Tool-assisted game movies
When human skills are just not enough

Submission #4355: Khaz's SNES Dragon View "game end glitch" in 1:01:01.92

Console: Super NES
Game name: Dragon View
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Dragon View (U).smc
Branch: game end glitch
Emulator: Bizhawk 1.5.2
Movie length: 1:01:01.92
FrameCount: 220077
Re-record count: 6353
Author's real name: Phil R.
Author's nickname: Khaz
Submitter: Khaz
Submitted at: 2014-07-04 02:16:40
Text last edited at: 2014-07-15 15:24:31
Text last edited by: Fog
Download: Download (53691 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

(Link to video)

Dragon View is an under-appreciated RPG for the SNES, allegedly a prequel to the original Drakkhen though it bears no resemblance in gameplay. You play as Alex on a quest to save your girlfriend Katarina and recover the Prime Orb from the evil Giza. I don't do any of that though, thanks to a glitch that skips you straight to the ending from roughly halfway through.

At least, half of the ending. This glitch is different from the one that has been documented before - and it screws up the cutscene following the credits so you end up stuck. It IS possible to glitch to the credits and have them play to the end, I just didn't get it this time....

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: Bizhawk v1.5.2
  • Aims to achieve the Wrong Warp glitch as quickly as possible


The Glitch

My original goal was to recreate the wrong warp glitch originally encountered by PJDiCesare (seen here) as quickly as possible. Upon completing my first TAS attempt I found that the glitch did not occur the same way for me as I'd been told it would, and after days of experimentation I was unable to achieve the wrong warp at all.

The glitch occurs whenever you reach the end of Ortah temple without saving and loading your game, since when you defeat Piercia in the Storehouse a “7F” is written to 7E9BAA that isn't restored after loading. This address is accessed as soon as you try to advance past the first text that appears in the cutscene, and when the 7F is there it triggers a series of loops that scramble massive regions of RAM. At this point it will usually crash almost immediately or end up in a seemingly infinite loop of a sound effect that sounds like mocking laughter (at least when you've been hearing it for months). The exact cause of the occasional warp to the ending isn't certain but it seems to occur when the loops complete successfully.

The value at 7EBB37, which is related to the animation of the torches flickering in the background, runs continuously from $00 to $16 at the moment before triggering the glitch and influences its progression, giving 23 possible “endings” for each playthrough up to that point. Based on my personal observation either several of these will lead to the warp or none will.

The most frustrating part of this TAS was doing it on Bizhawk. As much as it's a great emulator in some ways it doesn't take kindly to testing this glitch. To really test it you have to just run the game until it warps or crashes or ends up in a loop, since the warp can look different along the way. Snes9x handles this fine and you just load savestate but Bizhawk crashes entirely when it doesn't work, which also leaves a process running that consumes a whole processor core and has to be ended manually, so it's time-consuming to do that 23 times for every little change.

The Run

This recording is my third complete attempt at a TAS of this glitch (I think), though each attempt involved many different branches at various points to change specific variables. This is also one of the slowest attempts, because it includes several deliberate wastes of time in an attempt to recreate certain conditions from the only run I had observed to warp so far. These include:

  • Shopping in Hujia after getting the dragon scales. The potion isn't needed and taking the warp star back is probably faster.

  • Going down after the boss of the Ice Fortress for the “Crystal”

  • Not fighting the “gold sandworm” on the 7th outside encounter (which is optimal so far as I know) – this consumes a very large amount of time but I have yet to experience a warp after fighting it on the 7th battle. This movie recreates the exact sequence of fights from the last known warp run.

  • Walking down and back up in Miraj. At one point during testing it was determined that 7EBB46 was involved in the glitch and different between a warping and non-warping savestate. I found that it's written as you walk down between two screens of a town, saving your horizontal position. In the warping savestate the value was 48, which corresponds to the right side of the left-most opening in Miraj.

But there's more wasted time throughout, especially toward the end. The run as a whole is certainly not even close to optimal, but given the amount of time it has taken just to get this far I'm opting to submit what I have rather than hope to do better anytime soon. I'd already started my next attempt before accidentally making this one work and I still plan to beat this time with it.

Other comments

In a few places I have some fun with frame-perfect movement when there's time to stand around. It is interesting to note that when alternately holding left and right for three frames each Alex will remain in his turning posture indefinitely, and if you do this while running on ice he will just slide like that and even bounce off walls if you're lucky. You can see this during the downtime in the Ice Fortress boss fight. Also important for saving frames is that it only takes time to turn around if you're moving sideways or down, if you're moving up you flip instantly.

Finally I'd like to thank PJDiCesare and Omnigamer for basically everything I know about this glitch.

Solarplex: Added Temp Encode.

feos: Accepting to Moons.

Fog: Processing...

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