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Emulating Super Game Boy


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Hello All,

I've decided to add Super Game Boy as a platform as an alternative to playing Game Boy games in Retroarch. I have followed Brad's tutorial on getting it setup, but I can't get it to work. The game I am using to test with is Metroid II and using the gambatte core, it boots up and plays fine as a standard GB game. However, trying to launch it (or any GB game) with the Super Game Boy, nothing at all happens. If I remove the --subsystem sgb, Retroarch boots to a black screen. I'm using the bsnes balanced core, but also tried it with the standard snes9x core, just to see.

My emulator config for this is attached. I have tried with both the Super Game Boy 2 and regular Super Game Boy ROMs (the boot image I was able to find (sgb_bios.bin) is for the original SGB and when I searched or one specific to the SGB 2, someone had dumped it, but would not host a ROM for it; only provided the code edits that would need to me made to the original SGB and checksums to verify with, but I've never compiled a ROM and no instructions were given for how to go about that, but the author did say there is a 1 byte difference between the regular and SGB 2 boot images). I did rename the file I found (256 bytes in size; no checksums were provided for it) to sgb_boot.rom and put it in the system folder in Retroarch, but no dice.

Does anyone know how to get this puppy working?




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10 minutes ago, SentaiBrad said:

So it will only work with Bsnes, but I think your BIOS are off. I see the file is 1kb, but it needs to be 256kb, and needs to be named "sgb.boot.rom". I also use this BIOS but the SGB2 rom, and it works fine.

Filename was the culprit: changed to sgb.boot.rom and it worked! Thanks!

8 minutes ago, lordmonkus said:

The command line parameter is setup wrong. You want to load the core first then the path to the super gameboy rom. Here is mine.

-L "cores\bsnes_accuracy_libretro.dll" "H:\Emulation\Roms\Super Nintendo\Super Game Boy 2 (Japan).sfc" --subsystem sgb

Must be more than one way to skin this cat; it was just the filename. :D


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  • 3 months later...
  • 4 months later...

Good day,


i have this same problem. Use retroarch my first time, load this both core: bsnes_accuracy_libretro.dll and bsnes_balanced_libretro.dll.

Have this "sgb.boot.rom (1kb)" file in my retroarch system folder.   And the Super Game Boy 2 (Japan).sfc rom (512kb).




okay, try  


-L "cores\bsnes_balanced_libretro.dll" "C:\Users\Karsten\Desktop\LaunchBox\Emulator\RetroArch\Super Game Boy 2 (Japan).sfc" --subsystem sgb 


and its work. BUT graphic and sound issues. Framerate?





I have nothing changed under the audio settings. use the retroarch default settings.




Edited by ToHell
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  • 4 months later...

I just wanted to post an update here because I was having issues with SGB emulation on the bsnes_mercury_balanced_libretro.dll core e.g. the pokemon games weren't working properly so I swithced to using the higan_sfc_balanced_libretro.dll core and it solved my problem although the commandlines are different now.


Command line for  bsnes_mercury_balanced_libretro.dll core

"system\Super_Game_Boy_2_ (Japan).sfc" -L "cores\bsnes_mercury_balanced_libretro.dll" --subsystem sgb -c "config\Nintendo Super Game Boy.cfg"


Command line for higan_sfc_balanced_libretro.dll core

--libretro "cores\higan_sfc_balanced_libretro.dll" -c "config\Nintendo Super Game Boy.cfg"


I recommend using Higan but you have one additional setup step outlined below (copy / pasted from THIS topic

1. Make 2 subdirectories in your system/BIOS directory, one named SGB1.sfc and the other named SGB2.sfc.

2. Copy your original Super Game Boy ROM into the SGB1.sfc directory and then rename it to program.rom. Copy your Super Game Boy 2 ROM into the SGB2.sfc directory and then rename it program.rom, as well.

3. Copy your sgb.boot.rom BIOS into each of your SGB1.sfc and SGB2.sfc directories, and rename them to sgb1.boot.rom and sgb2.boot.rom, respectively. There’s a core option to choose which of the two SGB BIOSes you want to use.




Edited by Special T
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  • 3 months later...

I have been playing with this for over an hour with no success. I followed the YouTube tutorial and Higan v105 Super Game Boy BIOS tutorial to the letter and nothing. I wanted to clarify some things though. Firstly, my obtained BIOS is 256k in size which I know is right but was named sgb_bios.bin. I renamed it to the sgb.boot.rom as recommended. When you place it in the Launchbox system folder do you have to create a folder in the system folder called BIOS? I am using the higan_accuracy core but in regards to there being a core option to point to the appropriate file as stated in the Higan v105 Super Game Boy BIOS tutorial in Retroarch it says that there is no core options. I have gone back and forth a few times on what seems like it should be straight forward my head is spinning a bit. Has there been updates to the cores in relation to the dates these tutorials where made that may change anything?

Edited by Dane
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  • 1 month later...

So as per my post above about a month ago I could not get this working. I finally got it working. I know this might not suit everyone's computer or setup but although working my games were playing rather laggy regarding video but mostly audio. I tried the cores "bsnes_accuracy_libretro" and "bsnes_balanced_libretro" but in the end what did it for me was "bsnes_mercury_accuracy_libretro".

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