I haven’t even mentioned my problems with trading. There are still several pokémon that I won’t be able to get any other way, either because they’re not available in the Blue version, or because the game forced me to choose a single pokémon out of two or three options. Since I started playing again, I’ve gotten together with one friend who had an old Gameboy and the red version, both untouched for years. We were all set to trade (or, more accurately, he was all set to charitably give me what he no longer had any interest in), but we hit a snag: he had a Gameboy Pocket, and I had a Gameboy Advance. And Nintendo, for whatever reason, saw fit to make the cables incompatible.
Now, for all I know there may be sound technical reasons for this. Maybe the two devices transfer data at different speeds or something. Or maybe the only difference is in the shape of the plug. It’s been difficult to get information about this. All I can say with any certainty is that, although Nintendo has made a “universal” Game Link adapter before the GBA, they never made an adapter for connecting the GBA to earlier versions. I’ve seen mention of a third-party adapter that might work, something billed as allowing you to use your old Gameboy cables with a GBA, but (a) it requires an old cable to plug into it and (b) it’s described in such vague terms that I don’t know for sure that it’ll do what I want anyway.
At this point, I’m thinking that the most cost-effective solution might actually be to buy a second GBA off ebay. That way I’d have everything necessary to consummate trades regardless of what hardware the other party has — indeed, all the other party would need to provide is the cartridge. It may even be cheaper than the adapters I’d otherwise need. My only hesitation is that doing trades between two Gameboys that are both mine, possibly by myself in the privacy of my room, is awfully close to “trading pokémon with myself”, which I’ve already gone on record as calling sad. (If I hadn’t made such a comment, I could probably do it without embarassment, of course. Heck, just playing Pokémon Blue at all in 2007 is something a lot of people would consider embarassing.)