Final Fantasy IV – The Legendary 64 Room Levels Bug

While working on my Legends of Localization stuff for FFIV / FFIV Easy Type / FFII SNES, I started looking into what sorts of bugs FFIV had. I stumbled upon some neat stuff, here’s one of them:

If you’ve ever played FFII for the SNES a lot, there’s a chance you’ve run into a glitch at some point that basically takes you to a glitchy random place when you’ve walked through a door. The various giant towers is a common place for this to happen. This is known in Japanese circles as the 64 Rooms Bug or the 64 Room Levels Bug.

It’s an annoying, sometimes game-killing bug. But a few weeks ago a Japanese player posted an amazing video that uses this bug almost like some insane genius computer hacker. I was going to subtitle the video, but it’ll take me so much time that I’d rather not. Instead, I very quickly translated the text and posted the video on YouTube:

The translation is here:

FFIV (Super Famicom)
64 Room Layers Bug
Usage Example

Here’s a look at specific use of the 64 Layer Bug.

Currently immediately after the Golbez battle in the Dwarf Castle

First, we’ll skip events and jump straight to getting the Falcon

Objective: Obtain Falcon

Battle Speed: 6
Set Window Color to
R:31 G:8 B:2

Now we’ll increase the room level to 63

This takes a while, so we’ll speed it up

Let’s use this time to analyze the “Room Level” system

There are two types of doors/room changes in FFIV:
Go types (increments room level)
Return types (decrements room level)

Basically, “Go” types save your location, and “Return” types go back to a saved location

The “Warp” spell happens to be a “Return” type

Locations without clear-cut “go” or “return” purposes are “Go” types whether coming or going

By going in and out of these places, you can increase the Room Level

Most of the floor-changing spots in the Dwarf Castle are “Go” types.

At Room Level 63, we enter the pub.

When you “Go” on Room Level 63, it resets to 0 instead of going to 64

“Warp” doesn’t work at Room Level 0

The pub’s exit is a “Return” type

When you “Return” at Room Level 0, the Room Level turns negative

When the Room Level is negative, “Return” types act based on other data in the game
(Vehicle locations, config options, present location, etc.)

To prevent troublesome spots, the vehicles have been places in certain spots in advance

Also, you need to press left on Room Level -12 and up on Room Level -13

Current vehicle locations

Hovercraft: left of Mt. Hobbs entrance

Black Chocobo: return to forest

Release Chocobo to the west

We’re heading for a Room Layer specified by the battle speed and window color

We’ve reached the destination floor

Changing config options now for later explanation

When the Room Layer is negative, a “Go” change will reset the Room Layer to 0

When this happens, the game overwrites the current part of memory, which resets the window color

The battle speed is now set to 22, incidentally

Batles are very slow and tedious when the battle speed is set so high, so be careful

Now we’ll use this data overwriting to try “Magic Swapping”

Objective: Magic Swapping

At this point in the game, the Falcon has been reinforced and Kain has just left the party

Leave the battle speed as 22
Set the window color to
R:0 G:3 B:4

First, we’ll get FuSoYa in the party

Objective: Get FuSoYa, Magic Swap

Getting our Gil to under 255

Setting the Room Level to 0 like before

Now at Room Level 0, we got to the developer’s room for later teleporting

Because the Falcon has moved, there are different Room Levels than before

At Room Level 44 we get FuSoYa

Magic Swapping is quicker with FuSoYa

Objective: Magic Swap

Set Battle Speed to about 8
Window Color to
R:24 G:3 B: 1

If Battle Speed goes 6 or below, we can’t set it to 7 or higher anymore

Rearrange his White Magic to have Life, Silence, and Berserk at the bottom

For his Black Magic, switch Warp with Flare and Fire with Stop

The Exit spell returns us to where we last had Room Level 0

Our destination now is Room Level -67, but there are problematic levels along the way

Time plays a big role in Levels -45 and -46, so this comes down to luck

Because of this, we’ll save at Room Level -44

For later purposes, we set Battle Speed to 21
and Window Color to
R:17 G:27 B:1

It froze, so we reset
Freezes like this happen sometimes

We also reset when “Return” types don’t work (Warp included)

Pressing the A Button to check things in buggy maps or event maps can cause freezes or deleted save files, so be careful

We adjusted our money earlier to get past Room Level -47 without trouble

The arrangement of Edge’s skills affects things at around this point

The arrangement of FuSoYa’s spells affects things at around this point

We would get stuck here if we hadn’t rearranged FuSoYa’s black magic

Our destination of Room Level -67 is affected by the bottom row of FuSoYa’s white magic menu

Now we’ll change a spell – what gets changed depends on your coordinates and the direction being faced

Now we go to the final boss

Objective: Go to final boss

Messed up on Room Level -13 so we try again

The necessary set-up has already been done, so now we just go to Room Level -44

We’re now one floor before the final boss

We reset the Battle Speed to normal levels

Going directly to the final floor from Room Level -44 would’ve caused this floor change to alter the battle speed

That would make the final battle to go extremely slowly

Objective: Try out the new spell

The “64 Room Level Bug” can be used in all sorts of other interesting ways

There are other things you can do with it, but that’s all for now

Thank you for watching

I haven’t polished the text at all, but it should be mostly accurate. In FFIV it’s called “Dejon” not “Warp”, incidentally.

There’s a HUGE write-up about this in Japanese here which talks about how to use this glitch in other parts of the game, what does what, what to do where, all sorts of crazy details. Again, I don’t have time to translate it, but it’s there if you’re interested!

Anyway, this is some crazy sorcery 😯

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6 Responses to “Final Fantasy IV – The Legendary 64 Room Levels Bug”

  1. Joseph Xu says:

    I am impressed! You for translating this, and the fellow (or gal) for making a glitch into a makeshift gameshark! That Exploder-esque attack that FuSoYa used at the end there, killing Zeromus was priceless! I can only imagine how long it took to get that to exact specifications.

  2. This is absolutely incredible! I knew of the glitch (Squaresoft even tried justifying it as one of Zemus’s traps), but never that you could manipulate the memory it reads to go to other places.

    • Mato says:

      Square really did that? Is there a thing about that anywhere? I’d love to know more, possibly for my comparison stuff at some point.

      I do know you can get this to happen as early as Baron castle but since you can’t position the ships and all that it’s kind of pointless.

      • Zinco says:

        Ha, that reminds me of how the Game Genie manual warned that using some of the codes provided for Super Mario Bros. 3 could trigger Bowser’s “time trap,” which would pause the game forever.

        I looked into what Dragonsbrethren said—Squaresoft made the claim in their newsletter, the… “Ogopogo Examiner.” I found a scan of the passage here: http://media.photobucket.com/image/recent/Grooveraider/FF1.jpg

        • Mato says:

          Wow, that’s pretty cool. I remember getting one of these Ogopogo things before but it must’ve been a later one than this.

  3. Lampdevil says:

    Sweet bippy! I had heard about this bug on and off for years, but every time I went looking for some well-defined information about it, I came up empty handed. This is all I could have ever hoped for and more! It gives both a “why”, AND some practical applications!

    Interesting that Cid’s sprite took the place of FuSoYa’s, in the scripted bit before the final battle. Hmmm….

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