The Game Boy Camera is a Game Boy accessory that was released in 1998. The accessory was design by Nintendo with the software developer Creatures and Jupiter. It is an elongated cartridge that sports a camera on the top that can be rotated. The pictures it takes are black and white, and can be integrated into scenes or even video games. After taking a picture, the player could print it out using the Game Boy Printer. Seven different colors of the Game Boy Camera were manufactured, including one that was made specifically for the release of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time that was gold colored. When it was first released, Guinness World Records recognized it as the world's smallest digital camera.
There are various in-game mini-games that you can play. In these games you can integrate the pictures you've taken with the Game Boy Camera and plaster them on the faces of the characters. For example, in Ball you can replace the character's face with that of yours.
This is a remake of the very first Game & Watch game Ball released in 1980. In this game, you take four pictures of your face and during the duration of the game the face of the character will alternate between the four pictures you took. In order to play Ball, you are required to shoot the space ship with a "B" (stands for Ball) on it in the game Space Fever.
This is a game that can be accessed by shooting the spaceship with a "D" on it in Space Fever. In this game, you can create a tune by pressing the select button and the d-pad. After you've created your song, it can then be heard on the main menu of the game. The DJ's face can be altered on the game's menu. Face 1 is of a guy, face 2 is of a girl with a beanie on her head, and face ? is your face. Most don't consider this a game, but rather just an application.
Space Fever II
Space Fever II is the successor to the 1979 arcade video game Space Fever, which was developed by Nintendo R&D1. This is the game where you can access the above two titles. In the beginning of this game, two ships will drop labeled with a "B" and a "D". If you shoot "B", you'll be directed to the Ball game, and if you shoot the "D" ship, you will be taken to DJ. If you shoot neither, then you'll be able to play Space Fever II. In this game, you'll shoot oncoming ships. The first shot that you shoot will have only one bullet, while the second will have two. After this, the pattern will restart. It is wise to take advantage of this pattern as ships will commonly come in twos, which will give you the chance to take out both at once. The bosses have faces of real people, while the third boss is your own face.
Run! Run! Run!
In this game, you'll race against a groundhog and a bird. The mole is usually faster than the bird, but sometimes, this isn't the case. To play this game, you must rapidly press the A button in order to run, while jumping over the hurdles when you come across one by pressing the B button. Before the game starts, you'll be able to choose between three faces. Two of them are prerecorded while the third, which is marked with a question mark, is your face. In order to play Run! Run! Run!, you must accumulate a total of 2,000 points in the game Space Fever II. After you beat the game, you'll be able to raise the flag with the letter "N" on it (presumably standing for Nintendo) by rapidly pressing the A button.
In game cameos
The Game Boy Camera has a huge amount of cameos from the past Nintendo games, most of which are from the Mario, Zelda, or Pokémon franchises. Even though those series have the most cameos, others also have some, such as R.O.B., arcade games, and Game & Watch titles.
The game starts with a man in a Mario costume dancing around on the title screen. The Western and Eastern versions have different Mario costumes, with the Western one looking more modern. You can alter the speed of the dancing Mario by pressing up on the d-pad (makes him go faster) and down on the d-pad (makes him go slower).
The show menu is decorated with artwork from the arcade classic Donkey Kong Jr., with a Snapjaw from the game being the cursor. When you select the Doodle menu, you'll be able to draw on an image of a Luigi figurine. It is unknown where this figurine was made available. In the American version of the game, Mario will be driving a car when you press the Special menu, though in the Japanese version this is not present. The artwork seen here was a promotional piece of artwork used years prior to the game's release.
In the United States and European version of the game, some of the available stamps are based on Mario characters. The Japanese version only contains Pokémon stamps. The stamps can be placed on pictures that you've taken with the Game Boy Camera, and include Mario, Luigi, a Lakitu, Donkey Kong, Toad, and Mario's nose. There are also frames you can use to place around your image that include various Mario characters. The frames included are Mario, Mario and Luigi, Super Mario World, Yoshi, Wario, and Mario Kart 64.
