Trading 17 Year Old Pokemon to Sun / Moon

Discussion in 'Gaming Hangout' started by InsaneNutter, Apr 30, 2017.

  1. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    As fans of the original Pokemon games will know, it was never possible to trade your Pokemon from Red, Blue, Yellow and Green (in Japan) to the GameBoy Advance Pokemon games and beyond. It's also very likely the battery which keeps your save game alive in your game cartridge has long since run dry.

    However 17 and a half years later it appears the battery inside @Trebor's Pokemon Blue cartridge still works and all his Pokemon from 1999 are intact. This really surprised us both, as Trebor hadn't touched the game for easily the last 15 years.

    As Trebor had loaned me all his past Pokemon games to help with my living Pokedex progress I thought i'd make the effort to save his original Pokemon from over 17 years ago to say thanks!

    This post is going to show what was impossible until recently, trading original Pokemon from Red, Blue, Yellow and Green all the way up to the latest Pokemon Sun / Moon games.

    To do this we are going to have to use 3rd party tools, so in one sense you can't 100% legitimately do this only using only Nintendo issued hardware and tools, however the end result will be indistinguishable from the Nintendo approved way.

    First thing first I imagined the battery in the Pokemon Blue cartridge could fail at any second, so before i did anything i backed up the save on to my GameBoy Mega Memory card. This is great as a temp backup, however doesn't allow us to do anything other than restore the save back to the cartridge it came from.

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    So once I knew I could recover from what ever i did after this point i hooked the Pokemon Blue game up to my Gameboy Transferer 2. I purchased this device years ago to backup my own GameBoy save games so I could use them with emulators and most importantly preserve them. You can also dump roms of your games with this and write them back to GameBoy flash cards, however i've never actually owned a GameBoy flashcard to try this.

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    This is where things get a bit more complex, you might notice the the Gameboy Transferer 2 uses a parallel port (printer port) to connect to a PC, modern PC's simply do not have this legacy connector anymore.

    Luckily I still have our familys first ever PC back from 1998, the last time this was powered on was in 2010 when i needed a PC with a parallel port, so I was unsure if it would actually still work, however it did!

    The younger me taught myself how to upgrade and build a PC using this computer, so it's seen a lot of abuse over the years.

    The PC was a Pentium 2 @ 300mhz, 128mb of ram, 4MB ATI Rage Pro GPU with an 8gb hard drive, however the motherboard failed about a year after we got it, so we ended up getting a new motherboard that could take both the Pentium 2 processor we had and newer ones up to 900mhz. So a few years later i upgraded it to a 900mhz Celeron, bumped the ram up to 512mb and added a Nvidia RIVA TNT 2 GPU to it, so despite its age this PC can actually run Windows XP pretty well, which is perfect for use with hardware like the Gameboy Transferer 2.

    You might be able to see the ISA 56k modem at the bottom, PCI USB 2.0 expansion card, 10/100 Ethernet card (PC's didn't have onboard network connections back then) and the Nvidia RIVA TNT 2 above that.

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    Everything still appeared to work nicely the GB Smart Writer software was able to recognise the Pokemon Blue game, so by clicking "Down Sram" i can download the save game to the PC.

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    I also dumped a rom of Pokemon Blue and checked I could load the save i'd dumped in an emulator, which i could! So i then copied the save on to my Home Server so I could access it on my main PC running Windows 10.

    A bit off topic, however I was impressed an old Nvidia RIVA TNT2 could output at my monitors native resolution of 1920x1200:

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    So now now the hard bit is done, the save is backed up and no longer at the mercy of a 17 year old battery:

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    Next using a 3DS that is homebrew enabled I was able to take the save game I backed up and inject that in to the Virtual Console re-release of Pokemon Blue on the Nintendo 3DS.

    I have a full in depth tutorial i posted up last year on how to do this, see: Pokemon GameBoy / Rom Save Transfer To 3DS

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    With the save game from the physical Pokemon Blue cartridge now on the Virtual Console version of Pokemon Blue on the 3DS I can simply use the Poke Transporter application to import the Pokemon on to PokeBank, as far as the 3DS is concerned these Pokemon could have been caught yesterday, not 17 years ago:

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    Once transported to PokeBank the Pokemon can be moved on to any GEN 7 Pokemon game, which is currently just Pokemon Sun and Moon.

