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GameBoy Advance FAQ by NekoFever
Version: 1.0 | Updated: 03/27/03
==================================== Nintendo Game Boy Advance FAQ v1.0 By Olly Dean, email@example.com Copyright Oliver Dean, 2001-2002 ==================================== THIS DOCUMENT MAY BE USED ON THE INTERNET FOR FREE AS LONG AS THE USER HAS EMAILED PERMISSION FROM THE AUTHOR (firstname.lastname@example.org) AND THE DOCUMENT IS COMPLETELY UNCHANGED (UNLESS THE USER HAS PERMISSION TO MAKE CHANGES) FROM THE VERSION FOUND AT GAMEFAQS (www.gamefaqs.com). IF YOU ARE FOUND TO BE IN VIOLATION OF THESE GUIDELINES LEGAL ACTION WILL BE TAKEN. =-=-=-=-=-=-= 1.1 CONTENTS =-=-=-=-=-=-= 1.1 CONTENTS 2 INTRODUCTION 3 HARDWARE REVIEW 4 FAQ 5 LAUNCH GAMES (i) JAPANESE (ii) US 6 SPECS 2.1 GBA vs GBC vs NGPC vs WSC 2 FEATURES 3 BEST GAMES ON THE SYSTEM 4 PERIPHERALS 5 RETAILERS 6 DISCUSSION 7 UNDERSTANDING THE BOX 8 THE AFTERBURNER 3.1 CONTACT ME 2 CREDITS =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= 1.2 INTRODUCTION =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Ever since Nintendo's original Game Boy (DMG, Dot-Matrix-Game) was released with the immortal puzzle game Tetris, there have been rumours of an updated Game Boy. This came (sort of) in 1998 with the release of the Game Boy Color (GBC). The GBC had a faster processor, more memory, and a colour TFT screen. Despite these little improvements, it was inherently the same outdated, 8-bit machine. GBC was a stop-gap for the GBA but no-one knew for sure when the DMG's true successor would be released, but it was finally annouced and confirmed by Nintendo on September 1st 1999. It was formally shown to the public alongside the N64's successor, GameCube, at Nintendo's Space World 2000 show in Tokyo on August 24th 2000. It was released in Japan on March 21st 2001 and was released simultaneously in the US and Europe on June 11th 2001. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= 1.3 HARDWARE REVIEW =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= FIRST IMPRESSIONS: The Japanese box is nice-looking and is in a nice silver colour. The console itself is a nice size and weight. SIZE AND WEIGHT: The console looked quite big to me at first but it is only a little bigger than a GBC on it's side. The weight is nice and feels very good in the hands. 9/10 BUTTON ACCESSIBILITY: The buttons are well-placed, and the shoulder buttons feel perfect. My only complaint is that the Start and Select buttons are quite small and hard to reach quickly if you have to pause in a fast-paced game. It's a good set-up though. 8/10 DISPLAY: The screen is the same as the GBC one but it's bigger and is in widescreen. It seems darker than the GBC one though or is it just me? You'll forgive any minor misgivings when you see the visuals this baby's pumping out. Look at the FMV in Pinobee's intro to see what I mean. 9/10 SOUND: The music is a little tinny in some games but speech is crystal clear (hopefully it won't be as annoying as in Mario Advance in future!). Very good overall. 9/10 AESTHETICS: The machine looks like a futuristic Game Boy Color - which is what it is. It's very nicely proportioned. The only real downside is that old Game Boy games stick out the top which looks quite strange. It's no biggy, though. 10/10 OVERALL: The perfect portable machine! Total: 45/50 =-=-=-=-= 1.4 FAQ =-=-=-=-= Email me any questions that you have and they'll go here and I'll reply within 24 hours (95% of the time). Q. When was GBA released? A. It was released in Japan on 21st March 2001 and in the US and Europe on 11th June 2001. Q. How much will GBA cost? A. The Japanese price is 9,300¥, which is $83 (£63). The US RRP is £99.99, and the UK price will probably be £99.99. UPDATE: The US and UK prices are now $79.95/£79.99. Q. What colours will the system be available in? A. The launch colours have different names in Japan and the West. In Japan they're called White, Violet, and Milky Blue, and in the West they're called Arctic, Indigo, and Glacier. UPDATE: There are now several limited-edition Pokemon GBAs available from Japan on import and the Pokemon Center in New York, as well as a rare platinum one, clear pink, orange, and black. Q. Is there any difference apart from superficial ones between them? A. Some of the newer GBAs (black and orange guaranteed, others sometimes) have superior Matsushita (Panasonic) screens as opposed to the older Sharp ones. Not only does this make the