GB Enhanced

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GB Enhanced is a Game Boy video console emulator, which includes the possibility to edit video games sprites.

Game Boy was the first handheld console released to the market from the Japanese company Nintendo. It had great sales success and this was due to the immense catalog of video games that were developed for the console. Nowadays, thanks to the emulation systems we can remember past experiences and play GB video games.

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GB Enhanced (GBE) is a new Game Boy emulator. In the second quarter of 2014 it was released first emulator version (1.0). Despite the fact that there are some aspects that can be improved, the emulation of the console is almost complete, and the compatibility with video games is very high, so we can enjoy almost all the Game Boy titles. Graphics and sound emulation are correct and we don't notice any defect eye-catching.

In current version (1.0), there is no user interface, so the program runs from command line. To load a video game ROM we have to type in Windows terminal “gbe Game_Name.gba”. Keep in mind that ROM file must be uncompressed to be able to play it.

Emulator configuration is made by editing “gbe.ini” file that is located in emulator root directory. In this file we will be able to configure emulator keys, full-screen and more options.

Default keys to play are the following:

  • Start = Enter
  • Select = Space Bar
  • Gamepad = arrow Keys
  • A Button = z
  • B Button = x

One of the main features of this emulator is the ability to load custom “sprites” (graphics), and therefore to modify game visual appearance. Thanks to this, Game Boy will be able to display color or even textures.

We can download video games “sprites” from specialized forums, or we can create ourselves. The process to create new “sprites” is the following:

  1. Run the emulator and save video game “sprites” in a folder. To achieve this we need to run the emulator as follows: gbe "Legend of Zelda, The - Link s" --dump_sprites
  2. Edit saved graphics that are located in “Dump” folder with an image editor (Photoshop, GIMP, etc.).
  3. We load the new graphics into the game with the following command: gbe "Legend of Zelda, The - Link s" --load_sprites

The location of “Dump” folder is located by default in emulator root directory, however, we can change this by editing “gbe.ini” file.

This software is open source and is free of charge. Its development is active and in future versions, the author has thought to add a graphical user interface, create an advanced system of debugging and support the emulation of Game Boy Color.

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