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Author Topic: Pokémon Yellow: SGB/GBC differences  (Read 8013 times)

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Blaziken257

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Pokémon Yellow: SGB/GBC differences
« on: June 19, 2012, 12:02:53 am »
Some people may know that when Pokémon Yellow was released in Japan, it was a regular Game Boy game: It didn't receive any enhancements for the Game Boy Color, although it did for the Super Game Boy (similar to Red and Blue). And some people may know that when it was released in English (and later other languages), it was improved to take advantage of the Game Boy Color, although it had a limited color palette like the Super Game Boy did. (And strangely, the box said it was a Game Boy game.) In fact, it looks almost exactly like it does when played on the Super Game Boy.

Notice that I said "almost exactly". Well, what I don't think anybody realizes is that there were minor improvements when played on the Game Boy Color. Very minor, to the point where they're hard to spot, but they're there. I've never seen anybody mention any of them... until now.

First, you'll notice that when Yellow is played on a Game Boy Color, the color palette is more saturated and easier to see. It's weird that the color palette is different, but I'm guessing it was done to make it easier to see on the GBC, which didn't have a light.

Some sample screenshots are below. Left is SGB, right is GBC.





Second, the intro was improved slightly. On the SGB, Pikachu's cheeks are blue due to technical limitations. On the GBC, however, Pikachu's cheeks are red, which looks nicer.





These are all the differences that I spotted, but it's possible that there may be more (I haven't played the game enough to really know, especially when I don't even own the game). In any case, it's interesting to see that Game Freak actually made some improvements when localizing Pokémon Yellow. It's not that much, at least if you compare it to Pokémon G/S/C's vivid color palettes, but I'm surprised that they even improved anything at all, to be honest.

Now, I wonder which mode (SGB, GBC) is used when played under Pokémon Stadium and Pokémon Stadium 2's GB Tower... I don't have Yellow so I can't check this. I wouldn't be surprised if it ran under GBC mode, though, given that Gold and Silver run in GBC mode and still have the SGB border when played in Pokémon Stadium 2's GB Tower.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2012, 09:54:50 pm by Blaziken257 »

Princess Torchic Owl Lover ☽ ❤

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Re: Pokémon Yellow: SGB/GBC differences
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2012, 02:48:09 pm »
It's interesting that Game Freak didn't change the original Super Game Boy palette from Japanese Yellow (Pocket Monsters Pikachu) to make it suit the new saturated Game Boy Color version(?).

I remember browsing through an old-Geocities type website which compared the color palettes in all Generation I games and also noticed that there were some improvements between Japanese Yellow (Pocket Monsters Pikachu) and Pokémon Yellow.

Now that you mention this, I'm curious as to whether Game Freak made any more significant changes between Pocket Monsters Pikachu and English Yellow, such as bug fixes. Well actually, the select button glitches were fixed, and contrary to common belief they work in Japanese Blue, but I wonder if that wasn't the only thing.

Other than enhanced color, one of the more subtle changes is on the title screen's speech bubble. In the English version, Pikachu says 'Pika', but this was actually shortened from the Japanese version, where Pikachu says its name in full ピカチュウ (Pikachu).




Curiously, the English version stores the old Japanese logo graphics. If you open a tile viewer and scroll down to about offset 0xFD000, you can find the leftover Japanese graphics in the English ROM.



Notice, there are some tiles that spell 'Yellow Version'. These are displayed in a different font than the (final) English version.

I've also never understood why there's an offset difference of -1 between English Red/Blue and English Yellow codes.
Pocket Monsters Yellow is closer to the Japanese Blue and Red/Green in the way that a lot of Japanese Gameshark codes are compatible in all four games, yet I'm unsure why a lot of English Yellow codes aren't identical to Red/Blue's.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2012, 03:00:39 pm by Torchickens »

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Raven Freak

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Re: Pokémon Yellow: SGB/GBC differences
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2012, 04:10:03 pm »
I've actually never noticed this before and I own the game as well as a SGB and I own a GBA. (Which when I play my Yellow version on my GBA or on my fiancee GBC it looks the same.) o.O They probably overlooked this because they were focusing on their new handheld rather than on a older console. I'm actually thinking about byte comparing a Japanese Yellow ROM with an English one to see what exactly has changed code-wise between the two revisions. I've taught myself z80 asm over the few years that I haven't been active here, and it'll be a nice change from hacking the 8-bit Sonic games. xD Once I do so, i'll post them here. :)

IIMarckus

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Re: Pokémon Yellow: SGB/GBC differences
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2012, 07:23:58 pm »
(Which when I play my Yellow version on my GBA or on my fiancee GBC it looks the same.) o.O

Yes, the GBA in GBC mode is almost identical to the GBC. The Super Game Boy is what behaves differently from the others.

I'm actually thinking about byte comparing a Japanese Yellow ROM with an English one to see what exactly has changed code-wise between the two revisions. I've taught myself z80 asm over the few years that I haven't been active here, and it'll be a nice change from hacking the 8-bit Sonic games. xD Once I do so, i'll post them here. :)

If you do, let me know! (Yes, there’s some Yellow stuff in there.)

