The Let's Play Archive

Pokemon Blue

by Metroixer

Part 17: Let's Literally Fix Pokemon Blue

Let's Literally Fix Pokemon Blue.

Having been inspired by this thread, I set out on a new mission in life. To heal the broken and hurting Pokemon cartridges of the world to resell them at a profit for the satisfaction of knowing I had saved the life of a dying cart. I suppose you could say I'm a little like Team Rocket Mr. Fuji.

My journey took me to ebay, where for $300 I purchased 169 "broken" Pokemon games in one fell swoop. I have since discovered that Nintendium is perhaps not as strong as it is assumed, and that not all Pokemon games are created equal.

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Some of them worked immediately, no fuss needed. Some required a thorough scrubbing with alcohol before returning to life. When the dust had cleared, and all had been cleaned and tested, I had rescued about 1/4 of them (enough to recoup my investment) from certain doom.

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Most of them need new batteries, but that is within the realm of my technical expertise. It appears that most of the working GBA carts are . Drat. Generation II has held up much better than Generation I, with a scant three copies of Pokemon Blue doing what they are supposed to.

The ones that do have working batteries are fun because it's interesting to see the games kids had going when their carts broke. Several have more than a hundred play hours on them, including one that belonged to a kid named "Pimpin" whose lv. 100 Meganium is nicknamed "Princess."

Unfortunately not all were so easy to fix. These here refuse to boot to anything except a black or white screen. The problem does not appear to be in the connections, as the gold contacts are in fairly good shape for most of them, nor is there obvious damage to their boards. Very perplexing. I'm open to most any idea on how to make them work again.

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Nintendo is not a fair a loving God.

Take for example this fine young copy of Pokemon Blue, who is perfectly beautiful inside and out. He is one of the only games out of 169 without some manner of damage to the cartridge, be it the remains of a Gamestop sticker, a faded or torn label, or the words RICHARD THIS IS MY GAME scrawled in black permanent ink on the back.

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Yet, he boots only to a white screen.

Then take for instance his Red cousin here, whose name would be "Filthy" if Pokemon carts had names.

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Filthy here has had a rough life. His plastic case has been gnawed on by a dog or perhaps an enraged grandparent. Inside, his save battery has exploded leaving battery acid all over the place (a fairly common occurrence, it seems.)

But he still works. Perfectly, I might add. He didn't even require his pins cleaned with alcohol first.

These carts were not so lucky:

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They all show the infamous "corrupted Nintendo logo" and won't go past the Gameboy bios. No manner of alcohol scrubbing or blowing seems to have helped. Some are obviously never going to work, but I'll try buffing the connection with Brasso or some other abrasive, so there might be hope for some of them yet. If anyone knows any other methods of fixing those golden connector pins, I'm all ears.

And then there are those that are just plain weird. Let's examine this bad boy:

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I have dubbed him "Geordi" because the fine child that owned him before me saw fit to draw a beautiful visor on his face. I am contemplating doing so as well to his remaining Blue brothers as it enhances the coolness of Blastoise exponentially.

But Geordi has a problem. You see, the Professor Oak in this game has a very different personality than in the others, because all he does is scream and then stare at you.
Evidence for the madness.

He isn't the only game with problems. I have a copy of Pokemon Red that plays hell music whenever any sort of text appears or you try to look at the Pokemon in it's party. It still has a working save file, and apparently belonged to a kid named Josh. Josh is probably a wizard and this game is probably cursed.

Pokemon Yellow:Special Pikachu Edition seems to evolve into Pokemon Black: Special Missingno Edition over time. I have eight carts where all the graphics have been replaced with black boxes with red stripes.

And finally, a copy of Pokemon Red where all the Pokemon are replaced by a black keyhole shaped object. This makes battles rather amusing.

These are by no means the only games that work but really don't, some have partially corrupted graphics (like a Squirtle that's halfway there) and some crash after hitting new game. Probably the saddest is the one that anticlimactically crashes as soon as the Pokemon logo slams down.

...and then there are those that are vile beyond belief. This copy of Pokemon Gold looks innocent enough,

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But looking inside:

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We find that it's soaked in a sticky, gooey substance of unknown origin. I really don't want to know where this thing has been (hence why it's on my back porch and not my kitchen table with the others.)

But the absolute worst, most hideous is what this copy of Pokemon Silver has inside:

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There's a fungus colony, or something in there. It was probably stored in a very humid location for too long. It's like this Pokemon Silver wants to become Pokemon Green, or it's original owner used "Spore" attack one time too many.

I can't fix this. Nobody can fix this. This perverse blending of organic and electric must be purged from this world.

So I set it on fire.

So that's my story. If anyone knows how to make some of these work, particularly those that boot to a blank screen (or even just knows what causes it, my curiosity is piqued) I'd appreciate the advice. Otherwise, return to your regularly scheduled glitching!