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Boxart of the Mobile Adapter GB hardware
The Mobile Adapter GB (Japanese: モバイルアダプタGB Mobile Adapter GB) is a peripheral for the Game Boy Color, released on January 27, 2001 which allows players to connect to compatible Japanese mobile phones. It was never released outside of Japan. It is also compatible with the Game Boy Advance and Game Boy Advance SP. The peripheral was part of a service known as Mobile System GB (Japanese: モバイルシステムGB Mobile System GB) in which compatible games would use the Mobile Adapter GB for wireless play across the nation via the now defunct "gameboy.datacenter.ne.jp" server, that was hosted by Nintendo Network Service Development. KDDI Corporation was the internet service provider of the network. The peripheral was a collaboration between Nintendo and Mobile21, a company that was jointly owned by Nintendo and Konami.
The package was bundled with the original Mobile Adapter GB itself, which was a blue cable that could be used to connect to Japanese mobile phones. Included with the Mobile Adapter GB is the Mobile Trainer (Japanese: モバイルトレーナー Mobile Trainer) cartridge, that only boots up when the Mobile Adapter GB is connected to a compatible Japanese mobile phone. A special edition of the Mobile Adapter GB came packaged with Mobile Golf, which was a spin-off to the Mario Golf series used to test the Mobile Adapter GB. After the Mobile Adapter GB's release, different colored cables were sold separately which allows the player to connect to different types of phones, one of which was announced but never released.
The Mobile Adapter GB was first released with a recommended retail price of ¥5800, before a price cut to ¥3800 from July 19, 2001. Despite its promises, the service was not much of a commercial success and closed down in December 14, 2002, probably due to its high price, the additional costs involved and a general unwillingness of players to connect their phones to play games. The closure of the Mobile System GB service makes it impossible for players to link to the server, however, it is still possible to link with friends provided that a peer-to-peer network is used.
In addition to the blue Mobile Adapter GB cable, three other cables were announced. All of which were sold separately, apart from the green adapter, which was never released. They all allowed the player to connect to different types of phones.
- Blue: the original cable packaged with the Mobile System GB. It allows the player to connect to a digital cell phone terminal PDC. The cable allowed for a maximum exchange rate of 9600 bps.
- Yellow: this cable allows the player to connect to a cdmaOne mobile phone with a maximum exchange rate of 14.4 kbps.
- Red: this cable allows the player to connect to a DDI mobile phone with a maximum exchange rate of 36.6 kbps.
- Green: this cable would support PHS devices from Astel and NTT DoCoMo, but the cable was ultimately never released.
List of compatible software
Below is a list of all known Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance software which supported the Mobile System GB.
- Mobile Trainer (GBC) (Japanese:モバイルトレーナー Mobile Trainer) (MissingLink/Nintendo)
- Pokémon Crystal (GBC) (Japanese: ポケットモンスタークリスタルバージョン Pocket Monsters: Crystal Version) (Game Freak/Nintendo) - defunct as of December 14, 2002
- Napoleon (GBA) (Japanese: ナポレオン Napoleon) (Genki/Nintendo) - defunct as of December 14, 2002
- Mobile Golf (GBC) (Japanese: モバイルゴルフ Mobile Golf) (Camelot Software Planning/Nintendo) - defunct as of December 14, 2002
- Game Boy Wars 3 (GBC) (Japanese: ゲームボーイウォーズ３ Game Boy Wars 3) (Hudson Soft/Nintendo)
- Mail de Cute (GBC) (Japanese: メールでキュート Mail de Cute) Mobile21/Konami
- Hello Kitty: Happy House (GBC) (Japanese: ハローキティのハッピーハウス Hello Kitty: Happy House) (MTO)
- Mario Kart: Super Circuit (GBA) (Japanese: マリオカートアドバンス Mario Kart Advance)
- Horse Racing Creating Derby (GBA) (Japanese: 馬穴大作戦) - cancelled
- beatmaniaGB Net Jam (GBC) (Japanese: beatmaniaGBネットジャム beatmaniaGB Net Jam) - cancelled
- Japan GT Championship (GBA) (Japanese: 全日本GT選手権 All-Japan GT Championship) (Vision Works/Kemco)
- Silent Hill: Play Novel (GBA) (Japanese: プレイノベル サイレントヒル Play Novel: Silent Hill) (Konami)
- Daisenryaku for Game Boy Advance (GBA) (Japanese: 大戦略 For ゲームボーイアドバンス Daisenryaku For Game Boy Advance) (SystemSoft Alpha/MediaKite)
- Doraemon: Midori no Wakusei Doki Doki Daikyūshūtsu! (GBA) (Japanese: ドラえもん 緑の惑星ドキドキ大脱出！) (Mobile21/Epoch)
- Monster Guardians (GBA) (Japanese: モンスターガーディアンズ Monster Guardians) (Mobile21/Konami)
- Net de Get Minigames @100 (GBC) (Japanese: ネットでゲットミニゲーム@100 Net de Get minigames @100) (Mobile21/Konami)
- Zero Tours (GBA) (Japanese: ゼロ・ツアーズ Zero Tours) (Amedio/Media Rings)
- Sutakomi: Star Communicator (GBA) (Japanese: スタコミStar★Communicator) (Konami)
- Kinniku Banzuke ~Kongou-Kun no Daibouken~ (GBA) (Japanese: 筋肉番付～金剛くんの大冒険～) (KCE Studios/Konami)
- Morita Shogi Advance (GBA) (Japanese: 森田将棋あどばんす Morita Shogi Advance) (Yuki Enterprise/Hudson Soft)
- EX Monopoly (GBA) (Japanese: ＥＸモノポリー EX Monopoly) (Mobile21/Takara)
- Exciting Bass (GBA) (Japanese: エキサイティングバス Exciting Bass) (Konami)
- JGTO Golf Master Mobile (GBA) (Japanese: JGTO公認GOLF MASTERモバイル JGTO Licensed: GOLF MASTER Mobile) (Konami)
- Mobile Pro Baseball (GBA) (Japanese: モバイルプロ野球: 監督の采配 Mobile Pro Baseball: Control Baton) (Mobile21/Konami)
The Mobile Trainer cartridge
Mobile Trainer (Japanese: モバイルトレーナー Mobile Trainer) is a cartridge which comes packaged with the Mobile Adapter GB itself, developed by MissingLink, the parent company of Denyusha. Prior to its release, it was previously given the tentative name of Mobile Starter Cartridge (Japanese: モバイルスターターカートリッジ Mobile Starter Cartridge). When the player boots up the cartridge, a connection screen checks whether the Mobile Adapter GB is connected. The software will progress past the loading screen only once connected to a Japanese mobile phone. The cartridge offered an e-mail system in which users could exchange text messages between each other. Another feature of the Mobile Trainer cartridge was access to the Mobile System GB homepage, which published featured articles around different compatible titles. In the Japanese version of Pokémon Crystal, it would publish information about updates to the Pokémon News Machine at the Pokémon Communication Center and data from the Mobile Stadium.
