Gameboy Color Colorized Games

Discussion of programming and development for the original Game Boy and Game Boy Color.
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Great Hierophant
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Gameboy Color Colorized Games

Post by Great Hierophant » Sun Dec 13, 2009 11:01 am

I have been trying to determine which of the original Gameboy games the Gameboy Color supports by using custom palettes. Not only do all of Nintendo's developed games have support, a few games from second or third parties also saw some support on the device. I believe that all have some kind of Nintendo connection. Since MESS supports using the officially and recently dumped Gameboy Color Boot ROM, I used it to identify what I believe are almost all the Gameboy games that use custom palettes on the Gameboy Color.

Since some of these games have multiple versions, I believe the Gameboy Color determines whether it supports a Gameboy game by checking the game's name in the cartridge header. Since there are no human-readable ASCII strings in the dumped boot ROM, I would guess that the ROM generates a checksum and compares it with a table contained within it and if a match occurs, then it sets a custom palette. I have counted 54 games with support, and at 2.25 bytes, there little likelihood that the actual game names could be stored within the ROM. contains all the information anyone would need to find out whether the GBC supports more than the 54 games I have discovered. Here are the games I have found:
  • Adventures of Lolo
    Asteroids / Missile Command
    Balloon Kid
    Battle Arena Toshinden
    Defender / Joust
    Donkey Kong
    Donkey Kong Land
    Donkey Kong Land 2: Diddy's Kong Quest
    Donkey Kong Land 3
    Dr. Mario
    F-1 Race
    For the Frog the Bell Tolls (Kaeruno Tameni)
    Galaga / Galaxian
    Gameboy Gallery
    Gameboy Wars
    Game & Watch Gallery
    Game & Watch Gallery 2
    James Bond 007
    Kid Icarus – Of Myths and Monsters
    Killer Instinct
    King of Fighters '95
    Kirby's Block Ball
    Kirby's Dream Land
    Kirby's Dream Land 2
    Kirby's Pinball Land
    Kirby's Star Stacker
    Mario's Picross
    Mario's Picross 2
    Metroid II: Return of Samus
    Mole Mania
    Nintendo World Cup
    Play Action Football
    Pocket Monsters Blue
    Pocket Monsters Green
    Pocket Monsters Red
    Pocket Monsters Pikachu
    Pokemon Blue
    Pokemon Red
    Radar Mission
    Solar Striker
    Space Invaders
    Star Wars
    Street Fighter II
    Super Mario Land
    Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
    Super R.C. Pro-Am Racing
    Tetris 2
    Tetris Attack
    Tetris Blast
    The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
    Top Rank Tennis
    Vegas Stakes
    Wario Land 2
    Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3
    Wave Race
    Yoshi's Cookie
The Gameboy Camera also probably has a custom color scheme, but I have no way to test that.

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Post by Dwedit » Sun Dec 13, 2009 1:54 pm

It does indeed calculate a checksum of the game's title to select which palettes to use.
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Post by johannesmutlu » Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:59 am

according to wikipedia 89 gameboy games are supported by the gameboycolor to have their own colorpallet,games wich are not supported will have the colorpallet in default mode red green. :D
also the gameboycolor has 12 color pallets to chose from,but i wish nintendo had added 48 color pallets to it,by using all possible button comninations of the d-pad,A,B,start and select ,likely there is the brainboy adaptor to costumize your own colorpallet,but the way to do it is akward,and not all games will work properly,also sad is you cannot swap color pallets at any time,like on the supergameboy.
but the way how nintendo succeeded to magically turn their b&w gameboy games in color is amezing.
despites these games has only 4 shades of gray,but by colorizing these sprites and backgrounds saperately,10 colors becomes possible including transparrant.
so now,these old gb games do become more life like,more presentible,in order to closely look more like their nes versions.
Last edited by johannesmutlu on Thu Aug 06, 2015 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by mikejmoffitt » Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:06 am

If someone could build something like GBColorizer that was more reliable and stable, that'd be a great thing to have. Some games work great with it.

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Re: Gameboy Color Colorized Games

Post by fenix00 » Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:09 pm

mikejmoffitt wrote:If someone could build something like GBColorizer that was more reliable and stable, that'd be a great thing to have. Some games work great with it.
ColorIt Painter ... hp?t=34643

Check this.

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Re: Gameboy Color Colorized Games

Post by LocalH » Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:13 pm

According to this, there are 144 unique cartridges that the CGB bootstrap ROM recognizes for setting palettes (including revisions and different regions).

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