List of glitches in the Mother series
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A list of glitches appearing in the Mother series.
- 1 In Mother
- 2 In EarthBound
- 3 In Mother 1+2
- 4 In Mother 3
- 4.1 New Game+ Glitch
- 4.2 Wood Burning Stove Graphical Glitch
- 4.3 Present Status ailment Glitch
- 4.4 Tanetane Island Sludge Pond Glitch
- 4.5 Tanetane Island Cave Glitch
- 4.6 Thunder Tower Save Frog Glitch
- 4.7 Underwater glitch
- 4.8 Duster Combo Sound Glitch
- 4.9 Text-based Glitches
- 4.10 Introduced in the Mother 3 fan translation
- 5 References
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 the Map 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 glitch was fixed in the English prototype and 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.
Rock Candy/Condiment Glitch
With a Rock Candy or other food item and a condiment, it is possible to reuse the item 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. If any stat becomes higher than 255, the stat will underflow to zero.
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. 
Threed Tent Bug
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. 
This glitch was fixed in the Mother 1+2 version of the game.
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 tough.
When teleporting, if a character is diamondized, hitting a wall will cause all characters to appear diamondized for a split second. 
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. 
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. 
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
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. 
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. 
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. 
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. 
Tanetane Island Cave Glitch
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. 
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. 
Dr. Andonuts' Trash Can Text Glitch
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. 
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
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.
Name Summary Slowdown Glitch
- EarthBound Central: EB Walk Through Stairs Glitch
- EarthBound Central: Threed Circus Tent Glitch
- EarthBound Central: Runaway Five Glitch
- EarthBound Central: Let's Get Diamondized!
- EarthBound Central: Simultaneous Defeat Glitch
- EarthBound Central: Some Unused Text in EarthBound
- EarthBound Central: The Giygas Exit Mouse Trick
- EarthBound Central: Defeating Giygas Without Praying
- EarthBound Central: MOTHER 3 Gift Box Glitch
- EarthBound Central: MOTHER 3 Boney Sludge Glitch
- EarthBound Central: MOTHER 3 Cave Glitch
- EarthBound Central: The Evil Thunder Tower Save Frog
- EarthBound Central: MOTHER 3 Duster Sound Fix
- EarthBound Central: MOTHER 3 Missing Line Fix
- MOTHER 3 Fan Translation: Online Readme
- Legends of Localization - MOTHER 3: Game Start