The Game Boy Color IR Sensor Was Weird and Underused -

The Game Boy Color IR Sensor Was Weird and Underused

Stuff We Play
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Like: 1728
The Game Boy Color was a good system. There’s no denying that.

But, it was also arguably just a stopgap between the Game Boy Pocket and Game Boy Advance. That said, it still had some neat tricks up its sleeve. One of the coolest (and most under-utilized) of these was the IR Sensor, a feature that was built into every single GBC and allowed for wireless communication between systems, pre-dating the Nintendo DS by five years!

Thus, let’s take a look at the GBC Infrared Sensor and go over how it works, before diving into all 29 games (that I know of at the time of making this video) that support IR stuff on the GameBoy Color! Today on Stuff We Play: The GameBoy Color IR Sensor Was Weird and Underused!

Time Stamps:

Intro and Background Info: 00:00​
How the IR Sensor Works: 01:53​
Robopon: 03:18​
Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal Versions: 04:25​
Bomberman MAX: 06:36​
Chee Chai Alien: 07:29​
Donkey Kong Country for GameBoy Color: 09:01​
Mission Impossible’s Weird GBC Game: 09:17​
Rare’s Racing Games: 09:30​
Ubi Key Games: 09:44​
Super Mario Bros. Deluxe: 11:07​
Pokémon Pinball: 11:32​
The Final GBC Game and the IR Sensor: 11:42​
Warlocked: 12:08​
Pokémon Trading Card Game/TCG GB2: 12:25​
Extra Bits: 13:45​
Conclusion: 14:32​

Correction: One game that I failed to mention in this video was Dancing Furby, a Japanese-exclusive title that communicates over IR with actual Furby toys! Legit, I might have to track that down for a video of its own someday!

In addition, both the Xena: Warrior Princess GBC game and the GBC port of Lego Island 2 apparently have basic IR support, though I have yet to test this.

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Music From:

Jamphibious (Via OCRemix)
‘Streets of Rave’

Epidemic Sound
Van Sandano
‘Antidote X’
Boogie Wheel
‘Easy Breezy’
‘Game Show’

The Distortionist (Via OCRemix)
‘Submerged in Ambience’

David Saks
‘Both Sides Now’

Additional Music and Sound Clips from ‘Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency’ and ‘Streets of Rage 2’.

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“Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.”

Thank you for watching!


  1. Whats with the swich joycon ir? Ok labo but?

  2. I still have the original trading card game cart and play it from time to time. I’ll have to look into this AI glitching and hacks. Sounds interesting

  3. I was a GBC programmer back in the day, and we supported the IR port. Thing was a real pain, it was only truly reliable if the two systems are straight across from each other and like 2 to 4 inches apart. And there was tons of interference, we had to include a lot of error checking and validation, if it failed we just had to try sending the data again. Which made it slow.

  4. I remember hearing about people changing traffic lights with the Mission Impossible GBC game, guess that was just an urban legend.

  5. Hey there! At 7:30 you show 「ちっちゃいエイリアン」 ちっちゃい is a colloquialism meaning little, small, or wee. I think a more accurate translation might be "Lil' Alien." 🙇 Great video!

  6. Ps vita back sensor was pretty underused. At least I never did.

  7. Thanks for the mention of Robopon, I never heard of it in Europe before. Fuuuuuuuun ^_____________________^

  8. This is the soul video that made youtube remove dislikes. Just to pull a gotem moment

  9. 1:14 "WIth the only difference being the color of them" And the lack of a notch in the corner on GBC-only games, that's an important feature, since it prevents you from trying to use them in an original Game Boy.

  10. Wireless multiplayer with IR was a dumb idea. It could barely be used for anything more than Pokemon trades. If you've ever used it you probably noticed that it was very particular about the two GBCs being parallel to eachother, and held at a certain distance, you couldn't move them at all. That would be awful for actually playing games together, especially since holding them at a horizontal angle would make all the glare from any light above you make it impossible to see the screen.

  11. I could've sworn you could trade Pokemon over IR In G/S/C. It's been like 20 years, but still, I thought my memory of that was pretty clear.

  12. 5:56 Are you telling me most people don't talk to every single NPC in Pokemon games in the hopes of getting free stuff? I always talked to every single NPC ever since R/B/Y even if I didn't necessarily read everything since my English was not that good yet.

  13. Pokemon TCG on Game Boy was great. I enjoy it more than the mainline series and I wish they kept making them. There's just something about being rewarded with cards after each battle that makes you want to grind so you can build the ultimate deck, I find that way more rewarding than just getting a little bit of exp at the end of each battle. I actually enjoy grinding in TCG, even more so because of the kickass music. I've never enjoyed grinding in any mainline Pokemon game, though I beat every trainer, my brain is on snooze the whole time and I am basically just spamming A while doing other things. TCG takes more strategizing than that, you can't win just by spamming A, you actually have to pay attention and use your head, which keeps battles from getting boring. Even battling the same person multiple times, each battle plays out differently due to the cards you're dealt.

