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VisualBoy Advance Save Problems

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#1
Haldrie

Haldrie

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[NOTE]
Some of the following information has been updated in later posts so please scroll down further to view these updates. Not everything has been updated though as there was no need for it since the information is already in this post. The updates do include all of the Dragon Ball (Z)(GT) games that are listed here as well as a new Pokemon game the was recently released. There is also more information about the IPS patches for all of the Pokemon games.
[END NOTE]

I've been using VisualBoy Advance for some time now (since version 1.3) and have built up quiet a large rom collection for it. Although the best Gameboy emulator out there (in my opinion) it is still not perfect. Below are a list of games that do not seem to work well in the latest versions of this emulator but do work in older versions or by modifying some of the emulator's setting.

[UPDATE]
Using all of the information in this topic (not just this post) you should now be able to use all of the below listed games on the latest version of VBA without any problems (at least as far as being able to save your game).
[END UPDATE]

Dragon Ball Z Games
(See below for an alternative fix for these games)

Dragon Ball Z - Legacy of Goku

Problem:
As of version 1.7.1 of VisualBoy Advance this game will display a message stating that it will not run on the current hardware.
Fix:
This message does not show up in version 1.6.0 of VisualBoy Advance (I'm not sure about other versions exept 1.1 but that version is too old to worry about) and does not seem to have any other problems.

Dragon Ball Z - Taiketsu

Problem:
First of all make sure you do not have an into hacked version as this version of the game will crash the emulator. Other then that it basiclly has the same problem as Legacy of Goku showing a similar message when you try to play it.
Fix:
Pretty much the same way. This message does not show up in version 1.6.0 and will play perfectly.

Dragon Ball GT - Transformation

Problem:
This game will also display a similar message as the above games but only after you have beaten the second planet after the game has saved.
Fix:
Once the message shows up on the screen reset the emulator and load your game. You should be on the planet select screen and be able to continue your game. The only other problem here is that you will have to do this after every planet. I will do more research into this and post a better fix if I find one for this game.

IPS Save Patches - A thing of the past.

Anyone that plays the GameBoy Advance Pokemon games should know about the countless save patches for these games. I have discovered a setting in VisualBoy Advance that will make these patches obsolete.

Problem:
"Corrupt Save" message and/or inablility to save your game. This problem is caused by VisualBoy Advance being unable to correctly detect the the save file size of these games.
Known Games Effected:
Pokemon Ruby
Pokemon Sapphire
Pokemon FireRed
Pokemon LeafGreen
Pokemon Emerald
e-Reader
Fix:
The simplist way to fix this problem is to increase the Flash Memory size in the emulator (Options->Emulator->Save Type and choose "Flash 128K"). However (although not confirmed) this might cause problems in other games that use 64K memory. The other solution is to create a "vba-over.ini" file in the same directory as the emulator itself. With this file you can set "game specific" options that will only be used for the games you specify. Instructions for creating this file can be found in the readme file for VisualBoy Advance. I have provided the specific setting for each known effected game below:
e-Reader (U)
[PSAE]
flashSize=131072

Pokemon Ruby (U)
[AXVE]
rtcEnabled=1
flashSize=131072

Pokemon Sapphire (U)
[AXPE]
rtcEnabled=1
flashSize=131072

Pokemon FireRed (U)
[BPRE]
flashSize=131072

Pokemon LeafGreen (U)
[BPGE]
flashSize=131072

Pokemon Emerald (U)
[BPEE]
rtcEnabled=1
flashSize=131072
The legend for this code is in the read me file and I have also provided it below for your convinence.

[????]=The four character "Game Code". This can be found by choosing "Rom Information" from the file menu of VisualBoy Advance. This code must match the game you will use it for or the setting will not work. Make sure that the codes above match the rom you are using if these setting do not seem to work.
rtcEnabled=Real Time Clock <0 for false, anything else for true>
flashSize=Flash Memory Size <65536 (64K) or 131072 (128K)>
saveType=Save Type <0 for automatic, 1 for EEPROM, 2 for SRAM, 3 for Flash or 4 for EEPROM+Sensor>

The Real Time Clock setting is only used for games that need it so having it enabled for a game that does not use it really won't effect the game at all.

