Tutorial: Project M 3.6 (Super Smash Bros. Brawl Mod) on the Dolphin Wii Emulator v4.0.2

Project M

UPDATED download links on December 8, 2015 after Project M officially ceased development. 

Project M is an incredible mod for Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii which changes the gameplay to more closely resemble its more competitive, more skill-based, and faster predecessor, Super Smash Bros. Melee. Even though Project M is designed to be played on a genuine Wii console, it is possible to run Project M on the Dolphin Wii emulator on your Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux computer!

Downloads

To begin, you will need to download the following files (Note that some of these programs are Windows-only):

Installing and Configuring Project M

  1. Begin by unzipping Dolphin somewhere on your hard drive, i.e. “C:\Games\Dolphin”
  2. Move your Super Smash Bros. Brawl NTSC ISO to a directory such as “C:\Games\Dolphin\ISOs”
  3. Run Dolphin.exe and set up the emulator to your liking.

These next steps assume you have run and set up your personal preferences within Dolphin, including settings such as controller mapping (I use an Xbox 360 controller), video options, and sound options.

  1. Extract the contents of “Dolphin-SDCard-Maker.zip” somewhere on your hard drive, i.e. “C:\Games\Dolphin\Tools\Dolphin SD Card Maker”
  2. Run EasyDolphinSDCard Maker.exe.
    1. Under “SD Card Size,” select a size of at least “1 GB.” I selected 2GB here.
    2. Click “Make virtual SDcard.”SD Card Maker
    3. Click OK on the dialog box that appears after a few seconds.
    4. A file called “sd.raw” will appear in your SD Card Maker directory.
  3. Extract the contents of Project M (likely “homebrew.zip”) somewhere on your hard drive, i.e. “C:\Games\Dolphin\Tools\Project M”
  4. InstallandrunWinImage.
    1. Click “File,” then “Open.”
    2. Navigate to your SD Card Maker directory.
    3. Double click “sd.raw.”
    4. Click “Image,” then “Inject a Folder.”
    5. Navigate to the folder where you extracted homebrew.zip. The correct folder likely contains the folders “apps,” “codes,” and “projectm,” depending on the version of Project: M you have downloaded. Press OK.
    6. Click “File,” then “Save.”
    7. Close WinImage
    8. Copy “sd.raw” to “<Your My Documents Folder>/Dolphin Emulator/Wii/”.
    9. For OS X users: The sd.raw file goes into “/Users/<Your User Folder>/Library/Application Support/Dolphin/Wii”. The library folder is hidden. If you can’t find it, you’ll need to go into terminal and type: “defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE” without quotes. To hide the folders again, simply type FALSE at the end instead.
  5. Extract the contents of the Gecko ZIP (likely “gecko1931.zip”) somewhere on your hard drive, i.e. “C:\Games\Dolphin\Tools\Gecko1931”
  6. Open Dolphin.
    1. Right-click “Super Smash Bros. Brawl” in your ISO list and select “Set as default ISO.” (If you don’t have Super Smash Bros. Brawl in your ISO list, make sure you have your ISO directory configured correctly within Dolphin.)
    2. Click “Config” at the top of the Dolphin window.
    3. Click the “Wii” tab at the top of this window.
    4. Check the box to the left of “Insert SD Card.”
    5. Press OK.
    6. Click the “Open” button at the top left of the Dolphin window.
    7. Navigate to your Gecko1931 directory.
    8. Double click the “Gecko1931” folder, then the “HBC” folder, then the “Gecko1931” folder.
    9. Double click “boot.elf.”boot.elf
    10. Press “OK” on the dialog box that likely appears.
  7. If you’ve done everything correctly so far, you’ll be inside Gecko OS. Note that you will not see the Project M logo inside Gecko, as recent versions of Project M have removed this background image.
  8. You will only have to do the following step once (Every other time you’ll be able to open the Gecko .ELF and press Start Game). Note that you must configure GCPad controls within Dolphin to be able to navigate within Gecko:
    1. Press Down on your D-Pad and press A when you have selected “Config Options.”
    2. Scroll down to “Gecko Hook Type” and press Right on your D-Pad until you see “VBI.” You shouldn’t have to touch any of the other options.
    3. Scroll down to “Save Config” and press A. Press B to return to the main Gecko OS screen.
  9. Scroll to “Start Game” and press A.

