How Graphics worked on the Nintendo Game Boy | MVG
Modern Vintage Gamer
With only 4 colors, the original Nintendo Game Boy was capable of some amazing things. Here is how the graphics subsystem – known as the PPU or Pixel Processing Unit worked
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Once I discovered the truth, it was logic that GameBoy was in fact second. It is the Lynx, supposed that a similar device was made and shown in Japan because the 2 guys from a software company that bankrupted needed a company that would reproduce the future ATARI Lynx that was taken later. The idea was from circa from 1985 and in the USA. Japan's GameBoy had to know the flaw of the future LYNX for this concept of Nintendo GameBoy that only needed a 2xAA battery power. Japan only ate us raw. However, they were fair because Nintendo offered ATARI to get the games. THey refused, but what would have ATARI with all profits, and plus WINDOWS 3.1 to Win95 could not have another competitor. So the one God at chess like marketing caused ATARI & Sega to dive in hardware leaving room for Apple and their good smartphones. 😉
I didn't undestand anything but it was an amazing video xD
Meanwhile I struggle to get my vr game running on a 2080ti and i9900k
Pokémon Blue. Gives me nostalgia.
love your video mate. spot on info..
Game gear or neo geo pocket color??????Any chance
LGR MJR and Beatemups could take some pointers in the audio category. Your audio production / song choice / quality is way up there on all of your videos. Your music and voiceover production quality and mix are fantastic.
I wonder how much difference there is between the GameBoy and the Megaduck portables
(Megaduck is a cheap but high quality copy of the GameBoy)
There's a slight misnoma at 1:05. Whilst the SHARP LR35902 is technically a mix of the Z80 and 8080, the Z80 instruction set is actually a complete superset of the 8080, with only minor backward incompatibilities from the Z80 to 8080 caused by the additional instructions added on the Zilog chip.
The additional instructions on the Game Boy CPU differ both from the original Z80 and 8080 instruction sets, being completely unique to the LR35902, meaning it isn't technically a mix of the 2 processors but a completely new instruction set entirely, being backwards compatible with neither the Z80 or 8080 due to an incomplete 8080/Z80 instruction set and the addition of entirely new opcodes.
Regardless this is a great video and the effort put in is amazing. I've always loved your attention to detail, particularly on your 360 emulation videos!
It's sad that this sort of clever optimization seems to have become a lost art. Modern software often tends to inefficiently abuse the hardware as developers feel like they have the memory and processor cycles to burn. As a younger software developer myself that has dealt with developing software for more limited environments (Second Life and it's 16kB limit for code and data per script comes to mind), I can't help but think we could achieve so much more with our modern hardware if we all took on this mentality. Sure it is rarely an absolute necessity anymore but the fewer bytes and cycles you burn unnecessarily the more you can pull off awesome effects with the resources saved. It's harder work sure but it would be exactly this sort of effort that disrupts the industry and pushes the medium forward by raising the bar. Taking this on board in a big way would probably result in a good path to becoming a future classic that forces the rest of the industry to play catch up by forcing them to out-innovate the leader. I'm rather sick of seeing games bog up and slow down in late game (particularly 4x games) due to things I can envisage several solutions to sure some of them would require a few hundred if not thousands of programmer hours but this is within the budget of AAA productions.
I know this can be done as I helped with the development of an optimization mod for a 4x game that shall not be named right now, granted it took our 4 developer team a little over 3 months working basically part-time schedules (+16h per week each) so probably 800-900 man-hours to pull of the initial public release but it's doable. Probably would have been less effort for the developer to do it as we had to work within the limitations of the binary code already released by the developer and did not have the ability to refactor the source code directly (Though some use of exploits did allow some refactoring at the assembly level but this is way more time consuming, high level languages exist for a reason namely assembler is slow as hell to code in).
This is my fav MVG video and the one I link to friends to interest them in the channel.
The well-groomed deficit semiannually rub because profit philosophically preach absent a yummy cactus. large, racial suggestion
I'm surprised it has that window layer. I always assumed the status area like in Link's Awakening was done by a raster split.
Mindblowing, Awesome video !!
Nintendo: making technically inferior market leaders for 100+ years
Great video as always, MVG!
This really helped get my head around a lot of the graphics drawing options as I start homebrew Game Boy development in C.
3:33 This is incorrectly illustrated. The grid would have to move with the screen. Otherwise, it implies that the tiles themselves are constantly changing, which would kind of defeat the purpose of the tiles in the first place.
how that piece of shit becomes a best seller
Kirbys dream land
Kirbys dream land 2
Pokemon Red Blue Yellow
Super Mario land 2 6: golden coins
Donkey kong land
Castlvania belmonts revenge
I could go on for ages but thoes are just the tip of the barrel for AMAZING gameboy games
You lost me with all the technical mumjo jumbo with how the waves and rain clouds work in Link's Awakening, but other than that, nice video!
I got a DMG in about 1994 and didn’t use it much, preferring the Super Nintendo. It wasn’t until the color came out that it really hooked me. Going back now as an adult, it’s wild how many good games they actually managed to make for the system. There’s a lot of gold there, and a backlit or IPS game boy pocket is a beautiful platform to play them on.
