1.7.1 (Linux, BeOS)
1.7.4 (Mac) / May 25, 2004
1.8.0 beta 3 / October 1, 2005
|Written in||C, C++|
|Size||1.4 MB - 1.92 MB|
|Available in||English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Chinese, Spanish, Turkish (v.1.7 and above, for Windows only)|
|Original author(s)||Forgotten et al.|
|Developer(s)||VBA-M Development Team|
2.1.7 / 11 September 2023
Besides the DirectX version for the Windows platform, there is also one that is based on the free platform independent graphics library SDL. This is available for a variety of operating systems including Linux, BSD, Mac OS X, and BeOS. VisualBoyAdvance has also been ported to AmigaOS 4, AROS, GameCube, Wii, webOS, and Zune HD.
The VisualBoyAdvance project was started by a developer under the online alias "Forgotten".[better source needed] When this person left the development of the emulator, the project was handed over to a team named "VBA Team", led by Forgotten's brother. Development on the original VisualBoyAdvance stopped in 2004 with version 1.8.0 beta 3, and a number of forked versions were made by various developers in the years since then, such as VisualBoyAdvance-M.
VBA was a crucial component of Twitch Plays Pokémon, a social experiment in which thousands of button inputs collected from the viewership of the streaming website Twitch were fed into an emulated version of Pokémon Red. Viewers typed commands into the chat function, which was then fed into the VBA emulator via an IRC bot. They succeeded after 16 days of continuous play, with a peak concurrent viewership of 121,000 and over 1.1 million unique participants.
VisualBoyAdvance-M, or simply VBA-M, is an improved fork from the inactive VisualBoyAdvance project, adding several features as well as maintaining an up-to-date codebase. After VisualBoyAdvance became inactive in 2004, several forks began to appear such as VBALink, which allowed users to emulate the linking of two Game Boy devices. Eventually, VBA-M was created, which merged several of the forks into one codebase. Thus, the M in VBA-M stands for Merge. VBA-M is backwards compatible with Game Boy and Game Boy Color.
The VisualBoyAdvance became the most popular GBA emulator for the Unix platform and the emulator contributed "greatly" to the late years of GBA game development by providing a suite of development and visual debugging tools for developers who wanted to create games that surpassed even Nintendo's own. A port from VBA's code was used as the foundation of the Visual Boy Zune, an emulator of the Zune HD.
Wesley Akkerman from the Dutch computer magazine Computer!Totaal named the VisualBoyAdvance as one of the best Game Boy emulators alongside the mGBA, owing to its variety of features and customization options. In a review on the tech blog Techilife the VisualBoyAdvance has been named the oldest and most reliable Gameboy Advance emulator and has been praised for its ease of use.
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