Since the early days of the industry, video games have been plagued by glitches. Early consoles such as the Atari 2600 and Nintendo Entertainment System had games which would freeze, not run properly, or have moments of breakdown midway through playing. These problems continued to get more tangled as game design grew in complexity. Glitches can open up a new world within games, and can be more noticeable when taking place within a three dimensional world.
Some game glitches are funny, and simply entertaining. These tend to be graphical glitches, which just change the appearance of a character or something textual in the stage. Others are game breaking. These can make it impossible to progress further, by locking the player in an area, making it impossible to move by getting him stuck somewhere, or another lethal in game error that the programmers didn’t foresee. Some games have standard, run-of-the-mill glitches. While others are chock full of them, or have one or two that completely alter the dynamic of the game. The ten games that follow include blockbuster titles such as Grand Theft Auto, Skyrim, as well as classic titles like Super Mario Bros. and Pokemon. All are examples of games which have shocking glitches, either in their numbers, or in their impacts, both visually, and in terms of how they change the game play. Some of them make it easier for the player, while others can make it impossible to advance. Finally, some are just interesting nuggets that give gamers more to do within the titles. Regardless, be sure to enjoy the list.
10. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
Many games have time limits on them. Time limits can be stressful, or a good challenge depending on who you ask. Majora’s Mask from the Zelda series is a game that utilizes this aspect of putting more pressure on the player. There is a three day (game time) timer to finish, meaning that players can’t spend too much energy screwing around before finishing.
There are already ways to extend time, by resetting to 6:00 a.m. on the first day. However, one glitch, known as the “Fourth Day Glitch”, allows the player to extend the time limit beyond the normal three days. Link must go to the “Bomber’s Hideout”, look through a telescope, and exit the view with only 00:00:02 left on the clock. If done properly, Link can eventually make it to the dawn of another day in the game. Here is a tutorial on how to do this:
Activating this glitch could possibly make it easier for a player to complete the game, or perhaps just allow the player to have some more fun.
9. Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog, also known as Sonic 06 (to distinguish it from the original Sonic the Hedgehog from the 90s), could just be considered one big glitch onto itself. There are so many small and game breaking issues with the title, we couldn’t possibly crack the surface here. But these are some of the more common ones to give you a taste:
Sticking to walls. Even though you should be able to fall down, you have to physically move Sonic to the base of the cliff in order to get off.
When you run up against an object, such as a fence, you start spinning in place, and have to move horizontally until you get around the object you are stuck to.
In game people who don’t know what is going on. This girl is sitting on an invisible bench, instead of the one right next to her.
And of course, characters climbing on walls without making contact. Knuckles (game character) is magic now.
Rocky on the PlayStation 2 had the honor, or misfortune, of being featured on the popular online series “The Angry Video Game Nerd”, in his episode on game glitches.
Overall, this game is visually screwed up. Characters appear misshaped, with features missing, or parts in the wrong locations. They won’t even stay in place either, because they sometimes fall right through the ring. Apparently, this game was met with pretty warm reception despite its clear failings in development. IGN even gave it an 8.3 out of 10, a rating of “great.”, saying “…Rocky is in many ways the perfect boxing game. Capturing the spirit of the films more closely than few movie-licensed video games before it, Rage Software’s stab at the Italian Stallion is every bit a masterpiece that the movies were…”
That screwed up clubber lang shouldn’t be able to pass as a “masterpiece”.
7. Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto V is one of the most popular games of all time. By May 2014, it had reached nearly $2 billion in sales, making it a massive entertainment property. Although, even with all that money behind it, it still suffers from its fair share of glitches. Take for example the bike glitch, which allows users who press their bikes up against an object and hop in the air, to fly wildly into the sky.
Be careful though, if you don’t have any way of getting down safely, such as a parachute, you will die easily.
On top of this and others, there is a cloning glitch for Franklin’s aunt. She is supposed to walk out of their house in one scene, yet for whatever reason, if you stand in one spot then multiple aunts keep strolling right by you. According to the Grand Theft Auto Wiki, this cloning glitch can happen in other ways too. For example, Michael’s family might randomly spawn clones of themselves.
So one day you decide to play some GoldenEye. You turn on your N64, and right as the intro starts playing, you see a spazzing James Bond. Undeterred, you may decide to press on.
