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Thread: Can a Gameshark permanently corrupt a game? (Gameboy)

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    Insert Coin (Level 0) mr.soul's Avatar
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    Default Can a Gameshark permanently corrupt a game? (Gameboy)

    I remember my copy of Pokemon Blue at one point stopped saving completely, and I'm trying to revive it. Every time I turn it on, it just says "new game" or sometimes "save data corrupted." I remember I used to gameshark the hell out of the thing, and I was wondering if that might have anything to do with it, if it's reparable, if it might be that the battery's dead?

    I honestly have no idea. Can anyone shed some light on this?

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    probably a dead battery.

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) Blitzwing256's Avatar
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    yeah you just have a dead battery on your cart.

    and no a gameshark can not physically damage a cart, it can currupt and damage save data but you just have to erase all save data (easier said then done on some games) worst case scenario just remove the battery.

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    It's very rare, but I have seen it happen before. One time I was playing Super Mario Bros. Deluxe (GBC), and using the Gameshark to just experiment, find codes through its interface and just mess around with some code. Well, after using the Gameshark to complete everything in the Challenge mode, I turn it off. Something strange happened the next time I turn it on; Stage 8-8 is permanently browned out. It's unlocked, but it's unaccessible. Everything has been unlocked within the level as well. And this is without the Gameshark inserted. Everything has been unlocked in the Challenge mode, but 8-8 is still "browned" out.

    The only thing I could guess is that part of the code affected the saving bits and when I unlocked everything in the Challenge mode, whichever part of the save code that handled 8-8 got corrupted and saved it that way. It sounds far fetched, I know, but that's the only explanation that I have. In any case, 8-8 is inaccessible and there's no way to get it back "unlocked" again.

    I wouldn't worry about using a Gameshark, however. That was an extreme fluke. I've done a lot of armchair hacking in my time, and that was the only case where something detremental and irreversible happened to the game cart. 99.99% of the time you'll be safe.
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    Insert Coin (Level 0) mr.soul's Avatar
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    So I'm replacing the battery? They're CR2032's right ?

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    ServBot (Level 11) aaron7's Avatar
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    The Gameshark doesn't have the capabillity to write to the chip... so no, it can't. Possibly short the game out or something MAYBE... but that's it.
    Quote Originally Posted by flack
    This thread is like Ultimate Fighting for retards.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aaron7 View Post
    The Gameshark doesn't have the capabillity to write to the chip... so no, it can't. Possibly short the game out or something MAYBE... but that's it.
    Could it modify the game code loaded into memory to write over the save data?

    It seems highly unlikely, but definitely possible. The Gameshark may not have the direct capability, but it modifies the game, and the game has the capability. This is probably only even possible on older systems where perhaps memory and data wasn't as well protected.

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    ServBot (Level 11) aaron7's Avatar
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    Games can't write to themselves either far as I know. They aren't Flash memory, it's EEPROM (right?)
    Quote Originally Posted by flack
    This thread is like Ultimate Fighting for retards.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aaron7 View Post
    Games can't write to themselves either far as I know. They aren't Flash memory, it's EEPROM (right?)
    Well, a game with a save feature has to accomplish it somehow, right? That's all I was referring to, corrupting/odd features in saves. For games WITHOUT save features however, I believe you're right. You can't just change hardcoded components like that, unless they're specifically built for it i.e. a switch or something.

    As far as my initial guess goes, things like Gamesharks and Game Genies are basically memory editors (think "trainers" for a PC game equiv.) They don't modify the game itself, they modify the copy of it that's loaded into memory when you play the game. But the copy has to be able to write somehow if it has a save feature, so if you're futzing around with it in ways nobody really intended (Gapporin's 0.01%), I could see getting some corrupted saves or odd features if the game has a save feature in the first place.

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    The game data chips aren't writable. The ROM image is literally burned into the circuitry, and can't be changed via a simple software solution. It's the game save that messes up, similar to how catching Missingno in Pokemon Red/Blue would mess up your gallery images at the end. Erasing the save and starting over would fix the problem.
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