Glitch FAQ by Myster Mask

Version: 1.1 | Updated: 01/31/07 | Printable Version


Version 1.1
By MysterMask

I. Introduction
II. Main Glitches with their solution
    a. The Basics
    b. The Red Turnips Glitch
    c. Gracie Glitch
    d. Nook's White Turnips Price Glitch
    e. The Mailbox Glitch
    f. Solution for the TT glitches
    g. The Birthday Party Glitch
    h. The Lazy Male Animal Glitch
    i. Disappearing item glitch
    j. The Missing Sales and Promotional events glitch 
III. Credits

I. Introduction

I wrote this short guide following a year of participation on the AC: WW game 
board (GameFAQs) and also on various other sites dedicated to this game. I 
noticed a series of questions that are asked by new (and less new) gamers over 
and over, and also a number of false beliefs that originate from small mistakes 
in some of the available guides and which have been promoted over the time by 

I examined the original DS game (English version) on 5 different cartridges 
(two USA released, two European released, and one bought in Hong Kong 
immediately after the USA release, and which had small differences  in terms 
of presentation and some of the encoding). I looked at 6 different games (one 
on each cartridge, plus an additional game started on my first USA released 
cartridge). I also confronted my results with two friends on their own games, 
which brings the total to 7 different cartridges and 8 different games.
I used three different DS consoles for my 6 games.
All the observations, solutions, and glitches described in the present guide 
were consistent and reproducible.

I looked at part of the game encoding using a couple of devices (Action Replay-
DSL/DS Nintendo DS and Action Replay MAX for the Nintendo DS) as well as 
transferring parts of the game time scripts and characters scripts on my PC 
(with the purpose of better understanding them).

I will not repeat here information already contained in the many available FAQs 
on this site or the Gamespot site, but rather try to clarify a number of issues 
that appear poorly understood, or never addressed.


The first four glitches described below are all traditionally (and incorrectly) 
named by many "Time Travelling punishments", as they were firstly observed to 
occur when Time Travelling in the game (TTing), and were assumed to be on 
purpose effects intended by the software developers to "punish" people who 
"cheat by TTing".
Time Travelling in Animal Crossing WW is a classical controversial issue, and 
gave rise to many argument topics since the release of the game in the US and 
later in Europe. The aim of this FAQ is not to discuss this issue, to bring 
arguments pro- or con- TTing, or to argue if changing the in-game time is 
cheating or not.
I will limit myself to describing the mechanics of the game's time scripts and 
the consequences of the effect of de-synchronising the hardware time (the DS 
console time settings) with the software time (the time and date recorded in 
the in-game program).

a. The basics 

The DS console has a specific setting for the time and date, accessible from 
If your console is in auto-load mode, then you will need to switch the console 
on without any game cartridge inserted in order to access the settings menu and 
turn the auto-load off. 
When you start a new game in AC:WW, by talking to Kapp'n you have the option to 
keep the console time and date settings in your new game, or change it to a 
time and date you prefer. This option was probably intended as some players 
will want to start a game in a season or time frame different from the real 
life one (for example people who can play the game only at night, as they work 
during the day, or want to start their game with the 1st of January, or rather 
in spring,etc). 

My experience and the one of the friends who helped me in this study is that 
modifying the time and date at the start of a new game will create a 
discrepancy between the console time and the in game time that in some 
instances will result in the malfunction of the game, depending on the lag 
created between the two time scripts. 
If (for example) you are in winter, but prefer to start your game in spring, 
and instead of 18 of January 2006 9.00 am you start with the 1 March 2006 9.00 
am, little or no difference is observed. This is due to the fact that the day 
of the week is Wednesday in both above mentioned dates, and the time of the day 
remains the same. Also, if the difference between the two time settings is of 
only a few hours, only small problems will occur.
However, if the difference is of many hours, or fall on a totally different 
daily/weekly schedule, then a variable number of glitches will tend to appear 
and persist in the game. I saw people reporting that though "they never TT", 
they still have blocked Nook catalogue, problems in obtaining design shirts 
from Gracie, or experience persisting low white turnip prices at the Nook's 
If you change the time constantly by days/months or even years, back and forth, 
then a consistent number of glitches will affect your game, and will persist. 
Of course, if you keep the in game time identical to the one in the console's 
settings, no glitch will occur.

