Author Topic: How-To: SuperCard Software and Saving  (Read 68582 times)

Offline Diablo

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How-To: SuperCard Software and Saving
« on: March 29, 2005, 12:57:58 AM »
Personally, I just select the "Enable Save" option for all of my GBA games in order to assure no slowdown.  To save, I use the QPC method.

How can you tell what options cause slowdown for your game, or which options you should use?  Basically, if you want to use the feature (like Restart or Real Time Save), then select that option when patching and try the converted game.  If it works fine with the option(s) enabled, then you're set.  If you notice slowdown, remove one option at a time (the one you want least) to see which one is causing the slowdown.

Keep in mind, though, that some games have slowdown even in the retail cart, while others will have slowdown on the SuperCard regardless of how they are patched.


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...........................................................................::HOW TO PATCH GAMES FOR USE WITH YOUR SUPERCARD::..................................................................................
.........................................(All .gba ROMs need to be patched using the SuperCard software before they will work with the SuperCard)................................................
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  • Install the software:
- http://supercard.mine.nu/download/setupnewV220en.exe
  • Execute the software
  • On the "Options" tab, select the features you want enabled
- If you are only going to use the "Enable Save" feature, make sure that no features are selected
  • Close the software
  • Execute the software again
  • Click the "Add" button and browse to the ROM you want to play
  • Once the ROM is in the main window, right-click it and select "Properties"
  • In the properties window, check to make sure that the features you enabled in the "Options" tab are checked
- If you are using only the "Enable Save" feature, check the box next to it at this point
   - If you want to import a .sav file from an emulator or other flash card, click the "..." button to the right of "Import Saver Form File" and locate it on your hard drive
  • Once all the features are set properly, you can click "OK" at the bottom of the properties window
Repeat these steps for all ROMs you need to patch.  Once all the ROMs have been configured, you are ready to convert them for use with the SuperCard.

  • Click the "Out" button at the bottom of the main window, and you should receive a "complete" message verifying the ROMs were patched successfully
  • Close the software
  • Copy the files that were created to your CF card (they are located in the "out" folder under the SuperCard software's folder)
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................................................................................::EXPLANATION OF OPTIONS IN SUPERCARD SOFTWARE::..................................................................................
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  • Enable Save

   - Creates a 64 KB .sav file.
   - Without this, you cannot permanently save, as you will be unable to save to your CF card

  • Enble more Saver

   - Creates a 256 KB .sav file for use with games that utilize a larger flash memory chip.
   - "Enable Save" must also be enabled

  • Import Saver Form File

   - Allows you to import a .sav file (either from another flash cart or from an emulator) for the ROM you're patching
   - "Enable Save" must also be enabled

  • Enable saver Patch

   - Allows you to save the GBA battery file to the SuperCard by pressing the Left Trigger, Right Trigger, Select, and A buttons simultaneously
   - "Enable Save" must also be enabled
   - "Enable Restart" must also be enabled

  • Enable Real Time Save

   - Creates a .sci file
   - Allows you to save your game in the exact state it is in at anytime by pressing the Left Trigger, Right Trigger, Select, and B buttons simultaneously
   - Also known as a "Save State"
   - "Enable Save" must also be enabled
   - "Enable Restart" must also be enabled

  • Enble more Real Time Saver

   - Creates a .sci file that is larger in size
   - "Enable Real Time Save" must also be enabled

  • Use External IPS file

   - A patch file, usually a translation, with the extension .ips that is used to modify the content of the ROM

  • Enable Compress

   - Outputs the ROM as a .scz file
   - Compresses the ROM, reducing the space it consumes on the CF card

  • Enble Restart

   - Allows you to return to the SuperCard menu (reboot the GBA) while in-game by pressing the Left Trigger, Right Trigger, Select, and Start buttons simultaneously

  • Add coercive Resart

   - Allows you to use the "Enble Restart", "Enable Save", "Enable saver Patch", and "Enable Real Time Save" features with GBA applications
   - Does not work with all GBA applications
   - "Enable Restart" must also be enabled

