The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy VI

by Elephantgun

Part 9: Ultimate Sketch Glitch 2: Extended Edition

There’s a glitch that only exists on the Japanese version of the game cartridge where you can assign any item you want to any equipment slot. It’s through a little trick called the Optimization Glitch.

It’s fairly simple. Sell off all items your character can possibly use in whatever slot you want to put the item in (armor, helmet, weapon, etc), and put whatever item you want to equip in the last slot (256).

Hit optimize, and bing-bang-boom, you got yourself a potion wielding, potion wearing Locke!

Once of the most noticeable things to happen is that some stats will increase by insane amounts depending on what you equip. Wearing a Potion as armor, for example, will get you 255 defense, turning every physical attack into 1 damage. There are nerd-famous examples of this, such as using this glitch to put a drill on as a helmet, getting you 255 Magic Evade making you immune to every attack in the game. (For those who don’t know, magic evade counts as both Physical and Magic evade due to a programming bug). Using these items as weapons in battle causes almost a mini sketch glitch.

Typically they aren’t as destructive on your party and give you an inventory full of Atma Weapons or whatever. Instead, they just play glitch animations. They’re attempting to reference animations that aren’t there, pulling up garbage.

They also have a tendency if they don’t crash your game to mess up your character’s formation, slowly pushing him or her off the screen as you continually attack.

Now, I said this only exists on the Japanese version of the game cartridge… Well, sort of. The developers noticed this issue and patched it on the American Release, not allowing you to put anything into the 256th slot.

They didn’t actually delete the slot. They just prevented you from putting anything into the slot. Instead of going to the root of the problem and finding the issue with their coding, they just decided “eh, cover it up, what could go wrong!” Well, the Sketch Glitch can. When it writes random items into your item slots, it also has the ability to put items into your 256th slot as well. While you can only have a set number of items put into the 256th slot (because there are only so many variations of the sketch glitch out there), this is an effective way to get you some broken equipment. More in the literal sense, not metaphorically.

By doing the sketch glitch against certain Moulds, you can replicated the process used in the Japanese version of the game and get the same result. In this screenshot, I used Mould 0 with no imp modifiers and got a Soft in the final slot, and decided to equip it to my weapon slot. In addition to this method, sometimes you can just skip this entire process entirely. Doing the Sketch Glitch will occasionally put random items into your 2nd and 4th characters weapon slot on its own, netting you similar effects. Of course, you can’t get them into the armor slot this way, but that’s what the optimization glitch is for.

I’m not going to make you guys sit through another 25 minutes of the game imploding to show the messed up animation this glitch causes, but imagine it as “Sketch Glitch Lite” and it’s nearly the same effect.

Sometimes the game will freeze

Sometimes a messed up animation will play, and almost always the character will break formation and move too far backwards.

Perhaps the most interesting effect of this optimization bug is actually making the Goggles useful. Goggles are obtained in your 2nd character’s weapon slot by using the sketch glitch on a Mould 0 enemy starting with your first character in Imp status. Normally when you use goggles, nothing too special happens. You attack with the Goggles, your character formations get messed up, maybe some funky animation plays – nothing too out of the ordinary. However, randomly when you attack with the Goggles with your Magic menu open, your Magic menu will just glitch out.

You can scroll seemingly forever, and as you scroll the screen will break more and more and more. Sometimes it’ll turn into the enemy and party selection boxes. More importantly scrolling down far enough then scrolling up can sometimes access your item menu. Trying to select an item from the list will cause your game to glitch out. When you select items from your item menu normally, what you’re basically saying is apply the byte data of that item to Enemy 1. However, when you access the item data via this way, the byte data that item normally possesses is read by the game as spell. You can use this to cast spells normally accessed through entirely different means.

To make things a little clearer, let’s give a real example. Say I select the item Fenix Down which has the byte data of F0. Note that it looks like I’m selecting Revivify; the item list is pushed downwards by 1.

The game reads the byte data of Fenix Down which has the data of F0, and casts the spell that occupies the same data. In this case, the spell with the byte data of F0 is Terra's Desperation Attack, Riot Blade. Most items occupy high byte data, and most desperation attacks occupy high byte data. This gives you access to extremely high damage desperation attacks with any character at will. For reference, here’s the compiled list of items usable in battle that correspond to each attack:

When you do the Sketch Glitch, the game writes non-permanent data to your magic list. If you paid attention during the sketch glitch video (I don’t blame you if you didn’t), you’ll notice that party members were randomly given a bunch of fire spells alongside a bunch of garbage. The reason why Fire appears so much is because, just like dirks, it has a byte value of 00. They have really messed up aiming bytes for obvious reasons: the data that defines aiming bytes is written randomly, akin to items and fire itself.

But what we really want to look at is what co-exists alongside the multitude of fire spells. They’ll usually be misaligned names, sometimes even garbage symbols with random MP costs. However, they’re important because they give us access to spells with a higher byte value than what the magic menu is normally allowed.

