ROM Flash Carts, is ROM patch required?

YoshiMoshi

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I heard you often have to to patch ROMs to work on a flash cart. This is because the ROM is expecting EEPROM, Flash or SRAM to save games. Are there any flash carts that don't patch the ROM?
 

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I heard you often have to to patch ROMs to work on a flash cart. This is because the ROM is expecting EEPROM, Flash or SRAM to save games. Are there any flash carts that don't patch the ROM?
The Ezflash Omega and Ezflash Omega Definitive Edition work without patching the ROMs. If patches are needed, it can apply them on the fly when loaded and it's all handled automatically. Everdrive also does this but costs more.
 

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I was surprised and happy that when EZ-flash team added auto patching to their carts, they even added it to the old mini sd card version!
So yes, virtually any gba flashcard that you buy brand new today will support it, and not require roms to be externally patched.
 

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The EZFlash IV (both mini and micro SD versions) and EZFlash Reform do not require save patching as of firmware version 2.00 and upwards, allthough the first time you load a ROM it takes longer.

The EZFlash Omega and Omega Definitive Edition also do not require any save patches at all.

The same goes for the Everdrive GBA X5 and GBA X5 mini.

All the cards mentioned above should always be used with unpatched ROMs listed in the no-intro database.

Any card *not* mentioned above (legacy flash cards like the Flash2Advance line etc.) will require save game patching. GBA Supercards require usage of their client software because they need more patches than just save type.
 
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lamb-duh

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Could someone clarify what's already been said here--- does the EZ flash omega run (commercial) roms *without* patching them, or does it just do it automatically when you launch the game?
 
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cearp

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So is there not yet a flash cart that supports all add-ons? RTC, light sensor, rumble and gyroscope?
No, and probably won't be - of course it would be nice.

These are currently out of stock, and will need a cart flasher:
For light sensor + rtc (boktai), you can get this: https://shop.insidegadgets.com/product/gba-16mb-64k-eeprom-solar-rtc-flash-cart/
For rumble + gyro (for warioware twisted - yoshi uses a tilt sensor which is different): https://shop.insidegadgets.com/product/gba-32mb-256kbit-fram-gyrorumble-flash-cart/
 

cearp

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Thanks. So what devices do EZ-Flash and Everdrive support in terms of RTC, Rumble, Gyroscope, Light sensor?
If it can play GBA games and is an official device, they will play - gba sp, gc's game boy player, ds... etc.
Even console copies like the Analogue Pocket, my ez-flash omega sort of works. Everdrive got an update to add/increase support.

To make it clear, apart from those products I linked above, there are no gyro/tilt, or light sensor flashcarts.
In case you are not aware, Boktai has patches to let you control the solar level via a button combo - so although not exactly the same, you can fully play the game 100%.
 

cearp

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Could someone clarify what's already been said here--- does the EZ flash omega run (commercial) roms *without* patching them, or does it just do it automatically when you launch the game?

I see what you mean, and don't have a definite answer, since for me it just works.
What makes you ask, just curiosity?
The kernel is open source and on github, so can be checked I guess.
 

Technicmaster0

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So is there not yet a flash cart that supports all add-ons? RTC, light sensor, rumble and gyroscope?
There is no all in one flashcart
Could someone clarify what's already been said here--- does the EZ flash omega run (commercial) roms *without* patching them, or does it just do it automatically when you launch the game?
I'm pretty sure that they just patch them on boot/during runtime. There are different save chips used for GBA games and it's much easier to just use SRAM/FRAM and patch the roms (which is easy to do in this case). Otherwise all of the different save types would have to be supported.
Thanks. So what devices do EZ-Flash and Everdrive support in terms of RTC, Rumble, Gyroscope, Light sensor?
EZ-Flash OMEGA Definitive Edition: RTC + Rumble
EZ-Flash OMEGA: RTC
Everdrive GBA X5: RTC
but that's just from the top of my head, no guarantee
 
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FAST6191

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Could someone clarify what's already been said here--- does the EZ flash omega run (commercial) roms *without* patching them, or does it just do it automatically when you launch the game?
I was under the impression the Omega line emulates the save chips/protocols in hardware rather than opting for the more conventional patch the save type to instead speak another format that the likes of the traditional GBA carts (and onboard patching of the modern EZ4 kernels) opts for.
As noted above there are source releases if you are very curious
https://github.com/ez-flash
I am not sure what effect it might have (save timing based affairs appeared on the DS but I am not aware of anything like that for the GBA, link timing latency should also be able to be dodged) so I guess this is mostly for intellectual curiosity.

Alternatively if you can dump a game in progress you can possibly look to see what goes, though I am not sure what there is to try that one on (would probably have to be some exotic GB player setup, one of the FPGA emulation/simulation devices gaining the ability to dump ROMs, enough skills with a GBA cart reader to recreate all the necessary signals to load a ROM, or maybe some kind of link cable/ROM patch induced homebrew takeover so you can peer into the ROM space).
 

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The EZ-Flash Omega/Omega Definitive Edition seems to do no patching on clean boot except disabling sleep mode? Because if you try the game's builtin sleep it immediately wakes up again (i can't think of a reason why this is necessary). I looked into the open source kernel and that is the impression i got.

Don't know exactly for the Everdrive. It looks like it does no patching at all. Not even the sleep patch. All of the latest flashcarts loading the ROM from a microSD handle the save types properly in hardware.
 
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Technicmaster0

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As noted above there are source releases if you are very curious
https://github.com/ez-flash
I'm not sure if the kernel contains information on the save patches. I think that it's more of a firmware related thing and I don't think that the firmware is open source.
Alternatively if you can dump a game in progress you can possibly look to see what goes, though I am not sure what there is to try that one on (would probably have to be some exotic GB player setup, one of the FPGA emulation/simulation devices gaining the ability to dump ROMs, enough skills with a GBA cart reader to recreate all the necessary signals to load a ROM, or maybe some kind of link cable/ROM patch induced homebrew takeover so you can peer into the ROM space).
You could probably dump the EZ Flash Omega DE in "link" mode. But it kinda has to simulate the save chips properly there because otherwise ds games couldn't access them
 

ghjfdtg

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I'm not sure if the kernel contains information on the save patches. I think that it's more of a firmware related thing and I don't think that the firmware is open source.
Firmware is what they call the FPGA bitstream. There is also the bootloader that runs first containing the diagnostics and likely the SD card init. I can't see any save type patches anywhere. The only exception are the Classic NES patches but these rather fall under the category AP.
 

YoshiMoshi

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Well I don't see any EEPROM on the board do you guys on the EZFLASH? So at the very least I guess it's emulating the EEPROM chip with the FPGA?
 
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