Put on your party hats and bring out the grog! Today we celebrate GBAtemp.net's 20th anniversary!
It was twenty years ago today that KiVan, Alexander and Omero first opened the GBAtemp.net forums to the public. But did you know that before the forums were opened that GBAtemp had an important life before that?
GBAtemp first went online in early 2002 as simple blog-based website for hosting the latest scene releases of Game Boy Advance ROM dumps. Hence the name "GBAtemp" - it was a temporary repository for the latest GBA ROMs. KiVan was a GBA fanatic and wanted others to share his passion playing the latest releases.
The site was extremely basic back then, nothing more than a column of text on a blue background and served as an easy way for people to get access to the latest releases, which were often being hosted on privately owned servers and public file sharing websites. Links to games were often taken offline either by breaking bandwidth limitations or from DMCA takedowns, but files were normally hosted with multiple mirrors and KiVan was fast to provide new links to the 10 latest scene releases.
Needless to say, the site quickly grew in popularity thanks to the competition being IRC, which would be too much of a learning curve for many and as such the site saw more and more visitors every day.
Unfortunately, unlike today, not everything put on the internet is forever and try as I might, I can't find any screenshots or media from GBAtemp from this era. If you have any please get in touch!
I personally remember first discovering this version of GBAtemp during my college days when the GBA was at its most popular. It seemed everyone in the college had a GBA, I remember the crowds of teens flocking around a GBA to gawk at the power radiating from the tiny portable. I remember desperately saving what little money I could scrape together as an unemployed college lad and one day rushing down to Argos (a popular high street catalogue shop) to get my hands on a transparent purple GBA with the Rayman Advance game bundled in. I would often browse GBAtemp during the day at college in the dimly lit room with the cold weather beating down outside. At the time I had little to no internet at home so the unfiltered and unrestricted college connection at the time was about my only gateway to GBAtemp.
I vividly remember this early version of GBAtemp having a Guestbook, which was a popular feature of websites of the time. It allowed visitors to leave comments to the site owner, but the Guest book quickly turned into a miniature message board of sorts with regulars such as myself chatting with others and making new friends.
Soon, the popularity of GBAtemp was too much to maintain. KiVan would frequently have to move server and was relying on a dynamic DNS name to point users to the ever-changing host of the site. But this soon become too much to bear and KiVan turned to his friends Alexander and Omero for a solution.
On the 22nd October 2002, the first community based GBAtemp was born. Hosted by some of his friends at M4D - an Italian gaming services portal, KiVan no longer had to worry about bandwidth, takedowns or hosting limitations. And it was at this point when GBAtemp started to grow into the site it is today. Rocking a custom homepage/portal by Bouke, GBAtemp looked quite different from other forums at the time as this custom built landing page provided everything the site had to offer in one convenient location.
Although links to ROMs were not limited to members, registrations at the site grew daily. Weeks later, the team would begin to consider "going legal" by prohibiting copyrighted material from being hosted by or linked to by GBAtemp. The reason for this was two-fold. The host M4D had become concerned about liability and increased popularity meant the site was no longer the "underground" network it once was, making it an easier target for Nintendo ninjas. Having built a fledgling community of friends, one that was only increasing day by day, the three Italian founders; KiVan; Alexander and Omero made the decision to prohibit warez from GBAtemp for good.
Thankfully, the bustling community of members kept the site going with discussions of emulator and flash cart compatibility. The moderating team even continued to inform users about the newest GBA releases by posting news of the latest releases almost as soon as they hit the scene. The portal was used as a front for this news, with screenshots, compatibility and ROM information, making it a comprehensive source of info for the latest dumps. You'd just have to find the actual files yourselves.
The site continued on for a few years, but once the Nintendo DS hit the scene things really began to take off as the site exploded in popularity thanks to the incredible popularity of Nintendo DS flash cart devices. The site saw a similar wave of success yet again a few years later thanks to the incredible popularity of the Wii and the influx of modchips available for it.
And the rest is history - here we are twenty years later. Still rocking an avid community of new and old members.
So join us in raising a cold stein of grog and declare a toast to GBAtemp's 20th birthday! One of the largest (and best) independent communities on the web! Cheers!
