FX Glitch Info
2 years ago
United States

This thread is dedicated to information surrounding the glitch I'm dubbing 'FX glitch' (or VFX glitch if you're more particular). It's currently a mystery, but here's what I know so far:

First and foremost: Once triggered, FX glitch stays active until you close the game. Oh and I've only seen it on PC so far.

FX glitch has 3-5 notable effects: 1. As implied by the name, freeform visual effects (VFX for short) misbehave. Bubbles appear in every single water tile, wind particles are almost entirely missing, and many other visual oddities. At least on my machine, these can cause noticeable lag, particularly in cases with high quantities or significant layering of VFX (primarily with water bubbles or boss-death explosions). Some glitchy VFX are more noticeable than others, but if something looks off chances are you've got FX glitch.

2. Transitions during the Worm fight crash the game. Yes, only Worm. All the other bosses are crash-free (except maybe the final boss, I haven't been lucky enough to test it yet). Once FX glitch is active, if you haven't killed Worm yet then the game is unbeatable. Theoretically if we could kill Worm without any transitions you could get past this, but I'm not aware of a way to avoid boss transitions.

3. Slow motion doesn't occur during boss deaths and other normally-slowed moments.

I'm going to preface these next two with a disclaimer: I've only encountered these once, in the same session (when I was trying to casually complete NG+ ;-;). It's possible these relate to a different glitch, I'll be testing that the next time I get FX glitch active, but until there's more info I'll leave them here. So, here's what I ran into:

4? Once FX glitch is active, the unlock order of bosses in NG+ is consistent. During my brief testing this was Skullbat->Spider->Lizards->Worm->Kraken, but it's possible the glitch only locks the order when it triggers. Further investigation needed.

5? Many enemy spawns don't function properly. For me this meant encountering almost ENTIRELY acid spitters after killing Spider, with the occasional razor fly. No crawlers, and no flies (thanks to effects #2 and #4 I didn't get a chance to check behemoth or jelly spawns). I haven't seen this outside of the one session, so part of me wonders if it's related to killing Skullbat/Spider with FX glitch active. Further investigation needed.

Identifying FX glitch: When starting a new run, there's two easy ways to spot FX glitch. The first one is that the tutorial text and its explosions pop in all at once with a distinctly louder bang. The other one (and arguably more useful since it's in the main menu) is that the backdrops of the start point thumbnails aren't animated like they should be, and the thumbnails pop in a bit differently.

During a run, (outside of the paths to Kraken/Skullbat where it's easy to tell), the simplest sign to watch for is punch VFX following the punch's path with zero deviation (and decaying in a satisfying line because of that). That said, with the huge amount of VFX in the game there's plenty of room to notice something off.

Triggering FX glitch: Unfortunately, this is the part with the least info right now. I am yet to identify what triggers FX glitch. It's started in the middle of runs, and it's started from the moment the game boots up. If we ever want to avoid/exploit it we'll need to know what the trigger is.

Takeaways: Based on current info, I see FX glitch as more harmful to runs than beneficial. If you lose your run while it's active, or if it triggers before you kill Worm, you're forced to restart the game. As long as the final boss doesn't crash, Triggering FX glitch after Worm could be useful for cutting slowmos (at the cost of boss deaths being a bit laggy), MAYBE giving NG+ a consistent route, and MAYBE breaking enemy spawns. Honestly though the biggest thing is that we need more info on how it works.

Edited by the author 2 years ago
United States

Okay, I've got some clips where you can see when FX glitch triggers. I'm currently losing my mind trying to replicate them or even find a common denominator but let's take a look:

Example 1: from this VOD

In this clip we see FX glitch trigger between two back-to-back uppercuts, identified by the VFX behaving differently between them.

Example 2: from this VOD

In this clip we see FX glitch trigger between two back-to-back shots, identified by the VFX behaving differently between them.

Example 3: from this VOD

In this clip we see FX glitch trigger somewhere on the main menu, identified by the thumbnail backdrops being static.

Uh, what? Example 3 is probably going to haunt me for a while, but at least with examples 1 and 2 we can tell the glitch kicks in instantly. Just need to learn the trigger.

Now that I've got more info to work with, I'm gonna put some serious effort into figuring this out. I'll update the thread when I find something!

Edited by the author 2 years ago
6oliath likes this
United States

I managed to accidentally trigger the glitch again! As soon as I realized it I took the opportunity and did some in-depth testing, here's what I found out: I'm debating whether I should edit this all into the top post

First and foremost, I'm still not sure what triggers FX glitch. I've got a theory I'll explain further down, but here's the latest clip of it triggering: from this stream:

Confirmation of old info: Effect #2 is confirmed, with a caveat. There are some circumstances where Worm's transitions don't crash. Effect #3 is confirmed, but I wanted to mention the gem delivery slow-mo does still occur. Effect #4 is confirmed to be part of FX glitch. Every New Game+ run with it active will have the bosses unlock Skullbat->Spider->Lizards->Worm->Kraken. Effect #5 is confirmed to be part of FX glitch. Enemy spawning misbehaves in a few ways and is impacted by boss deaths.

Effect #2 details: So... yeah, Worm is possible Unfortunately though you still have to restart if you encounter FX glitch (thanks to the new effect #6), but it's worth knowing that Worm is beatable.

