Good news for those of y'all who missed GBA4iOS during its recent DMCA takedown time: it's back. Developer Riley Testut revealed what exactly happened with the emulator: Nintendo filed a DMCA request to GitHub to take down the emulator because it provided a direct search on a ROM site to get more ROMs.

Now the in-app web browser throws a mighty hurdle in users' faces to obtain ROMs: it drops them at a Google search box. Truly, no one will ever obtain illegal ROMs ever again.

Astro Boy Omega Factor GBA4iOS

The emulator can be had has always at the GBA4iOS site, though it now redirects to a new subdomain, though this all appears to be legitimate. As always, follow the instructions (especially rolling back the date, necessary for the enterprise certificate tricks that make this work) and soon Game Boy Advance emulation will be yours, even on the latest iOS versions.

  • Kane

    Nintendo are aware of ROMs, why don't they just embrace it and make it official. Not point waiting.... We want it now, not when I'm a pensioner.

    • MaqueGenio

      The day when Nintendo embraces mobile and officially brings full fledged games to IOS is the day you will see all the Nintendo loyalists in full suicide mode. Honestly i would love to see that.

      • nini

        Gotta appreciate gaming platform hate that advocates for the death of the other guy, classy joke.

      • NadineDeightonrif

        Josiah .
        although Jacqueline `s stori is surprising, last week I bought themselves a
        Chrysler from having made $5060 thiss month and-in excess of, 10/k last-month .
        it's realy the easiest-work I have ever done . I started this 4 months ago and
        pretty much straight away was bringin in at least $78 per-hour . why not look
        here C­a­s­h­d­u­t­i­e­s­.­C­O­M­

      • burtinteractive

        great story bro

      • Stormourner

        suicide?? I would love to see the nintendo fans beating the heck out of you

      • nicoper

        Hey you! Stop wishing me dead, or something. However, Nintendo bringing their stuff to iOS would imo only do good, just look at the money that King got from Candy Crush (that is ONE game with optional IAP) compared to Nintendo on all their games in the beginning of the year...

      • I am Error.

        What I think we'd be more likely to see is a dedicated Nintendo smartphone. It would be a serious cash cow for them... picture the old smartphones that had a physical keyboard slide out from the base only with an SNES-equivalent button layout. THAT would be cool. Unlikely, but cool.

      • Bryce Stevens

        Sony made a phone like this called Xperia Play and it was a flop. I don't think Nintendo could do better imo.

      • Cookies

        I'm somewhat of a Nintendo loyalist and I want this so damn much. Don't know where you got the idea that we don't want to play their games on any other device.

    • imuddy

      The day Nintendo release their IPs outside of their console is the day when Nintendo devices end.

      • Stormourner

        nintendo devices never ends

      • MaqueGenio

        And wouldn't be a good thing? Nintendo s strength is not on hardware, that is for sure. Not from a business perspective, and definitelly not from a tech perspective. Times have changed. I see a lot of people still wanting to play Nint games but they are not willing to buy their hardware.If Nint were smart they would put all of their focus into Software which is undeniable first class quality and where they can still be successful.

      • Galenmereth

        What is Apple without its hardware?

        Nintendo is a hardware company first; games - software - is made to sell the hardware. Why is this so hard to understand?

      • @88episodes

        Um. The Dpad, L + R, the analog stick, rumble, motion control. All introduced or popularized by Nintendo hardware. They change console gaming for the better with nearly every console.

    • staraffinity

      Having a kid since 11 months makes me feel that becoming a pensioner isn't such a bad thing when it comes to having time to play games – if your fingers and mind is working properly that is…
      Have to make sure that they do! Exercising the mind and body.

      Anyway…

    • thiagovscoelho

      What? No, that's a terrible idea.

    • Onikage725

      In fairness, Nintendo is selling GBA games currently. This could be seen as competition. Personally, I deleted Golden Sun, Metroid Fusion, and Superstar Saga from the emulator (save a little space) after buying on Virtual Console. But for everyone like me, there's probably a dozen who see VC and think "well, I have that on my phone for free."

      • I am Error.

        I think the loophole here for folks who own the original carts or buy the VC titles is that while Nintendo IS supporting GBA games at this time, the furthest you can take them on the go is one room over from where your Wii U is.

      • Onikage725

        I'm not sure how that's a loophole. I'm just saying that there is a precedent for Nintendo to view this as a market threat. It's not the same as, say, Square Enix filing C &D notices to every Chrono Trigger fan project, and then proceeding to do nothing with CT besides mock people who question them about future CT projects.

