A few newbie questions

Discussion in 'GBA - Hardware, Devices and Utilities' started by TM2-Megatron, Feb 17, 2009.

Feb 17, 2009

A few newbie questions by TM2-Megatron at 5:36 AM (1,154 Views / 0 Likes) 4 replies

  1. TM2-Megatron
    OP

    Member TM2-Megatron Predacon Commander

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    Although I've had a Game Boy since the first generation of them, I've never really been into this aspect of them before. I've done a bit of reading in the last few days about flash carts and similar devices. Seeing as a lot of the people here are very well versed in this hardware and their abilities, I was hoping I could pose a few questions... I have something specific that I'd like to accomplish, and I just wanted to know whether it was possible and if so, what exactly I'd need in terms of hardware to get it done.

    With most of my old Game Boy games that have saved data, I don't necessarily have that much concern with preserving the stored information when the cartridge batteries eventually wear down the it's wiped. I figure it's easy enough to open the thing, put in a new battery and have the fun of playing the game over.

    That isn't really true of my pre-GBA generation Pokemon games, though... and if possible I'd like to do something to preserve their save files in the event I have to replace their batteries one day. It's my understand that while my Ruby, Emerald and FireRed cartridges aren't dependent on a battery for the save file... at least I really hope this is the case (someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that these games use flash memory to store the save file, and the battery only runs the internal clock and won't majorly impact gameplay when it dies).

    So basically, I'm wondering whether any of these GBA flash-carts (or those slot 2 NDS flash carts that are also compatible with the GBA) would have a feature that would allow me to backup the save files of my original Game Boy, and Game Boy Color Pokemon save files? And is their a method for restoring those save files to an original game cartridge after the battery has been replaced? And if not a flash cart, is there any other hardware capable of this function?

    The only thing I've got at the moment is a Game Boy Pocket/Color Gameshark, which has a feature it calls "Snapshot"... I haven't tried it, but it can supposedly restore a game to whatever point you want. Would this be no different than backing up the save file, in that after I'd restored the snapshot taken by the Gameshark, I could save normally in-game again? I've Googled a great deal to find out what type of Gameshark I've got, exactly... apparently there was a time when the things were Action Replays under a different name, and then the whole Gameshark vs. Gameshark Pro thing. Mine is the "Special Edition for Pokemon Crystal" model they released at some point... the casing is transluscent plastic, colored similarly to the cartridge for Pokemon Crystal. I ended up wiping it's preloaded Pokemon codes, though, as I prefer using the more "subtle" Gameshark codes, and sparingly... also, the way the codes were labelled in the gameshark menus were terrible [​IMG].

    I actually wouldn't mind knowing what type of Gameshark it is, if anyone's familiar with that specific Pokemon Crystal model... I'm assuming it's just a regular gameshark with a differnet colored plastic casing. Is this one a Pro, or regular model though?

    Thanks in Advance,
     
  2. DanTheManMS

    Member DanTheManMS aka Ricochet Otter

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    The problem is that GB and GBC games operate at 5 volts, while GBA games operate at 3 volts. Because of this, there is no way to access any part of the GBC cartridge while you're in GBA mode. Believe me, I've tried, even if you modify a GBC cartridge so it doesn't trigger the switch to GBC mode, the GBA will have no idea what to do with the cartridge.

    As a result, you're limited to GB and GBC hardware for backing up save files. I believe that with certain flash cartridges you can manage save data, but I honestly do not know which ones support it and how one would accomplish it. At the very least you'd need a computer with a parallel port, as that's how all the GBC-era flash carts interfaced with a computer.

    Regarding your Gameshark, is there any easy way to connect that to the computer? If so, VBA might be able to import the snapshot so you have a regular *.sav SRAM save file.
     
  3. TM2-Megatron
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    Member TM2-Megatron Predacon Commander

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    That's too bad... it seems hard enough to find much of a variety of GBA flash carts these days; where would you find GBC equipment, if anywhere? I still have an old computer or two sitting around, so at least a parallel port isn't a problem, lol. That brings me back, though.

    As for the Gameshark, there isn't a way to connect it to the computer, as far as I know. I know that some types of Gamesharks came with software and a cable to do that, but this one didn't. The snapshot is stored on the Gameshark itself, so if that method worked at all I figured I'd just take the snapshot, replace the cartridge's battery, go through the process of starting a new game and then try restoring the snapshot once normal gameplay had started. I haven't tried it, though, so I'm not sure if it would work.

    In looking around a bit, I found this reference to this product:

    http://www.gameboy-advance.net/flash_card/gb_bridge.htm

    I'm not 100%, but the page does say it's a backup solution (although I'm not sure that includes restoring the backup to the original cartridge?). That brings the problem of where to actually find that device for sale, though, and the flash cart that it's compatible with (Flash2Advance)... and apparently it works with the Flash Advance Linker, which is maybe why the called it a back-up solution.
     
  4. TM2-Megatron
    OP

    Member TM2-Megatron Predacon Commander

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    Ok, after some more browsing the forum and looking around at possibilities I've pretty much decided on the Transferer II device from this store:

    http://www.robwebb1.plus.com/copiers/copiers.htm

    Is it safe to say this is a reasonbly good choice for backing up and restoring a saved game from retail game paks? And it works not only with GB and GBC, but GBA as well? I also just wondering if the Transferer II can be used to dump ROMs of your games, as well... or can it only do save data? Unfortunately, I haven't found that much documenation about it so far.
     
  5. evilishan

    Newcomer evilishan Member

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    Looks fairly reasonable, and yes your snapshot feature should work as you described so back it up on your shark.
     

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