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Glitches, also known as bugs, are unintended behavior in software like the Pokémon games. They can be triggered from mistakes within the game's code or by exploits that were not anticipated by the programmers, thus causing the game to react unexpectedly. Resulting issues may range from benign (such as graphical and audio distortions or wrong effects of in-game elements) to hazardous (such as corruption or deletion of data).

Glitch Pokémon

Main article: Glitch Pokémon

Glitch Pokémon are the result of any bug that causes a game to read special-purpose data or data outside of its internal Pokémon definition list as a Pokémon definition. For example, MissingNo.'s base stats are taken from the parties of several Bikers.

Glitch characteristics

Glitch moves

Main article: List of glitch moves

A glitch move is a move not intended to be part of the game, but can be accessed through the use of glitches or cheating device. In Generation I, many glitch moves are named after TMs or HMs; TMs numbered 01 to 55 and HMs numbered 01 to 05 exist as moves; however, some have no name or glitched, unreadable names. Some glitch moves are of known glitch types, but others have either no readable type or an unknown type. Usually, only glitch Pokémon will learn glitch moves.

One way of teaching a Pokémon in Generation I a glitch move is with a Pokémon that can evolve by trading. This can be achieved by trading a trade evolution Pokémon from a Generation I game to a Generation II, at a level where its evolved form will learn a move not in Generation I. Trading the Pokémon back to the Generation I game will cause the move to become a glitch move. For example, trading a level 48 Haunter from Pokémon Red to Pokémon Gold will make the Haunter evolve into Gengar. Since it is level 48, it will learn Mean Look. If it is then traded back to Pokémon Red, it will still have the move, but the game won't recognize it properly since it is a Generation II move, so will become TM12.

In Generation I, any Pokémon using Transform or using Transform via Mirror Move can learn -- with the Transform glitch. The glitch is performed by sending out a Pokémon with less than 4 moves and using Transform, and then switching the first move with the last. Then Transform will be replaced with --.

Glitch types

Main article: List of glitch types

There are many different glitch types that happen to be the types of several glitch Pokémon and moves. The majority of them are used for very few Pokémon or moves. A famous glitch type is the unique Bird-type, which is a leftover type thought to be a beta version of the Flying-type. All other glitch types are simply other data read as a type name. Glitch types typically do not have any weaknesses, resistances, or immunities.

Glitch locations

There are several locations which can only be reached by means of glitches or hacks. One of the most well known of these is the Glitch City. Other examples of these are areas in the Sevii Islands that are retrievable via their index number pointer, however, do not have any other data. Sevii Isles 8 and 9 are the only index number areas which have actual map data. There are also other beta locations such as the unused Safari Zone.

Glitch items

Main article: List of unobtainable items

Placeholder items are often left in the game's code to prevent it from crashing if the data is accessed, such as the Teru-sama item in Generation II. Likewise, other generations have placeholder items, with most appearing at the end of the item list, though a few, likely removed during development, appear in the middle.

Often, placeholder items change into real items (Key Items or otherwise) in later games of a generation. The GS Ball, Clear Bell, and Egg Ticket, which only appear in Pokémon Crystal, are programmed into the games' internal list where Teru-samas existed in Pokémon Gold and Silver, and will, if they are hacked to be held by a Pokémon being traded to the earlier games, transform.

Thus, glitch items that become real items from a later game only appear in Generation II and Generation IV, as all items not present in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire that were reintroduced in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen and newly introduced in Pokémon Emerald appear at the end of the list. They would cause a copy of Ruby or Sapphire to crash when it is selected, as they are beyond its item list. Generation II is the only generation in which all new items replace glitch items in the middle of the item list, thus not causing a permanent problem if transferred, as the Griseous Orb is the only item in Generation IV that is programmed at the same index number that a glitch item is present at in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, while the other items introduced in Pokémon Platinum and reintroduced in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver are after the end of the Diamond and Pearl list, and thus crash the game if the glitch item in their place is selected in a game they do not exist in.

Glitch Trainers

Main article: Glitch Trainer

Glitch Trainers have been known to occur in Generation I and Generation II. They, like glitch Pokémon, result from the game reading trainer or party information from an area in the game code that does not contain that information.

Related articles

Glitches in the Pokémon games
Cloning glitchesGlitch PokémonGlitch Trainers
Error messagesArbitrary code execution
Generation I: --0 ERRORCable Club escape glitchExperience underflow glitchFight Safari Zone Pokémon trick* • Glitch City
Item duplication glitchItem underflowMew glitchOld man glitchPewter Gym skip glitch
Pokémon merge glitchRhydon glitchSelect 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 glitch* • Dive glitchPomeg glitchGlitzer Popping
Generation IV: Acid rainGTS glitches* • Mimic glitch
Pomeg glitchRage glitchSurf glitch* • Tweaking
Generation V: Sky Drop glitch* • Frozen Zoroark glitch
Generation VI: Lumiose City save glitch*
Glitch effects: Game freezeGlitch battleGlitch song
Gens I/II only: Japanese characters in the international versions
Gen I only: Glitch screenTMTRAINER effectInverted sprites
Gen II only: Glitch dimension
Lists: Glitch movesGlitch types
Glitch Pokémon (Gen IGen IIGen IIIGen IVGen VGen VI)
Glitches (Gen IGen IIGen IIIGen IVGen VGen VISpin-off)

*Indicates glitches which have been officially acknowledged

Project GlitchDex logo.png This article is part of Project GlitchDex, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on glitches in the Pokémon games.
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