Play “The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker” on Mac OS X 10.6 using Dolphin with heat distortion fix

If you’re running Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard but wanted to play The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, you probably ran into this very annoying “heat distortion” bug:

This issue actually crops up in two ways throughout Wind Waker. The more common way is that all of the flame effects result in doubling rather than distortion. The “copy” ends up down and to the right quite a bit, making it awkward at best. More troublesome is the way extreme heat in Dragon Roost Island is rendered. It results in severe screen tearing and detracts from the strong atmosphere presented by the game.


AR codes offer a partial resolution to the screen tearing issue shown in this animation loop.

That’s because, prior to Dolphin version 4.0-593, there was a bug in the way texture maps were loaded. The fix is thankfully very simple: two lines of corrected hexadecimal arithmetic, courtesy delroth. Sadly, the last version of Dolphin that runs on Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard is 3.5. Later versions require Mac OS X 10.7 Lion or greater.

Of course, one could upgrade one’s operating system and install a brand new Mac OS X. But why pay for an operating system upgrade when what you want to fix is an arithmetic mistake? And a simple one, at that.

Instead, I forked Dolphin, backported delroth’s fix, ((Wikipedia explains backporting well.)) and rebuilt my Dolphin. And in the spirit of the free software code that let me do this without having to buy an OS upgrade from Apple (because, again, fuck capitalism), I’m making my build available for any other Mac OS X 10.6 (Intel) users who want to calm the great and wonderful Valoo on Dragon Roost Island without looking at frustrating screen tearing. :)P

This Dolphin 3.5 WindWaker bugfix rebuild should run on any Mac with an Intel processor, but I’ve only tested it on my own system, of course. If you have trouble with the binary, consider building your own Dolphin for Mac OS X, too.

That way, when people ask you why you’re playing video games all day, you can tell them, “Because everything is in everything, so playing video games can teach me about C compilers.”

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