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List of video games with debugging features
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This article is incomplete, please excuse its informal appearence until all of the required information has been added. Feel free to add any missing information about the subject.
This article is a summary page for variations of certain glitches or phenomena such as Pokémon Cloning, glitch myths, beta elements, or a collective term for variations of glitch Pokémon which share similar names, sprites or other information. Collective.png

This article lists debugging features which once existed within video games, or still exist embedded within the coding of the final game.


Debugging features which remain present in the final game

Games with accessible debugging features in the final game

Less frequently, debugging features which still remain within the final game can be accessed if the player performs a series of actions. Often, these actions require the player to input a certain combination of buttons or some kind of password. Such combinations may have been left by the game developers when testing the game in its early beta post-alpha stage, however these steps are sometimes added later as part of an easter egg. For example, in order to access the debug mode in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 the player must play the audio tracks 1, 9, 9, 2, 1, 1, 2, 4 respecively, which can be read as the worldwide release date of the game - November 24th 1992. [1]

  1. Adventures of Lolo 3[2]
  2. Atlantis no Nazo [3]
  3. Casino Kid [4]
  4. Castle of Dragon
  5. Clash at Demonhead
  6. The Flintstones: The Rescue of Dino & Hoppy (JP)
  7. Kick Master
  8. Knuckles in Sonic 2
  9. Knuckles in Sonic 3
  10. Magic Darts
  11. Ranma 1/2: Hard Battle
  12. Sonic Classic Collection
  13. Sonic Mega Collection
  14. Sonic the Hedgehog (1992)
  15. Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  16. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (DOS)

Menus with information about in-game processes

Games in their final release, may not contain an actual interface intended to help debug the game but rather a menu which notes information about current in-game processes, such as the frames per second rate or technical information about what the game was attempting to generate.

  1. Air Fortress
  2. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of time [5]
  3. Mega Man X
  4. Mega Man X2 [6]
  5. Mega Man X3
  6. Mega Man 7
  7. New Super Mario Bros
  8. Paper Mario [7]
  9. Super Mario 64 DS

Accessible debugging features via a game-altering device

Occassionally, complete debugging features are left within the game's coding and can be accessed in the final game only through the use of a game-altering device, otherwise a glitch.

  1. Adventure Island 2
  2. Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  3. Below the Root
  4. Beyblade G-Revolution
  5. Blaster Master
  6. Bram Stoker's Dracula (NES)
  7. Castleian
  8. Deadly Towers
  9. Doshin the Giant
  10. Double Dragon 2 (NES)
  11. Famicon Detective Club: Part 2 [8]
  12. Final Fantasy 7
  13. The Flintstones: The Rescue of Dino & Hoppy
  14. Ghoul School [9]
  15. G.I. Joe (NES)
  16. Golden Sun [10]
  17. Gun Nac [11]
  18. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (PC) - Accessible by changing a line in the game's configuration file (INI)
  19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (GBA)
  20. Isolated Warrior [12]
  21. The Jetsons: Cogswell's Caper! [13]
  22. Kirby's Adventure - Various debug rooms.
  23. Kirby's Dream Course - Various test levels.
  24. Kirby's Dream Land 3
  25. Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land (GBA) [14]
  26. The Legend of Zelda:Link's Awakening [15]
  27. Lego Star Wars
  28. Mario Kart 64 [16]
  29. Mega Man 5
  30. Mega Man 6 [17]
  31. Mother II - Japan only (two interfaces exist for debugging)
  32. Ms. Pac-Man (NES)
  33. Pokémon Gold, Silver, Crystal
  34. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red and Blue Rescue Team
  35. Network Adventure Bugsite [18]
  36. Paper Mario
  37. Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
  38. Sonic Adventure DX
  39. Sonic the Hedgehog 3 - Accessible by holding A and Start on an unused, prototype level select screen.
  40. StarTropics
  41. StarTropics 2
  42. Super Mario All-Stars - Debugging features within specific games as well as one debugging feature allowing the player to temporarily freeze the game via the L button and advance one frame at a time via the R button.
  43. Super Mario Bros. 3
  44. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
  45. Super Mario 64 (as a level select tool)
  46. Super Metroid
  47. Super Smash Bros.
  48. Super Smash Bros. Melee
  49. Tetris The Absolute The Grand Master 2 PLUS
  50. Tetris 2 - [19]
  51. Toxic Crusaders

Debugging features within pre-release versions of the game

Debugging features which once may have existed in early alpha or beta versions of the game are often removed from the game coding completely in the final release, in order to save memory or presumably to prevent players from abusing such features which were easily accessible.

  1. Pokémon Heartgold and Soulsilver - The same dialogue in Pokémon Platinum, as well as the mention of other features such as "Fix phone call odds" exists within the coding of Pokémon Heartgold and Soulsilver but also appears to be non existent within the final game.
  2. Pokémon Platinum - Unused dialogue for an apparant debug menu (such as "Modify RTC") exists in the coding of Pokémon Platinum, although such an interface has not been found within the final game.
  3. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky
  4. Pokémon Red and Green - As mentioned in an interview between Satoru Iwata (the president of Nintendo of Japan) and two staff who worked on the handheld Pokémon series, after debugging features were removed from an older beta version of Pokémon Red and Green, a small amount of free space left allowed the developers to add Mew as a late addition to the game. [20]
  5. Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire - A prototype version of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire was sold by a Nintendo Staff member to a user and further information was revealed on the forums. Whilst in game dialogue suggesting hidden debugging features are present within the ROM-image of the final build, this earlier build confirmed several unconfirmed debugging features such as "Set all art museum items" and also contains dialogue for debugging features which were not mentioned within the coding of the final game.
  6. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - A fully functionable debugging feature accessible via a level select interface exists within a prototype version of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and allows the player to access and test maps, some of which were never used in the final game. [21]

Many games with debugging features which could only be accessed via a game-altering device were accessible via button combinations in pre-release versions, such as Bram Stoker's Dracula.

See also

  1. Debug menu