So the other day I took my Pokemon Red game out of my GBA SP (I had just been playing it a few minutes before) and put it into my brother's GBA. It wasn't loading the first times I tried it, but I took it out, blew into the cartridge, replaced it, and it worked fine.

However, as the title screen came up, the only options were "New Game" and "Option"! The "Continue" button was gone! I removed the game and put it back into mine, and sure enough, the option to continue my game is gone! Now I am extremely mortified by this as I had quite a lot of hours into that game, but I've searched the internet and found no solution other than "blowing into the cartridge" or cotton-swabbing it.

I am finally depressed into submission that my save data is somehow lost, but I have one worry. If I start a new game, is there a chance this will just happen over again? My friend told me my data was probably corrupted, so does that mean that if I start a new game it's just a matter of time until it disappears again? Should I even bother starting a new game?

  • 3
    Can you edit the title to make it more relevant to the question? Jul 30, 2014 at 3:28
  • Ok sorry. I've been spending too much time on other Q & A sites.
    – Guy
    Jul 30, 2014 at 3:50

2 Answers 2


It's lost for good. Saved games back in those days were preserved through the use of a battery right in the game pack, not stored on the gaming device itself like it is today. And when that battery dies, so does the saves with it. It's not about corruption of the save or whatnot, there just simply isn't a charge to hold that save data between sessions.

You can start a game if you want, but don't expect that save to last after you shut off your game. It will only last for as long as you have it on, then it's just a ticking time bomb and you don't know the time.

You can extend the life of your saving capacity if you were to go in and change the battery with a fresh one. I came across this tutorial to change the battery (ironically on a Pokemon cartridge). But again, it will eventually die. Don't expect it to last forever, it's still a ticking time bomb, only the timer on it is set to a time much further into the future.

  • So I just went and tested out your theory, but I saved and turned it off and when I turn it back on the new save is still there.
    – Guy
    Jul 30, 2014 at 3:54
  • 1
    Again, "don't expect that save to last after you shut off your game." Yeah, it might persist after a minute or two after turning off, but that doesn't mean that it's fixed for good. The same is true for any battery-based technology. Jul 30, 2014 at 3:58
  • @JeffMercado when you say battery you mean a battery in the gamepak? i distinctly remember Red and Yellow retailing it's save game months after the game boy colour was confiscated by my mother and the batteries in it were almost dead before it was taken (Red was my bother's i would have went with Blue but i wanted Pikachu)
    – Memor-X
    Jul 30, 2014 at 5:14
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    @Memor-X: Yes a battery in the game pack. Back then, we didn't have flash memory (which can hold data without batteries) that can be mass produced to store save data. Jul 30, 2014 at 5:21
  • @JeffMercado might want to mention that in your answer as to avoid the same confusion i had
    – Memor-X
    Jul 30, 2014 at 5:27

No. It can not be recovered. Consider it to be lost. Once the data is lost, it can not be recovered. Had the same issue. You can start a new game at your own risk.

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