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Pokémon Emerald GBA - Corrupt Save File


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Hi all,

Recently I tried my GBA copy of Pokémon Emerald with my Nintendo DS lite but sadly got an error message when starting the game.

The error message is as follows:

The save file has been erased due to corruption or damage.

 

So after some research I found out that this might be because my copy is not a legitimate version but possibly a knock-off. It's been a long time since I bought it so I don't recall where I got it, but it wasn't in a physical store but at some online retailer.

After looking around on the internet I figured I could try and buy a device that can read the cartridge so I bought the GBxCart RW 1.4 Pro Reader and was able to detect the cartridge and download my save file.

I'm not sure if this info is relevant but below is a screenshot from the program. I've also attached the .sav file.

image.png.84727e7258355c34caf9d5ce0db8caf1.png

 

 

After this I downloaded the VisualBoyAdvance emulator to see if the save would load there but sadly I got the same error.

So, after some Googling I saw quite some posts on this forum with people asking for help recovering their save file. So here I am doing the same.

If someone has the knowledge and time, I'd highly appreciate if you could take a look to see if anything is salvageable. 

 

Please let me know if any other info is needed.

 

Kind regards,

A nostalgic Pokémon player 

 

 

POKEMON EMER_BPEE.sav

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, theSLAYER said:

set to 128 and try again

Hi, thanks for your reply.

As you asked I created another save file but changed the ROM Size to 128MB. See the screenshot below:

image.png.6e533be0522d8223a7fabf3a56a918ab.png

 

After loading this in the simulator it shows another error now and the game does load a save file, except that the save file only has my name and 0 progression.

The save file is corrupted. The previous save file will be loaded.

I made a little clip as an example (cut out some Windows explorer paths for privacy reasons):

image.gif

 

Any other suggestions I could try?

 

-Edit: Added the .sav file

 

POKEMON EMER_BPEE.sav

Edited by Vedana
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2 hours ago, Vedana said:

Hi, thanks for your reply.

As you asked I created another save file but changed the ROM Size to 128MB. See the screenshot below:

image.png.6e533be0522d8223a7fabf3a56a918ab.png

 

After loading this in the simulator it shows another error now and the game does load a save file, except that the save file only has my name and 0 progression.

The save file is corrupted. The previous save file will be loaded.

I made a little clip as an example (cut out some Windows explorer paths for privacy reasons):

image.gif

 

Any other suggestions I could try?

 

-Edit: Added the .sav file

 

POKEMON EMER_BPEE.sav 64 kB · 1 download

Sorry I was referring to RAM size/save type. Original was (64KB) in your screenshot.

once you set it to 128, try loading it in PKHeX. After that, export the save from PKHeX, then try restoring into your game.

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40 minutes ago, theSLAYER said:

Sorry I was referring to RAM size/save type. Original was (64KB) in your screenshot.

once you set it to 128, try loading it in PKHeX. After that, export the save from PKHeX, then try restoring into your game.

Ahh, okay. I put it to 128 and made a new backup. Settings below.

image.png.b99664c068137636704e8312d755f24d.png

 

 

Then loaded it into PKHeX but that sadly already showed all the boxes and party as being empty, screenshots below.

(Last screenshot is the red triangle's warning - but I assume this is for adding a new Pokémon from the left hand menu.)

image.png.81b979db1e033069bc85f8b8ae545bd9.png

image.png.6811a1b40c4914cb1a5ffe92993ca6f3.png

image.png.16b8521f0c722f588c27a512b523de69.png

 

After loading it into my emulator it showed the same error as my previous post.

The save file is corrupted. The previous save file will be loaded.

 

If there's a way to just salvage the Pokémon I had that would definitely be great (even if it were just the stats and whatnot). I don't necessarily need the progression in the game. The reason I'd like to recover this is so I could transfer the Pokémon I had into the newer generation games.  

 

I've attached the new save file and the PKHeX save file.

 

I really appreciate your help so far :)

 

POKEMON EMER_BPEE.sav POKEMON EMER_BPEE-export.sav

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10 hours ago, Vedana said:

Ahh, okay. I put it to 128 and made a new backup. Settings below.

image.png.b99664c068137636704e8312d755f24d.png

 

 

Then loaded it into PKHeX but that sadly already showed all the boxes and party as being empty, screenshots below.

