Playing Virtual Boy in 3D on your 3DS is Finally Possible! Red Viper is Here

Watch Full Video on Youtube here!

The Virtual Boy. Nintendo’s ill-fated but ambitious first stereoscopic 3d game console. While it only lasted from August 1995 to August 1996 in North America, with every single one of its 14 NA games exclusive to the console and never re-released, the strange device still has devoted fans and many believe it’s a shame so many good games are trapped on a console that is so difficult to obtain or accurately replicate. 16 years later, the 3DS was launched; the only other console by Nintendo that utilized stereoscopic 3D graphics. Many thought that the new handheld would be perfect to release the Virtual Boy catalog of games on the handheld’s Virtual Console store, something that unfortunately never came to be. Nintendo has since shut down the 3DS eShop, leaving Virtual Boy fans disappointed and in the dark. That is until today.

The Virtual Boy was a weird console. Launched in 1995 in Japan and North America, it was created by famous Nintendo inventor Gunpei Yokoi of Game Boy fame. I remember trying the Virtual Boy out myself, a spry 10 year old at the local Target and pleading with my parents to get me one, even though they had just sprung for the brand new PS1 I had also been begging for just a few months earlier. Needless to say, much like most everyone else, I never got one. That is until like 28 years later. Actually I’ve got two. (Step Brothers clip we have them as adults).

These things are expensive. And always smell like cigarettes for some reason. Even worse, games can easily run several hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars a piece. I’m looking at you Jack Bros! If you do have a Virtual Boy, there is a flash cart available called the HyperFlash32, which is really cool, with an eInk screen that shows the game that is loaded. But it is over $200 itself. There are also other alternatives that start at about $100 including the HyperBoy and FlashBoy.

As I mentioned, there were only 14 games released in North America in the console’s 1 year life being sold on the continent. All of these games are exclusive to the Virtual Boy, so the only way to play them is to buy a Virtual Boy and the cartridges (or flash cart) or emulate them on a 2D screen, which has major issues that I’ll address shortly. There is another way using Retroarch and the BeetleVB core with some configuration and 3D glasses. I’m not even touching that one.

But that’s all changed now!

But now, the Virtual Boy arguably got its biggest update in 29 years. On February 25 2024, Skyfloogle released Red Viper, a full-featured Virtual Boy emulator for the Nintendo 3DS that runs every retail released game at 100% and supports the 3D stereoscopic screen of the 3DS to recreate the Virtual Boy’s depth-separated planes effect. Since I have a Virtual Boy, I’ll put it to the test to see if it truly is the best way to experience these obscure Virtual Boy games, along with what games you should play first.

This is something that 90s kids saw as a no-brainer when the 3DS Virtual Console launched. OF COURSE they were going to put these hidden gem exclusive games, games you can’t buy anywhere else, on their new platform that could actually play them. Right? Right?! Virtual is even in the name!

Well, time passed, the 3DS got Game Boy, NES, Game Gear, and even SNES games (on the New 3DS). But no Virtual Boy.

But while Nintendo shut the lights off on the 3DS, a creative and strong community had been growing. Pushing the little flappy boy to his limits, releasing new software, tools, mods, emulators and more. Theme customization tools, entire new storefronts, Virtual Console injectors that allowed you to put any supported console’s rom as a VC game on your console. The list goes on and on.

Installing it is simple. You’ll need to have custom firmware on your 3DS. You have CFW on your 3DS right? If you don’t, just take a trip to for a full and quick walkthrough on it. Also, I shouldn’t have to say this, but while this will work on a 2DS, it defeats the whole purpose. On the Skyfloogle github page, there is a QR code that you can scan from inside FBI to install Red Viper. Drop your files onto your SD card, and when you launch Red Viper, navigate to the folder containing them and you’re good to go.

On top of supporting the 3D effect, Red Viper also has support for saving games (savestates are coming), customizable color palettes, and button remapping and support for New 3DS nipple c-stick (more to that in a bit).

