DCFFVII Research Thread

Oh yes, shooting enemies around a corner by using Fire! :D This definitely helps you clear some areas with zero damage where you'd otherwise be forced to go out in the line of enemy fire and inevitably get shot.

...Also how did I NOT notice until just now that a magic projectile is only first fired when you LET GO of the L1 button?! It is not fired when you press the button, only once you let go. Wow.

- Redid the "green cart" segment in Chapter 10, where you first defeat pursuers and then a Dragonfly. Wailed away first at the Dragonfly, but in the last section where it is in your line of fire I did not shoot it AT ALL. Despite this, the Dragonfly malfunctioned and exploded. Its HP, which you can't see, had already been depleted. ...Just had to check now if the aircraft survives if you don't shoot it at all. :P Conclusion: The aircraft will survive if you don't shoot it at all. So there is an invisible HP bar that gets depleted but then the Dragonfly just goes on as scripted until it reaches the end of the line.

- Did some more tests in Chapter 8 (Midgar). The two WRO soldiers who you must NOT approach in order for them to survive can handle their own. It takes a few minutes, but eventually the enemies in front of them will be defeated. They will then also shoot the soldiers on the tower. After a few minutes these soldiers will be defeated by the WRO soldiers too. Waiting around is pointless so you might as well shoot the DG soldiers yourself, but it's cool to know that the WRO soldiers will survive on their own.

- The Deepground Commander only calls three waves. Big-sword guys, bazooka guys and sentry bots. After that, the Deepground Commander will only focus on hunting you down. The sentry bots still dropped MANY Adjuster items. One even dropped a Limit Breaker.
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The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
Awesome that you're confirming all this stuff! Satisfying my curiosities so I don't have to. :awesome:
These are all WILD THEORIES based on nothing at all. I just feel...there has to be SOME secret trait to the Potoins. The item description doesn't help. "Restores a few HP...?"
I think the description is the same in the JP game.
Could be, but the kanji there could read as either "few" or "little." The English wording "a few" suggests more than one, but that's not necessarily implied by the kanji.
Note: This has only been tested in Ex Hard mode.

Discovered that against Dragonfly PT, the one in Mako Reactor 0, two Mako Points can spawn. They will appear on any platform where a gargoyle dies, either when killed on the ground or in mid-air. Mako Points can even spawn if the gargoyle lands on a platform you can't reach:

"...Well fuck."

The mechanism for when a Mako Point is spawn appears to be random. Sometimes the first point spawned with the first kill, another time only with the third kill. The second point sometimes spawned after only a handful kills, sometimes it took a really long time. Not ruling out the possibility that more than two Mako Points can be spawned, but I killed gargoyles for a really long time without getting a third point to appear. The Mako Points will remain even after the boss battle is over.

I am pretty convinced that the "ride on gargoyle" glitch is in fact not a glitch. Around the mako reactor globe there are half a dozen gargoyles, some of which just CAN NOT be reached from the platform on which you normally stand. The thing is, these gargoyles are NOT the ones who fly towards your platform to attack you. They will only disappear if you ride a gargoyle around the globe and kill them all. Even after the globe has been cleared of enemies, a new gargoyle will always appear after you killed one. You can in fact see exactly where the new gargoyle spawns out of thin air.

It looks very intentional, the way that the gargoyle does one lap around the globe, then redoes the lap if you mount the gargoyle again. The way that no glitches can occur is also worth noting. You can't kill the gargoyle unless you are above the platform in which you can fight. You can't fall into the mako pool.

It's not a bug IT'S A FEATURE.

- Checked if the final boss segment in Kalm held a Silver Moogle Doll, because I had never actually destroyed all the boxes or picked up all the item cases there in Ex Hard mode. Conclusion: There is no Silver Moogle Doll here. Unless you want to run around to pick up other items, use Mako Points or get gil, just kill the boss quickly and nicely.

- Page 240 from the DC Complete Guide. Multiplayer had a "Beginner's Shop" where the jukebox had a golden cactuar on top. Neat. So many small things the Multiplayer had that is never seen in the main game.
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- What are these button assignments in JORG? Even the Down button and Select are assigned in JORG, but they are not so post-JORG.

Zero through nine... It must have something to do with the PlayOnline mode because these functions are NOT present in the 1.1 build.

- Hard Mode JORG: Always two gargoyles circling in Dragonfly PT battle. Only one gargoyle at a time in Ex Hard mode, post-JORG.

