Pokémon Diamond & Pearl Let Players Glitch Out of Reality to Catch Arceus

With Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl releasing soon, fans are already comparing them to the original Generation IV games. Early reports of glitches, some of which show characters clipping through things that they shouldn't be able to, have some fans looking back on similar issues with the originals. While these glitches are from leaked footage that may not be representative of the final version, they are similar to a well-known glitch from Pokémon Diamond and Pearl.

The glitch, known as tweaking, works by breaking how Diamond and Pearl load in parts of the map. These games only ever load in a 32x32 part of the map that makes up what the player can see displayed on a DS screen. When the player moves in a direction, parts of the map are removed by the game so new parts of the map can load in. Tweaking involves players moving so fast that the map doesn't have enough time to load, causing strange graphical glitches to appear instead.

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Tweaking isn't actually as dangerous as other video game glitches can often be, though it should still be performed with caution. It is also necessary to perform the void glitch, which allows players to navigate an empty black void and load in other maps on command. To perform the void glitch, players need to tweak the map so that building tiles are replaced by traversable terrain tiles, which lets them enter a building from the opposite side they normally would.

If successful, players will load into the black void that surrounds any interior map in Diamond and Pearl. Entering the void is the easiest part, though, as players will have to walk an astounding 65,536 steps in this empty void before the void glitch really starts getting wild. This amount of steps causes the game's visual data to overload and start loading in other areas, many of which are normally only accessible through special events.

The void glitch requires a lot of time and patience, especially since it takes a real-world hour to walk that many steps in-game. However, the payoff from the void glitch is more than worth the time. Players can access some truly strange areas, many of which have been dubbed "Fake Sinnoh" by fans. The real benefit to the void glitch is being able to catch Pokémon like Darkrai and Shaymin without their required event items.

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Each Fake Sinnoh location requires its own unique walking pattern to access, many of which were discovered through trial and error by patient fans. While players became aware of the void glitch soon after Diamond and Pearl were originally released, knowledge on how to find specific areas took years to discover. For example, the Hall of Origin, where players can find and catch Arceus, was thought to be inaccessible up until 2017.

Members of the Glitch City Laboratories forum meticulously studied how the void worked to find a way to enter the Hall of Origin. The users discovered a new glitch that allowed them to manually load certain in-game scripts by taking certain movements in the PalPark, which meant they could activate the script that caused Arceus to appear. This feat of data mining is pretty complicated, though certainly worth attempting for those who want to catch one of the most powerful Pokémon out there.

Given that Diamond and Pearl feature time and space as major themes, it's oddly fitting that players were able to discover a way to bend reality to find the Pokémon universe's equivalent to a god. Breaking out of the bound area and exploring a void that was essentially the code of Diamond and Pearl could actually fit as canon ways to catch Pokémon like Arceus and Giratina. While the upcoming remakes are certainly not going to feature an intentional return of the void glitch, perhaps they'll introduce an encounter that's equally as reality-bending.

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About The Author
Jacob Creswell (442 Articles Published)

A writer for CBR since September 2020, Jacob Creswell is a life long writer and gamer. Has written for both local and global publications. Lover of Animal Crossing, Undertale, Team Fortress 2, and a little professional wrestling on the side. Often can be found doing way more research than needed for his video game theories. Can also be found on his Twitter, @Creaology98

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