List of glitches in the EarthBound series

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A list of glitches appearing in the Mother series.

In EarthBound Beginnings

Bread Crumbs Glitch

Demonstration of the Bread Crumbs Glitch.

A glitch involving the use of bread crumbs allows the player to reach an out-of-bounds area of the map in the original Mother. To activate the glitch, Ninten must never use bread crumbs, and then must subsequently rescue Pippi. If Pippi starts a trail of crumbs and then is delivered safely to the mayor, the player can choose to talk to her to obtain the items from her. Since each character has a separate variable for bread crumbs, and Ninten has not used them yet to set the variable, the crumbs that Pippi hands back to him lead to the default location on the map. The glitch can be canceled by using Bread in certain locations, which can be used to skip a large section of the game. If the player moves too far in any direction, the game will create large amounts of glitched blocks that Ninten cannot pass through.

This method of the glitch was fixed in the English prototype and Mother 1+2. The player can still go out of bounds using the bread crumbs on any other version, but the only legitimate method other than this one is the one at Mother 1+2. To make the GBA method work on the original Famicom and NES prototype versions, a walk through walls cheat is needed to access the specific spot used in Mother 1+2.

Teleport Music Glitch

When the player fails to teleport through a spot that would normally change music, such as from the Yucca Desert to Youngtown, the music playing before the teleport will continue, even after passing the music-change point.

This glitch was not fixed in the English prototype or the Mother 1+2 port.

Poltergeist Music Glitch

If the player saves the game while Ninten's home is under attack by the poltergeist, then defeats the Doll and does not save, being knocked unconscious will cause the poltergeist music to replay. This is due to how the game stores the saved location, as it also saves the current music playing. Entering a different room causes the music to return to normal.

This glitch was not fixed in the English prototype or the Mother 1+2 port.

Flea Bag Glitch

For reasons unknown, the Flea Bag (occasionally dropped by Stray Dogs) is capable of working on non-organic enemies such as Nancys or Starmen. This glitch can be used to stall the fights against R7038 and R7038XX to the point where the maximum limit of 255 turns is reached, ending the battle. This can be used to avoid losing Teddy or EVE, yet will cause graphical glitches to occur, keeping EVE causes her to take the appearance of a stack of 3 NPCs that appear in the area she is currently in (sans Mt. Itoi), and keeping Teddy causes the entire party to become permanently invisible). This glitch is fixed in the English prototype and MOTHER 1+2.

Keeping EVE glitch

EVE surviving the battle against the R7038XX

In the original Famicom version of Mother and all versions of the Virtual Console release of EarthBound Beginnings, it is possible to avoid losing EVE from the battle against the R7038XX. To do this there are two methods, both of which requiring the player to stall the battle for 255 turns: the first and easiest method can only be done in the Famicom version of Mother, using the aforementioned Flea Bag glitch to stall the battle for 255 turns.

The second and more difficult method involves using restore points added in the Virtual Console release: it is possible for the R7038XX to miss EVE resulting in her not taking damage for one turn. Ideally the player should save a restore point each time the R7038XX misses EVE, and reload it should the attack hit her. If the player manages to prevent EVE from taking damage five[citation needed] times for 255 turns, the battle will end with her surviving.

When done successfully, the party the player can walk anywhere in the game with EVE in their party. Walking in certain locations with EVE causes her to take the appearance of a stack of 3 NPCs that appear in the area she is currently in (sans Mt. Itoi). Using any form of teleportation (including the Onyx Hook) will cause EVE to disappear. The only ways to bring EVE to the final battle in the English version requires the player to collect the remaining two melodies, then warp to Magicant using the GGF's Diary instead (unlike the Japanese Famicom version where the player will instantly warp to Magicant upon collecting the 7th melody).

In EarthBound

Brain Stone effect

The Brain stone's intended purpose was to prevent the loss of concentration during battle, however due to a coding mistake it actually does not serve it's intended purpose, and in fact does nothing.

