Of all the projects I had to get around to finally finishing, installing my Gameboy Pocket backlight was one of the ones that was top of my list for a while. I only wish I had been able to do that as a kid! I would have been stoked to play Pokemon more covertly when it was released. Back in 1998 on a family trip to the beach in Maryland, we stopped in Delaware (no sales tax!) at a Walmart shortly after Pokemon Red and Blue were released. My brother and I had been playing Mega Man II on the ONE Gameboy (really it was mine but I was good at sharing) we had in the car at the time.
Our parents thought we had been good or whatever, so we both got copies of Red and Blue just on a whim. This was really rare because we were just middle of the road as far as money went growing up. The guy behind the sales desk was telling us he had heard about this “Pokee-man” thing and it sounded cool, but he hadn’t played it yet. We happily got the games which were like I dunno $40 or $50 back then, it was rare that we got a game that wasn’t on Christmas or Birthday so it was extra cool. We even got a launch day or week whatever button for Pokemon (that I still have, great stuff) which was really cool and added the the mystique of such a new game.
Prior to the release of the games, I had gotten the Pokemon Power magazines which were, and still are, awesome. I loved those things, reading, re-reading, dreaming about all the gameplay and cool things that the game had to offer. The interesting scenarios, the pokemon to collect, it was all so new and cool at that time with the battling and traveling the large world, it was great. When we finally flicked on the Gameboy with the cool Red and Blue cartridges for the first time we were blown away it was unlike anything I had played before. I had played plenty of Western RPGs like Bard’s Tale, and such, but never played a JRPG before, so it was a novelty, and a change of pace.
Now, this brings me to why the backlight would have been handy! We had been staying at a cheap motel that night, and after we arrived and we weren’t very far into the game. We were pretty much still tooling around Veridian forest barely. When it came time for bed, we couldn’t sleep, we were still riding the Pokemon high. So we took turns playing, one of us would pretend to sleep, and the other would go into the bathroom off the to the side and play in there so our parents wouldn’t know. We rotated in 30 min shifts since we didn’t have another Gameboy and it was sweet. Needless to say having a backlit Gameboy would have made covert playing a lot easier!
Now I finally have mine backlit. It’s not the prettiest I noticed after that was installed I need to clean the screen, but it’s still perfectly playable so I’ll do that later. 😉
Nonelectronics.com is where I got my backlight from and it’s great aside from a little “dead zone” where the light doesn’t shine all that well, but it has been sitting in a box for 2 years so I chalk it up to that.
Until next time, have fun!