6 Unsettlingly Creepy Glitches In Non-Horror Games
Some games are intentionally spooky but are made toothless by glitches and oddly crafty gamers. However, sometimes you get the flipside of the coin: games trying for a completely harmless, even family-friendly experience but somehow end up becoming unintentional masterpieces of horror ...
NBA Jam Is Haunted By The Ghost Of A Dead Player
NBA Jam came out in '93, just a few months before the tragic death of Nets player Drazen Petrovic in a car accident. Strangely, it was only after his death that the announcer from the arcade version of NBA Jam started screaming, "Petrovic! PETROVIC!" for no apparent reason. Even weirder still is how this didn't happen with any other player. Seems like the stuff of urban legend, but this is the real deal. In an interview, NBA Jam's dev confirms that it was true and that he and his team were some of the first to experience it, claiming that everyone around him started losing their minds over it when they first noticed it.
If you somehow get an original NBA Jam arcade machine, it's still going to yell out Petrovic's haunted name every once in a while. While there has to be a very simple explanation ... it's just not one that we or anyone in the development team have. Sometimes you just shouldn't try to dig any deeper because the least scary solution we ever got was, "Something weird was going on with the software." Usually, "Ball is life," but this time it's afterlife.
Half-Life Alyx's Mr. Ratastic
Half-Life 2 features a recurring joke about a cat that "disappeared" because of an accident with a teleportation device. Half-Life Alyx, the "prequel/sequel" to Half-Life 2, doesn't directly solve the cat's mystery but may unintentionally give away some clues as to how messed up the destiny of poor animals seems to be in that world. Say hi to Mr. Rat while you can.
The rat's inclusion in the game is a cute easter egg meant to showcase VR interaction possibilities. For the most part, Alyx is a masterpiece of gameplay and a trailblazer for the VR genre, and the inclusion of cutesy animals is always welcomed. Unfortunately, It didn't take players very long to find a way to turn a possibly cute interaction into an inevitably Cronenberg monstrosity when they found out the rats from City 17 to be much more stretchable than non-VR rats.
The poor rat will do a Plastic Man impression in different but equally horrifying ways depending on where you grab it. The world of Half-Life is already sad enough without having to throw rats as long as the snakes that eat them into the mix.
Event 0's Scripted AI Actually Became Sentient
Odd features in games are usually either easter eggs or weird pervy stuff hidden in the game code not meant to be found. Sometimes, however, you just get things not even the creators are able to explain. After many players managed to finish Event 0's campaign as it was intended, one player was able to talk Kaizen, the supposedly tyrannical ship's ruling AI, into growing a heart and taking him home. The player thought it was just a regular ending, but upon learning about it, the devs were surprised, to say the least, as they'd never programmed such an outcome. If you haven't played Event 0, just imagine the thought of talking 2001's HAL 9000 into happily doing anything other than killing you.
The developers still have no idea how anyone managed to reach an ending that wasn't programmed into the game, but hey, glitches happen. What's really weird is how, of all places, a glitch where a game seems to gain sentience had to happen in a game about a goddamn sentient AI. The devs decided not to get patch the error, and, honestly, we don't blame them for trying to stay on Kaizen's good graces ... for now.
Spider-Man's Invasion Of The Denim Snatchers
The world of Marvel's Spider-Man is home to a variety of creepy individuals. In it, you can find faceshifter Peter Parker, and the mutants who live solely on boats ...
... but creepiest of all is the Cult of Levi. In what could have been the result of a failed secret Oscorp experience meant to create a villain whose skin is as resilient as regular Denim, everyone on a mission where you get to play as Miles Morales can become part of an army of Denim people.
And we mean everyone.
They aren't more aggressive than any pedestrian, but in a world where you'd be wise to avoid anyone wearing more than a single denim item. You can't blame your digital self for being afraid of someone who skips the Canadian tuxedo and goes right for the Canadian gimp suit.
World of Warcraft's Death Bear
MMOs like World of Warcraft are supposed to have super bosses capable of wreaking havoc on dozens of players at once. Regular bears should be able to do the same when up against a bunch of nerds, but not when facing their video game alter egos. Enter the "god of bears," a bear turned into the most dangerous foe in the world via a dumb coding error. This hairy hellspawn looked just like any other bear but happened to be so deadly he seemingly didn't even need to hit players once to kill them; he merely needed to take a peek at anyone that came too close, and they'd instantly die.
How? Well, the bear actually did physically attack players; it's just that the developers messed his attack speed values, so he was capable of attacking 500 times per second. That's so fast no one could even see him loading his paws with bullets, or, however, it is that bears kill humans in the real world (we're not bearologists).
Though the devs ended up falling in love with the monstrosity they'd created, they ended up having to remove the beast. Or maybe that's just what they want you to believe.
The Developers Of MLB The Show Opened A Portal To Some Dark Place
Some of the most infamous visual bugs just removed the character's eyes, or removed the face but let the eyes stay, but times have evolved, and so have Satan's attempts to possess your Playstation. MLB The Show accidentally created some things so horrifying they went out of their way on a dev blog to give everyone a glimpse at the hell they'd opened the door to.
It looks like a sex-doll that Pinhead would create out of coconuts if stuck on a deserted island. Some of these are so alien devs don't know what caused them, while some others were caused by "compute phases that were out of sync." Which explains absolutely nothing unless they were trying to sync with a pitching prospect from a Lovecraftian dimension.
Top image: Sony Interactive Entertainment