After Twenty Years I can Finally See!

So in my last blog entry I talked about how I had found an old beat up Game Boy at a used game store.  Since then i've been researching different ways of lighting the screen, since the Game Boy's screen is damn near impossible to see unless you're in perfect lighting.  After a little bit of searching, I came across a site called nonelectronics.com which specializes in Game Boy modifications and chip tune music.  They had all the documentation for how to backlight a Game Boy's screen, and they even had a kit to buy that had everything you would need to get the job done.  I've never really modded anything before.  I helped my buddy Kiemoe fix his Dreamcast once, but that was simply replacing a resistor that had gone bad.  I was a little hesitant, but I figured I would give it a shot.  The Game Boy was only $10, so it didn't really matter if I broke it.   After a couple of nasty burns from the soldering iron, I reconnected the ribbon cable and flipped the little grey switch (holding my breath the whole time). 
 

 IT'S ALIVE!!!
I really can't believe that it actually worked!  The mod took about an hour to complete (i was going at a fairly slow pace) and it was a pretty fun experience.  I felt like such a badass when it lit up for the first time, even though I was just following instructions.  The problem I keep having though is that dust keeps getting under the screen when I put the rear polarizer in (this little square film that is necessary for the screen to display a picture). 
 
 GRRR!

The dust really doesn't bother me that much, it's a Game Boy and it's not going to be perfect.  And as you can see by the picture above, I found a copy of Kirby's Dream Land!  I loooove this game so much.  I still don't understand why Kirby was white on the cartridge even though when you play the game on a Game Boy Color he shows up as pink.
Such an awesome game!
I understand that there are better and easier ways to play Game Boy games, but there's just something about the old school Game Boy that makes it really cool.  I've always enjoyed old Nintendo games, and the Game Boy library is one that i've ignored for too long.  It represents nearly a decade of fantastic portable video games, and nobody shows it any love anymore.  Anyways, i'm going to go play some more Kirby.  Happy retro gaming! 
 

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So I bought a Gameboy yesterday…

I finally have some time off with finals being over, and I think it’s just about time for me to try out the blog feature here on Giant Bomb.  Now, I could write some stupid little blurb just to fulfill the “Dear Diary” quest, but that would be pretty lame.   

 The Monochrome Wonder

As the title implies, I bought an original Gameboy yesterday afternoon.  Something about that puke green dot matrix screen powered by four AA batteries harkens back to my childhood memories of boring road trips.  For a lot of kids like me back in the early 90s, the Gameboy was the only thing to look forward to when your parents were fighting over a crumpled old map claiming that, “Disneyland is just right around the corner.”  When I was five years old my parents thought it would be a good idea to move from Bangor Maine to Phoenix Arizona, and we were doing it by car.  My Gameboy turned what could have been the most boring seven day long road trip into something that I have fun and nostalgic memories of.  So when I saw an old beat-up Gameboy in the display case of my local used game shop yesterday, a little piece of that kid moving to a strange (and hot) new place sprung up inside me.

The Gameboy that I found in the game shop is in pretty bad shape.  It came without the battery cover, and the piece of plastic that covers the screen keeps falling off.  I’ve ordered replacements for both of these problems on ebay, and they should be coming within the week.  I’ve been doing some research on modding Gameboys so that they have an LED backlit screen, and I might give it a shot.  I’ve even found some sites that offer kits for Gameboy backlighting.  If anyone knows anything about backlighting an old Gameboy screen I would love some suggestions and tips, as I’ve never tried to do this before.  I’m also looking for some suggestions for games to pick up for it.  There are so many games for the Gameboy that it’s hard for me to tell which are great, and which are garbage.  Obviously I need to find a copy of Tetris.  I also want to track down a copy of Kirby’s Dreamland.  It seems like nobody talks about the Gameboy anymore, not even sites dedicated to retro video game stuff.  Back in the day it was the little monochrome machine that could, and I think it deserves at least a little recognition.

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