The way it was intended to work is that when a party member is hit with an attack that disrupts their senses, there is a code that allows the game to perform a check to see if the party member is holding a Brain Stone in their inventory. If the check finds the Brain Stone in their inventory, then the attack will fail. This is similar to how the Franklin Badge works when a party member is hit with a lightning attack: if the code detects that the party member is holding the Franklin Badge, the lightning will be reflected instead. Due to an oversight, the code that performs the check specifically for the Brain Stone does not exist at all, as such the check that detects if a party member is holding the item never activates, thus preventing it from functioning.[1]

Condiment Glitch

Also known as the Rock Candy Glitch, this glitch allows you to reuse any recovery item or Rock Candy an infinite number of times, only using the condiment. To do this, the food item must be at the bottom of the player's inventory. The player should then enter a battle and use the item. The condiment will be used, but the food item will not, allowing infinite recovery or status-enhancement. Using the Rock Candy, the player can increase their stats to incredible amounts, however if any stat becomes higher than 255, the stat will underflow to zero. This glitch does not work with stat capsules.

Walk Through Walls/Staircase Glitch

In EarthBound, when a player is at low HP on the overworld from poisoning, they receive a message warning them that a character is low on health. If this message is shown when stepping onto or off of a staircase, the player can walk through all walls. Ness's party's movement direction is fixed at the direction in which the message appeared. To fix the glitch, the player must walk to the bottom of another staircase. This was fixed in the Mother 1+2 version of the game. [2]

Skip Sandwich Glitch

Main article: Skip sandwich glitch

Threed Tent Bug

Main article: Check Area Glitch
A debugging menu seen when using the bug in EarthBound.

A small section of the tent in Threed causes slowdown related to text when Checking it. If checked enough times, it may output long strings of random text, or occasionally, will leave text in the foreground of the screen, even after the text string ends. If the player repeatedly does this, it will eventually activate one of the game's debug menus.

The menu is untranslated; instead, it uses the first letter of the intended Japanese syllable. The menu includes a party selector, sound test, Hint Shop text selector, item description tester, teleport location tester, inventory item selector, Status ailment tester, and a menu working similarly to the Mother 3 Debug Room that takes the player to specific sections of the game, including the ending. [3]

This glitch was fixed in the Mother 1+2 version of the game.

Stat overflow glitch

In EarthBound each individual stat except HP and PP is stored in one byte, as a result the maximum a stat can be is 255 as that is the highest number that can be held in one byte. For a party member's Offense and Defense, the stat simply caps at 255 due to a failsafe measure as with the use of weapons and armor it is possible to exceed 255 in those stats before reaching level 99. However, the remaining five stats (Guts, Speed, Vitality, IQ and Luck) do not have this failsafe measure: if they were to exceed 255, the stat will overflow to 1 upon reaching 256 and start from there: for instance, if a character's Speed is 255 and a level up causes the stat to increase by 3, the character's Speed stat will overflow and be reset to 3. This is not possible during normal gameplay, as even at level 99 it is impossible to have any of the affected stats to exceed 255, however if the condiments glitch is used enough times with the Rock Candy it can be possible for this to happen.

Unlike party members, enemies do not have a failsafe that prevents their Offense and Defense from exceeding 255. This affects the Soul Consuming Flame, which was intended to have a Defense stat of 262, however because it exceeds 255 it instead overflows to 6 Defense.

Shattered Man and Runaway Five Glitch

At certain points during the game, a flag which disables over-world status effects such as poison or sunstroke is activated. This flag is used as error management so the party does not die in situations where a Game Over would be problematic, or when the developers simply want to player to be able to freely explore without worrying about status effects. For instance, the flag is activated upon entering a bus and after the party defeats Giygas. This flag is almost always activated if a cut-scene is playing where the game autocratically moves the characters, or needs the player to make very exact movements, such as talking to the invisible man in Moonside. The flag is usually reactivated almost immediately after the player regains control or the scripted sequence is over. Ending a random encounter also deactivates this flag, altough scripted encounters do not. On three separate occasions, the game uses a Mole Playing Rough in order to reactivate status-effects. Sometimes it is possible to skip the trigger that reactivates the flag once it is turned off. For example, dodging the encounter with the Mole Playing Rough in the Desert or skipping the dialogue with the invisible man. Defeating Giygas intentionally permanently disables the flag. If Ness's entire party is knocked unconscious, while this flag is active, strange effects occur. The game will loop the game over screen indefinitely or freeze on a single screen with graphical glitches. However, the player will eventually be transported back to the overworld, with everyone in their party as ghosts. Should they leave the building where they spawned in, the graphics will become temporarily distorted before returning to normal. This is confirmed to be an effect of the over-world effect suppression flag because manipulating it with the debugger has shown that any time the flag is activated, the glitch occurs, and using the debugger to deactivate the flag after defeating Giygas will allow the game over to proceed as usual should the player loose to the Shattered Man.

