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Gaming Glitches Add Character 88

Posted by Zonk
from the seeing-inside-laras-skull dept.
jasoncart writes "Glitches in videogames are always a bad thing, right? Wrong, argues columnist Rob Wilson - citing developer oversights in titles like Halo, Pro Evolution Soccer, Vice City and Quake as adding welcome 'character' to our gameplaying experiences." From the article: "Then, in the distance, something astonishing happened. The car I was chasing sunk into the road as if it were careering off a cliff. The car vanished and a welcoming sight flashed up on the screen. 'Mission Passed - $1000'."
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Gaming Glitches Add Character

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  • Glitches (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 64nDh1 (872430) <my/.Username@gmail.com> on Sunday June 05, 2005 @05:35PM (#12731067)
    I've always found it quite welcome when you don't go looking for cheats, but end up working out how to beat parts of games. Things like in NHLPA '93 on Genesis/Mega Drive if no teammates were ahead of you and you pressed pass at the halfway line the puck went straight up the ice and under the goalkeeper. It was a goal that couldn't be stopped, but still tricky to accomplish. If you screwed it up it was icing, or a two line pass. And it was a pass, so it improved your stats if like me your anal about stuff like that, so you could actually win a game and have no record of any attempts on goal.

    Glitches obviously can also be the ruination of a game, but they're not all bad.

    • Re:Glitches (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I preferred the one in FIFA International Soccer (the original, same platform), where if you stood one of your team right in front of the opposing goalie when he was about to take a kick, the ball would always bounce straight off your player and into the goal.

      (It was funny at the time, okay? Of course, I was about 12...)
      • I agree, it was funny. You got to feel like George Best or Andy Gray. I think George Best missed his chance, but Andy Gray put one away for Villa, maybe in a final, before by heading the ball out of the keeper's hands didn't he?

        Far better than the glitch in FIFA 99 on PS One which meant if you took a shot at the half way line it went in most of the time.

        Christ did that franchise go down the pan quick. Rumours of improvements in later versions have been ignored here at 64nDh1 Mansions. It's Pro Evol

  • sounds familiar (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cryptoz (878581) <jns@jacobsheehy.com> on Sunday June 05, 2005 @05:36PM (#12731071) Homepage Journal
    Sort of like real life...We don't like our friends to be perfect. We don't like anyone to be perfect, because that's just wrong. Things begin to feel unnatural and ugly. I mean, virtually anyone who has a best friend who's near-perfect absolutely despises him/her. Granted, for different reasons, but it all stems from the same concept.

    And it's not like video games are an essential part of our functioning society (except for perhaps intensely helping the economy through the millions of dollars that travel around pointlessly) like other software is. That is, you don't want your Bank or your Hospital software to have "personality", now do you?

    So I say this is a good thing. Let the games be imperfect. Let them have flaws. Not because it builds "character" or anything, but becase it more closely relates to reality. Okay, okay, this isn't always a good thing. But we don't want our kids (wait, sorry, this is /., we don't have kids) to grow up expecting their real lives to be as "perfect" as their video games. Or is this already happening?
  • Avara, CB in Myth (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jspoon (585173) on Sunday June 05, 2005 @05:39PM (#12731082)
    In the old Mac game, Avara, you pilot your flat shaded mech around blasting things, and you could launch a tiny helicopter remote to give you a better view. If you time things right, you could jump on top of the remote and ride it into the heavens. Then in Myth: the Fallen Lords, there's the highly controversial practice of Carpet Bombing, or using lighting to hurl molotov cocktails across the map.
    • Then in Myth: the Fallen Lords, there's the highly controversial practice of Carpet Bombing, or using lighting to hurl molotov cocktails across the map.

      Alternately known as the most awesome thing in the whole world. Fire, pan across the map watching the molotivs arc across the map, then their impact marked by bloody stumps and an "oh FUCK!" screamed by your opponent.

      God I loved Myth.
    • In the old Mac game, Avara, you pilot your flat shaded mech around blasting things, and you could launch a tiny helicopter remote to give you a better view.

      There was also a glitch where if there was a ramp slanting into the ground, you could use it to push the mech entirely underground. Multiple jump keys could also be used (with proper timing) to increase jump height.

  • Diagonal run (Score:4, Interesting)

    by yotto (590067) on Sunday June 05, 2005 @05:40PM (#12731086) Homepage
    I /still/ diagonal run in every FPS I play. I have no idea if it helps or not, but Doom taught me that it was the "right" way to do it, so I always will.

    By the way, is this not the fluffiest fluff piece we've ever seen? 3 examples of cheating and he's done?
    • I believe that rocket jumping wasn't a planned feature in the original quake, but in q3 it was designed into the engine, the same as circle jumping.
      • Re:Diagonal run (Score:3, Interesting)

        by rbarreira (836272)

        I believe that rocket jumping wasn't a planned feature in the original quake

        According to ID software and all probability that's a true statement, but there was something funny in the E4M4 level, according to the QDQ team [planetquake.com], read this page [planetquake.com] :). Either that or they just thought of tossing a grenade against a monster in order to do the jump (which is also a somewhat used trick in speed running).

        Ah, the speedrunning days. /me cries of nostalgia ;)

      • I believe that rocket jumping wasn't a planned feature in the original quake,

        It wasn't considered to the level of bypassing obstacles (mainly because it would require a bit more complex level design), but it was considered. As another poster mentioned, E4M4 has a secret that requires a grenade jump. It was thought as early as Doom, map E3M6 (and also in the final level of RotT.)

        It only became popular after it was discovered that +mlook activated permanent mouse look - where players could aim their r

    • I learned that in Goldeneye. I loved Goldeneye. Games these days have ruined it for me though, but I'll always have the memories of my sweet Goldeneye.
    • Re:Diagonal run (Score:2, Insightful)

      by thrift24 (683443)
      In some it definately helps. In wolfenstein Enemy Territory, which is based off the Quake3 engine(and therefore most likely in Quake3), you can gain more speed if you jump, and then once your in the air do the diagonal run. Combine this with a few "bunny hops" and what is called a circle strafe jump(all "glitches", albeit accepted in competition and ussually no one whines about it on public servers), you can make your player jump unnatural distances. The players who can use these tricks well to complete
  • Zelda gold carts.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AlexMax2742 (602517) on Sunday June 05, 2005 @05:41PM (#12731099)
    The game with the most "giving it charactor" glitches in my opinion was the gold cart version of Zelda 64. That had so many weird things you could do in it, the most famous of which is the Swordless Link trick. Just look up any of these circa 1998 geocities websites that have Zelda glitches, it was full of them.
  • by CrazyJim1 (809850) on Sunday June 05, 2005 @05:47PM (#12731125) Journal
    Some people think imbalances are fun because if you find them early, you can advance your character faster, or inflate your ranking vs other players. But in the long run, everyone uses the same imbalances, which results in people not using other parts of the game.

    Glitches are sometimes fun. For example,"In Stunts, the old racing game, you could get a car to go flying." Or in Super Mario bros, there was the minus world, where you could go swimming forever.

    For the most part, glitches suck, but sometimes they're amusing. If you want your game to be amusing, its best to design for it, not hope for glitches.
  • by 64nDh1 (872430) <my/.Username@gmail.com> on Sunday June 05, 2005 @05:49PM (#12731132)
    I had to RTFA before I could think of any glitches, and I'm not sure the article exactly nails that game for its problems. I still play Pro Evo on PS2 and its gameplay isn't tarnished by its aging. However, the article makes a valid point about the commentary. Only Konami could think a commentator of any sport would ever really say something to the effect of "the crowd are getting restless, this game is really disappointing". Fine, if it's intended as a dig at the gamer that's no problem. But if a real commentator said that it'd be on a par with "why not turn your TV off and do something less dripping with sponsorship?"

    That games predecessor was Internation Superstar Soccer on N64 where you knew you got away without punishment if you heard the commentator say "Oh a definite foul there". The soundbyte was only played if you made a dirty tackle and got away with it.

    Last note on commentary, the worst ever is NHL 2002 on PS2. You can turn the colour commentary off thank god, but when on it's a never ending deluge of vacuous crap. When off, it's dry, boring factual mush. The most the earlier versions of this series (EA Hockey, NHLPA '93 etcetera) had were the organs and crowd noises. This was enough IMHO.

  • ...you must realize there is no spoon.

    I agree glitches can be fun, as long as my screen doesn't freeze while one sound effect starts playing over and over.

  • It's not a bug, it's a feature.
    • Depends. There's the kind of "glitch" where you've simply outsmarted the authors. For example, looking for and practicing and finding that if you take a flying leap just so, you can jump to a spot and unforeseen by the designers come up *behind* an enemy, to great advantage. It's all within the physical laws of the game's universe, so no rules have been broken. Rewards for cleverness is par for the course in games.

      Then there's the kind where you find that you can finagle more attacks per turn with a certai
      • It's even worse when the computer can exploit some glitches. In C&C Generals there's a bug that lets US AI players have their RPG guys fire in laser lock on mode all the time at all targets and without aiming (usually they have to aim for a second or two and can only target vehicles). That means they have infantry that can blow up any target within seconds, even buildings. They have more range than any defensive structure so one or two of these appearing at your line of defense could kill half your defe
    • It's not a bug, it's a feature.

      Dude, the wart should probably be removed if it ever comes to that.
  • Super Mario 64 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Reorax (629666)
    I remember seeing a video of someone beating Super Mario 64 with (I think) 16 stars, when you normally need 70, due to a whole series of glitches. Going through doors you shouldn't be able to go into, reaching the top of the endless stairs. To think, I wasted all that time trying to get on top of that damn snowman...
  • Speed Demos (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kelerain (577551) <avc_mapmaster&hotmail,com> on Sunday June 05, 2005 @06:04PM (#12731193)
    http://speeddemosarchive.com/ [speeddemosarchive.com]

    Bending the rules is pretty much the entire premise behind speed runs. They are very entertaining as well. The origional inspiration for the site was Quake done Quick [planetquake.com], a full play-through of the origional Quake in 19:49, which culminated in a 12:23 run through Quake on Nightmare skill [planetquake.com]. (not that they aren't trying to improve on that time [speeddemosarchive.com]).

    At the speed demos archive, you can watch Super Mario Brothers 3 completed in 11:11 [speeddemosarchive.com],Super Metroid in 36 minutes flat [speeddemosarchive.com] and The Legend of Zelda in 35:50 [speeddemosarchive.com]. On the PC Game front there is Half-Life in 45:45 [speeddemosarchive.com], Fallout2 in 17:51 [speeddemosarchive.com] and Jedi Knight in 34:03 [speeddemosarchive.com]. I find these very entertaining, and sometimes informative. Check out the Game List [speeddemosarchive.com] and see if any of your old favorites are there!
    • Wow... I went to that Game List page you linked...

      There's a guy on there that beat metroid in 29 minutes, beating both minibosses, and not using the NARPASSWORD code. "Most impressive."

      My personal best (using the above password) is 18 minutes. But I don't have a video because I don't think using that password should count. Especially when you escape from both miniboss areas by using the pause, controller 2 -> up + A reset code.

      In case you want to try it:
      1) Start a game by using the password NARPAS SWO
    • For time attack and speedrun movies bisqwit's site [bisqwit.iki.fi] is even better than http://speeddemosarchive.com/ [speeddemosarchive.com] in my opinion and is regularly updated. It focuses on console emulation, however, and doesn't include speedruns for computer games.

      Some are more entertaining that others, but there is a best videos [bisqwit.iki.fi] page for those who are first time visitors and just want the most interesting/entertaining videos to date.

      Almost all of these speedruns use glitches in the games to achieve faster speeds. Speed isn't every

      • For time attack and speedrun movies bisqwit's site is even better

        Are you aware that everything on that site uses the emulators for numerous save states and slow down? Or do you just like to leave that out when you link people to it?

