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Bootleg With Save Chip


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I hope this is the right forum.

I've run into an interesting situation with a bootleg. From what I'd found with research, most R/S/E bootlegs flash the save directly to the game files, so if you rip the ROM and boot it up with an emulator, you can access your save file that way. This one didn't have a PKHex-recognizable save, even though it wasn't bringing up an empty save like those bootlegs usually do, and the save wasn't part of the ROM, so I ended up contacting the bootleggers directly (I bought a special edition Kyogre gameboy, and got the bootleg sapphire as a freebie with the gameboy, and checking their site indicated that they don't pretend that their reproductions are original cartridges).

They say that they added a save chip- it's just apparently not compatible with PKHex or Pokemon Diamond.

FWIW, as far as bootlegs go, this was a pretty well-done one. It's got a battery, and it had me totally fooled until I checked the label.

I don't have a special screwdriver yet, but I'm thinking of ordering one just to take this apart. In the meantime, does anyone have any suggestions as to what I should do with the bootleg?

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I'll do you one better- here's the save and the .gba file (removed)

The game seems to save just fine. I can power it off, remove it from the gameboy, plug it into the DS, rip the files, plug it back into the gameboy, and it works fine. RTC is accurate, or accurate enough that I don't notice any differences.

POKEMON_SAPP_AXPE02 (2).sav

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5 minutes ago, sobbingsobble said:

@theSLAYER So, I'm an idiot. What does not having a save partition mean, here?

its looks like complete garbage data, though there is a chance it's encrypted.

Gen 3 save structure has recognizable "blocks", that can be seen at the footer of the block.
(my save) image.png


However your file is filled with non-0 values,
so it doesn't look like any block footer can be seen..
 

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1 hour ago, sobbingsobble said:

...Huh. Alright, then. So there's definitely a save, that's not saved to the ROM itself... but I'd have to make an entirely new program to read it?

Erm, that's if we assume the data you sent isn't an encrypted save.

Otherwise, the data you sent is garbage data and isn't the save.

If you can hex edit the rom, try looking for the save inside. or screenshot any area that have blank spaces and data at the end, that might be the footer of the save.

Also take a look at the bulbapedia link I sent you, to help you figure out if it is or isn't a save.

 

edit: Your save is in the game you uploaded (but I removed). Location..
image.png


This is your save, right?
image.png


Edit again: location of another save:
image.png

Both seems to be the exactly same tho.
 

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12 minutes ago, theSLAYER said:

Erm, that's if we assume the data you sent isn't an encrypted save.

Otherwise, the data you sent it garbage data and isn't the save.

If you can hex edit the rom, try looking for the save inside. or screenshot any area that have blank spaces and data at the end, that might be the footer of the save.

Also take a look at the bulbapedia link I sent you, to help you figure out if it is or isn't a save.

 

edit: Your save is in the game you uploaded (but I removed). Location..
image.png


This is your save, right?
image.png

There it is! That's my save!

So the moral of the story is that I just suck at breaking into the rom lmao. Thank you!

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8 minutes ago, sobbingsobble said:

There it is! That's my save!

So the moral of the story is that I just suck at breaking into the rom lmao. Thank you!

I used the these bytes to try to find the save

Quote

00 00 00 FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF

from here
image.png


Once I find that part in your save, I take the first address of the 0xFF, and minus 0x1E000 from said address, so that I find the starting address of the save. That's how I got the two locations in prev post.

(not sure you saw it, but I added in a part that both saves seems to be the same)

 

I'm also not sure that the saves are in fixed spots. Any further dumps may have them in a different point, so you can use that method to search.

Anyhow, the two files
test.sav
test2.sav

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2 minutes ago, theSLAYER said:

I used the these bytes to try to find the save

from here
image.png


Once I find that part in your save, I take the first address of the 0xFF, and minus 0x1E000 from it, so that I find the starting address of the save. That's how I got the two locations in prev post.

(not sure you saw it, but I added in a part that both saves seems to be the same)

 

I'm also not sure that the saves are in fixed spots. Any further dumps may have them in a different point, so you can use that method to search.

Anyhow, the two files
test.sav
test2.sav

Again, thank you so much! I'm really not good at this, so I appreciate you taking the time and effort to hand-hold me.

