Last Updated on August 24, 2023
Nintendo’s VirtualBoy released in 1995 is the probably one of the most notorious retro consoles to miss the target with its audience and stay stuck in place, with many retro gamers preferring it to stay forgotten for its play-style and aesthetics that aren’t the most comfortable in some cases.
However, this has not stopped passionate individuals from keeping the VirtualBoy’s flame burning. RetroOnyx, run by Kevin Mellott, has continued to produce physical copies of new games. Dedication such as this deserves not to go unnoticed.
Mellot makes and sells other VirtualBoy necessities and accessories, further demonstrating just how committed he is to celebrating the what the VritualBoy has to offer. Mellott explains “RetroOnyx has a strong history with Nintendo Virtual Boy projects, starting years ago on the PlanetVB.com forums. I will continue with my Virtual Boy projects here, as well as bring my design ideas to other retro gaming platforms. I currently build products for Virtual Boy, Wonderswan, Dreamcast, and a few others”.
In a project that made itself known earlier this year, Mellott teamed up with the creators of the VUEngine exclusively for the VirtualBoy (Christian Radke and Jorge Andres Eremiev), to work on the new title Virtual WarZone, a combat game that makes the most of the VirtualBoy’s 3D effects that make it so distinct compared to other consoles.
Virtual WarZone‘s ROM is available for HyperFlash32 and HyperBoy owners for $40.00 on the RetroOnyx website. In an interview with NintendoLife, Mellott highlighted some context behind the game’s development:
“For Virtual Warzone, I hooked up with Jorge to develop this game because I always thought a Battlezone-esque type of wireframe game would show well on the Virtual Boy, kind of like how I enjoy Red Alarm. I reached out to Jorge and we started developing that, and then Chris helped out as well. Chris runs Planet Virtual Boy and has done so for many years before I came around.
We had some other people help out as well. An online community member does my box art manuals and another user helped with some of the 3D content like the tank cockpit and what that looks like. I’ve known those people through the community for years now. I just reached out to them about developing this game. Jorge agreed and did all the heavy lifting and most of the development.”
Mellott has also described another project he has been working on with his fellow collaborators:
“They’re a great group to work with and should have a second game released by the end of the year called Formula V, which is like a top-down F-Zero meets Micro Machines on a racetrack. It’s also harder to play than it looks. Jorge likes to build games like that. It’s quite polished, even the demos they put out for that game are very polished. It’s got all the bells and whistles of the VUEngine that they’ve developed over the years. It’s going to be a great showcase of what’s possible on the VUEngine and another great addition to the homebrew scene.”
The retro gaming community continue to team up to keep the history of gaming alive with new material and it’s certainly something to admire.
While these devices are understandably rare, but you should be able to find a Nintendo Virtual Boy on eBay.
I am a media and pop culture enthusiast and love Nintendo and indie games, particularly Zelda and Stardew Valley. When I’m not gaming you’ll find me writing, creating fanart, and playing music covers of my favourite games!