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 capability.

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 peripherals.


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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/ .

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