It might seem cute now, but back in the '90s the Super Game Boy was a big deal. It allowed you to play your beloved Game Boy and Game Boy Color games on your TV via your SNES, and offered a wide range of bonuses - such as adding minimal colour to certain titles as well as an attractive border around the edge of the screen.
Hot the heels of last week's selection of Game Boy Color compatibility warning screens, The Video Game Museum now has over 800 different border designs taken from games with Super Game Boy support.
You may recall some of these from your misspent youth, but chances are many of them will be new to you. Have a look through the full gallery here and let us know which ones stick out in your mind as particular favourites.
[source vgmuseum.com, via gonintendo.com]
Given the 3DS got SNES VC and Wii U got DS and GBA VC, would have been great if Wii U had had Super Game Boy VC...
This is on the same level of cool as the GBC incompatibility screens featured here a while back. As in really cool. Especially the kinds of KoF there, the level of detail and in those chibi sprites is amazing.
I never knew this was a thing. I knew all about the Gamecube Gameboy player but not this ingenious cart based system. Makes me even more annoyed Wii U never got a $100 3DS player. Well here's to hoping NX has a 3DS cart slot built in. 2DS showed 3DS is irrelevant, so that argument is long gone.
And speaking of NX, at first glance I thought the game pic was a screen and this was some early 90s attempt at a screen on a home console like PS1 and Gamecube had. Only for a split second, but I did.
Didn't realise some Gameboy games were "Super Gameboy compatible, with their own border screens, that is cool
Actually, the Super Game Boy was incompatible with Game Boy Color games.
I remember the preset borders would animate if left for 10 minutes or so. There was a lovely one of a lone cottage under a tree. When left, the sun would set, night would fall and a light came on in the house.
In another, you could also draw all over the screen and Mario would eventually come and wipe it clean.
It would be a nice touch if NX VC releases have their own borders like these.
Cool stuff and thank you for making me feel old. Nice to see King of Fighters and Battle Arena Toshinden in the pictures above. I loved fighting games back in the day, but only had a Game Boy. So I had to stick with a few good ports. Especially King of Fighters - Heat of Battle was a brilliant portable version of KoF '96. AND you actually could play the two-player-mode on one screen using the Super Game Boy.
Why oh why didn't Nintendo make a addon for the wiiu to allow 3ds games to be played?
Anyway the gameboy player was a treasure for a non handheld fan like myself.
I know it's a sensitive subject, but some emulators do support Super Game Boy borders, and I know one that even lets you play a Game Boy Color game with Super Game Boy compatibility (Link's Awakening DX and Pokémon Gold/Silver spiring to mind) in Game Boy Color mode WITH the Super Game Boy border active, which is something no official hardware ever allowed (save perhaps for Pokémon Stadium 1&2 but that was only for the Pokémon games)
First time I played Pokemon Red was on a Super Gameboy. (Remember thinking no game without a jump button would catch on) Metriod was a good memory on the SNES Gameboy as well - I can't remember the official name of it, was bundled the clear Gameboy pocket.
@rjejr I just had that same '3DS on NX' thought on seeing this article - mayb that's the NX takes cartridges part..? Could add a bit of weight to the 'play on the go & continue when you get home' vibe.
Still have my super gameboy cart. I don't get around to using it as much as I'd like to but it's pure awesomeness
The Pokémon borders were where it was at.
Another joy of the SNES for me, the Super Gameboy. This was also the first way I played GB games as I simply refused to look at them in spinach green or utilize a battery swallowing device. My favorite backgrounds were the movie theater and the misty field. The former would turn on the lights and the people would start talking when you didn't touch your game for like 5 mins., and the latter would turn from day to night and back again (I'd let it go to night on purpose). I think you could even animate those backgrounds at will iirc. These simple pleasures are why the SNES age was some of my best Nintendo gaming ever.
@samuelvictor That is mostly true, though there were a few games made for the gameboy that had some extra color if played on the GBC that could be played on the Super Game boy, and actually had those 'special color' instead of the default 4-color mode (though you could use that too in the palette editor thing).
It was Pokemon, mostly - Pokemon Yellow, Gold, and Silver all had this. Crystal was not compatible, being 'fully' a gameboy color game.
Source: I've played 'em. I actually still have the super gameboy and a SNES, as well as a copy of Silver (though it was yellow and gold that I actually played on the thing).
I never owned an actual gameboy - I wouldn't own a handheld until the GBA SP - but had several GB games, so the Super Gameboy got a lot of use for me.
'member super gameboy?
@samuelvictor My main point was that there were some games that displayed more color on it, but it's interesting to learn that it was the games coded for the SGB and not the other way around. (I'm not good with many dates, so that bit of sensibility didn't kick in.)
How was the SGB2 compared to the SGB? Until about a year ago, I never knew a second one even existed.
@Markiemania95 yea, I didn't think it was, it's just the regular game boy games that where compatible. Gameboy Player was compatbile with all Gameboy games though.
Nice to see appreciation for this rather underrated feature. The pixel art for the SuperGB boarders were quite nice to look at, and it was a nice extra feature for GB games being played on the SNES.
The DK'94, Wario Land 2, Link's Awakening DX, DKL, and G&W Gallery ones are among my favorites.
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