The Castle Crush Glitch is the infamous game-breaking glitch in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest. It can be done in the level Castle Crush (hence the name) on the SNES and Wii U versions of the game. This glitch is unique in that it could potentially mess up save file data, or even possibly damage the hardware itself, rendering it permanently unplayable.
The glitch essentially has two parts to it, the first being pulling in the nearest entity close to the player and the second scrambling the usual execution code when entering the Rambi Animal Barrel. Only the second part has the potential to affect the physical hardware, or even crash the game, however the first part can cause the player to be unable to complete the level without dying.
Diddy needs to be the leading character and pickup the first DK Barrel. After picking up the barrel, the player should move over to the far left side of the screen, place the barrel on the moving floor then instantly pick it up again. If done correctly, the barrel will break but Diddy's character will look like he is still holding it.
Once the barrel is "thrown," a myriad of things can happen. Depending on the location of the player, it can pull other entities close including enemies, barrels, projectiles and banana bunches. Only if the Rambi barrel is drawn close and entered activates the second part of the glitch.
If the player manages to still be carrying the barrel near the automatic Barrel Cannon encountered further in the level, if the blast barrel is moved, the player will not be able to progress any further as the line of path for the barrel will be incorrect when shooting.
Entering the Rambi barrel will not transform the player into a normal Rambi when they enter the barrel; instead they will turn into a glitched entity. The entities that the player can transform into are (list may be incomplete):
- Krow (defeated)
- Krow's egg
- King K. Rool
- King K. Rool's spiked Kannonball
Other outcomes that are not transforming into any of the entities above are stretched sprites, monkey noises, or instant game crashes. Most of these outcomes will lead to a game crash, although if an enemy defeats the player they may be returned to the map screen instead and able to play normally.
The first part of the glitch is caused by a pointer mismatch in the game, as it tries to draw close the nearest entity which under normal circumstances would have been the barrel that the game thinks is still being held by Diddy.
The second part of the glitch involves some sort of buffer overflow, since enemies such as Klubba are not involved in the level yet the game somehow manages to get those sprite references. The color palette for the entity is also incorrect.
Different button presses among other factors change the outcome of the second part of the glitch, which means the game is executing arbitrary code dependent on what is in the VRAM content at the time.
Depending on what the player transforms into, they can try move around but this usually causes the game to soon crash; whilst the player is Klubba, after a few seconds if they do not move they will seemingly drop down the screen at a fast rate which usually crashes the game soon after.
It is interesting to note that if the player becomes the discolored Rambi, they can seemingly keep ascending for a while after moving in any horizontal direction, though they cannot jump and making contact with an enemy will still hurt the character. The level cannot be completed as the glitched Rambi even if they manage to reach the top, since they are unable to jump (on the ending pad).
Other side effects of the glitch may render the current save file(s) corrupt or erased after execution, as well as damaging the ROM itself possibly making it unplayable. This can happen to both the ROM file on an emulator and the physical SNES cartridge. The glitch was fixed on most re-releases of the game, but not the Wii U.
The best way to fix the effects of this glitch is to take out the cartridge's save battery, since the battery loses all of its data if it dies. Save states, like those on the Wii U's Virtual Console, would actually be ideal for the best recovery.