Super Smash Bros. series

Game crash

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A player attempts to access the AKANEIA stage in Melee via an Action Replay, causing a game crash.
"Crash" redirects here. For the Swiss smasher, see Smasher:Crash.

A game crash, also known as a game freeze, is when a video game freezes and ceases all response to any input. Crashes typically occur when the game console's connection with the game is interrupted, when unrelated data in RAM is corrupted when a buffer overflows, its CPU is overwhelmed by how much it has to process, or when the game attempts to access data that cannot be read, either due to corruption or missing files. Most crashes are unlikely to cause permanent damage to the game or console, and simply require the player to turn the console's power off (though modern consoles will usually close the game and send the player back to the console's Home menu); that said, players can lose any data that was not saved prior to the game crash.

In the Super Smash Bros. series[edit]

As with any other game, crashes can occur in the Super Smash Bros. games, through a variety of different means. Glitches and hacks can cause them, though some rarer crashes can occur from normal gameplay.

In Super Smash Bros.[edit]

Since the Nintendo 64 is a cartridge-based system, losing connection to the attached cartridge will cause the game to crash immediately. This connection is far easier to disrupt than other consoles featuring Smash titles, with a touch of the console being potentially enough to disrupt the connection and crash the game. Of course, the cartridge can also intentionally be removed to crash the game at any time. As such, Smash 64 is far more prone to freezing without the aid of hacks than its successors.

Aside from hacks and physical disruption, the game is rather stable, with few methods existing for crashing the game. One such method is the PK Thunder freeze glitch, where Ness uses PK Thunder against Fox's Reflector. Once the PK Thunder is reflected by Fox, the game will crash if Ness reflects it with his forward smash.

In Super Smash Bros. Melee[edit]

Unlike the Nintendo 64, the Nintendo GameCube is a disc-based system that is notoriously durable, and can effectively keep inserted games in place. As such, freezes in Melee from a connection disruption are rare. When crashes do occur in Melee, the game will completely freeze and cease all response to any input as expected, but any in-game music will continue to play.

While Melee can occasionally lag the GameCube in certain circumstances, such as playing with multiple Ice Climbers on Fountain of Dreams, it is never CPU-intensive enough in normal play to crash the system. However, "black holes" created from the black hole glitch can strain the system to an exorbitant amount, heavily lagging the game when they are in play. If players create more than one black hole, or create a more intensive black hole (such as putting more Turnips in it or using multiple PK Fires on it), they heavily risk crashing the game, and will inevitably do so if they keep on making more black holes or keep putting more projectiles into one.

Crashes can also occur from attempting to improperly access incomplete data via the Debug Menu. Attempting to start a match with AKANEIA as a stage or NONE as a character, for instance, will cause the game to immediately crash, as can multiple other stages without proper hacks. Furthermore, using NPCs can crash the game; Sandbag, for instance, can cause crashes if the player attempts to attack with it, as it has no such attacks programmed for it, while winning a game with Master Hand, such as via the Name Entry glitch, can crash the game due to him lacking any programmed victory poses.

As several different revisions of Melee exist, it is possible for some glitches that cause crashes to be patched out in later revisions. For example, the shadow glitch, which causes the game to crash if players grabbed one of Mewtwo's Shadow Balls from its forward throw, is only present in version 1.0 of Melee.

Starting with Melee, a new method of crashing the game also became present: the game's disc becoming damaged. If the game disc has extensive abrasions on the data side of the disc, it can potentially prevent the console from properly reading data off the disc, leading to potential crashes, likely with a message stating that the disc could not be read. In Melee, the use of hacks, either via hardware hacks involving unofficial memory card add-ons or software hacks involving hacking the console, can potentially allow for data to be read off an alternate source from the disc.

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl[edit]

Like Melee, console hardware-related crashes are rare in Brawl, as the Nintendo Wii is easily capable of keeping a connection with its inserted game in place, and can handle anything that can occur normally in Brawl. When crashes do occur in Brawl, the game will freeze and cease response as typical, but all in-game sound and music will also be frozen, resulting in a loud, sharp buzzing noise that will play until the console is turned off. Additionally, when crashes occur, the Wii must be shutdown by holding down the power button until the Wii turns completely off (at least four seconds), or unplugging the console; just pressing the power or reset button will have no effect.

Crashes that overload the CPU in Brawl are rare. One known method to overload the CPU in Brawl involves the "Lucario Black Hole", where two Lucario on the same team with maximum Aura stand back-to-back and charge their Aura Spheres, while another player on the same team throws fully-charged Hotheads into the space between the Aura Spheres. After several Hotheads are tossed between the Lucarios, the game will begin to violently shake and can lag; if too many Hotheads are added, or a third, opposing player gets trapped within the Black Hole, then the game may crash, as the CPU can no longer properly perform calculations due to being overworked. Another way of crashing Brawl through CPU overload is using Waddle Dee Army on a bunch of Sandbags with Smart Bombs as the only other item turned on, in a match with 3 pairs of Ice Climbers. With Smart Bombs and Sandbags as the only items turned on, the Sandbags will only ever drop Smart Bombs. The large amount of explosions and objects on-screen can cause the game to crash.

