Did “The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask” use a battery for keeping the save files after all


I thought I had finally established that only Ocarina of Time used a battery-powered save feature, whereas the sequel Majora's Mask had advanced to a flash-based save memory which didn't require a battery (and thus the savegames will last forever)… But then I read this:

Miscellaneous Attributes Battery Backed RAM

Source: https://www.mobygames.com/game/n64/legend-of-zelda-majoras-mask/techinfo

What gives? Is it battery-powered or not? What does "Battery Backed RAM" even mean? That's a very odd phrasing for a battery-based save feature… Are they talking about something else?

Also, I've been trying to verify that the resolution used by both this game and Ocarina of Time is 320 x 240 pixels. I can't find this information anywhere, and considering how MobyGames apparently cannot be trusted to contain correct information, I'm not even sure how I could be sure that the answer for that is correct…

I find in general that Wikipedia articles virtually never contain any useful technical information like this, and whenver I DuckDuckGo these games, no matter what phrases I add before or after, all I find are "ROM download" piracy sites, which is not what I'm looking for. I'm eager to hear if you know of some kind of properly verified wealth of information for N64 (and other) games.

Best Answer

"Battery-backed RAM" is exactly what it says on the tin. In the older battery-backed cartridges the chip storing the data is a RAM chip, just like the ones in your console or PC - the only difference is that while the PC or console are expected to eventually be turned off and have their RAM contents wiped, the battery-backed RAM chip is continuously kept powered so that it doesn't happen.

This repository of N64 board images shows Majora's Mask to contain a 29L1100KC-15B0 chip, which is a flash memory chip. Also, obviously, there's no battery on the board:


Compare Ocarina of Time with its LH52V246AD chip and a battery holder: