This Is How You Fix A Really Busted Copy Of Pokemon Red

This Is How You Fix A Really Busted Copy Of Pokemon Red
To sign up for our daily newsletter covering the latest news, features and reviews, head HERE. For a running feed of all our stories, follow us on Twitter HERE. Or you can bookmark the Kotaku Australia homepage to visit whenever you need a news fix.

Snip3r95 found an old Pokémon cartridge while wandering around a flea market. The game only set them back $US5 ($7), but actually getting the Game Boy classic up and running required some serious elbow grease.

“It was at the bottom of a bin and in pretty bad shape,” Snip3r95 wrote in a post on Imgur documenting the project. The game wouldn’t properly boot up, so they unscrewed the back and dismantled the game to reveal a bunch of dirt and rust underneath.

“Jesus, I’ve never seen a game this corroded before,” continued Snip3r95. “The leads on the chip in the bottom right are almost completely eroded away, many of the posts are just straight up gone. Also, hmm…no save battery. Someone’s worked on this before.”

In order to try and fix the game, Snip3r95 de-capped the chip with a heat gun, and set to work on trying to replace the leads going into it.

Most interestingly, they found replacements for the leads by pillaging an old rumble motor from a PS2 controller.

They then set to soldering the chip back onto the circuit board and afterwards reassembled the cartridge.

The game worked, without even blowing it! For anyone without an old Pokémon Red Game Boy cart or the means to fix one even if they did, the game is still available on the 3DS Virtual Console for twice what Snip3r95 paid.


  • I was looking to do something similar.

    My original copy works……sometimes. But is the save data well and truly lost if it tells you it can’t be read upon boot-up?

    • Generally means the internal battery has died, once lost the save cant be restored (correct me if im wrong).
      You can crack open the cardridge and replace it with a standard CR2025 (possibly a CR2032) battery.
      You will find that the battery is soldered in so you can either de-solder it or pry it off gently with something flat like a screw driver.

      • Nah, I think you are right. The first five two generations of games used volatile RAM that required the battery to keep data in it.

    • From what I know, the save data is actually kept in RAM thus requires constant power from the battery to keep it there.

      Once the battery dies, the data is gone and so is the ability to save.

      After Gold, Silver and Crystal (again, off the top of my head) they started using flash memory so the data wasn’t lost even if the battery fails.

      But that generation still used a battery to keep an internal clock working so once that died so did the day night cycle because the clock no longer worked.

      • My N64 saves are around the right time to start dying. Invincible in Goldeneye 007 will be gone soon if not already 🙁

        • OK. I though N64 games used flash memory. Don’t remember reading any used a battery.

          If I am right, then it sounds like the memory itself has run out of cycles.

          • I’m pretty sure it’s battery backed. I saw an article about a dude that modded his to have two batteries, so he could swap out a dying one and not lose the saves.

          • It’s 50/50. Some games like Donkey Kong and Goldeneye use SRAM and require battery.. where as others use the Memory Pak. Remember the thing you put in the controller?

          • Yeah, I had one of those. I think it got corrupted when I took apart a TV in my bedroom, accidentally broke a magnet and got some very small pieces on the connector in the back on one of the controllers.

            I never had a game that required that to save, it was usually just extra stuff like ghosts or whatever. Blast Corps was probably the closest as it couldn’t save everything that you did in a level, but could count that you 100%’d it. So you could go in and a few things would be left standing even if you’d beaten it. Didn’t really matter, you beat it, the game acknowledged that you had and recorded it that way.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!