Nostalgic Game Boy Memories [Podcast E03]

Hello and welcome to episode three of the retro break podcast and welcome to the first episode in a long running series I hope at least called gaming memories. In this first episode I’m going to talk all about my favorite memories of the original Game Boy which is by far my favorite system I’m sure you will have already known that if you’ve been watching my channel for a while and it’s actually the only console, if you can call it that, the only handheld and the only thing that I’ve still got the games here for in this room so I kind of wanted to dedicate today’s episode entirely to why I love the Game Boy. So without further ado let’s get started.

A good place to begin would probably be when I actually first got the Game Boy and I can’t remember exactly, I think I must have been around four or five and I think I got it with Mario Land 1 and 2 and possibly Zelda Link’s Awakening but at the time I didn’t really understand Zelda that much but I definitely played a lot of Mario Land 1, 2 and I think I had Kirby’s Dreamland as well which is definitely one of my favorite games on the system.

Some of my favorite memories of the original DMG brick Game Boy was actually after school every single day I would take the Game Boy in this really big Game Boy carrying case, unfortunately I don’t have it here to show you guys who are watching here on YouTube, but I would actually carry this giant Game Boy case, it was about that big with a big handle on it and inside it had space for the Game Boy system and about 10 different games and maybe like a headphone adapter or a wall plug adapter or something and I would carry this up the road, my nan lived about 10 minutes up the road, so I would actually walk from our house all the way through the estate up to the road carrying this Game Boy case after school pretty much every single day and I would just sit there on her sofa while she cooked me dinner and I watched cartoons on the TV but I wasn’t really paying any attention to the cartoons I was actually just playing all of these amazing games on the Game Boy and that is such a great memory that I have and something that really means a lot to me that I’ll get back to a little bit later on in this video but I have some great memories of playing a lot of different games back then I would always be asking for new Game Boy games for my birthday or for Christmas.

Some of my favorite games from around that time that I really vividly remember playing even though I was only really like five or six at the time but there are a few games that I really really remember just wanting to finish school just so that I could go there and play these games over and over again. One of them was Bubble Bubble Part 2, a really really great puzzle platformer made by Taito for the Game Boy. It’s a really great conversion at the time I didn’t really notice there was any problems with it but going back to play it today you can really tell there’s a really bad screen tearing effect that’s going on but it really didn’t bother me at the time I love the graphics I love the gameplay I love the music and I could actually remember all of the different level passwords that’s just how much I played this I don’t remember it now but at the time I remember that every day I would come in and I would type in this password to get back to the level I was stuck on I think it must have been like around level 50 or something because it is a really long game and of course I also played loads of Kirby loads of the original Mario Bros, Donkey Kong and that sort of thing and I absolutely loved it.

Another one that I remember really enjoying and this is actually one that I traded with a friend at school I can’t remember what I got rid of but in exchange I think I got Mega Man 2 for the Game Boy and for a long time that was my favorite game for the system I remember playing that one all the time and I’m sure some of you know but for those that don’t Mega Man 2 on the Game Boy is the one with that really weird music glitch where everything is like an octave higher than it should be and of course I didn’t really notice it at the time but there is a patch you can get online to actually fix this problem that I covered in a previous video a few years ago so definitely go and check that out I think it’s called Mega Man 2 fix for the original Game Boy you can find it on I think.

Getting the Game Boy Pocket: And then a few years later maybe 97 or 8 I can’t remember when the Game Boy Color came out but before that we went on holiday as a family to the south of France I think and on the way there or maybe on the way back at the airport my parents were very kind and actually bought me a Game Boy Pocket and the upgrade from the original Game Boy to the Game Boy Pocket was immense, the screen is a hundred times better, if you’ve ever seen one in person you know just how much of a huge improvement it is, it’s about half the weight it’s about half the thickness and it’s the lots more as well but it’s actually got a bigger screen and it was such a huge improvement at the time it was actually the first time that I’d actually seen a jump in quality from the same device if that makes sense and I absolutely fell in love with it as soon as I got it I remember I got it with Wario Land 2 and that is another one of my all-time favorite games on the original Game Boy and it still holds up really well today of course I went back and played the original Wario Land and Wario Land 3 as well but Wario Land 2 maybe it’s because I got it with the Game Boy Pocket but it’s still the one that I enjoy the most and it’s still the one that I have the fondest memories of and go back to more than any of the other games in the series.