Why this happens:

The game software has a "time script"(*) that is included in the game's main 
menu options and which is accessible from the phone in the "Save room" (top 
room in your house).
This time script allows the game program to read the time and date from the DS 
time/date settings, and insert it in the game. You might have noticed that the 
in-game time changes each time that you load your game following the DS time 
(Example: if the date in your game is the first of January, and the date in 
your DS settings is the first of November the previous year, by moving the DS 
time settings to the first of January – in an attempt to bring the DS date to 
the in-game date – the in game date will also move forward with 2 months, and 
when you restart your game you will find yourself in March, with all the 
consequences, weeds, loss of flowers, cockroaches in your house, etc).
The AC:WW game program includes numerous time/date/season codes specific for  
almost every bit of the program and aimed at encoding aspects of the game such 
as: the way the colour of the sky changes, how the colour of the grass changes, 
what bug will appear, where the neighbour X will be, what special character 
will be in town, how Tom Nook's shop functions, etc, etc... All these codes are 
modified by the in-game time script according to the time that is read from the 
console setting (I put this in a rather simplified way, so it's easier to 
understand, but the mechanism is more complex of course).
Basically, the "what time it is" code(*) in all these bits of program is read 
and then inserted in each of the above scripts by the "time script" from the 
main menu.
This time script also has the capacity to calculate and adapt constant time and 
date differences, which means that even if there is a discrepancy between the 
DS time setting and the in-game time setting, but this is maintained constant, 
the time script will be able to insert the "correct" in-game time code into the 
various bits of the game program.
However, if the lag between the two time settings fluctuates permanently, then 
the time script will occasionally fail to make the right corrections, and a 
"wrong" time/date code will appear in the program of specific game characters 
or game objects/systems. 
The result is a discrepancy between the in-game time/date and the time/date 
code of a character that will glitch the encoding of that specific character 
and makes it dysfunctional. 
For example: "Joan" is encrypted to sell you red turnips only once, on Sundays, 
and only between 6 am and 12 pm. If your game runs by the in-game clock (which 
is - for example - set to Sunday whatever date, 10 am) and therefore she will 
appear in the game, the "selling red turnips" code(*) has the DS clock time and 
date (which, again for example, will be Tuesday 8 pm) then the action triggered 
will be her not to sell to you red turnip seeds, which in your game will result 
in her telling you that she "ran out of red turnips" as this dialogue is the 
only one encoded in "Joan character refusing to sell"(*).

Luckily, this type of dysfunction occurs only in very few of the game sub-
programs, and apparently only for fluctuations in the discrepancy between the 
two time scripts. Otherwise the whole game would become a mess.

The main glitches due to the de-synchronisation between the DS clock and the 
in-game clock (as described above are: 
1. The Red Turnip glitch
2. The Gracie glitch
3. The Nook's low price for white turnips glitch
4. The blocked Mailbox glitch

b. The Red Turnip glitch

Was basically described above: After selling you Red Turnips once, Joan will 
refuse to sell you more on the following weeks.
This is due to the discrepancy between the DS time code that is read and 
inserted in Joan's program by the game time script, and the actual in-game time 
code. The result is triggering Joan's program to behave as if she's not able to 
sell you red turnips and therefore prompts the reply "I ran out of Red Turnip 
This glitch will persist until the two time settings are re-synchronised.

