The "Cursed DKC cartridge"

Post in here to discuss any glitches you have discovered for Donkey Kong Country...
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The "Cursed DKC cartridge"

Postby fran_friki » October 17th, 2012, 9:06 pm

Hi all friends, i'm here to ask you about some "cursed" cartridges. I've searched information about this, but i can't find any logical explanation. According to several people who bought the original cartridge in the 90s, when placed on the console, strange things began to see onscreen. 904 bananas, 99 lives, debug mode enabled, level names with errors, Diddy could not be controlled, and more stuff (in addition, they can't save their progress). Is there any reason?

the fact is not only happens with a cartridge, it appears has happened to more people, I would like to know why this occurs, is a mechanical defect? Recall that these cartridges have not been manipulated. SRAM problems, maybe? Thanks, pals.



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Re: The "Cursed DKC cartridge"

Postby Qyzbud » October 18th, 2012, 7:43 pm

I don't have an answer for you, but I too am interested in seeing if anyone knows what might cause these strange behaviours.

That first video is one of Cody's, so he might be able to help explain a bit of what's going on.

Is that a cartridge of yours, Cody? Can you tell us anything about its origin, when/why it started glitching, etc?

fran_friki wrote:[...]in addition, they can't save their progress[...]
SRAM problems, maybe?


I wonder... it could be that the data saving routines (or the SRAM chip itself) corrupting stored information, I don't know... but I wouldn't think save data could affect core game control, palette rendering, text display, etc. so profoundly. Simion32 could probably offer some theories.

It's interesting that holding X caused Rambi/DK to levitate; the behaviour is not quite like swimming, or the superjump/multi-jump effect I've achieved via PAR codes... perhaps it is a debug mode the programmers used during testing, as you hinted? Really bizarre.
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Re: The "Cursed DKC cartridge"

Postby fran_friki » October 19th, 2012, 12:52 am

New information: A friend with this cartridge, told me that it's possible to play normally in the Two Players Contest mode... diddy is yellow, but he can save the progress and load it without problems. In one player mode or Two player team, diddy brokes the gameplay (total freeze). The number of the bananas and lives return to normally, but the debug mode continues enabled.

On 1 player mode, in fact, it's impossible to fight against the bosses, cause there is a DK barrel in the entrance, and the game collapses.

Thank you so much, Qyzbud, for your help. I hope that together, we can isolate this case.
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Re: The "Cursed DKC cartridge"

Postby Qyzbud » October 19th, 2012, 1:08 am

You're most welcome, hopefully that helps to get the ball rolling. ;)

Good job finding out the information about the other game modes — so often I forget they are even available! :lol:

By the way...
Spoiler!
fran_friki wrote:On 1 player mode, in fact, it's impossible to fight against the bosses, cause there is a DK barrel in the entrance, and the game collapses.


Tell your friend to try holding (left) as he enters the boss rounds; some versions of the game allow you to avoid the DK barrel if you do this. :geek:
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Re: The "Cursed DKC cartridge"

Postby Simion32 » October 19th, 2012, 7:15 am

Notice that the 904 bananas does not change when bananas are collected. I suspect that the cartridge has bit-rot, making some of the code go wonky. This in turn can also corrupt values in the SNES RAM memory, and from there it's anyone's guess.

And yes, it is possible for the game to be messed up by a bad save... but only if the game saves out direct pointers to code routines or locations of critical game resources organized somewhere in ROM memory; if that corrupts, the entire cart could be "permanently" screwed up (because the bad save data cannot load properly, the game crashes almost immediately).

DKC2 has the fatal Castle Crush glitch, which I suspect does something like this. The SRAM becomes scrambled to the point of no return, and the only way to "fix" a bad SRAM save is for the SRAM backup battery to go dead (battery going dead also means you won't be able to actually save the game, it won't retain any save data without the battery's power).
EDIT: You could replace the battery, if that's even do-able in the first place, but you'd need a Gamebit to get into the cart.

So either (A) the cart has bit-rot which makes some of the code on the ROM bad, which then potentially corrupts both RAM and SRAM; or (B) someone managed to screw up the cart by pulling it out while the console is on - which could probably do anything to it; or (C) somebody tried a fatal game glitch and corrupted the SRAM to the point of no return.

