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Bugs:The Fantastic Adventures of Dizzy

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This page details bugs of The Fantastic Adventures of Dizzy.

NOTE: There are three versions of this game: the original standalone cartridge version, the revised Aladdin Deck Enhancer cartridge version, and the European standalone cartridge version. The European version is mostly the same as the Aladdin release, but not identical. The two major versions are often identified by the color of their title screen logo ("Blue" for original version, "Red" for Aladdin and European versions).

Cloud Screen Skip


On the screen with the exterior of Zaks' castle, if you let Dizzy sink all the way through the first cloud he can land on upon jumping into the screen or the deepest part of the cloud beneath the castle, the game will place him at the bottom of the screen below, causing him to skip over that entire screen in a flash. You can get a better look at what happens there by holding A to jump during the screen transition: Dizzy will jump off the air at the bottom of the screen!

Dead End by Wasting Fire

One of the game's quests involves freeing Denzil from an ice cube, using straw and a match to light a fire. However, in the Blue version, you can start the fire anywhere except the very top of a screen (even underwater), causing you to lose both items and thus requiring you to restart the game. This game-breaking oversight was somewhat remedied in the Red revisions, where these items only activate when used inside Denzil's hut, although it is still possible to waste them by using them in a part of the hut too far away from the block of ice you're trying to melt.

Drowning Resistance Reset

A little-known feature is that the rate at which Dizzy takes damage from wading underwater without the Aqua-Lung depends on how many times he has died by drowning already, as if he gets better at holding his breath from the experience. Each of the first 3 drowning deaths halves the rate of water damage afterward, leaving Dizzy at 1/8th of his original drowning speed... until he drowns another 5 times. By accumulating enough extra lives from Theodore's puzzles to drown Dizzy for the 8th time, the drown counter (located at $03C0 in the Blue version or $03D9 in the Red versions) gets reset to 0 due to the game only preserving its lower 3 bits, and Dizzy reverts to his original fastest drowning speed. Acquiring even more lives (such as from the European version's extra starting life or the Red versions' cheat code) will allow the pattern to repeat as the 9th drowning death cuts the water damage rate by half and the 10th drops it to a quarter of the original again.

Endless Fall


If you let go off the directional button while walking in the right moment, it's possible to fall straight down from the ledge - typically you can only fall at an angle. Oddly enough, if you do that in the far left end of the Dock street Dizzy will fall through the water (under normal circumstances water kills you), and eventually reappear from the top of the screen, looping endlessly. You can still place items in mid-air and be harmed by birds, but you can't be killed nor can you move - the only way out is to reset the game.

This bug was actually introduced in the Red revision of the game - it was not present in the original Blue version (that is, you can't fall straight down in this release). This is because in the Blue version Dizzy walks much slower, and stops in place when you stop holding the d-pad. In the Red revision Dizzy "brakes" for a brief moment, and if you time it just right he can stop in mid-air.

Extra Railway Exit


Just before the final exit of the minecart ride is one last hurdle between junctions that's supposed to kill Dizzy on impact, but if you hit it while you have the cart pulled back to the very bottom of the screen, Dizzy will sink through the track after he's thrown out and emerge from the space under the stairs at the west end of Bridge Street as though he had successfully landed on the exit hole. Best of all, in the Red versions, Dizzy still collects the final star!

Messy Info Screen


After the portcullis to Zaks' castle has been opened, the screen brought up by Select at the exterior of the cloud castle displays garbage tiles around its right side.

Moonwalking into Guards

Getting hit by a butterfly doesn't just reverse Dizzy's controls; it reverses the momentum he gets from other things that push him around. For one thing, it becomes quite difficult to use the rope correctly in this state when Dizzy will jump away from the direction he is swinging. The game also features a few guard-type characters who will damage and push Dizzy back a bit until he can get them to leave by placating them with the correct item, and the effect of the butterfly-inflicted backward status on these guards' knockback can vary with the character and the version of the game.