(Last screenshot is the red triangle's warning - but I assume this is for adding a new Pokémon from the left hand menu.)

image.png.81b979db1e033069bc85f8b8ae545bd9.png

image.png.6811a1b40c4914cb1a5ffe92993ca6f3.png

image.png.16b8521f0c722f588c27a512b523de69.png

 

After loading it into my emulator it showed the same error as my previous post.

The save file is corrupted. The previous save file will be loaded.

 

If there's a way to just salvage the Pokémon I had that would definitely be great (even if it were just the stats and whatnot). I don't necessarily need the progression in the game. The reason I'd like to recover this is so I could transfer the Pokémon I had into the newer generation games.  

 

I've attached the new save file and the PKHeX save file.

 

I really appreciate your help so far :)

 

POKEMON EMER_BPEE.sav 128 kB · 3 downloads POKEMON EMER_BPEE-export.sav 128 kB · 3 downloads

So I used the non-export save, tried to use both save blocks in that one save to make a full save, and they both have a game that saved at the start. So it sounds like either you saved over your own game at the beginning, or maybe some nonsense going on with your cart v dumper.

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2 hours ago, theSLAYER said:

So I used the non-export save, tried to use both save blocks in that one save to make a full save, and they both have a game that saved at the start. So it sounds like either you saved over your own game at the beginning, or maybe some nonsense going on with your cart v dumper.

Ah, that's strange. Seeing how I before I started this thread I couldn't even get the game to start because I was never able to get past the initial error.

Oh well, thanks for all the effort you put in. I'll just have to start over then.

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6 hours ago, Vedana said:

Ah, that's strange. Seeing how I before I started this thread I couldn't even get the game to start because I was never able to get past the initial error.

Oh well, thanks for all the effort you put in. I'll just have to start over then.

Can you confirm if you cart is a real or fake cart? Perhaps try using another method to dump your cart?

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35 minutes ago, theSLAYER said:

Can you confirm if you cart is a real or fake cart? Perhaps try using another method to dump your cart?

After watching some videos on it I believe it's probably a fake copy. It doesn't have the glistening on the label and there's no number printed above the Nintendo seal on the right.

Guess I got scammed, luckily I didn't pay more than 10 buck for it at the time.

Currently I don't have any other method to dump the cart, the GBxCart RW 1.4 Pro Reader is all I have.

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2 hours ago, Vedana said:

After watching some videos on it I believe it's probably a fake copy. It doesn't have the glistening on the label and there's no number printed above the Nintendo seal on the right.

Guess I got scammed, luckily I didn't pay more than 10 buck for it at the time.

Currently I don't have any other method to dump the cart, the GBxCart RW 1.4 Pro Reader is all I have.

Given that you didn’t pay more than $10 then, it would probably have been safe to surmise it is fake XD

Try using your tool to dump the ROM, then use our tool to extract saves from bootleg ROMs gives you any saves. Remember to not upload the ROM here. Let me know if the extractor gives you any saves.

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On 4/22/2022 at 9:27 AM, theSLAYER said:

Given that you didn’t pay more than $10 then, it would probably have been safe to surmise it is fake XD

Try using your tool to dump the ROM, then use our tool to extract saves from bootleg ROMs gives you any saves. Remember to not upload the ROM here. Let me know if the extractor gives you any saves.

That makes sense yeah, I was quite young at the time of purchase.

I made a ROM backup with my tool and then tried the quick and full search options but sadly both say "No saves found!".

 

After that I tried another tool which I found here. This tool did come up with something:

image.png.42840c529a00d187d9c026df3d218f26.png

 

But after trying this save in my emulator it goes back to the first warning:

The save file has been erased due to corruption or damage.

I've attached the save file from this other tool. Anything we can do with this?

<This portion was cut out, cause it was checked and verified to be just a dump of the portion of the ROM>

 

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6 hours ago, Vedana said:

That makes sense yeah, I was quite young at the time of purchase.

I made a ROM backup with my tool and then tried the quick and full search options but sadly both say "No saves found!".

 

After that I tried another tool which I found here. This tool did come up with something:

image.png.42840c529a00d187d9c026df3d218f26.png

 

But after trying this save in my emulator it goes back to the first warning:

The save file has been erased due to corruption or damage.

