A guide to Nintendo 64 Emulation on the Mac

May 16, 2007

Nintendo 64Today it seems the classic game ROM community is growing and growing as more and more are discovering how to play classic arcade and console games on their computers. For a long time, the Mac platform has lacked great emulators that feature solid compatibility and a full-set of features. However, some developers are working hard to build solid emulators and more and more Mac users are enjoying the same classic games their PC friends have been enjoying for quite some time.

An overview of ROM images

To clarify, an “emulator” is an application that acts as the game console, that actually loads the ROM image and emulates the data as if it is the console. ROM images are data images that store the game data. ROM images can be created from downloading the data off of a cartridge via a USB device or simply downloaded online from ROM directories. Like DVD ripping, ROM images are sort of like a legal “gray area”. Most believe if you own the game or are using the image to preserve the game’s data for historical purposes, using ROM images are legal and safe. Any other use of ROM images can be questionable, so please be warned!

I will not provide a specific link to downloading ROMs, so in order to find such a directory you will need to search for one yourself. ROMs will most likely be zipped in a .ZIP file, and sometimes these .ZIP files need to be unzipped in order for the emulator to read the ROM image. Be cautious when you download these files, because any public online file directory can potentially contain malicious code or files.

Sixtyforce

SixtyforceSixtyforce has been around for quite some time (even since OS 9 days), and is definitely the greatest Nintendo 64 emulator for the Mac platform. The application’s developer, Gerrit Goosen, has continued to develop and update Sixtyforce since, offering additional compatibility and features with every update. The latest update from March 2, version .9, offers the greatest compatibility with Nintendo 64 game ROMs yet. Sixtyforce also offers gamepad plug-in compatibility and an assortment of other gaming preferences and features. Sixtyforce is available as a Universal binary and is shareware. The full version will run you $16, but in registering, you will be supporting further development and activating an assortment of features. Also with registering, Gerrit promises free updates for life as well as continued support.
An overview of Sixtyforce’s main features (with the full version):

  • Full-screen playback
  • Game-freezes and autosaving
  • Customizable graphic, audio, and controller functions
  • Powerful performance (although varies by system)

Super Mario 64 in Sixtyforce

Connecting Gamepads (including Wiimote and XBOX controllers)

DarwiinremoteDue to the immense popularity of the Nintendo Wii console, developers have taken advantage of the Wiimote’s Bluetooth and infrared technologies to use the controller on 3rd party systems. Mac OS X’s most popular Wiimote utility, Darwiinremote, has taken enabled Mac users to control their Macs with their Wiimote. The open-source project lets users customizes the function of each button and use the Wii’s infrared bar to control Mac OS X’s mouse-pointer. After initial setup, the Wiimote can then be synchronized (manually by the user) with the controller preferences in Sixtyforce.

Other supported various USB gamepads, including XBOX and XBOX 360 controllers, can be setup right within Sixtyforce’s controller preferences with minimal hassle. A full list of supported USB gamepads is available from Sixtyforce’s game controller support page. Gamepads also allows for multiplayer gaming with your friends.

30 Responses

  1. Nintendo » A guide to Nintendo 64 Emulation on the Mac says:

    […] dvbrevolution wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptSixtyforce has been around for quite some time (even since OS 9 days), and is definitely the greatest Nintendo 64 emulator for the Mac platform. The application’s developer, Gerrit Goosen, has continued to develop and update Sixtyforce … […]

    October 25th, 2007 at 8:17 am

  2. cindy says:

    Hi, I was wondering what website to go to to download games for my nintendo 64 emulator? Or is it called my sixtyforce?
    I already download diddy kong race carts, but I want another game. Please wb asap. Thx

    -cin

    December 28th, 2007 at 3:58 pm

  3. Appleologist says:

    I can’t link directly to any site, but a Google search should lead you to “emu paradise”. (hint, hint)

    January 27th, 2008 at 3:43 pm

  4. Jeltoy says:

    Hello, I was wondering what keyboard controls are wich controls on the sixtyforce..
    I’m playing fifa 99 and I can’t seem to do more than pass and shoot, It’s pretty annoying..
    Thanks already!!

    January 27th, 2008 at 3:57 pm

  5. Appleologist says:

    @Jeltoy: You can configure the controller keys by going to the “sixtyforce” application menu and then to “Configure Controllers…”

    January 27th, 2008 at 4:48 pm

  6. Billy says:

    I just downloaded the sixtyforce and Ocarina of Time and upon reloading it, noticed that I’d lost all my saved progress. Is there any way to save games without registering or is the save feature something they withheld so you would have to pay for it?

    February 13th, 2008 at 3:43 pm

  7. Kevin says:

    Hey, I just downloaded sixty force 9.2, for the sole purpose of playing ogre battle 64, which I am told is possibly the best of the series. However, the game doesn’t play. It goes for the first bit, but then after you have played for about 5 minutes or so, it freezes up. Normally, I would have simply posted a comment to the creater, but his bugs section is not taking anything as of now. Does anyone know if, perhaps, this game is not supported on sixtyforce?

    March 16th, 2008 at 7:56 am

  8. Ferdi says:

    Big Question:
    for the control how i press the z button???