SatoMew

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Re: Pokémon Yellow: SGB/GBC differences
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2016, 05:49:52 pm »
Yellow came out in Japan on September 12, 1998. Nintendo only released the Game Boy Color on October 21, 1998.

Here's a video showing Japanese Yellow being played on a Game Boy Color:

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnymALe4Twk[/youtube]

The Game Boy Tower yields different results for non-Japanese Yellow as well as Gold and Silver because it loads the SGB border before booting the games in GBC mode. This can be emulated in BGB by enabling "GBC + initial SGB border" under "Emulated system" in the System tab of BGB's options.

Western Yellow still uses the Japanese Yellow's GBC palette in certain areas like the Pikachu's Beach hi-score screen. In Japanese Yellow, thanks to this palette, Pikachu is properly colored in the minigame on GBC mode.

To run Western Yellow on GBC mode like Japanese Yellow, the ROM has to be changed from DMG+GBC (0x80) to DMG (0x00) in address 0x0143. The header and global checks need to be updated in order to return an OK status as well (change address 0x014D to 0x17 from 0x97 and address 0x014E to 0x03 from 0x04). The corresponding Game Genie codes that simplify this process are 001-43F-E68, 171-4DF-B34, and 031-4EF-F7A.




For some reason, part of the early opening replaces Pikachu with a black box. I don't know why that happens.


Glisp

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Re: Pokémon Yellow: SGB/GBC differences
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2016, 08:26:41 pm »
iirc, on SGB also I think the HP meter changes color after it stops rather than during while it's moving. so if a pokemon is OHKO'd the HP bar on SGB mode will remain green as it empties.

Not really noteworthy, but it's a difference nonetheless.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2016, 08:31:10 pm by Glisp »
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SatoMew

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Re: Pokémon Yellow: SGB/GBC differences
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2016, 12:30:43 pm »
I've spotted another difference between Japanese Yellow and Western Yellow on the Game Boy. The equivalent Virtual Console versions don't apply here as they were all patched to do the same thing regardless of language.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oezMoxAn4ng

Issuing a print job of a Pokédex entry in Western Yellow (GB) is preceded by the Pokémon's cry, unlike in Japanese Yellow (GB) where it goes straight to the error / the Game Boy Printer connection messages. In Yellow (VC), the button-press sound effect is played instead and nothing happens.

Princess Torchic Owl Lover ☽ ❤

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Re: Pokémon Yellow: SGB/GBC differences
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2016, 11:58:46 am »
I've spotted another difference between Japanese Yellow and Western Yellow on the Game Boy. The equivalent Virtual Console versions don't apply here as they were all patched to do the same thing regardless of language.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oezMoxAn4ng

Issuing a print job of a Pokédex entry in Western Yellow (GB) is preceded by the Pokémon's cry, unlike in Japanese Yellow (GB) where it goes straight to the error / the Game Boy Printer connection messages. In Yellow (VC), the button-press sound effect is played instead and nothing happens.

That's really interesting. Nice find! :)

I was curious as to whether this differs between Japanese Yellow v1.0, "Rev A", "Rev B" and "Rev 3". I tried it out on all four of those versions and all of them didn't play the cry.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2016, 12:08:19 pm by Torchickens »

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Forgiveness. I feel that the more people pray to our greatest source/God/mathematical equality for world peace, the more and more it manifests into reality (until our next spiritual death).

Thank you Nyapon for this lovely artwork. :3

SatoMew

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Re: Pokémon Yellow: SGB/GBC differences
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2016, 12:13:59 pm »
That's really interesting. Nice find! :)

I was curious as to whether this differs between Japanese Yellow v1.0, "Rev A", "Rev B" and "Rev 3". I tried it out on all four of those versions and all of them didn't play the cry.

Thanks! :) I suppose each subsequent revision fixed bugs or tweaked minor things but I haven't looked it up yet.

Princess Torchic Owl Lover ☽ ❤

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Re: Pokémon Yellow: SGB/GBC differences
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2016, 01:01:25 pm »
That's really interesting. Nice find! :)

I was curious as to whether this differs between Japanese Yellow v1.0, "Rev A", "Rev B" and "Rev 3". I tried it out on all four of those versions and all of them didn't play the cry.

Thanks! :) I suppose each subsequent revision fixed bugs or tweaked minor things but I haven't looked it up yet.

Yes, that's possible, and "Rev 3" may actually be a legitimate fourth version that follows "Rev B" because of code in the ROM that marks it as version $02.

http://forums.glitchcity.info/index.php/topic,6883.msg200373.html#msg200373
« Last Edit: May 13, 2016, 01:10:29 pm by Torchickens »

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Here have some free flowers on every post ^^
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(Images © Sanrio, Nintendo, Pokémon, HAL Laboratory)

✿ Hi, I'm Evie. Sex male, and spiritually doesn't believe 'male'/'female' needs to be defined; lives more stereotypically like a woman. Call me whichever pronouns you like. :)

Feel free to contact me here about anything regarding the site.

Forgiveness. I feel that the more people pray to our greatest source/God/mathematical equality for world peace, the more and more it manifests into reality (until our next spiritual death).

Thank you Nyapon for this lovely artwork. :3