Every game is vulnerable to glitches. We saw that with the nightmare fuel of Assassin’s Creed Unity which ran like a terrible sequel to They Live in its first week of release, and the less said about Batman: Arkham Knight on PC the better. But never before, has a glitch defined a game as much as Missingno has in the original Pokémon Red and Blue titles for the Gameboy.
Twenty years on, and Missingno has survived several generations of mega-evolutions and the global trade system, remaining intact in the virtual console versions of Pokémon Red and Blue. Do you remember how to catch the elusive fella? We do. Remember, with Missingno you can hack the game to give you infinite Master Balls, stat-boosting supplements and plenty of health-restoring potions. A truly useful feature, for anyone who wanted to catch ‘em all more easily twenty years ago.
Here’s how you get your hands on the Missingno encounter:
- After you’ve visited Cinnibar Island and learnt how to use the Fly HM outside of battle, go to the old man in the northern section of Viridian City. He’ll once again ask you if you’d like to learn how to catch Pokémon. Answer yes, and check the quick demonstration.
- Now fly back to Cinnabar island, and surf on the eastern side of the coast, where the gym is. The trick here, is that you have to hug the coastline and surf up and down on it. Doing so will cause various Pokémon encounters but hang in there.
- Eventually, Missingno will appear. Sometimes he’ll look like an undead fossil Pokemon brought back to haunt you, other times a Phantasm. But his base form is usually that of a pile of Tetris glitches.
- DO NOT CATCH MISSINGNO. That has a high chance to corrupt your save-game.
- Now here’s the trick. After a Missingno encounter, the sixth item in your inventory will duplicate items upwards of the tune of 128. That’s right, 128. Which means 128 Master Balls, 128 Moon Stones or 128 potions if you will. The opportunities are semi-endless.So what is Missingno even? Well it’s a cryptid, an elusive creature rarer than a cave full of Arceus’ eggs. It’s a rite of passage for anyone who has ever played Pokémon Red and Blue, a quest that needs to be undertaken at least once in a lifetime. According to Nintendo’s much more mundane explanation however, Missingno is:
MissingNO is a programming quirk, and not a real part of the game. When you get this, your game can perform strangely, and the graphics will often become scrambled. The MissingNO Pokémon is most often found after you perform the Fight Safari Zone Pokémon trick.To fix the scrambled graphics, try releasing the MissingNo Pokémon. If the problem persists, the only solution is to re-start your game. This means erasing your current game and starting a brand new one.
But unlike Shen Long in Street Fighter II, at least this infamous glitch is real.
Last Updated: March 2, 2016