M3 Perfect, Emulation, saves, sram

Discussion in 'GBA - Flashing Hardware and Software' started by Shadow-Zero, Jul 26, 2012.

Jul 26, 2012
  1. Shadow-Zero
    OP

    Member Shadow-Zero GBAtemp Regular

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Messages:
    109
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Country:
    Netherlands
    Ok, maybe I'm making this harder than it is, but it got kinda confusing for me, so a topic for GBATemp ;)

    I decided to dust off my GBA-SP with M3 Perfect Lite again and (finally) wanted to make use of the emulators, mainly playing NES and GBC games. I don't know where I read it, but I read I can play games without using the M3 Game Manager and I thought I read that (real time) saving works as well. That second part is giving me a bit of trouble. When I do a save state with L + R the save is only saved for a little while (and in any case gone when I boot another game). Next to that, I get the following message after booting the GBA again "Warning! GBA Save game already exists on this card, but autosave cannot be found. Backup failed. Press A to continue" (note, I get that also without using RTS). What does that mean? Does it also mean it can't dump the SRAM, so draining my battery in that case? (and is a dying battery perhaps the reason the RTS only gets saved for a little while?)

    I tried to use the M3 Game Manager to write a NES game to .gba and that seems to work properly. No error message after rebooting the GBA and the RTS gets preserved.

    It's a bummer I can't find that source about playing emulation games directly without using the M3 Game Manager. Is there something I'm missing, or 'must' we use the M3 Game Manager in order to work properly with SRAM and save files?

    EDIT: Seems kinda like http://gbatemp.net/t...ost__p__1184242



     
  2. DanTheManMS

    Member DanTheManMS aka Ricochet Otter

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    Messages:
    4,325
    Location:
    Georgia
    Country:
    United States
    I don't know what to tell you about the save issues, as again I've never had an M3 product, though it does sound like the battery that stores the SRAM may be at fault.

    Rather than using the Game Manager for your emulated games, you could just download the latest versions of PocketNES and Goomba Color to create your *.gba files, and run them and save them like any other GBA game. Note that to do this, you'll need the PocketNES Menu Maker program and the Goomba Frontend.

    EDIT: Also, a lot of your links are broken. You somehow included the "..." from an automatically shortened URL.
     
  3. Shadow-Zero
    OP

    Member Shadow-Zero GBAtemp Regular

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Messages:
    109
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Country:
    Netherlands
    Fixed the links, tx.

    Oh I forgot to tell that. The article I read also stated if you want to play the roms directly (like .nes, etc) to put the emulator .gba file in the root folder of the SD card. I tested this, and I can't boot the .nes roms if the emulator isn't there.
    But apparently the latest M3 Game Manager software (36a) already has the latest PocketNES version (v9.98). If I use the M3 Game Manager to create .gba files from the .nes roms, everything seems fine. The rom file gets bigger though, but I don't get the "Warning! GBA Save game already exists on this card, but autosave cannot be found. Backup failed. Press A to continue" error and I don't seem to lose my RTS save states.
     
  4. DanTheManMS

    Member DanTheManMS aka Ricochet Otter

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    Messages:
    4,325
    Location:
    Georgia
    Country:
    United States
    Version 9.98 is friggin ancient, as in, 6 years old at least. Use this instead: http://www.pockethea...opic.php?t=7385

    I wasn't aware that the M3 advertised that you could launch the *.nes files directly. To my knowledge, only the Supercard product line advertised that (and did it poorly, for that matter).

    If it works when using the Game Manager program, then do it that way. The Game Manager is basically taking on the role of the PocketNES Menu Maker program when it turns the *.nes file into a *.gba one. The rom gets bigger because for every NES game that you add, it's just adding the NES rom to the PocketNES emulator core. It would be much more efficient to just use the Menu Maker and add lots of games at a time to the end of the emulator core.

    EDIT: This post may not make much sense, as I'm kinda tipsy. Please feel free to ask me to clarify if you're confused by any part of it.
     
