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GBC Atomic Purple

The Atomic Purple model for the Game Boy Color

The Game Boy Color is a handheld system serving as both the fourth model of the Game Boy and its successor. The Game Boy Color was released in late 1998. It is similar to original Game Boy units, although the most notable difference and selling point of the Game Boy Color is that its games have a full-color display. The Game Boy Color also features a processing power that is twice the speed.

The Game Boy Color is entirely backward compatible with Game Boy software, including its accessories, such as the Game Link Cable, compatible with the first-generation core series games, and non-standard features such as the camera protruding out of a Game Boy Camera. Original Game Boy games can now be played in color using a color palette by using either one of or a combination of the D-Pad, A, and B buttons, similar to what the Super Game Boy allowed for.

The Game Boy Color has identical controls to that of the original Game Boy and Nintendo Entertainment System controllers: a D-Pad and the A, B, Start, and Select buttons.

Pokémon games[]

The first Pokémon game released for the Game Boy Color is Pokémon Trading Card Game, originally released in Japan on December 18, 1998. The next release was Pokémon Pinball, which has a rumble feature built into its cartridge. Afterward, and most notably, came the introduction of the second generation core series titles Pokémon Gold Version and Pokémon Silver Version. The fourth release is a Panel de Pon-style puzzle game titled Pokémon Puzzle Challenge. The fifth release is another core series game, Pokémon Crystal Version. Lastly, a sequel to the Pokémon Trading Card Game was released, Pokémon Card GB2 Here Comes Team Great Rocket!, which is the only Pokémon Game Boy Color game to not receive an international release. There was one canceled Pokémon game for the system, Pokémon Picross.

One Pokémon game for the Game Boy was released during the Game Boy Color's lifespan, Pokémon Yellow Special Pikachu Edition, although this is only true for the international versions because the Japanese version was released a few weeks before the Game Boy Color's launch. Additionally, international copies of Pokémon Yellow have enhanced features if played on the Game Boy Color.

Game compatibility[]

Early Game Boy Color games were generally released on a black cartridge with the header "Game Boy," allowing for backward compatibility on original Game Boy units, whereas clear Game Boy Color cartridges have the header "Game Boy Color," indicating that they cannot be played on Game Boys, and if the user attempts to play it on a Game Boy, an error message is shown. A relative Pokémon example is that Pokémon Trading Card Game was released on a black cartridge, so it can also be played on a Game Boy, whereas Pokémon Puzzle Challenge was released on a clear cartridge, so it cannot be played on a Game Boy. While Pokémon Gold and Silver both have a uniquely colored cartridge, they have the shape of a black Game Boy Color cartridge, and they were designed for backward compatibility on original Game Boy units. Their follow-up title, Pokémon Crystal, does not make use of this.

Both Game Boy and Game Boy Color cartridges are backwards compatible with Game Boy Advance units (except for the Game Boy micro model) and the Game Boy Player peripheral for the Nintendo GameCube.


GBC Pokemon Special Edition

The Pokémon Special Edition model

The Game Boy Color was released in a variety of colors upon release. and each type had its own distinct name; the six main models were Atomic Purple (translucent light purple), Berry (hot pink), Dandelion (yellow), Grape (dark purple), Kiwi (light green), and Teal (light blue).

There are a few Pokémon-themed Game Boy Color models, such as the Pokémon Special Edition. This model is a brighter yellow than the Dandelion model, and its faceplate displays a Poké Ball surrounding the LED power indicator, a Pikachu at the bottom left, and both a Jigglypuff and Togepi at the bottom right. The D-Pad is colored blue, the A button is red, and the B button is green. The Pokémon logo is also displayed just above the Start and Select buttons, which have the same colors as the traditional models.