I've attached the save file from this other tool. Anything we can do with this?

POKEMON EMER_BPEE.sav 128 kB · 1 download

I panicked for a moment, and thought my program borked. Turns out, it didn't. This is absolutely not a save.

If no tools are finding actual saves, then I guess it's not really anywhere.

Out of curiosity, go back to the save dumping tool, and switch the SRAM to max size the dropdown menu would allow. See what it dumps.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, theSLAYER said:

I panicked for a moment, and thought my program borked. Turns out, it didn't. This is absolutely not a save.

If no tools are finding actual saves, then I guess it's not really anywhere.

Out of curiosity, go back to the save dumping tool, and switch the SRAM to max size the dropdown menu would allow. See what it dumps.

Sure, I put the Save Type on "Unlicensed 1M SRAM (128 kb)" and made a backup of the ROM and Save Data. See settings below:

image.png.b2879a5ad1de8d6814ea57bf403eefe2.png

 

I've attached the exported .sav file.

 

(Hope this is what you meant.)

 

-edit-

I've also tried the tool to extract the save from the ROM with this new export. This is still calculating.  No saves found.

 

-edit 2-

Just now I tried loading the new exported ROM with the new exported save file. This time the game gave the message "The save will be loaded." But after that the save file still had 0 progression, only my username. 

 

POKEMON EMER_BPEE.sav

Edited by Vedana
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4 minutes ago, theSLAYER said:

Anyhow, I'm assuming the 0:26 second save is a state where you saved a long time ago?

Yeah, I'm not sure about that. I at least don't remember making a new save that early into the game and override my old save.

Last time I used the cartridge was years and years ago. And last I remember from when I did play all those years ago is that I was close to finishing the game and had caught Rayquaza. 

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11 minutes ago, Vedana said:

Yeah, I'm not sure about that. I at least don't remember making a new save that early into the game and override my old save.

Last time I used the cartridge was years and years ago. And last I remember from when I did play all those years ago is that I was close to finishing the game and had caught Rayquaza. 


How odd. How Gen 3 saves work, is that store a save in Block A and Block B, so that in case one Block corrupts, the game can revert to the other working block.
However, both of your blocks are the "0:26 save". I would have hoped to get the 'caught Rayquaza save', even if partially corrupted, in one of the blocks, but it is no where to be found.

Perhaps your cart saved it in some other area of the cart. Try finding out what kind of bootleg you may have (I don't know, maybe look at the physical cart for keywords and google them), then maybe you can try to see how to extract the corrupted save, if it even exists anymore :/

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, theSLAYER said:


How odd. How Gen 3 saves work, is that store a save in Block A and Block B, so that in case one Block corrupts, the game can revert to the other working block.
However, both of your blocks are the "0:26 save". I would have hoped to get the 'caught Rayquaza save', even if partially corrupted, in one of the blocks, but it is no where to be found.

Perhaps your cart saved it in some other area of the cart. Try finding out what kind of bootleg you may have (I don't know, maybe look at the physical cart for keywords and google them), then maybe you can try to see how to extract the corrupted save, if it even exists anymore :/

Very interesting, I'll do some more digging and researching. If I find something I'll post it here.

My tool does show the ROM's checksum, do you think that's of any use in looking for a way to extract it?

 

FYI; It's 3AM here right now, so this will be my final reply for today. I'll start searching tomorrow.

Edited by Vedana
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Quick update.

After opening the GBA cartridge I did some searching for ways to extract saves from corrupt fake copies with the all the text and numbers that are on the internal parts but sadly couldn't find anything useful.

However after cleaning the circuit board with an alcohol wipe and reassembling it and then testing it in my Nintendo DS Lite, the cartridge worked again, or at least it gave the message that the save would be loaded. But of course, the save it loaded was the 26 second save. 

So with that I think it's fairly save to assume my old save is just completely gone. RIP Rayquaza.

 

Once again, thanks for your help theSLAYER and sorry for wasting your time.

 

 

 

image.gif.7039737e876d2de6bea4bd0566a19f48.gif

 

 

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Yeah, that's the thing that baffles me the most. I would assume that you would have saved multiple times leading up from the start of the game to Sky Pillar, so if the 26 second came from a very early point of your playthrough, that should have been overwritten at this point.

Anyway sorry I couldn't help.

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