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I've heard that several old NES, SNES, and arcade games have minus/glitch worlds, which can only be accessed by exploiting a bug or glitch in the game's code. I have also heard them referred to as "kill screen", which more specifically refers to when you reach a level that is so high that the original programmers didn't code for it. This, naturally, causes the game to crash in a way that may or may not let you continue to play.

Which games have a glitch world, and how can they be reached?

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closed as not constructive by StrixVaria, Raven Dreamer Oct 26 '11 at 0:08

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I had thought this was something unique to Mario, do you have reason to believe otherwise? –  tzenes Sep 2 '10 at 17:26
"Several" being Super Mario Bros? –  BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Sep 2 '10 at 17:26
@tzenes I remember reading an article that listed a bunch of them some time ago, but I can't find it –  Keaanu Sep 2 '10 at 19:38
NES Metroid has glitch worlds. –  user929 Sep 2 '10 at 20:33
@StrixVaria I would assume because there is an objective answer - a fixed list of all old games with minus worlds. –  Keaanu Oct 25 '11 at 22:30

3 Answers 3

up vote 10 down vote accepted

The Angry Video Game Nerd looked into video game glitches, he talks about some of these "minus worlds" and other interesting glitches

NOTE: Viewer discretion is advised, vulgar language present in link

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Considering you're giving a viewer discretion, care to list the games mentioned in the video? –  Grace Note Sep 2 '10 at 17:54
@Grace Note, yes but I am at work right now so maybe after 8 pm EST I can get to that :p –  Elpezmuerto Sep 2 '10 at 18:04
I'll see if I can find examples from there. However, from what I remember, it's more about actual defects or dirt in cartridges rather than glitches: the game graphics glitch gremlin. –  badp Sep 2 '10 at 19:33
The AVGN's only related examples are Super Mario Bros. for the NES and the Airman stage of Megaman 2. If you have item 1 equipped during the boss fight, touch the leftmost door. The battle is skipped and you advance on the Dr Walley (?) Stage with the Airman stage tileset (or so it looks like). –  badp Sep 2 '10 at 19:53
Dr. Wiley, @badp (just to clarify for you). –  VxJasonxV Sep 4 '10 at 20:35

You didn't seem to ask about (S)NES games specifically, just cite them as examples, but Super Meat Boy has glitch/negative worlds.

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These are neither glitch, nor negative worlds. They are normal levels, they are DESIGNED to be that way, it's just a "nod" to the style. This question is related to special instance levels/worlds due to a limitation (or fault) in programming/program execution. –  VxJasonxV Jan 14 '11 at 18:24
@VxJ: Sure, they are intentional but I fail to see how they aren't minus worlds. The question wasn't "what games have unintentional minus worlds" –  Nick T Jan 15 '11 at 17:31
Read the description! I've heard that several old NES, SNES and Arcade games have minus worlds, which can only be accessed by exploiting a bug or glitch in the game's source code. Which games have a minus world, and how can they be reached? - Emphasis = the question. Meat Boy's minus levels are neither a bug, nor a glitch. –  VxJasonxV Jan 16 '11 at 6:10
It's not a bug, it's a feature! –  CyberSkull Oct 25 '11 at 22:50

This is the article I was thinking of, although it does point out the difference between The Minus World and Kill Screen:

...after hitting a certain number in the background, the game would call an overflow and go BERSERK, spitting out garbage data- thus causing the game to give you an impossible situation to overcome...

...Not to be confused with Minus World, which is actually semi-playable and generally is only available through hacking rather than appearing by accident.

It also lists the following games as having a Kill Screen / Minus World level:

  • Pac-Man
  • Donkey Kong
  • Dig Dug
  • Tetris
  • RC Pro Am
  • Duck Hunt
  • Galaga
  • Fantastic Voyage
  • Thrusters
  • Atmos Quake
  • Star Evil
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The "other wiki" also has an article on kill screens. –  badp Sep 5 '10 at 10:48
There is one in "The Legend of Zelda: the Ocarina of Time" as well. I believe the room was used for developer testing. There is also a way to be able to fight against an Arwing from Starfox64, although I don't know the details of either of these. –  GnomeSlice Sep 16 '10 at 20:07

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