Perhaps you would consider dumping your save data and storing it on your PC?
You should be able to do that fairly easily with a DS Lite and a cheap flashcart, or alternatively a Game Boy Player and a Gamecube capable of running homebrew.
There are random item drops that often cannot be used by the character that picks them up, the game has a in level storage mechanism to transfer items between save profiles. For example, if Gandalf finds the best bow in the game, it won't do that profile any good although it can be placed in the storage for Legolas to pick up. The only way restoring would be useful Is If I could restore 1 of 4 profiles, and choose which save slot it was restored to. That seems like it would require building some custom software from scratch, so back to hacking the existing rom.
I don't much care what the menu looks like as long as it functions, and I know what character save profile I have selected to load.
If it weren't for the ability to transfer items between profiles then I would simply run two versions of the same file, however each profile can benefit all other profiles. Lets assume I'm running an emulator and I will worry about finding a compatible flash cart later
August 19, 2018, 07:10:35 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Apparently I timed out while typing my last response, so the more eloquent statement is lost.
As someone suggested, some of the GBA LOTR games were fairly good. The GBA version of LOTR ROTK is one of my favorite games, and a good hack n' slash. I have heard the GBA Two Towers is of a similar format, also lacking in one or two helpful save slots. Perhaps if this goes well I'll move to that game.
I don't know anything about this game in particular, but if there's 4 slots, there's very probably a good reason, and increasing the # of slots without affecting the game in any way if probably extremely difficult.
GBA has 3 type of saves, battery, EEPROM and FlashROM. All those have tradeoffs, and limited memory available. It seems extremely unlikly to me the developers would purposedly use only half of the available memory, leaving half unused and unuseable. So it's most likely most memory is used, and that doubling the # of save slots requires a larger saving memory, something which is non trivial.
Even if this could potentially be feasible (I don't know), it's not an easy job type of hack.
In all cases to play hacked GBA ROMs you need some dumping device, so you can just as well back-up your saves, and in some cases restore them, with it.
I hope your right on the last point. I am trying a .GBA file found elsewhere to get started with until my Retrode plugin arrives for me to get the actual file I want to use.
I tried opening the file in notepad, it didn't seem to work. Do I need a special software specifically for reading GBA roms files or just a better programming software than notepad? Is an ASCII search a fancy of saying text search, Ctrl + F?
GBA tool advance says the file uses EEPROM_V122 as the save type.
From what I understand from the previous replies, I need to change the save type to a larger format to allow for more save slots, then I can easily add a additional, not alternate, set of 4 save files. the extra slots would automatically use the stock graphics and settings. I could swap between which of the two sets of four would be shown for loading by pressing a button such as the left or right shoulder. If that is the case then all I'd need is a logo in the menu to indicate that the shoulders are used to scroll and'd it'd look professional.
People keep mentioning that ability to completely change the file save system type, as apposed to a larger capacity version of the same system with out explaining why that would be helpful. Is there a thread I should read that explains what that accomplishes and when if ever it would be desirable.
Again the saves need to be connected, there is an in game mechanic for moving items between save slots, and if the saves are isolated I might as well just buy another cartridge. I am not sure if it is the saves that detect each other or the game shell, however the game keeps track of items being stored to be picked up in other profiles, the progress of the other saves, and non-item collectibles. If someone could look at the code and determine if it is the save slots detecting each other or the game shell, that might be very helpful and I'd be appreciative.
Since so many suggested I give up and just run two unaltered roms I will explain my reasoning in another way. In order to unlock all the maps for all the characters, I have to play through each characters story twice, even though there are 6 initial characters and 4 slots. some things are only unlocked by beating the game with the other characters, others by finding in game character specific non-item collectibles usually near the end of the story, and if I recall only accessible after the first play through. I'd have to play through 4 characters stories twice, then delete two of those characters, and play through two more characters stories twice. That would allow me to unlock the bonus maps, and one extra character, the other unlocked through a GameCube link. Now that everything is unlocked, I could duplicate that save, and on the duplicate delete all 4 save slots so I can start over with the two characters I first deleted and the other two slots being used by the unlockable characters. I mentioned being able to move items including the ultra rare random drops such as for example the best item in the game for a specific character, like a wizard staff for Gandalf not doing Frodo any good, to that character's slot from any other character's slot. If I have two separate files for the 8 characters and I get an amazing drop for a character on the opposite file, then I have no way to get it to them, unlike If I had a modded file with all 8 save slots. I cannot unlock everything for any one character unless I delete saves for other characters. If using two cartridges was an acceptable solution I wouldn't be here hoping to learn how to fix this game issue.