nds-bootstrap loader: Run commercial NDS backups from an SD Card

nds-bootstrap:

Thanks to the work of ahezard, Gericom, Apache, Robz8, _catcatcat, and shutterbug2000 and other contributors, we can now load NDS games from the SD card, without any flashcard/SLOT-1 card.

Don't expect high compatibility, but do expect many, many updates.

:arrow: Compatibility listing:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1LRTkXOUXraTMjg1eedz_f7b5jiuyMv2x6e_jY_nyHSc/edit#gid=0

:arrow: The official Discord server for nds-bootstrap:
https://discordapp.com/invite/7bxTQfZ

:arrow: The thread for the recommended loader (by Robz8):
https://gbatemp.net/threads/twloader-ctr-mode-nds-app.448375/

:arrow: SRLoader for softmodded DSis (by Robz8):
https://gbatemp.net/threads/srloader-nds-app-for-dsi.472200/

:arrow: If you're more of a forwarder person:
https://gbatemp.net/threads/nds-forwarder-cias-for-your-home-menu.426174/

:arrow: Link to the releases page:
https://github.com/ahezard/nds-bootstrap/releases

:arrow: Anti-Piracy patch list by Robz8
https://gbatemp.net/threads/ap-patch-preservation.477536/

Also, thank you to our testers:
Historian
JoshuaDoes
thejsa
Alerdy
PokeAcer


Also, a video thanks to Robz8:

And another thanks to Alerdy:
 
Last edited by shutterbug2000,

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v0.49.1

Included in TWiLight Menu++ v22.2.0

What's new?
  • Donor ROMs for certain SDK2 and SDK5 games are no longer required!
    • (They are still required when running from flashcards.)
  • DSi-Enhanced ROMs containing THUMB ARM7/7i binaries (ex. Fossil Fighters Champions) now require any TWL-type (DSi-Enhanced, DSi-Exclusive, or DSiWare) ROM set as a Donor ROM, in order to run in DSi mode.
Improvements
  • Minor HB build improvements.
Bug fix
  • Fixed certain games not booting (depending on the console used), such as Naruto Shippuu Den: Ninjutsu Zenkai! Chaclash!!.
 

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v0.50.0: Halloween Eve release

Included in TWiLight Menu++ v23.0.0

What's new?
  • In the in-game menu's RAM viewer, you can now switch between the ARM9 and ARM7 memory maps by pressing SELECT!
Improvements
  • Donor ROMs are no longer needed in most cases!
    • One is no longer needed for games containing THUMB ARM7 binaries while in B4DS mode or when running from a CycloDS iEvolution.
    • DSiWarehax users will still require one when running DSi-Enhanced titles in DSi mode, as well as a few DSiWare titles.
  • Future-proofed for some exploits of DSiWare titles containing MBK settings used for DSi-Enhanced games.
  • DSiWarehax users: If a DSiWare title uses a Donor ROM when running from the SD card, the traditional patch method is no longer used, allowing NAND files such as shared font to be read, thus allowing a few titles such as Dr. Mario Express, and the Japanese versions of Bird & Beans and Paper Plane to boot.
  • (@Pk11 and various) Updated in-game menu translations.
Bug fixes
  • Fixed certain DSiWare titles not booting (as of v0.42.0), such as Petit Computer and I am in the Movie.
  • The crash issue in Tetris Party Deluxe should now be fixed.
  • Other minor fixes.
Known bugs
  • When scrolling through the ARM7 RAM, nds-bootstrap will crash after a few seconds.
  • Certain games such as Pokemon Dash and Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, as well as DSiWare system titles such as Nintendo DSi Camera and Nintendo DSi Sound still won't boot.
    • DSiWarehax users can still set Nintendo DSi Sound as a Donor ROM for DSi-Enhanced and certain DSiWare titles.
 
Last edited by RocketRobz,

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v0.50.1

Included in TWiLight Menu++ v23.0.1

Bug fix
  • (@Pk11) InfraRed features are now fully working again!
    • Only tested and working in HGSS, but should likely work in other IR-supported games.
    • NOTE: The 3DS console's IR port still cannot be used, as it's not possible to use in DS(i) mode, and a game card containing IR features is still required.
 