  • Enable add text file

   - Allows you to add a FAQ, Walk-Through, or Game Guide to the ROM
   - Access the file by pressing the Left Trigger, Right Trigger, Start, and B buttons simultaneously
   - Text file cannot exceed 100 KB in size

  • Enbable Cheat

   - Allows the use of cheats from the built-in list or from a .cht or .txt file

  • Cheat File

   - Allows the use of an external .txt or .cht cheat file
   - "Enbable Cheat" must also be enabled
[/list]
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..............................................................................................::HOW TO SAVE YOUR GAME PROGRESS::................................................................................................
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Game Boy Advance Games:

If you patched the game with "Enable Save", "Enable saver Patch" and "Enable Restart" enabled:
  • Play the game until you get a checkpoint, the game is saved automatically, or you manually save the game.

   - This will save your game to the Supercard SRAM, but not to your CF card.
  • Press LT + RT + SELECT + A simultaneously.
  • Make sure "Save" is highlighted in red, and press the A button.
  • Make sure "Yes" is highlighted in red, and press the A button.
If you patched the game without"Enable Restart", but with "Enable Save" and "Enable saver Patch":
  • Play the game until you get a checkpoint, the game is saved automatically, or you manually save the game.

   - This will save your game to the Supercard SRAM, but not to your CF card.
  • Quickly turn your GBA off then on again (power-cycle it).
  • In the SuperCard menu, press right on the d-pad so that you are under the "Saver" menu.
  • Find the save file associated with your ROM.
  • Select it by pressing the A button, then press it again when prompted to save.
Emulated Games:
  • Play the game until you wish to save.
  • Open the emulator's menu.

- In PocketNES and Goomba, pressing LT + RT simultaneously opens the menu.
- In DrSMS, pressing the SELECT button opens the menu.
- In SNESAdvance, pressing SELECT + START + A + B simultaneously opens the menu
  • Select "Save State", "Save Menu", or something similar from the menu.
  • Select "NEW" to save to a new slot, or a previous save to overwrite it.

   - This will save your game to the Supercard SRAM, but not to your CF card.
  • Press LT + RT + SELECT + A simultaneously.
  • Make sure "Yes" is highlighted in red, and press the A button.
Notes:
  • Emulated games, like GBA games, require a .sav file in order to save to the CF card.

   - The ROM and its save file must be in the same directory, and share the same name, just as a GBA game.
   - Example:  Tetris.nes may be the name of a NES ROM, so Tetris.sav would need to be the name of the save file.

   - To create a save file for emulated games, you can copy either the "save.sav" or "NesFileName.sav" save file in the SuperCard software's folder, and rename it as previously described.
[/list]
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.........................................................................::HOW TO USE SUPERCARD SAVE FILES IN VIRTUALBOY ADVANCE::.........................................................................
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  • Ensure there is a copy of the original ROM the save is for located somewhere on your hard drive.

- Make sure there is not a save file already associated with the ROM in the same folder as the ROM itself.
- If you already have a save file for the ROM in the same folder, place it in a different folder.
  • Copy the .sav file from your CF card to a different folder on your hard drive than the one the ROM is located in.
  • Open VirtualBoy Advance.
  • Open the ROM that you wish to use the save file with.
  • Once the ROM is loaded, click the "File" Menu, then "Import -> Battery file...".

- If you do not have a menu bar, press the Esc button to bring it up.
  • Locate the save file you wish to use and click the "Open" button.
  • When asked if you wish to overwrite, click the "OK" button.

- If you had a previous save file for the ROM, make sure it is not in the same folder as the ROM, or it will be overwritten.
  • Once the emulator reboots, click the "File" menu, then "Exit".
You will now see a .sav file has been created in the same folder as your ROM.  Whenever you play the ROM in VBA now, your save file will automatically be loaded.



Note:  Some games require that you actually use the save file you imported in order to create the .sav file.  If a .sav file is not created after you have followed the above steps, play the ROM in VisualBoy Advance until you are able to save, then exit the emulator.

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.......................................................::HOW TO USE GAMESHARK AND ACTION REPLAY SAVE FILES WITH YOUR SUPERCARD::.......................................................
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  • First, go download a GameShark (.sps) or Action Replay (.xps) save file for the ROM you want.