Never noticed before but you CAN press the button that opens the gate to the next area. The gate doesn't open, naturally. In Ex Hard mode this button is not possible to press, because lasers are in the way.

- Forgot to check and mention that Vincent's max HP is 3000. HP improves very slowly at higher levels. Lv49 - 2970. Lv50 - 3000.

- Now playing through Ex Hard with Lucky S Barrel always equipped, to double the EXP gain and FINALLY reach max level for the first time. Funny enough, this downgrade in equipment has prompted me to equip the M Adjuster and L Adjuster. The accuraccy gets downgraded so heavily that these items ACTUALLY BECOME OF USE! I never thought I'd see the day. :lol:

This is my current progress: Lv40 at the very beginning of Chapter 10.

Defeating Azul went so quickly thanks to the high stats.
- Very small difference. When you resume in Chapter 10, right after the bridge where you battle an onslaught of enemies...
JORG: Gameplay immediately starts.
Post-JORG: Short cutscene of Vincent walking away from the black mist is shown, then the gameplay starts.

These scenes exist in both versions, but how the game decides to pick up where it last was is different.

- Don't actually know if it helps, but I use S Adjuster Gamma if I'm about to shoot the barrel-Cactuar in Chapter 10 and I don't have an S on short-range accuracy. I figure that a Cactuar probably has high evasion, so perfect accuracy should help. Again, don't know if it will help. Believe it or not I actually found a second use for the S Adjuster Gamma (when shooting through a tight space with the rifle) and of course I only have to use it because I have the Lucky S Barrel equipped. This playthrough is probably the only one that will ever prompt me to use the S, M & L Adjuster accessories.

- 7 Silver Moogle Dolls is the most I have gotten in an Ex Hard playthrough. Going by selling price, 7 Silver Moogle Dolls = 1 Gold Moogle Doll. 7 times 5000 = 35000.

- Noticed only just now that the Blizzard projectile actually homes in on its target! Maybe this is an effect of Auto-Lock, I don't know. Should try fighting around corners with Blizzard, to see what happens.

- Guess how many times I completed the "Defeat 100 Enemies" challenge now? ...10 times. I defeated 1000 enemies. No special reward for it, other than getting 10 Gold Moogle Dolls. Redid this sidequest to collect EXP. When I was done, I levelled from Lv40 to Lv48 when the stage was over.

My only regret is that in this snapshot you can see I missed one Omega Report. >___> Was playing so fast that I forgot to pick the one in Midgar.


When you later get the choice to add EXP to total or convert it to gil, you are (naturally) not allowed to add the EXP to your total. You will see in the above snapshot that I have an unusually high amount of EXP to convert. That's because I used the normal guns, with Lucky S Barrel equipped, to huge extent when playing the Chaos Vincent stage.

Also this playthrough has given me more gil than ever. Just over 1.6 million gil.

Not many can say that they've reached max level in Dirge of Cerberus.
Tiny graphical glitch discovered while taking snapshots.

EDIT: For the other vertically-sliding doors I was only able to pull off this glitch for one. Though even that was only at an angle, when I did not get the joy of seeing NPCs hang in mid-air. When the camera gets into view, the glitch disappears.

All this made me notice where the "borders" are that register if an open door should close. If Vincent runs past a border while a door is opening, the door won't close even when Vincent is very far away. It will close when you get back to the border.
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Not research, but something I still want to share.

During my Dirge of Cerberus binge, I acquired four new memory cards. Three bought separately, one came along with the chipped PS2 and is a "MCBoot" memory card that gives you access to a number of neat features (such as the one which made it possible for me to play DC:International in Japanese).

Having no PS2 memory card stickers, I tried post-it notes. On the black memory cards the surface was such that post-it notes simply did not stick, so I had to seal the notes using tape. Not a pretty sight.

Actually you can see to the lower left that I'm using a different type of stickers. I bought that type last week. While too short in height, they do the trick.

Today I bought pens more appropriate for writing miniscule text on these stickers and now I painstakingly replaced all the stickers.

The difficulty mode assigned is the one that has been cleared. The notes will only ever be relevant for Dirge of Cerberus, so there's no point in specifying that the noted saves are for DC/DoC.

On the blue memory card you can see in miniscule text "#6 ready for action", which means that in this playthrough of JORG, I intentionally unlocked the version of the Shera scene where Cait Sith says that instead of "#5 is alive"; I like having the Japanese version of that scene available for instant reference.

