The Top Eight Video Game Bugs That Made the Game Better

November 20, 2009

It's no secret game companies sometimes put out a broken game on the shelves.  But for every game-breaking nightmare you have to download a patch to fix, there are bugs you want to hang onto.  Whether it's flying frogs, crashing planes, or filling a room with watermelons, here are the eight greatest bugs ever to ship.

Source: Photodisc/Getty Images

By Dan Seitz


8. Grand Theft Auto 4

There are lots of ways to destroy cars in Grand Theft Auto 4.  Rocket launchers, grenades, plastic explosives, swing sets…

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No, that’s not a hack.  In GTA4, there’s a location where you can leave a car and it’ll promptly explode, knocking your ass halfway to San Andreas…where instead you’ll deal with killer airplanes (keep reading, you’ll see what we mean.)

7. Crysis

Crysis was promoted as the most complicated, powerful, and graphically advanced shooter.  It is so advanced, lower life forms have ascended to a higher plane of existence and developed telepathy.

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Hey, frogs have it rough in video games.  Ever played Frogger?  Now that little guy can just float serenely over traffic.  Awwwwww.

6. Oblivion: Elder Scrolls IV


Oblivion is already a fun game, but you know what would make it even more fun?  The ability to fire Green Arrow-style arrows that duplicated anything. Before Bethesda, the game’s developer, “fixed” it, gamers discovered a glitch allowing you to, say, fire an arrow and fill an entire room with watermelons:

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That’s got to be intensely useful.  For some reason.  Maybe all the monsters hate watermelons?  

5. Street Fighter II

If you played video games in the early ‘90s, you played a lot of Street Fighter II.  You probably spent hours poring over special moves and getting your ass kicked by your button-mashing friend anyway.  But the real fun was using the game’s glitches on your best friend and kicking the crap out of him.  Like, for example, this:

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That would be Guile’s infamous “handcuffs” glitch, which froze the character in a “stun” animation and let you beat on him like a punching bag.  Other tricks including turning one character, Dhalsim, invisible, which Capcom later turned into a teleport move, and another character’s “flaming barrel” which is exactly what it sounds like.  Even combos, one of the most basic fun parts of fighting games, started out as glitches.  You weren’t supposed to be able to land a bunch of hits on your opponent while they threw their controller and sulked about your cheating…it just turned out to be too much fun to fix.

 

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4. Madden ‘06

Michael King is a large, scary man who, in 2006, was a linebacker for the New York Jets.  But Electronic Arts took it upon themselves, for Madden ’06, to cut the poor guy down to size.  In what they claimed was a spreadsheet error, King was portrayed in the game as being seven inches tall.

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Source: Electronic Arts

However, just because he was tiny, it didn’t change the game play at all.  King still hit like a freight train and if he caught the ball he’d run with it.  It would just look like the football was running away from the opposing team down the field.  In fact we’re pretty sure the Rams are trying to blame a seven-inch Michael King for their current season. It’s not their fault a tiny little linebacker only they can see just steals the ball and runs away with it.


3. Mortal Kombat: Deception

Mortal Kombat has always thrived on one crucial idea: being able to messily rip your opponent apart after you win a match in a wide variety of ways.  Mortal Kombat: Deception decided to add Hara-Kiri to the mix, which is where you rip yourself apart before your opponent could get the pleasure, thus at least letting you get a "screw you" in to the computer who cheated or the guy on the couch next to you who just randomly mashed buttons.

But, if you happen to do a Hara-Kiri at the same time your opponent is doing a Fatality, you still lose…but they perform the Fatality on themselves.  No, seriously, take a look:

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We like the severed head sitting on the other person’s head like a jaunty little hat.  It adds something.

2. Link’s Awakening

Sure, most times glitches are minor stuff.  But every now and again, they actually add something to a game.  Like, say, an extra level.

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Yes, you just saw an elf hump his way into an acid trip behind a doghouse.  What you’re seeing is the “Doghouse Dungeon,” which is every single room from every single dungeon scrambled into one entire level of crazy.  Treasure chests may contain anything from the game, like, as you might have noticed, music.  Bosses show up for no reason.  Link can walk through walls.  This is the closest a Nintendo character will ever get to a drug trip.  Well, okay, except Mario, but he’s on shrooms anyway.

1. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

No sooner did players boot up this game than they found out something odd about the aircraft.  In addition to being completely pilotable, Rockstar set them up to spawn at random times and trajectories.  It added to the realism.  Not to mention the comedy potential.

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But lest you think this is solely an airborne phenomenon:

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Yep, you just saw a plane take out a guy on an ATV.  It’s like a Chuck Norris movie, only with better direction.

And these aren’t exactly isolated incidents.  The planes will sometimes spawn in a crash trajectory, meaning a plane could crash into an intersection and take you out for no reason.  The developers figured this out fairly quickly but decided to leave it in, because it was too funny not to, thus showing the taste and class Rockstar Games is known for.

 

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