Easily Add Link Cable Support To Your Homebrew GBA Game

The Game Boy Advance (GBA) link cable is the third generation of this feature which originated with the Gameboy. It not only allows for peripherals to be connected, but also for multiplayer between GBAs – even with just one game copy – and item sharing and unlocking of features in specific games. This makes it an interesting feature to support in today’s homebrew GBA games and applications, made easy by libraries such as [Rodrigo Alfonso]’s gba-link-connection.

This C++  library can be used in a number of ways: either limited to just the physical link cable, just the wireless link option or both (universal link). These support either 4 (cable) or 5 (wireless) players to be connected simultaneously. As additional options there are the LinkGPIO.hpp and LinkSPI.hpp headers which allow the link port to be used either as a generic GPIO, or as an SPI link (up to 2 Mb/s). The multiboot feature where a single ROM image is shared among connected GBAs is supported with both wired and wireless links.

It’s heartening to see that a device which this year celebrates its 23rd birthday is still supported so well.

Thanks to [gudenau] for the tip.

7 thoughts on “Easily Add Link Cable Support To Your Homebrew GBA Game

  1. The gb link port is an asynchronous serial port

    It also has the benefits that it never times out

    You can clock the bits once a year or upto about several hundred khz, probably much faster wit a gba, you can also provide you own external clock for both Master and slave

    You have rx TX clk and a handshake pin

    The simplest serial port you can get
    Original gameboy use a 1Kbyte a sec at just over 8khz, but you can all gameboys a slave provide your own clock, essentially use a mcu to create a serial network, yeah its feasible to make an esp32 modem that connects via gameboy serial port, you could run a terminal and use bbs, because speed is gonna be like using dial up




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