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Thread: Gameboy Color games on an original Gameboy

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    ServBot (Level 11) davidbrit2's Avatar
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    Default Gameboy Color games on an original Gameboy

    Are there any GBC-only games (translucent cartridge) that do anything interesting if you put them in an original monochrome Gameboy? I know there were some TG-16 CD games that would do weird stuff if you used an older CD system card, Castlevania in particular.

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    Bell (Level 8)
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    It would be a little surprising, as the design of the GBC-only (clear) carts blocked the power switch on an original Game Boy (but not a Pocket).

    Then again, I've heard Robopon is mono compatible but it doesn't look the cart contains the notch to allow the power switch to be pressed on an original GB. :P

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    The only thing that springs to mind is the message screen which appears when you try and put Pokémon Crystal into a Game Boy.

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    ServBot (Level 11) davidbrit2's Avatar
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    All of the ones I've tried in my Pocket just display some kind of static "Gameboy Color only" image. It makes me wonder if any of them do anything interactive, or at least somewhat interesting.

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    Pear (Level 6) wingzrow's Avatar
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    You get a special screen with meiling when you try and play metal gear solid on a gameboy.

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    Kirby Tilt N Tumble for some reason had a clear cart with notch. Yet was GBC-only.

    A few GBC-only games have an SGB border graphic unused:
    Wetrix PAL (Japan version supports SGB)
    Pokemon Gold/Silver Korean (supports SGB in all other languages)
    Pokemon Crystal (leftover from Gold)

    Quote Originally Posted by SparTonberry View Post
    It would be a little surprising, as the design of the GBC-only (clear) carts blocked the power switch on an original Game Boy (but not a Pocket).

    Then again, I've heard Robopon is mono compatible but it doesn't look the cart contains the notch to allow the power switch to be pressed on an original GB. :P
    Apparently it's only visible from the back.

    Lum fan.

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    Each game has its own custom "This game will only work on a Game Boy Color" error message. The graphics of the "GBC only" screen are different for each game, generally; though many just use basic text, some have a picture. I guess it could be moderately interesting to look at the various error messages by using the carts on something like a SGB or GB Pocket that doesn't have that cartridge lock the original GB has.

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    If there is not "Game Boy Color Only" message, or if you bypass it somehow, then what will likely happen is that the game will still try to play as normal but the graphics will be all screwed up.

    The original Game Boy has a "color" pallet that consists of shades of green. If I remember correctly, the Game Boy Color has 16 pallets of 4 colors each. These will still map to an original pallet but obviously display wrong. Some games were made to look good on both and were generally the black cartridges with the notch in them for the switch.

    But I suppose you're looking for something along the lines of the programmers putting something special instead of just a "Game Boy Color Only" message.
    "Game programmers are generally lazy individuals. That's right. It's true. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Since the dawn of computer games, game programmers have looked for shortcuts to coolness." Kurt Arnlund - Game programmer for Activision, Accolade...

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    Quote Originally Posted by jb143 View Post
    If there is not "Game Boy Color Only" message, or if you bypass it somehow, then what will likely happen is that the game will still try to play as normal but the graphics will be all screwed up.
    I dunno. The GBC is actually a better machine than the original GB which makes me think most games would probably just plain not work.

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    Great Puma (Level 12) jb143's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyTheTiger View Post
    I dunno. The GBC is actually a better machine than the original GB which makes me think most games would probably just plain not work.
    It's better in that it's improved upon, but the basic functionality is exactly the same.

    I'm going off personal experience with GB/GBC development. It has been a while since I read through the specs though, there may be some cases where it wouldn't work at all but I think for the most part it would just not display correctly.
    "Game programmers are generally lazy individuals. That's right. It's true. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Since the dawn of computer games, game programmers have looked for shortcuts to coolness." Kurt Arnlund - Game programmer for Activision, Accolade...

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    If so then what was the benefit of the GBC exclusive games as opposed to the black carts?

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    Great Puma (Level 12) jb143's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyTheTiger View Post
    If so then what was the benefit of the GBC exclusive games as opposed to the black carts?
    You are locked to a huge constraint if you want to make it look right on the original as well. There is more tile memory on the GBC so you wouldn't be able to utilize that. Again, the original would try to make use of the data, it just wouldn't be able to display it correctly. Also, GBC has a faster processor so the games would run faster on the original, though you could take that into account. I doubt there's anything that could the original to crash but I could be wrong about that. There could be some fancy techniques that some GBC games might be using (like the high color mode or something) that could cause the original GB to actually crash.
    "Game programmers are generally lazy individuals. That's right. It's true. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Since the dawn of computer games, game programmers have looked for shortcuts to coolness." Kurt Arnlund - Game programmer for Activision, Accolade...

