The Game Boy Color is a fifth generation video game handheld console by Nintendo, and the console which the first Shantae game was released for. The console was first released in Japan on October 21, 1998 and made its way stateside nearly a month later. It is the successor to the Game Boy, and it featured a color screen without a backlight. The Game Boy Color was followed by the Game Boy Advance in 2001[1] and production for the former was discontinued in 2003.[2]


The Game Boy Color was created a response to pressure from game developers for a more sophisticated handheld platform. They felt that the Game Boy, even in its latest incarnation (the Game Boy Pocket), was insufficient.[3] The result was a full color gaming system with Backward compatibility. Although games for the original Game Boy could be played on the Game Boy Color, Game Boy Color games could not be played on the original Game Boy.

Shantae and the Game Boy Color


The Shantae GBC box art.

In 2002, one year after the launch of the Game Boy Advance, the first Shantae game was released. The game had actually been in development since 1994[4] and was considered on a variety of platforms before ending up on the Game Boy Color. The bad timing of the release was due to the publisher, Capcom, witholding the game for eight months before releasing it.[5]

While the game was released to high critical praise[6], with IGN notably calling it "the prettiest GBC game ever created"[7] it sold poorly. It now has a cult following and the remaining copies of the game sell upwards to $100 on some sites.[5] Game Informer called it the 15th best Game Boy game [8] and the Complex website named Shantae the 7th greatest GBC game.[9]


  • Processor: Z80 Sharp processor
  • Processor Speed: 8 MHz
  • RAM: 32K
  • Video RAM (VRAM): 16K
  • Colors Available: 32,000
  • Colors On Screen: 10, 32, or 56
  • Resolution: 160x144 @56 colors and 320x288 @24colors
  • Sound: 4-channel FM sound
  • Controls: 8-directional D-Pad, A, B, Select, and Start buttons
  • Power: 10+ hours on 2 AA batteries. AC adapter separately available[10]


The combined sales of the Game Boy and Game Boy Color currently average 118.69 million units.[11] By region, they have sold 32.47 million units in Japan, 44.06 million units in North America and 42.16 million units in other regions.[12] The combined sales of Game Boy and Game Boy Color games sum up to 501.11 million games.[13]


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