  • Armourog: Touching the Armourog, the horned creature near Crystal Falls that can be baited with meat, is an instant death sentence in the backwards state, as Dizzy gets stuck on the spot and takes a full bar of damage. If you do it from the left, you can see the Armourog walk backwards beyond its normal bounds after Dizzy dies.
  • Palace Guard: One of the city's tunnels is guarded by an armored troll who will let you continue to the other end if you give him a bag of gold. If you try to jump over him while walking backwards in the Blue version, Dizzy will jump on his head indefinitely, and the only way to escape is to reset the game. In the first Red revision, although this bug was not fixed, Dizzy walks much faster and is actually able to jump over the troll while walking backwards, which is not supposed to happen. Then the third version tweaks the physics such that the guard throws Dizzy straight up for a moment before Dizzy gets launched to either side, which takes long enough that Dizzy seems to always fill up on damage before he can reach the exit, thus removing this sequence break. (This also demonstrates that the third version corrected the small oddity of Dizzy's sprite appearing behind the highest background bricks in the previous versions.)
  • Blackheart the Pirate: Try backwards-jumping over Blackheart while he's on the gangplank in Keldor Town in the Blue version, and you may be thrown past him, fall through the water, and... you'll eventually end up in a glitched version of Bridge Street, where there are no enemies, doors don't work, fruit can't be collected, and any item you put down disappears. The only way out, which normally would take you to the graveyard, takes you to the river barrel ride instead. Complete the ride to get the game back to normal. If you walk into the pirate instead of jumping into him, chances are you'll be thrown onto the pirate ship deck, allowing you to skip the rum barrel quest. Since this way you lose a life and the said quest can be easily completed (the barrel can be collected nearby), it's not a viable shortcut. In the Red versions of the game, the results of the glitch are far less spectacular, as you're thrown to a shorter distance and you don't fall through water. Since the pirate kills you and you don't reach a new screen (which would reset respawn point), this glitch has no real use in a Red version.
  • Gold Dragon: It may be unlikely for the effect of the countryside's butterfly to last all the way into the dragon's lair at the end of the diamond mine, but if it does, the dragon's fireballs are likely to knock Dizzy into the den underneath it, giving all NES versions a way to collect the shamrock without bringing the egg! It's even possible for the fireballs to launch Dizzy high enough to land on the dragon's ledge, although nothing special happens up there; Dizzy passes through the dragon's body harmlessly while showing through its "black" portions, and the opening on the right doesn't take Dizzy anywhere. You won't be able to steal an egg from the den until the backward effect wears off: Not only do the fireballs still knock Dizzy to the right, but Dizzy may spontaneously roll back to the right before the fire can even get to him.
  • Shamus the leprechaun: You need to give this leprechaun on the grasslands the gold shamrock to make use of the soil under his feet, but like the tunnel guard in the second version, you can backwards-jump all the way over Shamus in the Red versions while you have the butterfly's effect. It appears to be a guaranteed death sentence in the Blue version, however, as Shamus will keep throwing Dizzy back inside his hitbox the instant Dizzy recovers from his dizzy animation, similar to what happens if you stand at the back of Shamus's cave as he finishes walking there after you hand him the shamrock—but the backwards state actually stops Dizzy from getting trapped in that cave in the Red versions!
  • Zaks' magical stargate door: The final gate to Zaks' tower may not be a damaging character, but it does throw Dizzy back until you collect the last star. If you hit it backwards without all the stars, the door will keep pulling Dizzy against itself, immediately replaying the message about needing the stars every time the message is cleared. This might not technically be a soft-lock because Dizzy gets out of it whenever his backwards state wears off, but that could take an extremely long time when only a few frames of action happen after each second that you have to clear the message again.

Partial Invincibility

While restoring your health or taking damage, hit Select to open the inventory, then again to return to the game. Certain hazards (most notably spiders) will no longer hurt you. This effect lasts until you touch another hazard that does hurt you.

This bug stems from the fact that Dizzy actually has two damage counters: the one that's used internally, and the one that's used by the visual damage indicator. Hitting Select while the damage bar is lowering/rising causes these two values to go out of sync, which in turn breaks hit detection logic for some entities: ants, mice, crabs, spiders, water droplets, fish and guillotines.

See this video to learn what happens and why in more detail.

(Source: Dizzy9v2)

Screen Transition Music Glitch

When playing on a PAL console, the music temporarily speeds up during screen transitions. This affects all game revisions, though it's most noticeable in both Red versions. This bug does not occur on NTSC machines on any revision.

Skip Item Pickup Animation

You can pick up items instantaneously if you do it while jumping/rolling, which saves a lot of time. If you have full inventory, the exchanged item is placed where the Dizzy's sprite is positioned, even in mid-air. This (and the fact you can do this trick only in the NES versions of the game) strongly suggests it's a developer oversight.

With that said, the developers might have been aware of the issue, as in the Blue revision the pickaxe (placed on a ledge near a waterfall) is floating above the ground, just barely out of Dizzy's reach when jumping from below. In the Red versions this area is slightly remodeled, and the ledges are made higher.


you are on castle street,
where you'll find the
shopkeeeper, carrying

In all game revisions, the inventory entry viewed on Castle Street misspells the word shopkeeper.

you are in the reception
hall of the trolls'
errie castle carrying

All NES versions misspell "eerie" in the description of the first floor of Keldor Castle, even as the same word was always spelled correctly in the description of the cave below the graveyard.