- GameFAQs is an excellent source.
- If you are using an Action Replay save, change the extension to .sps
  • Now, ensure there is a copy of the original ROM the save is for located somewhere on your hard drive.

- Make sure there is not a save file already associated with the ROM in the same folder as the ROM itself.
- If you already have a save file for the ROM in the same folder, place it in a different folder.
  • Open VirtualBoy Advance.
  • Open the ROM that you wish to use the save file with.
  • Once the ROM is loaded, click the "File" Menu, then "Import -> Gameshark Snapshot...".

- If you do not have a menu bar, press the Esc button to bring it up.
  • Locate the .sps file you wish to use and click the "Open" button.
  • When asked if you wish to overwrite, click the "OK" button.

- If you had a previous save file for the ROM, make sure it is not in the same folder as the ROM, or it will be overwritten.
  • Once the emulator reboots, click the "File" menu, then "Exit".

You will now see a .sav file has been created in the same folder as your ROM.  Whenever you play the ROM in VBA now, your save file will automatically be loaded.


Note:  Some games require that you actually use the save file you imported in order to create the .sav file.  If a .sav file is not created after you have followed the above steps, play the ROM in VisualBoy Advance until you are able to save, then exit the emulator.

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Updates:
03/29/05 - Included emulated game saves
03/31/05 - Corrected misspellings
04/01/05 - Added additional QPC-saving note
04/02/05 - Corrected option requirements
04/14/05 - Added description of "Enable add text file" - contributed by wudi
04/19/05 - Combined posts and added reference to "NesFileName.sav"
04/20/05 - Updated "How to use Supercard save files in VisualBoy Advance" and added "How to use Gameshark and Action Replay saves with your Supercard"
04/21/05 - Added description of "Add coercive Resart"
b]"Speak of the devil and he appears."[/b]

Offline NT

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How-To: SuperCard Software and Saving
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2005, 01:19:04 AM »
Nice work.   8)

I'm gonna add PharaohAmps FAQ here.  We only need one thread for this.  They will hopefully complement each other:

Quote from: "PharaohAmps"
Q:  Can I save games using the Supercard?  Does it have SRAM, Flash, EEPROM, or some other save type?

A:  The Supercard doesn't have battery-backed SRAM or Flash RAM or an EEPROM for saving.  Instead, it writes the saver data to the Compact Flash Memory (CFM.)

Q:  OK, so how do I save my game?

A:  To do a regular save, like you'd do in a normal game, do the following:
    1.  Save your game as normal.  Either get to a save point, select save from a menu, or let the game save automatically.  The game will write its save data to the RAM in the Supercard.
    2.  Now write the saver data to the Supercard by pressing L + R + Select + A.  A black screen will appear and reads:  "SC Normal Save - Save Load"
    3.  Using the D-pad, highlight "Save" (it will turn red) and press A.  Then a new screen will appear reading "Are you sure? - Yes No."
    4.  Highlight "Yes" and press A.  The Supercard will write the stored saver data to the CFM.

You will be able to load your game the next time you want to play.  Since the Supercard will store your saver data in its RAM, you really only need to write the data to the CFM before you exit the game or turn off the menu, but it never hurts to be safe.

Q:  What is a "Real Time Save?"

A:  A Real Time Save is similar to a Savestate in many emulators.  It stores all the contents of the GBA's memory, registers, etc. so that the whole status of the game and console are kept in a kind of "snapshot."  It allows for saving in games that do not offer hardware saves or use passwords, and it also allows the player to save between save points in games that do have saves.


Q:  How do I do a Real Time Save?

A:  To do a Real Time Save, do the following at any time during a game:
    1.  Pause your game.  It's not strictly necessary, but it lets you do the button-pressing at your leisure.
    2.  Open the Real Time Save screen by pressing L + R + Select + B.  A black screen will appear and reads:  "SC Real Time Save - Save Load"
    3.  Using the D-pad, highlight "Save" (it will turn red) and press A.  Then a new screen will appear reading "Are you sure? - Yes No."
    4.  Highlight "Yes" and press A.  The Supercard will write the stored saver data to the CFM.