screen sharper, it also makes the GBA look better with an Afterburner. Q. GBA is 32-bit. The SNES was 16-bit. Is the GBA more powerful than the SNES? A. It's actually about the same. The GBA is limited by it's screen, whereas the SNES could use a bigger TV. The GBA can use polygons to make 3D graphics, but only as well as Starfox (Starwing) on the SNES. It could do more if it had a 3D chip, then it could theoretically do almost PlayStation-quality graphics. UPDATE: Since this was last updated, a group called AGB Games (http://www.agbgames.com) has developed an amazing 3D Engine for the GBA. It originally had a demo of the original Resident Evil running on GBA, but now has Quake, Grand Theft Auto, a racing game, and more. Check them out. Q. Is it backwardly compatible? A. Yes, it contains the CPU of the GBC so it is 100% compatible with all old DMG and GBC games. About 5 games (all obscure Japanese games with the exception of Disney's Tarzan) do have small sound problems but all games play 100% perfectly. The GBA carts are smaller, though, so older GB games stick out of the top (see a picture of this here: http://pocketmedia.ign.com/media/news/image/gbastuff/gbagbccartridge.jpg). Also, the GBA has a wider screen so old games can either be formatted with borders or stretched to fill the screen by pressing the shoulder buttons. Q. Do the games come on cartridges? A. Yes they do. The cartridges can be up to 32 Megabytes. Personally, I would have preferred games on the GameCube's mini-DVD format (1.5 gigabytes!) or MiniDisc (250 Megabytes). There would be a problem of piracy on MiniDisc however, as they are VERY easily copied, and also the problem of them skipping on the move. Q. What forms of connectivity does it have? A. It can be connected to the Internet, or a basic form of it (like on WAP phones) via a cell phone in Japan via the Mobile GB Adaptor which is also used to trade and battle in Pokemon Crystal. It is doubtful that this will reach the US or Europe as cell phones are not standardised like in Japan, and therefore Nintendo would need a different cable for all the different types of phone (Nokia, Sony, Philips, Motarola, etc). It can also be linked to the GameCube via the controller ports. It is unclear what benefits this would provide apart from a screen and no need for an N64-style Transfer Pak, as the GBA has much fewer buttons (NGC has 11, GBA has 8) and is not analogue. UPDATE: The cell phone service in Japan has now been discontinued. Q. What is the system capable of? A. A lot. A demo of the N64 game Yoshi's Story has been made and seen, and British developers Crawfish have made a demo of Doom, the legendary 1st-person shooter. UPDATE: Doom is now available on the GBA. If you want to see some tech demos of what the GBA can do, see AGB Games (http://www.agbgames.com). =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= 1.5 LAUNCH GAMES =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= A star (*) designates a game worth getting. (i) JAPANESE ------------- 1ST PARTY: Super Mario Advance * F-Zero Advance * Napoleon Kuru Kuru Kuru Rin * 3RD PARTY: Castlevania: Circle of the Moon * Chu Chu Rocket * Dodgeball Advance Dungeondice Monsters EZ Talk Fire Pro Wrestling A I Am An Air Traffic Controller Konami Wai Wai Racing * JGTO Golf Master J-League Pocket Megaman EXE * Momotaro Festival Monster Guardians Mr Driller 2 * Pinobee: Quest of the Heart Pocket GT Advance Powerful Pro Baseball Silent Hill Play Novel Top Gear All Japan GT Tweety and the Magical Jewel (ii) US -------- 1ST PARTY: F-Zero: Maximum Velocity Super Mario Advance 3RD PARTY: Army Men Advance Chu Chu Rocket Dodge Ball Advance Fire Pro Wrestling Fortress High Heat Major League Baseball 2002 Iridion 3D Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure Rayman Ready 2 Rumble Boxing: Round 2 Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 Top Gear GT Championship Tweety and the Magic Jewel =-=-=-=-=-= 1.6 SPECS =-=-=-=-=-= These are the specifications as they come from Nintendo with a few additions from me. NAME: Game Boy Advance LCD: Reflection (non-backlit) TFT Colour Liquid crystal SCREEN SIZE: 40.8mm x 61.2mm RESOLUTION: 240x160 pixels DISPLAY ABILITY: 32,000 colours CPU: 16MHz 32bit RISC-CPU + 8bit CISC-CPU MEMORY: 32KB WRAM+96KB VRAM 256KB WRAM SOUND: Speaker (mono)/Headphone (stereo) LINK PLAY: Up to 4 players on 1 cartridge POWER: 2x AA batteries or Special (rechargable) battery adaptor BATTERY LIFE: 15-20 hours on 2 AA batteries