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Sequence Breaking

"Sequence breaking" refers to intentionally or unintentionally completing objectives or reaching areas of the game out of order, often by exploiting glitches or unintended mechanics to bypass intended progression. This can lead to skipping entire sections of the game, acquiring powerful items or abilities earlier than intended, or completing the game in a different order or in a shorter amount of time. Sequence breaking can be a source of speedrunning strategies, where players attempt to complete the game as quickly as possible by exploiting sequence breaks and other techniques. While sequence breaking can add a new layer of challenge and creativity to a game, it can also disrupt the intended balance and pacing of the game, or cause unintended consequences that affect later sections of the game.

Sequence breaking


Sequence breaking in game design refers to the player intentionally deviating from the intended order or progression of events within a game. This involves bypassing or skipping sections, acquiring items early, or reaching areas ahead of schedule, often exploiting glitches, unintended mechanics, or clever strategies. Sequence breaking allows players to experience the game in unconventional ways, providing a sense of freedom and discovery.

An iconic example of sequence breaking can be found in the classic game "Super Mario Bros." for the Nintendo Entertainment System. In the game, players control Mario as he embarks on a quest to rescue Princess Peach from the villainous Bowser. Normally, players are expected to navigate through eight distinct worlds, each comprising multiple levels, before reaching the final confrontation with Bowser.

However, skilled players discovered a sequence-breaking technique known as the "flagpole glitch." In World 1-1, the first level of the game, players could perform a precise series of actions, including running, jumping, and hitting a block at a specific moment. This glitch allowed players to bypass the flagpole at the end of the level and trigger a warp zone, transporting them directly to World 5, effectively skipping a significant portion of the game.

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