This is meant to help people who have had trouble running Shimeji's.
I once downloaded a shimeji and whatever I tried wouldn't work, and it turned out I was only clicking one wrong thing!
This is what works for me, since my computer's pretty old and doesn't like to make things work. If this doesn't work for you, I'm really sorry :c We might be using a different type of computer, internet browser, etc. I'd like to hear and questions you may have, and though I'm not a Shimeji expert, I'll try to help out in any way I can~
1. Downloading Files
I always download .ZIP files from MediaFire. Before I downloaded any Shimeji's, I installed something wierd called WinZip, which is a program for extracting files. It's pretty safe, but can get kind of annoying sometimes. You can download the free evaluation trial if you like, or buy it. I only have the trial, so it will most likely end soon, but that's alright. Anyway, download the .ZIP, then WinZip will appear onscreen with the Shimeji file. Right click the entire folder and select "Extract". It opens my documents, and I click "Unzip" at the bottom right. It then shows you the extracing process then opens your Documents. The folder will usually be named Shimeji_character name here. For example, the shimeji you see in the preview image climbing on the window is my Hetalia OC for Wales. Her file name is Shimeji_Wales.
After your see the folder, you may copy (I am unsure if moving it corrupts the file, this is just to be safe) it to a Shimeji folder if you wish, which is just something downloaders make to hold all of their Shimeji folders in one place. This is entirely optional. You can also close WinZip now.
2. Opening the Shimeji Folder
Once you have your Shimeji folder open, you will see six files- "conf", "img", and "lib" which are folders; two files named Shimeji, and a text document (sometimes). The text is just for copyright. The conf folder is for other files, and the lib is for Executable Jar files. Anything extra may mess up the Shimeji. The img is for all of the images, don't mess with these unless you want to make your own Shimeji, which I will go over later. This is crucial for the life of your Shimeji- some files in the conf folder may need to be renamed. You should only do this if it says so in the description where you downloaded, this is why you must always read the description. It will say what you need to rename them to in the description. Now, (after you renamed the files if necessary) to start up the your little desktop buddy, all you need to do is double click the Shimeji Executable Jar File. It has the little Java icon on it. You may need to wait a moment after you click, be paitent! After a moment you will see their little icon (will vary depending on Shimeji character, for example, Hetalia character's icons will be flags) and they will fall from the sky!
2.5 Java Problems
Sometimes, a Japanese error message will appear saying you need to update Java. You can do this just in case, but if it appears more than once, you may be doing something wrong. This is most likely caused by you clicking the wrong Shimeji file- the "Application" file. Click the Executable Jar instead and see if it works~
3. Playing with your Shimeji
Your desktop buddy will walk around and entertain themself. This includes sitting, climbing on the walls of your screen, throwing your web browsers, and even cloning themselves! If you leave a Shimeji alone for long enough, you may have thousands (not really, maybe 40) of little clones running around your screen. With your shimeji, you can pick them up, wave them around, toss them, and clone them yourself. If you right-click their icon at the bottom right of your screen, a small window pops up. It may be in Japanese or boxes. The first one is to make another Shimeji fall from the sky. You can also do this by left-clicking the icon. The second is "Come here!" where all of your Shimeji's of that type will follow your cursor and sit when they get to it. After a while, they will begin moving again. The third will make all but one Shimeji poof, this is just in case you do get 40 on your screen and your internet (or whatever you have pulled up) will lag (it's what mine does "xD). The fourth will make any IE browers appear back onscreen if your Shimeji has thrown them off. This will not close your program, don't worry. The final button will close the Shimeji file all together. You can have more than one Shimeji program up at once, too!
4. Making your Own
To make your own Shimeji, download an already-made one for the base. You should probably ask the artist of the base if you can use it. Though most will most likely agree and say it's perfectly fine, you should still be polite. That's just me talking though c:
So, to begin, go to the base's img folder. Open one file at a time in Photoshop, SAI, GIMP, etc. and trace over it. DO NOT make an exact copy or recolor of the base. Just try to use it as a guide to tell you what pose does what, because it DOES matter. After you've traced and colored over the base, you can save it as a PNG over the file. There are several Shimeji-making tutorials on dA, go look up one of those if you need a visual aid~
FAQ and Notes
To rename the conf files, you will have to rename the 43KB one- 動作
The 10KB one will need to be renamed- 行動
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, FEEL FREE TO ASK OR HELP OTHERS. I WILL TRY TO ANSWER THEM TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY.
Thank you for taking your time to read this tutorial, I hope it helped! If it did, or you find anything wrong with this, please mention something~ Have fun with your Shimeji!