Super Game Boy Overclocked to 5.35 MHz

Game Boy is one of the most iconic handheld gaming consoles of all time. Almost 35 years later, enthusiasts and gamers still find new mods and hacks for the retro device and its accompanying add-ons, such as the Super Game Boy.

The Super Game Boy is essentially a cartridge that bridges the gap between the Game Boy and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), allowing the latter to play cartridges from the handheld console. The Game Boy and Super NES are two different devices with little in common. As a result, the Super Game Boy leverages the same hardware as the Game Boy to emulate the latter’s game on the Super NES.

The Game Boy features a custom Sharp LR35902 processor based on the Intel 8080 and Zilog Z80 chips. The 8-bit processor features a clock speed of 4.19 MHz. However, the Super Game Boy’s clock speed is 4.295 MHz, resulting in the accessory running Game Boy games at a 2.4% faster pace. The audio is sped up, and there wasn’t a link port on the Super Game Boy since the difference in clock speed would cause it and a normal Game Boy to desynchronize. It’s why Nintendo exclusively launched the Super Game Boy 2 in Japan, an upgraded variant incorporating a custom crystal oscillator to mirror the Game Boy’s clock speed alongside a link port for two-player gameplay.

As Nicole Express spotted, user nensondubois recently released a ROM hack for World Heroes 2 Jet to further overclock the Super Game Boy. The hack enables a “turbo mode” per se to run the device at 5.35 MHz. The website provided a few audio samples to show the overlock and a small video of the overclocked device. The biggest drawback is the graphical glitches, a product of the hardware limitation.

Obviously, Nintendo didn’t want users to be fiddling with the Super Game Boy’s turbo mode. According to Nicole Express, the code isn’t available through the Super Game Boy BIOS on the Game Boy side. Instead, you can only access it through the Super NES end.

It’s cool that the Game Boy scene is still alive after all these years, and we’re still seeing new mods. Game Boy was part of many childhoods, so there’s always a special place for the handheld gaming console in our hearts.