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This article is about the glitch in Generation IV. For the glitch in Generation I which uses Surf, see List of glitches in Generation I → Statue collision oversight.

The Surf glitch is a glitch found only in the Japanese versions of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl best known for allowing the player to catch the event-only Mythical Pokémon Darkrai and Shaymin. It is one of two glitches in Generation IV officially acknowledged by Nintendo, with the other being the broken escalator oversight.


Performing the glitch

Due to a programming mistake, the door in Aaron's room of the Pokémon League can be Surfed through, by facing the door and manually selecting Surf from the party screen. This allows the player to step into the void around the indoor area and walk to other areas.

By counting steps using the Pokétch pedometer app, the player can travel to Newmoon Island and the Flower Paradise without the event-exclusive Member Card and Oak's Letter items, respectively. The player can proceed to catch Darkrai and Shaymin at these locations, then Fly or Teleport back to a normally-accessible area and resume play.

As this glitch bypasses the usual event flags, neither Pokémon will regenerate if the player later acquires the Member Card or Oak's Letter and travels to the area normally. To partially remedy this, the two event Pokémon were given through direct Mystery Gift distributions rather than Mystery Gift distributions of the event items. The items were not legitimately distributed until the release of Pokémon Platinum, in which the Surf glitch has been fixed.

It is also possible to use the Surf glitch to reach other areas, including the Hall of Fame.


As the void is not intended to be accessed during the normal course of the game, it poses the risk of the player getting trapped with no way out, thus forcing them to either cheat to escape or start their game anew. This is most likely to occur if the player incorrectly follows the steps to reach a desired area and/or saves their game in the wrong place.


Nintendo has officially acknowledged the glitch and offered workarounds and methods of recovery. The glitch was removed from international releases of the games.

For both this glitch and the above-mentioned broken escalator glitch, in the case where the player has saved the game while trapped, it is possible to repair the save state with a program that was distributed to DS Download Stations in Japan starting October 27, 2006. The player will be transported back outside their house in Twinleaf Town, allowing them to resume the game.

If one does not have access to a DS Station, one may mail their DS game card for repair to Nintendo of Japan at this address:

〒601-8501 京都市南区上鳥羽鉾立町11番地1 
任天堂株式会社 「お客様ご相談窓口 ポケモンD&P係」

As of February 2018, the mail-in option is no longer available.


Performing the glitch in order to get Darkrai

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

Performing the glitch in order to get Shaymin

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


  • While the Surf glitch has been removed in the international versions of Diamond and Pearl, there exists another glitch, tweaking, that still allows the player to enter the void. Like the Surf glitch, it can be used to reach the Hall of Fame, Newmoon Island, and Flower Paradise, among other areas.

External links

Transform glitchesGlitch TrainersCloning glitchesError 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: Bug-Catching Contest data copy glitchCelebi Egg glitchCoin Case glitchesExperience underflow glitch
Glitch dimensionGlitch EggTeru-samaTime Capsule exploitTrainer House glitchesGS Ball mail glitch
Generation III: Berry glitchDive glitchPomeg glitchGlitzer Popping
Generation IV: Acid rainGTS glitchesPomeg glitch
Surf glitchTweakingPal Park Retire glitch
Generation V: Sky Drop glitchFrozen Zoroark glitchChoice item lock glitchCharge move replacement glitch
Generation VI: Choice item lock glitchCharge move replacement glitchLumiose City save glitch
Symbiosis Eject Button glitchToxic sure-hit glitch
Generation VII: Charge move replacement glitchChoice item lock glitchToxic sure-hit glitchRollout storage glitch
Generation VIII: Charge move replacement glitchChoice item lock glitchToxic sure-hit glitchRollout storage glitch
Glitch effects: Game freezeGlitch battleGlitch song
Gen I only: Glitch screenTMTRAINER effectInverted sprites
Gen II only: Glitch dimension
Lists: Glitches (Gen IGen IIGen IIIGen IVGen VGen VIGen VIIGen VIIISpin-off)
Glitch Pokémon (Gen IGen IIGen IIIGen IVGen VGen VIGen VIIGen VIII)
Glitch moves (Gen I) • Glitch types (Gen IGen II)

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.