        As for the loophole, one benefit is that there are a couple of extra features (workable, though optional, subtle filtering, and the manuals in full) as well as the ability to play on your TV. It basically functions like a Super Gameboy for these titles. So it's a trade off. I an gated a bit about continuing Golden Sun on this or starting over on Wii U. I decided that I rarely get a chance to play while at work or school, and wouldn't mind the option of playing on my TV.

  • Devok

    There will forever be rOms rOms and mOre rOms regardless. Someday we will see n64 and above on ios sooner than we think!

    • Kane

      I have N64 running only jailbroken 5s (60fps) temp, until Nini decide to release it officially.

  • MajorCheevo

    Nintendo should just start porting there stuff over to IOS and Android. Least there older library . There just trying to force the mobile market into purchasing there handheld. I personally feel the only handheld I need is my smart phone.

    • Stormourner

      SIGH!!!! how many times do we have to repeat? there shall be no nintendo games on mobiles wether it's new or old

      • anabolicMike

        True true true. And too bad cause they could make zillions. I think the only way we gonna see that is if Nintendo releases it's own phone with its own Nintendo App Store.

      • Stormourner

        of course!! nintendo phone with buttons since nintendo isn't fan of virtual buttons

      • nicoper

        Who on this planet is (not counting casual players only swiping around in candy crush)? There is no virtual button that replaces for example the feel of the gameboy buttons, or any other console/controller

    • Praymettin

      That's exactly the one reason Nintendo should not release games on ios or any other non-nintendo platform. It would only regress them to being only a distributor or publisher company, from being a shining star of gaming. But it is possible we would see something like a "Nintenphone" in near future :))

      And seriously, promoting probably illegal(at least some places) but definitely immoral activities such as this is not suitable for a decent site like toucharcade. People should not think "why not" when they see someone comitting copyright infringement.

      • MrAlbum

        If you own the physical GBA cartridges, then you can emulate ROMs of those games on whatever system you desire, because you already purchased the game so Nintendo could make its money, or you bought it used which means someone else bought it when it was new, so Nintendo would still get its fair share of money.

        Plus, the GBA hardware is objectively worse than most modern handheld hardware, except possibly with the physical control vs. touch control debate. The iPhone 5S screen is vastly superior to any iteration of the GBA, even the SP, just as an example. For those who already own the physical games, why would they NOT want to play it on objectively better hardware via emulation?

        There is a legit, ethical reason for ROMs to exist: archiving the data. Those cartridges will not last forever. If something happens to the cartridge, then the game is gone. Since an intact ROM from the cartridge is all you need to play the game in a software sense, there is a need to take those ROMs and put them in a place where they will be preserved for future gamers. It is unknown if Nintendo does archive every single game in the GBA's library. It may be that they only archive the games that Nintendo develops for the system, and that there are other game companies who have not archived the GBA games that they develop. Either way, it helps to have a backup.

        A problem is that a LOT of people abuse this need and use it as an excuse to play games that they do not own because they can obtain the ROMs for "free." This damages the reputation of anybody who seeks to use ROMs as a means of archiving and preserving the data. If ROMs were not so easy to obtain via a download from a website, then the conversation around ROMs would be different.

        Take my observations however you will.

      • COHagan23

        I agree with the above but would add it's only strictly legal (in the U.S. at least) if you dumped said roms yourself from cartridges you own.

      • Galenmereth

        The kicker is this: The gba bios file is actually illegal. An emulator that comes bundled with it breaks numerous laws.

      • NinjaKitteh

        Not to mention that the hardware required to dump roms from cartridges is illegal to own (at least in the US).

      • MrAlbum

        This is a head-scratcher for me as well. Why would it be illegal? What makes it illegal? Please, enlighten us so we are aware of the facts.

      • NinjaKitteh

        The bios is illegal because it's not open source and proprietarily owned by Nintendo. Rom dumping hardware was legal before the DMCA was passed but was made illegal by the passage of that act. There is a really good article on Zophar's Domain about all this. I'd add a link but my last post got booted and I'm site it was because I had it in my post.

      • MrAlbum

        Really! How so? What makes it illegal? I am literally clueless about the technical aspects of GBA4iOS, so some elaboration would be fantastic.

