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Old 01-29-2013, 03:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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So... Turns out my copy of Emerald has been a fake this whole time

Rather interesting discovery I stumbled upon by chance today. Never thought I'd have this issue, never thought I could when I don't buy games online.

Long story short, I bought my copy of Emerald used at an EB Games back when we were trying to sell the Edmonton house for something to do being that we had to leave the house a lot.

I played the game quite a bit, and got 8 hours or so in, then I booted it up one day, and my data was gone. I gave it the benefit of the doubt, and had another file that I started, it died 5 hours in... From then on, I assumed the battery was dead.

I tried replacing the battery after I moved to a failed result of what I thought was not putting the new battery in right, and granted I didn't.

My copy has now been sitting around for a couple of years. I finally decided to actually sauder the battery in today. Booted the game up, and start a file quick, save, take the cart out and put it back in, boot it up and the game save is gone.

A message appears saying "The Game Can Be Played" every time I boot it up. I assumed this is the good message in regards to the battery being installed correctly, because the message is usually something similar adding on that the battery has run dry, but the game can be played (if the battery is dead that is).

I decided to google quick to confirm that the "The Game Can Be Played" message means the battery is good to go only to get different results entirely. Apparently this is a bootleg, that's what all the results said, and game saves being lost is just one of the things bootleg's do.

Now apparently this is actually a more common thing than you'd think with pokemon games? Just kind of curious what you guys think. I'm still kind of shocked I came across this without buying online. I'm not really positive I trust buying Pokemon games on GBA or GBC again.

Edit: I'm aware that it is possible all these sites I've found are wrong, and my game is not hacked, but haven't seen anything to disprove it yet.

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Old 01-29-2013, 04:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: So... Turns out my copy of Emerald has been a fake this whole time

The GBA Pokemon games do not rely on battery backup for the save file. The save file is stored in flash memory, which does not need power to keep the data when the game is off. The battery is used to run the clock only.

The message "The game can be played" tells you that the crystal oscillator for the clock is not working, therefore time based events (honey on trees, berry growing, and etc) will not function normally.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: So... Turns out my copy of Emerald has been a fake this whole time

So, are you saying it's not a bootleg? I'm aware that possibility exists, but everything I've found says it's a bootleg. Not to mention the inside circuitry was arranged differently than all the pictures I was using to help me get the battery back in.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: So... Turns out my copy of Emerald has been a fake this whole time

Take a pic and post it here, compare it to mine.


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Old 01-29-2013, 04:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: So... Turns out my copy of Emerald has been a fake this whole time

Ok, I can now tell right away though, yours has Nintendo 2002, mine has nothing. This is without the battery. When the battery was in, it went from the top center to the far right as well. The prongs I mean. There is also random black goo just in the center of mine. This cartridge seems fake haha.



Edit: sorry about the quality.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: So... Turns out my copy of Emerald has been a fake this whole time

100% bootleg. You got shafted. The black goop is epoxy used to hide components (that they're faking/stealing already, lol).
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: So... Turns out my copy of Emerald has been a fake this whole time

Yeah, just confirming what I already know. 10-20 bucks I spent in 2010 though, still lame. Oh well.

Just concerns me for buying them in the future. According to almost everywhere the "The game can be played" thing on bootup is in fact a way to tell, haven't heard anyone say the same as you.

How common is this? More so with Pokemon games I'm assuming? I'm assuming whoever sold this to EB games got a bootleg copy off the internet, then sold it to EB after realizing it.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: So... Turns out my copy of Emerald has been a fake this whole time

The GBA was minimally protected and it is so, so very easy to produce counterfeit games for it. Pokemon is always popular, and the Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald series was very popular in Japan, which made it an attractive target.

The message still means what I meant, the game can't find a working clock to run with. If the battery dies on a legit cartridge it will display that same message.

