A Game Boy Advance emulator called mGBA, contains an easily-overlooked feature that will imbue your soul with nostalgia. In the « Emulation » menu, under « Reset » and « Shut Down, » there’s an option to « Yank out game pack. »
Twitter user « mcclure111 » shared a snapshot of the option over the weekend. While it’s not unusual for an emulator to offer an option to remove a game cartridge while the « hardware » still runs (doing so lets you exploit some retro games’ bugs—the « Minus Worlds » that pop up in old NES games are an excellent example), mGBA’s choice of words is pretty funny. Nearly everyone who grew up with cartridge-based games can be accused of removing their software packs a little roughly; the SNES in particular has a very stylish and functional « Eject » button that many SNES owners ignored in favor of tearing games out of the system with the fervor of a space marine removing a parasitic alien embryo from a comrade’s abdomen.
mGBA’s chosen terminology reminds me of how hardy cartridge games are. They got bashed around, they fell down staircases, and they were carried away by dogs, but most of them are still functioning today. My family’s copy of Pac-Man for the Atari 2600 is riddled with pen-sized stab-wounds (I might’ve been responsible; not confirming or denying), and it never stopped working, unfortunately.
On the flipside, cartridge-based game systems will shriek, blare, and otherwise freak out if you remove a cart without properly shutting off the system. Systems that use CDs and game cards just wring their hands and say « Gosh, would you mind putting the game back in if it’s not too much trouble? Thanks. » Not cartridge-based consoles. If you interrupt them, you can expect a severe talking-to. I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve had more than one bad dream that involved the low drone of an angry NES.
Through cartridge-based game systems do not forgive or forget murder attempts, they’re still home to some of the best games ever made. Check out our reviews of the games included on the SNES Classic Edition if you need proof.
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