The Nintendo Virtual Boy |OT| Batteries Not Included

Welcome to the Virtual Boy Official Thread. Put your red shades on and get ready for some headaches and premature blindness. Sure it was a commercial failure, what with its high price, monochrome red and black display, terrible battery life, lack of games, and poor usability, but I like playing mine so whatever. It wasn’t even released in PAL regions so I have an American one.

As pictured, the Virtual Boy came with a Headset Display, Controller, and a Stand. The headset is too heavy to really use comfortably. The stand allows you to attempt to peer into the headset whilst sitting at a table of sorts, but it’s still pretty uncomfortable. The controller is actually pretty comfortable to hold but has an odd layout, the double D-pads likely to be a sort of an awkward precursor to dual control sticks whilst venturing into this strange new 3D world.

The Virtual Boy was Nintendo’s first 32-bit system, and uses a pair of 1×224 linear arrays (one per eye) to rapidly scan the array across the eye’s field of view, using flat oscillating mirrors. These mirrors vibrate back and forth at a very high speed, causing a suspicious noise from inside the unit. Don’t use it in your bedroom alone unless you can lock your door. Or maybe just use it when you’re home alone.

Games (22 in total released, only 14 made it to North America)

North America
3D Tetris
Bomberman: Panic Bomber
Galactic Pinball
Jack Bros.
Mario Clash
Mario’s Tennis
Nester’s Funky Bowling
Red Alarm
Vertical Force
Virtual Boy Wario Land
Virtual League Baseball

Japan ONLY
Innsmouth Mansion
SD Gundam Dimension War
Space Invaders Virtual Collection
Space Squash
Virtual Bowling
Virtual Fishing
Virtual Lab


Virtual Boy Wario Land:
One of my favourite Wario games, well worth fighting through the headaches and redeye to complete. It’s kind of a shame it hasn’t been ported elsewhere by Nintendo.

Galactic Pinball:
This is a solid pinball game but where it really shines is the music. Because you have a speaker next to each of your ears it’s really a delight to play at full blast. Spoiler: Don’t play at full blast, it actually goes pretty loud.

Mario’s Tennis:
Outclassed by sequels but still lots of fun, and you can see the ball fly at you in parallax 3D!


Um… batteries WERE included. (Nice OT though)

Edit: wait, I may be mistaken. There was a mail-in voucher for batteries

You sure about that?

Haha I see your edit now. Was going to post a pic of my VB box (which is what I was looking at when I wrote the OT title actually).

By the way, if you have the means, play BOUND HIGH for virtual boy. It’s the best game on the system but never actually came out.

This was my first video game system ever. Came packed with Mario’s Tennis, and I got Wario Land VB with it. Both were great. Also got T&E Soft’s “Golf” which I also enjoyed. I really liked the system, but it was obviously a dumb idea. Also my stand broke so I used a replacement that I made with popsicle sticks.

Will check out BOUND HIGH Peltz, just promise me it’s not a high school S&M hentai…

I will post some collection pics later. There’s still a couple more games I want but I’m pretty happy with my little collection.


I remember playing Mario Tennis in the local Radio Shack at the mall. I wanted a Virtual Boy so bad. By the time I saw one in stores again, it was $20 in the clearance bin at Toys R Us.

Oh, and even if you never plan on playing it, listen to the Mario’s Tennis soundtrack. Maybe I only love it so much because it was my first game, but I think it’s great. Those songs still get stuck in my head today.

I’m a fan of the VB although I could never play it long without getting headaches. I bought the system in early 1997 when they were clearing them out at EB for $30 CAD, They had import games there down to $2.

Wario’s the game I enjoyed the most. Red Alarm was also really cool as it reminded me of old vector arcade games. The system in general had a mid '80s vibe to it.

Mario Clash could have been awesome but they chose not to have a save function. It has way too many levels for one sitting.

I rented the Virtual Boy a couple of times from Blockbuster. I actually liked it a lot. Wario Land was pretty damn good at the itme, and I liked Teleroboxer a lot, as well. Red Alarm was kinda cool, though confusing as hell. I can’t imagine that being any good these days. That was a game that made me feel kinda sick to my stomach even back then.

I wish there was a decent way to play some of this stuff these days though – I haven’t played any of it in a good 2 decades or so, but I’m sure there’s a few good games to be had.

Yeah I played the 3 games I owned in an emulator earlier this year and it’s really not at all the same. Better than nothing, but it loses pretty much everything that made the system interesting, and just doesn’t look right. Hopefully someone makes a good emulator for modern VR goggles that accurately captures the feel of the original hardware.

I’d be surprised if it doesn’t exist in some form already on something like the Oculus.

On a related note, I really think Nintendo missed an opportunity not porting the VB library to 3DS.

Virtual Boy’s soundchip was no joke. Here’s from the aforementioned Bound High:

Although it sounds a bit better on real hardware in my opinion.

I know the VB uses the same AC adapter as the SNES (unfortunately I didn’t have one back in the day, but I do now), is there anything else required to run the VB off AC power? I just have whatever came with the system. Can’t check personally right now because my VB is on the other side of the country. Would be nice to run it plugged in if I ever play it again, rather than sacrificing 6 AAs.

Yes, there’s an adapter for the controller that allows you to use SNES’s AC cable.

By the way, for those of you who never saw it before, here’s a Bound High review that perfectly encapsulates why it’s awesome:

Looks cool, any way to play it on original hardware? (sorry if it was in the video, I just skimmed it)

Yea, get a flash boy plus or a reproduction cart.

A damn shame really. It is legitimately a great game and I was shocked it never saw some action on the 3ds. And of course you mention the 3ds in a later post in the thread.

I also remember liking Teleroboxer, but since I haven’t played it in a lifetime I’m not sure if it was actually a good game or if it was just a good game for the time/system. Protip: The secret best way to play the system is laying down in bed and resting it on top of you. I am not responsible for any extra eye damage this method may cause.

That’s actually my go-to method of playing, but I have a tiny button nose and it gets flat and sore after awhile.

I actually wanna work on making something like PSVR uses, or something to suspend it over my face in bed so it doesn’t squash me so hard.

Teleroboxer is a good game.