  5. Shadow-Zero
    OP

    Member Shadow-Zero GBAtemp Regular

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Messages:
    109
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Country:
    Netherlands
    Ah, didn't know their homepage was so outdated (at least, I got it from http://www.pocketnes.org/downloads.html ).
    The M3 only launches it directly if you place the emulator .gba file in the root folder of the flash card. But that's a small effort ;) But like I said, I'm wondering if it can work properly with save games then... Maybe I'll try to create a manual .dat file and see what the .nes file does when I reboot the system.

    And I have to read into the PocketNES Menu Maker, dunno how that works exactly yet. I think I read you can make 1 big .gba file with that, but if that's the case doesn't it take a very long time to load? (and how does it dump the SRAM then?)
    Ah, I guess I should read more first ;)
     
  6. Shadow-Zero
    OP

    Member Shadow-Zero GBAtemp Regular

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Messages:
    109
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Country:
    Netherlands
    Ok, I can't stand this. I read a post yesterday, and I could've sworn it was on GBATemp, about someone explaining (in pretty bad English) he got GBC saves to work on a M3 by tweaking a bit with the Game Manager settings.
    I can't find this back! Who can use the force and help me out? I think he mentioned the 'hardware support' and I thought I found that topic by the error message "Warning! GBA Save game already exists on this card, but autosave cannot be found. Backup failed. Press A to continue"... (and I thought it had GBC in the title)
     
  7. Shadow-Zero
    OP

    Member Shadow-Zero GBAtemp Regular

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Messages:
    109
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Country:
    Netherlands
    I tried to put the latest Pockenes version in the root of the SD card, but then the games won't boot anymore (just a black screen). Is that a known problem? Should I just stick with v9.98?

    Oh, and don't Save States work with Goomba Color? (3-31-08)
     
  8. Shadow-Zero
    OP

    Member Shadow-Zero GBAtemp Regular

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Messages:
    109
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Country:
    Netherlands
    Ok, gained the wisdom now that Goomba Color indeed doesn't support save states.
    So the alternatives are (lacking .gbc support):
    2005-09-17 Goomba v2.30 (by FluBBa)
    2009-04-20 Super Goomba v2.32 (by Asaki)
    2009-04-21 Goomba Color v20080331 (by Dwedit & Flubba)
    2011-01-27 Goomba Paletted v2.40

    Need some more reading to do, but perhaps someone can enlighten me already what the differences in these releases are and which would be the best pick.
     
  9. DanTheManMS

    Member DanTheManMS aka Ricochet Otter

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    Messages:
    4,325
    Location:
    Georgia
    Country:
    United States
    What's wrong with just manually making a Goomba Color compilation on your computer? Then you can keep the standard Goomba as the "built-in" emulator. Yeah it'll take a few seconds longer to load the compilation since you're including multiple games into a single file, but you're kinda making a huge deal out of a non-issue.
     
  10. Shadow-Zero
    OP

    Member Shadow-Zero GBAtemp Regular

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Messages:
    109
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Country:
    Netherlands
    Well, for starters (aside from the fact I'm not familiar with it yet), I don't want multiple games in 1 file, I just want them on the file system in subfolders so I can see what I have and browse through them easily.
    At least that's the idea I still have ;)

    But I guess this is the only way if I want to use Goomba Color and Goomba classice at the same time (without renaming the goomba.gba files all the time when I want to switch between Color and original).

    And 'huge deal' sounds so dramatic. I'm just reading up, learning, and investigating the options ;)
    (so I can enjoy from it the rest of my life XD )

    Otherwise I can try to tickle Dwedit's feet and ask him reeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaally nicely to try and fix the savestates ^^

    EDIT:
    Tried the Goomba Color compilation, but the loading time really isn't attractive yes. And I can't play the games because I get the message GBC is not supported, although I used the goomba.gba that came with the Goomba Color zip. Need some more puzzling on that...
     
  11. DanTheManMS

    Member DanTheManMS aka Ricochet Otter

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    Messages:
    4,325
    Location:
    Georgia
    Country:
    United States
    He's already stated that save states won't work ever due to RAM and SRAM issues. If you're that insistent on having one *.gba file for every emulated game, here, I'll make a batch script that will do it for you.

