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Hi! I hope this is the right place to ask a question like this. I've spent hours and hours tonight scouring the internet for help and finally decided to just ask an authority.

So here's the sitch:
Today I was feeling nostalgic and got out my old Pokemon games. I couldn't remember what kind of progress I'd made in any of them, so one by one I put them in my Gameboy Advance and booted them up. Thankfully, they all started and seemed to play fine, except my Gold and Silver were wiped of any saved games when I know for sure there should have been saved games on them (from fifteen years ago, but I have older games that still retain my one and only adventure on them and work normally). I started new adventures on every one of the games that didn't have any save files, saved my progress after receiving my starter, turned it off, and turned it back on. New Game or Options, no Continue.

My Google research was 50-50: half of the results discussed issues saving on the virtual boy advance, which I didn't even know existed until I read those, and the other half discussed cartridge batteries going "dry" and needing to be replaced. So the first half didn't help because I'm using an actual Gameboy Advance, not a PC and rompak, but the other half---well, I can't tell if that's what's going on with my games or not. Most of the articles talked about getting notified in-game of a "dry battery" or "save failed," but I never saw any indication that anything was wrong with my games, and the time seemed fine.

The games that were wiped and wouldn't save anything new were Gold, Silver, and Crystal, and LeafGreen, FireRed, and Ruby. My second Crystal, three Reds, Yellow, Sapphire, and Emerald worked normally. I didn't try my DS games, I assume they're fine... the gen 3 games I believe came from eBay, so there's a chance I was sold faulty games... but the gen 2 games were bought brand-new at the turn of the century and never belonged to anyone but me. I briefly considered the problem lying with in my console...but how would half the games consistently work fine while the other half consistently didn't?

So I just don't know. Maybe they're just old and worn out. Can anyone shed some light on this for me please? Or at least point me in the correct direction :)

The batteries have obviously ran dry on some of the gamea, while the other's batteries are fine. How much did you play the non-saving games compared to the ones that save
2nd gen games don't tell you when the battery runs dry. As for the 3rd gen games... they should tell you and the only thing affected should've been the time events, without wiping your save data.
Dry batteries would make sense on the G, S, and C. From what I've read, their internal batteries have a significantly shorter life span than the gen 1 games due to the time-keeping, so it makes sense that they've dried up before the Reds and Yellow (though their time is ticking down, too.) The second Crystal I inherited from my brother not long after he bought it, and I'd already completed my own, so that's likely almost never been played.  I'll start looking into new batteries for them.

The LG, FR, and Ruby, though... I don't remember playing them. At the time I got them mostly for collection purposes, but it's possible I tried Ruby out, since I have saved games on Sapphire and Emerald--but I definitely did not play any of those five nearly enough to wear out their batteries. I didn't even complete S or E. However, they are off eBay, which only keeps two years of purchase history, so I can't look at the transaction details (dang it!), but they could have been played a lot before they came to me. So they could have bad batteries...but if they're supposed to notify me of that, which they didn't, maybe they're just faulty.

1 Answer

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The batteries are dead or there is damage to the cartridge. Probably the former. Some game shops offer repair services that can replace the batteries or detect what the problem is otherwise. You may be able to use a security bit and investigate yourself.

edited by
Okay, so the consensus is dead batteries, or faulty games, which is what I suspected but wanted to confirm . I didn't even know game cartridges had batteries in them. I'm learning so much! Thank you so much, everyone. Ima find me some new batteries. :)