  14. Those pokewalkers definitely were built to that oldschool Nintendo quality. I lent mine to my friend and he lost it. we found it 3 years later when he sucked it up in his lawn mower. The thing still worked!

  15. I was gonna mention robopon. But you actually mentioned it! Nice!
    I think it's the most unique cartridge I own

  16. out of the blue dunk on jkr upgraded the video from "oh i enjoy this, i should check out more" to windmill slamming the sub button lmao

  17. 6:27
    Holding it in my hand right now, ready to walk to work. Feels nice to in a sense, take my starter with me for a walk.

  18. This makes me want to buy a GB color or an Advance SP to play pokemon red

  19. I wonder if you couldn't trick a GBC with an IR transmitter/receiver wired up to send the same data as a another GBC would send for the Pokemon TCG's Card Pop

  20. TIL that the Pokémon TCG game got a sequel.

  21. Great video!
    No idea if it actually uses the IR feature, but I'd recommend looking into the later Harvest Moon games and Legend of the River King games…they had a lot of neat features, so I wouldn't be surprised if they snuck IR support in!

  22. What i miss the most about this IR time with the Gameboy, is that being connected was an option and a Luxury. It was a fancy thing back then. It was a feature that I looked forward to using if I ever got the opportunity! And I always thought of it as a high tech part that just wasn't figured out yet. I dreamed of me an my neighbor friend both buying a chat cartridge game so we could message each other!

  23. Before I even watch this… I never understood the sensor. Someone said that you could use it to trade without a trade cable and that never worked….

  24. I got a purple Gameboy color, pokemon blue, and pokemon yellow for my 6th birthday in 1999…God talk about good memories. I still remember sitting on my front porch, my neighbors Mookie (for some reason his family nicknamed him after the main char from that Spike Lee Joint) and Rachel (Who sadly died a few years back of a drug overdose) would come by and we'd all sit and play…I helped half my street get through Rock Tunnel, as many of them werent that good at the game and hadnt gotten Flash, luckily I had figured out how to get through without it…Actually thinking back i think i skipped flash most of the time lol kind of useless esp in 1st gen…Those were the days

  25. Wonder if different brands of VCR/TV remotes speak differently with compatible games due to variations in IR signal.

  26. I had the original Game Boy and you'd never see it having same brand batteries. Each battery was a different brand 😅. Always. Lol A Panasonic, Energizer, Duracell, & a generic battery.

  27. Haha, me and my mate could never get that card pop thing to work

  28. I played Pokémon TCG so much when I was a kid- I, too, recommend anyone interested in the TCG try out the fan-translation of the sequel! It's awesome!!

  29. Bro when I was in second grade I had my GBC at school and me and a friend both had pokemon and we were trying to figure out what the IR sensor does, so both of us tried to battle each other by putting the IR sensors right in front of each other and at some point they touched, and I shit you not, both of our games recognized each other and the players went into the battle room and as soon as they did the game kinda soft locked. We couldn’t battle or get in or out of the battle room.

  30. It's the same with the IR camera on the switch

  31. You seem to be missing the fact that in order to play a game on the original gb you had to have the notch on the top of the game. The power switch was on top of the game boy and it locked the game in. The gamboy color games were flush with no notch. The power switch being on the side. So you could not play gb color games on the origonal gb. Also most of the cases were transparent.

  32. hi hues to de able to de gest this hin hwon go noe I need to take notes?

  33. Government and Media divide the people says:

    Pokémon mystery trade with the IR sensor was awesome!!!

  34. I just unlocked a memory I forgot I had about The Road to El Dorado.. never thought about it since I set the game down 15+ years ago…… Wow… That was wild.. thanks dude. I'm gonna get that game real soon. ❤️

  35. I put a Growlithe on my pokewalker day 1 of getting pokemon heart gold. I have never taken him off. The things in storage right now but I wonder if the battery is still alive and what would happen to Growlithe if the battery died?

  36. Not many people had game boy color to begin. It was never as big as the original gameboy. I thought it was revolutionary as a heavy gameboy user though.

  37. The gameboy colors ir well it did connect myster gift for pokemon it also was used for pokemon lil gigapets but from what I remembered nintendo had plans to scrap the link cable then i also heard Nintendo had plans for it

  38. Surprisingly enough, you can actually use the 3DS IR when playing Virtual Console Pokemon games and it'll actually work just like it did on the originals. You can't connect 3DS to GBC, but 3DS to 3DS works great. I actually used it in hopes of trying to speed up the GSC Living Dex I was going for a couple years back

  39. Just a comment on Game Boy cart colors.
    GB carts are Gray.
    GBC enhanced games have a Black cart.
    GBC Exclusive games have a translucent cart.

    Obviously there are some exceptions like Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow/Gold/Silver (the first three being Super Game Boy enhanced and the latter two being meant mainly for GBC but compatible with older GB).

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