    So there we have it, @Trebor's 17 and a half year old Pokemon are now waiting on my Pokemon Moon game to be traded to his Pokemon Sun game:

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    I thought i'd do a little blog to show people it is indeed possible to trade your old GameBoy Pokemon to GEN 7.

    Related links:

    How to backup GameBoy and GameBoy Colour save games from retail cartridges

    Pokemon GameBoy / Rom Save Transfer To 3DS

    Now you might well be thinking this is all well and good, however i don't happen to own an almost 20 year old PC which still has a parallel port and it's impossible to buy the Gameboy Transferer 2 even if I did.

    All is not lost however, keep an eye on this Tindie project, someone has created a modern GameBoy cartridge reader that works over USB, on Windows 10. This has been out of stock for a while, however it seems the designer is expecting to have more stock for sale within the next couple of days.
     
  2. wrldwzrd89

    wrldwzrd89 Well-Known Member

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    Nice find! I'm sure this same technique can be used for other games besides the Pokémon series, and it just so happens I have 8 Game Boy cartridges lying around without hardware able to use them. I may very well give this a try.
     
  3. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    It can be indeed, you can backup any GameBoy save and then use it on an emulator. Or take saves from other games and import them on to the 3DS.

    The Pokemon games are unique in that you can import your Pokemon from past games to use, battle and even unlock events in later games.
     
  4. wrldwzrd89

    wrldwzrd89 Well-Known Member

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    The above mentioned Tindie project is back in stock!
     
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  5. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    I just got an email about that too and have ordered one. Certainly something i'm interested in trying out.
     
  6. wrldwzrd89

    wrldwzrd89 Well-Known Member

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    I have also placed my order.
     
  7. Slaz

    Slaz Addict

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    Nice transfer there. Pretty amazing!

    Me and my bro's reset the original GB games from around 1999/2000 a few times so I don't have any of my old Pokémon, aside from those very early in the game. But surprisingly the batteries for Red and Blue still work last time I tried! Apparently, Gold, Silver, and Crystal used a weaker battery type to enable the clock component to work. That's why chances are pretty good the GEN1 Pokémon games still work, yet as far as I know all original GEN2 batteries are long dead.
     
  8. UnknownRespected

    UnknownRespected Resident

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    I don't know about Gen. II using weaker batteries, but Gen. I carts only had to worry about keeping the power on for the battery-backed SRAM, while Gen. II games also had to run a clock 24/7. That would lead to them likely running out much earlier.

    Both my Gold and Silver pretty much had dead batteries on arrival (I got them used), didn't bother me too much since I only really want them for collection purposes anyway. That was a handful of years ago.
    Red and Green both seem to be doing okay, though I am almost positive they more-or-less randomly lost their save files at some point during the time they were in storage and never used. They hold save files for more than 5-10 minutes though, where Blue loses its save file after a few minutes if even. And Green is likely nearly 20 years old! (Though to be fair, I have no idea whether Red or Green ever had their internal batteries changed. They weren't advertised as such, at least.)

    My Crystal was also fine last I had checked a few months ago, but I went back through all of them to check while writing up this reply and, well, it's dead now too. :P
     
  9. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    My Red is still working today which really does surprise me. My Yellow and Gold we're still working a couple of years ago, i'd have to find it out now and check if it still is. Based on other peoples experiences i'd be amazed if it still was.

    I've owned Red, Yellow and Gold since release, my Pokemon Gold was imported from America by a local shop in my town, so I had that around 7 months before it was released in Europe.

    I'm still hoping for a virtual console release of Gold / Silver / Crystal so I can import my save from the GameBoy, although I would actually like to play though Crystal as it would be great to play a GEN 2 game again.

    I've seen someone has created a hacked VC version of the GEN 2 games for the 3DS, complete with WiFi trading so i might install that as its a close as we're going to get anytime soon i imagine!
     
  10. ThisIsDaAccount

    ThisIsDaAccount New Member

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  11. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    That looks pretty interesting too and also supports GBA carts. It can also re-write those fake Pokemon games Ebay is flooded with by the looks of it, so could make for a very cheap flash card if you happen to have a fake Pokemon game about. The downside is it costs more, however you get more functionality.

    Both seem good solutions and really depends what you are after, i use my DS Lite for writing to my GBA flashcard and backing up / restoring GBA saves, so i purely needed something modern that could handle GB / GBC games, so the J.Rodrigo Cart Flasher for GameBoy was the perfect upgrade for me.

    It is great to see multiple people are working on modern solutions for very old hardware such as the GB Transferer 2 though.
     

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