Crashes in Brawl commonly occur as a result of improperly modifying or hacking the game, owing to the relative simplicity of hacking Brawl. A common novice mistake is neglecting to include hacks that disable the loading of custom stages while using the Smash Stack exploit, as the game will try to load the exploit file as an actual stage when the player enters the stage select screen, causing an immediate crash. Another common novice mistake is improperly named or placed files on an SD card when using mods, such as by placing a stage mod based on Smashville over Lylat Cruise instead of Smashville, and then going to Lylat Cruise in-game trying to play on the stage. Crashes additionally happen when a specific mod or code itself is unstable or simply not properly made, particularly in mods involving the Pokémon Trainer's Pokémon and other transforming characters. Even when mods are properly set up and the mods themselves otherwise normally work fine, hacking-related crashes often occur from playing in some modes where the mod is unstable or simply unable to be used in such modes; the Subspace Emissary and Tournament modes are notably unstable with mods in play, with some gameplay overhaul mods, such as earlier versions of Project M, blocking off access to the modes as a result of this. Crashes from using mods can also occur if the connection between the SD card containing the mods and the Wii is disrupted.

A few glitches, however, are capable of causing crashes themselves. The most infamous such glitch in Brawl is the grab-break glitch with Yoshi, where if a player grabbed by Yoshi manages to break out of the grab before entering Yoshi's mouth, the game will instantly crash. While causing some debate in the competitive Brawl community over how significant this glitch is (to the point where some players suggested that Yoshi could be banned from tournament play since the glitch would theoretically be unavoidable whenever Yoshi is played), the crash is incredibly unlikely to occur in the middle of a tournament match, as the time between Yoshi's grab connecting and a character entering Yoshi's mouth is so small, it can only occur at extremely low damages and only with exorbitant mashing skills on top of very fast reaction to being grabbed; this glitch is so unfeasible to occur in practice that there are no known instances of the glitch occurring in any tournament match. Another glitch capable of causing a crash is the Chain Jacket glitch; the game will invariably crash if Sheik performs the glitch without having used a prior move. While this can occur in any match involving Sheik, a Sheik player would have to be intentionally invoking it to crash the game through it, thus it carries a clear tournament consequence with the forfeiture of the Sheik player causing the crash.

Like Melee, Brawl can crash if the disc becomes damaged enough to where the console cannot read certain data off it, which typically manifests as specific characters and/or stages having their data becoming unreadable, causing crashes whenever the game attempts to access their data, though hacks exist that can allow for data to be loaded via an SD card or USB flash drive. In many cases, the use of such hacks can actually decrease load times, due to flash memory being considerably faster compared to reading data off Brawl's double-layered DVD. That said, disruption of these connections can still cause crashes, as the game can no longer properly read data from its original source.

In Super Smash Bros. 4[edit]

As Super Smash Bros. 4 features two different versions for different consoles, the specifics in game crashes for the game varies between consoles. That said, crashes related to the games are rarer than in previous installments, with no specific, repeatable method being available to cause a guaranteed crash. As both games can be patched and updated via the Nintendo Network, surefire methods to crash the game can also theoretically be patched out. A model-meshing glitch involving Nabbit on Mushroom Kingdom U that could cause crashing, for instance, was fixed in version 1.0.6.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, similar to Smash 64, can crash if the connection between the Game Card and the Nintendo 3DS is disrupted, as well as if the connection between the 3DS and its SD card is disrupted; compared to the Nintendo 64, however, these connections are more resilient. Generally when the game crashes due to a loss of connection, the 3DS will show an error message saying that the SD card or Game Card was removed, and can only be closed by shutting down the system or pressing a button to return to the HOME menu. If the game crashes due to other circumstances (e.g. improper hacking or glitches), the system will restart into the HOME menu with a message saying the game closed due to an error.

If Super Smash Bros. for Wii U crashes, the game and sound freezes, resulting in a loud buzzing sound being emitted, like in Brawl, while requiring the console to be forcefully turned off by holding down the power button for four seconds.

Like with Brawl, improper usage/placement/filenaming of mods on either version will crash the game upon attempting to use the mods. Certain mods can also be unstable and can suddenly crash the game during use for non-apparent reasons, especially on the character and stage select screens when attempting to load the mods.

Like Melee and Brawl, Smash 4 on Wii U can also crash if the disc becomes damaged, which can similarly be circumvented with the use of hacks to load files that can no longer be accessed through the disc, from an SD card or USB drive.

