With the help of Retro Pie’s special key setup, I’ve lost many hours of progress playing Link’s Awakening. I switched to using the emulator because my cartridge has lost its memory, and with it, a couple hours of progress. But the controller key combinations Retro Pie uses to make it easy to exit, restart, and save games have led to even more loss.

First, I lost a couple hours because the default special key is select, the default exit game combo is select + start, and the way to save in Link’s Awakening is select + start + A + B. I went to save, and bam, I’m back to Emulation Station (the game selection interface), with no progress saved.

I switched the special key to the left bottom trigger button (L2), something that wouldn’t be used for Gameboy or most of the other systems I play. But I’ve found myself having a tendency to rest my finger on that button, and press it sometimes. And in Link, I often hold the B button constantly to keep up my shield. The special + B combo restarts the game, so bam, I’m back to the start screen without saving. I’ve done that numerous times, so I’ve been saving frequently to reduce time lost.

Today, though, was the worst. I played for a couple hours to enjoy the holiday. Then bam, I found myself at the start screen. But this time, when I went to start again, I found myself back at the beginning of the game. I restarted again to verify. Exited the game. Restarted the machine. All progress gone. Apparently, I had hit the combo to restore an emulator save state (something separate from the game’s save system) from back when I first started the game and was figuring out the special button combos. I guess emulator’s save state moves everything, including the game’s save state, to exactly as it was when it was saved. I learned that there’s an option to undo the loading of a state in the special + X menu, but that only works if you don’t exit.

So, many hours, getting the first three instruments, many shell’s, etc. down the drain. I’m not sure if I feel like doing it all again just to get back where I was. I’m sure I can do it faster going through again, but it’s still gonna be a lot of time. And there’s a sort of fatigue from having to redo things, things that had been marked as done in my mind. I’ll probably question whether I did some things in this game or if that was just the previous play-through.

I’m going to have to figure out a better option for the special key. I’m using a Playstation 1 style controller, so the only extra keys that wouldn’t be on a SNES (another system I commonly play) are R2 and L2. I may need to get another controller with more buttons, at least one that isn’t normally used by the systems I play. I can’t think of any that would be safe on this controller. Maybe R2 would be less likely to be hit, but I’m not sure.