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- Dwedit

#1 2008-12-21 11:02:57 am

Registered: 2008-12-21
Posts: 1

GBA SP back ups

I am looking for the cheapest way to have a back up for GBA SP games. Finding info is difficult I think because everyone is going DS.

I did find different kinds of cards, I think they are reffered to as Flash Cards, but then Wikipedia also speaks of a GBA Movie Player which also plays games.

I have heard that these devices that use SD cards will be slow for some GBA games. However I often play original GB games and GBC games. Is the GBA movie player the device that uses SD cards? Also I have seen reference to SuperCards. Wikipedia says its a Mac item. Is SD different than SuperCard? I don't have a Mac, I have a PC.

But being able to play movies is something I would be very interested in, I also would be interested in playing NES games, as I own about 100 games for my NES.

While it would be cool to make my own copy of the games that will not be necessary, and I know we don't ask for such here, and am not.

So I am looking for something that would hold many games, most would NOT be GBA, tho some would. This is my primary request. Holding movies is 2ndary, playing NES is 3rd. But I have a small budget for this.

What hardware would do this? What hardware is needed?

I found 1 GBA movie player for only $10 but they are sold out, here:


Finding them online is fine, I don't need to go to a local store.

Is the GBA SP no longer in production btw?


#2 2008-12-21 11:56:08 am

From: Chicago
Registered: 2004-12-12
Posts: 1,010

Re: GBA SP back ups

I'm not the flash cartridge expert, but I know a bit.  Be sure to look for more information elsewhere before you buy anything.

There are several types of flash cartridges for the GBA...
One is just a regular flash cartridge which provides up to 32MBytes of storage.  The manufactures love to use megabits as their units instead, so they call it "256M" for a 32MByte card.

Then there's the GBA Movie Player.  It has a CompactFlash slot, but the only code directly executes from the cartridge is its own bios, so it can't play GBA games.  I made a special version of PocketNES for this thing, which works very well.  It can play "Multiboot" GBA games which are under 256k in size and run from RAM instead of from a cartridge.  This thing is out of production for several years, and hard to find now.

Then there's the M3 or Supercard, which has 32MB of RAM so it can load a GBA game from its CompactFlash/SD/MiniSD/MicroSD slot.  The M3 uses faster RAM which does not require games to be patched to slow down the cartridge slot.

I've never dealt with dealextreme.com before, but it looks like they have a bunch of GBA stuff.  The only store I've ever dealt with is jandaman.com, but he doesn't seem to carry much anymore.  Only thing I don't immediately like about dealextreme.com is that they shamelessly sell pirated NES games (they call it the "Onestation").

Also be sure to try out PocketNES on GBA emulators first.  (Remember to turn on the Motion Blur filter in visualboyadvance)

I think on a budget, get a supercard.  Even though they apparently require you to rapidly turn the power off then on to save.

"We are merely sprites that dance at the beck and call of our button pressing overlord."


#3 2008-12-25 2:42:38 pm


Re: GBA SP back ups

If you're looking for something cheap, I'd recommend the EZ-Flash IV.  It's just llike the M3 and Supercard, in that it loads to ram on the flash cart to play games, but it doesn't the slowdown issues Supercard does and it's cheaper than the M3.  The down side is that development on it has basically stopped (at least on the GBA side) and it doesn't offer all the features that the M3 and Supercard have (no real-time save and no cheat support (well, the latter *can* work..but you're unlikely to want to use it that way)).  If you're interested in the EZ-Flash IV at all, you should look through the Unofficial EZ-Flash IV Tutorial and Usage Guide.  You'll also probably want to look through the Unofficial EZ-Flash IV Forums.

There's certainly a good many quirks to watch out for.  But, IMO, it's worth the effort to learn about.  And you can use my patched versions of PocketNES, Goomba, etc with the EZ-Flash IV so the normal "exit" function works right.

One finaly note, this being about dealextreme.com.  I've ordered from them on multiple occasions, and I've been generally rather happy with the results.  Shipping will take quite a while, but if you're willing to wait, the low prices make up for it.  Having said that, I'm a little unhappy at the moment about them apparently being out of stock on neck loops without telling me until well after I ordered.  :/  But, that seems to be a problem with most online retailers.  So, I'd be weary until they show themselves to be clearly in stock (ie saying something "Ready to ship in 1-3 days").

Good luck, whatever you decide.

EZ-Flash iV Tutorial:  ezflash.sosuke.com/wiki/index.php?title=EZFlash_IV_Tutorial
EZ-Flash IV Usage Guide:  ezflash.sosuke.com/wiki/index.php?title=EZFlash_4
Unofficial EZ-Flash IV Forums:  ezflash.sosuke.com/viewforum.php?f=12&sid=73c4388e743f8d7c92708b42987bf83c

@Dwedit:  Sorry for interjecting, but it seems whenever these discussions come up only the M3 and Supercard are mentioned.  The EZ-Flash IV certainly has its quirks, but I'd say they're less severe than the Supercard's (obviously, though, I'm a bit biased).  So, I have a sort of have a strong temptation to cheerlead for it.

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