c. The Gracie glitch

Gracie, the fashion designer, usually gives you  a design shirt if you  pay her 
at least 5,000 bells. Actually, the probability for her to give you a design 
shirt versus a shirt obtainable from Mabel & Sable shop is proportional to the 
amount of money paid, but giving her 5,000 bells is equivalent to an almost 
100% probability of getting a design shirt.
However, when the two time settings are desynchronised, Gracie will fail to 
give you design shirts no matter the amount of bells given to her.
Though I could not look in depth at Gracie's program, we hypothesised that what 
is glitched is the part of Gracie encoding that deals with her not giving you a 
design shirt on your first encounter, or her giving you a design shirts only 
after talking to her a certain amount of time.
The glitch is clearly related to the two time scripts being desynchronised, as 
it persists as long as this specific problem has not been corrected, cannot be 
influenced or induced by any other modification of her environment script, and 
it's permanently "cured" after the re-synchronisation of the time scripts.

d. The White Turnips price at Nook's shop glitch

This glitch accompanies the Red Turnip glitch, and refers to the fact that Nook 
will persistently offer to buy white turnips at prices below 96 bells while 
Joan will persistently sell the white turnips at prices over 96 bells.
This glitch is again linked to the malfunction of Joan's program. It affects 
Nook's offer as the "turnip trade" is one whole piece of script(*) regulating 
the fluctuation of the turnips price both in Joan and Nook's shop subprograms.
This glitch will also persist as long as the two clocks remain desynchronised.

e. The blocked Mailbox glitch

This glitch is characterised by one letter (usually an order from Nook) that 
remains "stuck" in the mailbox, and stops you from receiving most mail from 
the neighbours, and stops Nook from accepting more orders from the catalogue.

Normally, the mailbox functions as follows:
There can be only 10 things waiting for delivery, any combination of letters 
you sent, letters from neighbours and orders from Nook. If the mail queue is 
full, you can't order from Nook's shop, but if you mail at least 1 letter, you 
will force the delivery (outside the normal delivery hours 9.00 am/5.00 pm). 
This "forced delivery" empties the queue and you should be able to order again. 
As a matter of fact, Nook's "orders" can become booked up quite often, but this 
is easily dealt with as above.
(credit: MLBloomy, AC:WW General Board GameFAQs)

However, when the two time scripts become desynchronised, mailing just one 
letter will have little or no effect, and the mailing queue will still appear 
full, or almost full, despite no catalogue orders or neighbours letters being 
in the mail.
This glitch is due to the malfunction of the "Mailbox-Catalogue subsystem 
script"(*). Basically, the time script inserts a wrong time in the mailbox 
program which clashes with the in-game time, and therefore the "mail delivery 
time" encoding(*) becomes glitched. Some of the letters are simply not 
delivered, and the fact that it's usually an order letter from Nook that 
remains undelivered (and cannot be delivered by the normal timing trigger – 
9.00 am and 5.00 pm) is on one hand amplified by dysfunctional codes in the 
"Nook's shop" scrip(*)t and on the other hand will also block the Catalogue 
ordering script(*).

A temporary way to repair the mailbox is to "purge" it by either:
1) Sending a number of letters to people (it doesn't matter to whom). The 
number can vary from 2-3 to over 20. You need to send letters until you receive 
in your mail that "stuck" letter (usually an order from Nook done quite a while 
2) Open your town gates by choosing either wi-fi or DS to DS, invite someone 
in, and when the person leaves, the mail box will be purged.
Again, this "repair" is NOT permanent and the glitch will reoccur as long as 
the two clocks are not synchronised.

Some people suggested that you can "unblock" the mail by emptying all the 
characters mailboxes. You may occasionally achieve this due to the fact that 
switching between characters (and therefore switching off and on the game) can 
purge the mailbox itself (resetting the time script, actually). 
However, the solution is only temporary, and the glitch will reoccur. 
I would also argue against the idea that a full mailbox for one character can 
influence the mail delivery for another character.
Firstly, the various characters scripts including "storage space – storage 
furniture, post office mail storage, or mailbox" codes(*) are completely 
separate in the game program, and I could not identify any significant link at 
any level of encoding. 
This way of encoding results in the different characters that you create in 
your game to be able to store different things in the same furniture item in 
your house (wardrobes, dressers, fridges, chests, and boxes), as well as at the 
post office, and in the mail box. If the scripts were linked, then one should 
see one character being unable to (for example) put a carpet in a dresser that 
is almost empty just because another character has the dresser full of items. 
This does never happen and was never observed or reported.
Secondly, the blocked catalogue and mailbox problem appears even when you don't 
have more than one single character, so the argument about the mailbox of 
another character being full is not applicable. (As a side note, I would point 
out that when a glitch appears in the game, it's very rarely due to more that 
one main encoding defect).
Finally, but not least important: The glitch always disappears and stops re-
occurring after re-synchronising the two time settings.

