The 6 Most Bizarre Ways to Lose Popular Video Games
The Internet is filthy with guides on creative ways to win video games. You don't need Cracked for that. But we've found that developers work just as hard at inventing hilarious and obscure ways for the player to die. That's a good thing, because we've always said that if you can't succeed, at least try to fail in an entertaining way.
Sonic CD -- If You Forget to Pause, Sonic Gets Bored and Kills Himself
Sonic's whole marketing strategy was that he was Mario with attitude. He was as cool and edgy as middle-aged men in suits with 64KB of RAM could make him. He wagged his finger disapprovingly at the camera, wore radical red sneakers, and refused to take his ADHD meds -- if you kept him waiting, he'd impatiently tap his foot (unlike Mario, who just stood there staring ahead, lost in his own private world).
And if you kept Sonic waiting too long in Sonic CD, he broke his self-imposed vow of silence, assaulted the third dimension, and jumped to his death.
Say for instance you're halfway through Sonic CD and you take a quick breather to get a drink from the fridge but you forget to pause the game. You leave Sonic standing there, idly tapping his foot. There are no enemies on the screen anyway, so what's the worst that could happen?
They make you watch a cutscene from the Sonic cartoon?
Well, you'd better get back within three minutes, because if you don't, Sonic will exclaim "I'm outta here" ...
"Fuck this. I'm going over to one of those fanfics where I actually have genitalia."
... and jump out of the game to his death.
Now you're contemplating suicide.
Then you get the game's terrifying "you fucking lost" music, a warped tune accompanied by distorted laughter, which would be the most traumatizing thing here if your character hadn't just decided to end his life in front of you.
However, there is an extra level of dickery here, because that's Sega's specialty: The game doesn't put you back at your last checkpoint minus one life, like every other death. This one ends your game. As in you go back to the main menu and start from Level 1 with no Chaos Emeralds. What's that? You were on the penultimate level with 47 lives and two continues and you left the game unattended for three minutes? Well, we hope you have fun doing it all again.
Where Nintendo actively encourages you to take a break, Sega cripples you for not playing for 180 seconds. On an unrelated note, Nintendo won that console war.
Harvest Moon DS -- Your Dog Mauls the Mayor to Death
Harvest Moon is a child-friendly farming game. It's essentially a $50 FarmVille, but friends you haven't spoken to in years can't harass you, so it's a fair trade-off. Other advantages over FarmVille include the ability to get married, the ability to have a kid, and the ability to allow your loyal dog to maul someone to death five minutes in, thus ending the game.
The game starts up as every agricultural simulator should: with two immortal deities locked in an eternal titanic struggle between good and evil. After that misplaced scene from Lost, you leave your house and meet the mayor, who welcomes you into the town and instantly starts criticizing your land.
C'mon. The land merits only four "ha"s. Five at most.
This doesn't sit well with you, so you use the wittiest comeback you can think of -- driving a scythe through his face:
The game was made in Tokyo's Russian district.
We're still in the intro, by the way, which at this point is way more entertaining than the actual game. The mayor continually evades your murderous assault until you run out of ammo, because scythes have ammo (it's Japanese). That's when your dog sees the scuffle and attacks the mayor, who begs you to call off the mutt. Now you have two options: "Help" or "Don't help."
"Giggle madly" is implicit either way.
If you help, the mayor credits your ambush skills (although this was more of a violent assault) and claims that the dog could win some local contests. He doesn't mention what contests, but seeing as the only skill the dog has shown is wanton bloodlust, we can only conclude that it's a highly illegal underground fighting arena.
Alternatively, you can say no:
Yep, the game fades out as the mayor lets out a blood-curdling scream, damning your soul for all eternity. You just witnessed your dog mauling an innocent man to death because of a fight that you started by trying to ram a scythe through his head. Oh, and like Sonic CD, if you lose this way, the game erases your save. We sure hope you like sitting through that 10-minute god fight again!
Dishonored -- Take a Bath, Doom the Planet
Dishonored tells the story of Corvo Attano, a royal bodyguard who is framed for the murder of the queen of a steampunk Victorian England knockoff while the actual murderers take control of the country. His honor thoroughly dissed, Corvo joins the resistance in their hideout in a pub and starts sneaking around behind enemy lines, killing the usurpers to save the nation.
And then, about a third of the way through the game, it ends if you decide to take a bath.
After every mission, you go back to the pub and talk to the various members of your group, like Havelock the leader, Piero the geeky inventor, and Callista the woman. At one point, you find Piero peering through a lock, spying on Callista, who is having a bath. So you shoo the pervert away, but then you have the option to do the exact same thing yourself:
This is why hotels switched to key cards.
You can also barge in and tell the poor girl that Piero was watching her bathe (while watching her bathe), or, if you're feeling especially creepy today, you can ask to join her, saying, "Maybe you'd like some company?"
Steampunk worlds have walls made of lasers. Not yet invented: clean, clear water.
She very politely refuses your offer, arguing that "rats, plague, and tyranny have a way of killing the mood" (must be a woman thing). You can now leave the bathroom with what's left of your dignity or stay there and dick around, drinking from her sink, stealing her loose change, and using her toilet. Just don't try to take a page from the James Bond manual and jump into the bath with her to see if it leads to a steamy erotic scene, because this is what happens instead:
Or erectoncilable hostilities, as it were.
The resistance disbands due to "irreconcilable hostilities" and the game ends. It turns out women don't like heavily armed men jumping into the bath with them after they explicitly said no. So, the queen's killers are never brought to justice, the plague that is rampant will only get worse, and it's hinted that the world will end due to sentient whales getting pissed off at us for taking their oil ... all because you couldn't keep your dick in your steampunk assassin pants.
