Super Game Boy is an adapter cartridge for
Nintendo's Super Nintendo Entertainment
System, as well as the Super Famicom in
The Super Game Boy allows game cartridges
designed for use on the Game Boy
played on a TV display using the SNES/Super Famicom controllers.
was released in 1994, the Super Game Boy sold for about $60 in the
States. In the United Kingdom, it retailed for £49.99 It was the precursor to the
Game Boy Player on the Nintendo GameCube, which functioned in a
The Super Game Boy cartridge, Super
The Super Game Boy was compatible with the original monochrome
cartridges and black Game Boy Color
cartridges, although it would
display the latter in their monochrome compatibility mode. The unit
could map the four shades of grey to various colors on the screen.
Later Game Boy games which were optimized to use the Super Game Boy
had additional color information and could over-ride the ability to
change the on-screen colors, and the ability to display a graphical
border around the screen as well as the ability to display special
background sprites on the screen as seen in the Mario's Picross
title screen. Those games
would have printed a small "Super Game Boy Game Pak" logo on the
box and cartridge. The adaptor could support up to 64 colors for
the border, and 12 colors for the screen. Colorization was applied
to the screen itself, and did not scroll with the background.
Static screens could display all 10 colors.
It was also possible for Super Game Boy games to make use of the
SNES hardware for extra effects, as demonstrated in Contra: The Alien Wars
Kirby's Dream Land 2
and Toy Story
had expanded sound when used
with the Super Game Boy. Wario Blast
, the Game Boy
version of Killer Instinct
and several other titles even allowed the second Super NES
controller to be used for two-player action, and the title screen
changed to show that these games had a two-player option, rather
than a connection status.
Possibly the best use of the Super Game Boy is the Game Boy version
of Space Invaders
allowed players to access the full Super Nintendo version of the
game, this version is nearly identical to the one which was later
released as a Super Nintendo game cartridge, only lacking its
competitive two player mode.It should be noted that Space Invaders
on the Super Game Boy is also region locked. You can play the Game
Boy version on any Super Nintendo system, but to play the full
Super Game Boy version the Game Boy cartridge has to match the
region of the Super Nintendo console. If it does not, the player
will get the standard 'This Game Pack is not designed for...'
Some black Game Boy Color cartridge games also have Super Game Boy
enhancements, although there isn't any logo indicating this on the
cartridge or packaging thereof.
The Super Game Boy actually consists of the same hardware as the
; inside the cartridge is a
the games while the Super NES only provided means for user-input,
output of graphics to the screen, and the additional coloring,
similar to the Atari 5200 version of the Atari 2600 adapter.
The Super Game Boy plays the audio for games, and the program of
the games, about 4% faster than the original hardware.
Super Game Boy 2
The Super Game Boy 2
Nintendo released the Super Game Boy 2 in 1998 in Japan. Although
there are unsubstantiated rumours that it was released in the
United States through mail-order
Nintendo states otherwise. Additions included a link port to allow
a user to access two-player mode via the link cable, a green game
link LED and a red power LED indicator. In addition, it came with
eight new default borders, which replaced those in the original
model (except for the plain black border, present in both models),
however, it retained the same built-in palettes and coloring tools
as on the original model. Contrary to rumours, the system is unable
to run Game Boy Color
games. One of the flaws is the system's inability to change borders
in some games which have built in borders. Some games have features
only available through the Super Game Boy 2, such as a special
The Super Game Boy menu
The Super Game Boy 2 menu
The system menu is accessed by pressing the L and R buttons at the
same time; the menu has five options to choose from:
- Color Palette: Choose from one of 32 pre-made color palettes,
the Super Game Boy enhanced palette(s) (if available), or a
user-created palette (if available). A few Super Game Boy games
will not allow the palette to be changed. Internally, the Super
Game Boy includes special palettes for several games that came out
before the release of the Super Game Boy, for example Alleyway, Yoshi's
Cookie, Kirby's Pinball
Land, Metroid II and Solar Striker have one 1 of the 32 default
colors by default.
- Border: Choose from one of 9 pre-made borders, the Super Game
Boy enhanced border(s) (if available), or a user-created border (if
created). A few Super Game Boy games will not allow the border to
be changed due to having a special Border, ex. Pokémon Trading Card
Game and Wario Land II.
- Button Setting: Switches between two controller mappings. A few
Super Game Boy games will not allow the controller to be
- Custom Color: Create a custom color palette and get a password
to retrieve it later.
