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Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver American Save File Problem?

Yesterday, I headed down to summon/fight/capture Lugia in my copy of Pokémon SoulSilver Version for the Nintendo DS. I had originally started the game on my “DS Phat”, but for the last several days, I had moved over to playing on the wife’s DS Lite. Never once did I go online with the game in either system, though I had locally traded between it and Pearl. I had been leveling up my Farfetch’d (since I planned on using False Swipe to reduce Lugia’s HP to 1). I had also captured a wild Farfetch’d and stole its stick for my own. I had taken “Shuckie” from the dude in Cianwood City to the daycare center with a Ditto to breed my own Shuckle. Once I had the egg and it was hatched, I tossed my new Shuckle into a PC box and returned the borrowed one to the maniac in Cianwood City. I loaded up on Poké Balls and surfed on over to the Whirl Islands. Right outside the cave entrance, I saved yet again (having done so many times along the way, of course).

My battle against Lugia did not go as planned — I carelessly did not bring enough Poké Balls.  I reset the system and loaded things back up to try again with a better plan.

I was outside Cianwood City. Farfetch’d was five levels back. He did not have his stick. All of my Poké Balls were back in my inventory. Interestingly, I no longer had my own hatched Shuckle, but I did have its egg, and “Shuckie” was back at the daycare center.

… WTF?

It was not just that the save was rolled back to a prior one… it was both that and a weird corruption of prior events. Is that even possible…?!

I was idling in the Daizenshuu EX chat at the time, and immediately vented my frustration. It sounded like others may have had a similar situation occur, but there was some uncertainty about whether the game had actually been saved in the meantime. I next went to Twitter, where I almost immediately received a response back from someone that had a very similar thing happen to them… around the Lugia event, as well. Many folks told me about the Dutch release of the games, which had an issue with save files, themselves.

My game seems to be fine (having saved a bazillion times, turning off the system, and restarting to confirm I still am where I think I am), though now I am retracing my steps. I have captured a dozen wild Farfetch’d again, and none of them have my precious stick…!

I am going to have a lot more to say about this game in the near future, but this was certainly not something I expected to be writing about. In the near-200 hours I have logged on both FireRed and Pearl, never once did I ever encounter any errors that hindered my progress or rolled me back. Had this error been even the slightest more severe, it could have potentially made me drop playing the game all-together. Those that know me know how much I rail against back-tracking and replaying segments of games. I am extremely hesitant to turn off the system now in fear of losing progress — and not only progress, but legit legendaries in my PC boxes and on my team, carried over from the aforementioned FireRed and Pearl.

I am not deeply ingrained enough in any Pokémon communities to know where to discuss this, so if any of you happen to be the VegettoEX of Pokémon… by all means, please share my story and offer any advice you may have.

8 Comments

  1. The European version got pulled back (at least in Belgium) because of this problem. It’s gonna release this week.

  2. Wow, way to play test Nintendo. I see those six months between the Japanese and American releases went to good use. Any plans I had to pick up SoulSilver are on indefinite hold until someone finds a way to avoid this.

  3. I was thinking that the big Pokemon sites would be reporting this if it were really widespread, but then I remembered that no one reported a major issue in the American release of Platinum, either. That issue affected some initial copies (including mine), and made the GTS nearly unusable because it wouldn’t display the level requirements of Pokemon you search for. The only information I could find about it was on forum threads. But someone on the current English localization team must suck at their job, because this might be twice in a row that they’ve broken something.

  4. I wouldn’t be surprised if this issue is somehow releated the the issue that made Belgium get it’s Pokemon games later then everyone else. Hmm…

    My copy of SoulSilver is working perfectly fine, so I wonder if these are all isolated incidents, or if something is wrong with the cards (I should hope not!).

  5. I went and caught Lugia in my copy of Soul Silver today. It froze once, when I was wandering around one of the Whirl Islands. When I restarted though, I was sent back to the last point I saved at, and I didn’t lose anything.

    I saved in front of the Pokemon center in Cianwood and made sure I didn’t save again until I caught Lugia and flew to New Bark Town. Everything seems to be going fine right now, though I don’t plan on going back to the Whirl Islands anytime soon.

    Maybe try that…?

  6. I just got my copy of soulsilver in. I’ll let you know if I have the same problem lol.

  7. So far so good. I’m 4 badges in. Haven’t had that save problem yet.

  8. That’s odd. Both my Japanese and English copies never had that problem. Perhaps some of the cartridges had these problems while others didn’t.

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