Why the IPS patches were created:
Well I don't know for a fact why but it seems to be because VBA could no recognize the correct flash memory size for the new Pokemon games, a problem that still exists as of 1.7 which was the first version that could run the new Pokemon games in the first place. The games would display a message after the "Press Start" screen that mentioned a missing 1-M sub-curcuit and would then preceed to run the game after you pressed A. The real problem would then occur when you tried to save your game. A save error would then be displayed. The only solution for this would have normally been to simply use "Save States" but what about when the game resets itself after the Elite Four (Fire Red and Leaf Green)? This problem is still evident with the IPS patch however, as the save seems to just dissappear and the game will start from the begining again (based on emails and other forum posts as mentioned above).
The IPS Solution:
Force the game to save using the default VBA flash size of only 64KB. All of the Pokemon games were made to use 128KB of memory for the save file. This is why you get the message "Save is corrupted" after the "Press Start" screen when you use the patch. The game will still load the save but as I know I have already mentioned the patch creates a problem after you beat the Elite Four (Fire Red and Leaf Green). There might be more problems but this one seem to stand out more. I don't know about Emerald but I'm guessing that it will cause a similar problem as well. Ruby and Sapphire seem to have similar problems but I haven't really done to much with these games as I have already fixed them with the solution below.
The Solution to IPS patches:
The solution is simple. Create a vba-over.ini file and enter the correct flash memory size for each Pokemon game. Using this file with the VBA emulator will override it's setting for each game entered in the vba-over.ini file. I joined 1emulation to be able to post the detaileds for thie solution when I discovered it and I hope that everyone has found it useful (I just wish that someone would post the comments so I know if it is really helping people). Click here to view this topic if you need help creating the vba-over.ini file or if you think you have any additional info about it that is not already included in that topic (such as what settings to use for the new Mystery Dungeon game). I will soon update that topic to include the new Mystery Dungeon game once I have obtained a rom to experiment with myself.
Hopefully this gets through to someone. People have to know these IPS patches are no good.
After some hypothosising, based on what I have disovered today once I was able to work with Red Rescue Team and from my experience with the other Pokemon games, I think I might have a true solution for why these games are so unique.
If you have ever tried to play Pokemon Fire Red or Leaf Green in VBA, using default settings and no patch, you might have notice the little message that says something about the 1-M sub-curcuit is missing. It would be save to assume that it is talking about the save chip on the GBA card. I read recently on a site that the new Mystery Dungeon Red Rescue Team game has 1MB of flash memory for the save file however, the game works fine using the 128KB flash size setting in VBA. Based on this I believe that each of these games actually has a 1MB "sub-curcuit" flash chip that it uses for save data but only saves 128KB of data to this chip for the game. VBA still cannot properly detect this for some reason so it tries to use whatever flash memory size is selected in Save Type settings menu. The default of course being 64KB. Most people, rather then try and experement with VBA's setting to find something that worked (like I finally did), chose to simply create a patch that forces the game to ignore the amount of flash memory and save anyway. I have not tried to use the patch for Red Rescue Team (and I don't think I ever will) but I can already see how people might think that it is working as there is no error message when you start the game without the patch using the 64KB flash setting. The only way you can tell that something is wrong is when you (finally) get to save. The game will then display a "Save Failed" massage and will then simply continue as normal. Now all of this is just my theory (based on some facts) so don't go critisising me for this if I'm wrong.
Well, it's getting to the point where I might have to start making a web page just to fit all of the information that I have. For the moment though, I'll just try and fit all of the information I can into my (currently) two topics in this thread. I enjoy reading other people's opinions and help them out if they need it.
Ok, so it seems I misread the specs page for the Pokemon games. The flash chip is 1Mb not 1MB (which I'm guessing converts into 128KB). This is what threw me off to begin with. Next time I'll be sure to double check what I'm reading before I go posting false information again.
If you have been using the IPS patch and would like to still be able to use your save after removing the patch click on the link below.
Edited by Haldrie, 16 October 2006 - 03:46 PM.