Author: Elliot Gavin Keenan, PhD

  • by Eric Zuelch

    An anime character I like is Todoroki Shoto from Boku no Hero Academia. I am drawn to him by his origin and his development through out the series. The character himself was born so that his father, the flame hero Endeavor ranked second in Japan (real name Todoroki Enji), can have a child combining his fire based quirk, superpower, with his wife Rei’s ice based quirk so that it could surpass the number one hero All Might, with Shoto inheriting a quirk that let him use both fire and ice and being seen by Endeavor as the only ‘success’ out of his four children. He was put through rigorous training regiments since the age of five by his father and was scarred by his mother in a fit of madness brought on by her husband’s abuse. He spent ten years refusing to use his fire abilities out of hatred for his father until the series protagonist Midoriya Izuku told him the power was his, not his father’s. From that point on he uses both his abilities, seeing his fire as his own and not his father. I enjoy watching him change from semi self-loathing to accepting everything about his powers.

    Another reason I enjoy him is his powers. I’ve always liked characters with powers that clash, such as those who can control fire and ice like Shoto. I feel like they should not work correctly, but they somehow do. It interreges me how they work when they shouldn’t. I like it when a character can perform multiple kinds of attacks, it makes things more interesting when they are in battle. He also reminds me of Zuko from Avatar The Last Airbender, one of my favorite shows, in both character development and background.

    Those are the reasons I enjoy Todoroki Shoto.   

    Dr. Grimaldi’s takeaway:

    This character has survived a lot of trauma and has persevered through his experiences. He has become the good guy, despite the negative image of his father. This character has shown the positivity of making a right out of a wrong and doing what it takes to be accountable to yourself.

  • by Elliot Gavin Keenan

    In Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal (Generation 2) there was no legitimate way for players outside of Japan to obtain every Pokémon. The mythical Pokémon Celebi, who resides in a shrine in Ilex Forest, was only obtainable as the result of a special event distribution; at the time, these distributions required a physical setup and a link cable. Due to the declining popularity of Pokémon in the English-speaking world at the time, Celebi was never distributed. This meant that English-language players could not complete the Pokédex.

    Celebi, a mythical Pokémon and the spirit of the forests.

    However, this did not deter all English-language players from completing the game. Users of the fan-made English website Glitch City Laboratories found a specific exploit that allowed the player to generate a Celebi without the use of third-party cheating software such as a GameShark or Action Replay (neither of which were widely used yet).

    You may wonder how such a specific, targeted exploit of the game was possible. The important thing to understand about it mechanistically is that in the Generation 2 games, Pokémon and moves (and items) were coded in a single table defined by index numbers. That is to say, a single table encoded different types of information (and hence, the number of Pokémon was exactly equivalent to the number of moves ⁠— 251). See below for an example of an index number table:

    A table of different types of information associated with a single index number.

    Interestingly, there is one move in the game that no Pokémon could legitimately learn: Struggle, index number 165, shared with Ledyba. For this reason, Ledyba is actually the only Pokémon not obtainable using this exploit. You can see a list of Pokémon by index number in Gen 2 here.

    This exploit does not produce glitch Pokémon when performed correctly, although if there is no move in the correct slot it will produce a bad clone of the glitch⁠ Pokémon ?????. In theory, there are only 4 glitch Pokémon in Gen 2 because the index numbers are stored in one byte (8 bits) ⁠— meaning it can only hold exactly 255 entries, and the first 251 are valid. (Getting rid of these bad clones is very difficult; perhaps a future blog post!) Actually, incorrect performance of the exploit can cause widespread corruption of game data and affect the entire game, potentially making in unplayable.

    Some weird things can happen.

    Point is, though, that any valid Pokémon except for Ledyba can be produced using the Celebi Egg Glitch, despite its title. The move Splash (#150) will result in Mewtwo, for example. But the move Beat Up is what we are interested in, since it has #251 ⁠— Celebi.

    You must be wondering by now, how do I perform the glitch?! Well, there’s an article for that as the procedure requires a great deal of precision to get the Pokémon you want. Good luck!

    Dr. Grimaldi’s Takeaway:

    This post is excellent! It demonstrates the power and perseverance of the Pokémon community to problem-solve an issue that appeared to be an unsolvable problem through creative thinking and extensive knowledge of the game’s code.