Anatomy of a Glitch

There is a glitch in Dead Space. Another one than the Marker thing I mentioned earlier (which isn’t even technically a glitch). This glitch involves carrying an object called “Peng” (a small statue) through chapter 11 to duplicate it and thus collect money in truckloads (each and every one of them is worth 30,000 Credits). While I was exploiting the glitch to “earn” the achievement Maxed Out (yeah, judge me), I realized how exactly the glitch worked.

So, first a little explanation on how the glitch is executed:

Now, if you played Dead Space at all, the right walkway in the hangar and the lobby should be familiar – that’s where the game begins and chapter eleven takes you back there. You can actually find the Peng in chapter one already, but you lack the Kinesis module at that point, thus you can not pick it up (it is a bit off your path, you see). So, in chapter eleven, you grab the Peng using Kinesis without picking it up, carry it all the way to A, then walk to B and the Peng is back for you to carry to A again. You can do this as long as you want (or in my case until I actually lost the Peng in the hangar to another glitch), then carry all the Pengs over to the elevator C, ride it to the tram station where you will find a store to sell all the things. So, this is how the glitch is done, now for the technical:

For memory reasons, not the entire map is loaded at once. Instead, the level is divided into sectors and only the sector you’re in and the immediately adjacent sectors (and ones in line of sight) are loaded. From my assumption, the sectors in this particular part of the level are as follows:

The red sector includes the elevator at the end of the hallway (where the necromorphs chase you in chapter one), the blue sector is the entire hangar and the entire lobby – including the rest room at the end of the cut off hallway in the upper left hand corner – are sector green. When you go to B, sector blue is no longer adjacent – or in line of sight due to the door – and thus is discarded and reloaded soon as you enter sector green again. When sector blue is loaded, it checks whether the Peng has been picked up and since it is not the case – it rests comfortably in sector green – another Peng is created.

But if you only put the Peng somewhere else in sector blue, it will still be there when the sector is reloaded. Why is that? This is where the assumption gets vague. I can really only guess on this part, but I guess it stores the positions of objects in a sector and when sector blue is reloaded, this happens:

The game does not find valid sector blue coordinates for the Peng, but it has not yet been picked up, thus it assumes an error in the sector loading and as a result spawns another Peng. This would explain why I “lost” the Peng when it apparently went through a polygon in a separate glitch and was somewhere I couldn’t possibly recover it. It was still in sector blue and apparently in a valid position position, thus it would not respawn at it’s default coordinates.

So, why? Well, because. I exploited it because it was a safe and easy way to get shitloads of Credits (again, judge me) and I explained it because the process of explaining it reveals quite a bit about how video games work. I hope this was interesting to you, because it feels like it would be.


      • Althir
      • August 12th, 2011

      I absolutely saw this one coming. And you still claim to not be predictable.

      • Your mom’s a great lady.

        Did you see THAT one coming? Hm? HMM?!

    • Althir
    • August 13th, 2011

    Mythos :

    Your mom’s a great lady.

    Did you see THAT one coming? Hm? HMM?!

    Yes. Very much so. As predicted you tried to be unpredictable, but when the “unpredictable” is predictable then it is not unpredictable anymore and if this sentence goes on any longer and uses predictable and/or unpredictable much more it will become very confusing.

  2. Go love a lamma. That’s my predictably unpredictable response to your attempts at being suitably predictable on an unpredicted discussion.

    • Arctic Avenger
    • August 13th, 2011

    Both of go in the kitchen and make me dinner.

    Since I helped Visceral Games, develop Dead Space.

      • Althir
      • August 13th, 2011

      I’m not making you anything until you produce evidence for that statement.

      • And correct that God-awful wrong comma spliting the sentence in half. Seriously, no commas between the subject and the verb unless you’re putting something else in-between!

    • Althir
    • August 14th, 2011

    Mythos :

    And correct that God-awful wrong comma spliting the sentence in half. Seriously, no commas between the subject and the verb unless you’re putting something else in-between!

    Maybe he told us to develop Dead Space because he helped Visceral games?

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