How To Restore and Refurbish a Game Boy Micro

Illustration for article titled New Beginnings: The Sobering Journey To Restore My Game Boy Micro

Photo: Gabe Carey

We all have our coping mechanisms. Last summer season, within the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, mine was reliving my childhood by buying outdated fashions from Nintendo’s long-retired Game Boy lineup. While I’m not a notably nostalgic individual—hell, I didn’t even develop up with half the consoles I’ve collected over time—there are some issues I missed out on as a child which can be nonetheless price revisiting immediately. Above all else, the Game Boy Micro was a kind of for me.

I at all times needed a Game Boy Micro, from the second I watched a rat do unspeakable issues to 1 in what is probably the weirdest official gaming adverts I’ve ever seen. Launched in 2005, there was one thing so quirky about Nintendo popping out with a palm-sized model of the Game Boy Advance nearly a 12 months after the discharge of its successor, the Nintendo DS. The incontrovertible fact that it required a proprietary charging cable, separate from that of the GBA and DS, and ditched the backward compatibility of its predecessor was icing on the weirdly scrumptious cake. (That stated, its best sin was dropping help for WarioWare Twisted. Don’t suppose I didn’t discover, Nintendo.) For what it’s price, although, it nonetheless managed to carry again the three.5mm headphone jack.

In all honesty, the Game Boy Micro wasn’t all that spectacular from a practicality standpoint. But its distinctive type issue paired with my inexplicable adoration for the factor made it the right reward when my mother purchased me one for the vacations in 2019—nearly 15 years after I first requested for one. Eventually, she got here via. For a whereas there, I used to be carrying it round in my pocket wherever I went, as I’d at all times dreamed of doing in center college. The world was my oyster, and I used to be a one who actually loved oysters.

Of course, seeing how costly they are often for a mint situation unit, mine got here with deep rooster scratches on the rear facet, as if somebody tried to put in writing their initials and a second individual crossed it out. Bummer. From that second on, I vowed to repair it up myself, even when it actually killed me.

A couple of months later, the COVID-19 pandemic took America by storm. Thanks to our nation’s non secular devotion to prioritizing cash—which we will merely print extra of—over human life, our authorities determined it was of their finest curiosity to maintain us feeling afraid to go outdoors for over a 12 months as an alternative of mandating stay-at-home orders for a few quick months. And it labored! After the primary 4-5 months in lockdown, I used to be so bored and exhausted that I made myself a cocktail and, lastly, sat right down to breathe new life into my beloved miniature novelty.

Illustration for article titled New Beginnings: The Sobering Journey To Restore My Game Boy Micro

Photo: Gabe Carey

I began working at G/O Media in February 2020. Hired to handle its commerce workforce and affiliate partnerships, that began off which means little greater than working The Inventory dot com. Although none of its authentic founding members are nonetheless right here, I beloved watching this website develop. Whether full-time editors or freelance writers, everybody I work with is aware of their strengths and leans into them with out hesitation. It’s due to this place that my resume is now a mile and a half lengthy. Initially introduced on to do two jobs, ultimately, my obligations matched that of a minimum of three heads. In a former colleagues’ phrases, I used to be “burning the midnight oil,” placing in numerous hours of time beyond regulation to maintain the lights on. It was price each second, till it wasn’t.

The Game Boy Micro was an experiment in resurrecting an outdated platform for an viewers that had already moved on. Nintendo took an iconic product, decreased its measurement, and altered the design till it was not recognizable. Mine particularly was worn down, the shell grazed with scratches and scuffs and the battery depleted. At first blush, a layman may name it irreparable. Not I.

Illustration for article titled New Beginnings: The Sobering Journey To Restore My Game Boy Micro

Photo: Gabe Carey

Scouring eBay, I discovered a replacement shell, together with entrance and again plates, together with a new rechargeable battery to swap in for my outdated one. I dusted off my pc restore package, unscrewed the battery cowl, then after some fidgeting, plugged it proper into the jack. The subsequent step, nonetheless, put me in a powerful spot. To substitute the remainder of the shell, I would want to take out a pair of screws on the alternative facet of the battery compartment, adjoining to the quantity buttons, in addition to these positioned underneath the battery. Only I didn’t have the appropriate screwdriver for the job as a result of it wasn’t supplied for me within the package, nor did I do know the kind of screwdriver for the job I would want. How was I supposed to drag this off with out the sources wanted to efficiently get the job completed? So as an alternative of screwing the outdated cowl again on, I secured the one from my housing package into place. I couldn’t assist however really feel as if I’d failed.

Over the following months that handed, I attempted as many screwdrivers as I may get my fingers on. I even noticed the kind of screwdriver I wanted—a triwing Y0—in a YouTube teardown. Nothing labored. It wasn’t till I spotted the screws themselves have been stripped past restore that I used to be in a position to face the details. It was time to maneuver on.

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