You will be able to reload your game at any time.  If your game is messed up after reloading RTS data, try restarting the game and then reloading.  Not all games will work with Real Time Save - if you find one that doesn't, please let the Supercard community know by posting about it on our Compatibility Forum

Q: Can I use my other .SAV files (from VisualBoy Advance or flashcart / devkits) with the Supercard?

A:  Yes.  The .SAV file that the Supercard uses is basically a 1:1 dump / copy of the SRAM or EEPROM / FLASH contents of the original cart.  You can add your own .SAV files using the Supercard application.
    1.  Open up the Supercard software
    2.  Select "Add" and pick a ROM
    3.  Right-click on the ROM and select "Properties."
    4.  Under the "Enable Save" check-box, there is a box labeled: "Import Saver from File:"
    5.  Click the "..." next to the saver import box and select the .SAV file you want to associate with your ROM.  Then click "OK" to close the Properties window.
    6.  Click "Out" in the main Supercard window to patch your ROM and generate your .SAV and .SCI files.

Q: These .SAV files that the Supercard makes are all pretty small, around 8K.  What if my .SAV file from VBA or a flash cart is bigger than that?  Or, what if I am trying to import an outside .SAV and it doesn't work on the Supercard?

A:  8K is a fairly standard size for GBA save games, though there are many games with 32k or larger savers.  This is enough data to save player position, stats, levels earned, scores, etc.  It also lets the manufacturers of the original carts save money by using small SRAM chips in the carts.  Some carts have bigger savers, to save things like new levels downloaded from e-reader cards, extra Pokemons, or whatever.  If the saver size exceeds 8K, the Supercard software will sometimes fail to rename the saver, and many games with bigger savers refuse to load on the Supercard.  The way around this is to use the "Enable More Saver" box in the Supercard software.
    1.  Open up the Supercard software
    2.  Select "Add" and pick a ROM
    3.  Right-click on the ROM and select "Properties."
    4.  Under the "Enable Save" check-box, there is a box labeled: "Import Saver from File:"
    5.  Click the "..." next to the saver import box and select the .SAV file you want to associate with your ROM.
    6.  Click the "Enable More Saver" box above the saver import box,  then click "OK" to close the Properties window.
    6.  Click "Out" in the main Supercard window to patch your ROM and generate your .SAV and .SCI files.

Q: What's this business I've heard about slowdown?  Does it have anything to do with saving?

A: Some games have slowdown or lock up when patched to run on the Supercard.  This is due to the software interrupt routines that are added to the games when they are patched for saving / RTS / cheats / etc.  View the forum post about slowdown and the QPC save method:
Fix For Games With Slowdown

Offline Diablo

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How-To: SuperCard Software and Saving
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2005, 11:10:26 PM »
Updated "How to use Supercard save files in VisualBoy Advance", and added "How to use Gameshark and Action Replay saves with your Supercard" and "Add coercive Resart" description.
b]"Speak of the devil and he appears."[/b]

Offline wudi

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How-To: SuperCard Software and Saving
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2005, 08:40:46 AM »
you can create folders to sort out your files (music, games, movies, pictures and text) in supercard and supercard can read them.
 love SC! :D

Having SCCF, SCSD, SCminisd, SCDS, M3CF, M3SD (the large one), M3minisd, G6 lite and gamebank128M

Offline Diablo

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How-To: SuperCard Software and Saving
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2005, 09:53:14 AM »
I think most of us already do that. :?

I have a folder for my GBA games, with a separate folder for each genre nested inside.  I also have a folder for each emulated system (PCE, NES, GB, GBC, GBAGI, and GG).

If you don't separate your ROMs into folders, you spend way too much time finding the ROM you want to play. :lol:
b]"Speak of the devil and he appears."[/b]

Offline nightmare

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How-To: SuperCard Software and Saving
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2005, 09:06:43 PM »
Umm...

