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I recently bought a copy of Pokémon gold version at a car boot sale. I played it for a while but then I had to stop, so I saved and then turned the game boy off, and took the game out. The next day when I put it back in my Game Boy and switched it on, all my save data was gone and the only options were New Game and Cancel.

I checked online to see if it was fake, but it looked the same as all the real ones. I also compared it to my Pokémon red which I know is genuine, and all the details of the cartridge were the same (except for colour and sticker of course) here are some pictures of the comparison between the two games

Gold and Red cartridges, front

Gold and Red cartridges, back

Does anyone know whether this copy of Gold IS fake? How can I tell? Or is it just broken?

  • 8
    I think that many old pokemon games lose the ability to save due to the cartridge battery failing, that may be the case here. – Angzuril Aug 29 '15 at 17:56
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    This is normal behavior for old cartridge based games. Since data is saved on RAM, it requires power to keep it, which is why those cartridges have a battery included. Considering the age of the game, it's likely the battery is no longer usable. I think NDS and later game cartridges don't have a battery. – Nolonar Aug 29 '15 at 18:00
  • @Gigazelle: your edit misspelled the "Gold" in the title of the question. I cannot fix myself. – b33f3r Aug 29 '15 at 22:59
  • @Nolonar some GBA cart had flash/eeprom (which don't need batteries). Pokemon rse only had batteries for a realtime clock – Alexander M Nov 1 '15 at 20:49
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The memory card in Game Boy games needs power to run. It contains a small battery to do this when it's not in a Game Boy.

Pokemon Gold was released 15 years ago. The cartridge is very old and the battery has run out. This means that the memory card cannot hold data unless it is actively being powered (which somewhat defeats the point of saving the game).

It is possible to change the battery. Here's a guide on how to do it. It's worth noting that the type of battery the Pokemon Gold cartridge uses is a model 'CR2025' battery.

If you are not comfortable with changing the battery yourself, many stores, especially those focused on retro or vintage video games, are capable of replacing the battery for a nominal fee

  • 7
    @npst I'm almost certain it wouldn't be. It's not receiving power that way. – Studoku Aug 29 '15 at 22:07
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    no it would not. i have several old pokemon games for the gb color and have replaced batteries on two. i have another that needs to be replaced and i can confirm definitely that the save data will not persist on the cartridge if the internal battery is dead, whether or not the cartridge is in the gameboy. – b33f3r Aug 29 '15 at 22:36
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    @JakeGould Yes, speed may have been a concern. However, the special equipment for writing doesn't seem to be the case as the control is simply with write-enables as one of the pins. However, write cycles were also fairly high, with millions cited by one source. At this point, it's really no longer on topic here; I may ask on electronics.SE after doing further research into this. – ζ-- Aug 30 '15 at 0:52
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    +Andreas Hartmann How comes I changed my Blue's battery last fall? Of course it has battery power. – Max Ried Aug 30 '15 at 17:42
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    @undergroundmonorail I don't know about cheaper batteries, but afaik Gen II batteries died quicker because they were also keeping track of game-time with an internal clock. This used a lot more power than just maintaining the save files would (which is all the Gen I batteries did). – goldPseudo Aug 30 '15 at 17:43

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