Differences between GBC and SGB glitch sprites

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This article covers differences between Game Boy Color and Super Game Boy glitch Pokémon sprites.

Super Game Boy glitch Pokémon palettes

The Super Game Boy palettes are taken from what is known as the palette constant, which is assigned to each valid Pokémon family (as well as an entry for Pokémon No. 000 as PAL_MEWMON) and taken from a table.

Due to extrapolation, other glitch Pokémon families take palette constants beyond the table. Not all valid palette constants are intended to be used for Pokémon, while some are invalid.

Below is a list of valid palettes (taken from the Pokémon Red disassembly project):

  • PAL_ROUTE  ; $00
  • PAL_PALLET  ; $01
  • PAL_VIRIDIAN  ; $02
  • PAL_PEWTER  ; $03
  • PAL_CERULEAN  ; $04
  • PAL_LAVENDER  ; $05
  • PAL_CELADON  ; $07
  • PAL_FUCHSIA  ; $08
  • PAL_CINNABAR  ; $09
  • PAL_INDIGO  ; $0A
  • PAL_SAFFRON  ; $0B
  • PAL_TOWNMAP  ; $0C
  • PAL_LOGO1  ; $0D
  • PAL_LOGO2  ; $0E
  • PAL_0F  ; $0F
  • PAL_MEWMON  ; $10
  • PAL_BLUEMON  ; $11
  • PAL_REDMON  ; $12
  • PAL_CYANMON  ; $13
  • PAL_BROWNMON  ; $15
  • PAL_GREENMON  ; $16
  • PAL_PINKMON  ; $17
  • PAL_GREYMON  ; $19
  • PAL_SLOTS1  ; $1A
  • PAL_SLOTS2  ; $1B
  • PAL_SLOTS3  ; $1C
  • PAL_SLOTS4  ; $1D
  • PAL_BLACK  ; $1E
  • PAL_REDBAR  ; $21
  • PAL_BADGE  ; $22
  • PAL_CAVE  ; $23

Pokémon Red and Blue

When the game is played on a Game Boy Color (or later model), the palette of the glitch Pokémon is taken from the CGB bootstrap ROM (boot-up sequence). If the game is played on a Super Game Boy however, one of the aforementioned Super Game Boy palettes (or an invalid one from beyond the table, including ones which cause glitch color layers) is used.

Playing the game on Super Game Boy mode allows for the effects of glitch Pokémon with glitch color layers (glitch screens) to occur, such as the "blackout" variation; which completely hides the glitch Pokémon's sprite. Conversely, playing the game on a platform other than the Super Game Boy (or Super Game Boy 2?) will not allow the glitch color layer to occur.

Pokémon Yellow

Pokémon Yellow is officially a Game Boy Color game, but data in the ROM header allows for it to be played on a monochrome Game Boy. Like Pokémon Red and Blue, it can be played on a Super Game Boy, where it is enhanced with a border.

In general, the colors of Pokémon sprites both on Game Boy Color and Super Game Boy mode differ slightly in Pokémon Yellow.

Unlike Pokémon Red and Blue, the effects of glitch color layers may be avoided by playing the game in Super Game Boy mode, while playing the game in Game Boy Color mode may enable it.

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