  • Just rationalize it. Weird things can happen in the game world just as easily as they can happen in real life. In the example in the article, maybe while he was pursuing the other criminal, the other criminal had a heart attack and died! Just as there is always that random element in the real world, we can expect there always to be a random element in the gaming world as well.
  • Metroid is probably a good example of this. I don't know how long I spent falling down the blue vertical areas trying to get them to draw brown by mistake or doing the roll-up-in-the-door trick to find unfinished areas.
  • by Koiu Lpoi (632570) <koiulpoiNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday June 05, 2005 @06:30PM (#12731341)
    The article claims that, since his graphics card was failing, the road disappeared and the other car carrened through the level. Last time I looked at a game engine, the video card's inability to display the ground doesn't affect the internal game engine's dealing with it.
    • That's too bad. Imagine popping an old Riva TNT2 card into your PC, logging on to World of Warcraft, and obliterating Azeroth! Talk about griefing...
  • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Sunday June 05, 2005 @06:41PM (#12731411) Journal
    With careful manipulation of a game's code, unscrupulous types can purposely create glitches know as hacks.

    Say WHAT?

    Tell me how an aimbot is a "glitch". You make it seem like it's the developer's fault that aimbots exist. No, that's the server admin's fault for not banning the fucker.

    For that matter, exploiting any glitches in any Internet game with any king of subscription can get you banned.

    I agree that not all glitches are bad -- in fact, most of the Halo glitches are actually quite fun, like the sword glitches and warthog jumps. Unfortunately, the sword glitch seems to be gone now, but the point is...

    "Glitches" are the fault of the developer. "Hacks" are the fault of the user, or the server admin for not banning the user. Both, if exploited in order to win a (multiplayer) game, are cheating.
    • No, glitches are perfectly acceptable, even in online play. It's uptight people that lack a grip on reality that ruin games for everyone. Life isn't fair. It never was. It never will be. Those people need to get used to it.

      Making a UT keybind to zoom by changing FOV is allowed by the game, only to be disabled at the behest of pathetic whiners calling it "cheating". It is NOT cheating. It doesn't magically play the game for you. It doesn't give you any more advantage than anyone else has. It got so bad that
      • Making a UT keybind to zoom by changing FOV is allowed by the game, only to be disabled at the behest of pathetic whiners calling it "cheating"....

        Yes, but where do you draw the line? You get an advantage -- and yes, it does give you an advantage -- by exploiting something that's completely outside the realm of normal play. True, I wouldn't want people whining that the game "allows" higher resolutions, but I can understand them not liking your FOV, especially considering that an aimbot is essentially th
    • Halo 2 sword flying is still in the game, only restricted to single player. They decided it was interesting enough for people to play around with in the campaign, but not a glitch that was appropriate for multiplayer.
    • Tell me how an aimbot is a "glitch".

      He didn't call the aimbot in particular as being the glitch, but there have been numerous occasions where FPS-developers still left in the glitches/dev-codes to be working in-game : Last time for me being Counter-Strike : Source, where they left in the miscellaneous developer's cvars, thus enabling looking through walls etc.

  • Old: It's not a bug it's a feature!
    New: It's not a bug it's a bit a character!
  • In a particular dungeon (dont remember the name) in Dark Age of Camelot there was a tiny area of the floor in the lowest level near several dangerous monsters. To escape the trains of critters triggered by our combat, we would run over this one triangle and fall through the planet and get tossed back out of the dungeon without dying. It was like a fast teleport. This wormhole saved us numerous times. Glitch saved our XP.
  • I seem to remember in SS that several of the boss levels were simple to finish if the big boss got stuck between two objects that were close together. Bossman would stop firing weapons and concentrate on escaping by vibrating back and forth perpendicular to the actual way out. A volley of shots from any weapons would cause his death.

    I don't think I could have finished the game without this glitch.

  • It's been known for a long time that glitches and otherwise "wrong" aspects of a game can actually make it more fun. My example: an old CounterStrike map (I think) called "Boat Season," which my friends and I used to play at LANs. The idea behind the map was that the Terrorists and Counterterrorists were on opposite sides of a lake, with "boats" to navigate in between. The first Half-Life's physics engine was laughably terrible, though; the "boats" had the same characteristics as the railway cars in Half-

    • Vehicle maps were -the- shit :D

      As the vehicles, exactly as you described, weren't reliable in their behaviour in various ways ; It was great to make use of all the glitches.