  • Goggles789

    It's much more cost effective to simply buy a Gameboy advance and a small handful of your favorite games than use a $500 iPhone/iPad and play on shifty touch screen controls. This stuff isn't that expensive on ebay

    • GamerGuy

      Soo true! There's even the GBA Micro that is very pocket sized.

      • Cilo

        I own 3 of them lol, a silver, black, and blue.

      • I am Error.

        There is, but that screen size... yikes.

    • thiagovscoelho

      Readers of this site probably already bought an iPad, and not for the emulation.

  • ImJPaul

    I wish you didn't have to roll back the date. I use my iPhone for gaming, yes. It is also used for organizing my daily life. This is not ideal for me. I do have a 3DS though so I think I will survive. Still would be mighty cool if this wasn't a requirement. :-)

    • Marvin

      After rolling the date back and starting the software once, you can set it back to the current date or time. The only exception I find is sometimes after resetting your device you may have to revert the date back on the initial startup

  • imuddy

    Very hard to feel sorry or bad for Nintendo on this, when you deny a new generation access to gems of the previous generation only Nintendo stand to lose.

    • thiagovscoelho

      They aren't denying a thing. You can buy GBA games on the Wii U.

      • MrAlbum

        All of them? Or only the "classics?"

      • Onikage725

        What denial? Licensing takes time, so the games are rolling out. The program just started a couple months back. And, as has been pointed out, the gba itself isn't hard to find on the secondary market at low prices, or DS/DS Lite. What company provides 100% backwards compatibility for their entire catalog across all generations? Microsoft and Sony aren't even rolling back one gen anymore, and last gen the compatibility was spotty on 360 and cut early from PS3. At least Nintendo reliably goes back one generation while uploading classics to VC.

      • MrAlbum

        Ah, I see. Good to know!

      • thiagovscoelho

        Mostly the classics I think, but the releasing is in progress. I don't yet have my Wii U to check.

  • GamerGuy

    They should just release the older games on iOS ....like every one else who's bringing back old games.....it's like free money! And last I heard Candy Crush has made more money then all of Nintendo games last quarter...(not a fan of Candy Crush btw)

    Release the lifeboats Nintendo!

    • Stormourner

      I would rather force Nintendo to release the old underrated games on Nintendo Eshop

      • GamerGuy

        Yeah, What do they have to lose...they should have every game ever released for the system in eShop. Besides that the eShop sucks between devices. Like I have a 3DS then got the XL later on....no easy way to transfer all purchased games...if at all.

      • NinjaKitteh

        What are you talking about? It's as simple as doing a system transfer between both 3ds'. It tells you how to do it on the 3ds site.

    • nicoper

      They could do something like Atari did, one app with iap for oldies, I would pay, and I am sure that more people will too, but charging $60 for a game in these days when there are plenty of great $1 games out there is just ridiculous

  • epik5

    I bet that the real reason why nintendo did that is because they sell those gameboy games once again on the wii u

  • http://afterpad.com/ Kevin MacLeod

    Part of the reason the link is being redirected is that the developers are being DDOSed by a racist idiot. Hopefully that will be resolved soon...

  • lll Anubis lll

    "The emulator can be had has always at the GBA4ios site..."

    I would recommend rewriting that bit so it is easier to understand. I don't mean to offend you or to complain. Thanks for the article though!

  • Opinion

    I've had this a nds4ios for a while...

  • Onikage725

    This is actually better in my opinion. CoolROMs is a dece site, but there are others I prefer. Especially if you're looking for any games that weren't localized.

  • I am Error.

    I really am a fan of this app. Like with any emulation I run it to play games I already legally own in physical form. Nintendo has made it pretty darn clear: no gaming from them on tablets and phones. As a 3DS owner I'm GLAD to support their Virtual Console for classic titles and buy as many as I am interested in. But the Virtual Console library is not very big and currently does not support ANY GBA titles... which this app does. The only downer for me as an iPhone 4S user is that there is no ios7 compatible controller. At all. And I can't jailbreak my device to link a PS3 pad because of the OS I am on. But still, an app like this is GREATLY appreciated and I just wanted to speak up for the folks who use emulators for their intended use. Of COURSE folks will abuse them, but not all do.

    • nicoper

      There is a kickstarter project for a rubber controlpad made for gba4ios mounted directly over the screen, I will post a link to it when I find it again

  • Cookies

    Glad I didn't delete it.

  • DARK-SPIRIT

    Working great. Thank you.