One of the really cool things about the Super Game Boy adapter - besides the fact that it allowed you to play your portable titles on SNES - was that it added embellishments to certain titles, like two-player modes, additional colours and even attractive borders around the screen. However, there's one title which went even further and actually contained a totally unique game which could be loaded into the SNES itself.
The cart in question is Space Invaders, and YouTube user Rerez has put together the following video explaining why this release is so unique in the Super Game Boy library.
The cart contains a handheld port of Taito's seminal 1978 shooter which runs as normal on the Game Boy. However, inserting the game into the Super Game Boy reveals two options - an augmented version of the standard Game Boy game (as you'd expect from a Super Game Boy-compatible release) and an "arcade version". Picking this results in a loading screen, and when it's done you have a title which is coded expressly with the SNES hardware in mind, boasting improved visuals and better sound.
The port itself isn't particularly noteworthy beyond its presentation, and the basic nature of the gameplay means that it's very similar to the standard Game Boy edition - which might go some way to explain why this release has largely been forgotten about as the years have gone by. Still, it's a remarkable achievement and certainly a unique entry in the Super Game Boy's back catalogue.
Animaniacs, while it didn't have a full snes game on it, had a full alternative SNES soundtrack programmed in which would play when the game is played on a Super Game Boy.
Jeremy Parish of Game Boy World made a better video on the subject recently and,as he pointed out, the SNES game inside the GB cartridge is nothing but the exact replica of the Japanese Super Famicom port of Space Invaders, which wasn't released in the west and it's no wonder that such a small simple SNES game could hold on the Game Boy cartridge. A more complicated game on the other hand would have had trouble fitting indeed.
I don't know about Europe, but we did get the SNES version of Space Invaders here in the States. Also the version in the GB cart isn't an "exact replica", as it's missing the two-player VS mode and (if I recall correctly) has fewer display options. It is absolutely based on the SNES version, though.
@JDavis I don't remember UK getting a SNES version of Space Invaders. I think they just releaed the GameBoy version. I do seem to remember the GB version did have multiplayer on Super Game Boy. Might have to throw it into one of my SGBs tonight to check. Because multiplayer was on some GBA enhanced games like Street Fighter II.
But then again you could always play multiplayer on the SNES nromal games if you have a Super Game Boy 2 with it's link lead port.
Side note I prefer the Japanese box art as it's the same on the Virtual Boy game.
I think its not popularity that held it back, but also technical and cost limitations.
Programming a soundtrack, that can use both, the gameboys and the SNESs soundchips is one thing, but basically packing two seperate roms onto one cart can get rather big, depending on the game.
Like with DKC, i highly doubt that there would have been enough space for that.
OMG, I completely forgot about the Super Gameboy. I loved that thing and how it colored my gameboy games.
Yesterday I was also reminded of Mario Paint when I was listening to the soundracks in Smash. SNES was so cool!!
The Super Gameboy was cool at its time.
Nowadays its obsolete by the Gameboy player on the Gamecube, which is 100% better.
@Gridatttack but the Game Boy Player is a GBA so it treats Game Boy games as a GBC/GBA does. This means you don't get all the extra Super Game Boy features like the extra colours, boaders, better sound etc.
This is one reason why Hyperkin updated the Retron 5 to treat Game Boy games as if it was being run on a Super Game Boy instead of GBA.
Yeah Space Invaders for Super Game Boy was cool until you realize there's already a Super NES version.
I remember that young ones, all us SNES players aren't dead yet!
Still waiting for Super Game Boy functionality on the 3DS Virtual Console, Nintendo. C'mon, lemme at that colorized Metroid II!
That's funny, I literally just picked up a Super Gameboy with this in it yesterday.
Interesting fact,I am older than Space Invaders.
@OorWullie Also Interesting fact, Ralph Macchio (Danny in the original Karate Kid) is 53 years old and would have been 16 when Space Invaders came out to arcade.
I find it a bit strange that just six days ago Jeremy Parish's Game Boy World retrospective covered this very topic...
The SGB was, & still is awesome. I prefer it, over the GBP, as GauBan(#7) mentioned above, it treats GB/SGB/GBC games, as if it's actually running them on a GBC/GBA. The GBP doesn't really do much in the way of enhancements; it's more of a just-plays-GBA-&-under games, on a tv. Now, if Nintendo combined the technologies of the SGB, w/ the GBP, that would be something. Even better, if they would make a proper, & official SGB emulation option for GB games on 3DS; especially for SGB enhanced games; Donkey Kong, Mega Man V, Game & Watch Gallery/2/3.
