Destiny of an Emperor: Open Treasure Chests

Opened Treasure Chests and Missing Items

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Destiny of an Emperor, like any other Nintendo game which has been played to death, has revealed some bugs. Unfortunately one of those bugs isn’t quite as cool as duplicating weapons in Destiny of an Emperor II or Final Fantasy IV. If you’ve played Destiny of an Emperor numerous times odds are you have encountered the dreaded ‘opened treasure chests’ bug. If you are going through the game and find a new chest which is already open, you’ve probably just encountered it.

We would like to thank MeteorStrike for researching the solutions on this page.

Destiny of an Emperor’s Open Treasure Chests Bug

The open treasure chest bug occurs when you receive a level-up and more than one tactician in your party. When this occurs the game wipes current tactic data for your party and recalculates, for each tactician, which tactics they should know. Everything works properly for the first tactician but when an additional tactician is processed the function which wipes data is called with invalid parameters, causing legitimate data to be overwritten. In your game this can manifest as treasures or search items vanishing or opening, or even repopulating (as commonly happens with Chi Tu Ma).

This chest should contain a Spear, but instead it is empty! Open Treasure Chest Bug encountered in the cave near Yuan Shu's castle.

Here are some of the most common instances of this bug:

This Pang Tong-lookalike directs you to search under him for a sword. But if the open treasure chests bug has got you, you won't find anything.

Here in Guiyang, the final city of Jingzhou where you fought Liu Du, you find a Pang Tong lookalike (he’ll look like someone else in various mods of the game such as Destiny of an Emperor 2.0) who suggests you to ‘search the area around him’. If you search in front of him you are supposed to find a Sword, but if the open treasure chest bug has overwritten this data, you won't find anything. If you have encountered the glitch at this point in the game it is almost a sure thing that very powerful weapons will have vanished from the end of the game. See below for solutions.

Iron Ore, not only something you need to forge the magical swords, but also something you must obtain to continue playing.

Here in a a cave you travel through in Liu Zhang’s territory you pick up some Iron Ore for a blacksmith so he can forge weapons for you. If this bug has overwritten associated data, though, you will arrive to find an open treasure chest and you won’t be able to get the Iron Ore! This is worse than it might sound, though. Without the Iron Ore you cannot trigger a storyline event which allows you to progress in the game. See below for solutions.

The Halberd is the best weapon in the entire game. There are also five wonderful magical swords. You find three of these swords and the Halberd in the final caves of Wei, but not if the opened treasure chest bug manifests here.

This is perhaps the cruelest manifestation of the opened treasure chest bug. You’ve arrived at the end of the game and are looking forward to obtaining the finest weapons available, especially the Halberd which is a vital tool in taking down Sima Yi, but when you reach this coveted treasure chest you find it has already been opened. Imagine our disappointment years ago when we had to complete the game without the Halberd or start over from the beginning for a second shot? Fortunately you will know if this is going to happen early in the game because one of the clubs in Dong Zhuo’s territory will be missing and the sword in front of the Pang Tong lookalike will also be gone.

But good things can happen too?

This glitch doesn’t always cause bad things to happen. Sometimes it can actually re-populate good treasure chests (or rather, items in general) which you have already obtained. People are most familiar with this happening thanks to the recent discovery that you can find Chi Tu Ma twice, but only if you are lucky. All you have to do is return to the beginning of the game at a later point and search in that spot. You might be rewarded with a second Chi Tu Ma!

Chi Tu Ma, the game's wonderful agility-increasing horse, found twice!

It is possible to find other treasure chests twice. I have, for example, returned to the cave in Wu and found a second copy of the magical sword there (and it’s one of the good ones, too). Other people have found duplicates of the magical swords. It may be safe to say that most of the items that can vanish thanks to this bug can also be found a second time, though to the best of my knowledge nobody has recovered a second Halberd. Watch out, though. You don’t want to pick up a second Iron Ore or you’ll never be able to get rid of it!

How can I avoid this bug?

Given that this bug is caused by having more than one tactician in your party at the same time during a tactic-granting level-up, the most natural solution is to avoid having multiple tacticians in your party when you level. This can be rather inconvenient, though, given that some strategies call for two tacticians, and that some tactics require different tacticians to gain MTP for a new tactic, so here are two alternative solutions.

GameGenie Patch Code
Use GameGenie codes GKNLGIAX, UNNLISGN, and SUNLTINL. Produced by MeteorStrike, this solution, thus far, seems to have fixed the open treasures glitch. Enter it when you load up your ROM and you shouldn’t have problems. There is still a possibility that something unexpected or unusual could happen. If so, please contact me through our email form and share the details. To date, it seems to be working well!

Play With a Pre-Patched Game
Currently our Destiny of an Emperor mods such as Destiny of an Emperor 2.0 are hard-coded with the fix above, hopefully resolving the issue without any additional fuss. Soon I will release a modified version of the original Destiny of an Emperor ROM which includes this patch along with numerous additional fixes. As above, if you encounter something unexpected, please contact me.

What do I do to fix this?

Remember Nintendo Power? Remember their tips line? Back in the day they used to have a ‘solution’ to this problem. When you called them they would advise you head out into the overworld map and ‘fight between 75 and 100 random encounters’ to reverse the bug. This has fixed the problem for some players and has done nothing for others. What probably triggered the ‘fix’ was gaining a level with more than one tactician in your party, while roaming around outside, thus retriggering the programming error which originally caused the bug. Through a measure of luck this truly could ‘fix’ the glitch, but luck would definitely be a requirement. Far from an ideal solution.

Thanks to extensive research by MeteorStrike of GameFAQs we now have some various solutions to offer. Niahak provided a code for the Dead Wood. Look them over and find one which best addresses your issue.

Missing Iron Ore
Use GameGenie code IOUPLAPU, allowing you to buy your own Iron Ore from the Merchant in Xu Zhou Castle (the first castle in the game). Please note that Iron Ore cannot be sold, so don’t buy extras. They will be stuck in your inventory.

Missing Saltpeter
Use GameGenie code YOUPLAPU, allowing you to buy your own Saltpeter from the Merchant in Xu Zhou Castle (the first castle in the game). Please note that Saltpeter cannot be sold, so don’t buy extras. They will be stuck in your inventory.

Missing Dead Wood
Use GameGenie code TOUPLAPU, allowing you to buy your Dead Wood from the Merchant in Xu Zhou Castle (the first castle in the game). Please note that Dead Wood cannot be sold, so don’t buy extras. They will be stuck in your inventory.

Missing treasure chests, Magical Swords, or Halberd
Use GameGenie code AEOATPZI, to repopulate all teasure chests and AESATPZP to repopulate all searchable items in the game. Sure, this allows you to get duplicate items and is far from an ideal solution, but due to the sweeping nature of this common version of the glitch there is no simple one-shot solution. If you want to play fair just grab treasures you couldn’t get before.

How about a solution for mod authors?

Are you making your own mod of Destiny of an Emperor? At your option you can hard-code the fix above into your ROM. In fact, anybody can patch their ROM to apply this fix. Using your favorite hex editor load the Destiny of an Emperor ROM you wish to patch and find the following values:

0x3B604 = 20 7C B7

Patch them to:

0x3B604 = 4C FB B5

Again, if you encounter anything unusual while playing the game after applying this patch please contact us for further testing.

© 1989 Hiroshi Motomiya, © 1989 M and M Co., © 1989 Shueisha, Produced by Capcom Co. Ltd.




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January 18, 2023