The GameCube Game Boy Advance Cable is an accessory for the
Nintendo GameCube video game console. Its purpose is to connect a
Game Boy Advance (GBA) system to one of the GameCube's controller ports
using the GBA's extension port. In this it is similar to a Game Boy
Advance link cable, and replaces the Nintendo 64's Transfer Pak.
The cable has a GameCube controller connector at one end, and at
the other end it has a plastic block with a Game Boy Advance link
connector on it. The block has two clips that hook into slots on the
Game Boy system and can be released using two levers mounted on the
top of the block. These clips act to securely attach the cable to the
GBA so that it does not readily come loose. The cable can attach to
the original Game Boy Advance, the Game Boy Advance SP, and the
Game Boy Player. It does not, however, allow connectivity between
the Game Boy Player and games on its host GameCube.
The hardware protocol of the cable permits two modes of
operation. The first connects a game running on the GameCube to a game
running on the Game Boy Advance, permitting an exchange of data. The
other downloads a small program to the GBA by the same method as is
used for single-pak multiplayer. This program then runs on the GBA
and supplements the game on the attached GameCube in some manner.
Connectivity between games on the GameCube and corresponding games
on the Game Boy Advance is mainly used to unlock secrets in one or
both of the games. The most well-known example of this is Metroid
Prime and Metroid Fusion, where connecting the two games would
unlock bonus features in Prime if one or both of the games were
completed. Some other users of this feature are the recently-released
Pokemon Colosseum, the GameCube Sonic Adventure games, and Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life.
However, using the Game Boy Advance to run a small program downloaded off
the GameCube is the more common use. In this capacity, the GBA
generally becomes a smart controller with a screen, reminiscent of the
Dreamcast's VMU. The most infamous use of this capacity is in
Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles, which requires GBA controllers
for multiplayer games. The Game Boy Player will download a program to
the GBA that makes its controls available to the game running on the
Game Boy Player, mitigating the difference in capabilities and 'feel'
between the GBA's controls and the GameCube controller. Several other
games, including The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, use this
The one game, though, that uses the cable to its fullest extent is
Animal Crossing. First, it uses the cable to hook up to the e-Reader
peripheral, so that scanned e-Reader cards can be used for input into
the GameCube. These cards can have several different purposes, one of
which is to unlock classic NES games that can then be transferred
onto the GBA via the cable. Both of these uses are significantly
different than any other uses to that date. The second method was
re-used in Wario World as a promotion for Wario Ware Inc..
As a simple peripheral, the GameCube Game Boy Advance Cable has
been easily cloned by third-party peripheral manufacturers. These
clones are generally identical to the official Nintendo cable in all
functional aspects and, as the cable's reliability is not usually
crucial, quality problems are not as large an issue as for other clone
This writeup is copyright 2004 by me and is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs-NonCommercial licence. Details can be found at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd-nc/2.5/ .