[ Retro Scan of the Week ] SNES Save State Device

February 11th, 2008 by Benj Edwards

NakiTek Game Saver+ SNES

Who needs emulators? Accessory maker NakiTek released an innovative device called the Game Saver+ in the mid-1990s that allowed gamers to store the exact state of their game at any time to memory. As you can see by the picture, the unit worked a bit like a Game Genie, acting as a bridge between a cartridge and the SNES. While playing, you could save your game by pressing something like Select + Right Shoulder button. To restore the game state, you’d press Select + Left Shoulder button (I forgot the combinations exactly). As long the Saver unit received power — either via the SNES’s AC adapter, which passed through the unit, or AA batteries — the Game Saver+ would save your game state. It also offered a few extra features like “slow motion” play.

Unfortunately, the Game Saver+ was released too late in the life of the SNES to make much impact. I picked one up in the late 1990s on clearance at Wal-Mart for a few bucks. By that time, I was already emulating the SNES on my PC.

From what I’ve read, the Game Saver+ didn’t work too well with certain games, causing graphical glitching upon resuming your state. In my experience (I remember mostly playing Super Castlevania IV with it), it seemed to work fine — although I wouldn’t want to depend on it.

[ Scanned from Electronic Gaming Monthly, January 1995 ]

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11 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] SNES Save State Device”

  1. Jim Ulrich Says:

    I swore I saw a device like this for the NES in the late ’80’s. It would probably be the only way to beat Battletoads.

  2. Jay Says:

    @Jim, you’re probably thinking about the Game Action Replay. Never had or actually saw one, but from what I heard they worked fairly well for this whole process.

  3. Jim Ulrich Says:

    @Jay – Yes that’s it. It’s been bugging me for the past few days. Here is a website that talks about it:


  4. apronk Says:

    I don’t remember seeing this back in the day, but I drooled every time I saw that Turbo Touch 360 on the right. Man I wanted one of those soooo bad.

    I would have died a GAR for the NES though. Deadly Towers anyone?

  5. Jay Says:

    Actually, I HAD a Turbo Touch 360 for the SNES for a long time. Darn nice controller it was, too. Made those pad motions in SFII a heckuva lot easier, let me tell you. My favourite controller I’ve ever used, worked it to death for several years. (Eventually it got so well used that the pad became largely unresponsive, I was never quite able to fix it back into working order. Man I miss that thing…)

  6. apronk Says:

    Maybe if I had been able to acquire a Turbo Touch 360 controller my grammar and typing skills would have improved too. 🙂

  7. Eric Says:

    I used to have a non-plus Game Saver for the SNES. Funny story! Apparently, when I was a kid, it used to bug my dad when I’d be playing a game with saves and I was supposed to be going somewhere with him, but I would need to find a save point first, and he’d get all impatient and pissy because I couldn’t just snap my fingers and do it instantly.

    So! One year, it’s my birthday, Final Fantasy 3 (or 6, or lightning bolt or whatever) had come out in the US a few months back. FF2/4 was my first FF game ever, and I loved it, loved it, and even took the Final Fantasy sequel bait to buy Mystic Quest. Obviously, I ask for FF3 for my birthday. So what does my dad get me? When Blockbuster Music was floundering and selling off its video game stock for cheap, they were selling the non-plus version of the Game Saver, the one without batteries that only maintained “saves” so long as the system stayed on. My dad sees this, sees it as a way to reduce my video games being annoying to him, thinks I’ll be able to “save” anywhere, anytime. Buys it. It’s my birthday present.

    It sucked. It was an odd little peripheral to have for your SNES, but it was glitchy, it lost the save when you turned the system off (completely negating what my dad was going for). I remember using it almost exclusively with Shaq Fu and Wolverine: Adamantium Ragepresents

  8. Eric Says:

    *Rage, two presents from other people. I already had a Game Genie which more or less served the same purpose of cheating while the system’s on, and it seemed like pretty much the only games it was useful with, it was only because the games were designed poorly, e.g., poorly enough to not be fun, e.g., poorly enough to never play anyway. As glitchy as it was, I don’t think I put that thing anywhere near any games with save files.

    So, turns out, saw the boxes at Blockbuster Music, he’d totally bought it for $20. I was stuck plunking down the $80 for FF3 myself.

    Man. Worst birthday present ever, this.

  9. Hirayuki Says:

    Coming late to the party here (long story), but I missed out on FF3 that Christmas in a very cruel way, also brought on by my parents: The wrapped SNES cartridge box under the tree turned out to be Bill Laimbeer’s Combat Basketball instead.

  10. Trevor Says:

    I bought this piece of trash a week ago off Ebay, without any instructions and cannot get it to work properly. I only want it for one game; Mario RPG Legend of the Seven Stars, so I can get the 100 Super Jumps. Well I hook the thing up and the first thing is does is ERASE MY SAVE FILES. So I start a new game and it flubs that up too. Not only that, every time I “save state” it freezes the game, resulting in me resetting it. Such a pain. Does anyone know what I’m doing wrong here? I think it’s the system, honestly.

  11. Ichinisan Says:

    Trevor: Which version did you get? There’s a non-Plus version that doesn’t have a battery compartment. I tried mine with Super Mario RPG and it worked fine without even entering a compatibility code.

    Mine included a chart of codes that improved compatibility with specific games. However, some of those games on the chart seem to work perfectly fine without the codes.

    Anyway, I took some pictures of the instructions for my Game Saver+ (Plus version)


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