Back in Time (BiT)

Discovered by TheOnlyOne

───────── How To ─────────


Back in Time (BiT) is a glitch that exists in Skyward Sword, Twilight Princess, and Wind Waker. It allows you to retain control of Link while on the title screen. Each of these games activate BiT differently, with very different behaviors and uses. In Skyward Sword, Back in Time is extremely useful, allowing manipulation of both save files and the title screen map simultaneously.

Triggering Back in Time

To activate BiT, first die. Some useful methods of dying:

  • The earliest place to die in the game is to jump off the wooden stairs/bridge leading to the Goddess Statue. You should run up the post on the right side at the top. If done right, Link will jump off the top of the post, land on the ground below, and take damage.
  • Once you get bombs, it is usually fastest to use bombs to kill yourself. Since you will often save before activating BiT, the bombs used to kill yourself will be replaced after BiT.
  • You can also use a Corrupt File (see below) to activate BiT. This is most useful before bombs, but can also be used to activate BiT off save prompts or when you have so much health that dying with bombs is slower.

Then on the continue prompt, choose continue and reset the game immediately afterwards. You have about a half-second window in which to reset, and you can reset the game with either the Reset button on the Wii or the Reset option in the Home Menu.

If done correctly the title screen will show and Link will spawn in mid-air and fall into a void. He is then dropped back on solid ground by a non-existing Skyloft Knight, and a glitched cutscene will play. You should then gain control of Link, and be able to move around Skyloft.

If the title screen loads normally, then you likely reset before selecting continue. If the game turns black and freezes, then you reset the game too late.

Scrapper BiT

Discovered by lepelog

It is possible to activate BiT without dying using the load after Scrapper is destroyed during the Scrapper Escort section. To do so, let Scrapper get destoryed. Then press A on the last textbox and reset the game at the same time. This will activate BiT. This is the only load in the game outside of deaths that work to activate BiT.

───────── Effects ─────────

BiT Skyloft

When you start the Back in Time Glitch (BiT), a different version of Skyloft is loaded. Performing a BiTSave will load you in this alternate version of Skyloft as well.

This version of Skyloft is on layer 28 and has some key differences from the regular Skyloft:

  • The door into the Goddess Statue is open.
  • The Bazaar carpets aren't loaded.
  • Trigger zones aren't loaded.
  • NPCs aren't loaded.
  • There is a heavy bloom effect, and the colors are much brighter.
  • Both gates to the Academy are shut while in BiT. They can be opened using BiTMagic.
  • The game is in Normal Mode while in BiT. After you perform a BiTSave, the mode will revert to that of the loaded file.

Because the Goddess Statue door is open, it is possible to perform different sequence breaks, such as Early Goddess Sword and Skipping the Sailcloth.

Other Effects

There are a number of bizarre things that can happen during BiT, many of which will crash the game.

