Friday, December 20, 2013

Peripherals: The Dex Drive

I think I focus on the Playstation 1 so much because that was the era when I was making decent money babysitting, but I wasn't old enough to drive or have a real job.

Basically, my $40 a week would turn into a massive PS1 shopping spree once a month.

Saying that, I also had one of those high capacity, off brand memory cards for the PS1 that had the tendency to corrupt saves ever few months.

The summer of 1999 was particularly brutal. I spent most days in front of the PS1 while my parents were at work. One day, I tried to load my Metal Gear Solid save and the PS1 kept saying it couldnt' find it. When I went into the memory card utility, there was nothing there. Empty. Much like my heart.

I lost some incredibly important files.

  • Resident Evil save that had Hunk and Tofu unlocked. 
  • Resident Evil 3 play through that had the costumes and epilogues unlocked.
  • Armored Core save on the last mission that I never beat. 
  • Metal Gear Solid clear game with the tuxedo and bandanna unlocked. 
  • And probably the most important, my 35 hour's of Legend of Legaia. 

There's no more depressing (yet oddly liberating) feeling of knowing hours of your summer just vanished because of corrupt memory blocks.

Enter, the DexDrive. The DexDrive could connect to your computer so you could backup saves. I bought one, sold my high capacity memory card, and just used one standard 128 KB card.

I just swapped files on and off of my PC, since my incredibly large 40 GB hard drive could essentially hold unlimited amounts of PS1 saves.

I was already in full support of the DexDrive until I also realized that I could download other people's saves from the internet. I spent hours scouring message boards and GameFAQs trying to find save files that most resembled the ones I lost. There were even some hacked saves, unlocking items that never made it to the final game and levels never meant to see.

I was able to mostly restore my lost saves with a little perseverance and Yahoo! searches. And thus, the DexDrive saved my summer.

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