Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (Retro Studios) - Impassable door in Main Research
Here we start moving on to the more serious issues that the average player could easily come across. Metroid Prime 2: Echoes featured a bug whereby the player could get locked out from progressing past the Main Research area. If you left the area before shooting all the sonic locks with your echo visor, you’d be unable to open the door when you returned. Short of performing some fancy glitch-based acrobatics, the only way to progress was to reset and restart. Ouch.
Metroid: Other M (Nintendo / Team Ninja) – Impassable door in Sector 3
Samus just can’t seem to get away from these troublesome glitches. Metroid: Other M featured a similarly progress-thwarting issue with a door glitch in Sector 3. This time you could send your save on an SD card (or your Wii if you preferred, with Nintendo covering shipping costs) to Nintendo and you would receive a freshly ‘repaired’ save file in place of your borked one.
Postage costs a fortune, so as a company this isn’t the sort of thing you’d want to make a habit of. Fortunately, Nintendo hasn’t let anything like this slip through the net since. What's that you say?...
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Nintendo) - Song of the Hero quest
The Legend of Zelda has always been a complex series, and no stranger to glitches. In fact, part of the reason they make such good speedrunning material is the myriad ways gamers have found over the years to utterly 'break' the game and use any tiny opportunity to bust it wide open. For example, it was possibly to reach the end of A Link To The Past in mere minutes by using a wall glitch, but why would you want to skip the fun of the adventure?
As Metroid fans know, though, things get serious quickly if you can’t progress and in huge games like the Zelda series, this is an equally huge problem. Twilight Princess featured a game-ender if you saved in the Cannon Room, but Nintendo also dropped the ball in Skyward Sword where you could get irrevocably stuck in the Song of the Hero quest. Nintendo’s solution this time around involved a bespoke downloadable file fix ‘channel’ on the Wii, although users not connected to the World Wide Web could still send their SD cards and consoles to be updated if they really wanted. By now Nintendo must have worked out some sort of special rate with the Post Office.
Pokémon X & Y (Game Freak) – Saving in Lumiose City
Slightly more common than the elusive MISSINGNO, saving your game in Lumiose City carried a risk of corrupting your 3DS save data – a huge issue for a time-sink game like Pokémon X, Y or otherwise. Once again, the solution Nintendo came up with involved issuing an app on the eShop to repair corrupted save data without needing to pop your cartridge in the post to Nintendo.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo) – Welcome to Glitch City...
Finally, let’s go out on a high! While the glitches in both Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword had the potential to utterly ruin your experience, the bugs and quirks inherent to the many interlocking systems found in Breath of the Wild have provided many hours of entertainment. Don't get us wrong - this is still a massively polished game, with almost none of the Skyrim-style jank you’ll find in many open world games, but with a game this complex (and popular), it’s only a matter of time before players start picking at the seams for their own amusement.
There are too many to list, really. We’ve had the Sidon-powered bookcase car, the one where you could wield a weapon on the Master Cycle Zero, the one where you could ride a Guardian through the sky, the ‘bullet time bounce’, the underwater walker and more. And they’re still being discovered, as proven by the more recent infinite jump glitch. As long as nothing crops up to corrupt our ‘255 hours or more’ save file, keep ‘em coming.
And finally, the Error that isn’t an error at all…
No, this isn't a glitch, but we couldn’t very well finish without a nod towards Nintendo's most famous Error of all – the irony being that he isn’t one. The character of Error in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is a programmer’s joke along with his counterpart Bagu, or ‘bug’ in Japanese. As explained by Clyde Mandelin of Legends of Localization fame, the two characters were intended to form a humorous duo, but the translator obviously missed the connection between them and Bagu’s name wasn’t translated. Error's "I AM ERROR" introduction is entirely appropriate, then, although players assumed it was an example of poor translation common back in the olden days of localisation. Error's spot-on, though; it's Bagu that is, in fact, the error. So, be sure to correct the next wag who rags on the poor guy, for they speak in error of Error.
We’ve ignored integer overflow kill screen scenarios that only superhuman gaming gods can reach, although – oh yes! – we are definitely good enough to reach them. Ahem. There are plenty of other more minor issues in Nintendo-published games, though – let us know your 'favourites' or if you think we’ve missed something important below. We're off for a lie down after the overuse of the word 'error' in that last paragraph.