Hacking the Ultimate M3 Perfect GBA guide FINAL

superspudz2000

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ultimate guide to M3 Perfect. everything you wanted
to know about M3 but were afraid to ask.

step 1, download the latest firmware.
you can get it from http://linfoxdomain.com/nintendo/ds/
ignore the version 36, it is for chinese M3's only,
the letters indicate the language, for USA carts,
you will want the v35e, English. which presumably
will be the final firmware ever.
also, updagcSD is SD and updateGC is compact flash.

step 2,

its best to use the M3 Client software by processing 1 game at a time.
the M3 Game Manager only patches games if Real Time Save is selected,
or if Real time Clock is required for say Pokemon or Boktai.
otherwise it does nothing more than create a save file in GAMESAVE Folder.

opening the M3 Game Manager software will show 2 panes,
the left pane is where the SD card is located.
the Right Pane displays games in whatever folder you selected.

sshot.png


first you need to browse to where the SD card is located in the left box.
then pressing "Write GBA" will let you select a game,
then another box comes up. in the RealTimeSave Tab check Real Time Save.
(Many Games will Crash if RTS is enabled, in which case you will need to re-process it)

the "Rom Patch" Tab displays the following options;
Gba Patch
-Software Patch
-Hardware Support 1
-Hardware Support 2

-Software Patch
is simply a SRAM patch for some problem games that use EEPROM.
"Digimon Racing", and "The Tower SP" both need to be patched.
the easiest way to tell if a game needs a SRAM Patch is to load
every game then look in GAMESAVE folder, if there are any .SAV
files that are Size:0kb then they need SRAM Patch.

(Note: you should ignore the Software Patch Option and use
a program called GBATA. it has a better SRAM Patching Tool.)

imgres
ss1z.jpg


-Hardware Support 1
is the Auto Patch option. the Software will patch games as needed.
for Pokemon it will patch for Internal Clock.
sometimes it will remove copyright protection.

-Hardware Support 2
this means it does nothing. it literally just copies the
GBA game over and creates a save file in GAMESAVE
folder, which one could do themselves without software.

so really, you can ignore the SoftwarePatch and HardwareSupport2
options, and leave it on the default settings. you can also Ignore
all other buttons besides "Write GBA" and "Real Time Save".

s4lv6u.jpg


Note: Right Clicking on a Game will alllow you to enter "Saver Manager"
where you can backup your save. but the software will crash if you
have too many files on your 2GB SD card.

so here is what you do:
create a GAMESAVE folder on any hard drive or empty flash drive,
at the root, for example C:\GAMESAVE . place the GBA game
and .SAV into the new GAMESAVE Folder and browse to it from
M3 Game Manager. now you can use Saver Manager without crashing.

Step 3

the M3 Perfect has a 99 files per folder limit.
so because all save files are stored in the same folder,
you can only have 99 Games that use saves.

But,

There are MANY games that use only PASSWORDS for saving.
in which case you can Delete the save files for these games,
allowing more games to be put on the SD card.

there are some really high profile games that use PASSWORDS,
Simpsons Road rage, Worms World Party, UNO, Turok,
Tetris Worlds, Star X, Super Army War, Smashing drive,
Road Rash Jailbreak, R-Type III, Punch King, Popeye,
Gundam Battle Assult, Iridion 3D, Iridion II, Downforce,
Godzilla Domination, Ecks Vs Sever, Double Dragon,
Desert Strike, CT Special Forces 1, 2 and 3. Army Men.

