15 years in the past a mysterious GameFAQs person referred to as Ditman333 casually posted a couple of discovery he’d made in Resident Evil 4. He had stumbled upon a glitch that allowed the participant to maneuver 50% quicker. All of a sudden, the rising Resident Evil 4 speedrunning neighborhood took discover and the glitch turned a revelation.
But dashing up the participant wasn’t the glitch’s solely use. Ditman had opened up a Pandora’s field of glitches that allowed speedrunners everywhere in the world to reveal new exploits and even bypass total sections of the game altogether. Resident Evil 4 speedrunning exploded in recognition, with new finds and data nonetheless being set to today, all because of Ditman’s easy discovery.
But in 2007 the unique publish has been purged from the discussion board. Today, there’s no proof of its existence. Ditman333, apparently now not an energetic presence on the web, has since light into hearsay, delusion, and finally legend.
The ghost of Ditman333 has left a legacy. The exploit was dubbed The Ditman Glitch and it’s a reputation that also stands at this time, robust as ever. And so, in a quest to be taught the true story behind the glitch’s origin, there’s just one factor for it: it’s time to seek out Ditman.
This is the inside story of Ditman: the mysterious gamer and glitch that modified Resident Evil 4 without end.
In 2005 the lengthy-awaited return of Resident Evil arrived within the form of the style-defining Resident Evil 4. Along with the return of fan favorite character, Leon S. Kennedy, the game — below the stewardship of collection creator Shinji Mikami — took a courageous new flip into an over-the-shoulder playstyle, abandoning most of the performed-out concepts that had made the collection so profitable. The change paid off: Resident Evil 4 was instantly a smash hit out of the gate.
“It was very modern at the time, a groundbreaking game when it came out on Nintendo GameCube,” recollects Sunblade, a former Resident Evil 4 speedrun world file holder.
“I just loved it. It was just the best game I’ve ever played,” says Scottish runner Derek T, the present (as of February 2022) world file holder for his New Game+ PC run. “It’s the feeling of it, the movement, the whole game’s engine was like it was just a language to me.”
Resident Evil 4 obtained an overwhelmingly optimistic vital response, incomes over 30 game of the 12 months awards. It was unquestionably the largest hit of 2005, and due to this recognition players started to compete. The aim was easy: Who may end this masterpiece the quickest? It’s a challenge generally often known as speedrunning.
“Speedrunning is something I’ve been interested in since around 2015,” says prolific speedrunner Mike Wave. “I ran Breath of the Wild first for a little bit, but then I moved on to RE4 because it was a game I really, really liked. The rest is history. I just ended up running that for, at some point, every day!”
“When I bought the game, I entered a German high school speed run community,” says Sunblade. “All of the guys there had some awesome achievements and I was pretty much the only one who didn’t have anything. I was like, ‘I’m playing Resident Evil 4 right now, let’s check the current world record on Speed Demos Archive. And I was like, ‘Okay let’s try to beat that time’ and somehow it happened and then I never let go.”
Players from around the globe gathered to attempt to set file instances in Resident Evil 4. This all occurred in parallel to the rise of YouTube and Twitch (which on the time often known as Justin.TV.) Gamers may now share movies of their instances and suggestions with ease like by no means earlier than, and that solely inspired extra to strive it out.
But two years after the game’s launch and seemingly out of nowhere, a new exploit arrived. And with it, each single velocity-operating technique was about to alter without end. Enter The Ditman Glitch.
So, how does the Ditman glitch really work? Let’s break it down:
- In order to set off the glitch, you need a shotgun referred to as Striker.
- When aiming with the Striker, a pink laser will pop up.
- The secret is to goal the Striker, however to hit the stock button earlier than the laser reveals.
- In the stock, you then change to every other weapon.
- When you return, Leon will now be shifting 50% quicker.
- Taking harm, therapeutic and a litany of different issues will cancel the glitch.
