Old School Gamer Memories: Corrupt – The word players never want to see

Data corruption is something a gamer never wants to see, but back in the day of save batteries it happened quite a lot.

Data corruption is something a gamer never wants to see, but back in the day of save batteries it happened quite a lot.

One of the first games that I can remember seeing and playing that had a save battery was the Legend of Zelda for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The game is from the early 80’s and it doesn’t give me too much trouble to save on it, even though I have used some “Tim, the Tool Man Taylor” methods to get the system to play games.

If the game didn’t save, you just thought it didn’t work anymore and moved on, but in reality the save battery was corrupt and it would no longer save.

The Legend of Zelda for NES never gave me trouble in terms of saving; one of the earliest games that did was Pokémon and by the many videos online on “how to change the battery,” I’m not the only one. I got hooked on Pokémon right from the beginning when I got Red and Blue for Christmas in 1996 and my brother and I started playing together. With Squirtle at my side, I would conquer the Pokémon League many times and try again, seeing as though I would restart my game a lot. My brother, on the other hand didn’t restart Red and had his team close to level 100.

That helped him out when Gold and Silver came out and he just transferred his team over for battles and to complete the Pokedex. I had an Umbreon and Entei for him on my Silver game but when I went to look for it, the game data was gone. It turns out the battery wasn’t saving anymore and the data was lost. Up until Soul Sliver and Heart Gold, I had bought a few copies of the game at game stores and eBay but the same problem persisted.

My Dad is a machine technician who had the small tools to take the game apart did just that and we put a new battery in the game. Fast forward a few years and the battery that controlled the clock in Ruby and Sapphire was corrupt and wouldn’t allow for time based events to happen.

Up until this week, Pokémon was the only corruption I had to deal with.


Fast forward to last week when I got the day off from work because of the snow storm that was pounding the east coast.

The idea of playing Mario Kart: Double Dash jumped into my head from the Mario Kart article I wrote the other day and I wanted to see if my skills could still pay the bills. It turns out they could and I started playing the All Cup mode and won a few times. I then switched to Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour and when I started to play…

The Wii said that my GameCube memory card was corrupted and couldn’t save.

I was thinking “what the hell?” I had just played Mario Kart and nothing was wrong so then I quickly put in Mario Kart and realized all my data was gone and I had to win it all over again. Sure, it gave me a chance to play the game all over again, but I still had to play the whole game over again to unlock everything… again. I have never had a GameCube memory card fail on me before but I guess it was only a matter of time with that memory card and games going between my house and my college dorm at Rutgers. I was just glad that I didn’t lose even more game data than I did or I would have been very upset.

To sum up, Games of the past didn’t save on the system, they had a game play battery that would store data and allow certain things to occur.

The Pokémon series is the game that comes to mind the most in terms of corruption and lost data. It turns out that any game/system that saves on a memory card can in fact be corrupted. It takes you back a bit when you realize that all your hard work in a game is gone, like that!

About the author


My name is Steve and I'm from New Jersey. Been a Nintendo fan for as long as I can remember and have enjoyed writing. Also a fan of the Devils/Jets/Mets.