Christopher Nolan's Tenet has been converted to GBA Video

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2020’s cinematic blockbuster Tenet was a call to the movies during the most dangerous time in modern years. Despite an ongoing pandemic, moviegoers were asked to leave their homes and chomp down popcorn in a crowded room of people again. 

Nintendo-themed YouTuber Wulff Den recalls this period well. With Nolan’s claims that Tenet had to be seen on a cinema screen, the YouTuber immediately thought about crushing the film onto a Game Boy Advance cartridge. 

“We have to put this on a Game Boy,” Den said in a YouTube video. “I already had some of the hardware that I needed… Eventually, I successfully put the movie Tenet on not one, not two, but five Game Boy Advance video cartridges.” 

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How does Tenet look on a Game Boy Advance? 

“This is quite possibly the worst way to watch Tenet,” Wulff Den said, and they’re not wrong. For each cartridge of Tenet, the YouTuber crushed the original movie’s quality as far down as it could go. GBA Tenet is displayed at 192x128 resolution with 4x dithering enabled. Even so, the video files needed their framerate chopped from 24fps to a horrid 6fps to squeeze into a cartridge. 

Wulff Den also had to split the movie into five 30-minute chunks. Due to Tenet’s two-and-a-half-hour length, viewers will have to swap cartridges every half-an-hour. Additionally, the YouTuber mentions that every cartridge is a maximum sized option for the GBA. If this saw an official release back in the 2000s, it would’ve been very expensive. 

How do you make custom Game Boy Advance video cartridges? 

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Those who want to create a custom Game Boy Advance video cartridge are in for quite a bit of work. Once every video file is snipped to the right length, conversion is needed. Firstly, every video must be converted to a specific type of AVI file that can then be further converted to Game Boy Advance ready files. 

Secondly, every video file needs to be pushed through a program called METEO. METEO will convert AVI files into a GBA ROM that can almost work on official hardware. While it can work on emulation programs, the newly created ROM must be put through a GBA Fix application that’s included with METEO. Finally, the ROM must be flashed onto a cartridge.

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