@retro_player_22 You'd have to have considered the release dates of the SNES and GB versions of Space Invaders.
The Japanese version of GB SI was released in 1990 (so it did not have this SGB mode) and the Super Famicom version was released in 1994.
In the west, the GB version was released in 1994 and the SNES was not released until 1998, so unless you imported you wouldn't have been able to play the SNES version until a few years after the GB.
@KingMike Good point. I still don't see why they would release a Super NES port knowing the GB port already got that.
Just thrown my copy in to check. Yeah the simultaneous 2 player is missing. But there is the turn based 2 player mode.
The Super Gameboy was the best piece of hardware I ever got for the SNES. What most people fail to understand is that it made the Gameboy games actually playable in an era when the Gameboy was saddled with a horrible blur inducing LCD. It was also easier to convince my parents to purchase a $30-40 Gameboy game over a $60-70 SNES one. At that point the Gameboy stuff was very close to the NES I grew up with so it was something I could tolerate.
my friend had this,i was shocked when i first saw it.it was the greatest thing ever.now its looks a bit silly and unnecessary
And now the price goes up.
I remember this in Nintendo Power uears ago... I showed my dad because he told me how much he used to love Space Invaders at the time.
There is some dispute that it is the "smallest" SNES game released. In my opinion, this distinction would actually belong to MegaMan vs. Bass, which was originally released in Japan as an SNES title and ported internationally as a GBA game.
So weird, Game Boy World just did a video on the same thing
+1 @GauBan & @Capt_N
For years I played more Super Gameboy games than I did SNES games... I still have and love it today. Such a missed opportunity for the Gameboy Player to not include a SGB mode
I still hope that one day Nintendo would write a love letter to Gameboy fans and release a Gameboy Retro (tm) that plays all GB/SGB/GBC/GBA games from the Cartridge... one can only dream!!
Fun fact: Space Invaders GB is region locked. If you put the American GB cart in a PAL SNES/Super Game Boy, you will get an error screen, and likewise if you put the PAL GB cart in the American Super Game Boy. The rest of the SGB enhanced game will run however.
@StarDust4Ever lol what GB region lock? dumb....
@Uberchu The SNES game contained within the GB ROM is region locked. It's not dumb. Well yes it is dumb Nintendo did this but not that it doesn't work by design. The E region GB ROM contains a PAL encoded SNES ROM which will fail to load on an NTSC system and visa versa. I loaded the European Space Invaders ROM on my GB Everdrive on my Super Game Boy. The SGB enhancements worked exactly as expected but the arcade mode, which injects the SNES ROM to run on the SNES somehow, will throw an error message if the SNES is the wrong region, ie PAL vs NTSC.
Early SNES games until about 1992 did not exhibit region protection outside of the lockout chip. Later SNES games detected the hardware timings and refused to boot if the console region didn't match. This locks most later PAL games from running on cloned hardware. Super Famicom is identical to NTSC SNES besides cartridge form factor, but PAL hardware has notable differences. The Space Invaders ROM is presumably so small it fits into the SNES 128 kbyte RAM and runs entirely from there.
File that one under Weirdness. I never knew.
What super game boy games let you do multiplayer? I never heard of any that worked unless it was "pass the controller" type of play.
Yes, Super Game Boy "arcade mode" is region locked. I load both regions on my Super Game Boy. See video link to see what happens:
@AG_Awesome Some games allow two player control when played on a Super Game Boy. I don't know which ones. You'll have to try them and see. Game Paks with SGB enhancements are marked on the cartridge.
@AG_Awesome Space Invaders arcade mode has multi player butat that point it's running the SNES ROM. Street Fighter 2 and Killer Instinct have muultiplayer when played on an SGB.
The region lock on Space Invaders must be using the region lock used later in the SNES life. I did some tests with my UK version. The region warning comes up if I use my PAL SGB on my Super Famicom Jr. Usin a Universal Adaptor. Also if I just my SGB2 on the Super Famicom Jr. and if I use my SGB2 on my PAL SNES using the Universal Adaptor
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