Pause Buffer

Pause buffering is a way to ensure that inputs are all performed on the correct frames for precise or risky tricks. After unpausing, there is a brief period during which the game hasn't yet resumed but inputs are accepted. This brief period is called the "unpause lag", and its exact length depends on how laggy the area is. The game will treat any button pressed during the unpause lag as having been pressed on the first possible frame that the game resumes. This means that pausing on the frame that a frame perfect input should be done yields a larger window for that input during the unpause lag, which is especially useful for situations where multiple inputs must be timed together.

It is important to note that if you are holding Z/L to target and then pause buffer, continuing to hold Z/L during unpause lag will continue to target as expected, but releasing Z/L during the pause and re-pressing it during the unpause lag will retarget even though no untargeted frames passed. This distinction is important for some tricks, including the Zora ledge clip.

As with any other button input, unpause lag also buffers start presses. This means that while pause buffering to advance one frame at a time, pressing start too early will pause on the same frame as the previous pause without the game resuming at all.

Pause buffer cutscene skips

Cutscenes take two consecutive gameplay frames to begin playing, so pause buffering to advance one gameplay frame at a time allows Link to move through a cutscene trigger. This counts as activating the cutscene, which clears it, and if Link reaches a load zone before allowing the cutscene to begin, then the cutscene is bypassed entirely. Two common examples are Happy Mask Salesman cutscene skip and turtle cutscene skip:

Happy Mask Salesman cutscene skip
Turtle cutscene skip
Last updated 04/03/2024 – bewildebeest