To keep manufacturing cost down, bootleggers will put the absolute minimum amount of effort into the product.
As you see in my picture, the Pkmn R/S/E cartridges are very complex compared to others, containing: game ROM, Flash, real time clock, crystal oscillator, battery. Most GBA games only have the ROM and the save device.
It is highly likely that the bootleggers didn't bother putting any oscillator at all, which is why all bootleg copies will show that message.

The battery is just a red herring, it probably does nothing at all and is just there to make it look legit. Under the epoxy is probably some half-assed array of resistors/capacitors for the usual GBA cart electronics, some bank-switching device, or maybe nothing at all.

I doubt any game stores opened their cartridges to check if it was legit, they probably just got it and stuck it right back on the shelf.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: So... Turns out my copy of Emerald has been a fake this whole time

Quote:
I doubt any game stores opened their cartridges to check if it was legit, they probably just got it and stuck it right back on the shelf.
Yeah, I don't doubt that. Which is why I'm concerned, there has gotta be things you can find without opening the cartridge up that gives away bootlegs, because I was planning on probably getting most if not all of the 5 games at one point. Don't need this happening again xD

Quote:
The message still means what I meant, the game can't find a working clock to run with. If the battery dies on a legit cartridge it will display that same message.

To keep manufacturing cost down, bootleggers will put the absolute minimum amount of effort into the product.
As you see in my picture, the Pkmn R/S/E cartridges are very complex compared to others, containing: game ROM, Flash, real time clock, crystal oscillator, battery. Most GBA games only have the ROM and the save device.
It is highly likely that the bootleggers didn't bother putting any oscillator at all, which is why all bootleg copies will show that message.
Makes sense. Yeah, was kind of curious if any bootleg copies actually work out there, I'm sure there is some that people made for themselves to play or something, I don't know. Not that I'm interested in having bootleg copies, far from it, just curious. Just on some of the places I was reading, certain people got past the elite 4 before their data erased. The Pal park seemed to be a common area where people's games corrupted as well.

It's been a few years, so I don't know exactly where I was when my game corrupted, and frankly I've had bad luck with Emerald in the past, mostly because of this, other times because I rented/borrowed it (so that part isn't really bad luck) consequently have probably never made it past 8 hours in the game...
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: So... Turns out my copy of Emerald has been a fake this whole time

This thread's neat. Just came in to say that. lol.

Also, you could always emulate it if you want to.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:34 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: So... Turns out my copy of Emerald has been a fake this whole time

Quote:
This thread's neat. Just came in to say that. lol.

Also, you could always emulate it if you want to.
Yeah, it's kind of fascinating to me in some weird way as well :P

Emulators, I do use them, but I try not to as much as possible. I like to own the actual games and stuff normally if possible.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: So... Turns out my copy of Emerald has been a fake this whole time

Quote:
Originally Posted by Razeluxe View Post
This thread's neat. Just came in to say that. lol.

Also, you could always emulate it if you want to.
Agreed.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:43 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: So... Turns out my copy of Emerald has been a fake this whole time

Sorry to hear about this, Cam.

One thing I read online is if you use it's bar code and match it up it could help? Can you confirm this Hawk?
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:57 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: So... Turns out my copy of Emerald has been a fake this whole time

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Originally Posted by Cam3ron36 View Post
Yeah, I don't doubt that. Which is why I'm concerned, there has gotta be things you can find without opening the cartridge up that gives away bootlegs, because I was planning on probably getting most if not all of the 5 games at one point.
Your bootleg cartridge is a bit longer than my sapphire, owing to the MASSIVE ROM chip on the board. If you're buying from a shop, one thing you could do is bring a for sure, official cartridge with you, and compare sizes. Despite the internal complexity the Pkmn R/S/E carts will be the same size as normal GBA cartridges. Maybe some bootleggers will have paid attention to that detail, so I can't guarantee that will work. But bootleggers are cheap, so its very unlikely. Better than nothing I suppose.

