16 October 2009 @ 06:39 pm
How to spot a fake GBA game  
 Yo this is my first post. Don't even know if I'm allowed to post this but remove if I'm not.
I don't know if anybody has ever had any troubles with buying Gameboy Advance games off the internet but it can be extremely difficult finding a legit game. I've made a guide on how to find a legit game and how to spot a fake so check it out ;) Hope this comes in useful as these things are incredibly common.

For this I have taken two pictures off eBay and analysed them (on MS Paint).

So every single on of these, believe it or not, are fake. Some may have spotted it all ready, others may be taken back by their genuine look. But yes, they are all indeed fake.

So, look at the pale blue boxes at the bottom of all the cartridges. So for starters, there shouldn't be an E on there. That black tilted E shouldn't be on the cartridge. It should be a CE on the other side. This is a major fake giveaway. Also the Nintendo Seal of Approval (white and gold round thing) should be larger and on the other side. I would like to draw your attention to Fire Red and Lead Green (the yellow box). Fire Red and Leaf Green should have opaque cases. These cases are translucent. Also, none of the stickers are holographic, this may be hard to notice, what with the dodgy light conditions, but none of them are holographic. Now all these are pretty basic. When buying games off the internet, don't use the sticker thing, because in photos, it's hard to tell whether something is holographic or not.
The ultra giveaway which is only visible in clear cases like these are whats in the pink boxes. I'm sure you can see a pale circle with a line going through. Ruby is the best one to see on this. This is what I believe to be the internal battery. Well, it doesn't matter what it is. All that matters is that if a game has one of these, it is without question fake. Other things points of interest are:
  • Never buy Pokémon games with black cases
  • Never buy games you've never heard of (Pokémon Naranja and Pokémon Chaos Black are two examples
  • If the game has spelling mistake or the information book is thin with little or no information of any use, it is likely fake
  • PAL format games are much more likely to be genuine. Never buy English games from Hong Kong
  • Fake games won't allow you to trade, Pal Park or anything and will corrupt usually after the Elite Four
  • Fake games usually don't (but some do) have Nintendo written in gold above the gold things in the case (the side where you put the game into the GBA)

It is extremely common to stumble across a Fake Pokémon Emerald nowadays. Most results on eBay are fake and those that aren't are ridiculously expensive.
So basic things to look out for when buying are:
  • A round thing inside the case- Fake
  • An E- Fake
  • A CE on the far right- Legit
  • PAL Format- Likely to be legit
  • If there is one, just one negative feedback saying they ordered a fake game, even if it's out of a 1000, don't take the chance.

This is a genuine game. Use this as guidelines when buying, if there is anything different, don't take your chances.

Notice the CE (dark blue box) and the seal of approval (orange box). The sticker is shiny and it's hard to notice but the Nintendo Logo is genuine. The logo on fakes look a bit odd.
katisconfusedkatisconfused on October 16th, 2009 06:19 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately, they can simply use a picture of a real one then send you the fake. I have been ripped of a few times and the easiest way to tell if it's fake is try to save the game, it won't properly.
Captain Sexy Bidoof Williams: ninja!Wallychainofironrose on October 16th, 2009 06:24 pm (UTC)
Also, when you peek inside the cartridge, you should see a line of text at the back of the row of little metal teeth that says 2002 Nintendo something something. At least my Emerald cartridge has 2002 as the date. A Gamestop employee said that was a surefire way to make sure your game was legit.

I also once had a FireRed bootleg that my DS deleted the data from every time I started it.
rabbit-heartrabbit_heart on October 16th, 2009 06:42 pm (UTC)
Totally true. I got a fake Ruby game and had to consult youtube to figure out how to prove it to get my money back on Amazon. The inside should say © Nintendo (year) and a serial.
rabbit-heartrabbit_heart on October 16th, 2009 06:55 pm (UTC)
Sorry serial should be © (year) Nintendo.

