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The Glitch Hunters Times

February 28, 2006Keeping you up to date with the latest and best shortcuts, tips and tricks! This week The other courses!
PRB Essay

Prolonged Rocket Boosting, Should it be Legalised?

The Final Conclusion

The first thing to say is that I generally support prolonged rocket boosting, and that I think it should be allowed, or at least in many places in the game. The second thing is that I have some probably important information to give those who don't know about PRB. Below are some facts about PRB before I begin the actual argument:
PRB Facts and Information
Prolonged rocket boosting is a trick that allows you to cut across off-road surfaces without slowing down.

You do this by constantly mini-turboing after either a boost start, or a zipper in the track.

The best karts for this are the Egg1 and Dry Bomber.

This technique has fans and opponents and is used on Japanese record sites.

Okay, so there are the facts and information you need to know about this technique, so what are the two sides of the coin? Well there are those who support the trick and want it legalised on all time Trials and world records and those who think it's a glitch and want it banned. Of course there is a third viewpoint I must consider afterwards.

The Supporters of PRB

The supporters of Prolonged rocket boosting say that it is a natural technique, and that it can be just as valid as 'snaking'. I quite agree and see the sense in their logic at this level, as the trick is virtually just repeated mini-turbos to maintain speed, much like you would do if you were playing naturally. So on this point, I would consider the first argument on the PRB supporters side, as there isn't much to disagree with.

However, their second argument may actually have a good counter argument, and I shall explain what I mean. Many Prolonged rocket boosting supporters say that if PRB is banned, why isn't the shortcut on Sky Garden banned, or the trick in Bowser Castle where you jump into the lava to reach the finish line earlier, as they are both glitches. I have some disagreements with one of these points, and agree with another.

First, sorry to break some bad news to those who always use the Sky Garden shortcut, but it is official a classified glitch and shortcut by my knowledge of these things. Now, before you start saying 'm no expert, here's the logic:

A shortcut is an unintentional and exploitable glitch in a Mario Kart game. Now, the non-PRB supporters say that this is no shortcut, and the PRB supporters say it is. However, my viewpoint is that it is one, by the following logic. The shortcut is proven to skip exactly one checkpoint in a level. This is the same distance some other shortcuts like some of the Rainbow Road shortcuts skip. Quite obviously, it's a glitch, as Nintendo didn't program the Staff Ghost to use this, guides to say it (official sources don't mention this) and their is no obvious ramp or a nearby sign suggesting it was intended. Therefore it is a glitch we are using just as the PRB fans say.

On the other hand, their logic that if that site didn't ban it then PRB should be allowed is also broken. This is because, people have been using this trick since very shortly after the game was released. It is in guides and FAQs online, mentioned in forums. Banning it was not a feasible option as it would alienate many possible players who had used it and been told their time is invalid.

Back to PRB though, there are other often used arguments. Two of them I also support. One is that it is natural to use the technique until you would stop it knowing it didn't exist, i.e. for laps or 3 lap times. This logic could be considered true, as I personally, before it was even discovered, used to cut corners and try different strategies to test out times.

The second half
The opponents

There is also a flip side of the coin, and this counts for the opponents of the technique, the PRB opponents who do not want this technique allowed, no matter what. After analysis of their views and some thinking, what I have found is that there are three or four main points thrown into every PRB banning argument. They are:

1- It isn't natural to Prolong the rocket boost so you can cut corners! True, to an extent. But it is true that it's natural to keep the boost going as long as possible, right? That forms the entire concept of using SSMTs, 'snaking' as it is called. You couldn't imagine someone being told to not mini-turbo just because to someone else it is unnatural! And obviously, me knowing this by now, it is perfectly usual to try and cut corners in racing games. This is based on common sense logic that the fastest route between points is a straight line, and that cutting corners tighter is faster than going wide. Diagram please:

As you can see, the top diagram shows a normal line around the bend. Most common sense would indicate this to be slower than cutting the corner.

However, below, saying PRB or extensive mini-turbos are used, the line cuts across the corner. This should be faster.

Now, the proof to this:

The two lines have been put side by side. The corner cutting line is slightly shorter than the non-corner cutting line making it seem the most natural route.

Take this to a Mario Kart course. Cutting the first three bends and the end of Mario Circuit 1 is perfectly natural, and is just the same logic. It is only elitism stopping some people from accepting it.

2- PRB is a glitch! You should be allowed to use it!