I'm not sure about the situation with the GB/C games. I don't think those were faked much. Same for DS cartridges, but make sure you get legit DS carts and not copied flash carts, because Nintendo put software protection on ALL of their DS Pokemon games to counter widespread use of the flash copier devices (R4 and etc.), the games WILL hang up if you play them on non-legit devices.
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:38 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: So... Turns out my copy of Emerald has been a fake this whole time

Alright, well will do. I heard because of the transparency of the cartridges you can look for certain things as well. I'll have to look more into that later though.
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:28 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: So... Turns out my copy of Emerald has been a fake this whole time

This thread was interesting, so more bootleg. This is mine, although its not disguised as a legitimate game like yours.



It's a multicart. It's got 6 GBA games on it, and 122 (crappy) NES games and hacks that are horribly emulated anyways...


Amazingly each individual game saves, but it keeps the save only if I power on the game once day. The battery does nothing. Also, more epoxy.



Here's the back of the cartridge....."NIntondo"


Comments
  
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:42 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: So... Turns out my copy of Emerald has been a fake this whole time

Does it legitimately have 128 games with no repeats? It's funny how they started putting no repeats on it, my buddy had a 1001 and it was about 10 games that would all just start at various points in those said games lol. I had a pretty popular one when I was a kid, 31 on 1, it was mostly black box nes games, and then a handful of random Japan only games like Karateka, and then some other randoms. Funny thing was that on the menu select they changed names of the games, Mario became Mary, Donkey Kong became Dajingang, and the best was Millipede became Millipecle, they just split the "d" into 2 letters lol. I seen a copy at a flea market a year or 2 ago and picked it up for old times sake.
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:08 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: So... Turns out my copy of Emerald has been a fake this whole time

I personally would prefer the authentic looking bootleg over the authentic game. Would be more interesting to own.

I love the "no repeats" line.

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  Agreed, provided the game works that is
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:16 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: So... Turns out my copy of Emerald has been a fake this whole time

The list

GBA
1. Megaman Zero 2
2. Digimon Battle Spirit 2
3. Super Mario Advance 4 (Mario 3)
4. Super Mario Advance 3 (Yoshi's Island)
5. Super Mario Advance 2 (Mario World)
6. Mario Kart Super Circuit

NES
( Click to show/hide )
7. Super Mario Bros. DX (hack of SMB with SMB3 tiles)
8. Super Mario Bros. 2
9. Super Mario Bros. 1 (normal game but runs at super speed)
10. Little Mermaid
11. Bubble Bobble
12. Terra Cresta
13. Duck Tales
14. Life Force
15. Pac Man
16. Popeye
17. Circus Charlie
18. Defender II
19. Bomberman
20. Battle City
21. Bomb Jack
22. Lode Runner
23. Elevator Action
24. Lunar Pool
25. Twinbee
26. Field Combat
27. Thexder
28. "Rabbit & Rope" (Mappy hack)
29. Clu Clu Land
30. Pro Wrestling
31. Wrecking Crew
32. Popeye No Eigo Asobi (Some kind of english trivia game in Japan)
33. Nibbles (Hack of the snake game)
34. Othello
35. Nuts & Milk
36. Front Line
37. Balloon Mario (hack of Balloon Fight with Mario)
38. Bomb Sweeper
39. Raid on Bungeling Bay
40. Exerion
41. 10 Yard Fight
42. Donkey Kong 3
43. Sqoon
44. Spelunker
45. Spartan X
46. Sonic-Mario (hack of SMB with Sonic)
47. Soccer
48. B-Wings
49. 1942
50. Donkey Kong
51. Mach Rider
52. Seacross
53. Excite Bike
54. Pooyan
55. Spy vs Spy
56. Challenger
57. Baltron
58. 3D Block (wireframe 3D tetris)
59. Choplifter
60. Shougi Hiden (some kind of mahjong?)
61. Flappy
62. Pinball
63. Sky Destroyer
64. Karateka
65. Star Force
66. Star Gate
67. Tennis
68. Balloon Fight
69. Baseball
70. Battle City 2
71. Mag Max
72. Binary Land
73. Star Soldier
74. Bird Week
75. M.U.S.C.L.E.
76. Mario Runner (hack of Lode Runner with Mario)
77. Brush Roller
78.Bubble Dig Dug (hack of Dig Dug with Bubble Bobble chars)
79. Some russian game I can't read
80. Bomber Mario (hack of Bomberman with Mario)
81. Burger Time
82. Chack'n Pop
83. Night Arrow (Galaxian hack with ....something)
84. Onyanko Town (some JPN game with cats)
85. Penguin-kun Wars
86. Arkanoid
87. Astro Robo Saga
88. Pac Pac Land (hack of Clu clu Land with Pac man)
89. Dough Boy
90. Championship Lode Runner
91. Exed Exes
92. Geimos
93. Gyrodine
94. Hylide
95. Robot Gyro (Gyromite)
96. Route 16
97. Slalom (only game worth playing imo)
98. 4 Card Games (Omnibus Hearts, Fan Tan, Chinese Rummy, The Clock)
99. Ninja JaJa Maru Kun
100. Mario Bros Mappy (Hack of Mappy with Mario)
101. Mario Bros
102. Pyramid
103. Golf
104. Gomoku Narabe (idk)
105. Super Arabian
106. Ice Climber
107. Ikki
108. Formation Z
109. Macross
110. Devil World
111. Yie Ar Kung Fu
112. Urban Champion
113. F1 Race
114. Hogans Alley
115. Lunar Ball
116. Millipede
117. Road Fighter
118. Donkey Kong Jr.
119. Antarctic Adventure
120. Joust
121. Mappy
122. Space Invadiers
123. Galaxian
124. Galaga
125. Jewelry
126. Dig Dug
127. Donald Magic (Burger Time hack with Mcdonalds)
128. Zippy Race