The effects on the Game Over are likely because the game treats Unconscious as a status effect, and the game may not know how to respond to a status effect changing while it is not supposed to be able to. This is purely speculation though.

[4] Both glitches were fixed in Mother 1+2 by separate methods; the Shattered Men disappear after completion of the game, while the game-over code has been modified to account for Mondo Mole. [5]

Diamondized Glitch


When teleporting, if a character is diamondized, hitting a wall will cause all characters to appear diamondized for a split second. [6]

Text-based Glitches

Happy-Happyist's Lair Glitch

If the player Talks to a present through the command menu rather than Checking it, it will output the text, "(There's no response.)," rather than the normal "Who are you talking to?" This is due to the room-specific coding intended for the non-sprite Happy-Happyists in the background. After defeating Mr. Carpainter, the room functions normally.

Simultaneous Defeat glitch

If all of the party members and enemies die at the same time, the game will proceed to giving experience points. However, since none of the characters are alive, the game will attempt to divide it between the zero living characters, which will underflow to a very large number. Since no characters are alive, however, nobody actually receives this experience. After the battle, the game shows a glimpse of the overworld with corrupted graphics, then proceeds to act like the game over screen while still corrupted. Selecting "Yes" or "No" fixes the graphical glitches and should act normal at that point. [7]

Threed NPC Glitch

Due to improper event flag settings, two NPCs are not fully implemented into the game. Oddly, while riding on a bus, one of the NPCs can be seen as intended; however, since he cannot be talked to, his line is rendered unused. [8]

Exit Mouse Glitch

In the Japanese version, the Exit Mouse can be used to successfully leave the Cave of the Past and return to the entrance of the dungeon where the Exit Mouse is obtained. This glitch was fixed in the U.S. release, yet is still present in MOTHER 1+2, albeit under different conditions (see below).

In Mother 1+2

Bread Crumbs glitch

Bread crumbs glitch in the GBA port of Mother 1

There's another method, which can only be done legitimately on the GBA port (it can work on the original NES version, but it requires a walk through walls cheat because the movement on this version is grid-based, which doesn't allow the player to go to that specific spot). It involves going to a specific spot near the Reindeer train station. The player has to use the Bread on that spot then immediately use the bread crumbs to go out of bounds. Just like the original method, it allows the player to walk anywhere on the map. It is however not commonly used in RTA speedruns due to the fact that the glitch only occurs on the middle part of the game, but if the speedrunner didn't lose significant time on the previous segments, this glitch can still significantly save time by skipping the need for obtaining the eight melodies.

Exit mouse glitch

Demonstration of the exit mouse glitch

In Mother 1+2, a newly-introduced glitch allows the player to exit the Cave of the Past by using an Exit mouse in the final room where Giygas resides. After doing this, Ness's party are no longer robots, and appear at the entrance to whichever dungeon that the mouse was obtained in. Doing this, the locations in the game are already prepared for the ending, playing the music used during the prayer sequence.