In the American and European version of the game, artwork from Mario Kart 64 featuring Wario and Princess Peach will be seen when in standby mode (the mode which is displayed when you're transferring images to another Game Boy Camera owner).
In the game, there are several pre-taken pictures that you can view that were taken by Nintendo employees. Many of these pictures are Nintendo and Mario related. The Mario related pictures include photos of Wario (Wario Land II artwork), Mario (Mario Bros. artwork), Luigi and Princess Peach, the Little Wario (from Wario Land II), Big Boo, Toad, Mario and Donkey Kong Jr. from the Donkey Kong Jr. arcade game, and wing capped Mario from Super Mario 64, a Nintendo 64 launch game. It should be noted that those images were from the American and European version of the game. The Japanese version of the game has fewer pictures, and the only Mario related one is the Mario artwork from Mario Bros.
Many of the stamps that the player can use on their images are Pokémon related. The Japanese version of the game contains more Pokémon stamps than the American or European version. In the Western version of the title, the Pokémon related stamps include Charmander, Bulbasaur, Squirtle, Pikachu, Meowth, and Mew. The Japanese one contains Charmander, Bulbasaur, Squirtle, Rattata, Nidoran (female), Clefairy, Pikachu, Cubone, Poliwhirl, Eevee, Meowth, Jigglypuff, Dratini, Machop, Horsea, Psyduck, Abra, and Oddish. The Japanese version of the game also has Pokémon related frames including one with a Pokémon Trainer riding a bike, one with Blastoise, and one with Pikachu and Clefairy together.
The B-Album also consists of various Pokémon species, with the Japanese version having more. The American and European version has Venusaur, Charizard, Blastoise and Mewtwo on one photo. The Japanese version includes the following images:
- Charizard, Venusaur, Blastoise and Raichu
- Chansey, Jolteon, Porygon and Snorlax
- Articuno, Zapdos, Dragonite and Mewtwo
The Legend of Zelda series
In the standard version of the game, there are no Zelda-related stamps, though in the game that was released to accompany The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, there were twelve, including Navi, Triforce, Hylian ears (left and right), Zelda's eyes (left and right), two different faces of Link, Young Link, Princess Zelda, Ganondorf, and a Hylian Shield. In the American version of the game, there is a frame based on The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening.
- The Link menu is decorated with artwork from Sky Skipper, an arcade video game.
- Space Fever II is a sequel to the arcade game Space Fever.
- The Game & Watch game Ball is available.
- In the American and European version of the game, R.O.B. is seen in the B-Album as well as various classic Nintendo toys and artwork from Fire Attack, a Game & Watch game.
- In the Japanese version there is artwork from the Game & Watch game Judge and art from one of Nintendo's Hanafuda cards.
- If you managed to complete Run! Run! Run! in under 22 seconds, then scenes from the arcade game Sheriff will be shown after the credits roll.
- The music playing during the credits is the same as the music that played on the file select screen in EarthBound.
- If you press B during the Credits, you can see Shigeru Miyamoto Dancing
In all, seven colors were released. The primary colors included yellow, red, blue, green, teal, and violet. To coincide with the release of the Nintendo 64 video game The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, which was released months after the Game Boy Camera, Nintendo manufactured a highly limited edition version of the accessory that was gold (similar to the cartridge of Ocarina of Time if players reserved the game). Contained within the Ocarina of Time limited edition cartridge were stamps only found in this version of the game that were related to the game. The stamps that were made exclusively for this version of the game include Navi, Triforce, Hylian ears (left and right), Zelda's eyes (left and right), two different faces of Link, Young Link, Princess Zelda, Ganondorf, and a Hylian Shield.
The Game Boy Camera had limited compatibility with other games. While no Game Boy games used it, there were some games with the Nintendo 64DD that could connect to the accessory via the Transfer Pak. These games include the following
Due to the obscurity of the game and the argument that it's more of an accessory, not many people reviewed the game when it was released in 1998. Nintendo Power was one of the few to rate it, and of the reviewers it received an average of 83.00% according to GameRankings.