Tweaking

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An example of a successful tweak.

Tweaking is a glitch exclusive to the core series Generation IV games that causes the game to improperly load the graphics of an area. It is also sometimes referred to as holepunching to commemorate its discoverer, a GameSpot forums member by the username of "Holepunch".

Cause

All maps in Generation IV are broken up into square "sections" or "chunks" 32 tiles by 32 tiles across. At any given time, only four sections are loaded and visible: the section the player is currently in as well as two sections orthogonally away and one diagonally away, depending on which quadrant of the current section the player is in. (For example, if the player is standing in the northwest quadrant of their current section, the sections to the north, west, and northwest will be loaded.) "Load lines" exist halfway across each section at the boundaries between quadrants, so named because when the player crosses over one, the sections in that direction are loaded into memory, while the sections behind the player are unloaded. Through this, the overworld appears seamless.

Using the Bicycle in the fourth gear, however, can cause the player to move too fast for the game to load the areas properly, especially if one changes direction several times while near the intersection of two load lines, thus loading and unloading multiple sections over and over nearly simultaneously. Doing so triggers a race condition bug, causing sections to load improperly. The effects can vary from a game freeze, invisible walls, a completely black area, a completely white area, a change in the Z-axis location, or even a completely different section fully loading in the wrong place.

The distortion caused by tweaking can be solved easily by crossing a load line away from the distortion, causing it to unload. When the section is loaded again, it will be normal. It can also be solved by looking at a different menu screen such as the Pokédex; upon closing out of the menu, the areas will be properly reloaded.

While tweaking using the bicycle in the fourth gear is the most common method to perform tweaking, the same effects can also occur using only the third gear, although its applications are not as versatile. It is even possible for some limited effects to occur simply by running (as well as Surfing in Platinum, which is at the same speed), mainly invisible walls and Z-axis changing rather than more drastic changes.

Patterns

050Diglett.png This section is incomplete.
Please feel free to edit this section to add missing information and complete it.
Reason: writeup quality; better image than ASCII art; diagonal displacement with fast bike (necessary in HGSS); running tweaks and their effects.
  |  
 1|2 
--+--
 3|4 
  |  

In the diagram above, the vertical and horizontal lines represent load lines (thus this is the center of a section) and the numbers represent tiles that the player can walk on. (For example, taking one step east from 1 will bring the player to 2, crossing a load line in the process.)

In all patterns detailed below, the patterns can be flipped and rotated to produce displacements in different directions.

Orthogonal displacement

"3124343" (fast bike): Nicknamed a "zorch" after its discoverer, this was the first reliable tweaking pattern ever discovered. It causes the section east of the player to load as a black area onto the section west of the player. Obsoleted by the later-discovered "shortzorch".

"24343" (fast bike): Nicknamed a "shortzorch", this has the same effect as a zorch.

Diagonal displacement

"12421" (slow bike): Causes the section northeast of the player to fully (visibly) load onto the section northwest of the player. Possible with only the third gear bike since sections diagonal to the player are farther away and load last, making it easier to interrupt the process.

Exploitation

Depending on the layout of a section, it may be possible to tweak in such a way so as to load a walkable area (either black or visible) onto a section that does not normally contain walkable surfaces. This allows for a number of shortcuts, such as skipping Tohjo Falls and therefore HM07 (Waterfall) in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver by loading a walkable area onto the section where the ledge on Route 27 would normally be. In sections containing buildings that are blocked off by NPCs, it is possible to enter them by tweaking a Z-axis change, allowing the player to walk under or over the tile the NPC would normally occupy. Two examples of minor shortcuts or sequence breaks using this method include obtaining access to Mystery Gift in Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum before the first badge by bypassing the clown blocking the Jubilife TV front door, and completing Azalea Gym before Slowpoke Well by bypassing the Team Rocket Grunt in front of the Gym (though this by itself does not allow Slowpoke Well or Rocket Executive Proton to be skipped entirely, since the game does not trigger the Farfetch'd event that gives the player HM01 (Cut) unless Proton has been defeated).

These types of shortcuts are possible in all Generation IV games.

Void glitch

The void glitch is a specific application of the tweaking glitch only useful in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. First, the player must tweak a black area onto a section that would normally contain buildings, making it possible to walk through their improperly loaded walls. Then, by standing exactly one tile above the entrance to a building, reloading the area, and walking south, the player can end up on the interior map of the building, but in the black void area around the normally accessible portion, similar to the Surf glitch. As with the Surf glitch, it is then possible to navigate through the interconnecting area of this void to normally inaccessible locations, such as Newmoon Island and the Flower Paradise where the event-exclusive Darkrai and Shaymin reside.

Traveling a multiple of 65,536 steps in the void will cause the game to no longer display only black, but rather start copying the map data of normal areas due to an overflow[citation needed] after attempting to load data past 4,294,967,296 bytes (each map tile takes up 65,536 bytes). Only the visual data is loaded like this; almost everything can still be walked through just as in the rest of the void. These areas are nicknamed "Fake Sinnoh"DPPt or "Fake Johto/Kanto"HGSS. 'Fake' regions continue to repeat every 65,536 steps and are about an hour apart when traveling on the Bicycle in fast gear.

