#3. GTA and Modern Warfare -- Walking Decapitations
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas introduced a higher level of character customization than the previous GTA games, allowing you to decide which clothes would be stained by the blood of the innocent pedestrians you beat to death for no reason. So, for example, you could make the character wear a hoodie, or a trucker hat ... or, if you run into this glitch, no head at all.
Granted, that may not be the most baffling wardrobe decision here.
Yep, sometimes you can go around like a decapitation victim, and the best/worst part is that your exposed neck is continuously gushing blood into the street as you walk, so it's not like your head became invisible or something. You can drive vehicles without a head ...
Wait a minute, CJ, we're pretty sure that's illegal.
... make out with people ...
Don't worry, homophobes, there are no actual lips touching here.
... and, of course, beat up innocent pedestrians for no reason.
"This is what karma looks like, fool!"
This glitch usually happens when you're in two-player mode and the second player decapitates you with a katana. When your character respawns, the head will still be missing, but the rest of his body will keep going, like a zombie. Sometimes, however, this happens to random characters from the game, like this cop calmly walking his beat without a head:
"Officer ... uh, officer, you dropped something there ..."
GTA isn't the only game where this happens: In the capture the flag mode of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, if someone else kills you while they're holding the flag, sometimes you come back like this:
Which is almost exactly what happens in real flag-stealing missions in an actual war.
Although there's no gushing blood here, this one beats GTA because being headless gives you special powers -- if any other players see you while you're decapitated, they'll be instantly kicked out of the game, as if their brains were unable to comprehend the horror they had witnessed and forced them out of reality.
It's like Back to the Future, only way more fucked up.
#2. Mario Kart Wii -- The Endless Hidden Track
Hidden tracks are an essential part of Mario Kart Wii and the Mario Kart games in general: Just when you're getting bored of running on freakin' Coconut Mall for the 200th time, new and more difficult tracks show up, introducing new and more frustrating ways for you to fall off the borders every 10 seconds.
However, Mario Kart Wii came out in 2008, and it's the best-selling racing game of all time, so you'd think there'd be nothing new to discover there by now. The good news is that there is one extra track you don't know about -- the bad news is that it looks like the entire Mushroom Kingdom burned down and you're running in its ashes:
Don't go into the castle, Luigi! That's where hell stores racism!
That's not a hack or something like that -- it's a hidden course that's always been included in the game. It's just that there's no way to access it, as if the programmers had been trying to trap some ancient evil within the game's code. Unfortunately for the human race, they weren't counting on the Internet figuring out how to enter the track anyway, as shown in this video:
The secret track can manifest itself in many forms, depending on how you stumble upon it (which usually requires using cheat codes). The above version looks like the Matrix is unraveling around you, while in this other one, you'll find yourself racing in a mostly empty void surrounded by strange shapes, like the shadows of an adjacent reality.
This is where your soul goes when the Blue Shell hits you.
The track has the layout of one of the regular courses (Mario Circuit) and the music of another (Moo Moo Farm), but there are no enemies, obstacles or items. Also, it doesn't register when you complete a lap and there's no known time limit, so if you end up there, you're doomed to go around in circles forever until you die.
#1. Various Nintendo 64 Games -- Cartridge Tilting
Back in the cartridge era of video gaming, every single instruction book told you to never pull out the game while it was playing, because it could damage both the console and the game itself. What they didn't mention was that it could also irreparably damage your soul. Watch carefully what happens to James Bond about 10 seconds into this GoldenEye 007 video:
You see, if you gently pull a game out of the cartridge slot while it's running, you can sometimes get interesting, possibly disturbing results out of it. It works with any cartridge-based console, but you seem to get the best results with the Nintendo 64.
"Where's the 'commit hara kiri' option?!"
Or this one, where the simple, childlike innocence of Mario Party becomes a live Nine Inch Nails show coupled with Cthulhu-speak.
It translates to "The invasion may now begin."
Meanwhile, watch as this wrestling match in an old WCW game quickly turns into a struggle for survival between obscene, unspeakable deities.
"Ooh, and Hulk Hogan jumps in and unmakes his opponent from the cloth of reality!"
But the creepiest effect of all happens when you try to do this in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, perhaps hoping for a glitch that will make Princess Zelda's dress disappear or something. If you mess with the cartridge too much, the game starts talking to you:
At this point, the soundtrack turns into sobbing.
First, Link appears to sink into the ground, and you get a message with the words "Oh! MY GOD!!" as if the game itself were as freaked out as you are. Then the panic turns to tenderness as the game proclaims its love for you, its master:
We ... we've been waiting for this moment since 1998, Zelda 64.
And just in case you think the guy who shot that video faked that, here's another video where the exact same thing happens:
Oh, so you say that to everyone? You slut.
For some reason, the programmers included phrases like "Oh! MY GOD!" and "I LOVE YOU" between the usually invisible lines of code in the game, which become visible when you tilt the cartridge and the world begins to unravel. But at least these guys triggered it intentionally -- imagine you're playing the game alone, late at night, and this happens for no reason. Tells us you wouldn't talk back. Tell us.
For more from Ashe, check out Weird Shit Blog and The Ashe Can. Chris Rio has a blog at Laffington.com, where he discusses how creepy Disney World is. You can also follow him or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Maxwell Yezpitelok lives in Chile, and you can bother him on Twitter.
For more ways video games would literally rot your brain, check out The 8 Creepiest Glitches Hidden in Popular Video Games and 8 Creepy Video Game Urban Legends (That Happen to Be True).