Game Boy Advance Emulator Contains Option That Brings Back Warm, Horrifying Memories

Game Boy Advance Emulator Contains Option That Brings Back Warm, Horrifying Memories

A feature on a Game Boy Advance emulator reminds me nostalgia is a landscape of contrasting feelings.

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.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve, About.com, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

Read this next

Kunai Is The Best Feeling Platformer I've Played Since Dead Cells

This tiny robot samurai wins with precise platforming action.

What's Your Favorite Console Revision?

COMMUNITY QUESTION | The Switch Lite is out today, so let's look back on the history of console revisions.

FIFA 20 Review: This Year's Version Takes to the Streets, But It's Strongest on the Pitch

A brand new mode and some much-improved gameplay highlight an ambitious update for FIFA.

Spiritfarer's Art Director on Encouraging Relaxation, Exploration, and Just Chilling on a Boat

How Spirited Away led to a cozy management sim about the afterlife.

Borderlands 3's First Limited-Time Event Will Be a Free Halloween Ghoul Hunt

All Borderlands 3 players will have a few weeks to scoop up some creepy loot and take down a boney boss.

Apple Arcade Brings Game Pricing Concerns Back to the Forefront

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Will successful subscription services turn into their own walled gardens?

More News

Spiritfarer's Art Director on Encouraging Relaxation, Exploration, and Just Chilling on a Boat

How Spirited Away led to a cozy management sim about the afterlife.

Borderlands 3's First Limited-Time Event Will Be a Free Halloween Ghoul Hunt

All Borderlands 3 players will have a few weeks to scoop up some creepy loot and take down a boney boss.

Street Fighter 2's Creator on Why Blocking Was Once a Controversial Issue

A creator and a pro sit down to talk blocking in fighting games.

More on Game Boy Advance

What's Your Favorite Console Revision?

COMMUNITY QUESTION | The Switch Lite is out today, so let's look back on the history of console revisions.

Downhill Jam: The Game Industry Reflects on 20 Years of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater turns 20 in September, so we spoke to people across the industry who remember the series fondly.

In Memorium: Fire Emblem's Juicy, Chunky GBA Sprites

A little bit of sprite art could convey a lot of emotion on the GBA.

A Reminder for Fans Raging About Pokemon Sword and Shield: Every New Entry is Somebody's First

In this exciting issue: I recall dismissing Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire as "lazy" back in 2002.

Transferring Pokemon From the GBA to the Modern Games is an Insane and Convoluted Ballet

Bringing Pokemon from Gen 3 to the new games is like delivering a breech Miltank calf: You gotta twist and pull a little.