Buying Games: And before we move on to some other Game Boy memories there was another thing that I used to do a lot back in the Game Boy Pocket days and that was to take my pocket money, no pun intended, I would take my pocket money to a place in the town center that was called Spencer’s Mall which is no longer around it’s been replaced by Wilco and basically the whole town center is different now but back then there used to be a really really great little independent game shop in there called Game Zone and I’m actually now friends with someone who used to work in there which is really cool but the guy who worked in there at the time he had a load of Game Boy games behind the counter and that is actually where I got the original Pokemon Red, Blue and Yellow and Donkey Kong 94 as well and I think one of the Final Fantasy games and of course I played them nonstop as well.

Another game that I got from there in, I think it came out around 2000 so I would have been eight years old at the time, and that was Dragon Warrior Monsters and that was another game that I absolutely fell in love with, Dragon Warrior Monsters and Pokemon I think around that time were the two games that I played the most they were the ones that I would make sure I had in that Game Boy case when I was walking up to my nan’s house and they were the ones that I would play after school every single day for at least four or five hours before I went back to my parents so I really have really really fond memories of those two.

So I actually had this one in the cabinet so if you’re watching on YouTube you can actually see what I’m holding up right now but basically what this is for those of you who are listening to this podcast this is a 32 in 1 and it’s sort of a black Game Boy cartridge with this really weird printed cover on there and it’s got some fake box art on there it’s got Mario 4, it’s got Mortal Kombat, Flypull, Flappy and then it’s got some weird fake versions like Happy Combat and Boxing and Super Boxer and another version of Super Mario 4 but basically what these are I’ve actually got quite a few of these my other nan used to go on holiday a lot back in the day and everywhere she would go she would always try and find me these weird fake Game Boy games and this is just one of many I think she got them from somewhere like Thailand and this is just one of many that I had back in the day and although it says 32 in 1 they’ve actually only got about 6 games on and then the rest are just repeats with weird different titles but thanks to these carts I actually got to experience a lot of games that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to.

So I actually managed to play some really great games on these 32 in 1 cartridges that have actually gone on to become some of my favorite games from the entire system things like Boxxle 2 which is a really great Sokoban style puzzle game I also remember there was another puzzle game that I used to play a lot called Flypull and that is a weird one where you kind of move this little blob around the side of the screen and you have to shoot these different shapes in order to complete the puzzle and stuff it’s actually really fun and of course like I said it also has Super Mario 4 in here which was looking back on it this was actually my first experience playing a rom hack.

As well as playing games back in the day, another thing like I mentioned in the last episode, another thing that I really like to do is read gaming magazines and there were a few exclusively talking about the Game Boy. There was one that I had a lot of issues for called Total GB I think it is and there were some really great reviews in there that really made me excited to try and track down some of the games.

And a bit later on if you’ve been watching my main channel for a while there was another really great Game Boy magazine called Action GBX and that is actually my favorite gaming magazine and I would love to do a podcast in the future just talking about magazines because I’ve got so many in fact earlier today I’m going off on a bit of a tangent now but earlier today I actually got myself a new iPad mini and I’ve actually filled it full of gaming magazines and I can’t wait later to go through and just read some of the stuff on there for those of you watching on YouTube you can see I’ve filled it full of Super Play magazines and some of the original Official Nintendo magazines and stuff so I’m definitely going to go and read some of that later.

But back onto the topic of Game Boy memories something that I also really loved about the original Game Boy was the fact that with the Super Game Boy you could actually play them on the TV using the SNES and I’ve talked about playing them at my nan’s house on the sofa but whenever I was back home of course I would much rather play on the TV because I had my own room I had all my consoles set up and I really loved playing Game Boy games on the TV I actually loved it so much that sometimes I would just put in every single game I had just to see what the different borders were like on the Super Game Boy because for those of you that don’t know certain Game Boy games actually are super Game Boy compatible and that means that when you play them on the SNES you get things like improved color schemes or you get special custom borders which look really cool a great example of that is the one for Donkey Kong 94 which actually puts like a classic arcade system around the game itself complete with the joystick and buttons and it looks really really cool and it actually gave the game color as well.

And as well as it having custom Game Boy Color palettes for ones that didn’t have custom palettes you could actually make your own so I would spend hours going through all of the different painting options making all the sprites exactly the right color that I wanted and of course you can also draw in the borders as well on the Super Game Boy which is really fun and I really actually missed all those features when the Game Boy Player came out in the GameCube a few years later.