Let’s get to comparing this vs the real deal.

Now I have my Virtual Boy, and my 3DS with Red Viper loaded. I only have two physical games for my Virtual Boys: Mario’s Tennis & Teleroboxer, so I’ll focus on those.

Anyway, the Virtual Boy has this eye cover that is really effective at blocking out light (and everyone else), and while the screens aren’t immersive the way modern headsets are, it does feel like you’re watching a pretty large screen right up against your face. The other effect this has is that because all of your peripheral vision is black and the background of the screen is black, it feels like the game is playing in a void, which is unique, but definitely seems to be at least partially to blame for the headaches and queasiness associated with this console. And while some people complain about the red on black color, I don’t mind it. The console is awkward to use, it’s super top-heavy and the legs fold at a strange angle, and it chews through 6 AA batteries like a Game Gear. They did eventually release an AC adapter months after launch but those (as you can guess) are expensive. I’m using rechargeable batteries to help with this issue. The controller has always fascinated me, as it has mirrored controls – two d-pads, two face buttons (select, start, a, b) and two triggers. It’s pretty cool using both d-pads to block and the triggers to throw punches on each hand in Teleroboxer.

Now over to the 3DS. Setup was extremely simple as I explained, so I’ll jump into Mario’s Tennis. This is actually the first of the modern Mario sports titles. The 3D is just as pronounced as with the Virtual Boy. Only thing missing is the isolation.

One thing is that I only have an original 3DS XL, which has an issue with the 3D where if you’re not perfectly aligned, it gets all messed up, and twisting and rotating the device to get it back aligned while playing is annoying; and this is not immune to that. I don’t have a New 3DS that has the face tracking to minimize that issue, but I’m guessing it would help a ton. Another cool thing is that you can find collections that include Japanese exclusive titles with English translations along with prototype games that you wouldn’t be able to play with all original hardware (aside from that flash cart).

The only other issue is that the controls don’t align all that great for some games. Teleroboxer uses both D-pads, so you would use the face buttons as the right d-pad and A & B would be on the bottom touch screen. You can easily swap them so that A & B are on their respective buttons and the right d-pad is on the touch screen. Luckily I don’t recall too many games that utilize both the face buttons and the d-pad (Mario Clash comes to mind) – and the New 3DS has the control nub that can be used as the right d-pad. Most games work just fine with minimal use of touch screen inputs.

With all that being said, these games were designed to be played with that 3D depth, and unlike nearly all 3DS games, you do lose a lot of that without being able to see that perspective. So I don’t advise playing these games on a 2D emulator if possible. If you want to get a good experience with these games and don’t want or have access to an actual Virtual Boy, I wholeheartedly suggest trying out Red Viper to get a taste of the Virtual Boy experience.

In all, I’d say that playing these games is ultimately a better experience on the 3DS than it is on a Virtual Boy. The 3D reproduction is fantastic and recreates these games better than I thought was possible. I think experiencing the novelty of an original Virtual Boy is a must, especially for Nintendo fans, but prolonged play can be straining, not accounting for the steep price to get the hardware and games.

I’ll have links below for where to get all this stuff and how to install custom firmware on your 3DS.

I want to give a big thank you to everyone over on the Tynology Discord for being absolute legends, and I want to thank you for watching this and supporting this channel. If there’s something you want to see, be sure to leave a comment, and if you like this video, definitely like, subscribe, find me on Twitter, Instagram, and join our discord, and share this video with someone you think would like it. We’re in growth mode so I need your support!

Cheers, Ty


3DS CFW Guide:
Red Viper github:

Virtual Boy Flash Carts

Join the CREW! ✅ **Tynology Discord Server**
🐦 Follow Tynology Gaming on Twitter/X
📷 Instagram
🎥 Twitch
📨 Business Email – gaming[at]
🎙 PIXEL PERFECT PODCAST! (new episodes coming soon!)
Also available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, etc.