Which R4 card supports multiple save state slots?

Discussion in 'NDS - Flashcarts and Accessories' started by OhneHerren, Jan 7, 2016.

  1. OhneHerren
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    OhneHerren Member

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    Hi all. I've had a search on this forum and elsewhere for the answer to this question but cannot find it. I got an R4i Gold (the one recommended on this board) and it is a good card. I'm looking to get a DSi XL for myself (my girlfriend is using the R4i in her DS Lite) and want a similar card to go with it. The only feature I want that the R4i Gold does not provide is multiple slots for save states. Are there any decent R4 clones (or any other flash carts really) that provide at least two slots, or will I have to go with the DSTWO (which I think is overkill and not worth the extra cost)? Perhaps I just need an unofficial firmware for the card I currently have? I can't see why there is a one-slot limit to real-time saves seeing as it is just reading and writing the savestates to and from the SD card. Cheers.
     
  2. OhneHerren
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    OhneHerren Member

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    I am considering relenting and buying a DSTWO+ for it's emulation capabilities and (I am hoping) more robust RTS system, as I have had save state corruption issues with the R4i Gold. Plus it's the only way to play GBA games on the DSi. Paying more for the card than for the console however is a tough pill to swallow.
     
  3. Gyron

    Gyron GBAtemp Regular

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    If you bought the R4i Gold 3DS RTS (r4ids.cn) or any other card which uses the Wood Kernel, then you can use multiple save slots (four in total). Just highlight your game, press 'Y', then 'Y' again to go into settings. Now press the 'Right trigger' button and you will see 'Choose Save Slot' in the menu. It is set to 'Default' which is slot '0'. You can also select slots '1', '2' and '3' giving four save slots in total.
     
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  4. OhneHerren
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    OhneHerren Member

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    Thanks very much for that Gyron I will check it out. Am I right in understanding I have to choose the slot before I run the game? That is, if I have slot 0 selected I can't save to slot 1, 2 or 3 without getting back to the Wood software and then back into the game? If so this is of limited utility but still better than nothing.
     
  5. Gyron

    Gyron GBAtemp Regular

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    That's correct, unless of course the game itself offers multiple save slots, then you probably wouldn't necessarily need the additional save slots Wood offers. I think it's actually a neat little feature of Wood as genuine carts only offer the flash memory/eeprom they are shipped with, and if a game doesn't offer multiple save slots then they are restricted to a single user, whereas Wood offers a way around this.
    If you want to use different saves within a game, then in-game 'save states' must be used. In which case you would need a card which offers multiple save states, like the DSTwo. Wood's RTS system is a little slow and cumbersome when compared to the DSTwo as it's purely software based, and only offers a single save state. Be aware though the DSTwo will eat a lot more power than the R4i Gold giving a reduced battery life. I tend to use my DSTwo in my DSi-XL as it seems to cope with the extra power demands of the DSTwo better than my DS Lite.
     
    Last edited by Gyron, Jan 8, 2016
  6. OhneHerren
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    OhneHerren Member

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    Well that's good to know about the battery life; I think that's me decided against it then. Does the real-time save feature of a card depend only on having the Wood Kernel (or other RTS-capable firmware) or is it dependent also on hardware support? I ask because there's a DS for sale at the moment with an R4 clone (www.r4i.ndsi.in), a clone which as far as I can tell from forum posts on here won't support Wood but might support YSMenu or RetroGameFan's software.

    Do you know of a card that has multiple save states like the DSTwo but that doesn't have a CPU (that needs to be powered)? Is that possible?

    Additionally, is there a compendium of knowledge about DS and flashcart internals/design, like the Playstation Developer Wiki? Will I find such technical information in this forum if I search long enough? Or is it guarded knowledge?
     
  7. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08

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    Battery drain is actually negligible in game because the CPU shuts down, but there is additional power draw in the home menu because it keeps the CPU awake by polling the cartridge slot. Easily worked around by removing the cart when you leave the 3DS on and not in use. Regardless, it hasn't been an issue for me, it's not like it halves your battery life, it takes away maybe half an hour max.
     
  8. OhneHerren
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    OhneHerren Member

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    Sounds reasonable.
     
