I’m a “big picture” person; I can’t be bothered with fiddly little details. When I was a little girl, my grandfather used to concoct elaborate Easter egg hunts for my brothers and I. I did not inherit that love for crafting small, easily-missed gestures. If I ever manage to whack out a kid, they’re going to wake up on Easter morning with an economy-sized bag of Cadbury Mini-Eggs on their chest. There. You found it. Whoopie. Let’s get pancakes.

But that’s not to say I don’t appreciate the work other people put into fine details. If a game developer goes above and beyond the call of duty, I make it a point to applaud that effort.

Here’s a perfect example. I’m currently in love with VGMuseum’s collection of Game Boy Colour warning screens. If you don’t recall, many Game Boy titles are cross-compatible with all iterations of the system, including the Game Boy Color. Some titles, however, are only playable on the Game Boy Color. And if you try to plug one of those GBC-exclusive games into a regular Game Boy, you get a message telling you “uh-uhn.”

(VGM also collected similar screens for Wonder Swan Colour and Neo Geo Pocket Colour. I might go through those at a later date.)

Most of these messages are just regular text on a blank screen. Some, however, are real eye-catchers. Here are my favourites.

Alfred’s Adventure


This bird looks so relieved that you can’t play his god damn game.

Army Men II


I’ve never been able to describe a facial expression that sits between “sassy” and “disappointed,” but here we are. Should’ve checked the game’s label, Private. This guy’s going to PT you ’til your asshole’s sucking buttermilk.

Barbie’s Magic Genie Adventure


“Whoops. You fucked up and now you can’t play my game. How terrible. Just gonna smoke this dank kush and fly away on my magic carpet. Bye-ee”

Billy Bob’s Huntin’ n Fishin’


“Damn boy, I wipe my ass with the business end of my loaded rifle and I ain’t half as dumb as your stupid ass.”



As you can see, this cat’s devastated that you can’t play and he gets to go back to sleep.

Kelly Club: Treehouse Fun



Kikansha Thomas: Sodor-tou no Nakamatachi  


“You can’t play this game on a regular Game Boy … baka…[toot]”



FYI this is what the sun will look like when it rises for the last time on the day of the Apocalypse.

Kisekae Series 3 Kisekae Hamster


I love how a big “X” is Japan’s all-purpose code for “You’re fucked, son.”

Madden NFL 2001


“Hi America, just a heads-up: You can’t play this game on a regular Game Boy.”

Madden NFL 2002



Monsters Inc


Boo’s so cute, even when she’s the bearer of bad news.

Monster Rancher Explorer


Tecmo’s “Ugh” girl is my very soul given form and projected on a Game Boy screen.

Nascar Racers


Attempting to boot up Nascar Racers on a regular Game Boy gifts you with an image of a car-less driver moping on a stack of tires. There’s nothing about this I don’t adore.

Planet of the Apes


Great, now you can’t play the game and you have to deal with a furious nuclear gorilla.

Puzzle Bobble Millennium


Poor Bub. Or Bob. Whichever.

Rescue Heroes: Fire Frenzy


Billy Blazes is 100% done with your vanilla Game Boy-owning ass. Next time your building’s on fire, you’re on your own.

Road Champs



Snoopy Tennis


As a little girl, I was enormously entertained by Snoopy kicking the shit out of things that irritated him. Not much has changed on that front.

SpongeBob Squarepants





I don’t know why this Pac-Man is cosplaying as Mr Miyagi, but I’m sorry he’s so sad.

Sylvania Family 2 Irozuku Mori no Fantasy


I have no idea what this game is about. I’m just all right with bunnies and cats wearing dresses.

Tottoko Hamtaro: Tomodachi Daisakusen Dechu


I watched a shit-load of Hamtaro during the summer of 2004 when I was unemployed and kind of depressed, so I’ll always have a soft spot for these rodents. Ham-Hams forever.

Tyco RC Racin’ Rats


“eeeey! I can drive tiny cars and infect you with the hantavirus!”

Worms Armageddon


Your inattention to detail means these invertebrates cannot kill each other in armed warfare. I hope you’re happy.

Yu-Gi-Oh! DarkDuel Stories


I love how Kaiba is nowhere to be seen on this error message. He would never make such a pleb mistake, and even if he did, he’d throw money at the problem until it fixed itself. Also, notice how Tea looks fed up, like she knew this was going to happen and she warned everyone ten times over but nobody fucking listened and now they’re all trapped in some monochrome Shadow Realm for eternity. Enjoy, guys.

  • Stuart Gipp

    Alfred’s Adventure is super good.

    • Nadia Oxford

      That bird has a face you can trust!

  • http://www.nyteworks.net/ LBD “Nytetrayn”

    “I love how Kaiba is nowhere to be seen on this error message. He would never make such a pleb mistake, and even if he did, he’d throw money at the problem until it fixed itself.”

    To be fair, that pretty much is the solution here.