- Graffiti: Create a custom border by using several painting
Predecessors and successors
The Super Game Boy was the successor to Intelligent Systems
' Wide Boy 2 (which
connected to the Famicom
or NES). One
difference between the Wide Boy and the Super Game Boy is that the
former did not use any part of the Famicom/NES other than the video
memory. Even the controller (a single Famicom controller) was
hardwired directly into the Wide Boy. The Wide Boy would continue
running even if the reset button was held down on the Famicom/NES.
The Game Boy had twice as many tiles as could fit in the
Famicom/NES's video memory, so the Wide Boy had to refresh the
Famicom/NES's video memory halfway down the screen.
had the Game Boy to NES developed
by Biederman Design Labs, which appeared similar to the Super Game
The Super Game Boy was followed by the Transfer Pak
for the Nintendo 64
, which allowed one to play the six
(seven in Japan) Game Boy Color
Pokémon titles in Pokémon
in a Super Game Boy-like fashion, complete with
the Super Game Boy enhanced borders and palettes. The games were
played via the use of a software emulator on the Nintendo 64.
However, the main role of the Transfer Pak was to transfer data
from Game Boy Color to Nintendo 64 games, not to play games.
AGB was released for the
N64, which allowed Game Boy and Game Boy Color titles to be played
on a television. It cost $1400, and like the original Wide Boy, it
was only available to developers and the gaming press.
The GB Hunter is one of two Nintendo 64
items released by EMS Production Ltd., the other being the N64 Passport
. It is a Game
emulator for the Nintendo 64. A N64 game is plugged into
the back of the item and a Game Boy cartridge is plugged into the
top. Like the Super Game Boy, it connects to the N64's cartridge
slot and requires a N64 boot cartridge plugged into its back, and
allows you to play Game Boy
games on it,
without the game's sound; instead GB Hunter's theme is played over
and over during the game. There is also a cheating device
programmed into it, called the "Golden Finger" (like the Game Genie
). Holding the 'L' and 'R' buttons simultaneously will
cause the game to freeze at that point and the GB Hunters' Menu to
appear. The Game Screen can be maximized or minimized, from the
Main menu, allowing the player to see the game full screen. The GB
Hunters color pallet can also be changed from the menu, to view the
game in a variety of the 3 different colors. Most sellers of this
item, on eBay and other places such as the EMS site itself, do not
mention that the video game sounds while being played on the GB
Hunter are not emulated. Rather, users are subjected to the theme
song of the GB Hunter, which loops endlessly.
A product made by Datel Design & Development Ltd called
was released for the
Nintendo 64 in halfway through the console time in the game market.
It wasn't officially licensed by Nintendo as it had a slot at the
back for an N64 game to over-ride the lockout chip. Datel also did
a version for Sony's PlayStation console, which uses the Parallel
I/O port on the back of the console, not found on the Series 9000
models of the system or the slimline PSone system.
On the GameCube
, the Game Boy Player
was released in 2003, which
could play Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance games. It
allowed these games to be played on a full television screen. The
GBP attaches to the bottom of the console and a boot disc must be
running in the GameCube disc drive in order to operate it. The Game
Boy Player functions just like a Game Boy Advance, letterboxing
the games' display on a standard
television set. Some GBA games were programmed with consideration
for the Player, including activating the vibration feature in
GameCube controllers and special color palettes which accounted for
a TV's brightness and resolution. The Game Boy Player will not
activate Super Game Boy options on a Super Game Boy enhanced
cartridge, however. Also, when playing a Game Boy or Game Boy Color
game on the Game Boy Player, a black border will appear between the
main border and the gameplay area; this is a carry-over from the
Game Boy Advance.
In Japan, Hori released a special Super Game Boy controller called
the SGB Commander.The controller, aside from the 4 Game Boy buttons
(A, B, Start and Select), also had 4 Super Game Boy specific
buttons which could enable the user to mute the sound, increase or
reduce the speed of the game, change the colors and modify the
display window. An additional switch is provided to alternate
between Super Game Boy mode and Super Famicom Mode.
- Some of the Super Game Boy 1 & 2's default borders start to
animate if the controller isn't touched for several minutes (or by
entering a code). For example, the Movie Theater border starts
showing the audience falling asleep, talking and it even shows two
children playing linked up Game Boys.
- Through a code, the game's credits can be accessed on both
Super Game Boy 1 and 2.
- In the Graffiti menu, if something is drawn and the controller
is left alone for a while, a little janitor will come out and
slowly erase everything. However, the drawings made by the player
will return and the janitor will vanish once the player resumes the
- Wide Boy 64