Tutorial How to play a gba game with background/frame on DS phat/lite

Nikokaro

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Perhaps not everyone knows that it is possible to play gba games, coming from cartridge inserted in the second slot of the DS phat/lite, without those annoying black borders around the image, by setting a colorful background or frame.This tutorial is aimed at these people.
You will see that the difference is truly remarkable.

1603632361818.jpg


1) First you must have inserted a DS flash cart in the first slot and a gba cartridge (or gba flashcart) in the second slot.

2) To start the game you will have to use YSmenu, installed in the root of your DS flashcart.

3) You will need to edit the YSmenu.ini file inside TTmenu folder (in my case) by writing 'draw_frame = true'.

4) Insert, in the same folder containing the .ini file, a 24 bit background image named 'gbaframe.bmp', with a size of 256x192 bpp.
Personally I have inserted several of those for the sake of variety, to be renamed when necessary with DSOrganize (or other file manager).

5) Finally, turn on the console, select the first slot from the DS start menu, accessing YSmenu, then press start and x to launch the gba game. You will notice that it will give a completely different, revitalized impression.

Probably the software of some flashcart allows you to do the same thing, but YSmenu has the advantage of being almost universally compatible, easy to use and therefore very widespread. Besides, I can only talk about my own experience.

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1603205992074.jpg


1603206017628.jpg
 

Zense

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Perhaps not everyone knows that it is possible to play gba games, coming from cartridge inserted in the second slot of the DS phat/lite, without those annoying black borders around the image, by setting a colorful background or frame.This tutorial is aimed at these people.
You will see that the difference is truly remarkable.

View attachment 230956

1) First you must have inserted a DS flash cart in the first slot and a gba cartridge (or gba flashcart) in the second slot.

2) To start the game you will have to use YSmenu, installed in the root of your DS flashcart.

3) You will need to edit the YSmenu.ini file inside TTmenu folder (in my case) by writing 'draw_frame = true'.

4) Insert, in the same folder containing the .ini file, a 24 bit background image named 'gbaframe.bmp', with a size of 256x192 bpp.
Personally I have inserted several of those for the sake of variety, to be renamed when necessary with DSOrganize (or other file manager).

5) Finally, turn on the console, select the first slot from the DS start menu, accessing YSmenu, then press start and x to launch the gba game. You will notice that it will give a completely different, revitalized impression.

Probably the software of some flashcart allows you to do the same thing, but YSmenu has the advantage of being almost universally compatible, easy to use and therefore very widespread. Besides, I can only talk about my own experience.

View attachment 230958

View attachment 230959

View attachment 230960
Do you think you could share these frames you have here in a zip file? It would be great to have them with GBARunner2 for slot 1 cards.
 

Nikokaro

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Do you think you could share these frames you have here in a zip file? It would be great to have them with GBARunner2 for slot 1 cards.
Hi. Now I don't have time nor a PC at hand, but I will upload them soon. And they are full pictures, not frames.
 
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The Real Jdbye

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GBA ExpLoader can apparently do it for those that have an EZ3in1.
Also the R4, CycloDS kernels have this feature as does AKAIO. Not sure about Wood R4 but it is based on AKAIO so probably. That covers most people.
 

Nikokaro

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Here, as requested, a small, modest collection of background images with floral, colorful, metallic, tech, wooden, stone and valuable themes. It is mainly aimed at those who use gba cartridges in slot 2 booted with YSMenu, repeating that they are 24 bpp images, and I do not guarantee that are suitable for other DS cart software; e.g. Akaio cart uses 15 bpp images as frames.

P.S. And Remember, misfortune mates, if there was ever a cure for this so-called video game obsession, it's in the disease itself.
 

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StrayGuitarist

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Very, very neat. I had no clue this was a thing. My only concern is with the potential for screen burn-in, although I'm not actually sure how big of a risk that is with the DS's unique panels.
 

orangy57

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There's another piece of Homebrew software that does this if you don't have YSMenu, I linked it below with a random border that I whipped up a few years back that works with it. It was actually made by Temp users over a decade ago, but filetrip is long dead and this version of the ROM didn't include an icon or header which I added.

https://gbatemp.net/threads/boot-gba-custom-border.256525/
 

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Last edited by orangy57,
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pietempgba

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Perhaps not everyone knows that it is possible to play gba games, coming from cartridge inserted in the second slot of the DS phat/lite, without those annoying black borders around the image, by setting a colorful background or frame.This tutorial is aimed at these people.
You will see that the difference is truly remarkable.

View attachment 230956

1) First you must have inserted a DS flash cart in the first slot and a gba cartridge (or gba flashcart) in the second slot.

2) To start the game you will have to use YSmenu, installed in the root of your DS flashcart.

3) You will need to edit the YSmenu.ini file inside TTmenu folder (in my case) by writing 'draw_frame = true'.

4) Insert, in the same folder containing the .ini file, a 24 bit background image named 'gbaframe.bmp', with a size of 256x192 bpp.
Personally I have inserted several of those for the sake of variety, to be renamed when necessary with DSOrganize (or other file manager).

5) Finally, turn on the console, select the first slot from the DS start menu, accessing YSmenu, then press start and x to launch the gba game. You will notice that it will give a completely different, revitalized impression.

Probably the software of some flashcart allows you to do the same thing, but YSmenu has the advantage of being almost universally compatible, easy to use and therefore very widespread. Besides, I can only talk about my own experience.

View attachment 230958

View attachment 230959

View attachment 230960

YsMenu isn't absolutely required. R4Wood has a gba frame too and so does homebrew and some other loaders. Just look for gbaframe.bmp and replace it with what you want
 

Nikokaro

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YsMenu isn't absolutely required. R4Wood has a gba frame too and so does homebrew and some other loaders. Just look for gbaframe.bmp and replace it with what you want
As I wrote in the opening post:
"Probably the software of some flashcart allows you to do the same thing.... Besides, I can only talk about my own experience". And that's all. :teach:
 
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