This is also quite wrong. While it sounds like a glitch and first, and may be to some people, to most it's just a technique. Were mini-turbos designed for use on straight ways in a snake like alternating pattern? Don't know and possibly not. But it's fair because it is just using skill to improve your times, and it seems natural to improve your times by using more power-slides to get more boosts. Limiting that is just limiting your potential time. I think it is the same with PRB. I also think it may not be a glitch as such. And I have some evidence to back this up:

A glitch is something unintended. This is a neat definition until something minor occurs to causes such a hassle. Lets have a look at some definite glitches, from other games that I have found or used:

Dark Room of Death

You slide through a corner wall in the last room before Bowser and appear in an invisible room. You can't escape and must quit or turn off the power. A photo of this:

That is a real glitch.

Now, PRB on the other hand doesn't do something like go through a wall, or allow you to fly. In fact, it's only a minor glitch, if not just a trick. Besides, the way they made 'snaking' easier is actually the cause of PRB, and no one seriously knows whether the removal of having to space mini-turbos was intended.

Extra Notes on spacing of mini-turbos:

If this is a glitch, then you could technically say SSMTs constantly for snaking is. Therefore that argument should, to avoid major changes, be considered void.

3- It isn't natural to exploit zippers in such a way!

This could be considered true if you play like the people who say this. But for some people, it is natural. Like if you can't mini-turbo there, then you will skim the zipper (various places) and if you find it is faster to mini-turbo constantly after the zipper, you will probably do just that. It's human nature to try to be better than others, it's also natural to complain or blame an easy target if you get beaten.

4- Nintendo didn't say it was intended! You lot are so cheap! You go against how the game was meant to be played! This is such a beginner argument. Sure, they might not say it's intended, but that depends on who asks them in the first place. If a Prolonged rocket boosting fan said they used it and explained it, then they may be told it was meant to be used, but if an opponent said it was unfair, Nintendo may say it is! This is because the company does want to make money, which it does by selling to customers, and therefore needs the fans to keep buying the games. So it generally changes what may be true to please the fans or larger market who buy the game. An example is this; since the majority of players who now mention 'snaking' think it's intended or fair, Nintendo now supports it. I can almost bet that if many, many people wanted PRB, Nintendo would send out some article saying it's fair. For proof intended means nothing, look at these true examples:
Example Does Nintendo say it's intentional?
Frappe Snowland lap skip in Mario Kart 64 Yes
Wario Stadium shortcuts Yes
'Snaking' Yes
Sky Garden uber shortcut Yes
Safari Zone and Missingno tricks in Pokemon games Yes

All the above are true. For the Frappe Snowland and other Mario Kart 64 shortcuts, they were included in Nintendo Official Magazine and Nintendo Power, and the official strategy guide had all the shortcuts in. For 'snaking' look at these three links:

NOA Andy snaking article

Official Snaking topic

Common Questions and Answers

For the uber shortcut, again, the snaking video uses it. And for the Pokemon glitches, I read them in the Nintendo Official Magazine UK strategy guide for that game. They may not have once been intended, for Nintendo sure is eager to jump on the intended bandwagon quickly.

The Time Trial Site mods and half allowed rules team

Now, with what I call half implemented measures, there is another team. Those who support the half allowing of PRB where Mario Kart staff say it's natural. You can read the rules page here:

Now, to cut a long story short, they want it only allowed in certain places, like the Choco Island intentional shortcut. Now this may sound understandable, but I know a loophole in some of their ideas. On the joining page and FAQ, they say it's a glitch, but some staff and supporters say it was intended there! Wait, so it's a glitch, AND intended in some places. Wrong. Impossible. That is impossible. Either someone hasn't got a dictionary, or someone is lying and get tangled in a mess of arguments.

The other thing, is this. When exactly is it natural to stop PRB? You can't just do this:

This is because it's not natural either. You can't just draw a line onto a map and say:

'Start spacing all mini-turbos past this line!'

That is unnatural. I'm also going to say this:

You say a patch of sand or grass makes it clear boundary, but isn't that the corner you're supposed to cut in the first place? You can't just make them slow down and lose like 2 seconds by going;


It's easier to cheat if PRB is allowed!

Not true one bit. It is actually easier to cheat something if it isn't allowed than if it is. Odd? No. It's happened many times in history and also undermines laws. If people are not supposed to do it, they probably will and that gets them to do it rather than deters them. In fact, it's more of a thrill breaking a rule and getting away with it. A good example is prohibition:

When beer was allowed in the early USA, not many people broke the law to get it. But when it was banned, everyone wanted it more and started trying to get it or make it themselves which worsened the situation. Look, allowing people this technique could stop a flood of fake screenshots and edited videos, and people using it just past where they aren't meant to seeing if they get away with it.

