6 Unintentionally Hilarious Glitches Hidden in Video Games
When everything in a game goes right, it's a wonderful experience. You actually feel like you've become an elite assassin, pro race car driver, or caller of duties. But when things go wrong it's ... well actually, sometimes it's way, way better! A good glitch can transfer you from boring, gritty realism into a magical world full of the most physics-defying, madness-inducing randomness this side of a mushroom trip at the bottom of a ball pit.
We shall be bold here, for we are bold men and fortune favors us for it: Bioshock was the best game of its generation. It was intense, thoughtful, immersive, and somehow still fun. But one thing it was not was "silly." At least, not when everything went according to plan ...
But the philosophical tone and serious atmosphere just made the few glitches all the more jarring. For example: It's not unheard of for bodies to twitch or shudder after you kill them in a game -- that's just physics trying to reconcile some uppity limbs with an unforgiving floor. Bioshock opted to forgo all that twitching, however, and deliver on an ominous threat that 1987 made to all of us long, long ago: This, friends, is what it looks like when the rhythm finally gets you.
We really dig the way you shake that thing -- by which we of course mean your desiccated chest cavity.
Bioshock 2's multiplayer function apparently carried on the grand tradition of insane genetic mutant corpses suddenly discovering the joys of a sick beat in a philosophical-themed dystopia. One player recorded this bit of unintentional hilarity in an online match:
Either that's the glitching corpse of a player caught in the aftermath of a cyclone, or else he just overdosed on the Breakdancing Plasmid and everybody thought his moves were too fresh to put the poor bastard down.
Left4Dead: Gatling FUN!
Look, we all love a good gatling gun. The single best part in any first-person shooter, like Valve's excellent Left 4 Dead, is when you pick up that Zombie Mower and get to trimming the undead population a little bit. But the gatling gun is not for the faint of heart. The gatling gun needs to be tamed, for it is a wild and beautiful beast. If you treat the gatling gun rough, it will treat you rough -- by which we mean it will fire you across the map like a gritty Angry Bird.
"So this is what my sperm feel like."
To exploit this glitch, you need to find a gatling gun on the map and bash it with your rifle a bunch of times. Strangely, the amount of force with which it will launch you is proportionate to how many times you hit it. That's right: This glitch operates on the same principle as your childhood BB gun.
As far as an exploit goes, the gatling gun glitch is mostly useless and usually only serves to fire the zombies a big screaming pile of you. But if you get it just right, you can use it to get to a few nominally inaccessible areas of the game. Like this big neon sign:
Where you're free to just sit and wait out the apocalypse from on high while the wave of undead consumes all of your friends -- those same friends who so callously mocked you for beating up a machine gun in the middle of a zombie fight.
It seems to work too perfectly for a mistake -- if it was just a physics error, why would the gun fire you proportional to how many times you've hit it? But it apparently was indeed a glitch, and not an Easter egg, as it has tragically since been fixed. Apparently it breaks the immersion somewhat when every tense undead standoff is interspersed with men frantically punching inanimate objects and then suddenly cartwheeling over the horizon apropos of nothing.
Related: Cracked Round-Up: Bigger Than Jesus
Buckets of Skyrim
The best and worst parts of Skyrim are the glitches. It's the video game version of that beat-up old car that only starts when the radio is tuned to KSFT -- all soft rock, all the time. Or that one deranged uncle who gives you beer at every family reunion because he thinks you're his old 'Nam buddy. They're utterly broken things, sure, but that's also what makes them kind of awesome. For example: These backwards flying dragons look like they're being sucked into a black hole -- all flapping in terror and trying to escape. Witnessing that happen out of the blue is way better than participating in a perfectly functional, perfectly boring ol' dragon battle.
"You've been hanging out with Puff again, haven't you?"
But for the true connoisseur of random hilarity, there is the pure and beautiful simplicity of the bucket glitch.
Exploiting this curious error makes stealing in Skyrim as easy as taking candy from a baby. A very, very stupid baby. Who is also blind. Simply place a bucket, pot, cauldron, or whatever you have on you over any of the local merchants' heads, and you can stroll into their shops and take whatever you want unimpeded.
"Is it dark o'clock already?"
There are no penalties for the theft. In fact, there's no acknowledgement whatsoever -- even if you're getting your discounts from the counter right in front of them. The best part is it's not a physics glitch or anything -- it doesn't kill or immobilize or otherwise take the characters out of the game. Every single character in Skyrim functions on that famous 5-year-old logic: If you can't see it, you can't get mad.
"This is like that secret game I used to play with Uncle Roger!"