f. The Solution to the "TTing" glitches

The PERMANENT (and obvious) SOLUTION to all the above glitches is re-
synchronising the DS clock and the in-game clocks.

How you do this:
Firstly, your DS setting needs to be on "manual" start (auto-load off from the 
DS settings menu as described at the beginning of "basics" chapter). 

You have to start the game, and observe the time on your in-game clock, by 
clicking on the phone at the "upper saves room". Don't change that. 
Just switch off the console, switch it back on, and at the console set-up 
screen you need to set the DS clock at the exact time and date that you noticed 
in the game. 
By exiting the console settings (click on "back"), the DS will switch off 
Switch it on again, and start your game. You will notice that the time on the 
in-game clock is now different, as it moved with the DS clock (as I also 
explained before). That's why you need to set the in-game clock again at the 
appropriate time, otherwise you will move forward (or backwards) in time with 
the well known consequences for your game: weeds, lost flowers, etc. 
So, from the phone (the in-game time settings) set your time and date to the 
DS time and date (which actually was your initial in-game time and date) PLUS 
one minute (as the game takes about 20 seconds to load and you probably spent 
at least that amount of time switching the console on and off and doing the 
Start the game. All the glitches are now "cured".

However, you will need to play for one full week before the program resets and 
the time script accommodates to the correct time frame. 
So if you do your synchronising let's say, on a Friday, all glitches will be 
corrected by the next Friday.
The glitches will disappear even if you move forward the game time by changing 
the DS time settings to the following Friday!
As a general rule, I always recommend to people wanting to "TT" to only use 
the DS clock for this purpose. 

g. The Birthday Party Glitch

This is a quite particular glitch, unrelated to the previous four ones.
It consists in the game freezing at a very specific moment during a neighbour's 
birthday party. After handing over the birthday gift, the animal starts to 
thank you, then the game freezes. 
At that point the only way to continue the game is to switch off the console.
The problem is due to a bad text code in the "general birthday script"(*), 
which inserts in the behaviour of all and every animal a limited number of 
possible answers when being offered a birthday present. Therefore the glitch 
will appear randomly and can affect any neighbour.
As you cannot have access to the game code at this level, nor there is a "cure" 
for it, the main solution consists in avoiding that neighbour's birthday party. 
You still can participate to his/her birthday party, but you should not offer 
him/her a present.
Fortunately the glitch seems to affect only some game cartridges, and we never 
got the glitch on the European released games. Of course, this may only be a 
coincidence.  However, once you had this problem, the risk of seeing it again
and again is very high.

h. The Lazy Male Neighbour glitch

All the "lazy male" neighbours are encoded similarly, following an unique 
script that includes all their characteristics, dialogues and behaviours, so 
this glitch will appear in any such character.
What happens: At some point, a lazy animal will want to offer you his picture. 
He will therefore have the exclamation mark above his head and run to you. 
If at that point, all the spots in your inventory are full, he will not give 
you the picture, and will say something along the lines "Oh, I wanted to give 
you something special, but you carry too much stuff". Immediately after he will 
start behaving as if in fact he gave you his picture (he will keep asking you 
if you still have it).
The glitch will sometimes occur even if you avoid talking to him when he wants 
to, by ignoring him or running away. If at that point his script(*) "give 
picture" was initiated, then the glitch will happen.

