MOM: Sounds interesting. What are you going to do?
-?zcrEV: I'm going to become the world's strongest trainer and catch every single pokemon in this region.
MOM: OK, but be back for dinner.
Simply the most important and most useful glitch in the game, it's more known for allowing the player to catch
Mew. Given the actual circumstances necessary for the bug to happen, one constantly wonders how the glitch was
found. However, the name of its discoverer is, like Jack DeVries from IGN says, a mystery for the ages. There are
references in the internet containing the description of the method to catch Mew since May 2002, but at the time, this
was probably considered one more of the countless rumors that existed that made catching Mew possible, and it was
unnoticed until it was posted in a GameFAQs board by TheScythe in April 2003. It shocked the pokemon community
at the time. Shortly
after, White Cat deduced enough of the glitch's mechanism, which allowed one to catch any pokemon in the game, in this
aspect, this run is a little late, coming eight years after this challenge was proven possible. The implications of
the Trainer-Fly glitch also allow a lot of shortcuts and sequence breaks.
To do it, walk in front of a trainer that can see you from the maximum distance possible, open the menu and use a warp
move, like Fly, Dig, Teleport or Escape Rope. The trainer will notice you but you'll have warped before he has a chance
to battle you. After this, your buttons are frozen and your actions are very limited, it's impossible to open the menu,
for example. You can restore them by entering a trainer battle, letting the trainer walk at least one step to fight you
(the game will lock up if you talk or walk directly in front of the trainer). When you return to the area you canceled
the battle, your menu will open by itself and upon closing it, you'll face a wild pokemon whose ID will equal the special
stat of the last pokemon you fought (or more precisely, its remainder by 256).
This happens because the game uses the same memory region to store the next battle you'll face and the stats of the last
pokemon battle. When you return to a region where you used Trainer-Fly, the game will try to resume the canceled battle,
even if the previous values were already overwritten with something else. The species is determined by the special stat of
the last pokemon and the level by its Attack modifier, a number from 1 to 13 that it initially set to 7 and reduces when
Growl is used and increased when Swords Dance is used.
During the making of this run, it was revealed to us by Potato Stomper that Trainer-Fly can be initiated a little earlier
than in the current route by fainting from a wild encounter taken on the step that a trainer would be fought. We were
already late in the movie when we took notice of this and it wasn't rigorously tested, but it seems that the extra time
taken to do this variant of the glitch is likely too big to compensate for the benefits of an earlier Trainer-Fly.
Additionally, some legendary battles, like the Articuno one, seem to mess up Trainer-Fly. We found this out the hard way...
Trainer-Fly may be more useful, but this is certainly more famous, it was discovered by countless people shortly after
the release of the games. It was fixed in the subsequent Pokémon Yellow. It works by talking to the Old Man who shows you
how to catch a Weedle. After this event, the game replaces your name with Old Man and puts your original one in the
list of pokemon wild encounters for the current area so that it can retrieve it. This is extremely crappy programming
but it works because you talk to him in a city area and there's no tall grass in Viridian City. Besides, it's overwritten
when you enter a route that has tall grass, so there shouldn't be a problem. However, they made a mistake in the east
Cinnabar coast, there are encounters there but instead of looking at data for water routes, the game uses the data for tall
grass. It's now easy to exploit this, talk to the Old Man, your name goes to wild data, fly to Cinnabar, you haven't passed
through tall grass areas and your name is still there, get yourself an encounter at the coast and you can have a battle with
a pokemon defined by your name. Most of the alphabet characters will generate Missingno., that's how this glitch pokemon
was first found. Today, it's one of the most famous video game glitches.
To find which pokemon you'll encounter, it's sufficient to look at the IDs of your name's characters and know that the 1st
character in the name doesn't matter (it's probably a sentinel in the list), the 3rd, 5th and 7th determine species and the
2nd, 4th and 6th determine levels. For implementation reason, the name contains twelve characters, although only eight are
necessary, the unused ones will be filled with zeros, that give the glitch pokemon 'M.
Directly related to the glitch above, when you encounter a glitch pokemon, like Missingno. or 'M, the item on your sixth
slot will have more 128 copies of it, no one knows for sure why this happens. Players often use this to get more Master
Balls. From a TAS perspective, however, every ball is a Master Ball, so we use this once to clone Pokéballs so that we
don't need to get money to buy them and twice to clone Rare Candies, which we use to quickly level up our pokémon.
