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Selfdestruct and Substitute glitch

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    The Selfdestruct and Substitute glitch in Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow allows a Pokémon to use Selfdestruct or Explosion against a Pokémon under a Substitute and not faint.

    Performing the glitch


  • A fast Pokémon knowing Substitute.
  • Another Pokémon knowing Explosion or Selfdestruct.
  • Both Pokémon must face each other in a battle.

    Self-destruction without fainting

  • One of the Pokémon must use Substitute.
  • The other must then (not necessarily the same turn) use Selfdestruct or Explosion.
  • The game will state that "(Pokémon)'s SUBSTITUTE broke !" but the Explosion user won't faint. Its sprite will vanish and won't be revealed again until a new Pokémon is switched in.


    There are two functions used to deal damage : one for the enemy, one for the player's Pokémon.

    However, only one function handles damage to a Substitute. The "forced fainting" is the applied to the Substitute instead of the Explosion user, although the sprite vanishes as this is handled by the attack sprite animation.

    See also

  • Confusion and Substitute glitch - a glitch in which damage is dealt to the opponent Pokémon's Substitute instead of the user's when a Pokémon under a Substitute is hurt from its confusion.

    Video demonstration

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