Much like the glitch with the Goggles, this gives us access to special skills, desperation attacks and enemy specific spells.

Some Slot skills

And we can even see General Leo cast a spell! Or summon a triumphant raccoon. And maybe it’s just Relm in a General Leo suit. Whatever, close enough.

To be honest, I find this kind of boring. A lot of the spells you can access are things that we can normally obtain, and the whole point of doing the sketch glitch is to run away as soon as you activate it and get the items. The animations aren’t broken, and if anything just the aiming byte is off. That’s where tools come into play.

Random items will get written to Edgar’s Tool skill after the sketch glitch. Unsurprisingly dirks are common but they don’t flood the menu. Mostly it’s actual tools, random weapons and helmets. Attempting to use any item in the tool menu can bring some really messed up animations.

There are a lot more variations but you get the point.

Finally we come to the root of all evil. The thing that made the sketch glitch so apparent in the first place: The Intangir. He’s famous with the sketch glitch for a variety of reasons. Mainly it’s because he’s probably the reason why most people had this glitch occur. He starts out the battle with Vanish, causing sketch to always miss. His special move is Meteor (considered by most games to be the strongest spell available) encouraging players to sketch him and get his special move. Not to mention he’s used for farming Magic Points to discover new spells, filling out your spell list causing Mute to get to the 28th slot with a high probability. When all of these combine, it’s easy to see how even an average player with a bit of creativity could accidently unlock the Sketch Glitch’s potential. Perhaps even more famously the Intangir is FF6-famous for being completely inescapable with the Sketch Glitch. Because he starts out with the vanish status it messes with the aiming bytes and causes results that usually don’t appear with a Mould 03 formation.

No matter what variation you try out of the 3, he will never be escapable. Sometimes you gain control of your characters, but running away will just keep on playing the battle music while a black screen taunts you. No matter what you do, he is inescapable. Everything that can be gotten from this highly interesting encounter will never been seen. That’s a shame.

I am a big fat dumb liar-head. He is escapable. Pretend to be surprised.

The method to actually escaping Intangir is really convoluted and I have no idea why it works. Some requirements have to be met in addition to the normal sketch glitch requirements. First, it’s critical you have either Locke or Gau in your party. If neither of them are present this won’t work. Secondly, the imping process is more complicated. Start the battle out in Imp status, then unImp them with anyone but the first character, then reImp them. Before you ask, doing this doesn’t unlock some really strange 4th aiming byte that gets you entirely different results with every Mould, it only gets you different results on this fight. Finally, it’s much easier if Warp Stones occupy the top 5-6 slots of your item list. After you sketch the enemy, the text will temporarily disappear, and Warp Stone is the only method of escape. Having your top slots filled with Warp Stone makes it easier to select when effectively guessing blind.

After the three conditions are met, go ahead and sketch Intangir. You’ll know you did it right because the cursor turns into a red... thing. After this happens, go into your item menu and try to select your Warp Stone with any character that’s available.

Soldier sprite on Locke from Kutan Glitch is totally optional. The reason I have him here is in no way because I’m awful at managing save states.

Set the controller down,

go make a drink,

and come back to find yourself on the worldmap.

Something is obviously wrong the moment you escape and open your menu. Your characters are afflicted with status effects like Petrify, Zombie, etc. This normally doesn’t happen. Usually the game only makes it appear like your statuses change. In this case, they actually DO. Your characters before you used the Warp Stone actually were berserk, zombies, etc. Intangir is unique in that this is the only battle where you can actually do this. And if you’re proficient in FF6 glitches, you’re well aware of what counts as status effects in this game. It goes beyond Poison, Zombie, etc. Near Fatal, Interceptor, and Morph are some examples of things defined as status effects. By entering a battle, we see that...

Zombie Magitek Army is Go!
(Release Date: 2014; Director: Michael Bay)

What actually happens here is the third character down is written with the Magitek status. The game assumes that if 1 character has Magitek, that all characters have Magitek. Therefore, it just applies the sprite effect to every character. They can’t actually use Magitek except for the third character, who just has the standard selection (aside from Terra, who has the set that includes Trek Missile). Because adding or removing Magitek is a scripted event that occurs in game there is practically no way to remove this status. That third character will be a Magitek for the rest of the game, and keeping them in your party will cause all your party members to have the sprite.

And if you're wondering, the Zombie status is just curable by sleeping in a tent or using Revivify.

There are some sprite glitches too. Some enemies aren’t designed to exist alongside Magitek so the sprites will just turn halfway into Magitek sprite. You’ll also notice that the top character will have that same ugly palette that happened on the world map when you sketched Zone Eater. Why? Who knows! vv

In addition, there’s the side effect that whoever the fourth character is will get the Interceptor status. It works just like Shadow’s interceptor mechanic, causing your character to randomly evade and counterattack with high damage. Just like Magitek this will never go away, so feel free to load up your group with it to make the game even more of a joke.