The Best Game Boy Micro - The Final Fantasy IV Limited Edition Set - Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Monday, August 16, 2021

The Best Game Boy Micro - The Final Fantasy IV Limited Edition Set

The Game Boy Micro was revealed to the world at E3 2005 when Reggie literally pulled the thing out of his pocket on stage during Nintendo’s press conference. The system was a sleek redesign of the Game Boy Advance and, for the time, was an amazing feat of engineering. Despite nice upgrades to the GBA line, such as the improved backlit screen, other factors, such as the Nintendo DS being out on the market and the high asking price ($100 USD at launch), kept this system out of the hands of many gamers. When it was all said and done, only 2.42 million Micro units were sold worldwide, which was well below expectations. Well before all of this came to light, a handful of variations of the hardware did hit the market - specifically in Japan. One in particular stands out, and is perhaps that sharpest looking version of the handheld to date - The Final Fantasy IV Game Boy Micro. Let’s take a look. 

Rumblings of the Super Famicom Final Fantasy titles coming to the Game Boy Advance cropped up in the fall of 2005. Starting with Final Fantasy IV, these games would be coming to Nintendo’s popular handheld. IV was released in North America (published by Nintendo) on December 12, with a Japanese release following on December 15 (with Square Enix publishing) and a release for Europe in mid 2006. Of course, gamers in Japan didn’t just simply get the game. They were also treated to a special Game Boy Micro featuring Final Fantasy IV artwork on the unit with the game as a pack-in. The pack sold for ¥17,200, while the game on its own retailed for ¥5,040.

The Set
I originally picked up my Final Fantasy IV Game Boy Micro back in early 2009. At the time, these things were going for roughly ¥9,800 (around $100 USD), but I managed to pick mine up for ¥7,800 ($78). These days, if you want to find the system complete with the box, games, manuals, etc., you are going to be paying quite a bit of money.

The package here features an outer box that houses both the system as well as a copy of Final Fantasy IV for the GBA. The front of the box features the Final Fantasy IV logo illustrations of Kain, Rosa and Cecil by Final Fantasy illustrator Yoshitaka Amano. There is some small text on the bottom right side of the box (above the art) that says, “Final Fantasy IV Advance + Yoshitaka Amano GB Micro FF Pack-in Set." The back the box features some more art from Amano, this time Cecil as both a Paladin and Dark Knight. The sides feature images of the included Game Boy Micro. 
The system itself features a dark blue base design with white highlights. A Paladin version of Cecil is on the left while Kain is on the right. This faceplate/front of the device was only ever sold in this pack-in. The back of the unit is completely blue, and has a logo that says, “FF” and beside it, “FINEST Fantasy for ADVANCE.” 
In terms of overall design, I really can’t think of any other handheld or console that looks this good. The deep blue is sharp and the white artwork on the system really pop and give the system an overall classy look. 

The Final Fantasy IV Game Boy Micro is truly a masterpiece. The designs from Amano really set this system apart from other Final Fantasy hardware or just any themed gaming hardware. The asking price these days is pretty high, especially for a complete set and is only to keep climbing in price. Mine here is a bit dinged up and the hot climate of Japan coupled with no central heating and air here in Japan can take its toll on collectibles.  Still, this is a piece that would make a nice addition for Nintendo and/or Final Fantasy collectors. But let’s turn things over to you. What do you think is the best Game Boy Micro special edition system? Or what Game Boy Advance system do you think was just awesome? Sound off in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you.

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