Submission #2200: pirohiko's SNES EarthBound in 1:10:00.95

Super Nintendo Entertainment System
(Submitted: Earthbound)
Earthbound (U).smc
Submitted by pirohiko on 3/21/2009 9:34:40 AM
Submission Comments
This is my second run here.
I cannot write so many sentences, because I'm very weak in English.
Therefore, I often quoted Floogal's forum post and the commentary of previous submission, to explain the detail of a glitch. Thank you.
If you find something wrong (e.g. grammatical error, wrong explanation), let me know.

Movie Information

  • Emulator used: SNES9X v1.43+ v15.4
  • Use WIP1 Timing
  • Fake Mute desync workaround


  • Abuses programming errors
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Uses death as a shortcut
  • Uses Walk Through Walls Glitch
  • Manipulates luck

Luck Manipulation Tricks

B-Button RNG trick

Pressing B once (outside battle) brings the party status screen. On this screen, the Random Number Generator (RNG) is used once every frame. It is used everywhere, but reduces the use for the long time by this TAS as much as possible because step stops.
During a battle, moving in the menu once uses the RNG once, and that process takes 2 frames usually. Therefore, manipulating the RNG before a battle by certain ways is faster than moving the cursor in the battle.

Zigzag stepping

Because stepping on the border which determines whether the game generates an enemy uses the RNG, stepping over the border again and again is an effective way to manipulate the RNG quickly. While doing the manipulation, Ness & co. look like walking in zigzag. This is why I named this method "zigzag stepping".

General Tricks

NPC Manipulation

Manipulating the RNG also controls NPC's move direction, then it saves a couple of frames in various scenes.

Tail Positioning

When a person joins the party, s/he walks slower than normal speed. Therefore, the length of the event can be shortened, by letting the tail of the party member stand close to him.


You can ignore some of hotspots by releasing the arrow key periodically. In the early part of the run, Ness skips Starman Junior battle. This is one of major use of stutter-stepping. The pattern to perform the skip is to press arrow key in one frame, then release it in one frame, and repeat.
Also, Stutter-stepping can stop the move of enemies who pursue Ness. At Giant Step, Attack Slug tags along behind Ness. This is done by stutter-stepping. The pattern to perform the skip is to press arrow key in seven frames, then release it in one frame, and repeat.

Skip sandwich

Skip sandwich makes Ness's walking speed 1.5x faster for 10 seconds (and skip sandwich DX keeps the same effect for 20 seconds). Faster speed allows us to pass through a cliff which cannot be passed in normal speed (the cliff near the tunnel before Threed, for instance).

Photo Shoot Teleport trick

As you may know, photo shoot can be skipped by teleporting. But it cannot be skipped stutter-stepping. He is tough.
Although, Ness & co. never say "Fuzzy Pickles" in the run, because the run skips the most part of the game :P

Walk Through Walls Glitches

Teleporting Through Walls Glitch

The maximum speed of teleportation exceeds eight pixels per one frame. It allows us to go through a thin wall, in certain pixel positioning.

Walk Through Cliff Glitch

You can go through the gap of some cliff. Read gocha's note for details.

Walk Through Stairs Glitch

Everything in Earthbound is in one large map (see here). Whenever you walk through a door/cave-entrance/hole in the floor, the game warps you to where its destination is.
Now, when Ness & co. step onto a staircase (like those under Threed or in the pyramid), they automatically move forward a bit & "lock" onto the staircase, so that they can only walk up or down diagonally. If the game interrupts that locking procedure (by telling you someone's HP is getting critical due to poison/cold/etc. -- possibly other things like your Dad calling you could also work), then control gets messed up, and Ness & co. get "ghosted".
While ghosted, you can freely walk through anything, and directly walk around the map posted above with impunity. Most areas will appear pitch black due to having a different tileset than what is currently loaded, but you can reset the tileset by using the Town Map (if standing in an area that shows up on it) or the Sound Stone. You can hear the music of whatever area you're in, so that can help you orient yourself. In order to unghost yourself, you must go through a door or warp somehow (death, use an Exit Mouse, teleport). Doors only exist in areas with loaded tilesets.
Some rules -- don't go out of bounds. It will likely freeze. Also, you can never go below where you activated the glitch -- I guess the game tries to lock you onto the staircase, and gets confused when you're nowhere near it. This "can't go below" line stays in effect after unghosting yourself, and also when warping via doorways, teleport, etc. So don't enter the Threed hospital after starting the glitch in the Threed underground passageways. You can clear this "don't go below" line by heading back to where you started the glitch & walking onto the staircase normally -- everything goes back to normal completely when you do so.
Now, you can start the glitch, and then (provided the area isn't below you) immediately stroll right up to Giygas's lair. Use the Sound Stone to refresh the area (if you need to), walk in & out of the doorway to unghost yourself, and fight Giygas. ...except that the game will freeze on the first prayer cutscene. As you play, the game sets or unsets "flags" that it can check later to see if you've done certain things. The flag that is required for the prayer cutscenes to work is set when you travel back in time in the Phase Distorter. But we can't just glitch-warp to where Poo learns PSI Starstorm omega, as the only doorway to unghost yourself is on the wrong side of the chasm.
So we need to use the Phase Distorter in Saturn Valley. This requires (1) dropping down the hole into the Lost Underworld (this sets a flag that gets Apple Kid & Dr. Andronuts to appear in Saturn Valley), and (2) beating Ness's Nightmare in Magicant (this sets a flag that gets Dr. Andronuts to ask for the meteor piece). Thus, the game involves rushing through until we're able to glitch-warp, dropping down the hole to the Lost Underworld (and death-warping back to Threed), glitch-warping to Magicant & beating Ness's Nightmare, and then continuing the game like you normally would after finishing Magicant.

Special Thanks

gocha, Sato-chan, Floogal, Halamantariel, Nitrodon, ElectroSpecter, and
And thank you for reading our submission, enjoy the run!

gocha and Tropsy proofreaded this text; thank you!

adelikat: Accepting for publication as a "glitched any%" category.

adelikat: Changing the verdict to having it obsolete the published movie. This was brought on by discussion in the forum topic as well the discussion regarding Chrono Trigger. Obsoleting the published movie keeps are options open for a future movie. We have the option of deciding to have a no glitch any%, 100%, an "all aspects" type category, or none at all.

ShinyDoofy: As nobody else seems to be doing this, I'll give it a go.
Last Edited by adelikat on 9/15/2023 7:42 PM
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