That’s it! If you’ve done everything correctly, you should be playing Project M. Enjoy!

Note that if you see a screen that tells you that you don’t have enough space left in the Wii System Memory, you can do one of two things: 1. Continue playing without saving, or 2. Download an NTSC Brawl save without custom stages from the Internet (or just download one from me by clicking here – make sure you unpack it first), open Dolphin –> “Tools” menu –> “Import Wii Save” –> Browse to the downloaded save and open it.

A friendly Reddit user by the name of beefforyou has posted a great tip on /r/SSBPM: After you have entered the “Versus” menu and changed the match options to suit your needs, save the emulator’s state by invoking the “Emulation” –> “Save State” –> “Slot One” menu option within Dolphin, or by pressing Shift + F1. Later, you can simply press F1 after starting emulation, and your game will be ready to play. Thanks, Beef!

Please leave a comment below if this tutorial helped you out or if you require assistance. I have verified these instructions multiple times – if you’re still having trouble getting Project: M working using Dolphin, please verify you have properly completed all of the above steps!

Posted in Gaming
1,157 comments on “Tutorial: Project M 3.6 (Super Smash Bros. Brawl Mod) on the Dolphin Wii Emulator v4.0.2
  1. Animedude5555 says:

    I got all the way through that, and got everything set up as you said, and when I click the Launch Game button, the Gecko loader displays this error:
    This Game Requires IOS 36
    IOS Not Found on Disk

    I know the ISO is not corrupt, as SSBB launches correctly when just running the game directly. Therefore the SSBB ISO obviously DOES contain IOS 36. Or does this error mean that Project M (but not the normal SSBB) requires IOS 36? If this is the case, it could be that I have the too-small ISO. I have the ISO that’s about 4GB in size. The full ISO is closer to 8GB in size. The 4GB ISO has had all of the virtual console demo games removed. Do I need the full 8GB ISO for this Project M to work?

  2. Animedude5555 says:

    I see what was wrong with it now. There’s 3 links to the hackless version (2 standard links, and 1 torrent link). There’s 2 links to the homebrew version (1 standard link, and 1 torrent link). It appears that the homebrew version (as required by your tutorial) is corrupt on the standard link. The Zip file from the standard link is only 405 megabytes. The Zip file from the torrent however, is 595 megabytes.The larger one is the correct one.

    This also changes another part of your tutorial. When creating an SD card file, 512 megabytes as a minimum is no longer sufficient. You now need at least 1 gigabyte for the SD card file.

    Hopefully you can mirror the working version of the Zip file from the torrent, on a site like Mediafire or Mega, and then post the working download link to the file sharing site here in an updated version of your tutorial. Also you’ll need to change your tutorial to state that a gigabyte is the minimum size needed for the SD card file. Please fix your tutorial as soon as possible, so that others don’t go wasting their time trying to figure out why the Zip file was corrupt like I did, before I finally gave up on the standard download link and decided to download it from the torrent.

  3. Animedude5555 says:

    The HomeBrew version of Project M comes in a CORRUPT Zip file. I’ve downloaded it TWICE, and I’ve tried opening it with both the built in Windows Zip file opener, and also 7Zip. NEITHER will open it. It is BROKEN. However the one that does NOT require a hacked Wii, comes in a perfectly working Zip file.

    Maybe you can provide instructions on how to use the non-hack version of Project M in the Dolphin Emulator. I’m giving up on ever being able to get actual working copy of the HomeBrew version of the Zip file from the link you used.

