Let’s do something different, not a review or a first impression. Let’s not talk about the game music or something along those lines. In this article I want to talk about the history of the gameboy and gameboy color and maybe some facts you didn’t know about yet. So, this is an experimental article. It would help me if you guys left a comment about the content and subject of this article. Let’s begin.
1) Kirby’s color is white?
Did you know, that Kirby’s first appearance in the west was actually white? The reason for that is when Nintendo USA got the code for the game in order to translate, they didn’t mention that Kirby was pink. Because his first installment was on the gameboy, it was unclear which color he had. That’s why Nintendo decided to give him a white color.
Also, there are some rumors of Kirby’s name. It might have to do with a story of a lawyer that defended Nintendo when Universal Studio’s sued Nintendo for copyright infringement on their Donkey Kong license. But that’s only a rumor… right?
2) A calculator as inspiration.
Gunpei Yokoi was sitting on the train when he saw a business man playing around on his calculator. You know that stuff you did back in class? Turning the numbers upside down to try and spell out words? It didn’t take long before your dirty mind took over and you turned the number “80085” upside down.
So, that’s what gave Gunpei the inspiration to make the gameboy with the RD&1 of Nintendo. Sadly enough, the creator of the gameboy has passed away in a car accident a few years ago.
He got a few awards under his belt, but to me he will always be remember as the creator of the gameboy :)!
3) The Gameboy Advance SP wasn’t the first back-lit gameboy.
Remember those painful days when you had to have a lamp on to play the gameboy? When you couldn’t play it under your sheets easily because the gameboy didn’t had a light-up screen?
Well, the successor, the gameboy pocket got a second release in Japan. The gameboy light was actually the solution to the issue. Strangely enough, the device only stayed in Japan. In the USA and Europe we got all sorts of crazy attachments that barely worked.
What’s an every bigger mystery is why they didn’t include this feature in the gameboy color. Yes, we had to wait until the gameboy advance SP until we had backlit gameboy screens. What a shame actually. But hey, it was fun trying to hide the gameboy and put out the lights at night to avoid your parents busting in…. Just don’t forget you lower your volume.
4) The gameboy wasn’t the first Nintendo handheld
So, this relates to my 2nd point about the calculator. When Gunpei started to design the first handheld game for Nintendo, he developed the Game & Watch series.
The Game & Watch series are now a big collector item. It’s even believed that some Game & Watch systems gave the inspiration to the Nintendo DS’s design.
Well, more on Game & Watch devices later.
5) Samsung sold it!
Around the time the WO II ended, Korea actually banned products made in Japan. Which meant that the Gameboy was banned. But that didn’t stop from being sold in Korea.
Samsung Korea actually sold the gameboy under another name, called the “Comboy”. It’s not the only system that Samsung sold. I know that they sell a version of the DS as well, so I wouldn’t be surprised that they helped to sell the whole gameboy line in Korea. But notice that’s I’m doubting since I don’t know for certain.
1) The SNES gameboy “port”
Back in the day, you could play Gameboy games on your TV using the Super Gameboy. You can even play with the color.
But strangely enough, the Super Gameboy couldn’t run Gameboy Color games. The SNES would be strong enough to run those games and it has color for sure.
We had to wait until the GameCube before we would be able to play these games legally on a big screen.
The Gameboy color is the only system in the Gameboy series that has clear cartrigdes.
The colors in the name of the Gameboy color stand for each different color the gameboy color was originally released in.
And final part of trivia, all black gameboy cartridges are enhanced to be in color on the gameboy color!
3) Pokemon Crystal, two versions?
The most popular game on the Gameboy Color was Pokémon Gold & Silver. But strangly enough, Pokémon Crystal got two releases. I discovered this when I found out that I had two Pokémon Crystal cartridges.
When I saw the area code, somehow a “-1″ was printed on it. After I researched it, it turns out that there was a v1.1 released. There is barely anything known what is patched. But hey, time to hunt a copy down for your collection!
If you thought that you needed to use cables when it came to connecting two gameboy colors, think again. Some games actually used the infrared port on top of the gameboy.
I never used it as a kid, but it’s interesting to learn more about. Since according to my research, it was the first handheld that had wireless communication.
5) Motion Control before it was cool.
Oh, and it wasn’t the only first. Kirby Tilt ‘n’ Tumble was the first motion controlled game. It’s a sort of maze / Super Monkey Ball-ish game.
It actually worked with tilting the gameboy around. I haven’t played it, but I have seen video’s about it. It made me want to grab a copy of it. Since you can’t have the same experience with these kind of games on an emulator.
So, that was the article I wanted to release last week. But, I was busy and tired, so I moved it to this week. I hope you enjoyed reading about the gameboy and gameboy color. If you knew all these ten facts, I hope it was a nice refresher.
I enjoyed writing this, did you enjoy reading it? Anyways, I hope to see you another time. Thanks for reading.