The cartridge served as a general guide to the Mobile System GB, which included a help menu about how to use the service and a glossary of key terms. Under a mobile settings menu, the player was able to alter their registration details, and confirm their remaining balance.
Within the coding of the Mobile Trainer cartridge exist graphics for Pokémon such as Pikachu, Porygon2 and Tyranitar. The purposes of these graphics are currently unknown. It may be of note that Tyranitar uses an art style which more closely resembles its artwork from the early development of Pokémon Gold and Silver.
| This video is not available on Bulbapedia; instead, you can watch the video on YouTube here.
Pokémon Mobile System GB
- Main article: Pokémon Mobile System GB
The most well-received division of the service was perhaps the Pokémon Mobile System GB service used in the Japanese version of Pokémon Crystal up to when the whole Mobile System GB service went defunct in December 14, 2002. When the player successfully connects the game to the Mobile Adapter GB and a Japanese mobile phone, the Mobile System GB logo is shown, and two options are added to the start-up menu including Mobile (Japanese: モバイル Mobile), and Mobile Stadium (Japanese: モバイルスタジアム Mobile Stadium). This initial connection grants the player access to the Battle Tower, Mobile Stadium, and the services within the Pokémon Communication Center.
Some of the available services included national PokéCom link trades available through the main Pokémon Communication Center building (akin to the GTS in Generations IV and V) and wireless Battle Tower battles for a small price on the player's phone in which the player could possibly be accepted as a Room Leader if they battled well enough.
The services relied heavily on the data the player would input into the Mobile option. The Mobile option brought the player to the Card Folder (a pre-cursor to the Pal Pad and easy chat system), in which the player could input profile information and share their phone numbers with a number of friends. This data would be used for purposes such as Battle Tower data, and the Pokémon News Machine, which was a service updated monthly that would broadcast news and compile the data of other players across Japan. As well as broadcasting news, the Pokémon News Machine also served as an interface in which the player could play minigames and participate in quizzes.
The most influential event was held in April and May 2001, and allowed the player to obtain a GS Ball to capture Celebi at the Ilex Forest shrine after giving it to Kurt for inspection. The event involved the player obtaining 16 Badges, before successfully completing the Chieko Dice minigame three times in a row and successfully answering the ten card quiz via the Pokémon News Machine. Interestingly, the name of the Chieko Dice minigame is similar to the Japanese name of Kurt's granddaughter Maisy, チエ Chie.
Another use of the Card Folder allowed for up to 10 minute battles and trades with contacts via the second floor of any Pokémon Center. The battles could be saved on Crystal, to later be uploaded to the Mobile Stadium.
The Mobile Stadium (Japanese: モバイルスタジアム Mobile Stadium) is an interface which allows players to upload videos of timed battles with friends on to Japanese versions of Pokémon Stadium 2 via the Transfer Pak. In Pokémon Crystal, the Mobile Stadium option appears on the start-up menu after connecting with the Mobile Adapter GB at least once. When the player uploaded a video on to Pokémon Stadium 2, it can then be played back through on it via a mode of the same name in full 3D. A similar function is fulfilled by the Vs. Recorder in Platinum, HeartGold and SoulSilver and Black and White.
The following video is of a battle from the third match of a national cup tournament that was hosted in 2000, uploaded on to Pokémon Stadium 2's Mobile Stadium mode:
| This video is not available on Bulbapedia; instead, you can watch the video on YouTube here.
- The Mobile Adapter GB was not the first Game Boy peripheral offering online play. From as early as March 6, 1998, Hudson Soft's GB Kiss Link Modem allowed players to access downloadable content from the Internet and send messages between friends, through a number of compatible games which had built-in infrared ports, such as Nectaris GB, the Japanese versions of Robopon for the Game Boy Color, as well as the GB Kiss Minigames cartridge which came packaged with the GB Kiss Link Modem. The Link Modem was available through mail order.