Wario Land 4 save corruption

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Hi, it's me again! (man, it's been a while since I started a thread, here...)

A few months ago I had my Wario Land 4 save file go partly corrupt, which I thought was really interesting. I've never read about it anywhere, so I wonder if it's happened to anyone else!
I quit while playing Hall of Hieroglyphs, so I got the continue thing on the menu screen. Then I connected my cartridge to a ROM ripping device I have that's erased my saves in lots of my games (allegedly it has been fixed in a recent update, but I haven't tried it again yet).
Of course, when I put it back in my GBA and turned it on, I was expecting to either be able to continue my Hall of Hieroglyphs playthrough, or get to a menu with no savegames in it. But instead a message I had never seen before popped up. I don't remember what it said, and I don't think I took a picture (stupidly :P), but it basically said that my save data had gone corrupt but that I could continue from the last main save I had made. And sure enough, I could restart from the Entry Passage. Meaning that my quit playthrough of Hall of Hieroglyphs was lost, but I did not lose all data and have to watch the intro again.
Has anyone else experienced this, or at least heard of it? And, what I wonder even more: how can it happen that that part of the data goes corrupt but there's enough to be able to have the player continue from the pyramid? And, what I wonder even more: why did the developers bother to put in something for this, while under normal circumstances save corruption should be quite rare? :o
I've only had save corruption happen in another game once, which is probably an even crazier story. Because that time I didn't use any 3rd-party devices, I was just playing Super Mario Bros. Deluxe and from one day to the next suddenly Japanese characters had appeared in my calendar notes (I do actually have a photo of that, somewhere). That was crazy, as it's not even possible to write Japanese characters in the European release of the game. :P
 

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Hmm, that's strange indeed, and not something I've heard from before either.
My guess is that the game got corrupted from the ROM ripping device, or maybe even from the gameboy itself. My own GBA SP, for example, plays all games well, but for some reason the system crashes sometimes, and some games are more prone to this than others. But I never got anything of an error message when turning the system back on, so I doubt that's the true reason.

One question though: did the error message appear in the Wario Land 4 font and style, or did it have more of a "Health and Safety" kind of look?
 
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607

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Hmm, that's strange indeed, and not something I've heard from before either.
My guess is that the game got corrupted from the ROM ripping device, or maybe even from the gameboy itself. My own GBA SP, for example, plays all games well, but for some reason the system crashes sometimes, and some games are more prone to this than others. But I never got anything of an error message when turning the system back on, so I doubt that's the true reason.
Yes, the save got corrupted from the ripping device, I'm sure of that.
In your case: I'm almost positive that that's due to grime on the cartridges. Have you cleaned them? When carts are very dirty the game just won't load (and the 'Nintendo' logo will be missing or corrupted), but sometimes they can be clean enough to load up correctly initially but dirty enough to have a risk of an unsuccessful load later on.

One question though: did the error message appear in the Wario Land 4 font and style, or did it have more of a "Health and Safety" kind of look?
Good question! I don't quite remember how it looked, but it really was part of the game, similar to other dialog messages in the game. Otherwise I would have remembered, I'm sure! I only have one game that I can get to crash and get to such a message that is outside the regular game, which is FIFA 07. :D

I might try to reproduce this issue later, but allegedly the save corruption bug has been fixed. Which would be great, as as long as I risk losing save data from using the device I am not very inclined to use it. :P
 

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Yes, the save got corrupted from the ripping device, I'm sure of that.
In your case: I'm almost positive that that's due to grime on the cartridges. Have you cleaned them? When carts are very dirty the game just won't load (and the 'Nintendo' logo will be missing or corrupted), but sometimes they can be clean enough to load up correctly initially but dirty enough to have a risk of an unsuccessful load later on.

I don't think those are loading errors, as they almost always occur in mid-gameplay. It seems to be triggered by rapid button pressing, especially pressing more than one buttom at once, or directly after each other in a very quick way, which is not indicative of loading errors as far as I know; the system doesn't seem to have problems with loading and saving at all.
And I don't think dirty cartridges are the culprit either. I keep all my cartridges in dust-tight plastic boxes, or leave them in the handhelds. But cleaning the electric contacts is certainly not unheard of, although I'm heavily reluctant to cleaning them with anything other than air, for it wouldn't be the first time that I've ruined a cartridge by attempting to 'clean' it.

as as long as I risk losing save data from using the device I am not very inclined to use it. :p
Haha, that's kinda the same for me now with my GBA, where playing at it adds an extra layer of difficulty to your game, because your're constantly worrying that the game will crash, and you try to save as often as possible. It can feel like playing a game of 'chicken', a type of game where you have to try being exposed to a certain risk for as long as possible in order to win. This was especially the case when I was playing Mario Party Advance lately, and as the game got closer to its end, I felt the need to save after each and every quest, of which there are fifty. There's even a true minigame called chicken in that game, which ironically describes the whole situation quite well.

There's also another thing that I've noticed: the crashes seem to occur in clusters, i.e. in multiples after each other, with long gaps of 'safety' in between them. This is a good thing though, because it takes away a bit of fear from you when you want to play an important level or part of the game.
But besides all this, I still play the harder GBA games on my DS, and Gameboy Color and Game Boy games on their respective systems. Just to be sure, you know.
 
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I'm rather surprised to not see more interest in this! Or is this forum not active anymore?

Anyway: here you go!
Wario Land 4 (USA, Europe).2021-01-01 17.55.04.png


I remembered some time ago that Wario Land 4 actually uses two types of save. I figured that maybe one of them had been lost, but not the other. I then figured I could easily reproduce that in an emulator, by removing that file. But the emulator I use, Bizhawk, keeps all the save data in one huge file. However, I opened the entire file in a hex editor and tried to guess where the data for the mid-level save was... and apparently my first guess was right. ;)
 

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I'm rather surprised to not see more interest in this! Or is this forum not active anymore?

Anyway: here you go!
Wario Land 4 (USA, Europe).2021-01-01 17.55.04.png

Well, it's still active, just not as much as it used to be. Just the other day, I visited the Forums as a guest, and looked back at lost of old threads, and it made me realise just how much the activity, as well as the general "motivation", so to speak, has wasted away over the years. We're certainly not the good ol' Wario Forums we used to be, but we're still up an running, and even receiving new members on a fairly regular basis, and that's good enough to me. And besides, who am I to complain when I too aren't as active as I was in days long gone?

But anyway, your error message screenshot is quite interesting. I haven't seen something like that in any Wario game so far. It is indeed in the Wario Land 4 "house style", something that was to be expected, but still interesting to see nonetheless. I didn't know that they ever programmed such a message in the game, since I haven't seen it before in image galleries, nor on The Spriters' Resource. (I'm not a sprite ripper myself, but I visit the site every once in a while just to look at the tons of sprites, for they allow me to analise the buildup of levels and thus to appreciate the game more, or just to gaze at the sometimes gorgeous backgrounds of certain games -mostly Kirby games- since these are often partially obscured and as such not to be fully enjoyed in the actual game.)

Since Wario Land 4 is, how should I put it, a quite "robust" game, i.e. it rarely has trouble with its ROM and internal software in general (At least according to my own experinces with the game; as I mentioned before, all my troubles with the game are to be blamed on my rather poor-functioning GBA), you might very well be one of the very few people to have ever seen this message, and one of the even fewer to have made a screenshot of it.
 
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