Several years after Mario came to dominate the NES, Nintendo decided to give players the opportunity to take his adventures on the go. The result was 1989’s Super Mario Land, an immense success that would blossom into a popular franchise. All these years later, Super Mario Land still has dedicated fans, and some of them decided to give the game an update that adds an important element not available on Game Boy: color.
Modder toruzz has released a completed version of the game re-made with color and dubbed Super Mario Land DX. This mod was officially finished and uploaded on April 22nd, one day after Game Boy’s 30th anniversary. Not a bad way to celebrate! You can check out the launch trailer above, and if you like what you see, there’s a link to follow through to play the game for yourself.
Nintendo doesn’t plan to launch a traditional Virtual Console on Switch, which has left many fans wondering how they’ll distribute their classic games this generation. Some NES games are now available to Nintendo Switch Online subscribers, and there’s been some indication that Super Nintendo games will eventually follow, but what about the Game Boy? A recently discovered patent may hold the answers.
As discovered by Siliconera, Nintendo filed a rather interesting patent in the United States back in March. The patent details an accessory that would fit around your smartphone (or potentially other touchscreen devices) in order to transform it into a makeshift Game Boy. A casing would snap shut around your phone, and a hole in the casing allows your phone’s screen to simulate the Game Boy’s screen.
The traditional button layout is all present: D-pad, A button, B button, Start, and Select. The casing is designed so that your phone can sense you pressing a button and respond accordingly. Could Nintendo be planning to release emulated Game Boy games on smart devices in an official capacity? It’s been seven months since the patent was filed and there’s no word of any such plans yet, but the option is there for Nintendo.
It’s pretty common for an in-development game to get cancelled before it ever sees the light of day. This often happens early, in the prototype stage, but sometimes a game is well along in development before the plug gets pulled. In even rarer cases (such as Star Fox 2 before the release of the SNES Classic) a game is completely finished and still shelved anyway.
This is exactly what happened to Rare over 20 years ago according to Rare employee Paul Machacek. In an interview with RareFanDaBase, Machacek claimed that he worked on a Game Boy version of Super Battletoads (an alternate name for the Battletoads Arcade game) that was developed all the way through to completion, but then cancelled when the arcade title underperformed.
RareFanDaBase:Were there any canned projects that you were particularly fond of that you really wish had come to fruition?
Paul Machacek: Probably the most annoying is Super Battletoads on the Gameboy. Heard of it? No, nor has almost anyone else. It was the fourth one I’d written in the serious, was a spinoff from the arcade game of the same name, and was 100% finished and signed off by Test. Then it got cancelled shortly after I moved onto Donkey Kong Land because the arcade game had underperformed in market and Tradewest pulled the plug on the whole franchise.
In 2015, during Rare Replay development, with long term members of Rare saying to me “don’t be silly, that game never existed”, we found it sitting on an old disc. A finished copy of the game. One of the engineers here happened to have a Gameboy emulator and we dragged the file into it and waited with bated breath. It ran! I couldn’t believe it, no one had seen this game in about 22 years, and I was the only person who recalled its existence at all.
Then we needed to see exactly what was there and being a rock hard Battletoad game that no one had played in over 20 years it wasn’t going to be easy. However, I still had the sourcecode (which I had no way of compiling anymore but could look through anyway). I worked out an infinite lives cheat, applied it to the binary file by “poking” it and got one of our team to play through the whole thing in one go and record the video. It took a little over an hour (with infinite lives) but was all there. A 100% completed game. Apparently, no bugs were seen.
It’s unlikely that Microsoft (who acquired Rare in 2002) would bother to release a 20 year old Game Boy title all this time later, but with the original source code in tact, anything is possible. Nintendo’s return to Star Fox 2 after decades is proof of that.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the most advanced entry in the series yet, but in the early stages of development, Nintendo used a 2D prototype based on the original Zelda on NES. Nintendo Wire recently had a similar idea, and they’ve created a prototype for a retro re-imagining of Breath of the Wild as a Game Boy Color title in the vein of Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages.