With this file you can leave the Flash Memory setting at 64K in the emulator and not worry about messing up any of your other game saves. When you open one of the above games the vba-over.ini file will override the emulator's default setting and use 128K memory for that game even if you have it set for 64K.

Regardless of which method you choose you can now play the game without a save patch! The game will run as it would on the real GBA without any problems and you won't get a "Save is Corrupted" message when you go to load your game again. The only problem with either of these methods is that they cannot fix an existing save file. You will have to start a new game with these setting enabled. Yes I did try this and even though it increased the save file size to 128K it still gave me a corrupt save message when I went to load my game (even though it loaded anyway). A corrupt save message does not mean you can't load your save (as you really still can) but it does get annoying and this fix will help to prevent it from ever showing up again in these games.

[UPDATE]
Other problems have been found with these Pokemon games when you use the IPS patches. See below.
[END UPDATE]

[ANOTHER UPDATE]
Scroll down to post #9 if you want to know how to fix those corrupted saves that you have.
[END UPDATE]

Please let me know if you are still having problems with these fixes and I will try to do what I can.

Edited by Haldrie, 31 March 2007 - 07:36 PM.


#2
megaman_zer0

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To fix the problem in the DBZ games simply change the save type to eeprom+sensor

#3
Haldrie

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Is that all you have to do? Well if that's the case I'll post an update for vba-over.ini file. Thanks megaman_zer0.

[UPDATE]
Ok here is the update for the vba-over.ini file to allow the effected Dragon Ball games to work correctly:

Dragon Ball Z - Legacy of Goku (U)
[ALGE]
saveType=1

Dragon Ball Z - Taiketsu (U)
[BDBE]
saveType=1

Dragon Ball GT - Transformation (U)
[BT4E]
saveType=1

I have tested these setting for all three of the above games and they are working perfectly. I did not see the need to include the other Dragon Ball games as they already seem to work using VBA's auto detection feature.

Please let me know if any of the information in this topic has been useful to you.

[UPDATE]
I decided to actually look at a specs page for each of the above roms and have discovered that they really use just EEPROM not EEPROM+sensor (at least I hope that is what it meant). I have updated the above settings based on this information. Note, I have not yet tested them so if you are having problems with the new settings let me know.

Edited by Haldrie, 13 March 2007 - 05:21 PM.


#4
Haldrie

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Ok I've been getting several e-mails from people who have lost thier saves after beating the Elite Four on the Pokemon games. First of all, if you are using a ips patch for the games delete them. All these patches do is allow the Pokemon games to run useing only 64KB of flash memory (they are suppose to use 128KB). This "hack" causes more problems then fixing them as this is often the cause of lost save after the Elite Four since the game will actually use all 128KB of save space for that save before it restarts.

Now if you are not using an ips patch then you are in luck (sort of). Some of you may notice the ''The 1M sub-circuit board is not installed'' message after the "Press Start" screen. Well based on my last e-mail this message also shows up after beating the Elite Four. DO NOT use save states to solve this problem because they will be useless after the game restarts. To fix this problem all you will have to do is follow the steps for using the vba-over.ini file in the first post. The down side is that you will have to delete you old save (or at least back it up for now) in order for the fix to work. Sorry but there is no other way that I have yet found that will allow you to play the game properly without problems using your existing save. I know you worked hard to get where you are and I really am sorry but in order for the game to save properly the fix must be appied to a fresh save file.

Hopefully this answers any questions for you Pokemon fans out there. Now I have not been able to play any of the games all the way through on the emulator yet so hopefully everything will work.

#5
Haldrie

Haldrie

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I wish someone would post some comments so that I wouldn't have to double- (in this case triple-) post to add these major updates.

