Original Post

Hello all, I’m new here, after purchasing my first Virtual Boy. Here are the events that led up to this:

So I was about 10 years old when the VB first came out, and I have always been a techical-minded person; I was fascinated with “virtual reality” and stereoscopic 3D aspects of the VB. My parents were very anti-videogame and the most I had managed to get out of them was a gameboy with a few games. I pretty much knew I wouldn’t ever get a VB, but I still wanted one. We had a local movie rental place that also rented games, and they were known to have a few console displays from time to time. They received a VB demo unit and set it on the counter where you pay. Every time we went my parents wouldn’t let me go near it, because they were paranoid about it hurting my eyes or whatever. So I would keep track of them and when they weren’t looking I would run up to the counter and try to play for a minute. Needless to say I didn’t get much out of that, and I never really got to experience the VB. But as I got older, I never really forgot about it. To me it always seemed “ominous” and “mysterious” in a way, and I wanted to play it more than anything.

We moved to another town, and I became friends with the neighbors. After about a year, I found out the older brother had a VB in his room, so I finally worked up the courage to ask if I could play it. They tried to find it in his closet, but they never did, so I again did not get to play it.

Then when I was either in 8th or 9th grade I was asking some of my friends if they remembered the Virtual Boy. Most didn’t, but one guy responded, “I heard they’re selling those really cheap at Best Buy right now.” I hadn’t heard that, so I got really excited. Maybe it was fate that I hadn’t played it for this long and now I get to buy one for like $20 on clearance. So the next day I convinced someone to drive me there and I practically ran back to the games section. I couldn’t find any VB’s on the shelves so I asked the nearest employee. He knew what I was talking about, so he checked inventory. Turns out they had just sold the last of their VB stock earlier that morning, so I was out of luck.

Fast forward to today. I’m in college and I’m sort of in that nostalgic/revist-childhood phase, so naturally I’ve been interested in the VB. I’ve been keeping an eye on ebay auctions for VB’s for the past couple of years, but I never pulled the trigger. I finally decided “It’s time” so yesterday I bought a good-condition/working VB with all the important accessories and 6 games. It should get here some time this week. Needless to say, I’m incredibly excited! πŸ˜€ I am also an electrical/computer engineer, and the programming aspect of the VB really fascinates me. Perhaps if I get some free time I might try toying around with some code. I see there is a small homebrew community here and I think that’s awesome! I didn’t realize there were so many people passionate about the VB. If you go to youtube, all the videos about the VB are filled with ignorance and about how “it will make you go blind” or whatever. Totally bogus. Anyway, thanks for listening to my long story, that’s about it. I’m looking forward to revisiting some fond memories.

30 Replies

I made this with help from the available documentation:

Upside: only one circuit per game – no need to split the games in odd and even bytes.

Downside: the 27C160 only exists as UV-eprom or OTP-eprom… πŸ™ You could use TSOP and a TSOP socket ofcourse…

Thanks for the links. I don’t think I’m going to go the EPROM route because I don’t have a programmer/eraser for those and it could get expensive. I may try my hand at designing my own version of the FlashBoy. It will probably have to wait until this summer though, I’m too busy.

Wario Land and Teleroboxer arrived last Friday. Virtual League Baseball and Galactic Pinball should get here in a day or too.

I’m really enjoying both WL and TB. Teleroboxer is a HARD game but also very fun and rewarding. I had a good laugh because the previous owner had three save states, each with 1 victory and 50+ losses. I bet he got tired of facing the second boxer, haha. I just beat the second guy and I’m working on the third. It seems both of the backup batteries in these carts are still going, so we’ll see how long they last.

Wario Land has some excellent 3D effects, and I like the puzzle element of jumping between foreground and background. I haven’t gotten very far yet, but I’m working on it.

I’m wondering, I have heard of people playing the VB by laying on their back and letting the unit rest on their face while playing. I tried this and the weight of the VB made my face hurt – I couldn’t get it situated comfortably. Is there a trick to this that I don’t know of? Until then I’ll continue playing it on the stand.

I personally always use the stand… I agree that resting it on my face isn’t comfortable, as well as getting motion sick from the VB moving around whenever is move just a little πŸ˜› .


I just have to say it Vaughanabe13…


Haha nice. When’s the last time Iowa State scored a touchdown on us? I think it was over 3 years ago…

Well, I just had to say it. If you’re ever in Ames, stop by Gamers on Lincoln Way. They’ve usually got a few VB games, they’ve even got some in box. I know you said you’re not in to collecting them, but you might find one that you don’t have for cheap.

Thanks for the tip. There is a Gamers in Iowa City as well and they also carry a few odd VB games. Unfortunately they usually ask a higher price than what I can find on eBay, and they never have the dust covers or boxes/manuals. I never see any VB systems or accessories though, only the games. It makes me wonder who the people are that are selling these games to them…

I haven’t been to the one in Iowa City, but I have been to one of the Gamers in Des Moines. There is a very big difference between the different locations. I visited that one in Des Moines and it didn’t even compare to the one I frequent in Ames. The store was trashed, the guys there weren’t helpful (or all that knowledgeable), and they didn’t have a whole lot on the shelves. So I would recommend visiting several (I especially recommend the Ames location). So if you are in town for an Iowa/Iowa State game, or visiting any smart friends you have at ISU πŸ˜€ you should check it out.

The one in IC is not the best, but they do have a decent collection of old games (PSX/N64 and earlier age). They had 6 VB games when I checked today, so that’s not too bad.


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