Effect #4 details: New Game+ could have a consistent route, if it weren't for the new effect #6. It's not an ideal route, but Skullbat->Spider->Lizards->Worm->Kraken is still kinda fast and could be handy if you want a consistent route.

Effect #5 details: Enemy spawning is broken in a bunch of ways: Enemy types spawn with the same durability (shots to kill) every time. Crawlers are always oneshot, Spitters are always two-shot, and Buzzsaws (fast bats) are always oneshot (I forgot to test Behemoths but who kills them with anything but punches lol). The introduction of Behemoths and Spitters breaks some spawn locations, preventing enemies from spawning in many places (this feeds into my durability theory on enemy spawns but that should be a thread of its own). This is particularly pronounced with Spitters, which take up 99% of spawns once introduced (only spawning Buzzsaws in a few places, and 2 Crawlers in the first broken door). I would have tested Jelly spawns after introducing Spitters but I ran into effect #6 before I could lol

This round of testing confirmed three new effects:

Effect #6: You know how previously I thought Worm was the hurdle preventing FX glitch from being useful? Now, it's this: Destroying the core crashes the game. I don't know how we could get around this, or if it's 100% consistent. If it is consistent (or even just random) then we're never going to get any benefit from FX glitch. Thanks to this I still don't know how the final boss interacts with FX glitch.

Effect #7: Lots of enemy behavior (including bosses) is broken when FX glitch is active. Let's cover each enemy individually: Crawlers - Frank won't chase you if you're standing on a platform or through a broken door, and his jump is broken in 2 different ways depending on whether you've killed Lizards yet. Before killing them, crawlers will only perform short jumps when you're at a similar altitude. Being above Frank will allow him to perform high jumps. After killing Lizards, crawlers will only perform high jumps with random (and very shallow) left/right angles. Bats - All bats will fly in one direction, depending on if you're in normal or new game+. In normal it's left-left-left-up, in new game+ it's right-right-right-up (since the map is mirrored I guess). Good luck finding a bat that isn't stuck in a corner. Buzzsaws - Broken similarly to bats in that they fly in one direction, but that direction is seemingly random and can change. They do seem to react to the player's location, but they don't always fly directly at you now. Jellies - Jellies are hilariously broken. Their tentacles go as far left as possible, and they can only move left (in new game+ both things are mirrored to the right). They're even less deadly now! Sharksquids (fast jellies) - Less broken than normal jellies, these guys can still move as they please. Their tentacles don't quite behave right, while they look normal-ish moving right, they look really funny moving left* (mirrored for NG+ again). * Behemoths - Seemingly unaffected. Spitters - Once the previous spit ends, they immediately spit again. Always be spitting. Lizards - Both Lizards behave a little different, for example I couldn't pull off the quick-kill since they would always bunch up when I tried. It's off, but I don't really know how to describe the difference. Worm - Any transitions before phase 2 crash, besides that seemingly unaffected. Kraken - The most broken boss behavior-wise, not in how it pursues you but in its tentacles and transition spawn-locations. The tentacles tend to bunch up, unless Kraken's in propulsion mode. The big thing though is that Kraken spawns in weird locations when you're near the water's surface, ranging from directly above your head to inside terrain. I had to retry Kraken a ton of times, I kept getting killed by Kraken spawning on top of me. Skullbat - Seemingly unaffected. Spider - Seemingly unaffected, though I wonder if I was just killing it too fast.

Effect #8: Every single boss has instant transitions, all the time. You know how normally when a boss transitions it cuts, there's a brief pause where enemies can spawn, then it cuts again and appears somewhere new? An instant transition is when the pause, enemy spawns, and second cut are skipped and the boss instantly appears somewhere new. You can randomly get instant transitions in normal play, (like when you get telepathic messages) but with FX glitch every boss transition will always be instant. In isolation this would make for some huge potential time save, but thanks to effect #6 I doubt we'll get to make use of it.

My theory on triggering: I'm having trouble identifying what's different when we trigger FX glitch compared to normal gameplay, but it looks to me like FX glitch occurs on invisible load triggers where parts of the map and/or enemies are told to load in. So maybe there's something breaking on these load triggers? This could be starting/ending VFX on these triggers, or something more complex like too many active VFX while passing a trigger. Or maybe I'm totally off-base, I don't know!

Wow, this is a seriously weird and complex glitch! If we can get past the core explosion crashing then we could get some use out of it, but I won't hold my breath on that. Especially since we don't know how to trigger it still. As always though I'll update the thread when I find out more!

Edited by the author 2 years ago
United States

I got FX glitch again on stream! This time I snipped a highlight of the full run, from menu up until I crashed at Worm. Here it is:

Two things:

1. Worm's phase 2 crashes on transition too! My last post was wrong, there's a variable I'm missing here. Maybe it's too much FX at once that causes crashes?

2. I'm gonna test the hell out of the Kraken arena, test my theory on the location-aspect of FX glitch. It would be nice to be right, but even if I'm wrong it'll still be good info.

Making the highlight for this post made me realize I should make a highlight of the last round of FX testing, so feel free to check it out if you've got a spare hour+:

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