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10 hours ago, sobbingsobble said:

Again, thank you so much! I'm really not good at this, so I appreciate you taking the time and effort to hand-hold me.

Update: I created a mini-program that hopefully rips saves out from the bootleg ROM. Program here.

So far, it works on your copy (from what I can tell).

 

The saves dumped by the program is also more accurate then the ones I sent you;
the saves I sent you doesn't work when imported into an emulator, but the ones this program dumps does.

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14 hours ago, theSLAYER said:

Update: I created a mini-program that hopefully rips saves out from the bootleg ROM. Program here.

So far, it works on your copy (from what I can tell).

 

The saves dumped by the program is also more accurate then the ones I sent you;
the saves I sent you doesn't work when imported into an emulator, but the ones this program dumps does.

You are the hero of our times. Praise.

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@sobbingsobble your images aren't showing, so I deleted them.

Note that your images were hosted on a googledrive or something. Our site CAN host images
(you can just drag and drop them at the Drag Files portion when making a reply)
image.png

Also, consider having images in a spoiler or reducing their size.
For example, the image I uploaded is of a reduced size (double clicking on the image when crafting a reply will pop up options, which includes ability to change size)
If you click on an image in my post, it should show you the full size; doing this reduces the size in the main post, without making the post look too big :D

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  • 4 months later...

@theSLAYER as I'm learning about all the proper processes, sorry me if I'm being fool in my curiosity, I have a question for whom can answer me: How these ripped saves can be restored? By intuition, is it just use nds GBA Tool to reinject? I have an old FireRed save unfinished from MyBoy that I love much but I tried to restore it in the bootleg cart to finally end the journey and the process failed. Someone kindly help me? Sorry me if I'm flooding the topic, I just want to know how to do the right process... Take your time for answer all my curious queries hahaha

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11 minutes ago, KMSteter_88 said:

How these ripped saves can be restored?

As in back into a Bootleg GBA cart? I'm not sure if you want to.
I'm unsure if the bootleg GBA memory [for that particular kind of bootleg] (which stores the ROM + save) can be reflashed.

Given that it can be reflashed by the cart itself to store the save, you would think that the memory chip can be reflashed.

However if you screw up, you'll also lose any playability (cause the sector that contains the game is gone).

If you want to risk it, you'll gonna have to place the edited save back into where part of the ROM dump where it was stored,
then use whatever tool you used to dump the ROM to restore the ROM.

Basically not a methodology I'll recommend to people who don't know what they're doing.
Stick to real carts, not bootleg carts..

11 minutes ago, KMSteter_88 said:

I have an old FireRed save unfinished from MyBoy that I love much but I tried to restore it in the bootleg cart to finally end the journey and the process failed.

Once again, if your bootleg cart stores the save as part of the ROM, refer to the first part of my answer.
Treat it as impossible for your technical level.

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1 minute ago, KMSteter_88 said:

if you have a youtube video link to suggest I'll appreciate it a lot.

I don't think there is one.
Note: what I'm about to say only applies to bootleg copies that stores the save as a sector of the rom dump.
Not every bootleg treats saves this way.

For starters, learn how to find a save in your rom dump using hex editor.
Once you get that done, learn how to replace the save in your rom dump using hex editor.

If you cannot get the above 2 points done, no point worrying about restoring the save.

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23 hours ago, theSLAYER said:

For starters, learn how to find a save in your rom dump using hex editor.
Once you get that done, learn how to replace the save in your rom dump using hex editor.

Hail @theSLAYER So I got successfully edit the rom with a hex editor thanks for these tips from you, I used that save bootleg extractor that you suggested, I saw that generates two save files (save0 and save1), this triggers my curiosity because on save0 nothing new, in save1 contains the test edition I've made.

I wonder why is generating two different saves and if is it alright?

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does my program generate two saves? I can't remember frankly.
Maybe your cart keeps a backup. who knows at this point.

As long as you can check the values on the saves, what does it matter? :/
It's not like I am the authority of bootleg carts XD

Also, I'm kinda confused by what you said. Using my program to extract saves from your ROM dump is not the same as editing said ROM dump with a Hex editor.

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