And of course around that time as well the Game Boy Color came out but I’m going to save that for a future video and I don’t know whether you guys actually agree with this or not but I actually classed the original Game Boy and the Game Boy Color as two completely different systems they’ve got different specs they’ve got their own range of games and some of them aren’t backwards compatible so in my opinion they’re two different systems so I’ll definitely do a second podcast just for Game Boy Color games in the future but back onto the topic of original Game Boy it’s something that stuck with me throughout all of my teenage years and my childhood sometimes I just felt like going back and playing original Game Boy games from my childhood and obviously in the past few years especially I’ve really got back into collecting Game Boy games.

And for those of you that are watching I’m going to turn the camera around now so you can see the one thing that’s still left in my game room. There you go for those of you are listening I’m showing off my Game Boy display cabinet right there I’m sure you’ve seen it before if you haven’t, just go and check out some of my Game Boy videos. For those of you listening I just showed off my Game Boy display cabinet there which is almost a complete UK Game Boy set I think I’ve got about 40 or 50 more games to go but I’m slowly taking them all off.

But that kind of brings me on to the next thing and that is the over time I’ve really grown an appreciation for the original Game Boy and I’ve spent a lot of time actually researching what some of the best games are, some hidden gems, of course I would love to do a video on hidden gems for the Game Boy let me know what you consider a hidden gem for the system but as I’m looking through this cabinet now some that really stick out to me that I think you should definitely check out Mercenary Force is a really cool one it’s kind of a side it’s kind of a top-down scrolling action shooting game where you get to pick different troops and they have their own different attributes and stuff it’s a really cool game you should definitely check it out Starhawk is another really good one that’s a really great horizontal scrolling shooter that I’ve found fairly recently actually it’s actually got quite expensive over the past few years I think I got the cart for around 50 and I think it’s going for about 100 quid now and there are quite a few very rare and expensive Game Boy games that I still need to get in order to finish my collection there’s one called Trip World which is about a thousand pounds if you want it complete in box which is just insane so I don’t know when I’m going to be able to get that one.

There’s also a few other kind of expensive ones like Amazing Tater and there’s a few others but I’m pretty happy with the collection that I’ve got and the other thing that I wanted to bring up was the way that I’ve been finding out about all these games to collect so a few of the ways that I’ve actually found out about some of these gems and some of the games that I wanted to collect before I decided to go for a full set entirely there’s a really great YouTube channel and book series actually by Jeremy Parish who’s actually one of the presenters of one of my favorite podcasts which I’ll also cover in a future episode when I talk about some of my favorite podcasts and how I decided to start making my own and that YouTube channel and book series is called Game Boy Works and I definitely recommend you check it out if you’re interested in Game Boy whatsoever it’s a really great resource and a really great way about finding out about these games he also covers all of the really interesting Japanese games as well he was actually going through it year by year so starting in 1989 and going all the way up to I think around 98 whenever the Game Boy finished I think he’s still doing it actually so I’ll put a link in the description so you can check out the YouTube channel and also thanks to things like I said earlier about putting magazines on the iPad I actually filled my iPad with so many different Game Boy magazines and I had such a good time just scrolling through and finding out about all these games that I’d never even heard of but just looking at the screenshots I thought they looked interesting so I would add them to my watch list on eBay.

over time over the past let’s say five or six years I managed to build up a really really good collection of Game Boy games. I also loved just going to gaming events like the London Gaming Market and just flicking through hundreds upon hundreds of loose Game Boy cartridges just looking for ones with interesting covers that caught my eye and this is how I came to find games like Tracks which is actually a really cool game made by HAL Laboratories, the same people that made the Kirby games, that I’d never even heard of before so it was just by chance that I happened to stumble across that cover and it turned out to be a fantastic game as well I actually did a video review on it a few years ago so if you want to go and find that over on my main Retro Break channel definitely recommend doing that after this podcast.

But yeah thanks to resources like Game Boy Works and all these magazines I’ve had a really great time going and finding some hidden gems for the system and I’ve also really enjoyed every time I was in Japan trying to find some really cool obscure games. I actually just went into my cupboard now and picked out a few that I was really excited to find or ones that I didn’t even know existed.

So I’ve got here Beatmania GB which is really cool so if you’re a fan of rhythm games you’ll know the Beatmania series it’s really cool to have that on the Game Boy. Also an exclusive Star Ocean game that I didn’t know about as well and there’s also a Grandia one as well which I’ve also got and they’re really impressive RPGs for the system and using the Everdrive for the Game Boy you can actually get translation patches for both of them now as well which is fantastic.

