Emulating the PC Engine CD on the Wii

6 April 2013
Updated 22 August 2015

Nintendo has actually done a pretty good job with its PC Engine CD game library on the Wii Virtual Console—Hello Akumajou Dracula X: Chi no Rondo!—but there are still a tremendous number of great titles missing. Don't you wish you could somehow play them on your Wii?

Wouldn't it be nice if you could play the PC Engine CD games you already own on your Wii without having to purchase the Virtual Console versions?

How cool would it be if you could give your trusty old Turbo Duo (or PC Engine) CD console a rest from all its hard work and play games for it on your Wii?

That's all very doable, and below you'll find a detailed guide with all the instructions. With a little Wii hacking, game ripping, and emulator (WiiMednafen) installing you'll soon be able playing all your PC Engine CD games on your Wii.


Before you get too far into this guide, let's make sure you have everything necessary for success.

1) Hacked Wii with Homebrew Channel

Don't be scared. There's nothing wrong with hacking your Wii. You don't need to be have a background in computer science. You just need to be thorough and follow directions carefully. Here's one of the best guides on the Internet for hacking the Wii: courtesy of wiihacks.com.

2) TurboGrafx-16 CD or PC Engine CD Hardware

Conventiently, the TurboGrafx-16 Hardware Guide covers everything you need to know about the PC Engine Duo. Note that a Turbo Duo will also play CD games, even imports.

3) TurboGrafx-16 CD or PC Engine CD Games

There are quite a few excellent CD games for this console, and most of them are imports. Consult the greatest games list for some of the top recommendations. Here are some favorites from my collection:

Any excuse to show off Working Designs products is a good one

If you don't PC Engine CD games and hardware that can play them, then you might as well stop reading now. This is not a guide on how to pirate games and play them on your Wii. This is a guide for how to make your Wii act like a PC Engine and play games that you own.

4) TurboRip

These CD-ROMs have a unique layout, combining both data and audio tracks, which gives most ripping programs fits. Fortunately, a fellow by the name of Nicolas Livaditis (aka NightWolve[sic]) wrote a fabulous little utility called TurboRip. It's incredibly accurate and fast. The latest, TurboRip 1.4, supports an insane range of operating systems: Win98, NT, 2K, XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10. Just in case you run into unforseen compatability issues, here are two older versions as well: TurboRip 1.0 (Win XP) and TurboRip 1.10 Beta (Vista, Win7).

5) Easy Method to Convert files from .wav to .ogg

As great as Turbo Rip is, you'll need to do some converting of audio files to make WiiMednafen happy. Since you're going to be doing a lot of converting, the one-file-at-a-time solutions are not going to cut it. One of the better solutions is Switch Sound File Converter, because it let's you convert large batches of files at once, and it includes a 14-day free trial.

Ripping Games

It doesn't get much easier than this:

-Insert the CD game of your choice
-Launch Turbo Rip
-Press the number for the correct optical drive, and hit return

Another great program I wish existed for Mac computers

Once it's done, you'll find the output in the TurboRip folder. There will be a folder with the name of the ripped game and in it you'll find a bunch of files with .toc (not necessary for our needs), .iso (data), .cue (guide to the layout of data and audio on the disc), .wav (audio) extensions.

Converting Audio Files

The .wav format takes up tons of space and isn't supported by WiiMednafen, so you need to convert them to the .ogg format.

When you're converting over a 100 audio files at once, something like Switch is essential

Switch Sound File Converter is extremely user-friendly. Add files and/or folders of .wav files as necessary. Choose the output format as .ogg, and then click "Convert." Once you've successfully done the converisons, you can delete the old .wav files. While converting to .ogg sucks up some time, it also saves you a ton of storage space. Take a look at this comparison:

Total Size with .wave Files
Total Size with .ogg Files
Akumajou Dracula X: Chi no Rondo
489 MB
78 MB
Dungeon Explorer II
697 MB
120 MB
Gain Ground
238 MB
53 MB
266 MB
33 MB

Modifying the Cue Files

Since you've modified the audio files, you need the change the .cue accordingly. The original .cue points to .wav files, so you simply want to replace all instances of .wav with .ogg. By far, the best way to do this is to use Notepad++. That way you can open a whole bunch of .cue files for different games at once and then do one giant find/replace across all files you have opened in Notepad++. You can also do a find/replace for WAVE to OGG. If all has gone well, you should have transformed this:

Into This
Some PC Engine CDs are even composed of multiple .iso tracks!

Once you're done with the ripping, converting, and cue modifying, you can save all your digitized games wherever you find it most convenient on your SD card or USB drive. In terms of game locations, WiiMednafen is not picky about file structure.

Installing WiiMednafen

The best PC Engine emulator for the Wii is not HuGo-Wii or WiiEngine. It's actually the multi-system emulator known as WiiMednafen. Not only does the latter offer unrivaled compatibility with games (including Arcade Super CDs), but you can load games from a USB drive. So let's get this bad boy installed!

-Have a properly formatted SD card for Homebrew in your Wii
-Launch the Homebrew Browser
-Click on the "Emulators" tab
-Click the "A icon" on the right to sort by name
-Scroll down to "WiiMednafen"
-Click to open it, and click to install
-Wait for it to download and extract

Finding the BIOS for WiiMednafen

Just two quick steps left before enjoying these games on your Wii. You need to put the system BIOS in the right place.

-Google to find PC Engine System BIOS
-You should find something like CD-ROM System V3.00.pce or CD-ROM System V3.01.pce.
-Either one will do nicely
-Rename it to syscard3.pce
-Put it in the the WiiMednafen folder that was created at the root of your SD card when you installed WiiMednafen via the Homebrew Channel

Playing the Games

At last, after all your hard work, it's time to enjoy the games! WiiMednafen has a simple and minimalist layout. All you need to do is launch it, and navigate to the game of your choice. The only slightly tricky part is that you want to select the .cue file to launch the game.

While this early port of Mednafen for the Wii is not as fully featured as the PC version, it gets the job done quite well. That almost every PC Engine game uses just two button, the regular WiiMote makes a fine controller. Should you venture into six button territory, though, WiiMednafen has you covered as long as you use a GameCube or classic controller. You can even play games like Strider Hiryuu, which require the Arcade card.