“I think the Ditman Glitch was found in the summer of 2007 and I got the world record right before that time,” recollects Sunblade. “I was on holiday and my friend called me on my cellphone and he said, ‘Oh my God there’s a huge glitch in this game. You have to come back and do a new speed run!’, and I was very excited.”
“I think I had heard about it just wtching some YouTube videos back in the day,” says Wave. “It’s probably the most well-known glitch in the game. A thing even casual players know about.”
“I was surprised by just how much you have to use it in the run,” he provides. “You’re literally using it for half of the run, in every single room!”
“I was watching Pitted speedrun it, who was a big speedrunner back in the day,” shares Trichael Man, a former speedrunner and present Super Moderator on RE4 Speedruns. “I watched it and I’m like, ‘Wow, he’s breaking the game that I love. This is really cool!’
“I didn’t understand what was happening when Pitted was running the game. And then I watched his speedrunning guide. That was when I was like, ‘That’s how he’s hacking the game to go fast’.
“It’s also pretty cool, because there are a bunch of [other] glitches that you can only do with the Ditman glitch,” Trichael Man says.
When the Ditman Glitch arrived on the scene it shortly altered the panorama of an elite time for Resident Evil 4. It not solely drastically improved speedrun instances, but it surely may be used to seek out complete new skips. This was no odd glitch, it was a Pandora’s field of glitches.
“Because Leon is doing everything 50% faster while he’s in Ditman, that opens up the avenue for out of bounds, clips and a lot of really weird stuff happening in the game,” says Wave. “The most famous example probably is the mine cart skip.
“About 60% of the way into the game, there’s a mine cart ride that you have to go on. It’s like three or four minutes long,” Wave explains. “It’s an auto scroller. You just sit in the mine cart and shoot the enemies as they jump in. And then you just wait until it’s over.
“If you have Ditman active and you jump off the platform to go into the mine cart, if you drop off that platform at a certain angle while Leon is carrying the TMP specifically, then he’ll just clip out of bounds. We [then] found a specific pathing that you can do where you can just go through a wall and you just run the rest of the way to the end. You just skip the entire thing. It saves like two or three minutes. It’s by far the biggest skip in the run. The one everybody went crazy about when it was originally found.”
The Minecart skip was the tip of the Ditman iceberg. Runners, with the understanding that the glitch may expose all types of exploits, started working testing each chapter and part they desired to skip, they usually weren’t disenchanted. A selected spotlight being a complete skip for the Dual El Gigante combat, activated utilizing a zipline whereas in Ditman mode to sail straight by the wall and past the boundaries of the map.
With data of the glitch now widespread, the exploits saved coming. Some, such because the Salazar boss combat skip, which may solely be carried out on the 30FPS model of the game, had been even finally discarded when the 60FPS model on Steam turned the runners’ model of selection. But it wasn’t simply speedrunning exploits the glitch introduced, it additionally created humorous moments resembling the favored clip of Leon using an invisible jet ski.
The Ditman glitch shortly established its significance and shortly turned (and nonetheless is!) important for anybody dreaming of prime instances in Resident Evil 4. Yet regardless of being discovered solely 15 years in the past, in web years which may as nicely be a century. Thus the story of its discovery (and discoverer) has already drifted in legendary standing.
“The legend, as we’ve all been told, is there was a person on a GameFAQs thread from back in the day,” says Wave. “I think like 2005 or 2006. There was a person who found the glitch. His name was Ditman. That was his GameFAQs username.”
“All I know is there’s a guy named Ditman, but I don’t know how he discovered this,” says Trichael Man. “Did he just randomly decide to aim with weapons and decide to change weapons? I don’t know how he figured it out.”
“I think he found it by accident,” theorises Sunblade. “Well, if you know how the glitch works, that could easily be the case.”
“I’ve tried to contact him and tried to find people who knew him on GameFAQs,” says Derek T, who can be desperately looking for solutions. “But he seems to have just vanished into nowhere…”
At this level, I used to be invested. I needed to know the true origins of the glitch, and so the subsequent step was apparent. I needed to discover Ditman.
