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115 votes

How is it possible that classic 3D video games such as Super Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time can contain such bizarre "glitches"?

3D games like Super Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time are time-step-based physics simulators. Their basic design is based on the assumption that nothing goes above a certain speed. Each frame, Super Mario ...
wizzwizz4's user avatar
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77 votes
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How can tilting a N64 cartridge cause such subtle glitches?

The main point to understand is that the console is limited. RAM on the console itself is faster than memory on the cartridge (and the cartridge memory was usually read only, with a little non ...
Adam Davis's user avatar
73 votes
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Why does the Minus World exist?

In Super Mario Bros, you can access warp zones in three areas of the game. There are two of these that are important for the minus world glitch: the one at the end of World 1-2 (following the exit ...
Justine Krejcha's user avatar
52 votes

Why does the Minus World exist?

Warp zones exist at the end of some levels. In order to access them, you have to break through blocks at the top of the level, then run along the top until a secret area becomes visible. In order to ...
wizzwizz4's user avatar
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51 votes

How can tilting a N64 cartridge cause such subtle glitches?

I wouldn't say "It's a very specific and subtle kind of behavior." I really think this is the case of undefined behavior that has been reproduced so many times from N64 launch to now that ...
JAL's user avatar
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30 votes

How can tilting a N64 cartridge cause such subtle glitches?

This is the pinout of a Nintendo 64 cartridge (from here). The Nintendo 64 used a multiplexed address/data bus with a three-stage access protocol: write the high word of the address you want to ...
Mark's user avatar
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29 votes

How is it possible that classic 3D video games such as Super Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time can contain such bizarre "glitches"?

The short answer is: These games are built on code which is supposed to simulate the laws of physics, at least for motion. But they are also games, which means that that code has to run fast enough ...
PMar's user avatar
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26 votes
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Why are the out-of-bounds areas of Doom distorted on MS-DOS?

This is known as "Hall of Mirrors" effect. The Doom Wiki states: When the game renders the level to the screen, it draws it into a buffer, an area of memory. During gameplay, the previous ...
LuNa's user avatar
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19 votes

How can a Game Boy game "glitch-inherit" the music from a different game like this?

I don't know if this is correct, but it seems to fit. The SNES sound chip is a full processor. It can run its own program and play sounds independently of the main processor. It is also possible for ...
RETRAC's user avatar
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19 votes

How is it possible that classic 3D video games such as Super Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time can contain such bizarre "glitches"?

You probably don't encounter these glitches because you play the game as the developers intended. In Oblivion you can pickup plates and stuff to move or throw (which is the intended use), but if you ...
SirDuckduck's user avatar
17 votes
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How does the "Small fire-Mario" glitch in SMB1 work?

Without analyzing the code I'd risk to say that the state of Mario consists of 2 different variables: big or small mario state big or small mario image When you're hit and you end a level, the game ...
Jean-François Fabre's user avatar
15 votes

How is it possible that classic 3D video games such as Super Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time can contain such bizarre "glitches"?

No software is ever bug-free, and games are no exception. The reason most of these bugs seem so crazy is that they're complex and frequently require several things to go right (wrong?) at the same ...
bta's user avatar
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12 votes

How can tilting a N64 cartridge cause such subtle glitches?

The Gist Games on the N64 typically did not have a lot of memory to use. Instead of keeping all code and data loaded onto the cartridge at one time, it would typically keep some necessary game code ...
Meow Mix's user avatar
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12 votes
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How do parallel universes exist in Super Mario 64?

This answer is based solely on the information here and the original Parallel Universe video. There is a part of the game's code that detects whether Mario is standing on the floor. This part of the ...
Quitting Due To Antisemitism's user avatar
10 votes

Why do NPC party members often "get stuck" when following the player?

Firstly, on the "difficulty" of programming a teleport routine: Teleporting an NPC when it gets stuck is actually a relatively straight-forward task to achieve. Identifying when an NPC has ...
Kaz's user avatar
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10 votes

How is it possible that classic 3D video games such as Super Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time can contain such bizarre "glitches"?

A good way to think about it is to consider board, card and tabletop games: A board game has rules: who goes first, what happens when you land on a space; and state: whose turn is it, where the pieces ...
knol's user avatar
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9 votes

How is it possible that classic 3D video games such as Super Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time can contain such bizarre "glitches"?

Since Ocarina of Time was mentioned, I'll say a little about that too, and things that aren't related to faulty collision detection. Many of the really game-breaking glitches in this game (i.e. which ...
Arthur's user avatar
  • 191
8 votes

How is it possible that classic 3D video games such as Super Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time can contain such bizarre "glitches"?

I'll be focusing first on the "How does anyone find that?" part of your question, but that will lead us to the "how did they get there" portion too: There are a few ways. Chance ...
WhatEvil's user avatar
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8 votes

What is the first documented instance of video game console "Frying?"

I think it would be unlikely to work on computers, as opposed to consoles. The trick relies on corrupting values in RAM (by disrupting the DRAM refresh cycle) without also corrupting the game code; ...
Chromatix's user avatar
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6 votes

How can tilting a N64 cartridge cause such subtle glitches?

First, if you go to The Cutting Room Floor and browse awhile, you will discover that the binary images of many old ROM and cartridge based games have often have test code, unused code, debug code, ...
LawrenceC's user avatar
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6 votes
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Is screen wrap on the NES a fault of the OAM?

After looking at the posted videos, I think that OAM layout may be the cause of the Zelda right-to-left glitch, but not the Metroid top-to-bottom glitch. In Zelda if you frame step you can see at ...
Tommy's user avatar
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4 votes

Using the reset button to enable double firing in Space Invaders on the Atari VCS\Atari 2600: was it a glitch or a hidden feature?

An interesting quirk of Space Invaders (2600) is that in two-player simultaneous mode, there is a minimum separation between the two players' shots. Another interesting design aspect is that there ...
supercat's user avatar
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4 votes

Using the reset button to enable double firing in Space Invaders on the Atari VCS\Atari 2600: was it a glitch or a hidden feature?

It is found and investigated by other people as well. Apparently the switch/button states are read when game ROM code starts after powerup during initializing the game variables and also the reset ...
Justme's user avatar
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3 votes

How is it possible that classic 3D video games such as Super Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time can contain such bizarre "glitches"?

In programming, it's common for a seemingly benign oversight to result in wild behavior. (e.g. division by zero, infinite loops) Weird behavior still notoriously happens even in big-budget, more ...
fantasastic's user avatar
1 vote

How does ‘Trent’s circuit board strategy’ work?

Many devices that may receive inputs at arbitrary times are designed to interrupt the processor whenever input arrives. When the interrupt is triggered, it will be disabled until code finishes ...
supercat's user avatar
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1 vote

Why does the Minus World exist?

(Just to be pedantic) It doesn't exist. What we see is just what happens to occupy the part of the rom that gets loaded into memory when using a bogus level number as input for the rom-offset lookup ...
svin83's user avatar
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