The two minute clip shows off the opening moments of Breath of the Wild re-imagined in a throwback 8-bit style. This includes a look at the Shrine of Resurrection and the iconic scene of Link walking out onto an outcropping and surveying Hyrule below. They also included a map of Hyrule, an item screen, the Old Man, and the outside of the first shrine. It’s a surprisingly detailed effort, and they even created an accompanying game manual!
Have you ever wished your morning routine could be just a little more retro? We’ve got you covered. The “Game Boy Game Over Alarm Clock” is an officially licensed Nintendo product that lets you wake up to nostalgia. You can change the time via the buttons on the front, and you’ll be awakened by the sweet sounds of the Super Mario Land theme music every morning.
If you’d like to acquire one of these beauties for yourself, you can place a preorder now at Merchoid. This Nintendo-approved collectible costs $32.99, and it will ship in just under a week on March 30th. You can check out a gallery of images showing it up close by clicking below!
Minecraft fans have always been a creative bunch, but Minecraft user Mr. Squishy has taken it to the next level by creating a fully playable version of Pokémon Red in Minecraft. He worked on the project for over 21 months, using 357,000 command blocks. According to Mr. Squishy, Pokémon Red Version includes “all of the original game’s features, along with a few iconic bugs.” This enormous project was done manually, with Mr. Squishy walking a total of 2,832.89 kilometers in-game. Pokémon Red Version plays on a giant Game Boy, and it is even possible to change the color of the shell!
You can try out the creation yourself by clicking here. What are your thoughts on Mr. Squishy’s creation? Discuss in the comments below!
Ever since the Nintendo Entertainment System: Classic Edition was first announced, its design seemed somewhat limiting. The replica console came with thirty pre-installed games, including several classics like Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda, but no other games could be played on the system, which disappointed many old-school Nintendo fans. After the NES Classic was released, many people started hacking the system to make it play more NES games. Now, fans have gone even further and modified the console to make it run games for the SNES, Game Boy, SEGA Genesis, and more.
Over the past few weeks, a large community of NES Classic modders has appeared on Reddit. They’re been creating tons of tools for hacking the system and have enjoyed great results, as it’s now possible for a regular fan to make the NES Classic run ROMs of games made for other consoles. In the video above, you can watch the NES Classic emulate the Game Boy’s Metroid II: Return of Samus, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX from the Game Boy Color, Pitfall! from the Atari 2600, Sonic the Hedgehog from the SEGA Genesis, and even Super Metroid, which was originally released on SNES.
This was all accomplished using a program named Hakchi2, which was built by several NES Classic modders, most prominently “madmonkey” and “pcm720.” You can learn more about the program here; it’s relatively easy to install and lets you play all kinds of games on NES Classic. You can also watch a quick tutorial on the installation process here.
What do you guys think? Do you own an NES Classic, and would you consider modifying it to play these games? Let us know in the comments below!
Nintendo’s new retro console, the NES Classic Edition, has drawn a ton of attention over the past few months, and not only because of how hard it is to find. The mini device allows access to a wide variety of classic games, but it does have some issues when it comes to things that Nintendo consoles have since moved away from, namely wired controllers and requiring a TV. Well, the modders of Kei Studio have taken it upon themselves to change that, and they did so by transforming a Nintendo Classic Mini: Famicom, Japan’s version of the NES Classic, into a Game Boy.
You can check out the video above to see it in action, as well as to see how they took the Mini Famicom and moved all that hardware into a Game Boy-esque shell (don’t worry about the Japanese text, as it also has English subtitles). It does get pretty technical, so the full 25 minutes won’t be for everyone, but if you’d like to see how you might convert your own NES Classic like this, it’s a great tutorial.
Would you like to try this out for yourself? Are you even one of the lucky few who has an NES Classic and could therefore attempt this? Let us know in the comments!
If you’re a fan of classic handheld video games, you’re going to love the Super Retro Boy. This upcoming third-party handheld was just announced by Retro-Bit at CES 2017, and it’s a dream come true for anyone who grew up playing Game Boy. Super Retro Boy is designed to look like Nintendo’s original handheld, but it can play any game that originally released on Game Boy, Game Boy Color, or Game Boy Advance.