  9. OhneHerren
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    OhneHerren Member

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    Answering my own question it seems the latest "R4i-SDHC 3DS" card supports multiple save states according to the image on their product info page. And they seem to have updated their kernel just this month, as opposed to the recommended R4i Gold which hasn't received updates in quite a while. Why is it that the R4i Gold is recommended over that card? Especially because the latest r4i-sdhc.com card is supported by RetroGameFan's updates whereas the latest r4ids.cn card is not.
     
    Last edited by OhneHerren, Jan 20, 2016
  10. Riptide

    Riptide Member

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    Good question. I have an R4i Gold with wood firmware and I may be replacing i twith a R4i-SDHC soon. Not only is having a single save state annoying, but its a PITA to get the cart to actually stay in a 3DS, and the RTS seems to cause the touchscreen to become disabled/unresponsive in some games. Did you get the R4i-SDHC and are you happy with it?
     
  11. OhneHerren
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    OhneHerren Member

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    Yes I bought one. No I'm not happy with it. It does what it says on the tin (high compatibility, multiple save state slots) only it has a terrible interface. I imagine this is why it is not recommended (besides the deal gbatemp has with r4ids.cn and the fact that the R4i Gold is officially supported by the Wood developers whereas the R4i-SDHC is not).

    You have two modes of viewing your rom files. One is four at a time on the screen. This might work if scrolling through pages of four was not significantly slower than on the r4ids.cn card, but it is (you'll need to wait a few seconds for each page of four to load with icons). The other method is an interface where each rom is represented by a little symbol (a square, a diamond et cetera) and you can move up/down and left/right on the grid of symbols. The name of the rom associated with each symbol is displayed when you select that symbol, and the symbols presented in alphabetical order. You can't select a rom from this interface, you need to select the symbol and then switch to the four-a-page view (where your rom will still be selected) and then boot the rom. Bizarre system; never seen anything like it.

    Anyway, this unusual method of navigation is something I could perhaps deal with for the benefit of extra save state slots, but there are two other dealbreakers with the card which made me give it up. The booting of games is significantly slower than the near instant boot on the r4ids.cn card (you'll be waiting ~10 seconds sometimes). Not sure why this is (it would be nice if there was some more open information available about the software internals of these cards). Additionally the card does not support folders whatsoever (well it is able to load roms from folders, but it flattens them out into one big folder). When you've got three hundred roms, the lack of folder support in combination with the unusual interface design decisions makes it a pretty frustrating card to work with. Perhaps I just need to name the folders in a particular way or use a particular folder structure to get them to appear. I could not find any literature on this however. Additionally it seems the RTS system is incompatible with a larger number of roms than the RTS system on the r4ids.cn card, which doesn't speak well for improving your flaky RTS situation (don't place too much trust in this last statement as I'm basing that on a very small sample size).

    All in all I would not recommend the R4i-SDHC unless you really want multiple save state slots. If you don't have too many games or perhaps don't switch game that often then the slow loading times and quirky interface would perhaps not be an issue (my housemate is using the card and has no issues with it given her current use case of exclusively booting Rune Factory 3 every session as the interface defaults to selecting the last played rom). It's a shame, because I don't think these issues are anything hardware based and could easily be fixed with a bit of effort on the developers part. This is sadly unlikely to happen. Such is closed-source software.

    I don't own a 3DS so I can't help you with issues of fit.
     
  12. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Sad to hear the UI is getting in your way. It is often the case with such devices.

    Forest for the trees moment. How does the system tell games apart? On some flash carts it will be a matter of file naming, others it might be an internal serial and others it might be something kind of related to the serial. Changing those range from trivial (it is a file name, just remember to match it for the save file) to 3 minutes for the first time you do it to 20 seconds once you know what goes. I do not think NDSTS has the capability ( http://www.no-intro.org/tools.htm ) but you should be able to find something to fix the headers once you have edited them. For the latter we saw some ROM hacks change the effect identity, in such cases the cheat database (most would usually use R4CCE http://hp.vector.co.jp/authors/VA013928/soft_en.html ) would also have to be fixed.
    Option 2. If the above is not suitable then regions might be -- NA and EU will both tend to feature English.
     
  13. OhneHerren
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    OhneHerren Member

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    Is this a hypothetical question or would you like me to investigate the answer for this particular card using the methods you provided?
     
  14. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    It was a hypothetical for those facing similar problems described in this topic. Personally I would just buy two flash carts, back up my save and play something else and I think all mine do renaming anyway, certainly all the ones I use do.