JORG: Normal (Start Run). This was the run where I confirmed a way for the text below the Theatre Menu image to read "Normal Mode" instead of "Easy Mode". One day I'm gonna play Hard Mode again in JORG just to unlock a save where the text reads "Hard Mode" below said image AND I'm going to experiment more deeply with how this glitch (
the glitch being that the game won't recognize when a new difficulty mode has been cleared
) works.

If anybody wants to donate their NTSC-US copy of Dirge of Cerberus (be it the original release or the Greatest Hits) to me, or sell it for a super-low price, let me know.
Aside from the phone message in the intro FMV, I haven't really looked over the graphical text in DC a whole lot.

Watching the Midgar Battle FMV, I noticed this bit:

You see almost all of this text at 0:59, but in order to get the full text you have to move to 1:15, take a picture and mirror it to get what I embedded above.

wireframeOnShaded 0
mbv $menusOkayInPanels
$editorName = $panelName; \n
update $gMainPane;

I have only ever studied one programming language: RGSS3, which is a form of Ruby. But even from that limited experience I am convinced that the above is an excerpt from a scripting language of some sort, not necessarily Ruby. The $ symbol denotes what is called a "global variable", at least in RGSS3. See also global variables in this video about PHP, which is another scripting language.

I am also amused that the hologram text names the Shera drop-down team as "TeamAlphRed" (see 1:18 in the FMV). Like they were supposed to be "Team Alpha Red" but instead it turns into Team Alfred. :lol:


It looks mostly like Perl to be fair, looking at the variable syntax (the $stuff things, which are the same as PHP) and the things that look like functions (mbv, update, etc), which are not like most programming languages (which use brackets for function calls, i.e. update($gMainPane); ).

I had a googling around though - keywords like wireframeOnShaded, menusOkayInPanels, etc - and they seem to be associated with Maya, specifially Maya Embedded Language. I've found various bits on the interwebz, some .mel files, some .mb files which I guess are compiled MEL files not written by people.

Some snippets from a file that match the bit from the scene:

//  get current state of the UI
sceneUIReplacement -[b][i]update $gMainPane;[/i][/b]

// snip

$panelName = `sceneUIReplacement -getNextPanel "modelPanel" (localizedPanelLabel("Persp View")) `;
	if ("" == $panelName) {
		if ($useSceneConfig) {
			$panelName = `modelPanel -unParent -l (localizedPanelLabel("Persp View")) [b][i]-mbv $menusOkayInPanels[/i][/b] `;
			[b][i]$editorName = $panelName;[/i][/b]
            modelEditor -e 
                -camera "persp" 
                -useInteractiveMode 0
                -displayLights "default" 
                -displayAppearance "wireframe" 
                -activeOnly 0
                [b][i]-wireframeOnShaded 0[/i][/b]
I wouldn't be surprised if this is the kind of code / script the cutscene guys work with on a daily basis (actually iirc Square uses Maya). I found the above in a project called Render Farm Manager, which based purely on the name is a Maya plugin used to send projects off to a big render farm to process the scenes into crisp cutscenes (at a rate of a minute per frame if they're lucky - I don't remember how long Advent Children took to render anymore. Toy Story back then took between 45 minutes and 30 hours per frame to render though, but that was way back when).
I have never ordered a Bradygames guide before, due to mostly hearing about how erroneous and incomplete they tend to be. For giggles I just ordered the Dirge of Cerberus Bradygames guide though. :D I look forward to seeing where the guide might be lacking and/or misleading.

Currently I do not own the American versions of DC but I have now placed bids on both the black label and the greatest hits releases. PLS PLS PLS LET ME HAVE THOSE. Just putting it out there again that if I don't win these bids, maybe a kind soul here on TLS could sell me their american copy/copies of DC. They are surprisingly hard to find even on eBay (EDIT: That is, difficult to find sellers who also ship to Sweden).

I have a desperate hope that maybe if I spend time playing the American version of DC I can in a way rekindle my passion to play Crisis Core (through the logic of finding a "refreshing" FFVII experience again). Since the end of March I have barely been able to touch CC because I played that game with such intensity.