In addition to its nostalgic look and support for a wide range of games, Super Retro Boy boasts a TFT high resolution LCD screen that is both scratch and shatter resistant. The handheld is powered by a 2,500mAh battery that provides approximately 10 hours of play time on one charge. Its button setup is largely the same as an original Game Boy, but it has two extra face buttons in lieu of the L and R of the Game Boy Advance.
Super Retro Boy goes on sale in North America this August, and its planned price tag is $79.99. Will you be picking one up?
Gunpei Yokoi is one of the most important and influential figures in Nintendo history, making numerous contributions to the video game giant during his thirty-one years with the company. Yokoi played a big role in creating franchises like Metroid and Kid Icarus, and he created the Game & Watch line along with the cross-like D-pad that has been used in countless controllers since.
Many consider Yokoi’s biggest accomplishment to be the creation of the original Game Boy, but according to another longtime Nintendo employee, Yokoi didn’t create it at all. Satoru Okada, the former general manager of Nintendo Research & Engineering, recently spoke with Retro Gamer, and he gave a different explanation for how Game Boy came about.
According to Okada, Yokoi’s original idea for the Game Boy was a simple, cheap follow-up to Game & Watch devices that was designed to play only short games. Okada claims he fought so fiercely with Yokoi over this that Yokoi eventually gave up and turned the project over to him completely.
“When was young, I was rather stubborn and often became angry at my superiors when was trying to defend my ideas. The best example of this was the Game Boy. The Game Boy you know today actually had nothing to do with the one Yokoi had in mind. He saw the Game Boy as a direct follow-on from the Game & Watch, which meant a rather cheap toy, without any real business model and no long-term ambition.
“To give you a clear comparison, Yokoi wanted a Game Boy that would have looked like the Microvision and would not have lasted more than one or two seasons. For instance, he did not care if there were third-party editors or not. Furthermore, he only wanted ‘quick games’, quickly completed and quickly forgotten. I wanted the Game Boy to have more ambition, closer to what the R&D2 had managed to with the Famicom: a machine built to last, with hardware that was good enough to play a variety of quality titles.
“I was the assistant director of R&D1 and we had many arguments over this. In the end, he gave in and angrily told me: ‘Okay, do what you want!’ l then asked him: ‘Fine! But are you givnig me full responsibility?’ and since he said ‘yes’, I made the Game Boy project my own. Yokoi just gave his seal of approval. In the end, the Game Boy is much more similar to the Famicom than the Game & Watch. The hardware was good enough to offer a wide range of games and we were ready to welcome third-party editors, with a real development kit, instruction booklets, some real support, etc..” — Satoru Okada
In previous interviews, Yokoi has taken credit for at least some of the specific Game Boy design choices, including the decision to go with monochrome graphics instead of having color. Unfortunately, we can’t hear his side of the story and fully understand exactly who did what, as Yokoi tragically passed away following a car accident in 1997. Regardless of who did the most hands-on work, the Game Boy was a huge success, and it laid the foundation for decades of fantastic handheld gaming.
Nintendo released the original Pokémon games, Red, Blue, and Yellow Versions, on the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console earlier this year, but the series’ developer Game Freak recently stated they don’t have any similar plans for the games’ follow-ups, Gold, Silver, and Crystal.
This was one of the talking points on this week’s episode of Nintendo Week, our Nintendo-themed podcast here at Gamnesia, and we’re pretty disappointed. Check out the discussion video above for our full thoughts, or keep reading below for a brief, brief summary.
If you like the video, you can subscribe to Nintendo Week on iTunes, where we release new episodes every Wednesday, or you could check out the full episode. If you don’t like long-form podcasts, you can subscribe to us on YouTube, where our discussion segments are uploaded on Thursdays, and these select snippets from the rest of the podcast—which we call NWC—are uploaded throughout the week. If you like what you hear, we’d love it if you leave us a review on iTunes, where you can find episodes covering tons of other subjects, or send us your feedback! We’d love to know what you think of the show, and how you think we can improve it.