All these you can delete the Save files.

if you want to know which games use Passwords, just
go to advanscene.com, click Advanced Search, select
GBA, Search for Save Type, write NONE in box.
 

superspudz2000

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step 4

the M3 Perfect will only display 25 Charaters for the game name,
so you should re-name each game under 25 letters including Spaces.

especially the Super Mario series as they are known to have problems with long filenames.
"Super Mario Advance 4 - Super Mario Bros. 3"
can be Re-Named to simply: SMB3.gba

or "Adventures of Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius, The - Attack of the Twonkies"
can be re-named to "JimmyNeutron Atk Twonkies"

step 5

"A" button Quick-Loads a game and "Start" button regular loads a game.
games over 16Mb must me loaded with START button. (Mother 3)

step 6

the "No RTS" List. some games crash if Real Time Save is Enabled.
Password Games (get out your Pen and Paper)
Broken Sword, RockEmSockEm Robots, Ace Combat Advance,
Dark Arena, Downforce, Top Gun CZ, Revenge of Smurfs,
Sega Arcade Gallery, Super Hornet, Stuart Little, Soccer Kid,

will crash or hang on "White Screen of Death"

Also some games will either Crash only when RTS is activated,
or will just Refuse to patch the Real Time Save. but you could
still use the L+R+A+B menu to reset to main menu.
XS Moto, Hello Kitty, VIP, Tonka, Spirit, Smashing Drive,
ScoobyDoo 2, Prehistoric Man.

Step 7
Extending the life of your flashcart

if you pull it in and out all the time, the pins will wear out over time,
its best to keep it in 1 device as long as possible to reduce wear.
if you have a M3 Mini SD, you can remove the SD card and leave the M3 in.
a DS Lite is a poor choice since it sticks out the bottom and could be damaged.

everybody should have a Gamecube and a Gameboy Player. you can also get a
PS2 Controller Adapter pretty cheap. the M3 remains stationary and you
control it with a PS2 controller, and when controller gets worn replace it.


step 8

about SD Cards.

the maximum SD card size is 2GB (or in reality like 1.8GB),
after that they started making high capacity SDHC cards
which aren't compatible with the M3.

this is the standard set by the SD association. but actually,
the absolute maximum for SD format is like 3.2Mb. since
SD are released in multiples, (256, 512, 1gb) none of the major
brands bothered to produce higher since it couldn't get 4gb.

but some smaller guys did make 4gb cards even though it
wasn't actually 4gb but a 3.2gb incorrectly labeled.
Transcend produced a 4GB or rather 3.2GB among others.

Note: if you see a 4gb Sandisk or Kingston, they are FAKES,
and really bad ones at that. i bought a 4gb sandisk MiniSD,
and it wouldn't even fit properly in the M3's SD slot.

step 9 - CHEATS

first you have to ask yourself "is it really necessary".
if there are no other alternatives, most of the time
you are better off just playing the game, reading
guides on GameFAQs, asking for game help on forums.

i cannot recommend using the M3s Default Cheat system.
it is almost completely useless.

for Most games though, there are Trainer Menus available.
somebody has already patched the game with all available
cheats. All you need to do is Download the Rom!
the game will look like this: GameName (U) [t2].gba

if this fails there are other options;

is "Double Dragon Advance" too hard?
you can simply press a button combination
to get 10 credits, or unlock Expert mode.

Just want the Jet Vermillion in F-Zero?
http://www.mrfixitonline.com/viewtopic.php?t=176
just go here for an online Password Generator.

just Want the "Eon Ticket" in Pokemon?
get "VBA Link" on your computer, a Save file from GameFAQs,
Open 2 VBALink windows, then transfer to your M3 save file.
(choose Import .Dat in Visual boy Advance.)

NOTE: in the L+R+A+B Menu the Game Cheat option does
absolutely nothing. nobody knows why they put that in there.
 
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Lemmy Koopa

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Thank you very much for this topic. I still cherish my M3 very much, and it will probably remain my portable entertainment/media device as long as it can. It's nice to see people still supporting it.
 
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Arm73

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Thanks for refreshing my memory....just the other day I brought my GBA SP2 on a bus trip and I thought maybe it's time to change the game selection but I wasn't sure how to get all the tools that I need and if they were still working on W7/W8.