Anyway, as many of you have learned a new Pokemon game has just recently been release and the rom is hard to find but it is out there (I still can't get a copy of it to use for this topic). Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team for the Nintendo DS and Red Rescue Team for the GBA lets you be the Pokemon. Since the details of these new games have nothing to do with this topic they will not be provided, however there is another issue that I have seen involving Red Rescue Team that does require me to update this topic specifically for this game.

This game is not only unique as a Pokemon game but also as a GBA game as it has a flash memory size of 1MB. Now this is only based of information from another site that I have seen but that's what I'm going with for now until I find other information or until someone tells me otherwise. The real issue however is that there is already an IPS save patch for it. It sounds to me like it is having the same issues as all of the other Pokemon games mentioned in this topic. Now until I am able to get my hand on a copy of the (unpatched) rom, there really isn't much more I can say about this however, I will post a partial vba-over.ini file entry below.

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team (U)
[B24E]
rtcEnabled=?
flashSize=?

If anyone knows what the ?s are suppose to be for this to work please post it here or e-mail me. I have no information about whether the game uses the Real-Time Clock so that is why this line is included.

[UPDATE]
Good news! The game is capable of working perfectly using the same settings as all of the other Pokemon games. Here is the complete vba-over.ini entry:

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team (U)
[B24E]
flashSize=131072

Enjoy the game. I already am and it really is quite original and fun.

A special thanks to all of you who have viewed this topic (3500+ views :-) ) and to megaman_zer0 for providing me with a solution for the DBZ games. It really means a lot to me to see that someone is seeing this as it was really hard to gather and enter all of the information here in the first place (not that I'm complaining, this was my first topic on 1emulation). Please post your comments. It will encourage me to continue to update this topic as much as I can for future emu-lovers to see and to help those of you who simply can't figure out why your having problems in the first place.

Do not take advantage of me allowing these comments. As usual follow the board rules. The minor (unofficial) exception is staying on topic (at least it won't be as strictly inforced by me except for me). Your comments can be whatever you want them to be as long as they follow the rules and are about this topic and are not negitive in nature. I will do my best to answer any questions anyone may have so feel free to ask and yes I will answer questions by e-mail if you don't feel comfortable to post them here.

Ok, I think that's everything... Until next post then.

[UPDATE]
After doing some digging into the actual specs of the Pokemon roms themselves I have discovered that all of then behave the same way as this new Red Rescue Team rom does as far as saving. I will be able to provide a more in depth and detailed information into everything that I have posted here once I am able to get a web site running.

Edited by Haldrie, 22 September 2006 - 07:34 PM.


#6
Haldrie

Haldrie

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SHARE THIS TOPIC!!!

I have been surfing to some of the other emulation forums out there on the internet and have been seeing all kinds of people that have been having the same issues that are caused by an incorrect flash memory size in the Pokemon games. The people repying to them don't seem to know what the problem is and most of them sound like they have never even played the game in VBA before. If you are a member of such a forum and see anyone that is having issues with any of the GBA Pokemon games then please direct them to this topic.

I am making this a seperate post because I need it to stand out from the other information above it. There are just too many people out there playing these roms that are not experiencing the real game. Please do them all a favor and share this information.

I am going to try and set up a web site so I can be able to use pictures and video and what not to give a more visual representation of these fixes. This however will take me some time to take the screenshots, record the videos, recompile all of the information and so on and so on, so it won't be up any time soon. Until then I hope that everyone that sees this will find it as useful as I hope everyone that has seen it has.

Edited by Haldrie, 22 September 2006 - 07:35 PM.


#7
Robert

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Thanks for all the info Haldrie and the work you've put into it.

I'm guessing everyone can follow it so easily that there's no questions needed.

I don't use it myself as I'm more an arcade person.

Keep up the good work! :-)

#8
Haldrie

Haldrie

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Thanks for the recognition Robert :D . Just doing my part to help out the emulation community :-) . Great job with the forum BTW :clapping: . Even though it is no longer the only gamer/emulation forum that I am a part of, it is the one that log on to the most often.

