We have more games at our disposal right now than at any other point in time, but that actually bores some of us. Being able to acquire anything for 10 bucks or even for free in some giveaway is great, but some of us crave the rare, the dark, and sometimes the straight-up illegal. That's great because, unlike other black markets that require all sorts of bloody crimes, the biggest crime committed by the bootleg gaming markets is the creation of unintentional comedy masterpieces few of us can compete with.

Wolfenstein bible

The Classic: Wolfenstein 3D, a game responsible for giving birth to all other FPS games and for proving that the fun of killing nazis isn't exclusive to real life.

Id

The best Hitler has ever looked.


The Bootleg: a bible game where we play as Noah and kill put a bunch of animals to sleep.

Super 3-D Noah's Ark from '94 is a bootleg, but not exactly in the way that you'd think. The conversion that replaces nazi killing with animal cruelty for god's amusement – the best and the worst type of video game violence, respectively, was totally sanctioned by the Wolfenstein developers. Nintendo, on the other hand, wanted nothing to do with it. But what is the will of a company against the will of God – the developers probably asked God, and so decided to start producing the game anyway and selling it in Christian bookstores instead of traditional video game retailers. Nobody cared about it back when it was first released, but this abomination went on to gain a cult following that warranted a re-release in 2014… for the SNES.

Another re-release took place one year later, this time on Steam. This means that 21 years after its release, Super 3-D Noah's Ark finally got validated as something worthy of an actual video game store.

 

The Fake Half-Life 3

The Classic: Half-Life, the game known for inspiring Half-Life 2
The Bootleg: Hunt Down The Freeman, the game that may have killed Valve's inspiration to make Half-Life 3

Some fans merely complain about the absence of a Half-Life 3, some others have the courage to take it upon their hands to fill that void (and also their pockets). That is the story of Hunt Down The Freeman, an illegal sequel to Half-Life 2 whose devs had the guts to sell on Steam. It met overwhelmingly negative scores upon release because it was a nigh-unplayable buggy mess, but that's a pretty predictable result and therefore not what makes it special.

What makes Hunt Down The Freeman noteworthy is how it managed to get accused of stealing assets from various games even though all of its models look awful.

Royal Rudius Entertainment

except for this one

It totally nailed cutscenes, though.

Nintendo's Sonic

The Classic: Sonic The Hedgehog, the most iconic series of games to ever come out of a Sega console.
The Bootleg: A sequel that suspiciously only came out for the SNES

People who think they're either Sonic or Mario fans were really happy to learn that the two finally met to fight it off in the Olympics, but true fans know they had crossed into each other's turf long before that. This fake-ass Sonic 4 was created by a Peruvian group called Twin Eagles Group, and it's such a transgressive work of counterfeit art that it isn't even the result of a hacked Sonic game, but rather that of a hacked Speedy Gonzalez game. Sonic 4 adds interesting new mechanics such as kicking and freeing Marios from cages.

Twin Eagles Group

They all shout “Mario!” when getting saved, and that's cool because we like to be sure.

Even though it looks a bit nightmarish, Sonic 4 plays surprisingly well on the SNES, which seems to show that the “ Genesis blast processing” that Sega couldn't shut up about during the '90s probably a big ol' lie.

TITENIC

The Classic: Titanic, the movie, because there's no official video game tie-in
The Bootleg: Titenic – yes, with an “e”, a fake video game tie-in that is a real game.

Nothing beats this one when it comes to thematic weirdness. James Cameron's epic is far from the story we'd expect to see turned into a beat 'em up, but here we are. We play as either Jack or Rose while the unlikely action stars try to survive the Titenic, and we just have to applaud the bootleg developers who decided to change one letter in the title to avoid legal repercussions. On top of riveting sidescrolling action, Titenic also features the best part of the original film, Jack's artwork:

Hummer Team

which is in turn censored by even better artwork.

 

Top Image: Valve

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