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GBA - e-Reader add-on AGB-014 with games (NTSC-J, region free)
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GBA - e-Reader add-on AGB-014
Used Game Boy Advance add-on
Japanese import, works with any Game Boy Advance system worldwide. e-Reader game cards are region locked, so they can only be used on the e-Reader of the same region.
This add-on allows to read data of e-Reader cards into the Game Boy Advance. These cards may contain full NES games or add extra feautures (levels, power-ups, mini-games) to certain existing GBA games.
Includes unopened game cards pack.
Tested, works. In very good condition. Please refer to pictures for details of condition and contents.
Depending on the card and associated game, the e-cards are typically used in a key-like function to unlock secret items, levels, or play mini-games when swiped through the reader. See below for a comprehensive list of cards and their functions. The cards themselves contain data, as opposed to unlocking data already on the device itself.
The e-Reader is not a console, but an add-on device, like the Game Boy Camera or the Game Gear TV Tuner.
Two versions were released in Japan: the original e-Reader (without a link cable port), which could read cards to unlock game content, etc.; and later the e-Reader+ (simply "e-Reader" in Australia and North America), which came with a link cable port to connect with Nintendo GameCube games such as Animal Crossing and with other Game Boy Advance systems for games such as Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. The e-Reader was only considered successful in Japan. It was announced for Europe but very few were made, as it was almost immediately canceled, and it was discontinued in North America in early 2004, due to a lack of popularity. In Japan, it sold much better and was produced up to the discontinuation of the Game Boy hardware line.
In order to add items and scan levels in games such as Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3, a player required two Game Boy Advance systems and a link cable. The gray end would go into the e-Reader GBA and the purple end into the GBA that had the game. After entering the needed point on the game, players would swipe the cards in and the data would be transferred to the game cartridge. This function does not work with the Nintendo DS due to the lack of link cable support.
In the U.S., e-Reader Card packs have been released that contain:
- NES games
- New levels and power-ups for Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3
- Items and designs for Animal Crossing
- New trainers to battle in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire
- Mini-games, including an exclusive version of Mario Party.
- Game & Watch Cards; originally there were plans to release every Game and Watch game on a series of E-reader cards, or at least 20 according to some people. Only Manhole-e was officially released.
Data is encoded on the cards using "dot code", a specialized barcode technology licensed from Olympus Corporation. e-Reader Cards may have one or two sets of dot code on them, either a wide strip on the left side of the card, a wide strip on both the left and right sides of the card, a narrow strip on the bottom of the card or a short strip on the bottom of the card with a long strip on the left side of the card. Smaller games may require scanning only one card (two sets of dot code), while the greater NES games can require as many as five cards (nine to ten sets of dot code) in order to start the application.
The shorter sets of dot code were only used with the Pokémon Trading Card Game. Cards released in regular sets published by both Nintendo and Wizards of the Coast had dot code on the bottom side of the card. When scanned, the e-Reader displayed a Pokédex data entry for the Pokémon shown on the card. Many of the cards published by Wizards of the Coast included a left side dot code that would allow users to play mini-games, animations, and use secret attacks in the Trading Card Game or play with various songs and graphics.
The e-Reader plugs into the cartridge slot of the Game Boy Advance like a regular game would. The end of the e-Reader sticks out from the Game Boy Advance unit to provide a slot to scan the e-Reader Cards. Electronically, the e-Reader is compatible with any console that supports Game Boy Advance games, however it may be mechanically incompatible with some systems (it simply does not fit), and the ability to link consoles may not be available.
Once installed, the link cable connector on the Game Boy Advance is obstructed, but a pass-through connection on the e-Reader allows link-up features to be used. The Game Boy Advance SP is also fully compatible, although the e-Reader does not mount flush with the SP (see picture). As the link cable connector on the SP is unobstructed, the pass-through on the e-Reader is not used. An additional cover (AGB-016) can be added to the e-reader in order to avoid damaging the 6 pin connector when linked to a GBA SP.
The Game Boy Player is also fully compatible, and the e-Reader connects as it would to a Game Boy Advance (the e-Reader pass-through connector is used for connecting the link cable). The GameCube hosting this system acts as a Game Boy Advance - in order to link to a GameCube game, a second GameCube (or a Wii, running the game in question, must be used.
The e-Reader can connect to the DS Lite, but not the original DS. The e-Reader can however be modified to fit into the original DS. In either case, there is no support for linking features, as neither system has a link cable port.
The e-Reader fits into the Game Boy Micro and has a link cable port, but not a standard connector. A special Game Boy Micro Game Link Cable must be used for linking features. The Game Boy Micro's non-standard link cable port can not accept the Nintendo GameCube Game Boy Advance Cable, meaning it cannot link with GameCube games without modification to the cable.
Because the first version of the Japanese e-Reader did not have a link cable pass-through connector, it can fit into consoles which the later e-Readers are incompatible with. Even though the Game Boy Advance and the DS are region-free, Japanese e-Reader cards work only on Japanese e-Readers and North American e-Reader cards will only work on North American e-Readers. The system will display 'region error' on both systems if a user attempts to use another region's cards on their own device.
JAN code of the Nintendo e-Reader is 4902370506570, product code is agb-014.
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