Also anyone viewing this topic should also take a look at this one:
http://www.1emulatio...showtopic=19489

It has more information about the IPS patches that are being distributed for the Pokemon games to help "correct" the save problems in these games. These do not work and I made this topic to try and explain why.

Edited by Haldrie, 22 September 2006 - 11:09 PM.


#9
Haldrie

Haldrie

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Good news to all you Pokemon fans. It would seem that someone has found a way to fix correpted save files that were made by using the IPS patch.

http://www.dgemu.com...howtopic=154481

This post says it all but I'm not sure if everyone will truly be able to understand what to do after reading it (it took me a couple of reads before I understood it) so I will post my own modified version of this "save fix" here.

How to fix you corrupted Pokemon saves.
Ok, the first step it to get a non-patched version of the game and perform either of the fixes that are discribed in the first post. The only thing you should NOT do is delete you save. If you took my advice in one of the above posts and back-up your old save then this is where it is going to pay off.

Some of you might have noticed that after applying one of my fix solutions and then saved your game again using the already corrupted save the games save file size increased to 128KB. Well that just so happens to be the first step of this solution. If you still have a corrupt save and the file size is 64KB then get a non-patched copy of whatever game the save is for (or better yet of all of the games) and then perform one of the fixes. After that, load your game using the corrupt save file (at this point if you have a good save from previously using the fixes discribed in this topic then back them up now as you will loose the save otherwise) and perform an in-game save. You should now have a save file that is 128KB in size.

Now, this is the tricky part. Close the game after saving and move the save file to another folder (one that you can browse to easily using an open file window). Make sure that there is no longer a save file for the game in whatever folder the save file usually auto-loads from and then load up your game again. At this point got to File->Import->Battery File and choose the save file that I just had you move. You will still get a "Corrupt Save" message but don't worry about it. Now, save the game again and reset the emulator. The save error message should no longer be displayed and a new save file should now be in your usual save directory with a file size of 128KB.

Now please note that all of this information is based on the original author's post in the provided link above and has in no way been tested by me. The author claims to have been able to play past the Elite Four in Emerald without any problems after using this save fix and for everyone elses sake that reads this, I hope he's right.

For those of you that are using save states...I'm not sure how exactly to go about helping you guys out. You might be able to do the same thing if you are using save states with the IPS patches but like I said I have not tested it and at this time I don't really have any way of testing this.

As usual I hope that every finds this information useful and please feel free to post your comments and "Thank You"s here.

P.S. Who attacked me?!?

Edited by Haldrie, 25 September 2006 - 02:24 AM.


#10
Robert

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P.S. Who attacked me?!?


megaman_zer0 -26 -2 Haldrie -16 -29 Expired

Him ^^

P.S. click on your name (above your avatar), and scroll to the bottom.

#11
Haldrie

Haldrie

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What nerve...and after I thanked him for the DBZ info.

To everyone that is viewing this topic, be sure to check back often as I have been editing the above posts to add extra info and to correct some spelling or grammer mistakes (silly me :whistling:). Since this was my first topic and because I know that there are a lot of people still wanting to know how to get there games to save in VBA I have been checking back here often to check for replies and stuff. I have noticed the view count quickly going up almost every time I check it (now well over 3600 views).

I am also still interested in hearing from those of you who have been helped by this topic. You don't have to have a question, just let me know how much this topic has helped you and that will be good enough for me (it would also help to have someone other then me posting here).

[UPDATE]
I have now posted my own "vba-over.ini" file on my homepage (note: there is no link to it on the site I'm just hosting the file there since I can't figure out how to add attachments to posts).
Click here to download the file if you are having trouble making your own. It only contains the Pokemon games (including Red Rescue Team) for right now since I'm guessing most of you that are this are doing so for these games. I may add more games to the file in the future but for now you can use it as a stepping stone and add more yourself when you download it. Hope this helps everyone coming here.

[EDIT]
The link in this post is still active but due to possible bandwidth issues with the hosting site it is recommended that you use the one in post #16 on page 2.

Edited by Haldrie, 31 March 2007 - 07:40 PM.





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