The glitch is so noteworthy it's even warranted its own video tribute. Shit, somebody tell Hollywood; they've been looking pretty desperate for content lately, and Grand Theft Auto: Swing of Doom sounds like a pretty good flick.
Sonic the Hedgehog '06: Sonic Don't Care
Sonic the Hedgehog is famous for one thing: His physics-defying speed. He's so fast he can run complete loop-de-loops! But in Sonic '06, known in gamer circles as The Day the Hog Stood Still, Sonic shows up to the game a bit hungover, so he's just going to gently walk the loops instead.
"Tequila ... never again."
You know what? Maybe he'll just stop entirely -- still inexplicably upside down -- and just hang out for a little bit. You know: eat a burrito, catch a short nap, and try to rally later.
This game was made seven years ago, and even back then Sonic looked like he was sick of this repetitive shit. He just gave up on life sometime after Shadow The Hedgehog tried to reboot his series in the ass, and now he just phones in grand adventures at breakneck speeds like a middle-aged fast food manager.
Dead Space 2's Wardrobe Malfunction
Dead Space was a breath of fresh air for the survival horror genre. Or like an empty vacuum of death for the genre -- but in a good way? Whatever floats your terror boat, horror fans. Dead Space was Cthulhu meets Event Horizon, by way of Alien. It borrowed shamelessly from other, more successful franchises, but pulled it off so well that every bend in every corridor became a new test of your manhood. Should you open that door, or should you maybe jog back to the save point for the third time, just in case? Truly, terror lurked in every part of that infested spaceship.
Even in the costume machine.
Especially in the god damn costume machine. For there, inside the virtual wardrobe, lurked the greatest terror of them all. Step in to change your outfit and meet this eldritch abomination:
It was you. You were the monster all along.
You walk into the future-closet a full man and walk out a bloody torso and piece of a leg. Even stranger, once this glitch occurs, the player doesn't just flop to the ground as a pile of loose meat. You can continue the game like this, fighting, taking damage - all while your glowing helmet floats about your bloody meat-sack like your head is doomed to haunt your own corpse. And, of course, all the while firing great gouts of arterial spray from your phantom limbs.
Take enough damage from the suspiciously unfazed enemies, and you can even die in this state -- though you would likely welcome that sweet release after the robotic changing room dismembered you and cursed you to walk all of space in a state of screaming non-life.
"I don't care about the price, just give me whatever gun will most quickly put me out of my misery."
Deus Ex: Human Revolution's Sucker Punch
Deus Ex: Human Revolution let you play the game pretty much however you wanted: As a guns-blazing warrior, a peaceful hacker, or even a silent thief. And like pretty much every other modern stealth game, Deus Ex's stealth-kill system functioned by having the player sneak up behind a bad guy, then press A to flip-spin-kick-disarm-throat-punch-dim-mak the son of a bitch's organs into a steaming meat-curry.
There were a few problems with the system: For one, the same animations played out whether you stealth-killed an enemy or a civilian. So while that elite tech-ninja countering a few of your kung fu blows makes the scenario more believable, it is a slightly different effect when the unsuspecting prostitute busts out master-level Krav Maga every time you go to choke her out.
It's basically a scene from a Matrix porn parody.
For two: Insta-killing would also sometimes work on characters it wasn't supposed to, if Jensen was positioned just so when you pressed the button. In fact, an instant takedown could even be pulled off ... on the final boss of the game. It's supposed to be a huge, drawn-out, dramatic fight -- this is the showdown the whole game is leading up to, after all. Are you man enough take him, Jensen? The world depends on you! Though the battle will be epic and death is waiting in the sidelines, the whole world fights with you this da-
BOOM! You got knocked the fuck out.
Oh. So ... that was it, then?
If you trigger an instant takedown as soon as he starts vaulting a wall towards you, a player can end the last boss fight with a single, anti-climactic punch. The counter-blow that ends the fight isn't even a really bitchin' uppercut or something either -- just a little fifth-grade caliber love tap. It looks like the boss is standing up to cry and run to the nurse's office when the ending cinematically starts and you knock his ass through some plate glass. If you end the final fight in this fashion, instead of a hard-fought victory capped by a badass finishing move, the effect is more that you're picking on a mentally disabled guy who just really likes climbing.
Dustin Koski is also the author of Six Dances to End the World, a novel about a ballerina who causes glitches in the universe. If you are ever in the mood to see some bad ass retro games, or check some of the better new games coming out drop by Sever's youtube channel.
For more video game botches, check out The 8 Creepiest Glitches Hidden in Popular Video Games and 6 Glitches That Accidentally Invented Modern Gaming.
If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out 3 Personal Disneylands Being Planned By Total Lunatics.