Assassin's Creed 3 -- Death for Not Skinning Enough Animals
The plot of the Assassin's Creed series involves certain elements of time travel, but the games play fast and loose with the rules of the space-time continuum -- you go around shanking people in the throat at your leisure, and you can even murder a whole bunch of innocent civilians before the game says, "Hey, you're changing the future, cut that out."
"WARNING: Your ancestor did not pose corpses to hump the sky. At least not too many times."
On the other hand, if you forget to skin a wolf, then it's instant temporal chaos and game over.
The protagonist of AC3 is half-British and half-Native American: the former half manifests in his love for tea and biscuits, and the latter in the form of hunting. You can lay snares, lure prey to them with bait, or just shoot them in the face, and then you can skin your kills and sell the furs for profit. This feature is presented as entirely optional, so you may very well decide that you don't need the money, or simply think that skinning things is icky.
"Animal hides? Yuck. No way. Now let's go gut some Limeys."
So let's say you get ambushed by a bunch of wolves, kill them in self-defense, and continue on your way, sparing yourself the annoying five-second skinning animation for each one. That's when you get a message: "WARNING: Connor skinned every animal he killed."
More of a warning to Connor's friends and family than to the player.
You briefly wonder what the fuck that's about and continue your game. Then you get another one: "WARNING: Failure to skin your next kill will result in desynchronization." And indeed, if you disobey this warning, you get "desynchronized," which is the game's fancy way of telling you that you lost. It's over. Nice job, asshole: You ruined history.
Turns out that wolf's skin was Hitler's grandfather.
So let's get this straight: You can kill people, erasing entire family trees with the swing of a blade, but not skinning five animals completely and irreversibly changes the entire future of the USA? We're all for the butterfly effect, but we don't think five decaying wolves would have tipped the balance in Britain's favor that much.
Grange Hill: The Game -- Instant Death for Talking to a Drug Dealer
For the small percentage of Cracked readers who don't keep up with '80s British TV programming, Grange Hill was a BBC series that dealt with the everyday problems of a bunch of average school kids. Like almost everything that existed in this time period, it got turned into a shitty licensed game cleverly titled Grange Hill: The Game, which followed the story of two kids who sneaked into school to get back their stolen Walkman (an indestructible primitive iPod, youth of today).
The show continued till 2008. A sequel game could have featured the iPod Touch.
That is, unless the kids became addicted to cocaine along their way and died.
The game was littered with illogical puzzles, like the one where you had to scare off a mentally ill person by throwing a dead cat at her. Even worse were the many ways you could get an instant death, like missing a jump and getting stuck in this deleted Saw trap:
Eaten by the elderly. The game boldly portrayed the fears felt by 1980s British youth.
Or trying to jump over a little dog and getting your leg bitten off:
The game also critiqued British health care.
Or just fucking stepping on a loose stone in the sidewalk:
London's second leading cause of death in the '80s.
But the winner of the strangest, darkest game over ever has to be the time, early on, when a man approaches you and attempts to sell you some unspecified white substance:
When that's all a shifty jacketed man whips out, we consider that a win.
Now, this is a point-and-click adventure game -- law dictates that you pick up everything, as it can and will be used in an arbitrary illogical puzzle half an hour down the road. As such, if anyone offers you an item, you bloody well take it. So you click "yes" to take the mysterious powder ... and this happens:
Not just in the game. In all realities. Death is inevitable and lurks at every corner.
Yes, just like that, you succumb to drug addiction and die. Note that you didn't even take the drug: You just touched it, and that has doomed you to addiction and death.
Next time, just leave the Walkman in school.
Mass Effect 2 -- Sexed to Death
The Mass Effect series is known for its deep immersive universe, its complex narrative based on multiple dialogue choices, and of course the boning. You can romance different characters and even get intimate with them, which naturally led Fox News to overreact and accuse the first game of perverting our youth, because that's their job.
Had they played the sequel, though, they could have been a little more rightfully indignant, as one romance ends with you being screwed until you die.
One of your potential romantic partners in Mass Effect 2 is Morinth, a blue-skinned, catsuit-wearing asari alien. The asari mate by merging their minds together, like the Pacific Rim Jaegers minus the Jaegers, but Morinth isn't very good at it -- she can't control her powers and overloads her partner's brain, killing him during sex. She's a literal sexual predator, and presumably not too big on masturbation.
Anyway, in the game you team up with Morinth's mother, but you can choose to betray her and have Morinth join you. After the final mission, assuming you're both alive, she will subtly signal that she wants to get into your pants, telling you: "I want you to feel every nerve in your body pulsing with pleasure."
Blind acquiescence isn't an option. Mass Effect 3 doesn't understand us.
If you ask her about the whole "killing her sexual partners" thing, Morinth puts forth a strong argument: You already died earlier in the game and came back, therefore you might be the only person in the universe she can cuddle with after intercourse (or at least the only one who will cuddle back).
She's cool with zombie fucking. What business do you have suddenly acting picky?
So you say yes, and she gets up to do you right there. Before you can say "Aren't we in like a hallway or something? I think there's a closet over there ..." this happens:
Luckily for the game's coders, Shepard's O-face was the same as his death face.
Followed by this:
Look, either way you were coming to a premature end.
You die. Straight-up game over. Who'd have thought the lying, matricidal, assassin-for-hire murderer was lying to you? And more importantly, where was Fox News to protect us from this?
For a look at the the craziest video game WINS in history, read about the master of blind tetris. If you're more about easter eggs in famous games, click here and read about Skyrim's secret room of the dead. Not done reading? Check out the brilliant clues hidden in video games.