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Game Boy & GB Advance Appreciation Thread


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As mentioned in the new retro game handheld things thread, the RG351 is near perfect for GBA emulation. Coincidentally a week before I bought one I was up in my loft and I showed my daughter my original GBAs - it's genuinely laughable how bad the screens are. I do have the Kingdom Hearts SP too but the screen comes in and out (loose connection?), and I sold my Micro almost as quickly as I bought it back in the day.

 

I spent a fair few hours on Mario Tennis last week before the crappy power shots ruined it for me (Luigi literally threw his racquet across the court to save a surefire winner) so now I'm on Shining Force. I've seen some negative posts on it but having never played the original I'm really enjoying it. It's something of a Fisher Price SRPG but as someone who prefers the likes of 2Jeanne D'arc and Valkyria Chronicles to FFTA and Tactics Ogre it's very much up my street. Mario Kart looks bloody amazing too!

 

Looking for some under the radar gems, recommend away please!

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8 hours ago, Treble said:

I picked up a Game Boy Light recently, and started fiddling with it earlier. Because reasons.

 

Anyway, I put in a LiOn battery using a cheapo USB-C charger circuit (like an Aldi Adafruit) that cost me £2.15. I used a 14500 model 3.7v, 2800mAh battery as its the same size as a standard AA. The tiny battery compartment on the Light/Pocket/Color rules out any larger LiPo ones without case-cutting.

 

GameBoy_LiOn_1.thumb.jpg.2fd8132bc352b71abe89423906d79e2a.jpg

 

This seems to work great - it charged fine, going from a red charge light to a blue 'fully charged' one, and no dodgy temps on the battery. I've got it running now, to see how long it lasts on a full charge. I'm guessing a long time! :D

 

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Best thing was, I managed to hot glue the charger in securely in the space where the EXT socket went (which I clipped out. The bugger simply wouldn't solder out and the temps were getting crazy, so I thought 'sod it'!)

 

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There's a butt-load of polyamide tape to stop any shorting problems or what have you, and it's very secure. Pretty happy with how it turned out. 

 

Next up for this is a new IPS screen, then it's up for sale. PM me if you want to register interest early ;)

 

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Does that use the same LCD as a Pocket? Am in need of a screen for a pocket, and a link to that cheap charging circuit would be handy, fancy a go at that also once i've found a screen, although I am wondering if a DS battery would fit in with a small amount of chopping? Managed to repair 3 Retron 5 wireless controllers by soldering in DS Lite batteries the other day, and I have an absolute abundance of the bleeding things.

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10 hours ago, MikeBeaver said:

Does that use the same LCD as a Pocket? Am in need of a screen for a pocket, and a link to that cheap charging circuit would be handy, fancy a go at that also once i've found a screen, although I am wondering if a DS battery would fit in with a small amount of chopping? Managed to repair 3 Retron 5 wireless controllers by soldering in DS Lite batteries the other day, and I have an absolute abundance of the bleeding things.

Yep, AFAIK it's the same screen. The 'Light' part of it is a separate panel and circuit. 

 

The charging thing is here. In terms of fit, if you chopped out the centre part of the compartment you're left with about 4 or 5cm by >4cm so it's pretty compact!

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1 hour ago, Treble said:

Yep, AFAIK it's the same screen. The 'Light' part of it is a separate panel and circuit. 

 

The charging thing is here. In terms of fit, if you chopped out the centre part of the compartment you're left with about 4 or 5cm by >4cm so it's pretty compact!

Cool, if you go for an IPS, give me a shout if you want to shift that screen, and thanks for the link :)

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On 25/02/2021 at 10:34, Treble said:

Yep, AFAIK it's the same screen. The 'Light' part of it is a separate panel and circuit. 