If the player chooses to return to Saturn Valley, they can reenter the Phase Distorter with no negative consequences. If this is done, the events proceed mostly as normal; however, the scene in which Dr. Andonuts pulls Ness aside is skipped, instead skipping directly to the sequence in which the party is transformed into robots. Additionally, Poo will relearn PK Starstorm Ω from the Star Master. [9]

Poisoned Giygas glitch

If Ness or one of his party members uses a Viper on Giygas in the final battle, it will still damage him normally. If Giygas dies to the poison, the game fades out with the background still Giygas's lair. Ness's family can be seen in the positioning on the screen where they would be in Ness's home in the ending. After that, the game fades in to where the text "The war against Giygas is over" would appear. [10]

In Mother 3

New Game+ Glitch

If the player creates a new game, sometimes data is not fully erased from the previously loaded file. This results in Lucas and Kumatora retaining their PSI attacks, even before Lucas gains his PSI abilities, with Lucas and Salsa equipped with the equipment from the previous file. If the player unequips these items, they disappear permanently, as they were not in the main inventory. Additionally, Lucas's equipment will return to normal in Chapter 4, as he then gains the Easy-Grip Stick in his weapon slot. He retains his PSI for the duration of the game, however.

Wood Burning Stove Graphical Glitch

In Chapter 1, if you go upstairs in Alec's house before he joins the party, and stand in front of the wood stove, the graphics for the stove will be shown over the right half of Flint's hat. However going back with Alec has no effect.

Present Status ailment Glitch

Occasionally, opening the Map or Status menus will temporarily change a gift box onscreen into a status ailment icon. Moving into a different area, opening the map, or checking the status menu again will fix the glitch. [11]

Tanetane Island Sludge Pond Glitch

If Lucas becomes Feverish and enters the sludge pond west of Mixolydia's home, his sprite can temporarily be changed to that of Boney. When the fever dies down, if the player goes into the PSI menu, after exiting the menu, Lucas will look identical to Boney. Going into a menu or entering a battle will fix the glitch. Saving the game will preserve the glitch, however. [12]

Tanetane Island Cave Glitch

The Tanetane Island Cave Glitch in action.

Improper layer settings cause the graphics of the Barrier Trio cave entrance to be displayed over the character sprites rather than behind them. [13]

Thunder Tower Save Frog Glitch

In the upper floor of Thunder Tower, a Save Frog roams around the room using a balloon. However, because it will not move when it is touching Lucas or his companions, it is possible to save the game using the frog and remain stuck between the frog and the wall, forcing them to restart the game. [14]

Underwater glitch

While underwater, you can prolong the amount of oxygen you have by repeatedly bringing up the status bar, as oxygen will only drain when the oxygen bar is present.

Duster Combo Sound Glitch

While each character has six sound sets for Sound Battles, Duster's sound sets are incorrectly applied to him, making only his first sound set used. An optional additional patch for the Mother 3 fan translation fixes this error. [15]

Text-based Glitches

Dr. Andonuts' Trash Can Text Glitch

The proper text applied to the trash can.

The trash can outside of the Chimera Lab is associated with the wrong block of text. The glitched line is the same as the sign referring to the location of the Murasaki Forest hot spring. The intended line refers to the doughnut crumbs in the bottom of the trash can, referencing Dr. Andonuts. This is intended to be fixed in v1.2 of the Mother 3 fan translation. [16]

Aeolia-Ionia Name Glitch

In the scene at Aeolia's home in Chapter 7, Ionia's name appears instead of Aeolia's in the name box despite Aeolia being the speaker. This was fixed for v1.1 in the Mother 3 fan translation.

Introduced in the Mother 3 fan translation

Menu Scrolling Glitch

The Menu Scrolling Glitch in action.

When scrolling too fast through the item menu or another similar menu, sometimes the text will not clear on the screen, only replacing text filled by the new text option. It can be fixed by changing to a different menu or closing the menu and re-opening it, and has no effect on gameplay. This was fixed in v1.3 of the fan translation.

Name Summary Slowdown Glitch

After naming characters, a fade out occurs. The audio and game slow down considerably, due to the sprite text welding system implemented in the translation.[17][18]


Hacking subjects

Doll (unused enemy)  •  Gang Zombie (unused enemy)  •  Crooked Cop  •  Alkaline Man  •  Tiny Forest
Memo  •  Kindness  •  Debug Room  •  Debug NPC  •  List of glitch enemies in Mother 3

See also
List of glitches in the Mother series • Anti-piracy in the Mother series