A few weeks ago, the R4i Upgrade Team released a new USB device that they named as 'R4i Save Dongle'. To accompany the launching of their brand new product, they decided to held an event where respondent are required to answer 5 simple questions in exchange for the chance to get 1 of 300 free pre-launched dongle. If they find your answers satisfying, they will send you an email requesting for your full address detail for them to send a free Dongle. Below was what they wrote;
Tell me these thing by email (firstname.lastname@example.org):
1: Are you a 3DS/NDS player?
2: Do you have original 3DS/NDSi/NDS game carts?
3: If you have some rough understanding to SaveDongle devices,
Would you kindly tell me what the main function of SaveDongle is?
4: Would you like to upload game save and share your game save with others ?
5: Do you promise to write a full detail review and send us with email after you received it ?
If you tell me these things objectively, then you have an opportunity to win the prize. The more detailed, the more chances for success. The winners will be listed on the website ( )and notified by email. The prize will be given out to YOU after the announcement! Thank you!
Well, I was among the many who responded to their offer. And true enough, I recently received that device shortly before Christmas Eve for almost free....sob!....they had decided to send the free sample via DHL courier service. Unfortunately DHL in my country operates by imposing a rather high delivery service fee. Thus why I said "almost free".... if only they had sent it via FEDEX; now you know why. Anyway to comply with their term no.5, I decided to fulfill it by writing this simple, but rather lengthy review about their product.
In The Package
Just their standard box with the Dongle in it with nothing else.
- A fat looking dongle that almost blocked off my 2nd USB Slot. It is really fat !!! Need to go on a DIET !
- Plastic USB Dongle, black in color with a small "upgrade button' and an open slot for NDS/3DS Cartridge
- Instruction on the back of the box is sketchy to immediately figure out what to do with it
- Supports NDS/DSi/3DS Original Cartridges
- For moving save file from Original Cartridge to PC/Laptop and from PC/Laptop to Original Cartridge
- For editing save file
- For sharing save file
- User friendly a.k.a easy to use
Well, after reading the back of their box, I then tried plugging the device with a cartridge to my laptop and nothing happened. I thought maybe its broken, but no....the LED above the device was flickering. Then I decided to go online to the website to learn more. Turn out there was more than meets the eye.
First time users are suppose to;
1. Download the application program environment bundle named 'DotNetFx'. Which must be installed first
before going further with several other downloads. By the way the application is for Microsoft Windows.
2. Next, in line is to download the save dongle firmware uploader-updater, and the firmware update file.
3. Then you are required to plug in the dongle, activate the firmware updater program, and press the small
button on the dongle for a few seconds to activate the device recognition. And then do the updating.
* Here's the complete method to update the device:
4. Next in line is to download the save dongle backup/restore program. This is the main program in use
for the purpose of backing up save files and editing it.
* Here's the complete method to backup/restore save file from cartridge:
5. Last but not least is the 3DS dedicated program for finding XOR key and for encrypting/decrypting the
EEPROM save file.
Note: all the programs are downloadable from
So, after doing the entire above (step 1 to 4), you can then start making backup copies and or restoring save files to and from your PC/laptop and the cartridge. You need to press the green button to do the operation you want to perform. If you insert a flash cartridge, the green buttons will be gray, and will not function.
Below is what you will see if you are backing up an NDS Cartridge:
Below is what you will see if you are backing up a 3DS Cartridge:
Impression After Using It
1. Positive Acknowledgement:
- Really easy to use once you get over the software installation steps that can be quite confusing without proper information on the box that came with it.
- Useful when needing to backup/restore a save file from and to the original game cartridge.
- Totally good because its legitimate method without having to worry about piracy protection issues
- The body looks sturdy enough for a plastic device.
- Really nice and useful if you want to share save file, especially if the save file contain ‘special’ items/downloaded event.
- Very good for overcoming the issue with some cartridge protection in preventing the save file from being deleted. Thus opens the door to allow re-selling of such cartridges as 2nd hand cart.
- Useful when wanting to replace an exsisting save file with a clean or modified copy.
2. Negative Opinion:
- Only useful for backing up/restoring save files.
- Only able to be use for Original Cartridges, not usable for Flash Cartridges.
- No save file editing/modification tool/program provided, require 3rd party save file editor if wanting to get to edit/cheat in the game.
- Shape is too fat that it disturb/block other USB slot next to it.
- USB plug seems flimsy, and does not fit well into the USB slot.
- With only 1 function which is to backup/restore save file, the selling price (+/- USD 25.95-excluding delivery charges) doesn’t look inviting.
All in all, this device opens the door for sharing game save files from Original Cartridges with everyone, and not to mention allowing the editing of save files once there are enough 3rd party developers for editing those files. It would however be nice if the device has a secondary function for dumping the game files, not just the save file. However, I don’t think the R4i team will do that, we’ll require a 3rd party to make use of the dongle capability, and make a program for the purpose.
So that’s about all for my ‘short’ review about the product. I would recommend using this device for anyone using an original game cartridge wanting to share or edit their save file aside from using cheats, only if there are enough 3rd party programs such like POKESAV or Super Mario Bros Level Editor available for the various popular games, especially 3DS cartridges.
So.....What is/are your impression about the device, maybe after testing it like I did, or after viewing the images and my review?
If you want to share your save files (NDS/3DS) in R4i Webpage, visit this link , or share your 3DS save files in Kiekoes's Thread in the 3DS share section of romulation .