A Fuse For Thought: Game Glitches, and How Some of Them Work.
Welcome, internet! I've been playing a lot of Harvest Moon lately. In fact, the only other two games I've been playing are Super Metroid, and the Rayman Legends (Apology) Challenges App, which I will write about in due time. However, Back to the previous two games. Harvest Moon is a game with it's Glitches, both enjoyable and painstaking. Super Metroid is as well. But, aside from those, You can find notable Glitches or exploits in some of the most popular games, both old and new. For instance, it's possible to “sequence break” your way to getting several items earlier than expected in Super Metroid. Skilled Players can utilize the concepts of perceptible and hidden affordance in order to beat the game as quickly as possible.
Glitches, however, are never specific to a single game. Rather, the idea of a glitch is never specific to one game. Video games of all kinds have things you can exploit for your own gain, progress, or even just to look at it. I wanted to write a hub about multiple different kinds of glitches, but I didn't want to make it a top 5, So here, I'm just going to run down a list of Glitches that are interesting, but in no particular order. I actually like the idea of these glitches pretty equally, which is why a top 5 Was ruled out. But enough babble. On to the list!
Missingno - Pokémon
I couldn't mention glitches without talking about Missingno. Missingno is a glitched pokémon that can be manually acquired in the first three Pokémon games. I can't confirm or deny the un-hacked ability to acquire them in the later games, but you can do so by means of a gameshark. In fact, in Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald (and possibly in other ones) they actually designed a sprite for Missingno. There are two of them (missingno designs) in those games, but neither are the most commonly used appearance for him/her/it/them. The most commonly used image for Missingno is a jumble of distorted pixels in varying colors. It functions as a normal pokémon, but can seriously mess up your game. It will, in a nutshell, distort the lineup of items in your pack, and change the amount of an item in a certain slot to 258. It can also distort the hall of fame you witness at the end of the game. If you find missingno in the yellow version of Pokémon, you will see a huge parade of your character walking across the screen, as well as the other side effects.
How do you encounter Missingno? How do you avoid Missingno? Actually,these two questions answer each other. You see, when you talk to the old man who teaches you how to throw pokeballs and catch pokémon (because it's such a pro skill) a special counter is set. This counter is also set when you encounter a pokémon, but the difference is that, when you go through the old man's tutorial, this counter is set to a number not equivalent to a pokémon, so if you were to encounter a randomly chosen wild pokémon at a place where ANY pokémon could pop up, that game would refer to this counter to give you a pokémon to battle. The location in these games is always on the eastern shore of Cinnabar Islands, so if you want to find it, go there immediately after doing the tutorial. If you want to avoid Missingno, that's easy. Just go to a place with native pokémon (Pokemon who are programmed to be there regardless of that counter) and get into a new battle. This will change the value of that counter to the Hex (hexadecimal) value of the most recent pokemon you encounter, thus avoiding the glitch.
The Backwards Long Jump - Super Mario 64
This is a well known glitch among Super Mario fans, especially those who were alive when it was in it's prime. One well known glitch (not a conspiracy, for those of you still hanging on to “L is real”) is known as the backwards long jump. You simply do a long jump, and as our portly plumber begins his leap of faith, jam the stick in the opposite direction. Mario will slowly trail backwards in the air. As soon as he lands, press A immediately again while still holding the stick back. Mario will be making these leaps of faith in the wrong direction! It takes some timing to get the long jumps to happen, but once you get it down, it''s pretty entertaining.
You can also use this to get to the final boss with only 31 stars. To do this, you need to have beaten bowser for the first and second time, and have access to the upper floors. But wait! You can't get into the top most floor without 50 stars! How do you expect to get through that door? Then there's the endless stairs. How do you do that? Backwards long jump! I'll admit to never having been able to perform this trick myself, but video evidence will suffice for me. You can find tons of other, more skilled people doing it on YouTube. You see, when you backwards long to the stairs with the appropriate timing, Mario will skid up the stairs, and glitch through the door. I reason that it's because Mario's long jump animation stops doors from triggering interactions with Mario somehow, but technicalities aside, this also works with the endless stairs, allowing you to face the final boss with only 31 stars. I've heard of some people doing it with as little as 16 stars, but I've seen no proof.
