Twitch Plays Pokémon has managed another incredible feat. Following the four year anniversary of the game, the stream started up playing both Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue simultaneously, and, unbelievably, the Pokémon Blue has now managed to run into the infamous glitch Pokémon, Missingno.
Missingno isn’t an actual Pokémon. Instead, it’s a block of random pixels and a “missing number” (displayed onscreen as “Missingno.,” granting the bug its name) that appears when the game is tricked into trying to display a Pokémon that doesn’t exist. Pokémon Red and Blue actually have 256 potential slots for Pokémon species in the code, despite the fact that there are only 151 Pokémon in actual games. Missigno is what appears when the game is forced to try and display data for one of these empty slots.
The glitch is well-known, and can be activated by engaging in the tutorial battle, flying to Cinnabar Island, and surfing up and down the coast. Encountering Missingno also triggers a duplication glitch in the player’s bag, making it a way to stockpile a ton of Master Balls, Rare Candies, or other powerful items. However, it is also known to cause other systems in the game to break, permanently corrupting the Hall of Fame, inverting graphics, and occasionally corrupting save files.
It may seem incredible that the crowd-controlled Twitch Plays Pokémon game was able to pull off executing such a glitch, but it’s a lot easier to do so nowadays. There are a only a handful of people playing the game nowadays compared to its heyday four years ago, so it’s more likely for the crowd to be able to agree on a goal and coordinate. The actual clip of the group’s encounter with Missingno still shows them randomly opening the menu and messing around with a fishing rod, though, so some things never change.