 

The charging thing is here. In terms of fit, if you chopped out the centre part of the compartment you're left with about 4 or 5cm by >4cm so it's pretty compact!


charging board has arrived, here’s the current state of it....C8EF80DF-DA1B-473B-BEDE-7E0C9E381C4F.thumb.jpeg.8aa850f34448e8a9e7a8e0f355964859.jpeg

Pulled out the box of GB spares, unfortunately the rear panel spare I had was not allowing games to boot past the Nintendo logo, so had to dismantle a working system.

two wires from the battery terminals to the usb board, two from the board to a ds lite battery, just waiting for it to fully drain the battery and I’ll see if it charges up.

then the construction / placing of the components inside the housing will begin :)

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I’ve been enjoying one of @Treble GB Pockets and having a blast. I’m surprised at how cheap GB games are and I’ve picked up a few classics such as the Mario Lands and Ducktales. I picked up an EZ Flash Junior primarily to do some chip tune with LSDj and it works well but the temptation is to put full rom sets on, and from personal experience, that never ends well. I’ll try and hold off for now for all but the most expensive games.

 

Ive been on a recent retro binge, starting a few months ago with the PC Engine Mini, as I wanted some simple games to play with my daughter. I was surprised how well some of the games held up and also picked up a Megadrive Mini. The Game Boy has been next as I used to own one when I was younger but with hindsight the games I had were terrible (Home Alone 2!) and I’ve looked back on it with some recommended games and it’s better than I remember (helped by the ips screen). I’ve got a few games coming from @MikeBeaver such as Gargoyles Quest, Castlevania Adventure and Donkey Kong, so I’ll see how I get on. 

 

Any hidden gems? I booted up trip world last night on the flash cart and it was pretty random, no idea what was going on.

 

As is the case with all things, I now find my self looking at modded GBCs, for eye watering prices!

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Good choice with Donkey Kong. Possibly the best game on the system.

 

Revenge of the Gator is nice if you like simple video pinball games. Monster Max is a really good isometric game in the style of Knight Lore, Head Over Heels etc (it's by John Ritman and Bernie Drummond) but is a much better designed game than any of those IMO. Parodius is a reeeeaally fantastic conversion.

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I found a random shop yesterday that was selling gameboy games way too cheap so picked up a few. Getting a nice collection together - currently on Gargoyle’s Quest which is excellent. I just picked up a beat up and broken DMG GB but internals and buttons okay apparently so going to use it as a modding test subject. Any tips or guides people have followed? Best website for parts (deadpanrobot?)

 

 

 

 

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@MikeBeaver Not at home at the mo, but I think I saw them arrive on my Ring doorbell! I couldn’t resist GQ and DK at the prices they had them for so I guess I’ll have doubles.

 

For modding, anything really, screen/case/battery/speaker just something to tinker with. I did a GBA screen and case mod before and really enjoyed the process (I think it’s earlier in the thread somewhere!)

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1 minute ago, erhgiez said:

@MikeBeaver Not at home at the mo, but I think I saw them arrive on my Ring doorbell! I couldn’t resist GQ and DK at the prices they had them for so I guess I’ll have doubles.

 

For modding, anything really, screen/case/battery/speaker just something to tinker with. I did a GBA screen and case mod before and really enjoyed the process (I think it’s earlier in the thread somewhere!)

 

Ahhh, sods law, lol, hope they were REALLY cheap then :)

 

I've done a battery / charging mod on one of these before, and, because I am sick in the head, I've replaced an original screen with an original screen !! Unlike future GB systems, there is no clip in connector on these things, they are soldered in two places and replacing like for like is not a fun job, I've not done a drop in IPS screen for one of these,, but suspect it would be quite simple if you're using that DPR kit, as you replace the whole top PCB that contains the original screen ( and if it's going spare afterwards, I'd be happy to buy that off you, either for a functional screen if it's not got the black rot on it, or the functional PCB ). It looks to just be trim, drop in, attach cables and go.

 

I can't remember if I did any pictures of my battery mod, but the thing is sitting in the back office, can easily pull it apart and post some if you want a rough ( very rough ) idea of how to do it, it was made up of spare parts mostly, so it looks awful, but it functions nicely.

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@MikeBeaver

 

This is what I have to work with. I’ll be going with an ips backlight mod and usb c rechargeable battery. Lots of different options though, so I’ll try and choose the most bomb proof options! You are welcome to any left over bits.

 

It appears that vertical lines can be fixed so I might see if I can get the dot matrix screen working again.

 

 

 

 

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Vertical AND Horizontal can be fixed, just the horizontal ones are more tricky, I couldn't find any guides for it online, just just bodged about on one a couple of years back, and it worked :p

 

That front shell doesn't look 100 miles away from the rear shell of the one I used, painted with Black Hammerite or similar, urgghhhh, but it done for a test device.