You can read a more in-depth history of the site on our Wiki at the link below:
I've made a small blog article with some behind the scenes peaks at GBAtemp throughout the years. If you're interested in reading more please follow the link below:
A peek behind the scenes of 20 years of GBAtemp
Retro tempStyle (throwback theme)
In case you missed it previously, to celebrate GBAtemp's 20th birthday we have a new style available for all members to use - possibly for a limited time.
Travel back to the early days of the internet with this retro throwback style based on the GBAtemp style from 2002-2005. Select the style here.
Style chooser -> Select "tempStyle (throwback)"
The evolution of Tempy
It's not just the site that has changed over the 20 years we've been online, so has our mascot, Tempy! Check out his evolution below.
Thoughts from the Team
To celebrate our 20th anniversary I asked some of our staff past and present for some thoughts on their time at GBAtemp. Here are their thoughts:
Just like most, I signed up for GBAtemp because I wanted to learn more about homebrew and hacking. It was all because of a Lifehacker, article, actually, that said you could make Original Xbox consoles play SNES games by installing a softmod. After joining, I learned about flashcarts, and ended up buying a Supercard DStwo for my DS (good old waiting 2 months for China shipping!), and used Letterbomb to hack my Wii.
Instead of drifting away from the site after hacking all my stuff, I found myself drawn back to checking GBAtemp daily. I loved how social the site was, and I looked up to a lot of the older members and staff, getting accustomed to @Guild McCommunist's snark, @Garhar's rampant puns, @T-hug's dedication to news, the annual "Pokeflood" threads, and the overall friendliness of users on GBAtemp.
Some of the most important social connections I've ever made came from people on this site. I remember spending hours over the Summer talking to @chavosaur, @Hells Malice, the GBAtemp IRC OP Piotyr, @Scarlet, @relauby, and so many other awesome individuals. Whether it was talking about the latest and greatest Nintendo games on GBAtemp Skype groups, playing Minecraft on the GBAtemp server, or watching @KenniesNewName and @Tom Bombadildo make fun of trolls in the GBAtemp Shoutbox, this website has been a huge part of my life.
I couldn't be happier to be a part of this site, and its amazing community. Happy 20th, GBAtemp, and here's to many more!
I joined GBAtemp after lurking the site for quite some time, I intially helped out on the Xbox 360 subforums but before long I was known as the 360 person on temp.
Interest in it was never that great and I really hoped some great homebrew would spring from the RGH but alas, the console never could step up from the previous one and as the successor offered a great homebrew platform (Dev mode), I kinda lost interest and simply posted lesser and lesser. Life got in the way and all that I suppose.
I still help out on things related to the 360 from time to time and it will remain my favourite console.
Over the years I've seen a lot of things happen on GBAtemp.
Pokefloods, bannings of some well known members, Staff changes, the whole TaeWong spam saga, the Xuphor drama, the death of Densetsu and CrazySka, the IPB hack and the subsequent move to XF and many other things.
Eventually I became part of the GBAtemp staff and this is where I am now, some 11 years later, celebrating two decades of an amazing community!
Never sure what to put in scenarios like this. If I am still here all these years on then there is a reason it is so. "Make cool things and put them on the internet" and "if you are going to post then make the world just a slightly better place" being how I like to roll and it has never been a struggle here, unlike so many other places, with the added bonus of GBAtemp also being friendly to hacking type activities. Fondest memories are probably being in the thick of it for new exploits (and a fake one for a particularly amusing case), new mods, pulling things apart when that became a possibility, new emulators, new homebrew, bouncing ideas around on all manner of weird and wonderful mod ideas people had and seeing the results. Turning up to a mature modding scene is certainly not without its charms but being there as limits are pushed and barriers broken is something else.
I lurked on the 'temp back in the day, checking releases and hung out on the IRC channel, i think it was on efnet back then. I was
The feature I used to love the most was the releases displayed on the front page. Every day there were new releases, showing the title of the game and 2 screenshots: one from the main menu / title screen, one in-game.
I would watch those screenshots and dream away about what the game could be about, how fun it would be to play it, and if it was Japanese, I would dream about the day it would be released in English.
And when more console releases were added to the lists - boy I would visit several times a day. I think I enjoyed keeping track on the new releases more than actually playing the games.