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v0.50.2

What's new?
  • B4DS mode: Nintendo DSi + Internet now boots!
  • Saving is now stubbed out in a few DSiWare titles in order to proceed further, when running from a CycloDS iEvolution.
    • Known affected games:
      • A Little Bit of... Nintendo Touch Golf
      • Asphalt 4: Elite Racing
      • Aura-Aura Climber
      • Brain Challenge
      • Cave Story
      • Ferrari GT: Evolution
      • Plants vs. Zombies
      • Puzzle League: Express
      • Rayman
      • Tetris Party Live
Bug fixes
  • Fixed an overlooked bug due to optimized code, which caused AP-patching to not work properly for SDK5 games on DSi.
  • Increased the file size limit of AP-fix .ips patches from 192KB to 256KB.
    • This fixes Rabbids Go Home (Only DS mode tested on DSi).
  • B4DS mode: Fixed AP-patching not working properly, when using a Memory Expansion Pak.
  • Fixed WiFi not working when running from a CycloDS iEvolution.
  • (@Pk11) Fixed ARM7 RAM viewer randomly freezing.
  • Fixed an overlooked bug which caused Kirby Canvas Curse to lockup on the logos with empty save data and with SWI Halt Hook turned on.
  • Fixed EUR version of Hotel Dusk: Room 215 not booting.
 

AmandaRose

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v0.50.2

What's new?
  • B4DS mode: Nintendo DSi + Internet now boots!
  • Saving is now stubbed out in a few DSiWare titles in order to proceed further, when running from a CycloDS iEvolution.
    • Known affected games:
      • A Little Bit of... Nintendo Touch Golf
      • Asphalt 4: Elite Racing
      • Aura-Aura Climber
      • Brain Challenge
      • Cave Story
      • Ferrari GT: Evolution
      • Plants vs. Zombies
      • Puzzle League: Express
      • Rayman
      • Tetris Party Live
Bug fixes
  • Fixed an overlooked bug due to optimized code, which caused AP-patching to not work properly for SDK5 games on DSi.
  • Increased the file size limit of AP-fix .ips patches from 192KB to 256KB.
    • This fixes Rabbids Go Home (Only DS mode tested on DSi).
  • B4DS mode: Fixed AP-patching not working properly, when using a Memory Expansion Pak.
  • Fixed WiFi not working when running from a CycloDS iEvolution.
  • (@Pk11) Fixed ARM7 RAM viewer randomly freezing.
  • Fixed an overlooked bug which caused Kirby Canvas Curse to lockup on the logos with empty save data and with SWI Halt Hook turned on.
  • Fixed EUR version of Hotel Dusk: Room 215 not booting.
Great work as always @Robz8. I have been away from the ds/3ds scene for about six months or so and just want to ask a quick question.

Does Golden Sun Dark Dawn run yet without the need of a flashcart? Or is it still waiting for a fix?
 

AmandaRose

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Not sure if the game is possible without a flash cart. It's the game I test on the ds with a supercard dstwo. I gave up testing it on the 3ds, just test nsmb now with every update
I wounder why it doesn't work though when pretty much every other game plays fine.
 

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v0.51.0: Thanksgiving release

DSiWare_on_DS_Phat.png


Included in TWiLight Menu++ v23.1.0

What's new?
  • B4DS mode: Support for up to 23 DSiWare titles have been added, making them playable on DS/DS lite consoles for the first time ever!
    (For a list of supported titles, see this list here.)
    • GO Series: 10 Second Run
    • Ace Mathician
    • Art Style: Aquia
    • Aura-Aura Climber
    • Art Style: BASE 10
    • Dairojo! Samurai Defenders
    • Dark Void Zero
    • Dragon's Lair
    • Dragon's Lair II: Time Warp (USA version only)
    • DS WiFi Settings
    • Famicom Wars DS: Ushinawareta Hikari
    • GO Series: Defense Wars
    • Game & Watch: Ball
    • Game & Watch: Chef
    • Game & Watch: Donkey Kong Jr.
    • Game & Watch: Flagman
    • Game & Watch: Helmet
    • Game & Watch: Judge
    • Game & Watch: Manhole
    • Game & Watch: Mario's Cement Factory
    • Game & Watch: Vermin
    • Mighty Flip Champs!
    • Space Ace
    • (For Debug DS consoles, additional support for 6 titles have been added.)
      • G.G. Series: All Breaker
      • G.G. Series: Assault Buster
      • BlayzBloo: Super Melee Brawlers Battle Royale
      • Mighty Milky Way
      • Nintendo DSi XL Demo Video
      • Nintendo DSi XL Demo Video: Volume 2
  • Soft-resetting speeds have improved, and now doesn't reboot the console, so you no longer need to wait some time before the game starts again!
    • Shiny Pokémon hunters will find this feature useful, as it'll speed up the hunting process!
Bug fixes
  • Fixed Banana Cup causing a crash in Mario Kart DS.
  • (Untested) The Power Washer minigame crash in Mario Party DS should now be fixed.
  • Fixed Anno 1701: Dawn of Discovery not booting on 3DS.
  • Fixed Magic School Bus: Oceans not booting on 3DS.
  • Brain Age Express: Sudoku no longer shows the Download failed message.
Known bugs
  • B4DS mode: None of the supported DSiWare titles (except Famicom Wars DS: Ushinawareta Hikari) can save data.
  • B4DS mode: Due to memory limitations of retail DS consoles, audio will not play in Art Style: Aquia.
  • B4DS mode: In Aura-Aura Climber, depending on how far you go in Endless Mode, the game will crash. Inserting a Memory Expansion Pak may prolong how far you can go up before the crash.
  • B4DS mode: The Game & Watch DSiWare titles will softlock after finishing a game or exiting (usually in Game A mode).
  • B4DS mode: Connecting to WiFi in Famicom Wars DS: Ushinawareta Hikari will cause the game to crash.
  • Soft-resetting may not work properly in a few games, causing a crash as a result.
 

