BASE NECTARIS (USA) presents:  Nectaris GB FAQ  &  GB KISS LINK FAQ  (1998, Hudson Soft, Gameboy)            return to:  BASE NECTARIS  (site map)

Nectaris GB FAQ  &  GB KISS LINK FAQ  (1998, Hudson Soft, Gameboy)

  release information:




Hardware  ( modem )

Title:   Nectaris GB GB KISS LINK
System:   Gameboy  ( Nintendo ) Gameboy
( with battery back-up )
Hardware + 3.5" floppy
disk  ( Win 95 / 98 )
Game Size:    ? Mbit not applicable
Developer:   Hudson Soft Hudson Soft
Publisher:   Hudson Soft Hudson Soft
Catalog #:   DMG-AN5J-JPN HC-749  ( ? )
Release Date:   02.27.1998 03.06.1998
Release Price:  
4200 yen
 ( $38 USD )
4980 yen
( $45 USD ) 
# of Players:   1 or 2
Genre:   Turn-based war strategy  (In Japan, Hudson uses "SLG" to denote "simulation" games)
Gameboy peripheral device  (modem)  pro- vides PC <--> Gameboy interface to transfer data


introduction & background information:

Nectaris GB was the seventh Nectaris title to be released by Hudson Soft, but it marked the first -- and only -- time a Nectaris game would make an appearance on Nintendo's Gameboy.  Released in Japan only  ( February 27, 1998 ) Nectaris GB heralded a massive rebirth, reinvigoration (and I should add "recycling") of Hudson Soft's Nectaris franchise. You see, an updated PlayStation version of Nectaris was released only two days after Nectaris GB's debut.  And then, a mere week after these two new software releases, Hudson released GB KISS LINK -- an infrared modem for transferring data between a personal computer (PC) and a Gameboy -- allowing Nectaris fans to transfer game data (i.e. maps created with Nectaris GB's map editor, game saves, maps downloaded from a Hudson website, etc.) between their PC and Gameboy.  The GB KISS & GB KISS LINK FAQ provides an in-depth examination of this unique Gameboy peripheral.
Needless to say, WINTER 1998 WAS HEAVENLY FOR NECTARIS FANS in Japan because Hudson offered several items simultaneously:  two new software titles (both of which included a map editor), GB KISS LINK hardware (supported by Nectaris GB and PC Windows 95), and a dedicated Hudson website (with Nectaris downloads) was launched to support GB KISS LINK <-> Nectaris GB interactivity.  But what is Nectaris GB like, you ask?  Is it worth your time?

The answer is a resounding, "YES!" -- for casual players and hardcore Nectaris devotees alike -- because the Gameboy port offers something for everyone:  108 total maps [original 1989 campaign (32 maps) + GB exclusive campaign (32 maps) + 44 "contest winner maps"]  as well as many unique features... such at the ability to save at any point during a campaign (a first for the series), a map editor (another first, excluding the PC titles), GB KISS for sharing your creations with fellow Gameboy owners via an infrared (IR) communication port (a first and only for the series), and last but not least, compatibility with the enigmatic GB KISS LINK modem (the first and only title in the series to have this feature, or anything resembling it).  Before I get sidetracked into discussing the unique features of Nectaris GB in more detail, let me first make some general observations about the game itself. 
Nectaris GB is an aesthetically-challenged port of 1989's Nectaris for the PC-Engine console (later re-titled Military Madness for TG-16 in North America) -- a turn-based war strategy game that is set on the lunar surface of Earth's moon. Now, at its' heart, Nectaris GB is quite faithful to the original (i.e. the gameplay and A.I. are virtually identical), but due to the technical limitations of the Gameboy (i.e. screen size / resolution, black & white LCD display, etc.), Nectaris GB is not a straight port.  For example, the user interface has been slightly modified to accommodate the limitations of the Gameboy.  Now, the command menu and weapon data are now displayed in pop-up windows instead of being permanent



The sprites depicting your troops in Nectaris GB (below) are nearly identical to those found in the original game (above;  note that these screenshots are from TG-16's Military Madness ).  Otherwise, the graphics in the Gameboy version are much simpler, with all of the visual flair & animations of the original stripped away. Nectaris' charm & fun remain intact, though.

fixtures of the screen layout).  These changes to Nectaris GB's user interface do not significantly alter the flow of the gameplay, although I noticed that issuing orders from the command menu is a bit more cumbersome and less precise than the 1989 original ( ...bear in mind, however, that navigating the interface of the PlayStation version is even more irritatingly slow and cumbersome than this Gameboy version).  Nectaris GB's stripped-down aesthetics (i.e. sprite animation during battle scenes has been removed) still captures the essence of the original and leaves the gameplay intact (although the battlefield maps are harder to see, and can strain your eyes, since they utilize a repetitive, tiled map with permanent grid lines, a la the "Gameboy Wars" series, whereas the original game featured nicely rendered maps, with a temporary hexagonal grid appearing only when necessary). 
The soundtrack (and some of the sound effects) are faithful to the original game, but no new arrangements or original tunes are offered. This isn't surprising, unfortunately, since 1994's Neo Nectaris (Super CD-ROM, PC-Engine DUO) was the only Nectaris game that ever featured a brand-new soundtrack instead of recycling the original songs.  
At least Nectaris GB offers plenty of maps (108 total) to keep you busy.  The 32 maps comprising the "New Story" campaign are exclusive to Nectaris GB.  However, the 32 maps of "Legend Story" are recycled from the original 1989 game.  (Trivia: ALL Nectaris titles contain the original campaign.)  The remaining 44 maps are winning entries from a contest held in Japan (circa 1997?) in which Nectaris fans designed & submitted maps to be judged.  The 44 winning entries were included on both Nectaris GB (Gameboy 1998) and Nectaris (PlayStation 1998).  [Note: The 44 "Contest Winners" maps included in the Gameboy title are identical to the ones featured in the PlayStation version.]
Thankfully, to offset the disappointing graphics and somewhat sluggish controls, an extremely easy to use map editor is included with Nectaris GB.  Believe it or not, the map editor is virtually identical to the one found in the PlayStation version (perhaps this isn't too surprising, considering that these two titles were in production at the same time).
The ability to create and share maps is wonderful -- only the PlayStation and PC freeware (Japan) versions of Nectaris provided a map editor -- could it get any better? Yes, it can... 
Nectaris GB allows up to six different maps (and / or save states) to be stored via battery back-up. Furthermore, you can share your creations with fellow Gameboy owners via GB KISS.  GB KISS -- not to be confused with GB KISS LINK, which is a modem -- is a file sharing utility included on Nectaris GB (and a handful of other Gameboy titles from Hudson Soft ) that enables you to send and receive files from your Nectaris GB cartridge.  Did I mention that a mail program (for sending & receiving text messages) was also part of the GB KISS utility?  Did I mention that the GB KISS features predate the Gameboy Color and its' infrared (IR) communication port?

Anyway, the story gets even more interesting... the next section chronicles the GB KISS features and GB KISS LINK infrared modem in more depth and reveals why it was one of the koolest peripherals for the Gameboy (that you never heard of).


related games:


Check out the Nectaris Legacy for a comprehensive list of all the games in this series.  Or, if you are short on time or patience, peruse the Quick List of all Nectaris GamesNectaris games have been released in Japan, Germany and North America on countless platforms, from 1989 through 2004.  2004?  Yes, believe it or not, Hudson Soft has ported the the original 1989 Nectaris yet again, this time for the VODAPHONE line of cell phones in Japan.  This list also includes information on Earth Light (1992 Hudson Soft, Super Famicom) -- a game that is closely related to Nectaris. 



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