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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:28 am 
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I noticed on this forum and others that a lot of folks have had problems with saving earthbound zero on the powerpak. Download a 32kb blank save and rename it the same as your earthbound zero rom. Problem solved. I think this will work for dragon warrior 3, final fantasy 3 and some other games also, although I haven't tried those games yet. you can download the save file here: http://blog.ntrq.net/ Check out some of this guys software if you're into chiptune and shoot him a donation. Hope this helps.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:50 am 
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SRAM is only 8KBytes. Who or what told you to use 32KBytes, and why?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:42 am 
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For software like PR8 and Pulsar, a 32kb save is required to save all songs and patterns. I ended up using the 32kb sram after a couple of hours fiddling with my powerpak and earthbound zero for about an hour. Guess it was an accident. Point is, it worked and i can now continue playing earthbound zero. Does that answer your question?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:13 am 
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drrainbows wrote:
For software like PR8 and Pulsar, a 32kb save is required to save all songs and patterns. I ended up using the 32kb sram after a couple of hours fiddling with my powerpak and earthbound zero for about an hour. Guess it was an accident. Point is, it worked and i can now continue playing earthbound zero. Does that answer your question?

Yes. You found what is called "a kludge" for getting something to work, based on comparisons against strange things (I'm not judging!). Let's review the actual technical details:

PR8 is a homebrew effort from Neil Baldwin, and is supposedly an SXROM board using mapper 1, but it's "quirk" is that it legitimately uses 32KBytes of SRAM (SXROM supports this, and Neil was regularly here on the forum discussing how to accomplish it). See the Requirements section of the page. Again: it's very unique in this regard. There aren't commercial games (that I know of) which use more than 8KBytes.

Pulsar is another homebrew effort from Neil Baldwin, and is subject to the exact same design/aspects of PR8 above.

I'll get to EarthBound Zero in a moment, but first: MOTHER is a TKROM board + MMC3 (mapper 4) game. I would think that Nintendo would have retained that in the prototype EarthBound Zero (TKROM and MMC3 were used in US commercial titles!), but I simply don't know and don't want to assume.

EarthBound Zero is one of those officially-translated-but-unreleased/prototype games. It's MOTHER but in English. I have no idea what actual board type or mapper it uses. This is compounded by the fact that there a bunch of romhacked translations of MOTHER, several of which were called EarthBound Zero (the one from Neo Demiforce is the main one I'm referring to -- and this hits home with me because I've been working for Demi for the past year :-) ). So which exact ROM are we talking about that misbehaves/doesn't save? Filename and SHA1 (or MD5) checksum would be perfect. It's the only way to know.

I have 8f7f4a622a924218b07727c57669a3d3 *Earthbound (U) (Prototype).nes (which supposedly uses TKROM board + MMC3 (mapper 4), and 8KBytes of SRAM), so please verify on your side if you could. No I have not tested it on my PowerPak (but I believe your claims), and my PowerPak uses a tweaked/modified mapper set from someone here on the forum, so it wouldn't be an identical test to yours necessarily.

Finally, you didn't disclose whose mapper set you're using on your PowerPak. It matters. There are several, and the mapper behaviours differ per set. Note how MMC3 (mapper 4) has been modified/changed across all mapper sets. If I had to put my money on something, it'd be that.

Are we having fun yet? :-)

My point is that you should not going around advocating use of 32KByte .sav files (PR8 and Pulsar are unique and justified, like I said -- we're not going to talk about those, cool?). The problem is that once this is figured out and/or fixed, your 32KB .sav file fix isn't going to work any more. You're a new user on a board filled with highly technical people who absolutely can/will figure out the root cause and get it fixed properly -- no offense, again, but "Hey guys, I have a weird problem, and it seems others do too, can someone help narrow down what the cause is? I know a workaround but I get the impression something deeper is amiss" goes a lot further around here than pushing kludgy fixes.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:37 am 
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Wasn't trying to push anything on anyone. Just want to help people play earthbound zero on actual hardware. Here is all that info you requested: Earthbound Zero (Demiforce v1.01 Hack-2) (U) patched with the sprite restore IPS and the mappers I use are the v1.34 straight off the retrousb site. Hope that helps you out bruh. :beer:


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:30 am 
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Now I'm incredibly concerned. The Demiforce romhack/translation is also TKROM/mapper 4, and SRAM/WRAM is 8KBytes. So this isn't a SOROM/SXROM issue since it's using MMC3/mapper 4.

The fact that others (in the other thread you posted in) reported issues with Crystalis (also TKROM/mapper 4), etc. all leads me to believe MMC3 (mapper 4) in the official v1.34 mappers is buggy/broken.

I'd suggest trying the other mapper packs, deleting the .sav, and trying again. Try loopy's first, then thefox's.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:56 am 
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Meh.... I'm about half through the game and this has been working out for me. Maybe I'll try out those loopy mappers in the future.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:59 am 
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koitsu wrote:
There aren't commercial games (that I know of) which use more than 8KBytes.

Bootgod's database can answer questions like this. Here's a list of games with WRAM larger than 8k:
http://bootgod.dyndns.org:7777/search.php?wram_op=%3E%60%40%60&wram=8&field=2

Mother, of course only had 8k, though:
http://bootgod.dyndns.org:7777/profile.php?id=3553

Kinda bizarre that changing the save file size would have any affect?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:16 pm 
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Has anyone made it work with an 8kb SRAM yet?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:26 pm 
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Really pumped to be playing earthbound zero on my original nes hardware regardless of the wacky save file situation.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:35 pm 
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I guess I could test those mappers on another cf card. Did you want me to try the 32kb save again with the modded mappers? Is this going to help you at all?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:39 pm 
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Random question: If you look inside the 32 KiB save file, is there anything in the last 24 KiB?

I have two guesses for what I might see:
* First (or last) 8 KiB contain a valid save; other 24 KiB is empty
* Four repeats of valid save

If it's not either, that's very interesting.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:44 pm 
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I almost forgot. I updated the v1.34 mappers with the supplied updates with the pr8 download. Maybe that has something to do with it?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:11 pm 
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lidnariq wrote:
Random question: If you look inside the 32 KiB save file, is there anything in the last 24 KiB?

I have two guesses for what I might see:
* First (or last) 8 KiB contain a valid save; other 24 KiB is empty
* Four repeats of valid save

If it's not either, that's very interesting.

What do you use to examine the save file?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:14 pm 
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You don't need a separate CF card. You can just back up the one save file in question, and you'll be fine.

I suspect if a 32k save file happens to work, it might be saving to the wrong part of the file. You can probably just trim to the correct 8k portion to create a proper 8k save from your 32k save. (The rest should be zeroes.)

Crystalis appears to save properly with thefox's PowerMappers: https://kkfos.aspekt.fi/
Also appears to save properly with loopy's mappers: http://3dscapture.com/NES/powerpak_loopy.zip

Recommend taking latest retroUSB mapper set, copying loopy's mappers on top of that, then copying PowerMappers on top of that. (This seems to be the "best" set of mappers.)


Last edited by rainwarrior on Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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