Time went on, the site evolved and so did I - and it was always fun to live through all the changes, the different designs, every pokéflood, the yearly April 1st jokes and tempmas competitions, and all the drama. And then following how the staff changed over the years, some came, some went, and some went nuts and were banned. And sadly, some passed away. Eventually I became staff myself.
I joined the Temp in Apr 18, 2008 after lurking around for six or so months after I got a DS flashcart called the DS-Xtreme. It was a card that initially had a lot of potential but was ultimately abandoned by its developers early into its life. I was a bit annoyed about that so decided to join and troll the DS-X forum a bit. I picked the name p1ngpong because at the time I was using a free wifi network from next door to me called ping pong and the username pingpong was already taken. I may have picked a better username if I thought I would hang around, I never imagined I would be still here almost 15 years later (I still can not believe how long it has been!)
I accumulated a lot of warns (70%) for being a bit naughty but there was never anything really malicious about what I did. I realized the temp was a cool place and had made friends here so decided to reform. Eventually the warns dropped, I got a good reputation, became IRC staff and after that was promoted to a mod and worked my way up from that.
I have seen many things in my time here. People proclaiming the Temp is dying over and over, people jumping ship to competitor sites most of which are long gone. Dramas, site hacking, controversies, high profile bans, pokemon floods, even sadly deaths. But the Temp is still here. Has pretty much the best roster of staff ever. Is still thriving and I still visit every day even if I am not that publicly active any more.
My most memorable moments? JPH posting Goatsee on the front page and his subsequent ban. The fallout from Bonemonkeys ban. The site hackings we had to deal with. The whole xuphor saga. Meeting Shaun and Fast at the Switch launch event. My first promotion to IRC staff which was really cool for me. Many others but I would be here all day listing them!
I kinda got into the homebrewing and modding scene somewhere at the tail end of 2007, when I got my first DS flashcart. A little late to the party, slightly after the OG R4 wave. Got myself an EDGE. And that's where the Temp came in. It was a treasure trove of information that allowed my DS to be more than just a game device. Who knows how long I spent playing around with Moonshell. Or making custom skins when I got an Acekard. While I had been aware of modchips on the PlayStation and bootleg multigame carts, being a kid and discovering all the potential in that little flashcart was nothing short of a spectacular moment for me. Joining the Temp was a gateway for me to learn more about other things like save editing and ROM hacking.
And as time went by, and good ol' Ninty continued trying to block flashcarts, I stayed to keep up to date and to see how the scene evolved. Made a few friends here and there. Seen some people go. Seen the community come together for a good cause multiple times. Sure, we got a couple that didn't end well for various reasons but eh that's life.
Memorable moments? The PokeFloods would be high on the list. Some may remember certain members trolling newbies asking for Pokemon ROMs. GBAtemp deciding that it has had enough of Pokemon ROMhacks because everyone and their grandmas were starting low effort projects was hilarious. Or that time a bunch of us decided to all have the same profile pic. Finding ridiculous R4 clones. Following the early days of the 3DS scene. Crown3DS anyone? As for IRL stuff, it'd be meeting Costello. Hopefully it'll be the rest of the crew someday.
Let me know if this sounds cliché but before being a GBAtemp member, I was a... GBAtemp lurker! As the latter, I would find myself visiting the site mostly for its handy guides during the DS and Wii scene era. It was also a great place to learn about homebrew games being developed on the DS; games which I would populate my R4 card with
When it came to guides and troubleshooting, the community was always helpful and I officially signed up after being a lurker for years to ask for some assistance in a thread. GBAtemp would become my go-to place to keep in touch with hacking and homebrews on handhelds.
When there was a call to join the staff as an editor, I didn't have to think twice. I already had some experience with blogging but wanted to extend that to the massive gaming industry. It was also a great opportunity to be more involved with the unique GBAtemp community. And since joining the MagStaff in 2015 - under the excellent guidance and remarkable patience of @T-hug - it's been a real honour to contribute to the site by sharing the latest (and often niche) gaming and tech news with the audience, launching occasional columns, and witness first-hand the site thrive with its one-of-a-kind blend of news threads, forums, reviews and blog posts.
Whether long time members or lurkers, we should all be proud to be part of GBAtemp and see the site celebrate its 20th anniversary; I know I am! Here's to many more years of the Temp!
