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LeafGreen .SAV file from Anbernic RG35XX not loading into PKHeX


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I've recently purchased an Anbernic RG35XX to play ROMs in my spare time.

I started out playing Pokemon Leaf Green because it was one I never played growing up. I grew up with Gen 1 and 2.

The Anbernic has some ROMs preloaded and this was one of them. I've got about 8 hrs into the game now and have run into a bug on the SS Anne when trying to get the Cut HM. 

I have a saved file and ROM state saved, up until the point before the glitch happens. I got an updated ROM that is supposed to fix this issue and copied it onto my SD card and followed another article to start a new game because the beginning of the game states that the save file was deleted anyways, and then replaced that save file with the one I have play time on, but the game always says the file was deleted after I save over it.

I was then going to look in PKHeX at the two .SAV files to see what could be changed to get the new ROM to see the old save file, but the old save file won't open and I get the below error.


Could it be an issue with the ROM itself?

I did add the old ROM back on the SD card and was able to start the old .SAV file at the correct point and even save again and play as long as I don't go to the point of the glitch.

I would like to see how I can get this save file working with the v1.1 ROM that doesn't have the glitch issue.


005 Pokemon Leaf Green.sav

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@Kaphotics man that was just what I needed!

It looks like it was an issue with that specific ROM.

I replaced the stock image with Garlic OS, used a new ROM, saved a new game (.SRM instead of .SAV @ 128KB), and then was able to copy all the data over to the new save using PKHeX and it worked perfectly.

Made my way back to the SS Anne and the glitch issue was gone and everything was kept intact.

Thanks for your help!

Edited by peteywhit
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  • 1 month later...
On 11/13/2023 at 5:19 AM, Kaphotics said:

Save file sizes should be twice that size (64KB -> 128KB).

Brief inspection of the save data shows that save sectors 8 & 9 are duplicated; shifting the duplicate to the end allows the save to be recognized.


005 Pokemon Leaf Green.sav 64 kB · 42 downloads

I'm sorry, I'm a little bit lost, how did you do that? I'll attach my sav file too, just in case 

004 Pokemon Fire Red.sav

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

@Strato @leafgreen357 and @ anyone else struggling with this issue:

I’m not sure what exactly Kaphotics did to fix peteywhit’s save file, but I was struggling with this same error loading my FireRed save into PkHeX. From my own testing + similar sentiments I’ve seen online, there appears to be an issue that affects .sav files created from certain Pokémon ROMs that come pre-loaded on the Anbernic RG35XX. Specifically in this case, “004 Pokemon Fire Red.gba” and “005 Pokemon Leaf Green.gba” create these 64kb .sav files that PkHeX and other programs see as invalid. I’m not sure if this is an issue with the ROM, or the emulator, or the OS, or whatever (or maybe this isn’t a “problem” at all? I’m pretty new in this space and I don’t know what I don’t know), but the fact of the matter here is that .sav files created from these pre-installed ROMs don’t seem to play nicely with other emulators/applications.


What I did to fix this: I ran my .sav through this gbaconv-web tool: https://thysbelon.github.io/gbaconv-web/

This tool will convert the ~64kb .sav into a ~128kb .srm, which you can then load into PkHeX and export to a new file. I personally just wanted to take my save from the stock OS and have a modded copy to play in RetroArch on garlicOS, and I was having a really hard time until I found this tool. So now I’m going around everywhere I see this question to try and spread the good word.

If you need to convert back to .sav you can just run it back through that tool, or I think you might be able to just rename it from .srm to .sav (I haven’t had to convert back to .sav so I haven’t tried this)


@Strato I ran your save through the tool I linked above. See if you can open the attached file in PkHeX. If so, then make your changes and export to a new file. I’m away from my PC and can’t remember if PkHeX exports as .sav or .srm (or both?), but if you need to convert a .srm back to .sav when you’re done, just run it back through that gbaconv-web tool. Hope this helps!

004 Pokemon Fire Red.srm

Edited by hipp013
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To fix your issue, download a new ROM. The LeafGreen ROM that comes with the RG35XX is broken and causes the SS Anne issue. I think it’s against the rules for me to link the ROM here, but you can easily find it on Google; just look up “Pokemon leaf green ROM” and the first result should be the one you want.

So first, download that new ROM. Then load that ROM into the emulator (use the mGBA core if you can) and create a new save by completing the beginning sequence then performing an in-game save.

Next, take your original .sav where you’re running into the SS Anne glitch, and use the tool I mentioned above to convert your .sav to .srm: https://thysbelon.github.io/gbaconv-web/

After this, you should be able to open the .srm file in PkHeX. Or I think you can also just manually change the .srm extension to .sav but I haven’t tried this.

If you edit the file in PkHeX, save your changes to a new file, and name the file to exactly match the name of the fresh .sav you created using the new ROM. So if the new ROM’s file name is “Pokemon - Leaf Green Version (U) (V1.1)”, rename your .sav to “Pokemon - Leaf Green Version (U) (V1.1).sav”. 

I can’t remember if PkHeX saves as a .sav or .srm (or both?), but if you end up with a .srm and need a .sav (i.e. if you aren’t using RetroArch), just run the .srm back through the tool I linked above and it will spit out a .sav.

Lastly, replace the fresh .sav/.srm with your desired .sav/.srm, and you should be good to go.

Edited by hipp013
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