EDIT: Woohoo! I won the bid on the black label edition! The bidding for the Greatest Hits release ends on Tuesday. :D
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VICTORY! I won the auction for DC Greatest Hits! I had to fight five other bidders and spend more money than for the black label edition but in the end I emerged victorious. The non-bidding alternatives for DC-GH were more expensive so I really feel good about this win.

Within 1-2 weeks I should have both the black label and GH copies in my possession, along with the Bradygames guide.


Pro Adventurer
If you look hard enough and don't mind laws you can find PDFs of various FF guides on the internet. Among them is the DoC BradyGames guide.

At a glance it at least doesn't look incompetent, but I'm not a DoC expert. On a whim a few years ago I bought the DoC Japanese Official Complete Guide. I don't know how it compares to the BG guide (or even what is in that) because I never opened it. :3
- Finally began my playthrough of the NTSC-US version of DC/DoC today. Found some stuff I need to compare with the International version to make sure of potential discrepancies. For example in the American copy I have not been able to trigger the "door(s) always open" glitch on the Shera despite numerous attempts.

- Moderately impressed with the coverage of the BradyGames guide and I do appreciate the A4 size of it, making reading and viewing more pleasant than the Japanese counterparts which are roughly half the paper size. Naturally, the guide does not include special info like how to get that Elixir in Chapter 11. Will make a more vast list of observations.

- The Cait Sith stealth segment takes place in two screens/fields. Sometimes when you transition from one to the next, Cait Sith will take a shot from gun fire while the first screen has gone black and the second screen is loading. When this happens, Cait Sith will suddenly lose HP when the second screen is loaded, due to the delayed shot from the first screen (a shot which you may not even have got to see or hear at all). DC has that general problem of the game's models/events loading faster than the actual screen.

In order to get the "Number 6 ready for action!" scene on the Shera, I intentionally failed a lot with Cait Sith in this run through Normal difficulty on my NTSC-US copy. When the first stealth screen ended, Cait Sith had 12 HP total. Then when the second screen loaded, Cait Sith received a delayed shot from the first screen, reducing his HP to 0. I did not record the event but here's a snapshot.

Cait Sith performed no death animation. His idle standing animation just continued even during the Game Over screen. I found this to be quite humorous. One of Cait's "sorry for losing" voice clips did play though.

- Goddamn it FEELS SO GOOD to be revisiting this game. In my current playthrough I have, so far, only missed one memory capsule. Here's hoping that no more capsules are accidentally skipped in this run.
I have now browsed the DoC BradyGames guide and I can say that while it is useful in many places, the guide is far from complete or even perfect (in some places it is even erroneous, to nobody's shock).

As an expert on DoC/DC I get the urge to fill in the guide with the strategies I know for bosses, efficient stage completion and differences between difficulty modes. The guide only covers the Normal mode experience, meaning there is info missing for how the game changes in Hard and EX Hard mode. Yes, there is no mention at all of the Dual Horn in Chapter 6 that appears only in EX Hard mode.

The most pleasing bit to me is that the guide has stats for how powerful the three elemental spells are on Lv1, Lv2 and Lv3 respectively. The original Japanese game has two official guides, one "Complete Guide" and then one guide published by V-Jump. The pity is that no Japanese guide exists for the International release, meaning that if not for the BradyGames guide we wouldn't have exact numbers for how the magic spells were strengthened from JORG to post-JORG. Having those numbers available gets my naughty geek bits tingling.

Aside from the magic stats and how damage is calculated in general, has the BradyGames guide taught me anything I did not know before? One thing at least: In the final battle, against Omega Weiss, you can jump on top of the rising blue blocks. I had never tried this before and could indeed confirm right now that stepping on a rising blue block can raise Chaos Vincent to the level of Omega Weiss's head, moving Vincent safely away from most (if not all) attacks (EDIT: Until the block retreates back to ground level, of course). Apparently this is the primary strategy to save you from the devastating "meteor" attack Omega Weiss throws at you near the end of the battle, but the odds of actually finding a blue platform in time are slim. I should re-play the final boss battle and try to detect a definitive safe spot from the meteor strike.
Nowhere does the guide mention the benefits from using Limit Breaker while in Chaos form, which is a shame because it helps speed up the completion of the game's final area, especially the boss battle.

