Original Post

The topic pretty much says it all, is there a list of which VB games could actually save your data on the cartridge instead of using a password screen?

Mostly I am curious which games will be unplayable (or rather, playable but uncompletable) on the FlashBoy because of it’s inability to save.

And finally, did the original VB games use a battery to save your data or a type of non-violatle memory?

8 Replies

Galactic Pinball, Teleroboxer, Wario Land, 3D Tetris, and SD Gundam… of these, Galactic Pinball only saves scores, so that’s no big deal. Teleroboxer and Wario Land save game status, although Wario Land can definitely be beaten in one sitting, although getting all the items and stuff would be nicer with save. Teleroboxer can probably be beaten in one sitting as well since there’s only 7 or so enemies, although you might want to quit due to frustration on some of the annoying later ones ;-). IIRC 3D Tetris saves high scores as well as progress in the story mode. SD Gundam saves the progress, but I beat it in one sitting (~5 hours IIRC)… but the ROM isn’t available, so it’s probably not worth worrying about anyway.

I don’t think it’s that big of a deal anyway, since all of those games (except SD Gundam) are relatively cheap, so if you decide you really like it, just spend $10-$20 and buy the cartridge (if you don’t already have it).

And the games have battery backed SRAM. The only thing I’m unsure of is whether you’ll have problems playing the games, since I assume it writes all of the data to the SRAM and doesn’t keep a working copy, so you might beat a level and have it say you haven’t played it yet… or you might see some strange glitches from it reading from a floating input, which will give strange data.


Speaking of battery-backed SRAM, I want to know three things:

-What screw holds the VB casing together? (I’d guess that it’s the same one found on Game Boy and SNES carts.)

-What battery would a VB game most likely use? (I had two GB games with shot SRAM batteries, so I bought two CR2032s, knowing that one of them would definitely take it. Much to my surprise, one of them had a CR1616 or something like that, which had a much smaller diameter and thus couldn’t be easily replaced with a CR2032…)

-Can someone hack a battery-backed VB cart into a sort of FlashBoy that has battery-backed SRAM?

Well, I’m a bit concerned about homebrew games that might use the save option. I mean box 2 uses one…what about the Zelda game that is being worked on ? Can we take games with saved data and flash them with homebrew games ? Or would we need some kind of flashboy with a save feature…what about the data cable..anyway we can save games onto a computer or a flashdrive ?

I assume you mean the screws for the cart? It’s the 3.8mm, which I believe the GB/SNES carts use… the VB system case uses the 4.5mm, but you need to modify the bit since the bits won’t reach the deepest ones.

I’m not sure what the actual part number on the battery is, since it’s not marked on the visible side… but do you have a cart with a dead battery or are you just curious? It’s the kind with the tabs that are soldered to the cart, so you’d need to make sure you get that kind (since I don’t think you’ll be able to fit a battery holder inside the cart case). If your battery is dead, just desolder the old battery and look at the part number… or measure the size and compare it to others… it just needs to be 3V.

About a flash cart w/ battery backed RAM… I’ve made a several homemade ones: http://home.comcast.net/~virtual.boy/projectvb/tech/carts/flash.html … not sure if that’s what you mean though.


The GB carts with dead SRAM batteries aren’t much of a problem. I have a 3.8mm bit to open them up, and one of them already had its battery replaced. Unfortunately, I overestimated on the other, which had a CR1616 rather than a CR2025; my replacement CR2032 couldn’t possibly fit in there! (Before you ask, there’s enough extra space in the GB carts to accomodate the extra thickness of a CR2032, and that extra thickness will let the battery last a good bit longer than a CR2025. However, all CR20xx batteries have a larger diameter than the CR16xx variety.) As for tabs, I just pull them off of the original battery, tape them to the new one with electrical tape, and solder them to the motherboard. Sure, they look a bit mangled afterwards, but you don’t have much other choice in a pinch!

Anyway, since they also use the same 3.8mm screws according to you, opening a VB cart up won’t be much hassle, nor will replacing any dead SRAM batteries.

That homemade flash cart with SRAM was pretty much what I was looking for, though you mentioned size limitations. That worries me, chiefly because the one VB game that holds my interest the most is probably one of the largest ones out there. (Then again, I’d have to be extremely lucky just to get a ROM dump, let alone the physical prototype…)

Heh, well if you come across a Dragon Hopper ROM, send it to me and I’ll gladly build you a cart dedicated to it ;-). Basically, you just need to replace the 29F040 flash chips with 27C080 EPROMs. The EPROMs are OTP, which is why you don’t want to normally use them, but if you want a cart dedicated to a single game, it works fine.


OTP = One-Time Program, or something along those lines?

(Then they’d truly be ROMs after the first write…I still don’t understand why all sorts of non-volatile memory types are referred to as ROM when they’re technically writable.)

Yeah, OTP is One Time Programmable. It’s basically the same as a standard EPROM, except there is no clear window to erase the data.



Write a reply

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.