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I have been trying it on a DS Lite + R4 RTS and it's pretty amazing to see DSi games running on it. Mighty Flip Champs! is the only game that gave me some "issues" with the loading times, pretty slow.

What about the rest of the games in the future, is there any chance to see them? Are working games regular DS games exclusive for DSi? How did you make them work?
 

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I have been trying it on a DS Lite + R4 RTS and it's pretty amazing to see DSi games running on it. Mighty Flip Champs! is the only game that gave me some "issues" with the loading times, pretty slow.
Inserting a Memory Expansion Pak before launching the game will fix the slow loading.
What about the rest of the games in the future, is there any chance to see them?
If you have any specific games in mind, I may look into them.
Are working games regular DS games exclusive for DSi?
I don't understand this question. ^
How did you make them work?
Read below:
Despite them being made to run from TWLNAND, all DSiWare titles contain code to read from Slot-1, which is why they can be directly booted from emulators like NO$GBA, as well as flashcards.

As for getting them to work in (B4)DS mode, known branches to DSi code are patched out, and the heap code is patched to only allocate 4MB of RAM (or 8MB of RAM, for debug units), instead of the DSi's 16MB.
Lastly, the ARM7 binary from a DSi-Enhanced ROM is used in place of the original one, as most DSiWare ROMs contain ARM7 binaries made to run within the DSi WRAM, instead of the regular DS WRAM.
 

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v0.51.1

Included in TWiLight Menu++ v23.1.1

Bug fixes
  • Fixed SDK2.0 games (such as Super Mario 64 DS) not booting.
  • Fixed soft-reset not working in certain areas of some games.
  • Reverted to slow soft-reset method for Pokémon HeartGold & SoulSilver Versions to work around the black screen crash.
  • Fixed a regression where the in-game menu would not be positioned correctly.
 

stranno

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Inserting a Memory Expansion Pak before launching the game will fix the slow loading.

If you have any specific games in mind, I may look into them.

I don't understand this question. ^

Read below:
Very interesting. DSi has twice the clocks and improved DMA unit, that's why I found weird to see them working on DS mode, even with the cache.

I would like to see Soul of Darkness, the Gameloft's Castlevania. But, if you are looking to them in the future, no hurry at all.

Edit: I have recorded a short test of few games in my DS Lite + DS-TV-OUT.

 
Last edited by stranno,

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I would like to see Soul of Darkness, the Gameloft's Castlevania. But, if you are looking to them in the future, no hurry at all.
Unfortunately, it seems tricky to get most (if not all) Gameloft-developed games working in DS mode. I've tried Soul of Darkness, and just softlocks on black screens.
 
Last edited by RocketRobz,

stranno

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Thanks for trying. Gameloft has developed for all mobile architectures and platforms of those years, including Java, Brew, Symbian, Android, iOS, Playstation Portable, Nintendo DS, DSi. I guess they're used to obscure tricks and shortcuts :D

Soul of Darkness uses the camera to take pictures of colors, in order to gain experience (sort of a cheat), it probably don't, but maybe it has something to do with that.
 

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v0.52.0

Included in TWiLight Menu++ v23.2.0

What's new?
  • B4DS mode: Support for more titles have been added, making them playable on DS/DS lite consoles!
    (For a complete list of supported titles, see this list here.)
    • 99Bullets
    • 99Moves
    • ARC Style: Soccer! (Korea)
    • Kung Fu Dragon
    • Mr. Brain (Japan)
    • Rabi Laby
    • Rabi Laby 2
    • (For Debug DS consoles:)
      • 99Seconds
      • Mixed Messages
      • Phantasy Star 0 Mini
      • Space Invaders Extreme Z
Bug fixes
  • The applied AP-fix will now persist when soft-resetting.
    • Pokémon HeartGold & SoulSilver Versions will now use the fast soft-reset method again.
  • Fixed sound in Rainbow Islands Revolution when using DSiWarehax or DSi mode.
  • B4DS mode: Cloneboot now works in Art Style: BASE 10.
Known bug
  • Sleep mode will not work in the 99Trilogy, due to their code (possibly) taking place in the overlays.
 
Last edited by RocketRobz,

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Could this be made to work with GBA flashcarts like M3 CF that can run DS games/homebrew from slot 2 on NDS systems running flashme firmware? Could this work on the GBAMP?
 
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