Sonic Advance/Bugs

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General bugs

1-up Jingle glitch

When the player earns a extra life during the result screen (when reaching 50,000 pts; 100,000 pts; 150,000 pts; etc...) at the end of an Act, the jingle doesn't play.

Not fixed in any version.

Path swapper glitch

SonicAdvance GBA Bug PathSwapper 1.png
Crouch here...
SonicAdvance GBA Bug PathSwapper 2.png
...then press B.
SonicAdvance GBA Bug PathSwapper 3.png
Through the floor Sonic goes...

Players using Sonic, Knuckles or Amy can crouch near certain loop-de-loops with their back to them, wait for the camera to go down and move with the camera locked on that position by using an attacking move with B (Tails does not move forward when using his Tail Swipe and thus cannot perform this bug), causing the map to lose its solidity. This can be reverted by triggering a path swapper, which is not easy to do because the ground is not solid as a result of the glitch. This glitch is useful to time attack Angel Island Zone Act 1 as Knuckles, and it can be seen in this video.

Acts affected:

Not fixed in any version.

Tiny Chao Garden glitch

The Tiny Chao Garden mini-game has a major glitch. If the game data is deleted via the in-game options menu, Rings obtained in the main game no longer transfer to the mini-game. There are two ways to revert this; using a video game enhancer such as GameShark or collecting the same number of Rings that had been collected before the game data was deleted.

Using a third-party accessory or utility to completely delete the game data from the cartridge helps circumvent the glitch or fix a cartridge that has been affected by the glitch.

Fixed in v1.1, released only in Japan.

Level-specific bugs

Egg Rocket Zone / Cosmic Angel Zone

Upside Down glitch

This can happen by accident with any character but only rarely; with Knuckles it can be controlled. In the levels Egg Rocket Zone and Cosmic Angel Zone, there are areas where the gravity reverses, making the character move around upside down. Using Knuckles to control it can lead to some very weird shenanigans, placing him upside down in the wrong areas.

In Egg Rocket Zone, it's easy. When Knuckles encounters the first area that places him upside down, he must simply face to the right toward the vertical switch point, jump straight up, fall toward the ground, and begin a glide just before landing (so he skids right into the switch point). His gravity will reverse during the skid, and if he turns around and goes back where he came from he will stay upside down.

In Cosmic Angel Zone it works differently; he must go right from the entrance, then straight down into the upside down area below. There is a wide area just above the death pit where he can glide back and forth; since the vertical switch point is halfway through, he can glide infinitely, changing gravity whenever he gets too close to the bottom. As he glides, his speed increases until he glides off the screen (but be careful, for his speed will reset if he hits the left boundary of the level). Once he's picked up dangerous speed, carefully get him close to the bottom of the screen, then go to the right and keep heading that way even after he disappears from view. Occasionally at this point, he may fall right out of the air and die during the transition for an unknown reason; more often however, he will eventually reach a climbable wall (still upside down) and he can enter the middle of the level from here.

Alternatively, in either Zone he can also trigger this glitch by climbing down through a corner while upside down. He will not get off the wall and onto the ground, but rather he'll climb down through the corner and fall through the wall. This usually can kill him in Egg Rocket Zone, but it's safer in Cosmic Angel Zone.

Not fixed in any version.


Egg X softlock with Tails

SonicAdvance GBA Bug EggXSoftlock 1.png
Make Tails fly as Sonic is getting grabbed.
SonicAdvance GBA Bug EggXSoftlock 2.png
...and he'll defeat Eggman.
SonicAdvance GBA Bug EggXSoftlock 3.png
Everything explodes forever.

This bug requires that the player enables the cheat to make Tails follow Sonic. On the Egg X's last hit, the player should wait for it to use the hand attack, have Tails begin flying before it launches at Sonic (press A repeatedly to make him fly) and let Sonic be grabbed by the hand. If timed correctly, Tails' tails can land the final hit while Sonic is being shaken. However, Sonic will be frozen in mid-air as the boss explodes, preventing the Zone from ending and essentially softlocking the game. If the conditions for The Moon Zone have not been met, the player will see Eggman suddenly disappear as the Zone explodes indefinitely.

Not fixed in any version.

Tails in the results tally

SonicAdvance GBA Bug TailsFinalZoneResult.png

This noticeable oversight occurs when clearing X-Zone after enabling the Tails partner cheat. If Sonic gets the normal ending after defeating the Egg X, all sprites and backgrounds are supposed to be hidden after the screen fades to white and displays the results tally. Tails, however, will suddenly reappear and simply stand there during the tally.

Not fixed in any version.

Emulator bugs

Broken Multiplayer Mode on startup

SonicAdvance GBA BrokenMultiplayer.png

Sonic Advance uses some of the link cable registers to determine if it's running in multiplayer mode. Some older emulators don't implement this correctly, which can result in multiplayer mode loading on startup with blank player slates. Soft-resetting (A+B+Select+Start) can usually get to the main title screen. It's also possible to get this to happen on real hardware by removing the cartridge during gameplay, and then quickly putting it back in without turning the system off. This will cause the system to bug out the link cable registers and boot into this screen.

Fixed in newer emulators.


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