Why The Gameboy Color Used Two Cartridge Types

Why The Gameboy Color Used Two Cartridge Types

Many of us remember both the clear and solid cartridges, but what was the difference?
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In 1998 Nintendo released its official follow-up to the wildly successful Gameboy from 1989, the Gameboy Color. While the Gameboy and its slimmed down, gussied up refinement the Gameboy Pocket enjoyed mass appeal and huge sales, the black and white handheld was becoming rapidly more and more outdated with every passing year. As Nintendo toyed with the idea of a portable Super Nintendo, something that would later be realized with the Gameboy Advance and Gameboy Advance SP in the 2000s, they knew that they had to develop and release something new in order to keep the Gameboy line alive.

Enter the Gameboy Color. A full-color screen, a processor with a clock speed that doubled that of its predecessor and about three times as much RAM as the Gameboy. The Color allowed not only a greater visual palette in terms of the colors available to developers, but also gave way to better animations (thankfully fixing the original’s issues with ghosting images during object movement) and more complex pixel art. It also had one essential feature that would define the Gameboy family up until its final system in the form of the Gameboy Micro; backwards compatibility.

All game cartridges released from 1989 to 1998 for the original, black and white Gameboy would work when slotted into the Color. Not only that but the better screen and power under the hood actually helped to clean up visuals that may have looked muddy on the antiquated display of the original. This helped to give the Gameboy Color a wide breadth of available content out the gate, alongside its three launch titles, “Wario Land II,” “Pocket Bomberman,” and “Tetris DX.”

Many games (especially later ones) released for the Gameboy Color differentiated themselves visually from the older cartridges through a clear plastic design that allowed a glimpse at the actual board itself, and a curving bubble of sorts at the top. Original Gameboy cartridges were rectangular, with a small notch taken out of the upper right-hand corner to allow for the power switch to be moved into the on position (an attempt to combat bootleg games), and were a solid gray color. The gray cartridges were compatible with the Color, but obviously still displayed in their original black and white. The clear cartridges of the Color worked specifically on the Color, taking full advantage of the system’s increased power and color palette.

There was, however, the second kind of Gameboy Color cartridge. One that kept the shape and solid plastic design of the original Gameboy, but came in Gameboy Color boxes, played in full color on the new system and opted (usually) for black plastic as opposed to the gray. This was the cartridge style of the three launch titles such as “Tetris DX.” For the kids that grew up with the 1989 original this difference might have been more obvious, but for those who started with the Color like myself, the real reasoning for this difference was often lost. As a child, I, and many of my friends simply didn’t think much about the difference in cartridge designs or just chalked it up to cosmetics. To us, it was probably just some aesthetic choice made by the developers (or “the people who made this game” to more accurately represent how we described game companies as kids).

The black cartridges (sometimes gold or silver) actually had a special design quirk in terms of their compatibility. While the gray cartridges that were the main format of the original Gameboy were backward compatible with the Color, the black cartridges were actually retroactively compatible with the Gameboy and Gameboy Pocket. When slotted normally into the GBC these games displayed their full-color palettes, as expected, but when slotted into a 1989-1997 GB system they actually worked and reverted to a black and white color scheme. For those that grew up with the Gameboy first this might have been an interesting little detail found alongside their new system, but to myself and several of my friends who never actually had the first Gameboy and, therefore, could not stumble upon this feature naturally, it was a bizarre revelation.

I actually discovered this when I recently began collecting various Gameboy models. I sat there and puzzled over the reasons for the various cartridge designs before noticing how the power switch fit into the notch on the old cartridges (my brother and I had often wondered about that weird little cut out of the plastic when we were younger). Feeling a bit experimental I took my newly unboxed Gameboy and slid in my copy of “Pokemon Gold,” a Gameboy Color game from 2000, over a decade after the first system’s initial release. “Gold” was a game I adored as a child and had only ever experienced in its full-color version on the GBC, so, when the familiar music began playing and the start-up screen booted up in black and white I was more than a little taken aback.

At first, I felt like an idiot for never having realized or come across this little “fun fact” feature, but after several excited texts and calls to my friends, I found that I was far from alone in my ignorance. It was new information to each of them. Thinking back on it now it should have been fairly obvious. GBC games like “Link’s Awakening DX” and “Tetris DX” were just colored, enhanced versions of black and white Gameboy games re-released on the Color, retaining the shape and basic look of their older cartridges. The games that were released for the GBC in the clear plastic shells, without the power switch notch, likely took full advantage of the Color’s increased technical specs and graphical prowess, barring them from being able to run on that first system even in black and white. This allowed games like the aforementioned “Pokemon Gold” to not only run on their associated system and be backwards compatible on future handhelds in the Gameboy family such as the Advance and Advance SP but also allowed them to be played on the previously released hardware like the Gameboy, Gameboy Pocket, and Gameboy Light. This meant that those cartridges could be played on every single Gameboy ever released (with the exception of the niche product the Micro) from 1989 all the way up to 2003.

A small childhood mystery solved by a moment of curiosity almost two decades later.

Cover Image Credit: i.ytimg.com

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When God Gives A Girl A Brother

He gives her a best friend.
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My brother is only 18 months younger than I am, but he's also at least a foot taller than me. Growing up with someone so close to my age has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. Yes, there was a time when I thought every single little thing he did was annoying and his feelings towards me were mutual. Yes, we still get into arguments and disagreements. But for the most part, we enjoy each others company. When God gives a girl a brother, He gives her...