- Experience underflow glitch
We don't know who originally discovered it to give credit, it was brought to TASers' attention by dfhuiwefhdasasasas,
this allows us to destroy story battles easily. There are four formulas that control level-ups in this game. It's only
important to know the one for fading growth pokémon, which is this one: E = 1.2L³ - 15L² + 100L - 140
Notice that for L=1, E=-53.8, the game truncates this to -54. Experience should never be negative but L1 pokémon aren't
supposed to exist as well, so apparently no problem. However, with Trainer-Fly we can get a pokemon at level 1 by using
Growl on the opponent six times to lower its Attack modifier to 1. The consequence is that the number containing
experience will underflow, it'll contain the max experience it can hold minus 54. Since it's a 3-byte integer, that means
over 16 million exp points, more than enough to surpass the L100 cap. However, the game will only check experience again
when your pokemon gains experience, so the only caution necessary is to give it 53 points or less and the game will innocently
give it an astounding L1-100 level up.
One should be careful to never let a pokemon at L0 or L1 in a box, as the game will freeze when it's withdrawn. We also
found this out the hard way...
Found by hanzou, this one releases us from the obligation to fight Brock, since his badge is not checked when going to
the league with the walk through walls glitch. To perform it, cancel the conversation with the Pewter guard using B,
this gives you time to open the menu and save the game. Reset, when the game reloads he'll walk away, thinking he
already took you to Brock's gym. Now simply hold right and you'll progress to Mt. Moon.
There's a moment in the game where the player is supposed to obtain a Poké Flute to wake up a Snorlax to gain access
to Fuschia or take a long way through Rock Tunnel to arrive in Lavender. None of this happens here. Snazzypadgett from
SDA reported that after performing Trainer-Fly, Snorlax had disappeared. Shortly after, many were able to reproduce
this glitch and sequence break the game. It happens because Trainer-Fly is basically a simulation of a legendary
battle. Every legendary battle is hard coded to eliminate the missable object at the first position of the list
in the current area. This is done to prevent the player from repeating the fight, obviously, and assumes that the
first missable object is the legendary pokemon, carefully put there by the programmers.
When you change areas, the list of missables is only updated if the new area has any missables on it. Now it's simple
to use it to move Snorlax out of the way. First, enter the area of Snorlax and perform Trainer-Fly without ever
walking through places with missables, enter the glitched battle. The game then will look at Snorlax data on the
missable list and remove it so you can pass. One just needs to be careful to not get wild encounters, as they will
cause the game to allocate much memory to start the battle, overwriting the list.
A recurring trick in the pokemon series, present in the first, second and third generations. Often hidden by other
bugs in 1st gen, and by the fact that the timing needs to be more exact. For a TASer, the timing presents no challenge
whatsoever. The trick is to save the game and deposit a pokemon of the party in a PC box and do a box switch. The
game will require you to save to do this. When it starts saving, however, it saves first the box configuration, so if
you reset the game at the right point, your box will suffer alterations but your party won't. The consequence is
that the pokémon deposited will be present in the box and in your party, thus being cloned. We use it to clone Eevee
- Walk through walls glitch
Developed by hanzou, this is the most sequence breaking glitch in the run. It's a variation of the Glitch City bug, but
much more useful. First, enter Safari Zone, try to leave it and say No when the clerk asks if you want to leave. Save
and reset the game, when you try to leave the clerk will think you're trying to get in and ask if you want to enter. Say
No again and leave it. Now, you're still under the 500 step counter, you just can't see it and will be called back by
the P.A. when it runs out. The key here is to get ding-dong'ed mid-air, while you're jumping off a ledge. When you get
called back, you can walk through walls. However, upon exiting the building, you'll lose that ability. The solution is
to faint from poison inside there, you respawn at a Pokecenter and can walk though walls in the overworld. However, when
you enter a house or face a trainer you lose that ability, so careful planning is needed.
We use this bug to visit Cinnabar before getting Surf, sneak into Sabrina's gym without beating the rockets at Silph,
get inside Unknown Dungeon before beating the league and finally to get to Indigo Plateau having only six badges.
