GBA backup tool and bootleg Pokemon save file help

Discussion in 'NDS - Emulation and Homebrew' started by Seregon85, May 15, 2013.

  1. Seregon85
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    Seregon85 Newbie

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    Hi!
    A while back I bought some GBA Pokemon games from eBay. They've all worked fine, and I didn't even think the possibility of these actually being counterfeit cartridges. Not so long ago I bought an NDSlite with an R4 cartridge, making it possible to dump save files from the GBA cartridges to the R4 card. As I dumped a copy of the save files, I made a copy of the games too, so that I could play/trade/cheat in VBA. This was done with the GBA Backup Tool. I can start the game just fine, and VBA also loads the save file as it should. But when I try to save, the whole game freezes. Also, the size of the save file changes from 128K to 64K, even though I've set the emulator to save as 128K.

    I've done some research on this, and found out to my disappointment that I most probably have bought bootleg games, and that the game has been patched. GBA Tool says that the Save Type is "FLASH1M_V103 (1024Kbit) (Patched)" and the field Fixed is set to BAD. I've cross checked with a downloaded rom, and Save Type doesn't say (Patched), Fixed says OK. Also, the rom size is 16MB instead of my own rom which is 32MB.

    So, to the point: Are there any possibilities that I can actually play the game on VBA, and then transfer it back to the cartridge? It's just as much out of curiosity as of a really annoying thing really.. (Bonus questions: What has been tampered with (patched)? And why? Why is my rom bigger than the dl ones? If I had an original copy, would this work out of the box?)

    (I found a thread here that explains exactly the same problem, but the thread ended with an answer that really didn't help.)
     
  2. Gabelvampir

    Gabelvampir Free Mars!

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    I think I never tried using backuped GBA saves with an emulator, but that should work out of the box for a original copy. I could try over the weekend if you want to, but I don't have any of the GBA Pokemon games.
     
  3. Seregon85
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    Seregon85 Newbie

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    Thanks Gabelvampir, for testing out my rom and save files.

    For other people with similar problems, here is the verdict from Gabelvampir:
    "It looks like the bootleggers screwed around with the save routine of the game so badly that it will not work properly on anything other then the bootleg cartridge. Maybe someone who knows more about Pokemon save editing and the file format could help you transfer your save to a working format. Maybe someone on the Pokesav forum can help you with that, but I can't remember what their attitude was towards bootlegs and piracy. Another possibility would be to use a save editor to rebuild your save by hand."

    So, a tip for those who wants to buy cheap Pokémon/gba games on eBay: Find out what differs a bootleg cartridge from an original copy before buying. It's actually pretty easy to find out.. Fortunately, my cartridge works perfectly fine on my GBA, so in that way it's not such a big deal. It's just annoying to know that you've been ripped off.. :)
     
  4. Gabelvampir

    Gabelvampir Free Mars!

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    Bootleg GBA cartridges also normally don't come with a box or manual, if that helps. Yes I know, buying with manual or even box makes these games even more riduculusly expensive.
     
  5. evandixon

    evandixon PMD Researcher

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    [edit] never mind. Didn't read thoroughly.
     
  6. alib8818
    This message by alib8818 has been removed from public view by tj_cool, May 30, 2013.
    May 30, 2013
  7. Seregon85
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    Seregon85 Newbie

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    Hey, just a small update. I thought I had to try to load an old save from when I played the game on my computer with a proper rom, with this bootlegged version. So, i copied the save file into the folder, renamed it and booted the game in VBA. Started to play, and to my surprise it still loaded the save file from the bootleg, and overwrote my old and proper save file. That explains why the file size changed from 128 Kb to 64 Kb, and probably also several other things; The save file is actually merged with the GBA rom! Has anyone heard about anything similar before? Seems like the bootleggers went all Leroy with these cartridges.