  4. Collin9476 says:

    PLEASE DO NOT FORGET TO SET BRAWL ISO AS DEFAULT ON DOLPHIN.

    You could have the NTSC Brawl ISO. You could have deleted and reinstalled graphics card drivers, Project M files, the Dolphin Emulator, and Gecko like I did and waste a couple of hours on it.

    But Gecko will still be stuck on “Setting up drive…”

    Gecko will only load PM if Brawl is set as default ISO. Simple setting, but 1 is not equal to 0.

    Please don’t forget like I did.

  5. Zoned says:

    Probably me just be stupid, but I can’t open/extract the Project M .zip file (error: Windows cannot open the folder. The Compressed (zipped) Folder ‘[file destination].zip’ is invalid.

    I’m currently running Windows 10 Home, 64bit. Thanks in advance!

  6. Parker says:

    I did everything but when I go into the game Brawl is seen and not Project M. Yes, I tried going to stage builder but it’s just the same. Please someone help.

    • Parker says:

      Also just played Brawl and it is laggy.

      • Parker says:

        Nevermind. Looked up different ways and stuff so now I got PM.

        • MegaBigb says:

          What exactly did you do to fix it? Because that’s the exact problem I’m having and I can’t seem to fix it! Thanks in advance!

          • Zach says:

            What are your PC’s specs? Which version of Dolphin are you using? Are you using an NTSC or PAL version of SSBB? For a bit more confirmation that you’ve done everything correctly, could you please send me a screenshot of your main Dolphin window including the title bar? A screenshot of your sd.raw’s contents and location would be helpful as well.

  7. Gear says:

    it keeps saying in Gecko that there is no codes to be found

    • Zach says:

      What are your PC’s specs? Which version of Dolphin are you using? Are you using an NTSC or PAL version of SSBB? For a bit more confirmation that you’ve done everything correctly, could you please send me a screenshot of your main Dolphin window including the title bar? A screenshot of your sd.raw’s contents and location would be helpful as well.

  8. Adnan Zaben says:

    I followed your instructions but it opens brawl when i click on launch game. Please help

    • Zach says:

      What are your PC’s specs? Which version of Dolphin are you using? Are you using an NTSC or PAL version of SSBB? For a bit more confirmation that you’ve done everything correctly, could you please send me a screenshot of your main Dolphin window including the title bar? A screenshot of your sd.raw’s contents and location would be helpful as well.

    • V.S says:

      1. Make sure that in Dolphin > Options > Configure > Wii [Insert SD Card] is enabled before setting up Gecko OS.

      2. Once in Gecko OS make sure that it saves your configuration once you enable the VBI hook. When you press Start game is sound say the following ‘Codes Found’.

      If you do not receive that message when starting the game then it is not injecting any codes to turn Brawl into Project M. – SLJR.

      • Davis says:

        insert sd card is active, gecko hook type is vbi, config is saved, and it still says sd codes are not to be found;
        dolphin 4.0.2
        project m 3.6 homebrew downloaded from torrent link
        brawl iso set as defult iso
        windows 10 64-bit amd a6-4400m apu with radeon
        do i need to “enable cheats” in config>general?

        • Zach says:

          Thanks for all the info. No, I don’t think you don’t need to enable cheats. For a bit more confirmation that you’ve done everything correctly, could you please send me a screenshot of your main Dolphin window including the title bar? A screenshot of your sd.raw’s contents and location would be helpful as well.

  9. Elliot says:

    I followed all the instructions and i got this error, cant find a fix anywhere. Anyone know how to fix it?

    IOCTL_ES_LAUNCH: Game tried to reload a title that is not available in your NAND dump TitleID 0000000100000002. Dolphin will likely hang now.

  10. AvidFan says:

    I’m running the Netplay version of PM-3.6 on my Mac, and it works fine except for just one thing – Netplay is designed specifically NOT to allow the use of Wiimotes, Motion+ or otherwise. Does this method provide a workaround for that?

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