I joined back when the DS was the current thing, and I had (still have) a CycloDS Evolution. Still maintain that was the best flashcard of the era; was very frequent on their forum too. As time went on I also got a PSP from a friend at an absolute bargain, made a Pandora battery and hacked it, and even went and refreshed the Pandora guide on this forum in the process. Had a lot of fun hanging around here, moderating for a decent chunk of it too. Eventually I got a second 3DS and installed CFW on both it and my original, did similar with a second Vita. I do miss the old board software I must admit, but on occasion I still check in. Maybe I'll try to check in more often.
I first joined GBAtemp out of spite. Some guy on FaceBook Marketplace had a business selling modded Wiis and when I got one from him, I couldn't get it to work properly. I messaged him and asked if he knew what was up, and he told me he can't be bothered to help stupid people like me and I should just learn to do it myself.
So I did. Instead of trying to get the Wii working, I decided to mod my Wii U, seeing as I'd already invested in a 2tb HDD for it (which was the only externally-powered one I could find locally). I quickly found GBAtemp as a welcoming site that would let me ask my stupid questions without telling me how stupid I was, and my Wii U was soon able to do everything I needed. But I stuck around the site. For the first couple of weeks I was just watching the progress on TeconMoon's WiiVC Injector Script, but the news articles on the sidebar kept grabbing my attention, and eventually GBAtemp became a daily check-in for me. When I saw an advertisement for writers in 2019, I applied and was lucky enough to be taken on board.
I'm naturally quiet and don't participate on the board as much as I should, but I've been lucky enough to make friends among the staff here and I see my decision to join the site as an important day in my life. I've never been so grateful to be thin-skinned and mad online enough to join a forum out of spite.
I joined the temp back in 2009 craving a new forum to join, but having never found a great alternative, after the old GameShark forums closed up shop. A high schooler with all the time in the world on my hands back then, and I was looking for some info on DS and Wii modding, I'm just not sure which was first I think it was the DS, and after a bit of looking around here I ended up getting an iTouchDS which looked to be a relatively inexpensive flash cart made by a pretty reputable team, the M3 team. On the whole, it worked just fine for my needs at the time! Eventually I ended up upgrading to a Supercard DSTWO, which remains my workhorse flashcart to this day whenever I feel the need to break that out. On the other side of the coin, I was also really interested in getting "my" Wii modded. I say "my" because in actuality it was one of the family consoles, and my mom was pretty adamant about me not messing with it like that. Suffice to say, one day when she went out to the store, I ended up getting right on into it and modded that too. Once she got back home and found out what I had done she was pretty displeased, but hey, it still worked completely fine I really took a liking towards the inner workings of the Wii and super closely followed cIOS development, and while I never developed anything for it myself, I took in as much information as I could and tried to offer as much help as I could in the Wii subforums.
For some reason, p1ngpong saw something in me, being a helpful and (mostly) unproblematic member, and after being a member here for 3 years or so, if memory serves, reached out to me to extend the offer of becoming a Global Moderator. I happily accepted and have tried my best to be a good, helpful, supportive member on the mod staff here. I've fallen off quite a bit here, activity wise, but I still tend to pop in about once a week to see how things are going and to maybe handle the occasional report or two. This is by far the longest time I've ever been a part of an online community like this, and I still love the site, and more importantly, all the awesome members I've met and friends I've made along the way.
Bonus hello from the tempmobile! (Sept. 2018)
I started lurking the site a year-ish or so before I actually joined, around the time the Twilight Hack was announced for the Wii. I started following a lot of the compatibility threads and wikis around for pirating games, and eventually came across a game that wasn't on any lists (I think it was one of the Harry Potter games ) and decided to make an account and a thread asking about it. After that, I started posting more and more and branching out into other sections, DS and DSi stuff when I got my first flashcart (the AK2), then the PC section as I got more into PC gaming, the EoF and chatbox for shitposting...then eventually started posting news posts and such to try and be more helpful and supportive to the site I posted so much on, which eventually got me my position on the Mag Staff some 8-ish years ago now. I've never regretted joining GBAtemp, even after having my name (forcibly) changed by @Vulpes Abnocto or the infamous 7/10, I've always had fun here, the best forum community I've ever seen.