[TUTORIAL] - Convert GameBoy Advance (GBA) ROMs to GBA VC CIA files

Discussion in '3DS Tutorials' started by Cha0s Em3rald, Oct 18, 2015.

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  1. Cha0s Em3rald

    Cha0s Em3raldCha0s Em3rald is a Verified  Member Retired Admin

    Oct 1, 2015
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    [TUTORIAL] - Convert GameBoy Advance (GBA) ROMs to GBA VC CIA files

    This guide was writen by davhuit of GBA Temp, credit & thanks go to him for allowing me to repost his guides on 3DS Chaos


    Someone asked me some tutorials in a private message and though there might be some on the web, I decided to write mines to help, and I'll share them here.

    Note : GBA VC games doesn't run on Gateway, you need to either use a CFW or RxTools (if your sysnand is linked, you just need to install them on emunand and run them from there. If not, install them and run them from sysnand. Also note that once you quit a GBA VC game, the 3DS auto-reboot to sysnand. It's a normal behavior which also happen which GBA Ambassador games).

    So, how to convert a GBA rom to a 3DS GBA VC easily :

    1) First, download this pack of tools that contains everything you need : http://vidce.tv/jquoi9jf78ag/GBA-VC-Required-Tools.rar and extract it in a folder.

    2) Download a GBA Rom. In my example, I'll use "Metroid - Zero Mission (Europe) (En,Fr,De,Es,It).gba". If you are wondering why I tend to prefer to use European game instead of USA one, just be aware that unlike the NES/Snes era, Handheld systems have always runned at the same speed, even the old GameBoy games so it's pretty useless in my opinion to only use USA games when you can do one with more languages included. Now that the rom is downloaded, extract it in the same folder you extracted the tools.

    3) Run the GBA rom in an emulator (VisualBoyAdvance for example) and take a screenshot of the title screen (or choose an image if you want to something else for the banner).

    4) Run "GBA_VC_Banner_and_Icon_Generator 1.0.1.jar" (you need Java as it's a Java program) which will able to you create banners quickly/easily :
    * Click on "Load Image" and choose the image you want to use as the banner (either a screenshot or another image)

    * You will see two blank lines at the right of the image, enter the name that will be displayed under the gift once the game will be installed.

    * Click on "Create and Save Images". It'll create a folder with the same name as your rom. Go check if everything looks ok for you. If you want to modify
    the name displayed and recreate the image, you should know that you need to close the program, delete the directory just created, reopen the program and restart. The program have a known bug and you can click on "Create and Save Images" twice (feel free to try to see which problem it'll create in the banners created).

    * Once the banners are ok for you, close the program

    5) Run "3ds_gbaftrgen.exe". Do no change any options, just click on "Load from Rom", and choose the rom (in my example : "Metroid - Zero Mission (Europe)
    (En,Fr,De,Es,It).gba", it'll auto-fill all parameters. Click "Ok" when it'll display the save type, then click on "Create" to create a footer for the rom
    (Metroid - Zero Mission (Europe) (En,Fr,De,Es,It).ftr in my example), then close the program.

    6) Run "3ds_simple_gba_conv.exe". This last program is pretty easy to use, just fill it accordingly to the box names :

    * Main :

    + Title ID : Unique ID of your rom. Two cias with the same IDs won't be able to be installed on the same 3DS. I personally use the A letter followed by three numbers (A000, A001, etc...). If you plan to share your injected roms, might be better to use another one than mine. For example, BXXX or CXXX or DXXX, etc...

    Note that I also use 0000-3000 for other VC systems roms, so if you want to be safe, use something I'm pretty sure I'll never use, like BXXX, CXXX, DXXX, etc... but it's up to you Note that you can only use A to F letters (as the ID should be in hexadecimal, G-Z doesn't exist in hexadecimal).

    + GBA ROM : choose the original GBA rom (in my example : "Metroid - Zero Mission (Europe) (En,Fr,De,Es,It).gba")

    + GBA Footer : choose the footer created in the step five (in my example : "Metroid - Zero Mission (Europe) (En,Fr,De,Es,It).ftr").

    * Appearence :

    + Icon (48x48) : the icon.png file created in the step four.

    + Banner Image 1 (128x128) : the banner1.png file created in the step four.

    + Banner Image 2 (256x64, Grayscale) : the banner2.png file created in the step four.

    * Caption :

    + Short name : the name of your game (in my example, I used : "Metroid Zero Mission")

    + Long name (optionnal) : the name of your game (in my example, I used : "Metroid Zero Mission (Europe/Multi)")

    + Maker (optional) : your nickname or whatever else (in my example, I used : "Davhuit")

    7) Once you have filled every box, just click on "Begin" (Caption Tab) and it'll ask you to choose a name for your cia file and then create it (GBA VC games are directly created as .cia files so it's far easier/quicker than other systems, where the files created are .3ds one that you have to manually convert to .cia

    Here's the template name I used to share my GBA VC games : Name.of.the.Game.GBA.VC.REGION.CTR-N-SERIAL.IDXXXX-3DS.cia.

    In this example, it would be : Metroid.Zero.Mission.GBA.VC.EUROPE-MULTI.CTR-N-BMXP.ID0A007-3DS.cia

    Feel free to follow it or not, but it's important to, at least, include the ID number you used, the rest isn't really important and for GBA games, for example, you can only find the serial code it with a cia installer (it'll be displayed once installed in your 3DS), though it seems to respect the official serials so you might also be able to find them on Gamefaqs, for example.

    Note : If the saves of your game doesn't work (often happen with eeprom ones, but not all, some eeproms ones works fine), you need to patch the .gba file before creating the footer (so before the step five), here's how to do :

    - Run the "gbata.exe" program. Click on "...", to the right of the filename box to load your .gba file.

    - Click on the "SRAM Patcher" tab.

    - Click on Patch (note that you can only patch eeprom files, if you try to patch a sram one, the "Patch" button will be greyed) and it'll output a new gba file
    with the prefix "output-name+of+your+gba+rom.gba").

    - Now you can do the step five like before, except one difference. Once you have loaded your rom and once the settings got auto-filled, you have to manually change those settings :
    + Save Type : choose the first one, "SRAM, FRAM (128 Kbit)
    + Save Chip Manufacturer : choose the first one, "0XC0 (SRAM <V112, FRAM, FLASH V131).

    - Then, just save the footer file (.ftr one) and keep following the tutorial like before (steps 6+).

    Last note : To test your save, well, it's seems pretty easy. Just run the game, try to save in-game. Then, close the game, and once the 3DS is reboot, try to run it again and check if your save is still present. For RPGs or some either games, often, creating a save by entering a name is enough to save, not really need to go to a save point. If you want to know how the save works for a game, just check on an emulator. For example, in a RPG, choose the save slot, enter a name, then reboot the emulator and you'll know if this step is enough to create a save
    charlierang, KenESL, Sonilink and 2 others like this.
  2. Czupax

    Czupax New Member

    Jan 7, 2016
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    Download link is die
    Mteal and Michael Guilherme like this.
  3. CaelThunderwing

    Apr 30, 2016
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