And by the way, DKC3's SRAM saves have a checksum, so aside from ROM bit-rot, DKC3 is resistant to save errors.
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Re: The "Cursed DKC cartridge"

Postby fran_friki » October 19th, 2012, 12:57 pm

Incredible, a lot of interesting details! :o :shock: but i have two questions more:

The first one, what kind of bug corrupts the DKC SRAM? 'Both control monkeys bug' screws up the game, but i've never corrupted the cartridge doing this, even trying it with many forms (only reset the SNES and nothing more). My question is: it's possible to transform a normal cartridge into that "monster"? Castle Crush in DKC 2 is a SRAM destroyer, i don't know similar bugs in DKC 1.

The second one question, the "cursed cartridge" was NEW, bought in a shop... how can it happened? Manipulated cartridge?
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Re: The "Cursed DKC cartridge"

Postby Simion32 » October 19th, 2012, 1:13 pm

Well there's always the possibility of a badly manufactured product.

I don't know of any bugs that could corrupt DKC1's SRAM, but... a hardware fault like a power brownout (that is, power supply fluctuates off and back on quickly - this can sometimes spell data corruption for PCs) in the SNES, or the cart getting hit by some stray electricity, could have screwed with the SRAM (of course a sufficient electrical shock to the ROM memory could I think still potentially ruin it, thus causing permanent corruption).

In any of these cases we are dealing with some form of persistent corruption. It somehow happened one day - and is either truly permanent, or the SRAM was screwed up and the game is not able to detect the save error and overwrite everything with good data.
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Re: The "Cursed DKC cartridge"

Postby fran_friki » October 19th, 2012, 8:43 pm

So, there are many ways. THANK YOU VERY MUCH, Simion32!!! you gave me very good information. Of course, thank you too, Qyzbud.

In South America and Mexico this myth is known, i'm from Spain but also interested in this strange cases.
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Re: The "Cursed DKC cartridge"

Postby CountryFan » October 25th, 2012, 10:20 am

Simion32 wrote:Notice that the 904 bananas does not change when bananas are collected. I suspect that the cartridge has bit-rot, making some of the code go wonky. This in turn can also corrupt values in the SNES RAM memory, and from there it's anyone's guess.


Always have 904 in the banana counter:
7e0529ff
7e052b04
7e052c00
7e052d09
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Re: The "Cursed DKC cartridge"

Postby Geno » October 27th, 2012, 9:33 pm

Simion32 wrote:or the cart getting hit by some stray electricity, could have screwed with the SRAM

OK, so I'll remember to never leave my DKC cart out in the rain. :lol:

Here's a question:

If someone were to dump a ROM of this "cursed cartridge", would the ROM also be "cursed"? I wouldn't mind trying the "cursed DKC", but I don't want to damage my cart.
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Re: The "Cursed DKC cartridge"

Postby Simion32 » October 28th, 2012, 3:11 am

More than likely, yes it would. But to be absolutely sure the bug was caught in the dump, I'd dump the SRAM too.
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Re: The "Cursed DKC cartridge"

Postby Cosmicman » October 28th, 2012, 4:13 am

Is it possible it could be that Nintendo that causes the glitches? I have never seen that nintendo model before.
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Re: The "Cursed DKC cartridge"

Postby Simion32 » October 28th, 2012, 6:16 am

I have one of those. It is an actual official SNES, and DKC does work completely on it (last time I played on it anyway - I lost track of that particular SNES a long time ago, probably left buried somewhere at a relative's house).
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Re: The "Cursed DKC cartridge"

Postby Cody » October 28th, 2012, 9:37 am

Qyzbud wrote:That first video is one of Cody's, so he might be able to help explain a bit of what's going on.

Is that a cartridge of yours, Cody? Can you tell us anything about its origin, when/why it started glitching, etc?


I'd be happy to!

My mom's friend gave me a few old Super Nintendo games back in '08, among them Lion King, Road Runner, Super Mario World, and--as you'd have it--Donkey Kong Country. Naturally I'd pointed out DKC, and she remembered that game fondly and wishes she still had a working "machine" to play the games on. Therefore, I'm assuming her SNES broke and the remaining games were just sitting on a closet shelf for over a decade. That's really all I can say about its origin, sadly.