In the Deepground level, chapter 10, you battle a Dragonfly (huge chopper) while on a monorail. The problem with this enemy is that it has no HP bar and that even if you deplete its HP it continues flying and attacking until the scripted moment, at the end of the monorail ride, when it finally explodes. The BradyGames guide claims that you need to cause at least 10000 HP of damage, after which you can stop wasting ammo on the Dragonfly. I am not entirely convinced that counting the damage numbers displayed in-game will reflect actual HP depleted but I WILL test this 10000 HP claim. I reckon more HP has to be depleted in EX Hard.

Now... Whose bright idea was it...to turn the final page into one long-ass unfoldable monstrosity? The foldable page seen here lists the game's Extra Missions, whereas the other side of the page has a 'complete' FFVII timeline summary. I can sort of see the aesthetic appeal of "folding out" the entire timeline of a franchise but it's still a crazy printing choice. >___<
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- Played around more with the blue 'elevator' blocks in the Omega Weiss battle. There are four pillars (forming a square) right around Omega Weiss. Whether their ascent and descent is determined by Omega's actions or just a timer or a random number generator, I am not sure. Confirmed though that I overestimated the usefulness of standing on a blue block when it rises. Omega Weiss can still easily damage you with numerous attacks plus there is an unfortunate tendency for your Death Penalty shots to hit an invisible wall (oddly enough) when you are standing on a fully ascended block.

As for the 'Omega Meteor' (not the official name) attack, I noticed that finding a partially ascended blue block along the walls of the stage was not difficult. I jumped on one that was barely above ground but it was still actually good enough to make sure that the Omega Meteor did not damage Vincent. Will repeat this in future playthroughs to see if the strategy is airtight or not.

In the penultimate Omega Weiss battle, the one against the giant brain, there are transparent blocks Vincent can jump on top of. There is no benefit to platforming here though as the Omega Buds will simply shoot you down.

- Just as I had hoped, I missed only one memory capsule in this run of DC. It was a capsule in the train graveyard stage. Still proud of myself. There is a joy in reaffirming my knowledge of the game plus I get to erase some false memories of where capsules are "supposed" to be. See, somehow, in my painful first playthrough (the PAL version) I went so insane looking for memory capsules that I ended up creating false memories of capsule locations. Add to that, I have sometimes confused the memory of capsules from the main story versus those in the Extra Missions because both sometimes use the same maps.

- Enjoying myself greatly with the Extra Missions. I don't need to go over again why I prefer these missions over the ones in Crisis Core. After doing 600 CC missions (300 in the European version + 300 in the Japanese version) the return to DC is much appreciated. There is also great joy in freshing up my memory of the capsule locations in the Extra Missions.

- The Missilebreaker Melee mission, which last for three full minutes, is one I usually dread but now I found a solid strategy. Before your playthrough of the main story ends, make sure to buy Recoil Limiter and preferably Auto Reloader. Upgrade your machine guns and your short barrel. I don't know what machine gun is the best, but I used the fastest one which is the Sonic Griffon.

For the first 60-90 seconds, use normal Cerberus/Ultima Weapon ammo to clear out incoming missiles. Then move Vincent to the left back corner, with the scope looking out right above (or on the top of) the barrel at the end of the platform. With the Sonic Griffon, Gale S Barrel (best upgrade of the Short Barrel), Auto Reloader and Recoil Limiter equipped, coupled with the proper position of Vincent and the scope, all you have to do now is press R1 (the trigger button) repeatedly until the mission ends.

Thanks to the recoil limiter you won't have to adjust the aim no matter how much you fire. When you've found the right spot, you don't have to change your aim AT ALL. Your biggest worry is depleting ammo too quickly which WILL happen if you always hold down R1 when the missiles arrive. Just mash R1 when the missiles have almost reached Vincent and you will find this mission to be quite easy and satisfying! Auto Reloader is not necessary but it at least removes the worry of reloading time.

The greatest satisfaction here is having found good use of the Recoil Limiter, an item that you normally have no incentive to buy. I only bought it in my playthrough because I had enough spare gil but now I was actually rewarded for it! :D

EDIT: The exact same equipment as in Missilebreaker Melee works great for the 'Vincent the Destroyer' mission. Just stand on a secure spot and wait for the enemies to come in and tap that R1 with secure confidence.
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Take a moment to consider that, today, a mere two days after the announcement of the FFVII remake, I am probably the only person who is willingly playing Dirge of Cerberus. Maybe even the only person in the world playing it at all. :lol: Still in my Extra Missions frenzy.

EDIT: The BradyGames guide lied about the location of the capsule in the "100,000 Needles" mission. It listed F-7 as the location but it is in fact L-7. BETRAYAL!
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The adventure continues.