It's down to this

Okay, now I've identified the groups of people, the conclusion will say why I think it should be allowed. The first thing I will say is this bit is personal opinion and there is no right or wrong answer. The second thing I will say are the two possible and better suggestions for fair rules. Okay, lets begin this:

Prb is a fair tactic in my opinion because I don't actually think it's a glitch. Sorry if anyone disagrees, but I know enough about glitches in other games like Mario 64 DS and the like to comment on this, and while some may consider it an exploit, I don't consider it a glitch.

I think that allowing it is in public interest as it would stop rule breakers more than banning it would.

In all though, I think it's legal. But I've actually came up with three big suggestions for clear and fair rules relating to this matter. I agree with one but partially agree with logic in all of them.

1- It should be allowed to stop cheating, and you allow people to race in a natural racing line.

2- It should be totally banned and that the site should clamp down on the legal shortcuts as well. Back to basics.

3- The legal shortcuts should be in, but PRB extended to cover the whole lap or 3 laps of courses where it is a natural and valid racing line.
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Only submit shortcuts and glitches. Submitting PRB is very annoying, and I've posted this warning as someone is bound to do this. Below, click the buttons to enter the chat room:


Course Strat- Airship Fortress
Okay, this is a special strat, as I have 1 minutes 52 seconds on this course. The strat is:
Mini-turbo twice on first straightway
Mini-turbo twice until boost pad
Mini-turbo across deck
Use one mini-turbo round corner in ship, and one inside past the flames
One round corner to cannon
Hop (don't slide) to end of spinning tower area.
Mini-turbo repeatedly until finish
Use your mushroom through the flamethrower area on the third lap
Battle mode glitch and some minor glitches
Directly ripped from the article on the journal:
How to pull it off:
Play battle mode
Choose the Nintendo DS course.
Inflate all three balloons.
Now, don't go hitting people like a madman! Don't even attack them! Go to the top screen and the corners nearest the bottom one...
Now drive off near the very corner. If you do it wrong, you will slip on something and fall into oblivion. If done right, you will be under art of the top screen! You are practically invisible to your opponents. Now there are two ways to use the glitch:
1- Be on the flat part under part of the top screen. You are generally invisible to most opposition and can stay there for a long time. One flaw, red shells can hit you and others can sometimes hit you if they go close with a trio of spinning shells...
2- Be on the edge diagonally under the touch screen! You are immune to 99.9999999% of attacks and cannot attack back. This is a perfect position..
Now, go off for a cup of tea, dinner, day out, to a friend, play another game etc. Do this for a decent time. Chances are, your character will still be alive when you return and not pummelled!

For an easy win, or good way to narrow down number of computer players if you are Isn't as good on Battle mode!
Against professionals who think they're all good at this mode!
And for trying to survive 9 or more minutes in Battle Mode!
Tactical Tricks for Multiplayer:

Use a fake box on the touch screen above you to hide the balloons poking through the top screen!
Hold items to come out and use when all but one enemy are out!
Hold a star to use in case of fluke attacks!
And finally, get a mate who is out (and now a ghost) to hide in the same spot. Then, tell him/her to lay a real item box in the area for you to replenish your item supply!
The developers didn't know the L button area on that arena had a use...

Dodge red shells 1- In Banshee Boardwalk, go behind the coffin and wait. All red shells should hit the coffin and die!

Dodge them 2- In Delfino Square, go into the alleyway. Once you are past a certain point, stop. The red shells should hit a wall and die for no reason.

Clever trick 2- Stand right by someone when they throw the shell. It should miss if it's a red shell.

New videos:
Train glitch: Bullet bill train glitch
A Lakitu Malfunction:
A Lakitu malfunction glitch

Slightly unrelated but also cool videos:
Mario 64 DS Dark Room of Death: Dark room of death
Hell level (actually a glitch level)

Crawling up a vertical wall in Mario 64 DS:

Up a vertical wall

An unloaded glitch world:

Unloaded area

Site updates:
New articles about beta area, walking through walls and triple items at:
Articles sector

Petitioning for a real and fair poll on Prolonged rocket boosting without the lies and cover ups.

Joined Gamefaqs! Username is cheatmaster30

Other featured pages:

Mario Kart DS enemy chart:

Enemy chart

Attack on Nintendo's attitude to cheating devices and hacking:

Cheat devices, friend of foe?