GBA Flash Card information has been very confusing for me...

Discussion in 'GBA - Flashing Hardware and Software' started by BenjaminDaniel, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. BenjaminDaniel
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    Newcomer BenjaminDaniel Member

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    I recently bought a GBA SP at Value Village for $2.99 and it's in perfect working condition, so I've decided I would love a flash card that I can plug into it with the entire GameBoy, GameBoy Color, and GameBoy Advance library. Such a thig is possible at this point, right?

    I really hope my CycloDS Evolution hasn't spoiled me on my expectations for what a flash card can do, but I'm looking for a flash card that will meet the following criteria;

    - The cartridge itself must be the exact physical size of a regular GameBoy Advance cartridge. I do not want it sticking out or being one of those "fatter" cartridges that can damage the system due to being poorly molded.
    - To have enough memory to hold every GameBoy, GameBoy Color, and several (if not every) GameBoy Advance game. I really want an all-in-one master device.
    - Every game can save normally. I've heard a lot of flash cards can only let you save one game at a time, so if you play another game, your save data will be deleted in the other game. I do not want this.
    - The cartridge can't use a battery. I want a flash card that'll last me for as long as I take good care of it without having to open it up and change the battery every few months/years.
    - I don't need to patch every Game before being able to use it. I want to be able to just upload games to the flash card and be able to play them just fine.



    Things such as cheat codes or media capabilities (movie, music, etc) do not matter to me.

    I really hope you guys are able to help me here. It'll be a shame if I can't find a flash card that meets all of my criteria, but I might be able to make a compromise or two on the less important ones (cartridge physical size, for example, wouldn't be an issue as long as all four of the other things I want are possible). So far I've had my eye on the EZ-Flash IV but I heard even it had some problems. Thank you for your time!
     
  2. Nathan Drake

    Member Nathan Drake Obligations fulfilled, now I depart.

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    You want a device that doesn't exist. Your option is solely the EZ Flash IV for about $35 at this point. The day of GBA flash carts is long past. You either search hard, or take what you can get. The EZ Flash IV is actually a fairly good GBA cart. You will have to suffer the pains of a battery though. Pretty sure you've gotta patch each game, too. Memory, I believe is only up to 2GB. I'm not personally aware of the size of the good sets for each one, but I'm certain that isn't enough space. I can not comment on saving, not being an owner of this cart.

    It's really your only reasonable choice though. Your criteria are fairly unrealistic.
     
  3. DinohScene

    Member DinohScene The Gift of Dino

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    - The cartridge itself must be the exact physical size of a regular GameBoy Advance cartridge. I do not want it sticking out or being one of those "fatter" cartridges that can damage the system due to being poorly molded.

    EZ-4 (same size as a GBA card)

    - To have enough memory to hold every GameBoy, GameBoy Color, and several (if not every) GameBoy Advance game. I really want an all-in-one master device.

    EZ-4 (uses MicroSD)

    - Every game can save normally. I've heard a lot of flash cards can only let you save one game at a time, so if you play another game, your save data will be deleted in the other game. I do not want this.

    EZ-4 (it supports 99% of the GBA library)

    - The cartridge can't use a battery. I want a flash card that'll last me for as long as I take good care of it without having to open it up and change the battery every few months/years.

    Supercard SD is the only one without a battery but it doesn't support saving like a DS flashcard would.

    - I don't need to patch every Game before being able to use it. I want to be able to just upload games to the flash card and be able to play them just fine.

    No you MUST use the cardsoftware to patch it.
    Besides it's only patching and then copying it to the Mini SD (if you get a EZ-4)

    tl;dr.
    GBA flashcards are way diffirent then a DS flashcard and the best one is the EZ-4.
     
  4. BenjaminDaniel
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    Newcomer BenjaminDaniel Member

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    It sounds like the EZ-Flash IV is my only option at this point then.

    I don't mind using the uploading software as long as it patches games automatically for me. Do I simply download the software, select the rom files from my computer, and then let the software patch the games and upload them to the microSD card?

    Also, if I need to change the EZ-Flash IV's battery, is it easy to do or will it involve soldering?
     
  5. DinohScene

    Member DinohScene The Gift of Dino

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    Yes.