1. A listener

I always have someone to talk to. No matter what, when, or where. Some of my favorite moments are spent chatting my brother's ears off while he absent-mindedly nods and continues to play x-box. Sometimes he just listens and doesn't say anything. Sometimes he gives me long replies. He always knows just how to react to what I am saying to him, which is why I tell him almost everything.

2. A protector

When I think about the man that my brother has become, it seriously brings tears to my eyes. He's so big!! How did this happen? I can remember when I was little and could boss him around and he would actually do whatever I said. Now I'm scared that if he hugs me too hard, I might break in half. My brother cares about me, and lets me know it. I'm so thankful to know that he is there for me no matter what and would do anything to keep me from harm.

3. A dance partner

Another favorite memory is dancing to Juju on that beat in the kitchen while mom is cooking dinner (or dancing with us). Or any other time any other song is on... in any other place... LOL. My brother and I are different in a lot of ways, but we both have no problem busting a move together.

4. A Sonic date

"Hey, wanna go get a sonic drink?" "Yeah, if you're buying!" This is a typical conversation for us, and he actually really does usually buy my food! (With mom's credit card sometimes, does that still count?)

5. An example

Being the older sister, I sometimes feel like I have let my brother down in a lot of ways in that he is probably an example to me more than I am to him. He is incredibly smart, talented, and hard working. Kids FLOCK to this guy, and he has the most creative mind ever. Seriously, I'm so nervous that my future kids are going to like their funny uncle more than me. He's way cooler than I am, and I want to be just like him when I grow up.

6. Comic relief

If you've never heard a "Lane Prevett story," pull up a chair. I will be glad to make you cry from laughing so hard. There's no way you can spend time with him and not laugh. And that, to me, is the best kind of person to be.

7. A best friend

My brother is a lot of things, but my favorite thing about him is that he is my best friend. Yes, we aggravate each other. Sometimes he plays his music too loud, and sometimes I take up all the internet so that he can't play video games. But I know that he would do anything for me, and he knows the same goes for him.

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Sorry, Bella Thorne, But Whoopi Goldberg Has A Point

Nude photos leaked, a scandal on the rise

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It all started with nude photos. Bella Thorne decided to release photos of herself naked after revealing that someone had hacked her things and was threatening to post them. She took it upon herself and said "It's MY DECISION NOW U DON'T GET TO TAKE YET ANOTHER THING FROM ME. I can sleep tonight better, knowing that I took my power back."

Let me make this clear from the very beginning. Bella has taken private, nude photos of herself for a reason we don't know (Probably to send to her boyfriend). She then gets hacked and threatened but decides to show photos anyway of herself naked to show that she has control over the hacker. Phew, I'm already not understand this choice.

Many celebrities and other women have praised her decision to do so, but I'm not one of them, and neither is Whoopi Goldberg from The View. While talking about the situation on the show, she was quoted saying, "Listen, if you're famous, I don't care how old you are, you don't take nude pictures of yourself. When they're hacking you, they're hacking all of your stuff. So, whether it's one picture or a million pictures, once you take that picture, it goes into the cloud, and it's available to any hacker who wants it. If you don't know that in 2019, that this is an issue ... you don't get to do that."

Now correct me if I'm wrong but isn't she making a valid point? Technology now has the ability to do whatever it wants, and hackers can get a hold of anything and everything. Whatever photos you take and send through text or even Snapchat can and will be saved to phones or shared among other people. How many celebrities getting texts, photos, or even calls leaked to the media?

In response to Whoopi, Bella is stating that she should be ashamed of her views, that she is putting the blame on girls for taking photos and is sick and disgusting. Can I make this clear again, she is not shaming you! She is simply saying that people (Not just girls, guys as well) should be smarter with what photos they take, who they send them to and know where they could possibly end up. It's not shaming; it's not a lie; it is the exact truth.

In one of her quotes, Bella says, "So what a girl can't send her boyfriend that she misses photos of her that are sexy? Things he's already seen?". I'm sorry, but I find this sentence very problematic. No one is saying that you can't be sexy for your boyfriend, just be smart about it. Sure, he's seen you naked, sure you've had sex, but the rest of the world hasn't. Just because one person gets the right to see it doesn't mean everyone else does as well. Hackers are out there, they are real, and they are real for celebrities and Hollywood.

Now yet again, Bella is twisting this story into something that it isn't. Now in videos that she has made explaining her view, she suggests that Whoopi is victim-blaming and would say the same thing to someone who survived sexual assault. On Instagram, she said, "So, if I go out to a party drinking and I wanna dance on the dance floor, do I deserve to be raped too?". Now I'm sorry yet again, don't start going on a parade by throwing this into the mix.

You got hacked and someone was going to leak naked photos of you. You decide to leak them yourself because you are not letting a man control your life. Then you compared it to drinking at a party, wanting to dance and asking if you deserved to be raped by doing that? Okay, how are these two even being compared? I'm not going to get too into this but think about it. Taking private photos are risky now with hackers, anyone can get into it without a problem. It's 2019, this has been going on for years. You say a man can't control your life so you release them anyway. A woman being raped at a party where she has no control is different. You chose to take pictures with the risk of them being leaked. A woman does not chose to be raped just because she is dancing at a party. Sorry, there's a difference.

Sorry Bella Thorne, but Whoopi Goldberg is not shaming you, she is not victim blaming. She is simply saying the truth.

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