SIZE: 82mm length x 144.5mm width x 24.5mm thick WEIGHT: About 140g CARTRIDGE: 34.5mm x 60mm x 9.5mm (Maximum 256 Megabit/32 Megabyte) PRICE: $99.99 RELEASE DATE: June 11, 2001 ------------------------- =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= 2.1 GBA vs GBC vs NGPC vs WSC =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Out of these 3 portable consoles - Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Color, the sadly-departed Neo-Geo Pocket Color, and Bandai's Wonderswan Color - we all know which is going to be most powerful. But by how much? Let's compare specs (the abbrieviations are taken from above apart from the bottom one, number of games): GBA GBC NGPC WSC L: as above | same as GBA | same as GBA | same as GBA | S: as above | 2.3 inch diag | 45x48 | 2.1 diag | R: as above | 160x144 | 160x152 | 224x144 | D: as above | 56 colors | 146 colors | 241 colors | C: as above | 8-bit Z80 | 16-bit Toshiba | 16bit 3.072 | M: as above | 4KB | ??? | 512k | S: as above | same as GBA | same as GBA | same as GBA | L: as above | same as GBA | same as GBA | 1x AA | B: as above | 15 hours | 40 hours | 20 hours | S: as above | 75x133x27 | 130x80x30.5 | 128x74.3x243 | W: as above | 183g | 145g | 95g | C: as above | not as good | GBA size | ??? | P: as above | $69.99 | $69.99 | $60 | R: as above | Nov 1998 | May 1999 | December 2000 | G: 25 + 1000+ | 1000+ | 30-50 | 20 | Therefore the best in each category is: L: GBA/GBC/NGPC/WSC S: GBA R: GBA D: GBA C: GBA M: WSC S: GBA/GBC/NGPC/WSC L: GBA B: NGPC S: WSC W: WSC C: GBA P: WSC R: N/A G: GBA And so the final scores are, in order: GBA: 9 WSC: 6 NGP: 3 GBC: 2 GBA WINS! =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= 2.2 WHY YOU WANT ONE =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Here is a list of all the reasons why you WILL get a GBA: 32-bit SNES conversions Mario Kart! Over 1000 GB games Widescreen Games from Sega! Mode 7 graphics GameCube connection Cell phone connection 4-player with one copy of a game Less than $100 20 hours on 2 AA batteries More action buttons 3D graphics Different coloured casings Over 60 developers At least 40 games in the first year Namco games Yoshi's Story Crash and Spyro No territorial lockout Pokemon (ahem) It's Nintendo! Relive the SNES days =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= 2.3 BEST GAMES ON THE SYSTEM =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= At the Japanese release, the the pick of the litter that are available are: Super Mario Advance F-Zero Advance Kuru Kuru Kuru Rin Castlevania: Cirle of the Moon Chu Chu Rocket Konami Wai Wai Racing Megaman EXE Mr Driller 2 The most eagerly awaited games are: Mario Kart Advance Sonic the Hedgehog Advance Super Street Fighter II Breath of Fire Mario Advance 2 Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= 2.4 PERIPHERALS =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= GBA Communication Cable: This is the Link Cable by another name. Halfway along the cable is a small box to plug in another cable so that you can have 4-player games on one copy of the game (you would have needed 4 copies with GBC), but potentially there's no reason why by plugging in more copies of the game and more cables you can't have 8+ player games. This will be essential for those multiplayer sessions on Chu Chu Rocket or Mario Kart. You'll still need 2 copies of the game for 2 player on your old DMG or GBC games. It will probably cost between 20 and 30 dollars, but will only work on GBA games. Keep a GBC cable for those games. GBA to GCN Cable: This will allow you to link the GBA to the GameCube. It allows interaction between the machines with the GBA acting as a private screen or controller. No games that use this feature will be available before 2002. UPDATE: Games that support the link include, but are not limited to: Sonic Advance/Sonic Adventure 2 Battle, Animal Crossing, Legend Of Zelda. Battery Pack/AC Adaptor: If you want to play your GBA without buying batteries every few weeks then the rechargable battery pack is your saviour. It will allow 10 hours of play from a 2 hour charge. The Japanese price works out at 34 dollars. As for the AC Adaptor, this will let you plug into the mains at home for infinite play time (assuming you have electricity). This will probably cost $10-$15. It is a very neat little thing, though. E-Card Reader: I'm not sure how this will be used but special Pokemon trading cards can be swiped through this and give data to