- Remembered this time to record the "Congratulations" screen. You only see it once in a playthrough and that's why I wanted to record it.

The recording above is from the NTSC-US version of Dirge of Cerberus. When comparing the Congratulations screen between NTSC-US and International (I had old snapshots of it, that's all), I was surprised.

The bullet holes are placed completely different and they don't even have the same number of bullet holes.

My guess is that this is not a version difference but that the arrangement of bullet holes are randomly generated for each time you clear all the Extra Missions. Fortunately, I have kept an NTSC-US save where there is only the final Extra Mission left to clear, so as long as I keep a backup of that save I can test out to see if my "randomly generated bullet hole arrangement" theory is true.

- What I did, when I only had that short final mission left to clear, was to copy my "NTSC-US Normal Mode" save to a separate memory card which is now the home for my "NTSC-US Hard Mode" playthrough. After starting in Hard Mode, the equipment gained from Normal Mode is no longer available in the Extra Missions. Instead, the game picks out from a very basic equipment setup.

All you have, up until the new playthrough in story mode is completed, is...
- Cerberus
- Short Barrel
- Normal Barrel
- Long Barrel
- Auto Scope
- S Auto Scope

No Griffon, no Sniper Scope, no Rifle, no Cerberus Relief etc etc. Not even a rifle for the Rains of Gehenna mission which means you are essentially f*cked! The reason I'm listing this is because of the Auto Scope and the S Auto Scope, which are not available in story mode. It is pure luck that I spotted them.

You may remember the scope that is available to you in JORG, on Easy and Normal mode. I do not know if an S Auto Scope exists in JORG.
&#12458;&#8213;&#12488;&#12473;&#12467;&#8213;&#12503; = ootosukoopu = Auto Scope

The function of the scope in JORG, which is simply an auto-lock function, was turned into an inherent function of all handheld guns post-JORG, rendering the scope useless as an equippable item (ergo why you don't have it in story mode post-JORG). This is still true even when both Auto Scopes appear in the basic Extra Mission equipment setup: The auto-lock function is still there even if you unequip whatever scope you have on! I can't testify for sure if the auto-lock function is improved by wearing either scope but it doesn't remove auto-lock, that is for sure.

Very curious that they left these two scopes in, if only for the Extra Missions when it doesn't have playthrough data to draw from.

- After clearing the final mission, this message started popping up when I clicked on Game Start.

The data did load correctly when I clicked past this message but the message still makes me uneasy, The message consistently appears even now when I have reset the console. I hope it goes away eventually. Maybe once I have cleared Hard Mode...? =/
No new research to provide, just giving a playthrough update.

- Usually I am a coward and I level up Vincent early on, either after the Kalm chapter or the Wastelands chapter. The fear is that the snipers in Edge will instantly kill me if I don't level up. Courage welled up from within though and I didn't level up until right before the sixth chapter which is 'Deepground Strikes Back' (the one after Shinra Manor). I actually performed extremely well, thanks to memory and strategies, so in the future I will avoid levelling Vincent before chapter 6. There are way too many unfair moments in chapter 6 for me not to level up as a safety precaution. I have no plans to go hardcore and do a Lv1 playthrough from start to finish. Especially not in Hard Mode.

- In the fight for the central complex I got a bit too careless though and I actually got a Game Over... >___> MY PRIDE!!!

- The "Data failed to load" message still pops up. Seriously hoping that it goes away once I clear Hard Mode.

- I may have made one useful gameplay discovery. Enemies with machine guns are quite annoying because they will keep firing at you as long as they stand, if all you do is fire at them with Cerberus. However I noticed now that when you wail away at them with the Griffon, their rapid-fire is interrupted! This was useful for when I reached for the first G Report.

Normally I never use the Griffon and I only upgrade it in preparation for the Extra Mission. The aforementioned discovery emphasizes though that there may be one moment or two when the Griffon is justified. Ergo why I ended up actually upgrading the Griffon (and the short barrel, which I like to accompany it with) in the chapter that leads up to Rosso.
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I have now confirmed that completing Hard Mode did not remove the "data failed to load" glitch. I have also confirmed which part of the game has been glitched up: The Extra Missions. Specifically, the equipment setup. Even after completing Hard Mode, the Extra Missions do not load the equipment I completed that playthrough with. I am stuck with Cerberus, the Lv1 barrels and the two Auto Scopes. =/

Thanks to my backup save from when Normal Mode was completed and I only had one Extra Mission left to complete, I may be able to figure out if there is an exact method to causing the glitch.

