News Article

Virtual Boy Port of Faceball Is Getting A Physical Release

Posted by Damien McFerran

ROM will be uploaded to the net for free once all copies are sold

It would seem that Nintendo's much-maligned Virtual Boy console is undergoing something of a renaissance at present. Last month we reported that Bound High - a Virtual Boy game which never saw the light of day when the console was originally released - had gone into production thanks to the efforts of hardcore fans. Amazingly, the same thing is happening again, with a hitherto unseen port of Faceball called NikoChan Battle.

The story behind this seemingly lost game is amazing. A user posted images of NikoChan Battle in action on the PlanetVB forums, and promised that the game was in safe hands. Within weeks, the user had sold the game code to two dedicated Virtual Boy lovers for a considerable sum. The pair now intend to create physical copies of the game for $100 a piece, and once all of these exclusive editions have been sold, they will upload the ROM to the internet for free.

It just goes to show that even consoles like the Virtual Boy - which is considered to be Nintendo's biggest failure - can attract some seriously devoted fans.

[via retrocollect.com]

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User Comments (30)

WiiLovePeace

#1

WiiLovePeace said:

That's awesome! Maybe one day a 3DS remake but for now, those who have a working virtual boy can enjoy two new games :D Awesome!

Otto-Soq

#2

Otto-Soq said:

If Virtual Boy were in colour, the system might have been very succesful.

Usagi-san

#5

Usagi-san said:

I'm sure they have the full consent of the original creators to create and sell physical copies of the game, right? please tell me I'm right...

DamoAdmin

#7

Damo said:

@Usagi-san I would imagine the original developer no longer exists, and as the game was never officially published, I'm sure that makes it easier to get this into production now.

Usagi-san

#8

Usagi-san said:

@Damo The developer may still exist, in any case if these people haven't sought permission that makes them pirates. Plain and simple.

In fact a little research suggests they may still exist. I googled the developer and found that Bullet Proof Software became Blue Planet software which has a website under construction.

Omega

#12

Omega said:

Yes. The Black Market has something for everyone. Even for Virtual Boy owners.

KingMike

#13

KingMike said:

If this was Dragon Hopper, I might almost be willing to drop 100 to save it.
My guess would be that Bullet-Proof would be owned by the Tetris Company now, as both were created by the same guy.

Nintex

#14

Nintex said:

I love my Virtual Boy, but I'm not dishing out 100 dollars for a game that is more than 15 years old and was never completed. sorry, no way.

Radio_KJ

#15

Radio_KJ said:

@CouchPotato The original Game Boy was in four shades of green, yet it completely thumped the Game Gear and Lynx, both of which were in colour. Having played the Virtual Boy myself, I'd say colour was the least of its problems.

DarkLloyd

#16

DarkLloyd said:

id get this my self for collection sake but i have other things i want to get beside the rom can just be got for free

russellohh

#17

russellohh said:

Since they have unreleased code of the game, there's a good chance at least some of the people behind it actually worked on the title. And if the other company has a website "under construction" nearly 20 years after the VB's demise, I'm betting they're not really still around.

Usagi-san

#18

Usagi-san said:

@russellohh The website isn't specifically for the virtual boy game it's a site for the developer. Either way it is up to the people making these illegal copies to seek out and obtain permission first, they don't know whether the copyright has been sold to somebody else or not.

To be completely frank the title of this should be "Virtual Boy Port of Faceball Is Getting A pirated Physical Release". I can see no mention in any of the links of permission having been obtained to make copies and that makes this simple piracy.

Omega

#19

Omega said:

I am surprised that anyone would pay a single cent for an unofficial, possibly illegal game.

LittleIrves

#20

LittleIrves said:

@couchpotato @Radio_KJ And a color VB at the time would have cost maaany times more than it already did. So no, don't think it would have sold gangbusters. Still, I love the Virtual Boy for what it tried to do. Bought one at the time, returned it to the store, then out of grief and regret bought one used on eBay fifteen years later. Play it every now and again... there's nothing else like it.

brooks83

#21

brooks83 said:

Why are people assuming this is pirated? For all we know, the original developers are the ones who sold the code.

Bass_X0

#22

Bass_X0 said:

Future NintendoLife article:
GameStop Sales of Faceball Are Reportedly "Slightly Disappointing"

MyBodyIsReggie

#23

MyBodyIsReggie said:

I've written to Nintendo many times, requesting that they release VB games on 3DS.

Seems pretty obvious.

bowsersblog

#24

bowsersblog said:

That rom is what some Virtual Boys are going for on ebay. How many physical copies are they plan on making if we have to wait until they are all sold to get it for free? 100 does seem a little steep.

ecco6t9

#25

ecco6t9 said:

I think the rights to Faceball lapsed a long time ago. Or someone owns them and is not aware they do.

NintendoCat14

#26

NintendoCat14 said:

I'm trying to find a Virtual Boy. Once I get it, I'll be able to get a bigger collection thanks to these fan-released games.

Skeletor

#28

Skeletor said:

@KingMike I remember reading about Dragon Hopper!! I was so excited for it. Naturally, we all know how that turned out. If I recall, one of the issues of Nintendo Power that talked about Dragon Hopper also mentioned a VB version of F-Zero. I remember there was a vehicle named Origami, which was a paper airplane, and the acceleration on it was maxed out, while maneuverability and top speed were not too great. I had such high hopes for VB at that time.

MetroidMasher17

#29

MetroidMasher17 said:

Yeah, $100 is a bit much for me.

I'll stick with VB Wario Land, Red Alarm, Mario Tennis, and Galactic Pinball.

Usagi-san

#30

Usagi-san said:

@brooks83 Because there's no reason to assume otherwise. If I told you I bought a copy of an unreleased Zelda game and was now going to produce physical copies to sell at $100 each and then make the ROM freely available online but made no mention of obtaining rights would you believe everything was approved by Nintendo?

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