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This article is about Digimon Sapphire (Game Boy Advance). For games with a similar title, see Digimon Sapphire. For other games named Digimon, see Digimon (disambiguation).

Digimon Sapphire (數碼怪獸 藍寶石) is a bootleg platforming game for the Game Boy Advance loosely based on the Digimon franchise. It was likely developed by Vast Fame and initially released in 2003.

Overview[]

Digimon Sapphire is a basic platforming game, similar to that of the Super Mario games. The game starts with an intro that introduces the three playable Digimon in the game: Agumon, Veemon, and Guilmon, with stills presumably from one of the Digimon anime series interspersed between each introduction. When a new game is created, you are presented the option to select one of the three Digimon shown in the intro to play as.

The game is divided into eight stages, with each stage containing three levels. The goal in each stage is to navigate the levels with the Digimon selected at the beginning and fight each boss at the end of the stage. The levels in each stage contain a set of enemies that will deal damage to the player if they run into them. The player jumps with the A button and uses the Digimon's secondary attack with the B button, both of which can kill enemies. Agumon and Guilmon breathe fire as their secondary attack, while Veemon shoots projectiles out of his fist. The Digimon can also jump on or shoot at enemy projectiles with no consequences. Spikes and bottomless pits are also present in all levels, with the former dealing damage to the player and the latter instantly killing the player when they fall into them, resulting in a life being lost. Losing all health will also result in a life being lost.

Killing an enemy or enemy projectile will typically result in it dropping an item, which can include health, extra lives, or various objects that simply count as points, and also fill up a meter at the bottom left of the screen that, when filled, will add to a counter next to the meter. This counter will let the Digimon temporarily evolve for the amount specified in it if the player presses the L or R trigger. For all Digimon, they only evolve into WarGreymon, which allows them to walk past enemies and interact with other hazards (not including bottomless pits) without getting hurt. The Digimon will return to their original form once a certain amount of time has passed.

Releases[]

Original versions[]

The original versions of Digimon Sapphire were likely released in 2003, each one being released by a different publisher. There are three known original releases of the game:

  • The Chinese version released in Taiwan uses the name 數碼怪獸 藍寶石, and uses different cart label art from the other known versions of the game.
  • The English version is named Digimon Sapphire and was released by the "New Game Color Advance" company. The design of the logo used on the box and cart label is directly based off of the logo for the Game Boy Advance game Digimon Battle Spirit, although the logo used in-game is completely different.
  • An alternate Chinese version was released in mainland China by Kongfeng. Its cart label uses art from the English release, but still uses the same Chinese name as the Taiwanese release. Compared to the English version, the title screen logo, Digimon names, and boss dialogue in the Kongfeng release are in Chinese and the intro has added text, but the two versions are otherwise virtually identical to each other.

The Kongfeng and original English versions are dumped and are known to use the copy protection scheme used in other unlicensed Game Boy Advance games that show signs of being developed by Vast Fame. The English version's ROM currently only works with the mGBA emulator. The original Chinese (Taiwanese) release is currently undumped and it is unknown if it uses copy protection.

Early 2010s English reprint[]

Around the early 2010s, reprints of the English version of this game and the unlicensed Game Boy Advance game Digimon Ruby (Digimon Rury) would start being sold on the now-defunct wholesaler site Volumerates. Both reprints were likely produced by the "New Game Color Advance" company as the cartridge shells and PCBs for them are near identical to their respective original English releases by the same company, except that the code on the back of the reprints' PCBs are stamped instead of written in marker. One major difference between the original releases and reprints of these games, though, is that the reprints lack any copy protection and introduce bugs not present in their original releases. For Digimon Sapphire in particular, the reprint introduces a bug where completing a level will cause the game to crash, although it will save progress before doing so. On real hardware, the game will hard lock once it fades to black, requiring a restart of the system to continue playing. On emulators, the game will jump straight to the credits sequence once it fades to black. Both reprints would be dumped in 2011 and were the only versions of their respective games dumped. The original English release of Digimon Sapphire, alongside other original releases of Vast Fame's GBA games, would be dumped in 2016.

Trivia[]

  • Most, if not all of the graphics for the playable, enemy, and boss Digimon, as well as the portraits on the character select screen, are taken from the Game Boy Advance game Digimon Battle Spirit.
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