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    There are four types of GB games:



    Gray DMG - These are the oldest, and intended for the original GB hardware. Everything will run these.
    Examples: Super Mario Land, Megaman IV, Metroid II, Tetris, etc.


    Gray DMG with SGB logo - These are just like the gray DMG, but also offer special 8-color modes when played on a Super GameBoy, but keep in mind the GameBoy Player for GameCube does not support this.
    Examples: Donkey Kong '94, Megaman V, Donkey Kong Land 2, King of Fighters '95, etc.


    Black GBC - These are early GBC games that offer compatibility with the original GB and GB Pocket (and Light) as well as 8-color modes for Super GameBoy.
    Examples: Pokemon Gold & Silver, Zelda Link's Awakening DX, Wario Land 2, Survival Kids, etc.


    Clear cased GBC - These are ones that fully use the enhanced GBC hardware and are incompatible with all prior GB hardware including the Super GameBoy. No clear cased GBC game will play on older GB hardware whatsoever except to give an error message telling you that you're an idiot for even trying.
    Examples: Metal Gear Solid Ghost Babel, Pokemon Crystal, Megaman Xtreme 2, Shantae, Zelda Oracle Duo, etc.
    check out my classic gaming review site: http://satoshimatrix.wordpress.com/

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    The Game Boy Color also had more RAM than the original Game Boy. Obviously any game that tried to use the extra RAM would not work on an original Game Boy.

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    ServBot (Level 11) davidbrit2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satoshi_Matrix View Post
    There are four types of GB games:

    Gray DMG - These are the oldest, and intended for the original GB hardware. Everything will run these.
    Examples: Super Mario Land, Megaman IV, Metroid II, Tetris, etc.

    Gray DMG with SGB logo - These are just like the gray DMG, but also offer special 8-color modes when played on a Super GameBoy, but keep in mind the GameBoy Player for GameCube does not support this.
    Examples: Donkey Kong '94, Megaman V, Donkey Kong Land 2, King of Fighters '95, etc.

    Black GBC - These are early GBC games that offer compatibility with the original GB and GB Pocket (and Light) as well as 8-color modes for Super GameBoy.
    Examples: Pokemon Gold & Silver, Zelda Link's Awakening DX, Wario Land 2, Survival Kids, etc.

    Clear cased GBC - These are ones that fully use the enhanced GBC hardware and are incompatible with all prior GB hardware including the Super GameBoy. No clear cased GBC game will play on older GB hardware whatsoever except to give an error message telling you that you're an idiot for even trying.
    Examples: Metal Gear Solid Ghost Babel, Pokemon Crystal, Megaman Xtreme 2, Shantae, Zelda Oracle Duo, etc.
    Yeah, we know all that already. What I want to know is if any GBC-only games have interesting Easter eggs if you put them in a GB Pocket/SGB.

    All I've found so far are some amusing images in Yu-Gi-Oh and Monster Rancher Explorer. Nothing super exciting though.

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    Great Puma (Level 12) jb143's Avatar
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    Trying to access memory that isn't there could cause a crash but it also depends on what it's trying to do with it. If it's graphics, then it will more than likely just display garbage.

    Here's an example from a game I was working on several years ago. (10 points if you can guess where I borrowed the images for the last 2)


    Here the pallets just don't match but it's probably playable. If you were making a game playable on both systems, you would have to pay special attention to the colors are arranged. The black outlines around the characters for example are lighter colored on the GB. I'm also not accessing any of the additional ram so the tiles are all correct...just the wrong colors.



    The same goes for my "select" screen. I'm not matching colors between pallets so the backgrounds behind some objects appear as squares.



    This was part of the Start screen. Same as before, the colors in the pallets don't match so you see squares. This could be taken into account to look correctly on both, it's just a lot more work.



    Here's where things get interesting. In this one, I'm accessing memory that the the original Game Boy doesn't have. The bottom half looks almost OK, but the top appears to be trying to pull from the same tileset instead of what's in the extra ram.