And on LeafGreen FireRed it just has the Nintendo logo ("Nintendo" in an oval).
[Initiating Startup]teahound on October 16th, 2009 06:53 pm (UTC)
This. It's actually how we check GBA games at the one I work at. :3
Joni-kun  ̄▽ ̄eccentricways on October 16th, 2009 06:44 pm (UTC)
My emerald had 2002(c)Nintendo and it is still fake, bootleggers are getting smart.
rabbit-heartrabbit_heart on October 16th, 2009 06:53 pm (UTC)
Oh no! Was the ordering correct?
INTERNETFRIEND: UI_543: HITMONTOParremmmdee on October 16th, 2009 06:49 pm (UTC)
I think I have a fake copy of LeafGreen, but so far it's worked perfectly fine. I haven't bothered to really look too much into it because if I confirm it as fake I'll just get disappointed and otherwise I can pretend it might still be legit.
rabbit-heartrabbit_heart on October 16th, 2009 06:51 pm (UTC)
There should be an E. I have purchased games in box that have the E, so I think what you're saying must apply to PAL games, because in the US they do in fact say E.

Also, I bought a copy of Sapphire that has no sticker (it is legit), so you can't really always judge from the sticker alone.

Another point to tell is that when it starts up, my copy of Ruby that was fake said something to the effect of "You can save the game now" and I knew that wasn't the normal start-up message so I looked further into it and found several videos about how to determine legitimacy of Pokémon GBA games.

The text inside the cart is probably one of the better ways to determine legitimacy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNsEpOnzjZY A decent video.

Joni-kun  ̄▽ ̄eccentricways on October 16th, 2009 08:03 pm (UTC)
How to spot a fake GBA game
Oh, i have it easy then... PALs are easier to determine from fakes
artistic_g4m3rartistic_g4m3r on October 16th, 2009 08:18 pm (UTC)
Re: How to spot a fake GBA game
Yeah, the E is part of the US rating system, the rating is always printed on the label of a cartridge based game, so that's supposed to be there.
Louisa: Chibi Italy! <3impossibledream on October 16th, 2009 09:02 pm (UTC)
Yeah I have a fake sapphire and it had a weird start up message too, I'm pretty sure it says 'the internal battery has run dry' and then something about saving the game.
Die Waffen - legt an!glenngunnerzero on October 16th, 2009 07:51 pm (UTC)
Uh What?
The ESRB requires the rating on the game hardware (DVD,UMD,SNES ect.) itself
Even the Tiny DS carts require it.

However in America, GBA games it has a small indenture on the side that has certain numbers above the Gold Nintendo Seal (i.e. 15 E4 - NOA Emerald version) so some of this is just in regards to Europe release games.

Edited at 2009-10-16 07:53 pm (UTC)
crow_moon on October 16th, 2009 07:53 pm (UTC)
This is very interesting - I don't often use ebay, but I was considering using it to buy FireRed or LeafGreen, since I have neither. Looking for a bootleg would never have crossed my mind, to be honest. I'll definitely be on the lookout for fake vs. legitimate now. Thanks for posting it! :D
lazy susan, turn yourself around.: pkmn - DO YOU MIND I'M DIGGING HUR. [duginstrumentality on October 16th, 2009 08:02 pm (UTC)
ah christ, i think i have three bootlegged games. no wonder they're so crashy.
Joni-kun  ̄▽ ̄eccentricways on October 16th, 2009 08:26 pm (UTC)
How to spot a fake GBA game
The ultimate supreme way to spot a fake is the round thing in the case. Use that!
Ellenanamatics on October 16th, 2009 09:25 pm (UTC)
Uh, there's an 'e' on my store bought copy of Sapphire. Pretty sure that's normal.
★ツンツン☆デレデレ★: [PH] Echo - wtf is this shitsuruma on October 16th, 2009 10:12 pm (UTC)
I think that the tilted "E" is normal. There's one on my bought-from-Target shiny cute Emerald cartridge.

