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VIM1 - Retro Gaming Tutorial

Updated: Mar 9

It helps when the ROM is in a language you can understand.


This tutorial will teach you the easiest and fastest method of how to install and run retro-games, such as Super Mario and Yoshi's Island, via "ROM" images on your Khadas VIM1 single board computer.

Emulators such as Lakka OS, are a cool way to play some retro game titles (for free) on your Khadas SBC. LibreELEC can also play retro games, however I found the installation process too frustrating, and I want this to be as painless as possible for you, the reader.

So let's get started!

Download Lakka OS

Before your VIM1 can play retro games, you'll need to install Lakka OS into the EMMC. Head over to and click the download link for Lakka-S905-arm-2.1-emmc.

You can find a variety of other ROMs from

Press the big green "DOWNLOAD" button.

Place VIM1 into Upgrade Mode

Next, you'll need to place your VIM1 into "Upgrade Mode", this is really easy. First use the USB-2.0 to USB-C cable to connect the VIM1 to your computer. Then press and hold the "Power" button, then press the "Reset" button, and "count to 5" before releasing the "Power" button.

If your VIM1 has entered upgrade mode, you will hear (or see) Windows 10 connecting with a new USB-device; some ding-dong sounds will chime, and some pop-ups will appear. If you don't, just repeat the steps in the above paragraph, your timing could be off.

The power button is on the upper left, the reset on the lower left.

Install Amlogic EMMC Burning Tool

After that, you'll need to download the Amlogic EMMC Burning Tool, and install it into Windows. Once installed, open it up and you should see your VIM1 device connected. If you don't, repeat the steps above to enter "Upgrade Mode".

"Status: Connect success", tells you that your VIM1 is connected via USB.

Open Lakka OS Image

Click "File", then select "Open" to select the "Lakka-S905.arm-2.1-emmc.img" file.

Yes I have a lot of junk, and a bunch of obsolete Tone Board firmwares in my PC.

Burn Lakka OS Image to EMMC

Check "Reset after success" and "Start" to begin burning Lakka OS into your VIM1's EMMC. Do note that this will erase everything in your VIM1's storage, so do back up any important data.

Once you hear some more "ding-dong" sounds from Windows, and the message "Burn success", you may close the Amlogic Burning Tool, and disconnect your VIM1 from your PC.

Prepare Some Game ROMs

Okay, so now that you've got Lakka installed, you need to prepare some retro game ROMs. Grab a USB-thumbdrive, or SD-Card, and copy some ROMs to it. If you need to get ROMs, just Google. For example, this website has lots of ROMs.

I'll admit, I've not played many retro games, so uhh these are the only titles I've heard of.

Next, plug the thumbdrive or SD-Card into your VIM1.

Boot Up Your VIM1

Great, now we're in business! Plug your VIM1 into USB-C power, connect a HDMI-monitor, and USB-keyboard to it. In a few moments, you will see the Lakka desktop - it kinda looks like those old Sony PSP interfaces which existed before touchscreens did.

Looks like ole Sony PSP interface.

Load Your ROM

The next part is really simple, using your keyboard (which you should have plugged in), navigate to "Load Content", and then press "Enter".

"Load Content" with the gear icon.

When you see the title "Start Directory", press the "Enter" key again.

"Start directory" with the folder icon.

Then highlight your SD-card or thumb-drive and press "Enter", in my case it's called "ROMS".

My removable media is called "ROMS". Yours may be different.

Once you've opened it, you should see a list of the games you have inside. Just pick one that you want to play, and press "Enter" again.

I much prefer "Yoshi's Island" to the Atari version of "Mario Bros"!

You will be now prompted to select an "emulator" in order to play the "ROM", just pick the first one, that usually works. See, I told you right? Painless.

I am too dumb to pick the correct emulator.

Play Your Game

Okay this part should be self-explanatory, if you've ever had one of those gameboy-type-thingies.

Seriously, I got stuck at this screen. So don't like playing Mario...

But I'll just add that since you're using your keyboard, the "arrow keys" are the "arrow pad", and usually the "function pad" will be the "A, Z, S, Q, W" keys. "P" key is for pause, and the "ESC" key stops the game. In the limited time that I had to write this tutorial, I am not too sure if the keys are different for different games, but I think they could be.

And if you have one of those Sony Game Controller things lying around, yes you can plug those in and they will work straight out-of-the-box too! See, again painless.

I got my friend to play "Yoshi's Island" because I suck so bad at this.

Have Fun!

Or just watch me be a noob at "Mario Time Machine" and "Yoshi's Island".

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