While playing the Hat Dash game, after a short period of time, the game suddenly "incepts" itself.

The progress freezes when it does that, and it then creates another copy of itself in a much smaller size.

It seems to happen randomly, and not necessarily when I click the space bar or up arrow. But it always happens, and I can reproduce it every time.

If it matters, in the browser console I see the following error as soon as I click the "Hat Dash" button (not when the cloning happens).

XML Parsing Error: no root element found
Location: https://winterbash2020.stackexchange.com/hat-dash/play
Line Number 1, Column 1:

I'm using Firefox Developer Edition 85.0b2 (64-bit) on macOS Catalina.

Hat Dash 2020


I did some testing on my beta browser, nothing definitive but maybe someone else can help debug.

If I go to about:profiles in Firefox and restart in safe mode, Hat Dash works fine and this issue doesn't happen. However, I keep using normal mode and manually disable all addons, the issue is reproducible.

I'm guessing it might be some preference we have in Firefox that's causing this, but I am not sure how to find out which one that is.

Update 2:

This seems to be related to hardware acceleration. This issue stops from occurring when I disable hardware acceleration (browser restart required).

If it matters in this case, this is my hardware:

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015)
Processor: 2,2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7
Graphics: Intel Iris Pro 1536 MB

Firefox HW-acceleration preference

  • 1
    You are in a dream!
    – CinCout
    Dec 18, 2020 at 7:51
  • 1
    ... a dream within a dream...
    – user960635
    Dec 18, 2020 at 8:30
  • While the browser not being supported is likely the issue, still +1 for hacking the game. :D Dec 18, 2020 at 8:40
  • On a serious note, only main versions of major browsers are supported. We can't expect SE to develop and test everything on every possible branch/fork of every browser engine that exists. I didn't check what is "Developer Edition" but it does not sound like a main version of the Firefox. If you want to use some experimental version of a browser it's totally your choice of course, but client side issues should be expected on that case. Dec 18, 2020 at 8:41
  • 3
    I can't repro. If you see this in a supported browser, please give more info
    – Yaakov Ellis StaffMod
    Dec 18, 2020 at 9:05
  • Just a notice... the rendering engine of the Developer edition of Firefox is probably the same as the standard edition. The difference is that Developer has more tools in the developer toolbar. Could still be something version specific, but it could also be a general Firefox issue. I for once have noticed that the game seems "laggy" on Firefox when compared to Edge/Chrome
    – SPArcheon
    Dec 18, 2020 at 9:42
  • 1
    @ShadowtheHatterWizard I am using the latest "Firefox 84.0 (64-bit)" from the release channel, and have the same issue (both the xml error in console, and the inception after a bit of playing). MacOS Big Sur. Dec 20, 2020 at 11:33
  • @GabrielePetrioli OK, so tell Yaakov who asked for it. :-) Dec 20, 2020 at 12:07
  • right, @YaakovEllis see 2 comments above :) Dec 20, 2020 at 12:20
  • The console error is fixed and should no longer appear. I still cannot repro the inception.
    – Yaakov Ellis StaffMod
    Dec 20, 2020 at 13:43
  • @Yaakov Repro on FF 84.0 (official, mac).
    – yivi
    Dec 22, 2020 at 10:22
  • Seems like we have multiple repros on FF/MacOs. Can anyone repro on a different platform? As far as fixing it, I don't work on a Mac, so I have no way of working on this…
    – Yaakov Ellis StaffMod
    Dec 22, 2020 at 10:25
  • 2
    @YaakovEllis I did some "testing" on my beta browser, nothing definitive but maybe someone else can help debug. But if I go to about:profiles and restart in safe mode, it works fine and this issue doesn't happen. But if I disable all the addons I have in normal mode, the issue is reproducible. I guess it might be some preference we have in Firefox, but I am not sure how to find out which one that is.
    – Dan
    Dec 22, 2020 at 10:28
  • Can confirm that the issue goes away disabling hardware acceleration.
    – yivi
    Dec 22, 2020 at 11:17

1 Answer 1


It seems like we have multiple users reproducing this on Firefox used on MacOS.

Regretfully, as I do not have access to a Mac to use for dev work, I have no way of reproducing this locally (and therefore no way to fix it). .

Workarounds: Don't use Firefox OR Don't use MacOS

That said, if you can guide me in trying to find a way to make it work, happy to try to work with y'all.

hat dash inception
unicorns all the way down
see workarounds please


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