I bought a copy of Pokemon Fire Red off Amazon. Shortly after I bought it, I read several reviews stating the person bought a pirated copy. I was wondering... how can I tell if I purchased a pirated game?
Pirated copies often have internal damage messages at the beginning of the game.
This is most often characterized in a message stating that the battery is out of power, or 'run dry', yet states that the game can be played.
Other messages can include corruption and data damage messages.
If you are willing to open it up, it is a dead giveaway when there is a pirated copy.
Their innards are completely different from normal, Nintendo manufactured copies. For one, there will be no Nintendo copyright on the circuit board above the connector pins. If you Google the normal innards of a cartridge, you will see instantly whether yours is pirated or not.
There will also be no hard codes pressed into the cartridges. These may be hard to find or see on an original copy, so don't immediately assume you have a false copy.