289: Digital Serendipity

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Digital Serendipity

Not all glitches are a bad thing. William Bloodworth follows the evolution of a few fortunate bugs.

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Quite interesting that Missingno is regiestered at 000 in the pokedex. In the latest incarnation, black and white, the pokemon Victini (the 5th generation's equivalent of mew) was originally listed at pokemon number 000 in the new pokedex. Perhaps a throw back to the days of Missingno. Pokemon online, an online simulator for pokemon battling, still has the option to include Missingno as part of your squad pride of place at entry "000"

Another thing about Missingno is that it always generated discussion, the majority of people I know at some point in their lives owned Red or Blue version (I was a red version man myself) and each of them has a Misssingno story. With it's abilities as varied as randomly evolving in to kangeskhan or learning water gun twice at the same time.

Glitches can entertain people and be amusing. Glitches can do all kinds of bad things and frustrate people. Glitches can create new ideas for things. Sometimes even when everything goes right, glitches can happen. Accidents that beget new ideas are probably the most useful.

Well Missingno was such a popularised glitch becuase it let you clone intems and do all sorts of other game-breaking 'cheats' since it basically acts as a hex-value modifier.

when he mentioned TF2 I thought he was going to talk about rocket jumping. I didn't know about this spy thing at all. Terribly interesting.

I also learned why the missingno glitch worked, which is also interesting. I still don't know how it duplicated items, though. I guess I can look that up.

Scrumpmonkey:
Well Missingno was such a popularised glitch becuase it let you clone intems and do all sorts of other game-breaking 'cheats' since it basically acts as a hex-value modifier.

Pff, I got my 99 masters balls by finding them...<.<

I catched missingno only 1 time, and that made my game crash and save files were erased, never catched him again after that.
You could also clone rare candy, the lvl up item, and give it to pokemons to get them to lvl up higher then 100, I had a lvl 200 Charizard, but when you saved and turned off and turned on again they were back at lvl 100 xd

I'm telling my MK friends about Ermac

I don't care about missingno because
A) I already know
B) the freaks won't shut up about it... EEEEEEEVVVVVVVVEEEEERRRRRR!!!

I hate spys! The sneaky, backstabing, jerks. They and snipers keep the heavys from killing everyone.

therandombear:

Scrumpmonkey:
Well Missingno was such a popularised glitch becuase it let you clone intems and do all sorts of other game-breaking 'cheats' since it basically acts as a hex-value modifier.

Pff, I got my 99 masters balls by finding them...<.<

I catched missingno only 1 time, and that made my game crash and save files were erased, never catched him again after that.
You could also clone rare candy, the lvl up item, and give it to pokemons to get them to lvl up higher then 100, I had a lvl 200 Charizard, but when you saved and turned off and turned on again they were back at lvl 100 xd

Trick is not to ctach it but encouter it. Actually there have been some pretty exhaustive experiments done on the Missingono front by the community on exactly how it interacts with the game code. Well there are some various itterations of "Missingno" you can actually safely catch and level if you treat them right. You just shouldn't do what me and some friends did and do trading experiments, that's opening yourself up to a whole world of hurt.

I was disappointed that the article didn't mention skiing in Startsiege: Tribes.

"In addition to running and jumping, players are equipped with a jetpack which allows them to accelerate into the air until the armor's energy is used up. In addition to straight-line movement, the jetpack has other versatile uses. It can be used to make short hops whilst zig-zagging to make a player harder to target in open areas. An upward thrust can help the player evade oncoming enemies armed with short-range weapons.

Another method of movement is known as "skiing", and relies on an exploitation of the game's physics engine. If a player taps the jump button with the correct timing whilst descending a hill, their momentum will accumulate. High speeds can be achieved this way, and if this momentum takes the player to the crest of another hill, the jetpack can be used to rapidly propel them across the map. This technique was later developed into a game feature by Dynamix for Tribes 2."

It added to the game and was so easy to do that I had no idea it was an exploit at the time. I thought it was just a skill I needed to learn.

Ah, Tribes. So much fun was had playing that series.

Mark Twain once said, "Name the greatest of all inventors: Accident." Seems he was on to something.

actually, one glitch that ended up being well known was Devil May Cry's ability to hold enemies in the air with bullets. when the game was being programmed, an enemy being shot was to freeze in place. the designers only thought that this would work on the ground but when an enemy was in the air the same animation happened while freezing them in mid-air. but rather than change it, the director said that he liked it and wanted to work it into the game.

the more you know

XShrike:
I was disappointed that the article didn't mention skiing in Startsiege: Tribes.

"In addition to running and jumping, players are equipped with a jetpack which allows them to accelerate into the air until the armor's energy is used up. In addition to straight-line movement, the jetpack has other versatile uses. It can be used to make short hops whilst zig-zagging to make a player harder to target in open areas. An upward thrust can help the player evade oncoming enemies armed with short-range weapons.

Another method of movement is known as "skiing", and relies on an exploitation of the game's physics engine. If a player taps the jump button with the correct timing whilst descending a hill, their momentum will accumulate. High speeds can be achieved this way, and if this momentum takes the player to the crest of another hill, the jetpack can be used to rapidly propel them across the map. This technique was later developed into a game feature by Dynamix for Tribes 2."

It added to the game and was so easy to do that I had no idea it was an exploit at the time. I thought it was just a skill I needed to learn.

Ah, Tribes. So much fun was had playing that series.

Man, anytime someone mentions Tribes I get all misty-eyed with nostalgia. I still have yet to see a more modern game recreate its teamwork and mayhem.

