When you slide to unlock, you'll see the new program icon on the SpringBoard (bottom lower right corner).
The application is now installed.
To make the application run you need to get the GameBoy BIOS file which is the heart of the emulator.
Simply go to Google and enter gba_bios.bin as your querry. As of right now (6/21/08) it's the first
Launch Fugu. Navigate to the /Applications/gpSPhone.app folder and place the bin file there. This completes
Ensure permissions on the bin and the application file (gpSPhone) are set to executable.
Do this by right clicking each file, and selecting Get Info from the pop up menu. Set the Octal Mode Representation to 0755
and click Apply.
Next you need to create a storage place for the game files (or ROMs). Navigate to /var/mobile/Media/
Now click New Folder and make a folder called ROMs. Make sure this folder is created Remotely and click
Now double click the ROMs folder and click the New Folder button again. Make a folder called GBA.
Now you need to get your original GameBoy games and move them to the iPhone. Please do not e-mail me asking
me how to do this, or where to find games, I will not reply. I do not condone the illegal piracy of
copyrighted Nintendo games, and I provide no support in obtaining or using pirated images.
Your game files must have the .gba extension. Only put the .gba files in the GBA folder.
Once your games are installed, you need to set their permissions so that they will run. Right click each
file in turn, and select Get Info. Then set the Octal Mode Representation to 0755.
When you launch gpSPhone you will see your list of installed games. Note the Settings
button. It may take a few seconds until you can scroll the full list of games. The bottom half of the
screen is an ad frame so you may have to wait until it loads before you can see everything you have
Games are hit and miss as far as playability and the sound. This is due to variances in the speed of
the iPhone's processor and the platform that the games was originally written for. When you first start a game you'll
see this on your screen. No the emulator is not broken, it will take a few seconds for the game to load.
This is the controller overlay, which works surprisingly well. I find these games far superior to the NES
games which are squished into only half the screen.
The quality of the games are impressive. The soundtracks and background sound effects really make the iPhone
into a quality gaming platform. The first scene is from a very cool update to the 80's classic Defender. The
other game is Tiger Woods golf.
There is a piece of hardware called the iControlPad which connects to the iPhone and allows for better playability.
You can read more about it here.