8 kilobytes worth of vram
Here's a silly idea. How graphics worked on the Atari 2600/VCS.
1:00 I heard 75% of those megahertz in the CPU go down the drain cuzz the memory was only 25% as fast…
Very useless learning for New game dev
I think a calculator is stronger..
Please, more Game boy related videos 😉
I was playing DQ7 for 3ds and my roomate was like, "that game is lame you need to look up Dragon Warrior for gameboy. Thats my favorite gameboy game." He keeps repeating this and finally I look it up and realize Dragon warior is Dragon Quest.
Let me laught … nintendo is years behind every other competitor 🤣
saga 2 and 3
it is said that the GameBoy has only 4 colours/shades but @ 11:18 it looks like there are more than 4 colours on the DK game so I'm a bit confused. Is there any explanation about that?
Intéressant mais il faut songer à mettre des sous titre, au revoir merci
This is honestly the best channel
I think there's an argument to be made that sure, due to the Game Boy's longevity, the games later on ended up being better than late-era 1992-1994 NES games, but many of the good Game Boy games are, to me, viewed though the lens of, "wow, it's a wonder how they managed to make this feel as good as an NES game." I guess the most advanced Gameboy games Pit-Fighter, Spanky's Quest, Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, Wordtris, Race Drivin', Zool: Ninja of the "Nth" Dimension, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, Chuck Rock, the Mortal Kombat games, the Sports Illustrated games, We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story, Spider-Man/X-Men in: Arcade's Revenge, F1 Pole Position, Riddick Bowe Boxing, Black Bass: Lure Fishing, Super Chase H.Q., Total Carnage, Captain America and the Avengers, Ultima: Runes of Virtue II, Lamorghini American Challenge, Jeopardy!: Sports Edition, Mickey's Ultimate Challenge, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, Cool Spot, Tiny Toon Adventures: Wacky Sports Challenge, Samurai Shodown, WildSnake, Contra: The Alien Wars, the Madden games, WWF Raw, The Pagemaster, BreakThru!,seaQuestDSV, Yogi Bear in Yogi Bear's Goldrush, Daffy Duck: The Marvin Missions, Jurassic Park Part 2: The Chaos Continues, The Flintstones, Pac-Attack, Pac-In-Time, Elite Soccer, NBA Jam: Tournament Edition, True Lies, Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf, Jungle Strike, Urban Strike, the NHL games, Judge Dredd, the Donkey Kong Land games, Batman Forever, Primal Rage, Foreman for Real, Earthworm Jim, Street Fighter II, Shaq Fu, NFL Quarterback Club '96, Killer Instinct, the FIFA games, Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Vegas Stakes, Zoop, Frank Thomas' Big Hurt Baseball, Prehistorik Man, Cutthroat Island, College Slam, NBA Live '96, Toy Story, Olympic Summer Games: Atlanta 1996, Tetris Attack, Disney's Pinocchio, Street Racer, Kirby's Star Stacker, Ken Griffey, Jr. Presents Major League Baseball: Game Boy Version, Harvest Moon GB, and Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow, felt almost more like black and green and/or black and white SNES games rather than NES games. Conceptually and technically, games were more mature across the GB’s lifespan than across the NES, Super NES and N64.
This is very useful because I'm considering getting into the gameboy homebrew scene
In super mario land there is no window, it is part of backgroung which doesnt scroll
10:40 I used to program Gameboy Color for a living, and I have no idea how this scaling effect is achieved.
Data compression was an important part of every videogame system that I ever worked on. These big scrolling worlds would take up too much space, so they have to be stored compressed on the ROM, and decompressed on the fly.
When you play a Gameboy game on the Super Gameboy, or the Gameboy Color, the sprites use a different set of four colours than the backgrounds. In fact, the sprites have two separate sets of four colours. I don't think that the SGB and the GBC were on the horizon when the first GB games came out, so what was Nintendo's plan?
awww the good old gray(?) gameboy, my first "console"… good times, good times!
Metroid 2 was my first and favourite Gameboy game, then Micro Machines and Tennis.
this might be kind of a pointless question, but you said the rain in Link's Awakening intro was rng generated, so doesn't that mean it's a different pattern each time you watch it? or was that just for the first recording of the cut scene? (if that's how it even works lol)
It was so damn affordable! I could buy it with my student allowance. And I hacked the shit out of it. Lovely little machine.
Whenever I hear of duplication of Kilobytes of RAM as an Electronics Engineer. I put a smile on my face and think "Oh that was for rest of the audience" 🙂 Great content tho.
Interesting! Super Mario Land is NOT using a window -or BGB never shows window enabled in the control register. Instead, it relies on LYC register probably to change the scroll when drawing the top. Thanks Mordern Vintage Gamer -I had skipped LYC and seeing this video made me accidentally fix the top scrolling by implementing it!!
My math(s) was incorrect at 2:29. 160×144 for a 2 bit palette is a 5.7kb framebuffer not 22kb