Handheld Underground

Sintax stays home

posted by taizou @ 2020-09-21 01:03:43 Dumps

Once again, today I'm bringing you some Chinese-language versions of GBA Sintax games I previously dumped!

Thanks again to a123_ddd for providing these dumps, and to the individual dumpers credited against each one.

(Small administrative note that probably nobody cares about: as of this release I've switched to romanising Chinese titles spaced per-syllable instead of per-word. The reason for this is it avoids me having to exercise my non-expert judgement on how to space things, which can lead to inconsistencies, and hence the per-syllable approach is better for library-esque usage (at least according to a post I read somewhere))

X Zhan Jing (X战警) / X-man

Chinese version of X-man: Armour of Might. Has a very colourful English title logo in place of the bronzed Russian one, I don't know if the English version is the same.

Dumped by 侵蚀你的私处

Download: X Zhan Jing (X-man) (Unl) (Chn) [YJ restored].zip

Gu Huo Lang 4 (古惑狼4)

Chinese version of Crash Advance 4. This one has unique translated level names.

Dumped by dcillbleed

Download: Gu Huo Lang 4 (Unl) (Chn) [YJ restored].zip

Ren Zhe Shen Gui 2 (忍者神龟2)

Chinese version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2. Again, there are unique translated level names.

I've also seen this one under the title 超級忍者龜2 (Super Ninja Turtles 2), which was the name used on old Taiwanese copies of Turtles games for the Famicom.

Dumped by yy小龙虾

Download: Ren Zhe Shen Gui 2 (Unl) (Chn) [YJ restored].zip


GBX tool beta release

posted by taizou @ 2020-09-07 01:50:33 Other Stuff

I said a long-ass time ago that I would make a tool for managing the file footers on GBX ROMs and I absolutely never did

Anyway the other day I decided to learn Python and do it, so here it is!

The latest (and only) release as of this writing is v1.0.0-beta.

It can add, edit and remove headers, and also hash ROMs. It's still in a beta state, so I wouldn't call it robust exactly, but I've tested the various operations against some test ROMs and got the expected results. You should definitely verify its output in a hex editor if you're using it for a ROM you plan to release though.

You'll need to install the Python 3 interpreter for your platform to use it. Then, just download the source code zip from the beta release and run gbxtool.py as per the instructions.


Eat your leafy greens

posted by taizou @ 2020-08-03 01:43:50 Dumps

Got another YJencrypted GBA cart here, and it's not a Sintax game!! Yeah!!

Pokémon: Pokemon: Pokémon: Leaf Green!? You guessed it (maybe (or maybe you saw the screenshots I tweeted)) - it's another bootleg translation!

This is a weird one for sure! They seem to have taken things like names, and parts of the system text, from the official games - meaning a lot of things are more correct (albeit abbreviated) than you'd find in other bootleg translations, except for the cases where they inevitably pasted the wrong name in the wrong place. The dialogue was mostly translated from scratch, and the writing would have been okay, by the standards of these things, if not for one very strange flaw: half of the text in the game just... cuts off, mid-sentence, and sometimes even mid-word. It's as if they completed the translated script, realised too late that they didn't have enough space to insert it into the ROM, and then just indiscriminately trimmed the strings down to cram them in. It makes for some interesting dialogue.

The original cart seems to use a 128KB SRAM chip, which nothing emulates; it's similar to Pokemon Sapphire's problem, except doubly so, since it seems to use some custom banking and there aren't any emulators that "accidentally" emulate it, unlike Sapphire's 64KB SRAM. So that means you will not be able to save your game normally under emulation in any current emulators, and will have to use savestates instead. Sorry about that.

Pokemon - Leaf Green (Unl) (Eng) [YJ restored].zip


Sintax comes home

posted by taizou @ 2020-07-06 02:41:21 Dumps

So far, all the Sintax GBA dumps I've posted here have come from English or Russian-language releases. Sintax being a Chinese company, though, they also released Chinese-language versions of their games for the local market. But, unlike GBC (where probably the majority of my collection is Chinese in origin), I've never really tried to source interesting-looking GBA carts from China, and hence I've never had any of those versions to dump.

But, fortunately, some dumpers from China have picked up the slack, so today I can bring you Chinese versions of a couple of games I previously dumped in other languages.

These ROMs were kindly provided to me by a123_ddd for distribution here.

Leiman IV - Guangming Zhi Lü (雷曼IV 光明之旅)

This is the Chinese version of Rayman IV, of which I've previously posted the Russian and English versions here. It seems to be the same as the other versions, aside from the title screen.

Amazingly, this is not the last remaining language version - there was also a German release. Rayman is truly gaming's Mr. Worldwide.