Skiing definitely would've been my vote for most serendipitous bug, especially since Tribes would've been horrible without it due to the size of most levels.

Ooo, nice call with the Tribes skiing physics glitch/feature. I actually had a longer list of things to include but decided to spend more time on a few examples rather than producing a long tvtropes-esque list of features, but if I could do it again I'd definitely bust out the rocket skis and link to a video.

Nice suggestions, guys! Feel free to keep pointing out things I didn't get to, as it's a legitimately interesting subject.

The whole "Spy" thing in Team Fortress reminds me of the old saying, "It's not a bug, it's an unrecognized feature!"

Anyone interested in some further reading should head on over to TVTropes and read the 'Ascended Glitch' page.

Daemascus:
I hate spys! The sneaky, backstabing, jerks. They and snipers keep the heavys from killing everyone.

Well yeah. That's why they're there xD
I play Scout most of the time so Spies don't really come across me much. We leave each other alone :3

That's where Ermac originated?! That's so cool! Hah great article!

ntw3001:
when he mentioned TF2 I thought he was going to talk about rocket jumping. I didn't know about this spy thing at all. Terribly interesting.

I also learned why the missingno glitch worked, which is also interesting. I still don't know how it duplicated items, though. I guess I can look that up.

same. thats a very interesting evolution of a glitch, both the rocket jumping and the spy. also worth talking about is how wave dashing in super smash bros melee fundamentally changed the way the game was played on the higher levels. it also resulted in a fundamental change to the way the sequel was designed.

Dear god, I knew every single one of those examples before I even read this... I feel quite nerdy right now, I must be a gamer.

image

Shame they didn't mention the spy's glitch was the famous "Spycrab Walk" which they then made a taunt out of it.

Wow, I never knew the actual origins of missingno.
If I opened up my old Blue, I think I might still have a few of them.
And I love spycrabs.
Love them.

No mention of special move canceling? One of the biggest thing to happen to fighting games ever! There wouldn't be combos without sf2. Period.

I still remember the days when you could get kicked for rocket jumping and bunny hopping for "exploiting bugs."

Many things in VALVe titles started off as bugs and ended up beloved features.

Oh boy, it's just like I'm reading that one TVTropes article.

I had no idea about the origins of the spy. Pretty interesting stuff.

Teaguy:
Oh boy, it's just like I'm reading that one TVTropes article.

In a good way or a bad way? I tried to avoid a laundry list but on the same note I guess it's a compliment if you get trapped in my article for the next three hours.

Actually, in a neutral way I guess.
This is a nice article if you're not okay with TVTropes claiming your life, sanity and soul.

I thought rocket jumping was a reference to the days of Quake where it wasn't a bug/exploit, but a skill.

ntw3001:
I also learned why the missingno glitch worked, which is also interesting. I still don't know how it duplicated items, though. I guess I can look that up.

Still want to know?

In the save files for those old games, the flags that determined what Pokémon you've encountered or captured (151 entries, plus 000, apparently) are directly followed by the contents of your bag. However, Missingno. (and his other forms, 'M, Aerodactyl fossil, etc.) has an encounter bit higher than 250. This is far outside the range of encounter bits that the save file actually has, but it doesn't verify that -- it just writes it where it's told to. Where it's told to just happens to be part of the counter that says how many of your sixth item you have -- specifically, it's one of the frontmost bits, and due to how base-2 works, this gives you more than a hundred of that item. You get even more of them if you capture it, since that will set the next bit over, too.

daltonlaffs:

ntw3001:
I also learned why the missingno glitch worked, which is also interesting. I still don't know how it duplicated items, though. I guess I can look that up.

Still want to know?

In the save files for those old games, the flags that determined what Pokémon you've encountered or captured (151 entries, plus 000, apparently) are directly followed by the contents of your bag. However, Missingno. (and his other forms, 'M, Aerodactyl fossil, etc.) has an encounter bit higher than 250. This is far outside the range of encounter bits that the save file actually has, but it doesn't verify that -- it just writes it where it's told to. Where it's told to just happens to be part of the counter that says how many of your sixth item you have -- specifically, it's one of the frontmost bits, and due to how base-2 works, this gives you more than a hundred of that item. You get even more of them if you capture it, since that will set the next bit over, too.

Excellent. I hadn't looked it up after all. Thanks!

i miss the minigun glitch in L4D :((

Missing No. made me 99 Master Balls and 99 Rare Candy.

Comes in handy.
But it's very noticeable in your save file after you do it, so I've avoided it since.
Cheating took too much fun out of the game for me.

Being too young to play it at the time, I never realized that's what Ermacs was. I knew him of later years, from Mortal Kombat III, but hadn't realized he had started as a glitch. I knew the Reptile occurence with The Pit, but never saw the palette swap.

Daemascus:
I hate spys! The sneaky, backstabing, jerks. They and snipers keep the heavys from killing everyone.

"I murdered your toys as well."

I've always had a fondness for the Spy, (And Reptile, surprisingly) because of the beauty of team-disruption. While the other classes are purely action-counteraction, the Spy (played properly) can sow the seeds of doubt in the other team. And knowing how to do that effectively - while sending back information on what's coming - allows you to play a very strategic game inside a combat oriented game. The geek view, if you will.

Also I'm a total jerk at times. ;)

Dooly95:
I thought rocket jumping was a reference to the days of Quake where it wasn't a bug/exploit, but a skill.

I think, but am not 100%, that RJ'ing was first used in LAN Doom.

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