“Go to the GameFAQs forum and find the post,” is what you’re in all probability pondering. And sure, I used to be proper there with you. But there was, sadly, an El Gigante sized spanner within the works.
In the method of both shifting servers or only a lack of foresight, outdated GameFAQs posts from 2007 had been purged way back. The thread, and any hint of the thread, has been completely deleted. And sure, I did strive the Wayback Machine. No cube.
But I wasn’t deterred. Ditman was at one level a presence on the web, so there needed to be one thing. What adopted was weeks of clues and useless ends. But, because of greater than just a little dedication, I ultimately did it. I discovered Ditman. Here’s how:
My first port of call was GameFAQs, simply to make certain the publish had been deleted. It had, however the person Ditman333 nonetheless existed. However, their final login was in August 2015 and there was no signal of any Ditman exercise since then. Still, I despatched him a message simply in case.
With GameFAQs feeling like a useless-finish, I shortly switched to outdated dependable Google, which instantly led to a YouTube channel referred to as Ditman333 that contained an odd mixture of classical music, guitar covers and skateboarding movies. But with no exercise for eight years, I imagined the message I left would by no means be obtained. That’s assuming it was even the Ditman anyway; I’d actually already come throughout just a few pretenders.
For instance: a touch upon Sunblade’s glorious tutorial was left by a person referred to as Jesse Edmond, claiming he was Ditman, however such a declare was by no means seemingly proved. I additionally discovered a publish by an account referred to as Not Sans with a equally daring declare, in addition to a declaration by an account referred to as Aware Bear. I couldn’t validate any of them by analysis and it was beginning to get messy.
Back to Google, and my search finally led to — of all locations — a discussion board about Stardew Valley. A person referred to as Ditman333 had made a publish in June 2019. Closer, however there had been no exercise since and in the end little or no presence there. There was a single publish in search of fellow players on Nintendo Switch although, which conveniently left a good friend code to analyze. I despatched Ditman a personal message on the discussion board after which moved over to the Switch.
By coming into the good friend code on the Switch I shortly discovered that the one who may probably be Ditman was referred to as Tony and, frankly, not a lot else. I despatched a good friend request to what I perceive now to be a largely inactive account, however resulting from Nintendo’s (maybe wise) restrictions, I couldn’t ship a message.
Now armed with a primary identify I searched ‘Ditman333 Tony’ and shortly stumbled upon an outdated YouTube playlist referred to as ‘Ditman’ from 2012, with the outline written by an obvious proud mom referred to as Melanie. Yes, I really discovered Ditman’s mum earlier than I discovered Ditman.
In the Ditman playlist, amongst a lot of glitch demonstrations, had been two movies from the aforementioned account, Ditman333, and even one from a Tony who shared the identical surname as Melanie. The items had been beginning to add up, however as a result of there was little-to-no exercise on the Tony account, I made a decision to revisit the Ditman333 account and dig just a little deeper.
Despite no point out of the glitch on the account, 11 years in the past Ditman333 had posted a video of somebody taking part in a guitar cowl of the Resident Evil 4 save theme. In the video’s feedback was a reply from an account I’d came upon earlier than, Aware Bear. Not solely had Aware Bear claimed to be Ditman beforehand, however they had been now doubling down because the mysterious guitar participant.
Besides a video a couple of glitch in Oblivion although, Aware Bear didn’t actually have something on his channel to again up the declare he’d made in feedback. But identical to all the opposite accounts, I despatched a message simply on the off likelihood I’d hear again. This time although, I received a right away response and, amazingly, an electronic mail tackle…
After a whole lot of hesitancy and a fast chat over a Discord call (with a unique username once more, simply to maintain it additional complicated!) it lastly turned obvious that Aware Bear, Jesse Edmond, this Discord person, and Ditman333 had lots in frequent. They had been all the identical particular person.
