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

Rune 2 Publisher: Bethesda's Closure of Human Heading Studios is "Shocking News"

Publishing partner Ragnarok LLC says it learned of studio's closure at the same time as everyone else.

Here's Why Pokemon Fans Should Take the #GameFreakLied Claims With a Grain of Salt

Sword and Shield might reuse assets, but model wireframes aren't the end of the argument.

Several Big Google Stadia Features Won't Go Live Until 2020

Family sharing, Android compatibility, and more are missing the launch window.

Pokemon Sword and Shield's Director Has a Pretty Simple Explanation for Why Exp. Share is Always On

The new game's director explains why one feature is locked in the On position.

Rockstar is Promising Imminent Patch for Red Dead Redemption 2's Stuttering Woes

PC players with Nvidia gear have been hootin' and hollerin' for a fix.

AOC Reveals Her League of Legends Ranking, Which is Actually Higher Than Rick Fox's

Let's get an exhibition match in Summoner's Rift going.

More News

Rune 2 Publisher: Bethesda's Closure of Human Heading Studios is "Shocking News"

Publishing partner Ragnarok LLC says it learned of studio's closure at the same time as everyone else.

Here's Why Pokemon Fans Should Take the #GameFreakLied Claims With a Grain of Salt

Sword and Shield might reuse assets, but model wireframes aren't the end of the argument.

Several Big Google Stadia Features Won't Go Live Until 2020

Family sharing, Android compatibility, and more are missing the launch window.

Pokemon Sword and Shield's Director Has a Pretty Simple Explanation for Why Exp. Share is Always On

The new game's director explains why one feature is locked in the On position.

More on Game Boy Advance

The Analogue Pocket is Bringing Retro Handheld Gaming Back to Life

Analogue's new device looks like a Game Boy Pocket but supports a lot more than Game Boy classics.

Mario & Luigi Series Developer AlphaDream Files for Bankruptcy

The Superstar Saga creator is reportedly in severe debt.

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.