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Shin Megami Tensei - GBA - save issues

Started by Onamazu, February 21, 2023, 11:54:34 AM

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As a newcomer I had a quick issue I needed help with. Firstly, thanks for creating this amazing site and all the hard work that goes into creating these customs.
I recently downloaded the Shin Megami Tensei GBA hack that overlays the iOS script. Everything worked fine, but for some reason I am unable to load any saved game. I am opening the game using GBARunnner2 off an R4 card. I am able to save normally, but when I exit the game and then try and go back in to load the previous progress, the "Load Game" option is greyed out. I've tried on both a DS and a 3DS, , both with the same result. Is there a setting I'm missing or something I've overlooked?
thank you very much in advance!


Does the game run properly if you use it on an emulator on your PC, like mGBA?

GBARunner2is not the best option, generally.
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I have not tried that, I'll give it a shot. Is there a better GBA emulator for Nintendo handhelds that I should be using? I generally try to tackle these games while riding the bus or subway, so a PC is not an option.


The 3ds homebrew emulator should be better if you have 3ds homebrew. The DS normal code emulators (which anything with R4 in the name will be running) are little more than proof of concept and have lots of issues (I am truly impressed it works as well as it does). Certain enhanced DS flash carts do better GBA emulation but even they will fail at points compared to hardware (the DS and DS lite still having GBA slots to run native code from) and PC grade emulators.

Some hacks will prevent old save games from working if they had to tweak some things that would make things break (character names, number of scenes in story...), and some emulators might also not detect the save type (I doubt they would have changed it*. If you started a new game though then that is more odd unless it is an issue with the handling there that the mod makers overlooked. I might similarly expect if the new script is that much larger that it could trouble some emulators but I doubt it would be a problem for saving.

*the default way for the vast majority of GBA flash carts ever is to change the save type which can confuse some things.


Thank you very much for the detailed info. Homebrewing my 3DS is on the agenda, so I'll see if it works there as intended. I'll check back in with a resolution.



Quote from: FAST6191 on February 22, 2023, 10:37:06 AMThe 3ds homebrew emulator should be better
To be precise, you should use open_agb_firm, which is very close to the original GBA hardware.

But in any case, you should try a PC-based emulator first to rule out other problems.
This signature is an illusion and is a trap devisut by Satan. Go ahead dauntlessly! Make rapid progres!


The multiple types of save memory used in GBA carts is a major emulation problem.
Some emulators try to detect it based on scanning the ROM for certain text strings (though due to the advancement of GBA emulation as soon as the console was released, at least one commercially released game exploited that as the basis for its own anti-piracy check).
Some emulators might use a database of known games (which would mean that ROM hacks would probably not be detected).
Others would ask the user to supply that information, and consequently games will not work unless the correct option is selected, leading the user to obtain that information from either an online database or through trial and error (and having to replay the beginning parts of games repeatedly until the correct setting is found).
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Don't know if this could be of any help, but i played this GBA translation on my cellphone with retroarch on the mGBA core.
It works without any problem, even having multiple saved files.
So yes, probably the saving issue is related to the emulator use to play it.


An update here... success!
After homebrewing my 3DS XL, I converted the Shin Megami Tensei .gba file to a .cia using "Ultimate GBA VC Injector for 3DS". Added the resulting file to the SD card and then used FBI to install it to the 3DS's internal storage. Everything works perfectly, was able to save and then load the files perfectly.
Thanks again for the help! Psyched to be able to play this classic game and then move on to subsequent releases.


Quote from: Onamazu on March 03, 2023, 10:00:55 AMI converted the Shin Megami Tensei .gba file to a .cia using "Ultimate GBA VC Injector for 3DS".
It's nice that you got it to work, I guess, but that program is out of date; it is preferable to use New Super Ultimate Injector. Or at least it used to be preferable, since that's closed-source and out of date as well. As I said, you should use open_agb_firm .
This signature is an illusion and is a trap devisut by Satan. Go ahead dauntlessly! Make rapid progres!


Quote from: Jorpho on March 04, 2023, 12:55:59 AMAs I said, you should use open_agb_firm .
So I went back and tested this method and it works too. Launching it via Luma3DS and the save function works perfectly. I'll probably use this method to play given what is mentioned about it using the 3DS's built-in GBA hardware plus using a .gba file vs a converted .cia.
thanks again for all the help!