I know for a fact that many different versions of these 128-in-1 multicarts exist, with each having different games.
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:20 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: So... Turns out my copy of Emerald has been a fake this whole time

haha that Nintondo bit is priceless for some reason. How much space does that cart hold then if it's 128 GBA games, it has to be at least a 500 MB cart. Edit: So only 6 are GBA? Probably not 500 MB then, but still a lot I imagine.

I found this earlier when googling how to spot a fake cartridge. The guide is... How do I say this, explaining the obvious and didn't really answer the question I was looking for, and rather it explained that you don't buy Pokemon Quartz for example... because Quartz never existed... K then.

eBay Canada Guides - Guide for Avoiding Fake Pokemon Video Games

---------- Post added at 09:20 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:18 PM ----------

Just remembered my cousin had some 50 in 1 game (might not have been 50) on GBC. All I remember is that it was a transparent case and had a bunch of not-so-good games on it usually. Pipe Dr. was the only one I remember. Not sure if it was a bootleg or legitimate.
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:32 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: So... Turns out my copy of Emerald has been a fake this whole time

Only 6 are GBA, the rest are NES. There are two ROM chips on the board, under the epoxy I believe is some sort of chip selector or bank switcher, who knows.
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:23 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: So... Turns out my copy of Emerald has been a fake this whole time

That's a decent little cart. Funny though, "no repeats!!!!" then fail to inform you that 122 of the games are NES. Those dudes are so sneaky.
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:35 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: So... Turns out my copy of Emerald has been a fake this whole time

Not really, between the squished visuals and the lame sound playing the NES games is a pretty bad experience.
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:49 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: So... Turns out my copy of Emerald has been a fake this whole time

So, I'd imagine when it comes to most of these bootlegs, they are made with the bare essentials to run as well? To earn a quick buck.

Although I can imagine some out there work fine all around. I doubt many do though.
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:06 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: So... Turns out my copy of Emerald has been a fake this whole time

Typically, yeah. Most will probably run just sorta fine as far as the games go, because all you need is the ROM chip and the related electronics at the bare minimum to run the game. Whatever save device the game uses is hacked in there or just flat out done with a wrong or malfunctioning module. But by the time the cartridges are sold in stores the counterfeiters have already made their money so they don't care. Providing a 100% working cartridge is not their intent.
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