Tutorial: Convert NDS GameShark Saves (.SPS) into 3in1 Exp Pack Saves (.SAV)
This is my Tutorial for converting GameShark (.SPS) files into (.SAV) files which are necessary for loading your save within the EZ V 3in1 Expansion Pack Tool.
These saves can easily be found all over the net so if your looking or want to download a specific game save file, you'll need this Tutorial to get it working...
A) Nintendo DS
B) EZ Flash V 3in1 Expansion Pack
C) Rudolph's 3in1 Expansion Pack Tool v1.9d (It's the latest version out ATM)
D) Slot-1 Device that can load the 3in1 Exp Pack Tool
E) Computer (Needed for file transfer and to run a GBA Emulator)
F) TransFlash Adaptor (To read and write to your MicroSD card from the PC)
G) Visual Boy Advance 1.8beta3 (The latest version of that specific GBA Emulator available for computers).
H) GameShark (.SPS) File that you want converted.
1) Open 3in1 Expansion Pack Tool and press (R) to go into NOR mode.
2) Pick the ROM of the save that you want to convert and select the "(A): Copy the selected game" option. This will erase the NOR and copy the ROM you selected.
3) Run the ROM using the "(X): RUN" option so that it can create a (.SAV) file for you in the MicroSD card.
(We will call this (.SAV) **FILE1** for the sake of the Tutorial.)
4) Once your ROM is loaded, turn off the DS, remove your MicroSD card from it, then load the card onto your computer.
5) Go into your MicroSD card. Copy your ROM into the same folder as the VisualBoyAdvance Emulator you downloaded.
6) Open VisualBoyAdvance and click "File", then "Open" and load up your ROM.
7) Go to "File", then "Import", then "GameShark Snapshot". Now browse to and load your (.SPS) file.
8) You will recieve a "Please Confirm Action" window that follows with "Importing a snapshot file will erase any saved games and reset the emulator. Do you want to continue?" Press OK and the ROM will reset and load with your (.SPS) file.
9) Play the game to make sure that the save works. Once thats done, resave within the game itself.
(You are saving inside the game in order for a new (.SAV) file to come out with the (.SPS) file's information)
(We will call this new second (.SAV) **FILE2** for the sake of the Tutorial)
10) After you save, click "File", then "Close" to shutdown the ROM.
(The (.SAV) *FILE2* will now appear in the folder you have the VisualBoyAdvance Emulator in... Make sure its there before you proceed to the next step. It will have the same name as the ROM you loaded up)
11) Go back to the Emulator and press "File" then "Open" to load your ROM again.
(This is to make sure the new (.SAV) *FILE2* that was made works. When you load the ROM you will see a red statement in the bottom left hand corner of the emulator screen saying "Loaded Battery" This means it has loaded your (.SAV) *FILE2*. If the ROM retains everything from the GameShark (.SPS) file, then proceed to the next step.)
12) It's time to open up your MicroSD card. Go into the GBA/Save folder. Find the (.SAV) *FILE1*. You have to rename the (.SAV) *FILE2* from the VisualBoyAdvance emulator the same exact name as the (.SAV) *FILE1* in your MicroSD card.
(Ex: If your (.SAV) *FILE1* is called "CASTLEVANIA2 A2CE.SAV" rename the new (.SAV) *FILE2* the exact same thing.)
13) Once you renamed the new (.SAV) *FILE2*, delete the old (.SAV) *FILE1* from your memory card. Then add the new (.SAV) *FILE2* to replace it.
14) Put the MicroSD card back into your DS and load up the 3in1 Expansion Pack Tool. Once loaded go back into NOR mode and press the "(Y) Restore data in SRAM from SAV file" option. Right after a second notification pops up. Just press the "(A): Run" option.
15) Run the ROM (press the "(X): Run" button)
Voila, your newly aquired (.SAV) file should be loaded and ready for you.
I - GameShark files are the only files that this tutorial will work with because it is the only type of files that the VisualBoyAdvance could load (other than its own native (.SGM) file format) and I don't know any databases that store those files. Regardless of the fact, with some understanding of the process and minor editing to this guide you would be able to convert VisualBoyAdvance (.SGM) files into (.SAV) files as well.)
II - In theory, you should be able to convert Pro Action files if you find either a Pro Action to Gameshark converter or if you find an emulator that supports Pro Action files. Most of the files that people download and share are GameShark (.SPS) files so thats why I decided to leave the Tutorial strictly for those types of save files.
III - You cannot use GameShark save files from Regions other than where your ROM is from. You have to make sure the save file you are downloading is the matching save for the version of the ROM that you are running. This is a crucial part to the conversion working. You will get an error in VisualBoyAdvance if the ROM and save file do not match.
(Ex: When I tried to import a downloaded GameShark (.SPS) file using VisualBoyAdvance for the Mario Kart Super Circuit ROM that I had, I recieved the following error:
"Cannot import snapshot for MARIO KART AMKP. Current game is MARIO KART AMKE"
The download said US but using GBATA I found out the save file was infact a EUR save. So remember that save files of ROMs are not Region interchangeable and will only work with its specific region.)
IV - Some clean, unpatched ROMs will not natively work with the VisualBoyAdvance Emulator. In this event you will want to try using your already SRAM patched ROM from your MicroSD card or if you haven't yet you will want to patch your ROM using GBATA so it will be compatible with both the EZ V 3in1 Expansion Pack and the VisualBoyAdvance Emulator.
(Ex: A clean, unpatched Pokemon Emerald ROM in my testing loaded to a blank screen in the VisualBoyAdvance Emulator until I SRAM patched it using GBATA. The ROM loaded up without a hitch in the Emulator after that.)
V - (Regarding Step#9) Resaving within the game itself is not always necessary. Most ROMs will create a (.SAV) file that will have the GameShark sav loaded in already by starting the ROM, importing the GameShark save then closing the ROM.
(Within the small amount of save files that I succesfully converted, I had one problem ROM which was Pokemon Emerald. The clean, unpatched ROM would spit out a (.SAV) file when I closed it but the ROM itself didnt load (as stated in NOTE IV). This meant that the (.SAV) file that was coming out was useless. To make matters worse, after I SRAM patched the ROM, the game worked but it wouldn't make a (.SAV) file after I closed it. It was only after I saved within the Pokemon game itself and then closed the ROM that a (.SAV) file was finally created. So in essense, I added an extra step to the tutorial to make sure that the people reading this guide will not have to deal with any problem ROMs.)
Nice Tutorial ILLPLEASA... I gave ya some Rep Points and made it a STICKY for awhile.
As for all the required files, people can just Google them... I'm sure they aren't that difficult to find.