Lee Joseph

I read the MK3 strategy guide and I didn't own the game.
I read the MK3 strategy guide and I didn't own the game.
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Feed your Cartridges batteries, or they will forget to save your games!

Illustration for article titled Feed your Cartridges batteries, or they will forget to save your games!

Do any of the Gameboy Advance (GBA) cartridge you own, require a battery to save? I was curious about this. Instead of buying a bunch of GBA games and cracking them open, I took to the internet (which is always the source for truth) to find out.

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GBA games that require batteries for saving and other functions, according to Reddit:

- Baseball Advance

- Boktai 1, 2 and 3 (JP)

- Bomberman Tournament

- Breath of Fire

- Breath of Fire II

- Castlevania: Circle of the Moon

- Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance

- Dragonball Z Collectible Card Game

- Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Heartbreak

- Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land

- Krazy Racers

- Lego Bionicle

- Lego Island 2: The Brickster’s Revenge

- MegaMan Battle Network

- MegaMan Zero

- Metroid Fusion (Only some use a battery)

- Metroid Zero Mission

- Monster Rancher Advance

- Monster Rancher Advance 2

- Pokemon Emerald (Not for saving, but for other game events)

- Pokemon Ruby (Not for saving, but for other game events)

- Pokemon Sapphire (Not for saving, but for other game events)

- Super Dodgeball Advance

- Warioland 4

The first time I discovered that certain cartridges used a small battery to keep your save data, was when the battery in my Pokemon Yellow cart died.

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I was twelve years old, playing Pokemon Yellow on my hand-me-down OG gameboy. I saved the game, saved it a second time (I had just caught my 142nd Pokemon and wanted to make sure it wasn’t in vain), then turned it off because batteries are expensive for a kid without a job. When I came back to the game, about 10 minutes later, I turned it on to find there was no “Continue” option to select in the main menu. Devastation followed.

I thought that the game had just glitched out so, being 12 (my time was literally worth nothing) I started the game over again. I got about 10 hours in before the game wouldn’t load my save again. I still didn’t understand. Instead of looking on the internet for a solution, I done the honest thing and traded it to my local Mom and Pop gaming store for credit (I’m not proud of myself).

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Illustration for article titled Feed your Cartridges batteries, or they will forget to save your games!

I only found out years later that there was a dead battery in the cartridge, when I got a used copy of Pokemon Crystal. With its opaque-blue plastic, I could see the battery. I was able to use my Holmsian powers of deduction to figure out that it was shortsightedness that destroyed my save. Not a glitch.

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I’ve always thought it stupid that game makers could have ever thought the best solution for saving the data for their game was by using a finite resource, locked inside plastic, that can only be accessed with tools of a proprietary design. I’m obviously not a game developer from the early 90’s, though, so I can’t say I have viewed all of the angles on this subject.

So here we are. I’ve recently been playing Castlevania: Circle of the Moon, for GBA, so I’m just waiting for the day when I’ve gotten to the end of the game, but the battery dies and doesn’t save my progress.

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How about you? Have you ran into this issue?

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