 

USB C charging board was a few quid off eBay ( thanks to @Treble for the link to that one ) and I used a DS Lite battery, as it fitted in the compartmnt nicely and had loads laying around.

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I’ve successfully rescued the previously posted gameboy. I had originally hoped to save the original case but upon opening a lot of plastic bits fell out and half the stumps that hold the screws in place were broken. The rest was fairly easy, got a RIPS V3 IPS screen and CleanJuice battery pack from RetroSix and replacement case. Saved all the buttons and silicon which were fine. Overall really happy but they sent me the wrong CleanJuice battery (not the XL one) so waiting on that replacement. Time to give it a whirl!

F14151F5-899F-44D8-9D72-AE00E68C7799.jpeg

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Gargoyle’s Quest Review

 

I’ve been really getting into GB games in the last month and after looking at some best of lists decided to start with Gargoyle’s Quest. What fantastic game! It has aged well due to tight controls, solid level design and a good difficulty curve/sense of progression. It came at a time when Capcom were on top form and is themed within the Ghosts n Goblins universe. 
 

You play as Firebrand the Gargoyle who needs to save the realm and does so over 5 main levels, some smaller bits in between and a very basic RPG/town section that allows you to generate passwords and extra lives. I also really liked the random battles in the over world which are very short, almost single screen levels, where you have to clear the enemies. The main levels are where this game shines and they are challenging. The first level took quite a while as the flying mechanic (which is wonderful) has some good applications and almost pixel perfect timings. The flying mechanic works by pressing jump a second time and hovering. Firebrand can also cling to walls which allows levels to be vertical as well as horizontal. Despite the primitive graphics, I found the world to have a lot of charm, the large sprite bosses to be menacing and each level to have a unique feel. As you progress, Firebrand gets stronger with more life, higher jump and longer hover ability. He also gets different attacks which can be used to break blocks and create barriers against spikes so he can cling to them. Overall the progression felt natural but in earlier levels I noticed areas that I could not reach and thought I’d come back to them when I was stronger but the game gives you no incentive to do so. It is a shame that the game didn’t incorporate any metroidvania tendencies as I think they would have worked well. The only power ups available in levels are heart refills and vials that allow you to buy extra lives (but these can be got from random battles outside towns), and there was no easy way to get back to the earlier levels to explore them with the new power ups. I think they addressed this in the sequels (GQ2 on the NES and Demon’s Crest on the SNES) but I have not played them yet.

 

Overall, a fantastic gaming experience that I would have been even more amazed with back in 1991. A true gem that has earned its position on the top ten lists.

 

9/10

 

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Replacement covers for the GB Micro are like hen’s teeth, even third party ones, so I was thinking of using an acrylic watch polish like polyWatch to get the hairline scuffs off mine. Has anyone had any luck with that sort of thing? Is it safe for the coloured parts of the cover?

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1 hour ago, Alex W. said:

Replacement covers for the GB Micro are like hen’s teeth, even third party ones, so I was thinking of using an acrylic watch polish like polyWatch to get the hairline scuffs off mine. Has anyone had any luck with that sort of thing? Is it safe for the coloured parts of the cover?

I need an entire Micro shell, have a working console but it's battered beyond belief :(

Might wander off to Aliexpress and get one ordered.....

 

I looked, £20 plus the taxes for a complete shell, there are loads of faceplates on there at reasonable prices, I've now also fallen down the rabbit hole of looking for Micro USB / USB-C to DIP boards, so I can replace the charging port on another 1 that I have with a knackered charging port ( I've done one with a DS Lite port before, it protrudes but works for charging, couldn't attach the data lines as it's just too tight in there ).

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Does anyone remember a Simpson’s game on the original Gameboy, I can’t remember the name of it but I know one level was on a sort of chess board.

 

I remember loving the game but finding it almost impossibly difficult! 

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On 14/04/2021 at 19:12, Ftsthe said:

Does anyone remember a Simpson’s game on the original Gameboy, I can’t remember the name of it but I know one level was on a sort of chess board.

 

I remember loving the game but finding it almost impossibly difficult! 

The name of the game: Bart versus the Juggernauts.

 

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