Game Boy / Game Boy Color

Check the dumping hardware overview for a list of known preservation hardware.

If you need help, please come chat with us on the VGPC Discord.

There are numerous tools available for dumping Game Boy / Game Boy Color games. The cheapest tool for dumping carts is a GBxCart RW, followed by the Joey Jr.

The (now discontinued) Submodule GB01 dumper is not recommended, as there is no known way to manually change the dumping settings and the automatic setting detection does not work on some carts.

Important Notes

  • Unopened games should have their ROM and save data dumped before attempting to play them. This avoids inadvertent modification of the data and helps preserve the game in its unused/“factory” state. Note in your submission whether the physical media was sealed and include a photo of the cart/packaging in its sealed state, if possible.
  • You should clean the physical media's electrical contacts before trying to dump it, and dump it twice, checking if both dumps match using a file comparison tool or calculating the SHA256 of each file and comparing those values.

Supports: GB/GBC/GBA, Game Boy Camera, and Nintendo Power Carts and Bootleg flashing

Please see the the page for Lesserkuma's open-source software for the GBxCart RW, FlashGBX.

Nintendo Power cart dumps will include a .map metadata file - include this in your dump submission.

Supports: GB/GBC/GBA, Game Boy Camera, and Nintendo Power Carts and Bootleg flashing.

For latest official instruction on how to use the Joey Jr, please see the official user guide.

You should add “NPC” as a line in MODE.TXT, so that it dumps the .map metadata file from Nintendo Power carts, which you should include in your dump submission.

The Open Source Cartridge Reader (OSCR) comes with Game Boy / Game Boy Color dumping capabilities by default. Follow the OSCR wiki for proper settings, and dumping instructions. If it is a Nintendo Power cart you are dumping, also select the “Read Mapping” option to dump the .map metadata file, which you should include in your dump submission.

Hit Save! has RetroBlaster cart dumping kits available for community members to borrow.

The RetroBlaster software currently only supports Windows and is available on the RetroBlaster github.

Make sure the RetroBlaster voltage switch is set to 5V (not the 3V setting).

Connect the GB/GBC/GBA adapter to the RetroBlaster. To seat the adapter, firmly but gently push the adapter in until the pins are no longer showing.

Insert the cartridge the adapter, with the label side facing up.

Open the RetroBlaster software (click Run if you see a security warning about the publisher not being verified) and navigate to the GameBoy/GBC tab.

Click “Dump ROM.” Choose the location and filename for your ROM.

The activity LED will turn on on the RetroBlaster board. A progress bar will indicate the status of the dump, and information will be displayed on the 'status' log when the dump is complete.

You can also dump the SRAM from this same tab, by clicking the “Dump SRAM” button.

Unscrew the back of the cartridge with a 3.8mm Gamebit or line head screw driver, carefully separating the bottom half of the cart's shell. Once the screw is removed, gently slide the label side of the cart down to expose the PCB.

S = System (DMG = Game Boy, CGB = Game Boy Color)
T = Type (N = Normal)
G = Game code (e.g. KY = Kirby's Dream Land)
R = Region (A = World, J = Japan, E = USA, P = Europe)
V = Version (starts at 0)

Once you've dumped your games, it's time to generate and submit metadata to a preservation project for validating and cataloging. See the dump submission instructions for more information.

  • carts/nintendo/gameboy.txt
  • Last modified: 2023/03/25 19:55
  • by hiccup