Dumped by 侵蚀你的私处

Download: Leiman IV - Guangming Zhi Lv (Unl) (Chi) [YJ restored].zip

Chaoji Maliou DX (超级玛莉欧DX)

And this is the Chinese version of Super Mario DX. This one at least has unique translated level names, so there's a bit more of a difference between the language versions.

Dumped by yy小龙虾

Download: Chaoji Maliou DX (Unl) (Chi) [YJ restored].zip


Rudy Can't Fail

posted by taizou @ 2020-06-01 09:54:52 Dumps

The Sintax games just keep coming! Three of them this time, because that's just the way the chips have fallen. On the ground, with seagulls pecking at them.

X-man - Armour of Might / X-men (X-мен)

First of all, one based on X-men, or maybe just the one X-man. Another reskin of the same game as usual, of course. This is another Russian version, and similar to my previous Russian dump, Rayman 4, the only thing translated is the title screen; the label and box are both still in English. Unlike Rayman, they didn't concoct a separate E12-Rxx ID for the Russian version - it just uses an English ID.

I've also taken a picture of the back of the cartridge here, because it reveals a bit of interesting historical context around the release of this thing.. which is maybe more interesting than the game itself at this point.

The seal covering the screw is marked "AM", which is a SUPER common type of sticker seen on pirate Game Boy Color carts all around the world; I assume this must indicate some large Chinese distributor or wholesaler of such carts. It also bears (🐻) the year 2005, with months between April and September; this doesn't necessarily mean the game was released in mid-2005 (it could have been in print for multiple years, or have been an older cart that was stickered or re-stickered later), but does mean it couldn't have been released after mid-2005.

The other sticker is from "vikart.com", which was a Russian wholesaler of game consoles, accessories and games. Presumably they imported cartridges from "AM" into Russia at some point. This sticker is dated January of 2006, which would probably have been either the date they stocked it or the date they sold it. Here's a roughly contemporary copy of their website. Unfortunately, by 2006 they weren't maintaining a public list of GBA games they offered; they had one around 2003, but it was removed and not updated, and only the first page archived. Same goes for their Game Boy Color list, but that at least has some interesting multicarts listed upfront.

Download: X-Man - Armour of Might (X-men) (Unl) (Rus) [YJ restored].zip

Ultraman - Confrontation Between Justice And Evil / Ul'traman - Konfrontatsiya mezhdu spravedlivost'yu i zlom (УЛЬТраман - Конфронтация между справедливостью и злом)

Next up: Ultraman! Even if the title screen depicts some kind of Power Rangers. I've been, I guess, "generous" in transcribing the main title with the proper Cyrillic characters; what Sintax has apparently done here is attempt to approximate Cyrillic letters using a Latin font, resulting in something more like "YJIbTpamaн".

The stickers on the back here.. actually make no sense. The AM one is from January-March 2006, while the Vikart one is from August 2005?!? Why would the Chinese sticker be newer than the Russian one? I notice there are remnants of an older sticker under the AM one... maybe it got returned as faulty, repaired and restickered and sent back out? Or maybe someone in Russia had a supply of "AM" stickers to reseal carts after opening them. Or one of the parties just used a sticker with the wrong date on it. Many possibilities.

Download: Ultraman - Confrontation Between Justice And Evil (Ul'traman - Konfrontatsiya mezhdu spravedlivost'yu i zlom) (Unl) (Rus) [YJ restored].zip

Digimon - Rudy and Sapphire / Digimon - Ruby and Sapphire

As you'll know if you have been following these posts, all of Sintax's GBA games so far have been derived from their original "Digimon Adventure" game, ported from the SNES. And now, after dozens of reskins covering everything from Mario to Shrek, they've come all the way back around to Digimon again. The circle of life. The cartridge calls it "Rudy and Sapphire", while the title screen has "Ruby and Sapphire" - so I've gone with the latter for the ROM name, since the former was obviously just a typo. Probably. Or maybe that's Rudy on the label, in which case I offer my sincerest apologies to him. he seems like a fine gentleman.

Anyway: instead of starring Agumon as Digimon Adventure did, this game features a Guilmon sprite ripped from Digimon Battle Spirit (or maybe Vast Fame's own Digimon Sapphire, which also ripped its sprites from Battle Spirit? Hmm!)

This cart came to me from the Netherlands, but I don't know if it was originally sold there - I never considered the Netherlands as a particular pirate hotspot. But maybe it did make its way there to some flea market or sketchy game shop... or maybe it was just bought on holiday or from eBay.

On the back: only remnants of the seal remain, but it looks like it once said "EMR" and maybe "2005-2006" - so again that lines up with the carts above, indicating 2005-2006 was probably when these later Sintax carts were on the market around the world. Also "Wouter E" has left his mark. I wonder what he thought of this game.

Download: Digimon - Ruby and Sapphire (Unl) (Eng) [YJ restored].zip