Well I can keep you posted, but it isn't good news. The cable fell apart on me and I mean that literally. After a few more attempts to heat the cable (keep in mind I was using a blow dryer on low, so it wasn't exactly melting temps) I noticed the cable looked kind of funny at the connection point so I rub it a little to see what was going on..... and the cable tears off. Not at the end like the glue was coming loose, but it de-laminated and the copper traces underneath gave way. They are extremely brittle.
I might try to coat what is left on the pcb with solder and re-attaching later as I have nothing to lose, but what I've learned so far is that these cables were seriously defective right out of the factory and they've only gotten worse with age. After examining the cable under a magnifying glass, there are more than a few cracks throughout the length of the cable of the copper traces under the laminate. My guess is they aren't bad enough to outright kill the connection, but they would make the display unreliable.
I'm wondering if anyone has attempted to find a replacement ribbon cable or bypass the cable completely and wire directly to the pcbs.
The good news is "broken" virtual boys are frequently cheap on ebay and I did manage to bring a dead display back to life pretty easy. I guess you just never know how crunchy the ribbon cables are until you get it in your hands.