There’s also some really interesting obscure cartridges like this one here for this robot game I can’t remember exactly what it is but it’s actually got a speaker built into the cartridge and of course there’s also some with rumble packs as well. And two others that I thought were really cool I didn’t know about. So Columns for the Game Boy, Columns is a really great puzzle game made by Sega so I was really surprised to see that on the Game Boy and the other one is a follow up to Picross which is one of my favorite games this is Mario’s Picross 2 which for whatever reason only actually came out in Japan so I was really happy to find that.

And also of course some games in Japan are just cheaper than games in the UK so things like the Mega Man games in Japan they’re so much cheaper so I definitely had to pick up this one here Rockman World 5 which is insane price here in the UK it’s like over 100 quid just for the cart now but in Japan I think I managed to pick this one up for around a fiver so there’s loads of reasons why you should go for the Japanese versions.

And as well as all these Japanese exclusives and these hidden gems that I’ve been talking about in the past few years something else really peaked my interest and this was from looking through all those gaming magazines that I mentioned earlier and that of course was all of the detail sort of third party unlicensed games for the system it was just a really interesting curiosity for me so I managed to actually track down all of them now it was actually quite a long time it took me to manage to find them all but I finally got them all and I did do a video about that last year as well so go and check that one out after this it is really fascinating what these carts are and what the sort of games are that are on them so I’ll leave that up to you to find out after this podcast.

So I’m sure you’ve been waiting for this part of the podcast of course I can’t do a Game Boy episode without mentioning homebrew games and that has been a huge part of the original Game Boy for me over the past few years. The community around these homebrew releases in recent years has just exploded and it’s been so exciting to be part of it. Of course over on my main channel I’ve done about 20 video reviews of homebrew games for those of you listening who don’t know what homebrew games are they’re basically fan games made for old systems so people who were fans of the original Game Boy or people who just want to try experimenting with it and seeing what it can do they’ve actually been making their own games for these systems and now it’s become such a popular pastime that actual publishing companies have been set up to release these games complete with a box manual and a really nice cartridge to go along with it and I’ve had so much fun trying to collect every single one of these releases and it’s really actually rejuvenated my interest in the Game Boy not that it was really waning anyway but it’s been so exciting to get all of these games.

Another thing that’s also peaked everyone’s interest in the Game Boy in the recent years and that is all of the different mods that you can actually do to the Game Boy system. Of course there’s been loads of different screen variations over the years there’s been backlit ones, front lit ones, and now there’s some insanely good ones like the ones that I’ve got installed in my SP here. Look how bright that is, if you’re watching on YouTube or if you’re listening just picture staring into the sun, that’s basically what it’s like and compare that to the original DMG Game Boy which was really really difficult to see even under good lighting conditions it’s just so great what people have been able to do with these mods.

And now again of course with things like the Analogue Pocket which I’ve absolutely fallen in love with, in fact I’m actually playing through Dragon Warrior Monsters 2 on it right now which I’m also really really enjoying and that brings me up to today and I can honestly say that the Game Boy has never played a bigger part in my life than it actually does right now and I could not be happier I’ve got such a great collection and I just love having that cabinet right here right next to me wherever I sit at my desk I can always just pick out a random game put it into the Game Boy and just experience something and it always makes me think back to those really great childhood memories of sitting on the sofa at my nan’s house.

And I said I was going to come back to this and I guess now is a good time to do it and I’ll try I’ll try not to cry but my nan passed away last year and I’m actually buying her house and I really can’t wait to just sit where I used to sit as a kid and just get out my original Game Boy and just sort of re-experience those memories even just for a little bit before I get on with my life I think that is going to be so nice it’s going to be such a nice way to sort of remember my time back then and to remember my nan as well and I really can’t wait. Like I said in the last episode I thought I would be out by now but obviously I’m still here in my flat but I’m so excited it’s going to mean so much to me that house has so many memories I played so many games and consoles there for the first time I’m gonna have to stop talking about it because I am going to cry in a second so I think I’m going to finish this episode here.

Thank you so much for watching and listening. Thank you so much for the support it’s actually been way better than I actually ever imagined it would be and I’ve really been enjoying making these as well my life for the minute is a bit of a mess we’re still waiting to move out so having these podcasts to do is really giving me something really positive and thank you so much for all the great comments it really does mean a lot. So anyway that’s it for this episode and I will speak to you all again very soon goodbye.

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