Akira was a huge breakthrough in animation in the late 1980s because it inspired many future manga artists and had a huge impact on the evolution of the anime art style. As a result, the film is beloved by many people worldwide. When THQ saw this, they began to work on a few video game adaptations for the Super Nintendo, SEGA Genesis, and Game Boy systems. Until now we didn’t even know these games were ever in production, but recently, video footage from the Game Boy version of Akira surfaced online.
Patrick Scott Patterson recently purchased a load of games and accidentally stumbled across four different prototype cartridges of the game. You can check out his video by clicking above!
What do you guys think about this discovery? What sort of things would you like to have seen in an Akira game?
Video game hardware can be used in many exciting ways outside of their intended purpose. While a developer might want players to use the controller for their game, some fans have other ideas in mind. Recently, one dedicated man named Gautier Hattenberger was able to use his original Game Boy to fly a drone.
To get the device to respond properly, he had to modify the Game Boy’s link cable port so that it could be connected to an Arduino circuit board and FTDI chip. This allows the portable gaming system to send information to his computer about which buttons are being pressed. Hattenberger has also controlled the drone with a homemade arcade gamepad, which he said was “not really handy for outdoor flight.”
Hattenberger teaches flight mechanics and researches in UAV systems at the French Civil Aviation University and plans to program a SEGA Genesis controller to be able to fly his drone as well. You can check out the drone being controlled by a Game Boy in the video above!
What kind of projects do you know of that use video game hardware in interesting ways? Let us know in the comments below!
There are tons of gaming podcasts in the wild, but Nintendo Week stands alone as it recaptures all the fun of Nintendo in the form of a weekly show. Every episode brings news recaps, discussions, games, music, and more to create a show for all kinds of Nintendo fans, whether they’re new or old, passionate or passing-by.
Join Alex, Ben, and Colin this week as we discuss the recent debacle surrounding AM2R, the fan-made Metroid II remake: all the joy it brought followed by Nintendo’s unfortunate move to strike it down. Afterwards we take it to our Trainer Tips segment, to help listeners like you navigate the cold hard world of gaming on Nintendo platforms in 2016. There we discuss our recommendations for SNES, 3DS, and DS games, and the differences between the 3D Zelda games. You can check out the episode below—or if you’d like to save it to listen later, you can check the latest episode out on iTunes, available now.
If you’d like to be heard on Nintendo Week, please email me at [email protected]. We regularly run segments for listener questions, gaming advice, suggestions on discussion topics, and more from listeners like you, so we’d love for you to reach out! You can also reach me at that email address with any feedback you have, and we’ll do our best to improve our show! We want to give you guys the best podcast we can, so please don’t be afraid to leave suggestions.
Nintendo recently announced the NES Classic Edition, a miniature NES pre-loaded with thirty games at a cheap price for lapsed gamers, and many fans are wondering whether they’ll follow it up with other “Classic Edition” consoles.
This was one of the talking points on this week’s episode of Nintendo Week, our Nintendo-themed podcast here at Gamnesia, and we think it’s not only a really exciting idea, but a quite possible future. Check out the discussion video above for our full thoughts, or keep reading below for a brief, brief summary.
We don’t think Nintendo’s planning any kind of massive line for all their previous home consoles, but there are two Classic Edition consoles in particular that we think they’ll eventually release: a SNES Classic Edition and a Game Boy Classic Edition. While we imagine the former will be a pretty standard followup to the NES Classic Edition, likely with thirty SNES games for $59.99 per console, we think the Game Boy Classic Edition would more likely compile games from all across the Game Boy line, including Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance games.
Do you think Nintendo’s likely to follow up the NES Classic Edition with other systems? What games would you like to see in future Classic Edition lineups? Let us know in the comments below!
Of course this is only a taste of of our full in-depth thoughts, so be sure to check out the discussion video above to hear our full conversation. If you like it, you can subscribe to Nintendo Week on iTunes, where we release new episodes every Wednesday, or you could check out the full episode. If you don’t like long-form podcasts, you can subscribe to us on YouTube, where our discussion segments are uploaded on Thursdays, and these select snippets from the rest of the podcast—which we call NWC—are uploaded throughout the week. If you like what you hear, we’d love it if you leave us a review on iTunes, where you can find episodes covering tons of other subjects, or send us your feedback! We’d love to know what you think of the show, and how you think we can improve it.