For digital copies of the game, crashes can occur if the game data saved onto either the 3DS's SD card or the Wii U's internal memory is corrupted; in this case, an online service offered by Nintendo allows the player to verify the integrity of the game's data and redownload the appropriate files to replace corrupted data. The 3DS version has also been reported to occasionally crash in Smash Run; some 3DS consoles also have problems running the game, with the fix focusing on replacing the console itself.

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

Main article: Slingshot Crash
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The Nintendo Switch handles game crashes different from previous consoles. The console will not freeze or make a buzzing noise and instead will automatically close a crashed game with a message saying that the game closed because an error occurred. This failsafe is meant for the game to be shut off cleanly without the player forcing the console to shut off and potentially break or corrupt any software or firmware. If a game is stored on a Game Card or an SD card, removing the Game Card or SD card will crash the game with an error message, with the system shutting down in the latter case. While several methods of crashing Ultimate have been discovered, most have been patched out with game updates following their discoveries like Smash 4 before it.

Just like the Nintendo 64 and Nintendo 3DS before it, Ultimate can crash if the connection between the game card and the Nintendo Switch is disrupted, as well as the connection between the Switch and MicroSD card. The Nintendo Switch is the most resilient against these occurences due to both devices being completely covered during normal playing methods and can only occur intentionally or through catastrophic system failures.

A game crash that technically persists to this day was introduced with the release of Piranha Plant, where the game is prone to crash while playing on All-Star Mode as said character, even corrupting save data. What is notable is that Nintendo has officially stated that they are unable to identify this source of this issue. The generally agreed upon theory for this crash occuring is that the game acts unusually with certain brands of SD card, which several of the affected player happened to be using.[1]

Repeatedly using Villager and Isabelle's Pocket to 'play catch' with their forward aerials would crash the game before being patched in version 2.0.0. Additionally, under the proper circumstances, a Mii Swordfighter can crash the game if they use Gale Stab during Duck Hunt's Wild Gunman [1] before being patched in the same update; however, a similar glitch in Century Smash persisted, involving the Mii Swordfighter and Duck Hunt[citation needed].

Aiming Pit's Final Smash, Lightning Chariot, beyond the blast zone on certain stages will make the game crash. Using Joker's Final Smash, All-Out Attack, to finish certain Classic Mode matches can make the game softlock; though it does not crash, it stops responding to inputs, forcing the player to reset the game anyway. [2] The lock was likely due to its unique property of going straight to the results screen upon completion; however, it does not occur on the Spirit Board. Both of these glitches have been patched as of 3.0.1.

If a Mii Brawler uses Counter Throw on an Incineroar using Alolan Whip on another opponent, thereby leaving said opponent in a state of being invulnerable to grabs, the game will crash if the opponent is KO'd. Certain custom stage layouts crash the game if a character attempts to grab the ledge. The former glitch was patched in 3.1.0, and the latter was patched in 4.0.0.

While the opponent is under effect of the Zoroark + Hammer freeze glitch, th Final Smashes Darkness Illusion, Great Aether, and Omega Blitz would crash the game before the glitch was patched in version 6.1.0.

The process of hovering the cursor on Battlefield, Big Battlefield, Small Battlefield or Final Destination on the stage selection screen, going to the music selection screen, selecting a specific song, pausing said song, going back to the universe menu, selecting “all” and choosing the hovered stage would cause the game to crash before being patched in version 8.1.0. This crash is notable for being the only known crash caused outside of regular gameplay.

Before 9.0.2, Steve could crash the game by mining a curved rotating platform in a Stage Builder stage. Additionally, if any fighter stands on an extremely jagged point on a platform in Stage Builder, the game can also crash.

If Mii Brawler used Flashing Mach Punch while under the Timer effect on an opponent, the opponent can escape the move with an Air dodge, and if the opponent grabs Mii Brawler, the game will crash. If the secondary Ice Climber is Star KOed with Boss Galaga and the primary Ice Climber is hit with the Beetle, the primary Ice Climber will incorrectly get Star KOed by the Beetle, leaving the Beetle off screen at the top of the screen. If the game ends with two or more Beetles at the top of the screen, the game will either freeze or crash depending on the circumstances. Both crashes have been patched in version 13.0.0.

In competitive play[edit]

While rare, game crashes can occur in tournaments, and some rulings exist as to what the appropriate course of action is in response to them.

If a game crash was definitively caused by the actions of the players, whether intentionally or unintentionally, tournaments typically have a rule that states all players considered responsible for triggering the crash either immediately lose the match, lose the whole set, or are even disqualified, as triggering a crash can be considered disruptive behavior, a particularly extreme form of stalling, or even a cause of bracket manipulation.

No universal ruling exists in the rarer case of "act of God" crashes in which no active players can be considered responsible for the crash, so when they do occur, TOs have to decide how to proceed on the spot. Typically, the match is restarted with the same characters on the same stage, with some TOs adding the additional stipulation that players self-destruct to get stocks back to what they were when the game crashed.

External links[edit]