Also good tip about manually deleting save files for games that don't need it, I didn't think about that!
Cheers
 
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superspudz2000

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i though there should be a resource somewhere for all this M3 information.
i finally get it figured out then i forget months later.
later ill put how to run Dragon ball z Taiketsu
 
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gtmtnbiker

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Good to see some M3 Perfect love in this forum. I think it was the best GBA flash cart ever. I love it so much, that I have two of them.
 
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superspudz2000

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hehe i have 3 different models, plus a G6 Flash if that counts.

i use the Compact flash in my Gamecube, and
the MiniSD for testing, since i can remove the MiniSD
card without wearing out the M3 contacts.
and a M3 SD for extra games that wouldn't fit.
 
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superspudz2000

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i just got that pic from a quick google image search.

i guess id have to get an account on an image hosting site or something?

anyone know a good image hosting site?
 
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Lemmy Koopa

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i just got that pic from a quick google image search.

i guess id have to get an account on an image hosting site or something?

anyone know a good image hosting site?
imageshack.us
tinypic.com

I've been using dropbox since last year for images.


Would you happen to know why I can't use the Cheat function in the M3 Realtime save menu after patching a cheat file to it?
 
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superspudz2000

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ok, ive got the Cheats figured out.

you need to patch a game with the M3 Game Manager Software first.
after "Write GBA", select the Cheats tab and Check "enable".
then when you load the game, a menu will come up first,
asking what cheats you want.

BTW, in the L+R+A+B Menu the Game Cheat option does
absolutely nothing. nobody knows why they put that in there.

i tried it with the only game i would need cheats for, Double Dragon.
it dident have unlimited continues, and the Always Weapon
was in Chinese. so yeah, the default M3 cheats are rather useless.
i would recommend just using a Trainer. "Game (U) [t2].gba"

you could also use VisualBoyAdvance, then import the Sav file to M3.
 
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Lemmy Koopa

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ok, ive got the Cheats figured out.

you need to patch a game with the M3 Game Manager Software first.
after "Write GBA", select the Cheats tab and Check "enable".
then when you load the game, a menu will come up first,
asking what cheats you want.

BTW, in the L+R+A+B Menu the Game Cheat option does
absolutely nothing. nobody knows why they put that in there.

i tried it with the only game i would need cheats for, Double Dragon.
it dident have unlimited continues, and the Always Weapon
was in Chinese. so yeah, the default M3 cheats are rather useless.
i would recommend just using a Trainer. "Game (U) [t2].gba"

you could also use VisualBoyAdvance, then import the Sav file to M3.

Ah, so that whole Cheat option in the menu is absolutely nothing? That's lame. It would be great if it called up the cheat menu again that appears when the game boost up.

When I start a patched game with the RTS menu and cheat patches on it, and not enable any cheats (besides the enable cheat, or basically not turn anything on or off in the cheat menu.) I can reset the game with the RTS menu, and then the cheat list pops back up, but if I enable any cheats after that, the cheat menu never pops up again.

It's a real shame. Maybe they were going to implement it, but didn't. All it does is say "Open File Fail". I thought I needed to put the cheat folder with the TXT files you patch to it somewhere on my SD card, but I never found anything about it.

Thanks for the reply.
 
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superspudz2000

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Alternately, you can use any Gameshark and Codebreaker codes
with a program called GBAATM by cracker. but you will still have
a menu pop up, so its not much better than a trainer menu.

most of the time a Trainer menu exists for most games
 
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Lemmy Koopa

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Alternately, you can use any Gameshark and Codebreaker codes
with a program called GBAATM by cracker. but you will still have
a menu pop up, so its not much better than a trainer menu.

most of the time a Trainer menu exists for most games
Thanks for the suggestion. I tried it and it works, but it seems to be on par with the M3 cheat function. Since I'm using an actual M3, I think I'd just stick with it's cheat patcher.

I was asking about the "Game Cheat" feature because I was hoping I could recall the cheat list, specifically to be able to turn codes on and off during gameplay, as some codes are designed around this.
 
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