Ubuntu: Get VisualBoyAdvance fully working with Wine

If you miss VisualBoyAdvance’s cheats systems (GameShark, CodeBreaker/ActionReplay, and the memory editor) and you really don’t want to use Linux-based ports because they lack this feature, you’re in luck!

Let’s see the versions:

Wine (development version): 1.1.10
VisualBoyAdvance: 1.8.0-beta3

Install Wine

If you don’t have the latest version of Wine, follow the instructions to add the repositories in your Debian-based distro.

Once you have everything, move the VBA executable to a convenient location. We must first locate any errors, so don’t use your saved games and don’t prepare for serious gaming yet!

Fixing Errors

Open the Terminal and type:

wine /path/to/VBA.exe

We should get a bunch of things. If VBA appears, don’t celebrate yet! Click on the menues, and configure it to your needs. Do settings stick? Does the program shut off? Choose “Open GameBoy” under the File menu.

If VBA dies after you try to call a “dialog” (open/save/folder list), you might need to get some DLL files. Check the output in the Terminal.

In my case, I needed MFC42.DLL. But, make sure you get the latest version of the DLL! For example, a DLL from 1997 will still throw errors (and this was downloaded from a famous DLL provider website.) If you have a copy of Windows XP with the latest updates, get the file from it.

Once you copied that DLL file to /home/user/.wine/drive_c/windows/system32 (path may be different for you), run VBA again, like before.

Testing Games

Try loading a game. If the file dialog doesn’t kill VBA, you’ve fixed this particular problem!

Now, make sure you keep backup copies of your save files, put the copies in the directories you chose (Options > Emulator > Directories…). Make sure the files and directories are writable.

If you start anew (with no save files), you could run into a problem where you can’t save the game in-game, no matter what you do. Only through VBA’s “save states” (in some games like Pokemon, this is useless.)

Using Cheats

Lastly, the cheats system should work with no problems. I haven’t done a complete test, but with one cheat enabled I had no problems. I imported the cheat list from a Windows-made file, and this made no difference with the performance of the cheats.


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