Overwriting Repro modules with GB Operator

Kazuya89

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I know that the GB Operator isn't the best cartridge reader for writing roms to cartridges. Also I know that the product quality of repro cartridges from Aliexpress is inferior to empty ones like those from Inside Gadgets.

But first I only own a GB Operator. Also for a game like Kirbys Dreamland DX I was able to rewrite a cartridge from Aliexpress (which I thought already was the DX hack of Kirbys Dream Land) and it works perfectly. I own Super Mario Land 2 DX pre-made from Ali-Express it also runs and saves great. I own Mother 3 from Aliexpress and it also works and saves.

When I said that on Discord, the answer I got was: Yeah but those are easy tu run games. Harder games won't work on those cheap repros.

That may be right. But even if it is. When I specifically want to overwrite some hacks und translations from non demanding MBC1 games those Aliexpress cartridges are just fine, even thought they might not work with Pokemon etc. Or am I wrong?

Now I want to know the following things:
- Can I take those cheap cards with and without battery (for example I have cards for Kirby, Metroid 2 DX und Super Mario Land 2 DX already here, with some spare ones) to use them for easy MBC1 games?
- Can I order specifiq games from Aliexpress to receive speficig PCBs that will alwys work?
- Are there repro cards on Aliexpress for examble to overwrite Pokémon prism on them? If yes, which should i choose?
- What about GBA? I have mother 3 in Spain here. Can I assume that overwriting Mother 3 English will work just fine?
- If I order a Pokémon repro can I assume that Pokémon romhacks will work just fine? Are there spefifiq repros I should choose to have higher possibility to receive a rpero card with better quality?
- A friend of mine want's to have a repro cart of the German fan translation of Pokémon Trading Card Game 2. Can I just order the english repro and overwrite it or is it a special cartridge that will make some problems?
 
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metroid maniac

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- Can I take those cheap cards with and without battery (for example I have cards for Kirby, Metroid 2 DX und Super Mario Land 2 DX already here, with some spare ones) to use them for easy MBC1 games?
Depends on how much ROM they have, what kind of save chip they use and how much save capacity they have. If the bootleg does not use a battery and does use SRAM, you will need to apply a batteryless patch to your ROM. Mappers may also be an issue for GB bootlegs but I am less familiar with those.
- Can I order specifiq games from Aliexpress to receive speficig PCBs that will alwys work?
They could change at any time, but right now there are certain carts which are known to be using specific configurations. Some of the noteworthy ones are:
  • Perfect Dark GBC - 4MB ROM, SRAM, battery, MBC5
  • Yu Gi Oh 2006, Yu Gi Oh Double Pack - 32MB ROM, 64KB SRAM, battery
  • Mother 3 - 32MB ROM, 64KB Flash
  • Super Mario Advance 4 - 16MB ROM, 128KB SRAM, no battery
- Are there repro cards on Aliexpress for examble to overwrite Pokémon prism on them? If yes, which should i choose?
- If I order a Pokémon repro can I assume that Pokémon romhacks will work just fine? Are there spefifiq repros I should choose to have higher possibility to receive a rpero card with better quality?
It's tricky. Any mainline Pokemon bootleg you buy currently will be batteryless. Sometimes romhacks support the same batteryless patch as the base game, but often not.
For GB/C, Perfect Dark would probably be the best bet. For GBA, I don't have a recommendation. There's no option which has enough save capacity and does not need a patch.
- What about GBA? I have mother 3 in Spain here. Can I assume that overwriting Mother 3 English will work just fine?
That should work fine yes. They both use the same ROM size and the same save type/size.
- A friend of mine want's to have a repro cart of the German fan translation of Pokémon Trading Card Game 2. Can I just order the english repro and overwrite it or is it a special cartridge that will make some problems?
That should be fine. I don't think those bootlegs are batteryless.

You may have better luck asking these questions in Bennvenn's discord server. There's a lot of discussion on cart flashers and bootlegs there.
 
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Kazuya89

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Thank you for your answers, helped me a lot :)
It's tricky. Any mainline Pokemon bootleg you buy currently will be batteryless. Sometimes romhacks support the same batteryless patch as the base game, but often not.
Where can I find the info if those romhacks support this patch?

I want to repoduce those games:
Pokémon Unbound
Pokémon Radical Red
Pokémon Renegade Platinum
Pokémon Fire Red Omega

Will those support it? If yes can I than just reflash an existing Pokemon repro cartridge?
 

metroid maniac

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Thank you for your answers, helped me a lot :)

Where can I find the info if those romhacks support this patch?

I want to repoduce those games:
Pokémon Unbound
Pokémon Radical Red
Pokémon Renegade Platinum
Pokémon Fire Red Omega

Will those support it? If yes can I than just reflash an existing Pokemon repro cartridge?
Several of those ROMs are 32MB, but Pokemon bootlegs only seem to come with 16MB. Since they alter the ROM map a lot, I wouldn't expect any batteryless patches to work.

You'd have to get an InsideGadgets cart with 32MB ROM and 1Mbit Flash for those, but they're out of stock for a long time.
 
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Kazuya89

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Several of those ROMs are 32MB, but Pokemon bootlegs only seem to come with 16MB. Since they alter the ROM map a lot, I wouldn't expect any batteryless patches to work.

You'd have to get an InsideGadgets cart with 32MB ROM and 1Mbit Flash for those, but they're out of stock for a long time.
Again Thank you very much. I already learned a lot. :)

On Aliexpress I also find several premade Pokémon romhacks. Is there any chance that some of them are 32MB Rom und 1Mbit Flash or can I be 100% certain that there are only repros of romhacks that fit within a 16MB Rom?
 

metroid maniac

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Again Thank you very much. I already learned a lot. :)

On Aliexpress I also find several premade Pokémon romhacks. Is there any chance that some of them are 32MB Rom und 1Mbit Flash or can I be 100% certain that there are only repros of romhacks that fit within a 16MB Rom?
I have never seen a bootleg with 1Mbit flash. The only bootleg I have found using flash is Mother 3 - this game only has 512Kbit, though. All other GBA bootlegs are using SRAM.
The GBA normally only supports a maximum of 512KBit SRAM. Some bootlegs are using a special technique to extend this to 1Mbit, but this restricts the ROM capacity to 16MB. So there are no bootlegs with 32MB ROM + 1Mbit SRAM, either.
 
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Kazuya89

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I have never seen a bootleg with 1Mbit flash. The only bootleg I have found using flash is Mother 3 - this game only has 512Kbit, though. All other GBA bootlegs are using SRAM.
The GBA normally only supports a maximum of 512KBit SRAM. Some bootlegs are using a special technique to extend this to 1Mbit, but this restricts the ROM capacity to 16MB. So there are no bootlegs with 32MB ROM + 1Mbit SRAM, either.
Really interesting to know. So are all those Pokémon romhacks on Aliexpress roms that are below 16MB in their normal form are are they somewhat adjusted to fit this criteria. If so, could this be made for the games I mentioned above?
 

metroid maniac

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Really interesting to know. So are all those Pokémon romhacks on Aliexpress roms that are below 16MB in their normal form are are they somewhat adjusted to fit this criteria. If so, could this be made for the games I mentioned above?
I haven't looked at them.
Newer Pokemon bootlegs are only coming with 512Kbit SRAM, so they are not restricted to 16MB ROMs. So maybe some of the ROMhacks being sold are larger. The patching done to those ROMs means they can still work with only 512Kbit.

Outside of the batteryless patches dumped from bootlegs, the only patch I know which reduces the save capacity needed is this patch for Pokemon Emerald.
 
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