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The Game King

Welcome to the first and only fan site about The Game King. It is also the first an only site with technical details behind the Game King, development and reverse engineering.

I know what you're wondering... WTF is "The Game King"? Well, first off, it has nothing to do with Burger King, or even Dairy Queen for that matter. No, the Game King, also known as the GM-812(G), is a new handheld system, similar to the Nintendo Game Boy, from a company named Time Top, manufactured in China by Guangzhou Panyu Gaoming Electronics Co.,Ltd, also known as GZ Daidaixing Tec.Electronics Co.,Ltd.

Still didn't answer your question? Well, to get more specific, the Game King looks much like the original Game Boy Advance, and it's cartridges look nearly identical to those of the original Game Boy, even more so than the unlicensed Wisdom Tree GB games! However, on the inside, it's not quite on par with even an original Game Boy. It sports only a grey scale, 48x32x4 shade LCD screen. The best way to describe it would be as a black and white Atari 2600 handheld with a lower refresh rate, heh. Although the games are not in fact 2600 games, they are quite similar.

I first ordered this thinking it was another Game Boy compatible clone. There are hundreds of different Famicom/NES clone systems, and one known GB one, I figured this was another. Who wouldn't, if you saw the pictures on the site selling it, or even the actual box for that matter! It shows a larger, Game Boy sized screen, running a hacked up version of Kirby's Dreamland (or should I say, a Photoshop'd screen shot). When I opened it up, I was surprised to see that it wasn't actually a Game Boy clone, but an original system. I wasn't actually disappointed, but rather intrigued.

When I first tried it, it seemed to just be an ordinary, generic LCD based handheld, better than the Game.com (hah), but not as sweet as the Game Boy. However, it soon became more, much more!

I am quite a big fan of "Hong Kong Originals", the unlicensed games, most prevalent in the Famicom/NES scene. Developed by companies wanting to capitalize on the popularity of video games, who decide rather than coming up with original ideas, to use existing ones. They take an existing popular game, and remake it in lower quality, without a license or permission of the original author/company. Now what's better than an HKO game for the Famicom/NES? HKO games on on an HKO system!

At first, I did not realize that these games were HKOs... until "Duck Man"! I stuck the cartridge in, powered on, and was surprised to see that the character on the screen looked very familliar. Ah! It was Darkwing Duck! I used to watch that show when I was young every day after school... not to mention play the game on the NES. It was a typical Disney game from the late 80s to early/mid 90s--very good. As soon as the level started, I knew exactly what it was, and that I was now basking in a wealth of 16 more HKO games! Normally HKOs are ports of games from 16 or 32-bit systems to the 8-bit NES/Famicom. Well, Duck Man was in fact, a port of the 8-bit NES game to a lesser 8-bit system on the foodchain! Of course, like most HKOs, it's not an exact port, but close enough.

After Darkwing Duck, erm... Duck Man, it all started coming together! "2003" and "2004" were in fact, the NES WWII air shooter games, "1942" and "1943"! I presume the authors were unaware of the significance of the years which title the original games, although I could be wrong. As I played the rest, I discovered all the classics were there! There was Bomber Man, Adventure Island, Contra, and of course, Super Mario! It was then I knew, that I wanted to dwelve into the hardware and figure out how it works.

The games have to be played to be fully experienced. However, since I know you all can't pick yourselves up a unit, I'll have to at least share screen shots and some audio from them.

Due to the fact that I started this page before building the Game King video capture device, some of the screen shots are actually scans of the screen. I figured I'd leave them on the site because, well, hrm... yeah. Information on the Game King's video, the capture device, and how it was built is available here.

The Game King only has a built in speaker for the audio... well, two if you count the fake one on the left, like the fake L and R buttons, heh. Either way, there was no audio out jack. However, since it has an EXT port, which happens to be a mini plug, and isn't used by any game that I know of, I was able to modify it to be an audio-out jack instead. As a result, I was able to hook it up to my PC and record the audio! It's a very simple modification, almost anyone can do it. A description is available here.

News

[2004-10-06 17:40] Updated Game King Devcart, running demo!
Today I built an adaptor for my Game King devcart so it can use all 5V EPROM/SRAM/Flash ROMs on the 3V system. Additionally, using my Game King ROM Graphics Editor, I modified a ROM's title screen to have a nice little BriPro.com screen instead, flashed it to a ROM, and it ran perfectly! For more information on the adaptor and how it was built, check it out!  [View]

[2004-10-01 17:40] Game King ROM Graphics Editor Released
In the process of reverse engineering the Game King ROMs, I whipped up a graphics editor for them. The Game King ROM Graphics Editor allows you to load up GK ROMs, find the graphics embedded in them, and view, extract, and edit them! It can efficiently find the graphics in the correct width and height, as well as groups of frames. The entire ROM can be scanned through, or the graphics can be searched for by their width and/or height...  [View]

[2004-10-01 17:40] Game King ROM Information
I've compiled a page with information on the Game King ROM files including the graphics file formats. Check it out...  [View]

[2004-09-29 17:40] Game King Development Cartridge!
With a spare cartridge lying around, I have built the first Game King Development Cartridge! I've put up a page with information on how it was built and more...  [View]

[2004-09-28 17:40] Updated! Game King Cartridge Pinouts and Information
I had originally thought that the games were 4K, and that most of the code and graphics were likely shared from the built in BIOS ROM. However, I have discovered (2004/09/28) that they are in fact 128K games. Long story short, there was something wrong with one of the chips used in my cart reader (doh!). I changed it, and it works correctly now. All of the five remianing "unknown" pins have now been identified...  [View]

[2004-09-23 17:40] Game King System Comparison
Another Game King game review. This one's for Popper, which is Miner, the BombAfter modding my original Game King system for video capture and audio-out, I decided to order another, so I would have a non-modded one. The new Game King I received was siginficantly different!  [View]

[2004-09-23 17:40] Game King Game Review: Popper
Another Game King game review. This one's for Popper, which is Miner, the Bomber Man clone, with different graphics! It's actually supposed to be a clone of Bomber Man 2!  [View]

[2004-09-23 17:40] Game King Game Review: Ares
Another Game King game review. This one's for Ares, yet another air shooter!  [View]

[2004-09-23 17:40] Game King Game Review: Feichvan
Another Game King game review. This one's for Feichvan, another air shooter!  [View]

[2004-09-23 17:40] Game King Game Review: F1-2004
Another Game King game review. This one's for F1-2004, an obvious clone of Nintendo's F1-Race.  [View]

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