The cartridge, to my knowledge, has been like that since I first received it. I first played it in either 2009 or 2010 granted, but I didn't take particularly bad care of it. It plays the exact same on my SNES, my brother's SNES and my Supaboy, so I'm confident it's a problem with the cartridge and not any SNES. The cartridge contacts are incredibly dirty, but I also tried cleaning it to no avail...it worked with my EarthBound, but not this DKC.

Here's everything I've noticed:
1. the game freezes and turns black whenever I either attack using Rambi or DK/Diddy
2. the banana count, 904, doesn't go away regardless of what you do
3. you can levitate by holding X in presumably every level...I've gotten clear to Coral Capers using that method without touching an enemy, anyhow
4. there's a slight delay on the world map upon it loading Kongo Jungle
5. you're in the Funky barrel plane on the Kongo Jungle map
6. the level names are all wonky
7. you start out with golden DK and you ride a red Rambi
8. In Ropey Rampage, Diddy can't grab hold of any ropes


@Cosmicman: I don't own that particular model, nor does my brother, so it can't be the SNES. Oh well. It's a mystery.
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Re: The "Cursed DKC cartridge"

Postby fastpager200 » November 10th, 2012, 8:42 pm

Every time i go to this thread, I think we're like the Ghostbusters. And who else thought this was a creepypasta?
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Re: The "Cursed DKC cartridge"

Postby VideoViking » August 19th, 2013, 4:43 pm

fran_friki wrote:In South America and Mexico this myth is known, i'm from Spain but also interested in this strange cases.


Could humidity play a role in bit rot? Mexico gets really hot on most days, even during the summer time. After a day's worth of sun rays comes rain. So over there, it's a wheel of fluctuating temperatures.
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Re: The "Cursed DKC cartridge"

Postby CaptainEddie » August 25th, 2013, 5:12 am

While it's not quite Mexico, I live in southern Louisiana and we have a lot of humidity and fluctuating temperatures here too- and all of my carts play just fine.
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Re: The "Cursed DKC cartridge"

Postby Hippie » October 23rd, 2013, 9:32 am

So it turns out I actually have one of these carts. After I found out that I could avoid it crashing in the beginning by getting off Rambi (or going into the banana horde) right off the bat, I messed around with it, eventually discovering that you could levitate by pressing X (and laughing my ass off). I had seen this thread before, but forgot about it until now.

I experimented with it a whole bunch to see if it was possible to beat it. It was, so naturally I decided to do a speedrun of it. :gnawty-lol:

This was the first successful attempt to beat the game:



Notes: http://pastebin.com/DsUMUkwY
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Re: The "Cursed DKC cartridge"

Postby Qyzbud » October 23rd, 2013, 7:53 pm

Oh the profanity! :lol:

Very amusing gameplay and commentary; it must be a bit of a thrill hurtling through the air like that, and knowing that one wrong move could've crashed the game... O_O There were indeed some very close calls in there; bravo for taking risks and getting out of trouble as often as you did — especially considering how much was at stake!

Well anyway, you did it! And they said it was impossible... Excellent proof of concept, Hippie. 8-)


P.S. I think I finally understand why you're called "Hippie" — if your hair has anything to do with it, that is. ;)
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Re: The "Cursed DKC cartridge"

Postby Hippie » October 23rd, 2013, 8:57 pm

I'll be running it in a bit of an improved fashion for a Halloween-themed marathon soon. Hahaha.
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Re: The "Cursed DKC cartridge"

Postby Tompa » October 26th, 2013, 12:11 am

I need such cart too :(.
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Re: The "Cursed DKC cartridge"

Postby Qyzbud » October 26th, 2013, 1:53 am

Hopefully someone will dump a cursed cart one day (as Hippie suggested in his playthrough/speedrun), and we'll all get to try it out. :)

The air-rolling in this version looks a lot faster and more fun than jumprolls! :D
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Re: The "Cursed DKC cartridge"

Postby Cody » October 28th, 2017, 8:06 pm

I'll happily donate my cartridge to anyone who can (though I don't think anyone will ask).
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