This glitch seems to be caused by a fault in the "give item" script(*), as 
occasionally a "lazy" character will claim to give you other items (such as 
furniture, carpets or shirts) that will never appear in your inventory. In 
fact, you will not be able to see these items neither during the "trade" 
process, nor afterwards in your inventory. 
There is no specific "cure" for this glitch, as you cannot access the 
character's program.
The only way to still get his picture is to create another character in your 
game and befriend your lazy neighbour in the hope that the glitch will not re-
It might also be possible to prevent  the glitch from occurring by keeping an 
empty spot in your inventory at all times, as I managed to get a large number 
of" lazy neighbours" pictures this way.

i. The disappearing items glitch

This is a more recent problem that has been observed after a number of people 
started covering more and more of the empty land and grass spaces in their town 
with various patterns (roads, traffic signs and even… "artificial" grass!). 
Though one can argue an improvement in the general aspect of the town, setting 
patterns on extensive areas of your town will introduce this "disappearing 
objects" glitch.
What happens is that a falling object (balloon-flying gift, or a fruit) will 
simply disappear when hitting the ground. 
This is due to the general script(*) of any "falling object" that codes for the 
fact that a falling object simply cannot appear at a greater distance than one 
square around the falling point. If you imagine an apple falling from a tree: 
The apple cannot fall TWO squares away from the tree trunk. If all the 8 
squares around the tree are filled with flowers or patterns, the apple falling 
from that tree will simply disappear.
The same thing happens when you shoot a balloon and a gift falls. If the 8 
squares around the impact point, as well as the impact square itself are 
occupied by flowers, trees or pattern, then the gift will simply disappear.

Considering these data, I would not even call this behavior a "glitch", but 
rather a "limitation of the falling objects script"(*), that once understood 
can be easily avoided. Just think about it when you design huge patterns or 
cover all your ground with flowers. No matter how "pretty" your town will be 
you won't be able to get other important features in your game such as 
collecting fruits, acorns, or flying gifts (one of them being the golden sling-
shot itself!). You will not even be able to build a snowman in these areas.

j. The Missing Sales and Promotional events glitch

This glitch has been reported by a significant number of players: Over one year 
period of time (December 2005 to December 2006) I saw it mentioned by different 
GameFAQs users at a rate of at least 2 per week. We also noted it in all our 8 
different games.
The glitch consists in that no "Sales", "Special points sales", or "Spotlight 
items" events occur at Nook's shop IF YOU ONLY HAVE ONE CHARACTER IN YOUR GAME.

I would however correct this observation by saying that in fact you will still 
see these events if at one point you had a second character but deleted it 
Unfortunately, we could not find any clear abnormality in the specific scripts 
in the "Nook shop" sub-program that encodes for these events, as we lacked the 
tools to analyse the codes in such a depth. But considering the high rate of 
occurrence, I would say that if you have one single character in your game, 
then the probability that you will never see the "sales" events is very high.

I also need to mention that a few people from the AC:WW board claimed to have 
had spotlight items or sales at their Nook's shop while having only one 
character in their games. This might be due to the fact that they either 
deleted a second character at some point, that they don't report the facts 
accurately, or that indeed some game cartridges are not affected by this 
In any case, creating a second character in the game will permanently "cure" 
this glitch, even if you delete it after a while.

(*) There are LITTERARLY no such names attached to the various scripts. I named 
them as such for the purpose of this FAQ. The codes are just strigs of letters, 
numbers, and symbols and it would be very difficult to describe them otherwise.


I would like to thank the following users from the Animal Crossing WW General 
1. Eyedunno1 for his help in determining some of the effects of Time 
Travelling and extensively discussing characteristics of different neighbours.
2. MLBloomy, ffl2and3rocks, and Nemephosis for their help in discussing the 
Mailbox functioning.
3. Many other users of the board who helped through their questions and 

I would also like to thank my good friends Ryan and Julia who not only helped 
by sharing their games and sorting out the game codes but who also spent 
numerous hours discussing our observations and formulating hypotheses.

Thank you also for the users of the ACWW community.

And finally, thanks to GameFAQs for all their efforts in maintaining such a 
good environment for all video-games players.

This Original Guide is property of GameFAQs only.

For more information or reasonable comments you can contact me at

Guide v1.0 completed on the 31th of January 2007