...Call me stupid, but were those blue flames at the bottom of the Sapphire sticker always there?
the house at the end of the world☝and_sparks_fly on October 16th, 2009 10:37 pm (UTC)
I went and grabbed my copy of Sapphire - those seem to have been there all the time, but they're not as obvious as they are in the picture. I think the lighting pointed them out.
I would assume they're supposed to be seaweed, in keeping with the ocean and Kyogre and all.
永遠のdreamerchocolate_chip on October 17th, 2009 01:38 am (UTC)
US version games most definitely do have the ESRB E, and NOT the CP.

Basically, if you don't want a bootleg game, don't buy off eBay.
FrostDemnfrostdemn on October 17th, 2009 09:07 am (UTC)
I would like to point out that even some of the fake games, i.e. Naranja, were actually ROM hacks distributed online (Naranja for one follows the Orange Island arcs), and some even include disclaimers that you should not have purchased it if you did.
kristallized on October 17th, 2009 05:14 pm (UTC)
I bought a new Platinum version that was all wrapped up in the box and it was going great until one day came every time I encountered a wild pokemon the game would freeze.
I am pissed. I thought, "hey, its wrapped in the box, how can it be fake?"
kristallized on October 17th, 2009 05:15 pm (UTC)
oh this was from ebay btw. 22 bucks free shipping..who would give that deal up?

(Deleted comment)
taydbear: Piplup say wauuut?!?taydbear on November 9th, 2009 12:32 pm (UTC)
omg when i saw this i ran to my room to compare my FireRed and Emerald games with this O.o
i instantly had my heart crushed when (according to THIS anyway) they matched the FAKES (well almost).

these are mine:

Image Hosting by imagefra.me

(sorry for the bad quality, i used my phone :/)
as you can see the "E" and "odd nintendo seal" are in the "fake" places but i bought both in the stores O.o? FireRed new, in box, and the Emerald used at Gamestop..

but as far as i can tell they're legit. They even have the "© (year) Nintendo (serial #)" on the motherboard chip thing inside the carts.

and idk if you noticed, but i think on the fake FireRed pic you have, the white swirls are thricker than the ones on a ligit one.
Joni-kun  ̄▽ ̄eccentricways on November 9th, 2009 04:47 pm (UTC)
Yo, a section was wrong in that, the E and the Nintendo seal are legit. They're just the american versions. I was describing PAL games.
1) Is emerald and FireRed's label's shiny?
2) Is FireRed case opaque?

The nintendo symbols look okay.

Also how far have you played? If you got further than Elite 4 with no corruption; it's safe.
taydbear: Kotone: Sorry?taydbear on November 10th, 2009 10:24 pm (UTC)
1) yes they're both shiny
2) its opaque, aka not like a ruby case

and on the firered ive played some 200+hrs and beaten the E4 about 6-7 times lol

but i havent in Emerald, thats the last thing i gotta do ....O.o'
Joni-kun  ̄▽ ̄eccentricways on November 10th, 2009 10:25 pm (UTC)
They sound legit. FireRed definitely is and I'm sure Emerald is. Shininess is a very good sign of legitimacy.
taydbear: F.R.: One Up woo!taydbear on November 10th, 2009 10:27 pm (UTC)
yay ^-^' i think you've seen my other post relating to yours lol
my mind wouldnt let me rest Dx lol
Joni-kun  ̄▽ ̄eccentricways on November 10th, 2009 10:29 pm (UTC)
Yeah I did see, sorry my post was a bit misleading
taydbear: No Probs(:taydbear on November 10th, 2009 10:31 pm (UTC)
lol its ok(: we're all in the clear :D
btw, thank you soo much for enlightening me about this!
i've never once thought about checking a game before buying xD
i just thought, eh if it sayd pokemon, its pokemon :P
so thank you! ^-^
Joni-kun  ̄▽ ̄eccentricways on November 10th, 2009 10:40 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I got pretty angry when a fake Emerald arrived. It's horrible realising you have a fake
one_exone_ex on April 29th, 2010 06:52 am (UTC)
What are the pale circles in the pink boxes? I just got two fake games with those. I want to use this as proof but I'm not sure what exactly this proves. I need to send the games back. Do you know how I can do this?