So I got stuck in Zelda Skyward Sword. This is actually a bit hard (details below), unless you are stuck in the famous Song of the Hero bug, which is amply covered in the web (with Nintendo offering a channel just to fix it).
Anyway, I think it is interesting to know how to install save games from other people, even from another region. Not only if you are stuck: you can jump straight to advanced stages of a game (or earlier ones) for whatever reason.
- In my case, I needed a save before the point where I got stuck. There is a project to do so explained in this post in Zelda Universe. A more complete one can be found in this speed-runners forum, and one of the files (Lanyari_2 or such) would suit us nicely. These are main.dat files, which is the file used by the wii to store this sort of save data. There is also wiisave for trusted saves.
- In the wii data menu, when a save game info is transferred onto a SD card, a directory is created in sd:private/wii/xxxx, where xxxx is the 4-letter code for the game. In it, the main.dat file can be replaced by the one downloaded (easier on a PC, but I guess it could be done from a wii only, through the internet channel), then transfered back. Presto!
- But!! In my case the game code is SOUE. The “E” is bad news, I need SOAP game saves, as I have the PAL region (it is possible to run games from other regions, but that’s another story). First of all, the very nice SaveGame Manager GX (*) can extract (from a wii) a number of files from main.dat and put them somewhere. The default directory is in sd:savegames/horrible_coded_dir. The SOUE games are stored in a directory ending in “45”, while the savegames extracted from the wii to the SD by the SG Manager are in a similar directory ending in “50”. Of course, the Manager won’t let you transfer save games into your wii if the regions are different.
- Fortunately, I found this invaluable post, in which they treat the inverse problem (NTSC to PAL). I seems the actual save files (with a .sav extension) seem to differ in the first four bytes, which are just the game code. In my case, one must change “SOUE” to “SOUP”, which can be done with a hex editor. I just took a simple one, xvi32 to do this. The modified .sav file is then placed in the PAL directory, replacing the one there. Then, install the save game back into the wii with SG Manager. Then start the game, cross your fingers… yes!!!
It’s a bit weird to play a game with someone else’s save (Link had no shield!), but still beats playing from God knows when.
(*) You’ll need the homebrew channel to run this stuff on a wii. You’ll also need the famous cIOS 249, “associated with piracy” (this stuff clearly isn’t). It can be found e.g. in the article piratear wii sin chip (in Spanish; “piratear” actually means “hacking” here — really!). The easiest way is by using sciifii.
How I got stuck
I must have been the only person in the world to get the small key in the Sandship, then run past the first locked door, all the way toward the bow of the ship, to open the locked door there. That leads to a room with a save statue: if you save there you are stuck in a dead end! Actually, a couple of grates with spikes prevent this from happening, but I was using some, ehem, “enhancement” by which I got no damage from this sort of things. It’s an ocarina code called Invincible. In other words, I am cheating, I just find it tiring to have my ass kicked out and having to fly back to my place to buy potions.