Author Topic: Good PC Save Manager for Nintendo 64?  (Read 2825 times)

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Offline rouken

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Good PC Save Manager for Nintendo 64?
« on: June 05, 2017, 05:17 AM »
Hellow. I would like to know if there's some good save manager to manage (duh!) the many types of Nintendo 64 save formats.

The Nintendo 64 have many formats of saves. Cartridges can have 4 and 16 kilobits EEPROMs, 256 kilobits SRAM, and 1024 kilobits FlashRAM, and even the uncommon 768Kbit SRAM found in Dezaemon 3D, plus the Controller Pak with 256 kilobits.

The Controller Pak have many ways to backup/restore the inside content, making possible to swap the data between console and emulators. And, with the help of the GameShark, it's possible to backup even the saves from the original cartridges to the Controller Pak, and from the Controller Pak to PC, except the games who uses FlashRAM, once it's too much data to fit into a single Controller Pak.

I made some research about the many save formats of the Controller Pak, and I found the following formats:
  • Dex Drive (saves the Controller Pak in .n64 format)
  • Adaptoid NA105 (saves the Controller Pak in .a64 format);
  • Retrode (saves in .mpk format);
  • Everdrive 64 (saves in .mpk format);
  • Custom backup method with Arduino (saves in .mpk format).
There's are some formats of Controller Pak's backup I couldn't find (I don't know if there's any other formats), without counting the methods to backup cartridges' directly, as the Doctor V64(jr.) metrod (.sav format), emulators formats (.epp, .sra, .fla), or even the Virtual Console's save (.bin format), without counting the Z64 format, who I can't find proper information about the device's save format.

The main problem is I can't find any kind of advanced save manager for PC who have support for the many types of save formats, doing things as access the content of a Controller Pak file, inject/extract cartridge saves backup from the Memory Pak used by GameShark, convert Memory Pak and/or save formats. What I can find is a converter to convert specific formats, like DexDrive to V64, or THIS ONLINE .MPK EXPLORER, who let extract and eject individual saves (in .note format) of the .MPK files, and, of course, the amazing ED64-Saveswap...

So, I'm creating this thread to ask for help to find which save managers/converters for Nintendo 64 are available around the Internet... or even to inspire some programmer to create a definitive save converter for the Nintendo 64...

Offline nuu

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Re: Good PC Save Manager for Nintendo 64?
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2020, 02:10 PM »
To add to your list of save types there are apparently also a third SRAM size of 1024 kbit. I don't know which games uses this type though.

There are tools for converting between the ED64 MPK Controller Pak format (I think this is just a raw dump) and the N64 one used by DexDrive. The MPK ones used by Retrode and Arduino devices are probably also just raw dumps like that Ed64 uses?

Project 64 has a good Controller Pak manager if you set the controller plugin to N-rage. It supports both the ED64 MPK and the DexDrive N64 formats. It can also copy individual notes between Controller Pak images or save them as individual files. It saves notes as A64 files, so I guess this is the same format that Adaptoid uses? The manager also displays notes that uses the "FONTSIZE_J" (the Japanese kana font) encoding correctly, but it seems to corrupt the Japanese note name if you copy it, so it's not perfect.

For other save files what would a save file manager do? I can only think of detecting what type and format a save file is and the ability to convert it to another format, like what Saveswap is doing.