DKC3 cart stopped working, other strangeness

Talk about Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! for SNES and VC.
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DKC3 cart stopped working, other strangeness

Postby Iggy » January 31st, 2013, 12:57 pm

A little over a year ago I 100%ed my DKC3 cart, and over a year later I come back to it. It no longer starts up or produces any effect besides showing a black screen instead of a (no input) on my tv. Otherwise my SNES works perfectly for all other games.

I've tried cleaning it, with no avail (alcohol and a cue tip). Recently I acquired a game genie and tried launching it through that. I know this helps on the NES because of its tighter-than-specification connectors which can eventually cause damage, but are very efficient otherwise.

Oddly enough, I get this error message in DKC3 when I go that route -
Image
I found this image at this thread http://www.dkc-atlas.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1015. But couldn't find any useful info for my situation.

Anyone here knowledgeable enough to have any idea what is going on here? Just a shot in the dark. I'm sure I've messed up my saves by now but it would be great to at least save the cartridge. Thanks.
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Re: DKC3 cart stopped working, other strangeness

Postby Simion32 » January 31st, 2013, 12:59 pm

If you can overwrite some part of the save data with junk, it might be able to delete that and create a proper save.

The DKC3 save files are checksummed, and any one byte being off will cause it to erase the save file.

That said I don't know what's wrong. :|
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Re: DKC3 cart stopped working, other strangeness

Postby Iggy » January 31st, 2013, 1:37 pm

After some critical thinking, I realized I forgot about some other things. DKC1 has this issue where some background sprites get completely messed up, no matter how hard you try to fix it, and today I noticed vertical lines on some of the sprites in Super Adventure Island which I also could not fix. I forgot I had another snes and at some point and time they got switched up.

This one is apparently very problematic. Everything's working fine now that I'm using my other snes. Even after cleaning the pins on the bad one still no changes. Lost my saves but I'm just glad I can finally play games again without any issues. So word to the wise if anyone else gets this issue don't go beating the crap out of your cartridge. Try another snes first, I think this is caused by a serious hardware issue that is outside of the realms of just cleaning the pins.

And thanks for the quick response Simion, as for the saves, so what is it about a console abrupty being shut off that will break the checksums for a save file? I got really pissed at DKC3 once and threw the controller which upset the console enough to freeze. Reset all my saves. If the game only saves at the specific save points, then what's the issue there? I know this is a problem in basically any console game though.
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Re: DKC3 cart stopped working, other strangeness

Postby Simion32 » January 31st, 2013, 1:53 pm

The problem is because if the game is in the middle of sending the signals into the cart to save the data, and power is cut or the system freezes, it never completely saves those bytes/bits/data to the battery-backed SRAM chip.

Also, the backup battery CAN run dead and cause the cart to be unable to save the game (the SRAM zeroes out automatically after the SNES power goes off because the data is maintained by a power supply).

I don't completely know how DKC3 works in this regard -- but it doesn't update the checksum until everything else is written and it has actually done the checksum. So effectively even if the vast majority of the data got saved correctly, the game will detect the error because the checksum is wrong. It then deletes your file and overwrites it with a valid (but empty) save file.
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