  • Staying on the title splash screen for too long will cause the prologue cutscenes to play, ending BiT.
  • You can freely press A and B to open/close the file select screen. You can load, delete, copy, or create a new game from here. Note: To copy a file, it is recommended to do so while the map button is disabled to prevent the game from crashing, as they both use the '+' button. However it is possible to copy a file while having control over Link without crashing by tapping the '+' button for a single frame.
  • Attempting to open the Menu with '1' or the Map with '+' will cause the game to crash.
  • Pressing '-' on the splash screen will bring up a textbox asking you if you want to watch the WiiMotion+ tutorial. Pressing Yes (right option) will crash the game. Pressing No will remove the text. This textbox is useful when you want to press A but don't want to open the splash screen. It is also useful to reset the timer for the prologue video starting. However if you enter a loading zone in BiT with this text on screen, you will not be able to close it by pressing No. In this case, press '-' again and then the No option will be available again. Do not start a file without removing this text or it will stick in gameplay where you cannot remove it unless going back to the title screen again.
  • Entering a new area will not deactivate BiT, but could crash your game in some circumstances.
  • Dying in BiT without either saving at a statue or entering a loading zone will cause the game to crash, since you haven't set a respawn position.
  • Entering The Sky loading zone will cause the game to crash, unless you are on the loftwing tutorial layer.
  • Re-entering the main Skyloft area during the day will cause the game to crash.
  • Beds work during BiT, and allow you to sleep until night. Note that while you can sleep in the beds that are past the bridge on Skyloft with any file, beds that are near the Bazaar require the Hero's Tunic to be used. To load the Hero's Tunic information, select a file that has the hero's tunic inside the house while near the door, and you will be able to sleep. If you don't select any file near the door, then make sure to enter the house with a file that has the Hero's Tunic to be able to use these specific beds.
  • Re-entering the main Skyloft area during the night will crash unless you exit with a file selected that does not have the Hero's Tunic or with a file saved after beating Sky Keep.
  • You can enter the Academy if you enter it with a file that does not have the Hero's Tunic yet. Otherwise the game will crash.
  • Most of the beds inside the Academy can't be interacted with during Back in Time since the Academy must be loaded with a file that does not have the hero's tunic, and no bed can be interacted with without it. The 2 exceptions are Link's and Fledge's bed. It is possible to sleep in those beds in BiT if you load the story information from a file that has obtained the hero's tunic after entering the Academy with a file that does not have the tunic. This can be done for exemple by opening Link's dresser for a blue rupee.
  • You can enter all other areas safely without crashing, including the Waterfall Cave, the Goddess Statue, the Bazaar, and all houses.
  • If the academy gates are closed, you can jump off the side of the bridges leading to the Academy to respawn on the other side of the gates. If you press 'B' while falling, you lose control of link when he is placed on the ground again, resulting in a softlock.
  • Certain cutscenes can be triggered if the right flag is set on a file (see BiTMagic). Generally, the cutscene will not trigger when you first select a file, but will trigger as soon as your environment is updated in some way. Some cutscenes do not grant you control of Link again, but you can still manipulate the menu.

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Major Glitches

There are several useful glitches that employ Back in Time. The major BiT tricks have their own pages:

  • BiTSave for traveling quickly to Skyloft
  • BiTWarp for limited teleportation in any area we can save in, using bird statue coordinates accessible in BiT
  • Reverse BiTWarp for limited teleportation to any area that can be accessed during BiT, using any bird statue coordinates
  • BiTMagic to change your environment in BiT by using flags saved on your savefiles
  • Reverse BiTMagic for applying flags to Areas
  • Early Light Pillar to setup another important glitch: Faron BiT
  • File Duping for copying files using save statues, also useful to setup Faron BiT fast
  • Faron BiT for accessing Faron Woods (and thus many more flags and Bird Statues) in BiT
  • Early Boss Rush to access the Thunder Dragon's minigame early and break the games normal sequence of events
  • Bed Trick & Death Trick for travelling quickly to areas you've already visited before, or to load into some entrances earlier than intended
  • Early Thunderhead, a story flag RBM to open the thunderhead without repairing Scrapper
  • Early Life Tree Seedling, an inventory flag RBM for getting the seedling during BiT

Some other glitches in BiT that are nonetheless useful are also below.

Corrupt File

Discovered by CloudMax

While in BiT, start deleting a file. While the file is still deleting, save at a statue. After the game is done deleting and saving, the file will appear to have one heart, and the name will be a blurred mark. When the file is loaded, Link instantly dies. This is useful for activating BiT easily when Bombs or other damage sources are not an option.

In addition to being a useful way to activate BiT, a corrupt file can also be used to access nightttime BiT, as well as certain scene flags that are only available at the start of the game. This makes it useful for a few Reverse BiTMagic tricks as well.

Another way to create a corrupt file is to never open the splash screen after activating Back in Time. Go to a bird statue and save while not opening the splash screen (this must be done using the Wii Motion Plus Tutorial screen). Saving in such a way will overwrite the file that activated BiT with a Corrupt File.

