Converting Sega Saturn (SSF) Saves to Mednafen Saturn (Retroarch)

This simple guide will show you how to convert Sega Saturn saves (from SSF emulator) to Retroarch, I gathered some info here and there here in the forums and as it was really useful for me, it probably will be useful for you too.

First, download Sega Saturn RAM Backup Parser here:

Once you download and open the EXE:

1 - Click in Insert, 2 - Select your SSF save file, my saves were stored in the External Backup Folder because in game I usually chose the cartridge, but I also have duplicate saves under InternalBackup, so the process to convert Internal saves is the same as External, 3 - Press OK

Now Click in Save, Choose RAW and OK:

Choose where will your RAW save be stored, in my case, I have Retroarch to save files and sort them in folders, so it creates a folder named according to the core, wherever are your Saturn saves being stored, save there, in this case, BCR extension means I’m saving an external backup save, BKR means internal save, so when saving, don’t forget to copy the cue name and putting BCR or BKR as its extension, so retroarch will load the file as External or Internal accordingly.

That’s it, your backups should work in Mednafen Saturn now:


Great guide! Thanks for making and sharing it!

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I vote sticky on this one plus you get a huge like despite the lack of a like button!

Thanks guys, I`m sure it will be useful, it would be nice if we had a specific tutorial or guides thread here so we could gather tutos like these.

Thanks for this! I came across this utility on the Mednafen Saturn thread, but made a couple of mistakes along the way and couldn’t get a working savefile for RetroArch. Now with this guide I know what I did wrong. Thank you so much!

I would love to see a tutorials forum at libretro. I guess quality and accuracy would be a concern but it seems the best location would be a specific place in the forum

This tutorial is in need of an update because the images is gone and replaced with generic photobucket images which makes it hard for users to follow it.

I just moved the pictures to a free image hosting website, thanks for letting me know.

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How do you reverse the process if you want to go back some time?

I think I screwed up at some point here because I only have saves for Mednafen standalone and Libretro these days with the original SSF saves completely gone.

I wanted to check something out in SSF real quick and my complete save file could have done it but it’s gone…

Can the process be reversed?


You just used the extract function to retrieve the save files, renamed them with .bin and it worked


Once per 2 years I’m trying to move my Shining Force 3 save files from SSF emul to Mednaffen or Retroarch. Always reading this thread, and always stucking at same problem - where should i put converted file and what should be its name and size? Due to this guide exptanations name should be: cuename.bkr or cuename.bcr. But retroarch have other names in saves - it is “states\cuename.state”, “saves\cuename.srm” and “saves\cuename.srm.bsv” I tried replacing existed retroarch saves with given patterns, but it doesn’t work, bcos it’s files have different filesizes. *.state - 2mb+ *.srm and *.bsv - 64kb and 4.4mb

Also i found that before converting save to RAW format, you have option how to Insert file first: SSF, RAW, and other modes… with SSF by default. Should we use RAW mode on Insert aswell?

It’s a bit tricky, sometimes, when I need it, I have to recheck this thread I created myself! The way I got it, it’s that SSF sees a save per game, whereas Mednafen sees a battery or a cartridge save. When you import a save from SSF and save it as a RAW save (cluster size 512), you’ll have a virtual cartridge, for example A+M+O+K (USA).bin, then you rename it to A+M+O+K (USA).bcr, then mednafen should read it. To revert it back to SSF, you should insert the bcr file, for example:

It will then display your saves, in this case, I only have one. All you have to do is hitting the extract button and add “.bin” to the end of the file name, moving it to either the internal or external backup folder in SSF. This is that single save file I was talking about.

Try this way : Using Mednafen first directly

  1. Preparing all

Download latest mednafen and/or compile, extract, and put your sega saturn bios inside the “firmware” sub-folder.

Download the “SS Backup RAM Parser” if you not have it.

i use SSF 0.09 Beta R2 for Play Panzer Dragoon Saga with Spanish translation patch applied, in the Options, in the tab “Program 3” i had activated “Hook Backup Library”, this make “SSF” not use the file “InternalBackupRAM.bin”, make SSF use the folder Called “Backup”, and create the battery save files in raw directly on folder, instead inside of another file.

  1. Start mednafen, configure your controls, after, restart mednafen, and hold “L” & “R” for access to Sega Saturn Configuration Screen. Go to the Memory Manager use “Delete” on “System Memory” / “Internal Memory” ( i don’t know which are the text on english )

Confirm you really want to delete all system memory :

Notice already is deleted :

Notice Mednafen had created this three files

On my case i rename them, just deleting the random numbers generated by mednafen

03 ) Open the “SS Backup RAM Parser” clic on “Setup”

On the tab extract enable “Ask for mode at every extract”

On the tab insert enable “Ask for mode at every insert” Then click on “Ok”

Now make click on “Load”

Now search the mednafen “.bkr” file in where you need import your SSF Battery data

Just leave on “Raw” (Mode) in “64” (Clusters) and then click “Ok”

04 ) Insert / Import your raw data from SSF (if you had inside the “InternalBackupRAM.bin” you can use “SS Backup RAM Parser” for extract raw data but on my case that not working with the SSF version i had use, because of that i prefer enable “Hook Backup Library” option.

Use “Insert” button

Now go directly to the SSF folder, on my case i go directly to the “Backup/ExternalBackup”

Now select the file you want

Now the “Insertion Mode” should be on “SSF” , because if you change it, the Mednafen don’t detect data.

If you want edit info, i just leave and just click “Ok”

Now click on “Save” button

Leave on “Raw” and just click “Ok”

Go Directly to the Mednafen Sav folder

Use the exact same file you open to import

Overwrite it

Now try your Sega Saturn Game with Mednafen :

On my case the thing work

i can continue my save game from SSF on Mednafen

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