I cannot save emulated games with the above method.
I explain:

I create a .sav file with the same name of emulated game and in the same dir.
Ex. Castlevania2.nes and Castlevania2.sav

I play then I want to save, so L+R buttons, select savestate, NEW, then I exit.
If I NOW load state, by pressing L + R and "load state", I found Castle~2.sav; I press "A" button and I load correctly the state. OK.

Now I must save the state to the card, so I press L R select A simultaneously, but indstead of the right menu, appares the "L + R" menu of the PocketNES!
Alternatively, I press L R sel start, go to SAVER menu, select Castlevania2.sav, press "A" and to the question "Do you want save to SD?" A too.

When I switch off and on, Castlevania2.sav is in SAVER menu, but unfortunately, when I load the game and try to load the state, nothing happens.

Offline PHERK

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How-To: SuperCard Software and Saving
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2006, 01:05:11 AM »
Quote from: "cheerup347"
what are the best settings for ds roms?


how do you laod a ds rom when using my superpass all the time?

thanks
The best settings are enable saver patch and compress. And when you double click on the ROM name make sure to make it save to CF/SD card, and not the Supercard. And the DS ROM save and load as they would normally if you had a real DS cartridge. You have to make sure you have the DSQ and NDS Files in order for you to save(One is the rom, one is the save).
C-CF
512 MB Sandisk CF Card
Flashme v.6

Offline scootdog

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How-To: SuperCard Software and Saving
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2006, 03:37:34 AM »
Quote from: "PHERK"
Quote from: "cheerup347"
what are the best settings for ds roms?


how do you laod a ds rom when using my superpass all the time?

thanks
The best settings are enable saver patch and compress. And when you double click on the ROM name make sure to make it save to CF/SD card, and not the Supercard. And the DS ROM save and load as they would normally if you had a real DS cartridge. You have to make sure you have the DSQ and NDS Files in order for you to save(One is the rom, one is the save).

Unless I missed something you can't use the compress option for ds roms.

Offline PHERK

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How-To: SuperCard Software and Saving
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2006, 06:44:14 AM »
Quote from: "scootdog"
Quote from: "PHERK"
Quote from: "cheerup347"
what are the best settings for ds roms?


how do you laod a ds rom when using my superpass all the time?

thanks
The best settings are enable saver patch and compress. And when you double click on the ROM name make sure to make it save to CF/SD card, and not the Supercard. And the DS ROM save and load as they would normally if you had a real DS cartridge. You have to make sure you have the DSQ and NDS Files in order for you to save(One is the rom, one is the save).

Unless I missed something you can't use the compress option for ds roms.
I use it, but I don't think it actually compresses it.
>_<
C-CF
512 MB Sandisk CF Card
Flashme v.6

Offline blueoakleyz

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How-To: SuperCard Software and Saving
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2006, 08:02:57 AM »
Where do I get the official patching software?

Offline mikesinclair

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How-To: SuperCard Software and Saving
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2006, 08:24:04 AM »
Quote from: "blueoakleyz"
Where do I get the official patching software?

http://www.supercard.cn/eng/download.htm

Offline nyuk1998

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How-To: SuperCard Software and Saving
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2006, 08:45:17 AM »
I have an SC/CF and when I try to patch gbc or snes roms, I always get "Fail" in the patch column.  Any suggestions?

Offline blueoakleyz

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How-To: SuperCard Software and Saving
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2006, 11:31:47 AM »
have some of those options changed? I dont see em in the SC program

Offline someone_Else

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How-To: SuperCard Software and Saving
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2006, 02:46:11 PM »
Quote from: "blueoakleyz"
have some of those options changed? I dont see em in the SC program

Highlight, then right click individual roms in the SC list for more options.

Also, some settings are only available on DS roms, just in case you were using GBA only.

Offline bigdude

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How-To: SuperCard Software and Saving
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2006, 10:20:03 PM »
I'm looking for some assistance with the "cheat" function of the Super Card. I see where the converter software loads the .cht file if it exists, but how do I access these functions when I have the Super Card in the GBA?

Also, I read the section on how to "HOW TO USE GAMESHARK AND ACTION REPLAY SAVE FILES WITH YOUR SUPERCARD", but I don't understand how to then use the files on the SC?

This is my first post, so please be nice to the newbie!