    You can download it from the EZ website iirc.

    If the battery does run dry (mine hasn't) it's just a matter of soldering in a new one or even cellar taping it in.
    Battery can last a long time.
     
  6. BenjaminDaniel
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    Newcomer BenjaminDaniel Member

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    Alright, thank you both for your help.

    I've decided to buy a EZ-Flash IV, found one for $29.99. It really sounds like the only issue I'll have with it is the battery and the software, which I can easily deal with as long as all of my other expectations are relatively met, which they appear to be.
     
  7. DinohScene

    Member DinohScene The Gift of Dino

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    You're welcome.

    The few cards with expandable memory are either battery backed or are bigger then the GBA slot.

    Otherwise you'll be forced with emulation on PC/DS/PSP/ other systems.
     
  8. DanTheManMS

    Member DanTheManMS aka Ricochet Otter

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    One thing nobody here has mentioned yet is that the EZ-IV is strictly only for GBA games. Because GB/GBC mode runs in a completely different way than GBA mode (and at a different voltage, at that), there is no way to natively run GB/GBC games from the EZ-IV. The only GBA-era commercial product that ever offered this was the GB Bridge which worked with the Flash2Advance cartridge (maximum capacity of 32 MB I think). I'm not even going to mention GBC flash carts because they would be way below your expectations.

    However, the Goomba Color emulator is sufficiently advanced that you should be more than satisfied with it. The problem is of course that you will need to create many *.gba compilations for your various GB/GBC games. Remember that back in the days of the GBA, there was no such thing as DLDI or filesystem access (things like the EZ-IV with removable storage didn't appear until long after the golden age of GBA homebrew). Everything must be packaged into a *.gba file, which can be no larger than 32 MB (or 16 MB if you want to load it into the EZ-IV's RAM instead of storing to NOR flash). Thus, you may wish to have a compilation of all GB/GBC games starting with A, and another for B, and C, etc. Or whip up a batch script that creates a single-game compilation for every *.gb/*.gbc file within a directory. Unlike PocketNES, you don't necessarily need to use the Goomba frontend to create your compilations -- just open a command window and type "copy /b goomba.gba + game1.gb + game2.gb + ... + gameN.gb OUTPUTFILENAME.gba" -- this could most likely be automated via a batch script.

    I do not know what else is specifically needed for Goomba Color on the EZ-IV, sorry. You may need a special version of it made by Kuwanger for proper saving, or you may need to run the compilation through the EZ-IV patcher, or maybe you don't need to do either of those things. You'll need to research that. Definitely use the PocketHeaven forums for this research since it was pretty much the home for Goomba Color discussion outside of Dwedit's own website and forums.

    Also note that the EZ-IV takes miniSD, not microSD, and these cards must be no larger than 2 GB each since the EZ-IV does not support SDHC. You may also be able to get by with a microSD card and a micro-to-mini adapter, but don't quote me on that. While you may be able to fit the entire GB/GBC library onto a single 2 GB card, you'll definitely need multiple cards if you're trying to put every GBA title on there since games can get up to 32 MB apiece.

    EDIT: Though I must say, congrats on getting the GBA for $3. What a steal.
     
  9. Majorami

    Banned Majorami Banned

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    Don't get a GBA of any make 6 years after it died, and then expect a wide-range of flashcart made for said dead system. You have one option, maybe 2 or 3 tops if you do some real digging.

    Oh, and you are spoiled by Cyclo. When Cyclo was still supported, it did an almost too-good of a job. Most of all games always worked, and when it came time of the DS' death, Cyclo users were pretty much clueless with concepts of patching or doing anything requiring thinking/setting up because its not like we had to do such things the 1st 4+ years of Cyclo's Life.

    Anyways, if you're a Cyclo User, then you most likely have a DS Lite. Get an EZ3n1 for your GBAEmu needs. Its technically not emulation so its the best way to play GBA games on a DS (Better than DSTwo). Theres a slight battery = dead problem after 2 years, but if you boot straight into Cyclo immediately after GBA game, it'll log your save file before it has a chance to fade away.
     
  10. DanTheManMS

    Member DanTheManMS aka Ricochet Otter

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    EDIT: note to self: reading comprehension goes way up when 100% sober >_>
     

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