    March 17th, 2008 at 1:22 pm

  9. Franklint says:

    God damn guys. Learn to read things and look around before you come running for help.

    Ferdi: As already stated, you can configure the controls by going into the “Configure Controllers…” option in the “sixtyforce” menu.

    Kevin: Chances are, the game doesn’t work with the current version.

    Cheers,
    Franklint

    April 8th, 2008 at 7:10 am

  10. wolf says:

    how to save>? whitout registering

    April 19th, 2008 at 5:01 pm

  11. B Higgs says:

    When I go to the Configure controllers menu, it lets me make prrefrences, but it wont actually let me configure me keyboard. Why iss that, and what can I do to change it?

    June 12th, 2008 at 6:53 am

  12. Shindizzle says:

    OMG When is Ogre Battle 64 going to be playable for the mac… or pc… i havent been able to find a working version of this game…

    June 17th, 2008 at 12:22 am

  13. YOpladas says:

    Ummmm where can I get a ROM for sixty force (Ive been using it since the OS9 days, I just don’t remember where to get them).

    Thanks,
    yopo

    September 1st, 2008 at 11:24 pm

  14. Becca says:

    OK my sixtyforce has like 0 graphics…looks like a bunch of triangles having an orgy. I have sound and controls…but yeah. I have mac ox 10.4 wtf is going on?

    September 2nd, 2008 at 11:04 pm

  15. FIFA says:

    what is the button to run on FIFA 99 in terms of the actual N64 controller is it R, L or something else plz help

    September 22nd, 2008 at 3:38 am

  16. n33dz h3lp says:

    heeeeelp! i cant get sixtyforce off my desktop! for some reason, it wont let me throw it out!!!

    November 15th, 2008 at 5:31 pm

  17. Addie says:

    Hey Ryan

    December 11th, 2008 at 4:39 pm

  18. jack says:

    like b higgs says wtf is with that it just wont friking let me change the controls

    September 26th, 2009 at 9:56 pm

  19. Ben says:

    Hi, my sixtyforce 9.2 won’t play donkey kong 64 or banjo tooie roms, they dont work plz help- ben

    March 18th, 2010 at 6:35 pm

  20. Reuben says:

    Hey man…. i have the same problem as ben regarding banjo tooie… it was my childhood favorite and I really want to play it, but it just doesn’t work… please help me out. Thanks!

    March 28th, 2010 at 4:35 pm

  21. Sky Shaw says:

    Why doesn’t my keyboard work? I should be able to play Banjo Kazooie with my keyboard, and I have played around with the controller configurations until I was blue in the face. Why won’t it work with my keyboard???

    April 9th, 2010 at 12:56 pm

  22. Lukeme99 says:

    how do you use gameshark codes?????? pls help!

    May 2nd, 2010 at 3:18 am

  23. lon says:

    Where do the save files go? when the game saves?
    cuz i have save files im trying to throw in there
    please someone give me the directory

    May 22nd, 2010 at 11:22 am

  24. Rosie says:

    Hi, I have downloaded sixtyforce to play zelda the ocarina of time, which is the pretty much one game I have ever played. I am using it on a Macbook (Mac OS X version 10.6.3(intel) and would like to get a controller for it. Which one (s) work with both zelda and this mac? It seems from what I read that many controllers work with some games and not others as well as having problems with the mac; also some are no longer available or difficult to find.
    Thanks

    June 9th, 2010 at 2:02 am

  25. charles says:

    uhm my sixtyforce closes after like 3 minutes of play. it just closes and have to re-run the program. WTF is happening?

    reply A.S.A.P

    June 24th, 2010 at 6:50 pm

  26. John says:

    Ok so I downloaded the Sixtyforce Emulator and so far it’s worked great.
    I downloaded a Goldeneye 007 ROM file…and it won’t get past the 3rd level. Is that a ROM issue? I also downloaded Banjo Kazooie…I beat it… it was fun. But my childhood favorite game was Banjo Tooie. Now Banjo Tooie will not work on Sixtyforce. Does anyone know any emulators that Banjo Tooie can run on? I read somewhere else that it only runs on Nemu64…but I couldn’t get Nemu64 to work at all. Any help would be great. Thanks.

    September 9th, 2010 at 10:40 pm

  27. Marcus says:

    What are the all controls for the Nintendo 64 on a mac computer.

    October 8th, 2010 at 9:50 pm

  28. Marcus says:

    What are the controls for the nintendo 64 on a mac computer? I’m using the Mupen64 emulator

    October 8th, 2010 at 9:50 pm

  29. Gil says:

    I downloaded sixtyforce and I downloaded a ROM for Smash Bros the problem is whenever I open sixtyforce I click whats been recently played.. Smash Bros then.. Nothing sixtyforce just stays there with a blank screen… Am I doing something wrong?

    November 11th, 2010 at 5:25 pm

  30. arthur says:

    umm i downloaded uh goldeneye for sixtyforce from a trusted website and it plays sounds and the buttons work but i cant see the dame screen its just black PLEASE HELP ME

    December 8th, 2010 at 3:35 pm

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