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User:Reshii/How to: Spot a fake Gameboy Advance cartridge

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Pokémon has always been one of the world's most popular RPG series. It seems that the highly anticipated fifth generation games — Pokémon Black and White — are going to be no exception.
But today, we're going to jump back to the third generation, possibly the most underrated generation so far. Although no longer in production, Pokémon's Gameboy Advance (GBA) games (Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, FireRed and LeafGreen) are still popular on online stores like eBay and Amazon.com. There's no doubt about it — GBA games still sell very well online.

Unfortunalty, people often put "hack" copies of these games onto these stores and sell them, claiming that they are official copies. I'm not talking about Pokémon ChaosBlack or Pokémon ShinyGold, but illegally created copies of the official Generation III games. I was unfortunate enough to purchase an illegal copy of Emerald on eBay (luckily, the seller was nice enough to give me a refund). This marks the third video game I've bought online, and all three have been hacked. The game actually worked fine on my DS Lite. until I played Diamond Version, that is. I'm no expert on this stuff, but I'm pretty sure that, when Diamond tried to access the game (for dongling and migrating, Diamond could recognise is as an offical game. As a result, when I went to play Emerald again, the save file was corrupted.

So, anyway, today I'm going to tell you the difference between a fake GBA game and a real one.

  • The cartridge - Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald cartridges are quite dark in color, and have a transparent (clear) cartridge, meaning that you can see all the computery stuff inside them. FireRed and LeafGreen cartridges are lighter and brighter in color, and are translucent, meaning that you can only just see inside them. If you get a Pokémon game with a grey/black cartridge, it is definatly a fake!
  • The label - Real Pokémon GBA games have a shiny, almost foil-like lable. Hack copies tend to have a paper sticker with a platic coating, making light reflect off it, but it won't shine. Also, real games have a number/letter combination "punched" into the label. Fake games won't have this.
  • The connector pins - If you hold your game label-up and look into the connector pins, you'll see that, on a real game, "Nintendo" and "AGB E05" (or something like that, its slightly different for each game) is actuall printed on the pin. Fake games wont have this.
  • The model number - On the back of each Gameboy Advance cartridge, there is a model number. Every Pokémon game's model number is "AGB-002". If your begs to differ, than its probably a fake, for example, my fake Emerald says "AGB-004, rather than -002.

If there's anything you're still confused about, take a look at this video. I found it very helpful.

By arleas