Last time, what happened was this:
- Copied over Normal Mode save to new memory card.
- Immediately started a Hard Mode playthrough. No error message popped up. Temp Saved right before the final boss of Kalm.
- Entered the Extra Missions to complete the final one. Noticed the Auto Scopes for the first time. Equipped and de-equipped them. Completed the mission after a few tries.
- Pressed Game Start to resume Hard Mode play and that's when I got my first error message.

There are many questions and a number of possibilities. I do not remember if I ever before entered the Extra Missions when a new playthrough was not yet completed. My gut tells me that I did and that on those times, the equipment from the previous playthrough was preserved. I could be wrong though.

We'll see what I discover. I will not delete this corrupted save file because I quite like actually having unlocked this glitch. Yes, I like having "discovered" this aspect of Dirge of Cerberus.

I am not entirely pleased though. Even if I figure out the cause of the glitch and manage to start a new Hard Mode playthrough without glitches, I am very much not in the mood to replay Hard Mode again. Especially not after I worked so hard to accumulate all possible equipment for the Extra Missions. So I am excited and bummed at the same time.

When I feel like it I will move over the Normal Mode save to a different memory card, then enter the Extra Missions BEFORE starting Hard Mode. After having entered and exited a mission I will start a Hard Mode playthrough, exit and then see if the glitch happens again. More tests may follow.

EDIT: I have to note that the original Normal Mode save was on an unlicensed PS2 memory card. The memory card I copied over the save to was an official one, with the text "PlayStation 2" and "Magic Gate" on it which is how you typically know that it is official. I speculate that the transition from what is essentially a bootleg memory card to an official one may increase the risk of save data being corrupted. Another contributing factor might be that I am playing on a region free PS2.

EDIT #2: Clearly I am not alone in having experienced this glitch.
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Might as well post Dirge of Cerberus glitches. :monster:

- Cardkey glitch in Mako Reactor 0 (Twitch)

- Deepground soldier spinning in mid-air endlessly

- Floating Guard Hound

- The well-known Gargoyle glitch in Mako Reactor 0 where you can jump on top of a Gargoyle and ride it as it flies. I'm leaning more towards this being an intentional easter egg feature rather than an unintentional bug.

- Phasing through platform in Edge (see 1:28)

- Falling through the airship floor. I wonder if the guy was playing on PCSX2.
Jesse McCree. I feel like a New Man
I feel so dumb right now. DoC is infact one big fan fic shout out to Metal Gear Solid.

Tv tropes cleared this out for me:

Rosso has a Sniper Wolf-esque inappropriate Lzherusskie accent.
Azul is a pretty clear Vulcan Raven, Genius Brute with a BFG.
Nero has a Psycho Mantis bondage look.
Weiss is similar to Liquid Snake, though Nero has the accent. Really, he's more like Revolver Ocelot and Hojo is Liquid Snake.

All this time Deepground was just Foxhound.

Edit: Worse yet, Omega was actually a Metal Gear.

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After recreating the conditions of the corrupt save data glitch, to the best of my ability, I did not trigger the glitch again. Turns out, like my gut said, that even when a new playthrough is started over the old one, the Extra Missions will adopt the equipment from your last completed playthrough.

I still speculate that the glitch is spawned when a new playthrough is started over the old one, but the glitch probably doesn't begin until an Extra Mission is loaded erroneously and that still is a very random occurrence.

Ergo... The corrupt save data I now have essentially allows me to see two hidden items! :D One is not meant to spot the Auto Scope and the S Auto Scope. Assuming they don't pop up in the Tutorial section that is... Ugh, I don't wanna check that place!

When I attempted to recreate the glitch I triggered the Congratulations screen two more times. Just like I thought, the arrangement of bullet holes is randomly generated. Only took snapshots, so I have not recorded to see if the placement of smoke and lighting effects (when the shots are fired) is also randomly generated. These are our patterns so far:

These tests would be faster to make if I emulated Dirge of Cerberus. The emulation of DC on PCSX2 can be buggy and the game can freeze but if I use the saves from my physical memory cards then at least the emulation should work fine for quick tests that will require a lot of memory card copying and swapping.

Thank you for posting!
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