One of the best but unfortunately rarely used features of the Nintendo GameCube was the ability to communicate with the Game Boy Advance. Several games have used it, some exclusively, but now a lot more people can hopefully enjoy this idea with the release of a new version of the popular GameCube Dolphin emulator.
If you’ve never seen this technology in action, the GameCube allowed users to connect up to four handheld Game Boy Advance devices to the console and either unlock additional features or even play entire games with the handheld device. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and some Pokemon games examples of the former, with the GBA giving you access to bonus content that non-GBA players couldn’t get while Final Fantasy: The Crystal Chronicles and The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords were the last games entirely built on the idea, where up to four friends gather around one GameCube and play the game on their GBA.
To do this, you literally need to connect your GBA to the GameCube via cables (or, in even more rare cases, a wireless adapter), and being such a cumbersome solution in the real world, trying to imitate it was fraught with difficulty. The ability to do this has actually been around for over a decade, but it was only recently that emulators were able to do it properly, and even then you would have to run things separately, which was a little difficult for the average self. just want to play this old game for fun “user type.
The fact that Dolphin has now integrated GBA support by adding mGBA emulator changes everything… You can now play these GameCube games along with their controls and Game Boy Advance display from one program. The video below shows the new support in action:
It’s pretty cool, but as the video explains, it even improves on the original connection methods by adding support for online play. The biggest hindrance to anyone who has ever played games like Four swords not just finding three friends who own Game Boy Advances, but making them all want to play the game and then be in the same place at the same time to play it (even though it’s, you know, a huge part of why Nintendo developed these games). Now friends can just play together online, which hopefully means that many more people will be able to enjoy these unique, ahead of time events than at that time.
You can get the new Dolphin version and read the fascinating story of how the GBA x GameCube emulation got to this point. here…