    Copy and paste this into Notepad, save it as "go.bat" and put it in a new folder alongside your *.gbc games and a single copy of goomba.gba (the emulator core), and run it by double-clicking it. If you've got a dual-mode game that came with a .gb extension originally, go ahead and change it to .gbc for this batch file to recognize it.

    Code:
    for %%F in (*.gbc) do copy /b "goomba.gba" + "%%F" "%%~nF.gba"
    Then you'll have a nice shiny GBA file for every one of your GBC games. Go run those through the Game Manager just like any other GBA game in order to get them to save properly.

    Really all it's doing is attaching each game to the end of the goomba.gba file and outputting it as a new file. It is a direct binary combination, meaning that if you look at the sizes of the files, you'll see that the output file is exactly as big as the size of the GBC game and the size of goomba.gba combined. This is the same thing that the Game Manager is doing internally whenever you add a GB or GBC game to it. This is also the same thing that the Goomba Frontend does, though with a pretty GUI to guide you through the process.
     
  12. Shadow-Zero
    OP

    Member Shadow-Zero GBAtemp Regular

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Messages:
    109
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Country:
    Netherlands
    Thanks for all the input Dan, much appreciated!
    Too bad save states can't be fixed for Goomba Color (didn't read that so far, only that it was on his 'to do' list, many years ago XD ). Then I'm wondering why it works for Goomba, but it's not possible at all for Goomba Color.

    I'm wondering if I understand you properly now. Run your script and additionally run the .gba files through the M3 Game Manager? I'm not sure if I tried that already, but my last attempt with the M3 Game Manager gave me .gba files, but I couldn't use L+R+A+B to get the M3 menu, all I got was the Goomba menu. But I'll give this a shot when I have the time.

    Btw, for Pocketnes I had to go back to the 11-10-2008 version to get it to work with my M3 Perfect.
     
  13. DanTheManMS

    Member DanTheManMS aka Ricochet Otter

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    Messages:
    4,325
    Location:
    Georgia
    Country:
    United States
    My best guess is that you'll need to run the files through the GBA Game Manager, but I'm not sure. Again, I don't have an M3 so I don't know how saving works on it. Someone else mentioned that if you have automatic saving on, it will write it to the *.sav file upon next bootup or something.
     
  14. jimmyemunoz

    Member jimmyemunoz GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Messages:
    1,958
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Country:
    United States
    Saves are possible in Goomba Color, using a SRAM patcher, isn't that good enough? On the EZ Flash IV, Cory1492's v2 SRAM Patcher was used to at least enable saving in the numerous Flubba, dwedit, and Loopy emulators. Have you tried SRAM patching the .gba rom compilation in Goomba Color, and then checked to see if saving worked?

    Also:
    You can find numerous M3 downloads HERE
    Here's a cool little fact: M3 supports up to 400 save files. (200 for DS, 200 for GBA)
     
  15. jimmyemunoz

    Member jimmyemunoz GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Messages:
    1,958
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Country:
    United States
    This is correct.
     
  16. Shadow-Zero
    OP

    Member Shadow-Zero GBAtemp Regular

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Messages:
    109
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Country:
    Netherlands
    I'm not familiar with a SRAM patcher (or forgot it). Fill me in, this SRAM patch is for RTS (save states) or for ingame saving? I did a little test with the Oracle Zelda's (and Goomba Color + M3 Perfect) and as far as I can see ingame saving works fine.

    I get an error message for some games when I shutdown and start again and it tries to write the SRAM to the .dat file:
    Can that be caused because I have more than 200 GBA save files?
     
  17. Lemmy Koopa

    Member Lemmy Koopa M3 Perfect fanboy

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    Messages:
    347
    Location:
    Ohio
    Country:
    United States
    Every game that saves needs a DAT file for the ROM. If you're going to use Goomba and PocketNES with .NES files you're going to need to make DAT files for every game. The game manager manages SRAM files, so it's best to use it to insert new games. The M3 can't create DAT files on its own.

    I personally don't use PocketNES and Goomba that way, as I'd think it would be too cluttered and would take a lot of time switching between games. Why do you want to use this method?
     

Share This Page