    What actually happens would depend completely on the game. Game data is stored on the cartridge in the same way regardless of the system so it would depend on what it does with it in the system ram.

    It would pretty easy to program an Easter egg in though but I don't know of any game that has ever done it.
    "Game programmers are generally lazy individuals. That's right. It's true. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Since the dawn of computer games, game programmers have looked for shortcuts to coolness." Kurt Arnlund - Game programmer for Activision, Accolade...

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    Interesting pictures there, though of course no released game would allow you to see that kind of thing; games are either dual-mode, or GBC only, you obviously can't see development stuff like that on actual cartridges.

    Quote Originally Posted by Satoshi_Matrix View Post
    There are four types of GB games:


    http://pics.mobygames.com/images/cov...3089982-00.jpg
    Gray DMG - These are the oldest, and intended for the original GB hardware. Everything will run these.
    Examples: Super Mario Land, Megaman IV, Metroid II, Tetris, etc.

    http://static.giantbomb.com/uploads/..._usa_cart.jpeg
    Gray DMG with SGB logo - These are just like the gray DMG, but also offer special 8-color modes when played on a Super GameBoy, but keep in mind the GameBoy Player for GameCube does not support this.
    Examples: Donkey Kong '94, Megaman V, Donkey Kong Land 2, King of Fighters '95, etc.

    http://superflyku.com/2012X/games/IMG_4571.jpg
    Black GBC - These are early GBC games that offer compatibility with the original GB and GB Pocket (and Light) as well as 8-color modes for Super GameBoy.
    Examples: Pokemon Gold & Silver, Zelda Link's Awakening DX, Wario Land 2, Survival Kids, etc.

    http://gamesdbase.com/Media/SYSTEM/N..._Co.,_Ltd..jpg
    Clear cased GBC - These are ones that fully use the enhanced GBC hardware and are incompatible with all prior GB hardware including the Super GameBoy. No clear cased GBC game will play on older GB hardware whatsoever except to give an error message telling you that you're an idiot for even trying.
    Examples: Metal Gear Solid Ghost Babel, Pokemon Crystal, Megaman Xtreme 2, Shantae, Zelda Oracle Duo, etc.
    There are actually five types of GB/GBC games -- there are also black-cart games with Super Game Boy enhancements. Unfortunately, they do not mark this on the cart, so you have to either have the box (the SGB enhancements are usually listed there; only the US/EU Pokemon games omit the SGB logo, though the support is still there), or look up online/test the games yourself to see which ones have SGB support.

    Also, you didn't mention that some early GB games have only the "Game Boy Game Pak" logo in that box, while others, like Tetris there, have a "Game Link" or "Video Link" logo on them. The former is for games which don't support link cable multiplayer; that Game Link, or Video Link for early releases, logo is only on games that support link-cable multiplayer. For SGB-enhanced games, dual-mode games, or color-only, however, you have to look at the box to see if there is link cable support. The four player adapter (it's for the original GB only, there's no GBC 4-player adapter) is only ever listed on the box, not the carts themselves.

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    Great Puma (Level 12) jb143's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A Black Falcon View Post
    Interesting pictures there, though of course no released game would allow you to see that kind of thing; games are either dual-mode, or GBC only, you obviously can't see development stuff like that on actual cartridges.
    Yeah, I never got around to adding the GBC only screen...or finishing the game for that matter. Maybe if I ever do I'll add an easter egg for davidbrit2 ;-)

    It should be possible to test on actual GBC carts by using a Game Genie but I don't have one for Game Boy.

    If anyone else wants to try, the memory address which says which device it's running on is 0143
    $80 = is GBC
    $00 = GB

    By changing the $00 to $80 with a Game Genie, you should be able to trick the program into thinking that the original GB is a GBC.
    "Game programmers are generally lazy individuals. That's right. It's true. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Since the dawn of computer games, game programmers have looked for shortcuts to coolness." Kurt Arnlund - Game programmer for Activision, Accolade...

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    Lukemorse1 made a video a long time ago that shows a few examples of what happens when you try to run GBC carts in a DMG:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBekkn9QYFo

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    Quote Originally Posted by jb143 View Post
    Here's an example from a game I was working on several years ago. (10 points if you can guess where I borrowed the images for the last 2)
    Careful, Bill Watterson's gonna come out of hiding and go after you now.

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