As part of the paths to access Darkrai and Shaymin, the player is required to save the game in the void, so the same risks associated with the Surf glitch occur here, such as becoming trapped without a method of escape. More notably, as the maneuvers in the void necessary to reach Newmoon Island and Flower Paradise are significantly more elaborate compared to the Surf glitch, with the currently documented complete path to Darkrai requiring two traversals through "Fake Sinnoh" (about two hours of continuous biking) and the currently documented complete path to Shaymin requiring one traversal (about one hour of biking), it is possible for more serious corruption-related effects to occur. In the worst possible circumstance, the game may always immediately freeze upon loading the save file, forcing a new game to be started.

Other areas known to be accessible through this glitch include the Hall of Fame, Giratina's room in Turnback Cave, and Route 227. As the void glitch simply requires a Bicycle to perform, all of these areas can be reached as early as the game's second Badge.

After the discovery of the Darkrai and Shaymin paths, it was believed (though not conclusively proven) that the Hall of Origin was inaccessible through this glitch, as it is a closed-off indoor area without a single accessible entry warp, thereby making it almost impossible to safely locate in the void compared to outdoor areas and indoor areas with many warps such as Turnback Cave. It was also known that, unlike Newmoon Island and Flower Paradise, simply finding the Hall of Origin would not allow the player to battle Arceus, due to a set of reasons involving map scripts as detailed here. Due to the combination of these two factors, it was believed impossible to catch Arceus through the void glitch for several years. A method to find the Hall of Origin was not discovered until January 2017, by relying on relatively extensive methods to be able to dynamically control the layout of areas in the void[1]. The Pal Park Retire glitch was documented soon afterward, allowing the player to manually activate the script that causes the player to challenge Arceus, finally enabling Arceus to be caught. The currently documented method to catch Arceus involves reaching the Hall of Origin map while still in the void; there is currently no documented way to see the full, visible Hall of Origin (the way it appears after using the Azure Flute).

In Pokémon Platinum, HeartGold, and SoulSilver, the void is filled with invisible walls that will trap the player if they go more than a few steps into the void, making it no longer legitimately possible to navigate through its areas, though the void itself is still possible to enter. Currently the only known way to bypass these invisible walls and proceed through the void is with a "walk through walls" cheat code. As a corollary, a "walk through walls" cheat code is the only way to see "Fake Sinnoh" in Platinum, and "Fake Kanto/Johto" at all (in HeartGold and SoulSilver). In addition, in Platinum, Darkrai, Shaymin, and Arceus will not appear in their respective areas unless the player has obtained the proper event item.

Videos

Tweaking in order to get Darkrai

By auburneye
This video is not available on Bulbapedia; instead, you can watch the video on YouTube here.

Tweaking in order to get Shaymin

By auburneye
This video is not available on Bulbapedia; instead, you can watch the video on YouTube here.

Tweaking in order to get Arceus

By Cryo
This video is not available on Bulbapedia; instead, you can watch the video on YouTube here.

Fake Sinnoh

By Test Name
This video is not available on Bulbapedia; instead, you can watch the video on YouTube here.

Fake Johto/Kanto

By Crystalmourne
This video is not available on Bulbapedia; instead, you can watch the video on YouTube here.

See also

In other languages

Language Name Translation
French Tweaking Trick Literally the "tweaking trick".
German Tweaken Tweaking.
Spanish Glitch Tweaking Tweaking glitch.
Italian Tweaking Tweaking.
Japanese tweakingバグ[2] Combination of tweaking and バグ; bug. Note that a specific name is often avoided for void exploring in the Japanese Pokémon community but Tweaking in Jubilife City has been referred to as performing a specific task (Japanese: 特定の操作をする).
Korean 비틀기 버그[3]

References

  1. http://forums.glitchcity.info/index.php?topic=7770.0
  2. Yahoo Japan Answers.
  3. 비틀기 버그 (Tweaking Glitch) - 관동 스토리 뛰어넘기 [포켓몬스터 4세대].


Main
Multiple
generations
:
Cloning glitchesGlitch PokémonGlitch Trainers
Error messagesArbitrary code execution
Generation I: --0 ERRORBroken hidden itemsCable Club escape glitchExperience underflow glitch
Fight Safari Zone Pokémon trickGlitch CityItem duplication glitchItem underflowMew glitch
Old man glitchPewter Gym skip glitchPokémon merge glitchRhydon glitch
Select glitches (dokokashira door glitch, second type glitch) • Super GlitchTime Capsule exploitZZAZZ glitch
Generation II: Celebi Egg glitchCoin Case glitchesExperience underflow glitchGlitch dimension
Glitch EggSketch glitchTeru-samaTime Capsule exploitTrainer House glitches
Generation III: Berry glitchDive glitchPomeg glitchGlitzer Popping
Generation IV: Acid rainGTS glitchesMimic glitch
Pomeg glitchRage glitchSurf glitchTweakingPal Park Retire glitch
Generation V: Sky Drop glitchFrozen Zoroark glitch
Generation VI: Lumiose City save glitchSymbiosis Eject Button glitch
Generation VII:
Glitch effects: Game freezeGlitch battleGlitch song
Gen I only: Glitch screenTMTRAINER effectInverted sprites
Gen II only: Glitch dimension
Lists: Glitch movesGlitch types
Glitch Pokémon (Gen IGen IIGen IIIGen IVGen VGen VIGen VII)
Glitches (Gen IGen IIGen IIIGen IVGen VGen VIGen VIISpin-off)


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