Dolphin Memory Engine Save

A RAM search made specifically to search, monitor and edit the Dolphin emulator's emulated memory

Project README

Dolphin Memory Engine

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A RAM search program designed to search, track, and edit the emulated memory of the Dolphin emulator during runtime. The primary goal is to make research, tool-assisted speedruns, and reverse engineering of GameCube & Wii games more convenient and easier than with the alternative solution, Cheat Engine. The program's name is derived from Cheat Engine as a symbol for its goal.

The GUI is aimed for convenience, without disrupting the performance of the emulation. Qt 6 is used to help accomplish this.

For binary releases of this program, refer to the "releases" page on the Github repository.

Build Status

Linux:

Build

MacOS:

Build

Windows:

Build

System requirements

Any x86_64 based system should work.

At least 250 MB of free memory is required.

You need to have Dolphin running and have the emulation started for this program to be useful. As such, the system must meet Dolphin's system requirements.

On Linux and macOS, installation of the Qt 6 package(s) is required.

Portable Configuration

By default, the program will store configuration in your User Configuration folder.

Windows: %AppData%\dolphin-memory-engine

Linux/macOS: ~/.config/dolphin-memory-engine

Create a empty file portable.txt in the same directory as Dolphin Memory Engine and the configuration will instead be saved in the same folder as the program.

How to Build

Microsoft Windows

This repository provides a solution file for Visual Studio 2022 and later. The Windows SDK Version 10.0.22621.0 is required*.

Before proceeding, ensure the Qt submodule is initialized by running git submodule update --init at the repository's root. The files should appear at the Externals\Qt directory.

Once complete, open the solution file dolphin-memory-engine.sln located in the Source directory with Visual Studio. Select the build configuration and build it.

Windows SDK

The Windows SDK version 10.0.22621.0 comes with the C++ Desktop Development Workload of Visual Studio 2022 — other versions may work but are untested. To use a different Windows SDK you'll need to select it in the project properties window. Please note that this will change the vcxproj file, so if you plan to submit a Pull Request, make sure to not stage this change.

Linux

CMake and Qt 6 are required. Please refer to your distribution's documentation for specific instructions on how to install them.

MacOS

Xcode, Qt 6, and CMake are required. These can be installed through xcode-select --install, brew install qt@6, and brew install cmake (you may need to install brew first). Ensure that Qt is symlinked into a place that CMake can find it or added to $PATH. With brew, you can run export PATH="$(brew --prefix qt@6):$PATH" before compiling. After compilation, continue to macOS code signing.

To build, simply run the following commands from the Source directory:

mkdir build && cd build
cmake ..
make

The compiled binaries should be appear in the directory named build.

MacOS code signing

Due to security hardening on recent versions of macOS, the Dolphin Emulator executable must be signed with a valid certificate and entitlements so that it can be debugged. First, create a code signing certificate:

Start Keychain Access application (/Applications/Utilities/Keychain Access.app)

Open the menu item /Keychain Access/Certificate Assistant/Create a Certificate...

Choose a name (gdb-cert in the example), set Identity Type to Self Signed Root, set Certificate Type to Code Signing and select the Let me override defaults. Click several times on Continue until you get to the Specify a Location For The Certificate screen, then set Keychain to System.

Then, run the interactive MacSetup.sh script inside the Tools directory (if built from source) or included in the build archive to re-sign Dolphin Emulator:

sh ./MacSetup.sh

Note that Dolphin must also be re-signed using this script after an update.

General usage

Open Dolphin and start a game, then run this program. Make sure that this program reports that the Wii-only extra memory is present for Wii games and absent for GameCube games.

Exclusive to the Wii, this is an extra region of memory added as part of the enhancements from the earlier GameCube hardware. Consequently, the presence of this extra memory affects what is considered a valid watch address, as well as what areas of memory the scanner will look though.

If the hooking process is successful, the UI should be enabled, otherwise, click the hook button.

Once hooked, scans can be performed just like Cheat Engine as well as management of a watch list. Save and load a watch list to the disk by using the file menu. The watch list files are in JSON and can be edited in any text editor.

If the program unhooks itself from Dolphin, a read/write operation has failed. This is likely caused by the emulation halting. Boot a game again to solve this; the watch list and scan will be retained during the unhooking.

Finally, the program includes a memory viewer which shows a hexadecimal view and an ASCII view of the memory. Click on the corresponding button or right click on a watch to browse the memory using the memory viewer.

Command-line Arguments

A number of options can be provided as command-line arguments:

Usage: dolphin-memory-engine [options]
A RAM search made specifically to search, monitor and edit the Dolphin Emulator's emulated memory.

Options:
  -h, --help                                         Displays help on
                                                     commandline options.
  --help-all                                         Displays help including Qt
                                                     specific options.
  -v, --version                                      Displays version
                                                     information.
  -d, --dolphin-process-name <dolphin_process_name>  Specify custom name for
                                                     the Dolphin Emulator
                                                     process. By default,
                                                     platform-specific names are
                                                     used (e.g. "Dolphin.exe" on
                                                     Windows, or "dolphin-emu"
                                                     on Linux or macOS).

Troubleshouting

On Linux, the program may require additional kernel permissions to be able to read and write memory to external processes (which is required to read and write the memory of Dolphin). If nothing happens to Dolphin, but the program frequently unhooks itself, the program is missing the required permissions. Grant these permissions by running the following command as root:

setcap cap_sys_ptrace=eip DME

Where DME is the path of the Dolphin Memory Engine executable. This should fix the permission problem for future executions.

If it doesn't work, verify that you do not have the nosuid mount flag on your /etc/fstab as it can cause this command to silently fail.

On macOS, Dolphin (upon install or after an update) must be signed with specific entitlements to permit memory access. Follow the instructions above.

License

This program is licensed under the MIT license which grants you the permission to do anything you wish to with the software, as long as you preserve all copyright notices. (See the file LICENSE for the legal text.)

Open Source Agenda is not affiliated with "Dolphin Memory Engine" Project. README Source: aldelaro5/dolphin-memory-engine
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