I did it, I had Ditman. Well, one half of Ditman…
“Hi, my name is Jesse and I’m the co-creator of The Ditman Glitch.”
After a whole lot of dialog, Jesse lastly (and kindly) agreed to speak to me on the proviso that one factor was clear: the Ditman glitch was one thing that he found together with his brother, Tony.
“We had rented [Resident Evil 4] from Blockbuster I think,” Jesse recalled. “We brought it home to try it out. We played it for a couple of days and just fell in love with the game and eventually bought a copy for ourselves. We ended up beating it through at least 50 times, we unlocked everything in the game you could possibly unlock. During going through that, that’s when we discovered the Ditman glitch.”
At this point I’d built up the discovery as a monumental occasion in my head, almost as if they’d had this great epiphany that they knew would change the Resident Evil 4 speedrunning scene forever. But that wasn’t quite the case.
“I know you’re looking for something wholesome, but at the time, me and my brother were into smoking a lot of weed,” says Jesse. (*4*)
“My brother had an account on GameFAQs, I wasn’t really into it,” says Jesse, recalling the day they posted their discovery. “I remember [Tony] used to go on there and post stuff and he’s like, ‘Yo, let’s post this on GameFAQs!’ So we wrote up this huge thing on how to do it and we posted it. We didn’t even name it, but obviously, we had our tag Ditman. So then it just became known as the Ditman glitch. I thought that was pretty cool that they named it after our post.”
“Turns out it snowballed into something and eventually people got all into it,” he provides. “We were seeing that people could jump out of bounds with this glitch and do really weird stuff. It was just amazing to see it progress in that way.”
Jesse and Tony never expected the response the glitch received, so much so that today they’re still a little overwhelmed by it all. Tony seeks little to no attention for their discovery whatsoever and is happy for Jesse to speak on their behalf.
“Even now that I look back and I think about it,” says Jesse. “How the hell did we figure out that you had to aim with the weapon and then switch it? We literally figured it out so fast, It just felt like we broke the game.”
I’m positive at this level the extra cynical amongst you may nonetheless be involved that Jesse was a pretender, and I’d be mendacity if I didn’t admit I had my preliminary doubts. However, one thing I haven’t talked about but is Jesse, after seven years absent, managed to efficiently log into the outdated Ditman333 GameFAQs account to validate his declare.
“I couldn’t believe I got on it, because my brother tried to get on it before and he couldn’t remember the username or password,” says Jesse. “I was like, ‘Oh, let me try.’ I tried to get on and it worked. I actually got on!
“I remember going back on YouTube videos and saying ‘Hey, we were the ones that made this,’ and people would say, ’Oh you’re a liar.’” recollects Jesse, sharing tales of the opposite instances individuals doubted their declare. “We got all these hate comments about how we’re trying to take credit for it and all this stuff. It’s not like we really wanted credit, it was just we found it pretty cool.”
15 years of extraordinarily minimal comply with up actually validated this. Hell, the Ditman333 channel didn’t actually have a video in regards to the glitch. The brothers had been merely content material sufficient with the truth that their glitch was so beloved.
Despite having the discovery confirmed though, there was still an outstanding question: where did the name Ditman come from?
“It actually came from my dad. He had a little nickname for all of us,” Jesse explains. “I’m not going to say what mine was, but my brother was Ditter. He would always call him Ditter. I don’t know why or where that came from, but he ended up just taking that, turning into Ditman and using that for all of his usernames. So technically I’m not Ditman, but I’m affiliated with the name.”
“Me and my brother have always been tight-knit,” reveals Jesse. “We shared a room our whole lives. Sometimes we’d even share a bed if we had to because we had 10 kids in the family. We’ve always been really close and we always played games together. I was the one who would always sit and watch. I remember the first time we got Zelda Wind Waker, it was like the greatest thing ever. There were four of us to play and we’d sit for an hour and a half and watch my [other] brothers play, then it would switch to Tony and then I would always get last because I was the youngest.”