Entrance Animation Transfer (EAT)

Discovered by peppernicus

The Entrance Animation Transfer (EAT) is a glitch that allows you to carry over the animation of an entrance (for example, exiting a door) to a statue where your file is saved. Due to there being no collision checks for walls during some of these animations you can use this to get out of bounds in some areas. The method described here is the method that works entirely in Back in Time.

How to:

  • Requires a file saved at a Save Prompt (that way the storyflag that handles respawning at a statue is unset)
  • Activate BiT. Go to the entrance which animation you want to transfer. Don't change area from now on
  • BiTsave a file
  • Select/reselect the file that is saved at the save prompt
  • Update story flags with that file so the game thinks you are not saved at a statue
  • Die and press continue without ending BiT

You will respawn at the coordinates and angles of the statue you BiTSaved at in BiT, but with the animation of the last entrance you triggered in BiT. This most notably works with doors.

Note: another way to trigger this glitch with Back in Time is possible using the Bed Trick glitch. See here for more information.

Reverse Entrance Animation Transfer (Reverse EAT)

Discovered by peppernicus

The Reverse Entrance Animation Transfer (Reverse EAT) is a glitch that allows you to spawn at an entrance without the entrance animation playing in Back in Time. This can allow you to spawn out of bounds in some areas.

How to:

  • Requires a file saved at a Statue
  • Activate BiT. Go to the entrance where you want to respawn without the entrance animation playing. Don't change area from now on
  • Update story flags with the file saved at a statue
  • Die and press continue without ending BiT

You will respawn at the last entrance triggered in BiT, but if that entrance is supposed to play an animation, that animation will not play. This can allow you to respawn out of bounds in some cases, most notably out of bounds behind doors. The most notable use for this is to respawn inside Wryna's House, then swim OoB and fall down to the lower level of Skyloft, skipping having to go through the waterfall cave to get there.

Text Replacement

Discovered by azer67, investigated by peppernicus

It is sometimes possible to trigger a NpcTke cutscene, but delay that cutscene from happening by getting rid of the flag that should trigger the cutscene. Then, by triggering a different NpcTke cutscene that requires no flag, because the other NpcTke object is still cued up, it will play the first cutscene instead, creating something called a Text Replacement. In the end, the first NpcTke cutscene gets unset using the untrigger flag for the second NpcTke object.

This can allow you to obtain flags unaccessible otherwise. In the example below, the Sealed Grounds scene flag Ax40 gets set using a Text Replacement.

This glitch is not fully understood. One potential way it could be helpful would be to get the untrigger flag from the NpcTke object preventing access to the Volcano Summit without Fireshield Earrings, but Eldin Volcano is not accessible in Back in Time, so this is not possible. A way to untrigger one of the NpcTke preventing Link from leaving Imprisoned fights could also be a useful discovery.

Saving Flag Glitch

When you save, a saving flag is set. If you try to reset the game while the saving flag is set, then all audio is removed and your buttons no longer work. The game will reset once the saving flag is removed. This is done to prevent save corruption by turning off the Wii while saving.

While in BiT, load a file, and save right before the screen fully fades to black. If done right, the saving message should not appear. What will happen is that the saving flag is set, but no save is done, and your file is loaded normally and can be played normal. You will know that the save flag is set if you cannot press the Home button.

When the saving flag is set, attempting to reset the game will result in the Saving Flag glitch. Audio is removed and buttons do not work. You can still use the control stick (to move Link) and use Motion+ (to slash your sword). You can still enter loading zones, and areas are loaded as normal, but the Saving Flag glitch is still in effect. All triggers work normally.

Anything that requires button input is impossible, such as progressing through text and saving. This makes this glitch nearly useless.

Note: Saving at a statue will set the saving flag again, and then remove it when the save is complete, which fixes the saving flag glitch.

Last updated 05/09/2024 – azer67