the GBA. This could be used for a sequel to GBC's Pokemon Trading Card Game where you have to add special cards to your deck by buying them in real life which would be quite a nifty feature. Mobile GB Adaptor: This will allow downloading and playing online through a cell phone. It is available in Japan for GBC for the new Pokemon Crystal in which players can trade and battle online. It probably wouldn't work brilliantly for 'twitch' games like shoot-em-ups, though. It has been confirmed that Mario Kart Advance will utilise the adaptor to allow online racing. The network will be provided by a Konami/Nintendo company called Mobile 21. GBA Infrared Communication Adaptor: As you probably know, the GBC has a built-in infrared comms port which was very underused due to it's low bandwidth and the fact that the GBCs had to be 3cm apart to read each other. Therefore the feature was cut from GBA to keep costs down, but it will be available as a seperate peripheral. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-= 2.5 RETAILERS =-=-=-=-=-=-=-= You can get import GBAs from the following stores: The Video Game Centre (UK), £159.99 http://www.videogamecentre.co.uk National Console Support (US), $275.00 http://www.nscx.com Computer Exchange (UK), £20 deposit, approx. £179.99 total http://www.cex.co.uk Buy Rite Video Games (US), $249.99 http://www.buy-rite.net =-=-=-=-=-=-=-= 2.6 DISCUSSION =-=-=-=-=-=-=-= This is a list of Message Boards where you can disscuss GBA. Email me any good ones and I'll add them. GameFAQs GBA Message Board http://cgi.gamefaqs.com/boards/gentopic.asp?board=169 =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= 2.7 UNDERSTANDING THE BOX =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= For those of you who imported a GBA with a game (or three), the box is probably completely indecipherable unless you speak Japanese. As a semi-Japanese speaker I thought I'd help you out with the important info on the back that doesn't have a symbol to show it's meaning. The main thing that you'll notice is that huge box with X and O in it. This is to show you what Game Boy's it is compatible with. Here is my translation (not literal): __________________________________ | GBA | GBC | DMG | Super Game Boy | |_____|_____|_____|________________| | O | X | X | X | |_____|_____|_____|________________| =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= 2.8 THE AFTERBURNER =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= For the uninitiated, the Afterburner started life as a small project found at http://www.portablemonopoly.com to make an internal light for the GBA. It grew and grew, until eventually the long-awaited Afterburner internal light modification was released from their new site, http://www.tritonlabs.com (they were forced to change after copyright issues with Hasbro over the use of the name Monopoly). You can see pictures of the kit in action at http://members.aol.com/~vindogg1/ and you can see some pics and a movie at http://www.cv-games.com/afterburner/afterburnerprev.html. The Afterburner is apparently difficult to install and should be done by a professional (that way they're obligated to replace your GBA should they break it), but the payoff is worthwhile. It provides by far the best light for the GBA, and can be modified so that it is always on, has a dimmer switch, an on/off switch, or even a special dimmer that works with the action buttons to dim and brighten (http://www.division-6.com). There is a small catch though - the Afterburner can look very poor on older GBAs with the Sharp screens, and looks far better if you have a GBA with a newer Panasonic screen. To be guaranteed of getting a new screen get a black or orange GBA - you can get a black or orange (spice) premodded GBA with a dimmer switch fitted from Lan Kwei for only $105/€119.70/£66.40. ------------------------- =-=-=-=-=-=-=-= 3.1 CONTACT ME =-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Email me at email@example.com with any questions, suggestions, or contributions to this FAQ. I will elaborate on anything in this FAQ that you may be confused by and will gladly accept any additional info or any corrections that you may want me to add. =-=-=-=-=-=-= 3.2 CREDITS =-=-=-=-=-=-= Thanks to Nintendo for making such a great system and games. May the Game Boy Legacy live on forever! Thanks to Lindy M for correcting me over the cart size (megaBYTEs not megaBITs!). ------------------------- Game Boy: Over 100,000,000 addicted.