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The Berry glitch is a glitch only found in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire which stops the game's internal clock. The name of the glitch comes from the fact that the first thing a player will usually notice is that all Berries that have been planted but have not been harvested have ceased growing. The glitch typically occurs after about a year of owning the game, or to games that have been played for over 100 hours, but the exact mechanics of its cause are currently unknown.
Other affected areas
As the game's internal clock has been frozen, any time-based events in the game in addition to Berries are also affected by the glitch:
Similar effects with dead battery
When the game cartridge's CR1616 internal battery runs dry, the in-game clock will also stop, resulting in very similar symptoms to the above. However, cartridges that have a dead battery will display a message after the title screen warning of the dry battery and the fact that clock-based events will no longer occur. In contrast, games being affected by the Berry glitch will not display this message.
Cartridges that report a dead battery may or may not be also afflicted with the berry glitch; in this case, methods to fix one problem will not fix the other problem, which can make it look as if the fix has not worked. It can also cause the illusion that an Emerald cartridge is affected by the glitch. In order to fix a dead-battery issue, the battery must be physically replaced.
Similar effects after replacing a dead battery
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Cartridges that had their battery replaced may experience similar affected areas. The RTC chip's value is reset to a value prior to the "last-saved-field" of the savegame thus causing the game to not register time as passed. Most of the effects mentioned rely on countdowns and will still be visible on cartridges after the battery has replaced. This may cause the illusion that a cartridge is affected by the glitch when it is not.
However, the clock in the player's room and the Eevee evolution are based on "real time" and therefore be correct. Thus, if a cartridge allows different Eevee evolutions and shows time passing on the clock in the player's room but the other effect are visible. Shoal cave is a special case as it includes both dependencies: The tide will change (dependent on "real time") but Shoal Salts and Shoal Shells will not be refilled (dependent on timeouts)
These issues can be fixed by creating a new savegame (and therefore resetting the "last-saved"-field). Using additional hardware, it may be possible to set the RTC value or edit the "last-saved"-field in a savegame.
Fixing the glitch
The glitch can be fixed with the Berry Program Update from Pokémon FireRed, LeafGreen, and Emerald, a patch from Pokémon Colosseum, Pokémon XD, Pokémon Channel, Pokémon Box Ruby & Sapphire, the e-Reader, or a specific interactive demo disc, as well as by sending the affected game to Nintendo.
Pokémon FireRed/LeafGreen/Emerald patch
- Main article: Berry Program Update
- Load FireRed, LeafGreen, or Emerald until the title screen is displayed.
- Press the Select and B buttons. After the new screen loads, press A.
- Insert the Link Cable so that the system that the FireRed, LeafGreen or Emerald game is connected to the Player 1 cable port and the Ruby or Sapphire game is connected to the Player 2 port. Once this is done, press A.
- Turn on the device with Ruby or Sapphire while holding the Start and Select buttons.
- Refer to the FireRed, LeafGreen or Emerald game display for further instructions. The patch should be transferred at this time.
Pokémon Colosseum and XD patch
Linking an affected game to Colosseum or Pokémon XD for trading or battling will automatically download the patch. In addition, the Bonus Disc that came with pre-orders of Colosseum can be used to download Jirachi into a game; when this happens, the patch is downloaded as well.
Pokémon Channel patch
Downloading Jirachi from a PAL version of Pokémon Channel will automatically download the patch.
Pokémon Box patch
Linking an affected game to Pokémon Box Ruby & Sapphire, accessing the Go To Adventure mode, and then saving the game whilst playing will also automatically fix this glitch, with the message "The Berry Program was updated" appearing with the save confirmation. (This option is not available for Japanese versions.)
For Japanese versions, a special set of e-Reader cards (ID# 16-A001 & 16-A002) were distributed with Pokémon Scoop's Winter 2004 issue to allow players to fix this glitch by using e-Readers.
Interactive demo patch
Specially-marked demo discs were released to select stores across U.S. and Japan, so players can visit these stores and download the patch from the disc. In addition, players will also receive a Shiny Zigzagoon holding a Liechi Berry as a bonus. However, since the demo disc program does not block fixed games, players can receive multiple Zigzagoon by downloading to the same cartridge again.
Sending cartridge to Nintendo
If the player had no opportunity to download the patch, the game could be sent to Nintendo to have it fixed. However, as of August 2012, Nintendo stopped offering to patch the Berry glitch.