People think that N64 emulators are a relatively new invention that programmers created in recent years to make games from classic consoles more accessible. But that isn’t true. N64 emulators have been around for decades. UltraHLE is just one application among many. Though, many people will argue that it was one of the best.
What is UltraHLE?
UltraHLE was groundbreaking when it came out in the late 1990s. Created by Epsilon and RealityMan, the emulator came out just three years after the Nintendo 64 debuted. It was the first emulator of its kind that could run commercial N64 titles.
UltraHLE succeeded where so many other N64 projects failed because it used the Ultra High-Level Technique. Rather than emulating every aspect of a console, the HLE technique simulated the specific operations and functions of a game while it was running on the N64.
The tactic was far from perfect. UltraHLE worked amazingly with games that it had been specifically optimized to run. This meant that the collection of games the emulator could accurately run was small, less than two dozen, to be exact.
Many developers realized early on that the UltraHLE emulator could not succeed in the long run because it was unlikely to play newer games. But when it first came out, no one cared about this limitation.
They couldn’t stop lauding the authors for their work. UltraHLE did not survive. Because it could play N64 games so well, the emulator drew the attention of Nintendo.
The company started taking steps to sue Epsilon and RealityMan in 1999. The pair responded by retreating from the spotlight. Their emulator was discontinued just six hours after it came out.
RealityMan tried to produce a superior version of the emulator later on. But the legal pressure coming from Nintendo dissuaded him from pursuing the project. However, the work that Epsilon and RealityMan did lives on. Many developers have used the HLE technique to create better emulators.
- Written in C
- It uses the Glide API
- It can only emulate 20 games
- Inbuilt Debugger
- Supports Joysticks
- It supports full-screen mode
How To Install UltraHLE?
Step 1. Download UltraHLE
Step 2. Extract the zip folder
Step 3. Find the emulator’s .exe file and run it
- Size: 209KB
- Licesne: Freeware
- Platform: Windows
- Release date: Jul 13, 2003
UltraHLE Source Code Download
|File||Summary + Labels||Uploaded||Size|
|uhle-src1.0.0.zip||UltraHLE 1.0.0 Source||Aug 15, 2012||328.32KB|
|Ultra1037.zip||Ultra INI v1.0.37(Gecko/APE)||Aug 15, 2012||43.88KB|
|ultrahle.zip||UltraHLE 1.0.0||Aug 15, 2012||171.73KB|
How To use UltraHLE?
UltraHLE has the same limitations as all the other emulators from the late 1990s and early 2000s. Depending on the version you have downloaded (several UltraHLE versions were created after the original emulator was discontinued), you may have to run the emulator via a command line.
The best way to avoid errors is to download the installer. It will configure all the files you need to run the emulator. That includes the plugins and additional documentation to guide you where necessary.
UltraHLE was an amazing invention when it first came out. But it was discontinued over 2 decades ago. It hasn’t received any updates since then. It has a small collection of games. It can play those games very well. But if you want a more diverse offering of titles, you should use a modern emulator.