Jesse’s story is one I’m positive anyone with a youthful sibling may relate to. I actually was an older brother who undoubtedly stifled my youthful brother’s gaming time, forcing him to observe me greater than he may play. But, like Jesse, it was one thing we all the time did collectively and constructed a bond over. When Jesse and Tony first posted their discover on GameFAQs, little did they know their treasured household gaming time had created a second they may bond over for a lifetime. A second that influenced a new era of speedrunners around the globe.
“We weren’t even thinking about speed running at the time,” says Jesse. “We thought it was just more of a comical thing. We didn’t think of it as like, ‘Oh, we could use this to beat the game faster.’ It was like, ‘Hey, we can use this to screw off and do these funny things.’”
Despite their intention, the glitch has become the essential tool for speedrunning Resident Evil 4. So I had to ask: had the creators ever actually tried speedrunning the game themselves?
“No,” says Jesse flat out. “I’ve tried to beat it as fast I could, but I think my record was like 17 hours. I would just like to take my time. I like to get every item when I play through, I don’t like to just rush through.
“Kudos to [speedrunners] for being able to sit through a game that long and grind through having to beat through it that many times,” he says. “I just can’t do it. I can’t see myself making one wrong turn and wasting half a second and saying, ‘Oh, I got to restart now.’ I really give credit to the speedrunners being able to do things that are framed perfect. It’s unreal.”
Resident Evil 4 speedrun data have been often damaged for 15 years now, with new methods and methods continuously being developed. But since 2007, there’s been one fixed: Ditman. The glitch has stood the check of time, carrying over into ports on each console possible.
“If they patched it out it would definitely change the way people looked at the game,” says Jesse. “I think people were very excited about the glitch. So I don’t feel like [Capcom] had any reason to take it out.”
“Funnily enough it is, I think, one of the only glitches in the game that never got patched out,” says Wave. “It was found in the original version and works on every single version of the game up until now, I think besides the VR version for obvious reasons. I like to believe they just like it. They’re like, ‘Oh, that’s pretty funny.’ And then they just left it in.”
“They do patch all the other glitches and Ditman’s is always one that stays, every single version it can be done,” says Derek T. “Maybe it was a fault in the design that’s just easier to leave in.”
With no indicators of the glitch ever being eliminated, it’s truthful at this level to say that the Ditman Glitch and Resident Evil 4 will without end be entwined. As lengthy as persons are speedrunning this basic game, then the Ditman legacy will live on, hopefully evolving how individuals speedrun Resident Evil 4 for years to return.
“When we talk about or when you think about a Resident Evil 4 speedrun, the first thing that comes to mind is the Ditman glitch,” says Sunblade.
“I don’t think the game would be as popular to run without Ditman,” says Wave. “It is so, so important to the games culture and the speedrunning culture. It just would not have taken off the same way.”
“Ditman is a really easy glitch to do,” says Trichael Man. “You can do it even if you’re a casual runner, which is I think a big deal about how accessible it is to other people that they can somewhat live in the life of a speedrunner, just for a little bit.”
“He basically broke the game,” he provides. “When people think of Resident Evil 4 they love the game and probably a good chunk of them will be like, ‘Yeah I know there’s a glitch that made you go fast’. And that’s the legacy of The Ditman Glitch.”
The Ditman glitch is a design flaw in a game. An error within the code that, regardless of breaking the game, has birthed a whole neighborhood whose ardour refuses to waver. 15 years in the past two brothers by chance discovered one thing damaged in a video game. Since then, that discovery has profoundly modified individuals’s lives, extended the lifetime of an iconic video game and, hopefully, introduced two brothers just a little nearer collectively.
Dale Driver is a Senior Video Producer, and he’d prefer to thank Sunblade, Trichael Man, Derek Taylor, Mike Wave and naturally, Jesse (ditman). Incredible paintings by Eric Sapp and Will Batchelor. Follow Dale on Twitter.