Many people who have played GoldenEye are familiar with this glitch. Characters throughout the game, and even objects such as airplanes can start spinning randomly out of control. See the video below for more:
Unfortunately, It’s not just one isolated graphics problem. Some have referred to this as the “Spinning Guard Glitch.” Others know it as “Get Down” because apparently this random freak out can come across as dancing to some people. It looks more like all the characters and objects are possessed by demons.
Skyrim is plagued with a wide variety of glitches, which is just what you would expect from a game with a world so large. After all, the bigger a project is, the more room there is for mistakes. So it should surprise no one that the characters in the game suffer from a laundry list of different graphical errors, including the ability to swim…. outside of water, while in the air, pictured above. Everything about the game can continue as normal, so it appears to only be a visual error. You should still have the ability to talk to characters as they fly by for example.
If this doesn’t bother you, or creep you out, it might only come across as an interesting little addition, and not a game breaking glitch….. But does using a horse’s back as a treadmill bother you?
Or how about having the character spin around like a super fast Ferris Wheel? Welcome to Skyrim.
4. Red Dead Redemption
Speaking of game breaking glitches, Red Dead Redemption has plenty of them. In fact, it carries some of the weirdest and most disturbing glitches you can find out there. Do you enjoy watching flying horses and carriages that get flung around the sky and the land? Sure thing.
If this type of event isn’t bad enough, there have been many reports of the human sprites in the game acting like animals, and attacking the main character. Yes, that means animals who look like humans, or as the Red Dead Wiki calls them “animal human hybrids”. Some examples they provide include: “The Snakeman…The Donkey Woman…The Cougar-man…Bird People…Wolf Man…Man-Bear-Pig.” Yes, a man bear pig. The video below is the best version of this available online (apologizes for the low quality). You can see man bear pig go crazy and run over the player.
I wonder if Al Gore ever played this game. Perhaps this isn’t a glitch after all, and just a funny Easter egg the developers snuck in.
3. Battlefield 3
Battlefield 3 was a fairly successful title. However, its track record on glitches shows it could have used some polishing before release day. One example of the game’s issues is the popular video of a gigantic soldier moving through the ground, shown below.
Or is the soldier swimming? Who knows.
Another occurrence is all the soldiers with long necks, who wobble around, and fire off their guns randomly.
EA, the publisher behind the game, isn’t known for its quality control. In fact, EA went ahead and banned hundreds of people who were “boosting” in Battlefield 3 (Boosting is another type of glitch, which actually helps players level up online). Whether EA will start fixing glitches before they happen, or continue banning people for using them is anybody’s guess. But Battlefield 3 seems to be plagued with graphical errors more than your typical first person shooter.
2. Super Mario Bros.
The original Super Mario Bros. is as classic as you can get when it comes to video games. A secret level with no real purpose can be found in the title. It’s called Minus World. To activate it, you must go into World 1-2 and stand on a pipe near the end of the level. Crouch down and jump up to start sliding across a brick wall into the next area.
Once there, you jump in the first pipe and you’re in a secret underwater level. This level does not end, because once you hit a pipe on the other side, it simply brings you back to the start of Minus World. That means that the only ways to exit the level is to lose your life to an enemy, or run out of game time. Nintendo took away the glitch in multiple re-releases of the game, but it has been called one of the most well known glitches in gaming history.
1. Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow
Back when the games Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow were popular, the glitch MissingNo was a legend. No one knows for sure who discovered it first, but once it was known, it spread like wildfire among all the kids who wanted to show their friends how to do it. Here’s how the glitch works: first a player must speak to the old man just north of Viridian City, and after he does his tutorial on catching Pokemon, immediately fly to Cinnabar Island. Following this, the player has to use the move surf to go up and down the right side of the island.
If you keep moving up and down you will start to run across weird Pokemon, whose levels can break the supposed level 100 cap in the game. And it gets even weirder. The types of Pokemon you will encounter, including the “MissingNo” depends on what your in-game name is. Specifically, what the third, fifth, and seventh letters in your name are.
Be sure not to catch Missingno though, because it screws up aspects of your game. Nintendo themselves say on their Customer Service page:“MissingNO is a programming quirk, and not a real part of the game. When you get this, your game can perform strangely, and the graphics will often become scrambled. The MissingNO Pokémon is most often found after you perform the Fight Safari Zone Pokémon trick. To fix the scrambled graphics, try releasing the MissingNo Pokémon. If the problem persists, the only solution is to re-start your game. This means erasing your current game and starting a brand new one.”
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