Kill Screen - Pac Man
Who doesn't remember Pac Man? I find it hard to take someone seriously when they call themselves a gamer, and don't know who Pac Man is. Honestly, it'd be hard to take anybody seriously who doesn't know Pac Man. This is one of the most well known arcade games to exist. Though, I'd wager many people didn't know about the kill screen glitch. You see, when you move on to a new, a counter rises up a value, similarly to the pokemon values and missingno. However, with pac man here, it always goes up by one for each level you complete. If you manage to get all the way up to level 256, which is why only a handful of people know about it to begin with, then something strange happens. You become locked up in this world full of distorted pixels where your death is guaranteed. This is because of Hexadecimal numbers for the level counter. Hexadecimal numbers are a combination of all ten “digit” numbers, 0-9, as well as the first 6 letters of the alphabet. This changes a few things with numbers. For instance, 64 is the hexadecimal value for 100, and a number like 10 would be the letter “A” so counting to ten in hexadecimal would be 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-A. Back in the day, hexadecimal values didn't go beyond two digits. The highest possible value they could have come up with was FF, or 255. this is why it creates this kill screen when you reach level 256. the game can't legitimately process data and enemies beyond this level value. The goal was never to beat every level. The goal was to get as high a score as possible. Thankfully, in today's day and age, we have ways around things like this. Still, you knew someone was pro if the screen killed them before the ghosts did.
The Missing Child Glitch - Harvest Moon: Animal Parade
Don't tell me you didn't see this coming. This game is loaded with enough content to last players hours. No, it's not a game for everybody, nor should it be. The best thing about games is that there are some we like, and some we don't. But something nobody liked about this game is called the Missing Child Glitch. In most Harvest Moon games, you have the ability to get married and have children. Animal Parade is no different, except when this happens. It's one of the most erratic glitches I've ever seen, as nobody has been able to find a definite cause or cure for the glitch. When you have a child, they become fully grown in two seasons after their birth. This gives an event called “Child's Day” where the family gathers to get their picture taken. This is where the glitch most commonly occurs. It's most often reported to happen when the player saves their game before or after child's day. The child disappears off of the map completely, but remains on the tracker. People will also talk as if the child is still there. When tracked via the tracker, it will say they are in “None: Area Name”
There have been entire guides dedicated to understanding this odd glitch. One counter question people tend to have when talking about this glitch is “why is it such a big deal? Children are useless in most of the games, anyway.” And this is true, Children serve little purpose in most Harvest Moon games. Animal Parade, however, makes children much more useful, and necessary for certain events. You see, your child will grow up past the toddler stage, unlike most of the games. It will grow to the point where they can not only talk with you and be given gifts, but the can also help you out around your farm, and you get a power berry (increase in stamina) for getting the highest possible affection with your child. Other than that, though, there is one other purpose children serve in Animal Parade. After completing the main story, and ringing the five bells to summon the Harvest King, who then restores the Goddess Tree, he will have a series of events leading to the new game plus, which will start a new game with several bonuses. You need at least one child for the new game plus events, of which, you can have two (children). This glitch, unfortunately, can happen to both of your children, and very seldom only targets one. At the risk of being too overly promotional, I'll put a link to a guide with one of these pictures, as there is a MASSIVE (caps for emphasis) amount of information pertaining to this glitch. It is undoubtedly one of the most erratic and unpleasant glitches I've ever seen. It's so unpleasant because, other than the idea of your child being gone forever, and you having no ability to so much as keep in touch with them, the idea of the glitch being completely irreparable is pretty daunting. It's more daunting by the idea that it can happen to you at any time, and you can sometimes try to get this glitch and never have it happen. Also, this is a particularly slow paced game. It's even slow for a Harvest Moon game, which is already a slow paced series to begin with. This pace makes the idea of starting anew even more worrisome, especially with the afterthought of a single glitch destroying your entire game, and all the progress you made with it.
That looks like enough for now. glitches can not only ruin a game, but enhance it as well. Some will destroy the files, and to some extent, can make the entire game unplayable. While others can give you an edge, help you progress, and can be nothing more than entertaining to examine. The next time you buy a game, don't hesitate to experiment and see what you can do. see you guys soon!