The RNG in this game is a pain to manipulate because it uses a hardware register for entropy and it's nearly impossible to track
its behavior, in order to do this run, we relied on some brute force Lua scripts. Annoyingly, there's a bug with VBA that
will cause desyncs when a script loads a savestate, so even with the script in control, we had to do manual rerecords.
Luck is extensively manipulated, from everything to critical hits, damage variation and, especially, random encounters.
There are many instances where we need a certain special stat on a pokémon to use Trainer-Fly for another, so even their
DVs (values that cause differentiation on the stats of Pokémon) needed to be manipulated at times. In other cases, it was
required that we caught the pokémon at highest level of an area, to minimize Rare Candies. Often this caused the probability
of them showing up to be 1/256, the overall rarest event manipulated here is the Tentacool encounter. An encounter on the first step in a water tile is 5/256, getting a L40 Tentacool is 1/256, and having the right DVs is 1/16, for a grand total of
In order to manipulate it, we used some knowledge of RNG mechanics, like the "D-sum". Although the RNG behaves chaotically,
the sum of the two bytes tends to steadily increase or steadily decrease, depending if you're on a battle or in the overworld,
since the species and level of pokemon encountered is closely related to this sum, we can get some expectation on what
we'll find by getting this value in the appropriate range.
The only other aspect worth mentioning is the annoying 3-step rule, that doesn't let a wild encounter happen unless you walk
a minimum of three steps since the last battle.
This game's poor programming allows for severe exploits. Practically any goal imposed could be achieved by using them, it
would reduce a lot of the movie's length but would give little similarity to a high completion movie, so we chose to not
use them. Those bugs generally involve using save corruption or the ZZAZZ glitch to explode the inventory counter, giving
access to important parts of RAM. It's even possible to program in the game, because there's a way to force the game to
call the function you want. One who knows GB opcodes could stuff a loop that overwrites pokedex addresses in RAM and force
the game to call that function, for example. Given the impact on gameplay this has, it was banned here.
- Avoiding the near-death sound
When your pokémon is in critical status (red health bar), a warning sound starts. When this warning is playing, the game
doesn't play pokémon cries and battles go much faster. However, it's impossible to tolerate three hours with that noise
on, so we didn't use it.
This is a pretty extensive subject and one we spent a lot of time on. It's near impossible to verify the optimality of a
route and small changes to it may introduce gains in time, adding this to the fact that this is the first submission
for this category and there was a lot of groundwork to be done makes planning very hard.
The complicated part comes from the amazing amount of pokémon that need to be glitched in order to complete the
pokedex, Trainer-Fly is the main tool we have for this and it requires fighting opponents with a given special stat,
however some stats are very high, making it impossible to find in the wild. And even the ones that can be found are
somewhat tricky to plan their order without screwing up your progression through the game.
To overcome this difficulty, we used a bot that took all pokemon data in the game from wild encounters and trainer
battles and ran a simulation of their stats to find which pokémon they triggered, with this it was significantly easier
to plan things out, we found a lot that could be glitched by careful manipulation of the DVs. However, the situation
remained the same for pokemon with very high IDs. The standard mathod people use for this is to raise a pokemon
until it has the necessary stats, let a Ditto transform into it and do the glitch. This, however, is slow, our alternative
here is to carefully choose the protagonist's name so that it generates hard to get pokemon with the Old Man glitch.
Here, ?z generates a L230 Oddish, which, with the right DVs can be used to glitch a Machamp, cr gives a L162 Squirtle that's
used to glitch a Porygon and EV generates a L131 Alakazam that's used to glitch an Ekans.
There were other potential candidates for this glitching procedure, but the Old Man method is still very slow because
we need to visit him every time we do the glitch, initially there were seven repetitions of this, using alternative methods
to catch hard pokémon we saw that by visiting Unknown Dungeon we could reduce this and through the cloning trick, only
three (the minimum) repetitions are required. We are very content with the final route, as it turned up efficient
and interesting to watch.
We could flood the submission with the route details we discussed. Our PM box is filled with them, but since we don't
want the submission text to be excessively long, we intend to release a subtitle Lua script to be played with the movie.