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October 14th, 2013 | EarthBound, Uncommon Knowledge

A couple days ago, EarthBound-hacking expert H.S made a post on Starmen.Net about a graphical glitch I never noticed before – apparently the high-level PSI Thunder animations have a little goof!

For reference, here’s a screenshot of it being used:


It seems fine, but H.S points out:

Well, in one of the frames of the Thunder Gamma/Omega animation, a rectangle erroneously appears at the bottom of the screen. It’s partially blocked by the character boxes, so it can be harder to see when you have more characters in your party. You most likely won’t get to use this PSI until you have 4 characters, so that might be why most players don’t notice it. Also, because Thunder just isn’t used much.

So here’s a picture with just one party member using PSI Thunder:


Yep, there’s definitely a weird rectangle there!

I guess I just never noticed it before because I thought it was meant to be there. Now I’m never gonna unsee it 😯

Actually, that reminds me of way back around the time the game had been released, I got some of the earlier PSI Thunder animations to look really glitchy. It was on an actual cartridge, before SNES emulators were really even around. I wish I knew what was up with it, I got it to happen a few times during that playthrough but have never seen it since…


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9 Comments to PSI Thunder Animation Glitch

Xi said on Oct. 14, 2013

Ah the good old days of cartridge gaming. I remember when one day I turned on my Game Boy copy of Pokemon Red and all of a sudden my name was “….,,,”, I had 119 badges, and I appeared in a world filled with flashing 9’s. It remained that way for about a day, then my game reset. 🙁

Nothing that exciting happened with Earthbound, except for one time I teleported to Fourside and Paula somehow became a lamp post sprite. Too bad taking pictures took too much effort back then. 😀

Eiyeron said on Oct. 14, 2013

I guess that it’s a compression failure. Corruption is not really possible here if it’s only one frame, but it’s not a hypothesis to avoid. If I could read the data with some structures/compression algorithms, we could guess where the glitch comes from

sticktendo said on Oct. 14, 2013

Huh, never would’ve noticed that. But it does remind me of how PSI Magnet alpha has a minor animation glitch. One of the frames has an extra bar/block in the animation, it isn’t hard to notice.

blahmoomoo said on Oct. 14, 2013

I’m guessing the glitch was never noticed in the SNES days because it’s outside the TV Safe zone, and all TVs back then had overscan.

Ness1985 said on Oct. 14, 2013

You could say the same thing with Giygas’ second form, it’s glitched at the bottom.

September said on Oct. 14, 2013

Whoa, never noticed that before!

Chivi-chivik said on Oct. 15, 2013

What has been seen cannot be unseen… Ò_Ó

Opinionated Vector Chimera said on Oct. 17, 2013

Has this been fixed in the Wii U version?

Vix said on Jan. 4, 2014

Nintendo’s hopefully improved with electricity by now.
I vaguely recall a Pokemon glitch with Thunder’s animation in THAT game, too – weird.


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