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An unfortunate reality of retro gaming is that cartridge-based games rely on batteries to store save data, leaving the data vulnerable if the battery runs dry and needs to be replaced. But fortunately, there’s an easy way to back up your save data, and that’s the Save The Hero Project’s cartridge reader:



Based on the open source work of an engineer named Sanni, the device is currently functional for SNES, Genesis, N64, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance cartridges (with plans to add functionalities via add-ons for NES, PC-Engine, and more), the self-contained backup brick can dump save data and ROMs with only a power source — no PC required. While a bit pricey at around $100, it’s a compact, wonderful piece of engineering that’s worth more than a look — especially if you’ve got games lying around whose save data you might be worried about. It even works with repro carts!

Hopefully this is another step in a more serious push towards games preservation. It’d be a terrible thing to lose the save data of our childhoods to time.


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Written by Amelia Fruzzetti

A writer and Nintendo fan based in Seattle, Washington. When not working for NinWire, she can be found eating pasta, writing stories, and wondering about when Mother 3 is finally going to get an official localization.