Last year, Hyperkin, a gaming peripheral and accessory company, released images of a phone case that would convert your touch phone into a classic Game Boy. This was done on April Fools Day, but a few days later they confirmed that the device was actually in development, and at E3 2016 they proved this claim by proudly displaying the device for all to see. While only working for Android phones, as they’ve designed only for Google’s OS, the Hyperkin “Smartboy” enables you to use your phone to play any Game Boy or Game Boy Color title, using actual cartridges to play them!
You can already place a preorder for the device on Hyperkin’s website for $59.99, but it comes with more than just the device—this is a “Smart Boy Developer Kit,” which also allows you to manipulate the app and firmware involved. Should you manage to use this Developer Kit to improve the device’s capabilities, Hyperkin is offering to pay you in royalties of Smartboy units sold down the line. Any programmers interested in getting in on this deal, step forward now!
We’ve got several images of the Smartboy, so check them out in the gallery below! Does the Smartboy have you interested? Will you picking one up, and will you be trying to get in on Hyperkin’s royalties deal? Let us know in the comments!
Back in 2000, Burger King gave away tiny Game Boy Color toys that had analog games built-in. Reddit user ChaseLambeth has managed to make one of these little toys into a fully operational mini Game Boy Color. To achieve this, he used a Raspberry Pi Zero (a tiny computer smaller than a credit card), a two inch LCD screen, and an emulator called RetroPie. As well as running Game Boy Color games, it also works with titles for Game Boy Advance.
What do you think about the “Game Boy Nano”? Let us know in the comments below!
Back in 1998, Pokémon was introduced to North America, and it became an instant hit. Catching, raising, and trading Pokémon was a simple yet successful concept that captured the hearts of many people across the globe, and that concept is still finding success today. To commemorate Pokémon‘s 20th anniversary, Inside Games published an in-depth interview with Pokémon CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara to discuss the series’ history and success. According to Ishihara, a part of Pokémon‘s worldwide success is because of the human experiences we all share.
“Pokémon draws a familiar theme – like raising pets, or bugs growing into pupa and then to a butterfly. Such experiences may also have a part in common humanity. If this were a world with swords and magic, preferences will branch away, and it also inserts a violence factor which would raise the age rating. Depending on one’s point of view, some may see Pokémon as straight extension of Japanese monsters and western folklore creatures. But I think they could be even closer existences, with things anyone can experience in actual livelihood, like collecting insects, raising a dog in home, fishing in rivers, etc.” — Tsunekazu Ishihara
What aspects of Pokémon do you think made it a worldwide success? Let us know in the comments below!
Just a few weeks ago we celebrated the fifth anniversary of Nintendo 3DS launching in Japan, and today it’s another handheld’s turn in the spotlight. Game Boy Advance made its debut in Japan on March 21st, 2001. Thanks to timezone differences, it’s now officially the handheld’s 15th anniversary in its home country. Game Boy Advance would make its debut in North America and Europe a few months later in the Summer.
The popular handheld went on to sell over 81 million units and 377 million games, bringing joy to millions of gamers around the world. I have many fond memories of playing games like Metroid Fusion and Pokémon Fire Red on mine. Happy anniversary, Game Boy Advance!
Munich-based designer Florian Renner has come up with a new redesigned version of Nintendo’s Game Boy. The concept features a much larger HD screen and shoulder buttons, while retaining the original’s signature color scheme, speaker slats, and rounded bottom-right corner.
The redesigned console, if it were actually manufactured, would likely be able to play much more heavy-duty titles than the original with high definition graphics. The GIF we have here shows exactly where everything has been moved to on the new design. However, the lack of analog sticks probably wouldn’t work for games like Fallout (enticing as those sample cartridges look). Still, this device would be great even without such titles behind it.
What do you think of this redesign? Let us know in the comments below!