      Damn, how much I chuckled when I accidently killed my whole team by roaring through a small..small gap :D

  • One of the things that makes GTA so fun is that it is full of awesome glitches. My favorite is in Vice City. Grab a motorcycle and go searching for new clothes. When you find the little floating clothing icon, drive the motorcycle so it is on top of it and get off. Then get back on so when you get on you also activate the icon. Next thing you know you have new clothes and are morphed with the motorcycle. You get crazy speed and agility with the motorcycle, but you can't fall off. You just spin around
  • I remember playing MDK (which, I'm convinced, is a reference to Mekanik Destuktiv Kommando, an album by the group Magma), years and years ago. There was one room where there were several pillars, with a monster on each pillar. (They were also all carrying giant targets and pointing at them.) The premise was to shoot them, and work your way up each pillar, to get to the top then to the next room. The problem was that after x seconds, another one would take its place.

    I was stumped as to how to get past i
  • the only thing I could think of that fit was overpaying the money lender in tai-pan...

    Lookitup ya damn whippersnappers!
  • Tribes (Score:2, Interesting)

    by LordStraun (794808)
    Those who've played it know of that which I speak of. Skiing was the result a bug in their physics engine that turned into such a popular feature, they've gone out of their way to put it into the sequels.

    Too bad none of the sequels live up to the original.
  • I had the exact same problem with Vice City that he described in the article. The difference in my case was that, during a race, the opponent's car kept falling through the same bridge, and it made it impossible for me to win. I could get to the finish line but it wouldn't count since it thought that I had cheated and taken the other car out. I had to play it over and over until the opponent's car didn't fall through the bridge.
  • Glitches are good (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Headcase88 (828620) on Monday June 06, 2005 @12:08AM (#12733056) Journal
    Exploits are bad. Being able to get glitches to work consistently in your favour is exploiting.

    However, glitches can offer some of the best moments in a game. Whenever a big glitch happens, whether it results in Game Over or lets you skip a level, you remember it. They give you a story if it's the type of glitch that can't be recreated by others.

    For example, on in GTA: San Andreas, we finished some tricky level with lots of shooting and just had to drive a safe truck with a bunch of drugs or money in it (I forget which) back to our territory. Well, this safe truck is unstable and someone starts shooting at us and we didn't want to lose. We tried to turn, but the truck rolled over and starting sliding on it's side.

    But it didn't catch on fire, it just kept sliding across the road, frictionless, for about a minute, and then all of a sudden, it turned back upright and we drove it to the goal. It was hilarious at the time, and no one could stop laughing at this crazy truck disobeying physics while cops are swarming it and mission completion was on the line.

    Also, once on NHLPA '93, I remember shooting a puck, and it landed on the crossbar at the top of the goal, and got stuck there and started spinning for about 15 seconds. The goalie kind of backs away from it, and then the puck drops and rolls into the net.

    As long as they aren't consistant, glitches are good.
  • The best all time glitch is from the dreamcast in a game called Sword of the Berzerk.

    Basically the models all rotate in random directions. I kid you not... And on top of this it's a rather bizzare Japanese storyline.

    Imagine a cart with some horses...

    Now imagine the horse on the right rigidly rotating it's head down down down... into the ground.

    Meanwhile the horse on the left is spinning at about 45 rpm...

    And the guy on the cart is sitting with a riding crop but he's rotating sideways....

    AND THAT
  • The classic game elite on the spectrum had a great trick. If you docked while in the middle of jumping you would arrive straight at the target station. This was great fro trading but did you status no good at all.
  • Server Error in '/' Application.

    Runtime Error

    Notes: The current error page you are seeing can be replaced by a custom error page by modifying the "defaultRedirect" attribute of the application's configuration tag to point to a custom error page URL.

  • I had this happen once with super mario bros on the original nes.

    Popped in the cart, must have been dusty or something, some of the graphics on the start were a little messed up but i didn't think anything of it.

    When I started 1-1 there were enemies that shouldn't be there, those floating platforms and pully platforms, vines, etc, all over the place.

    It was fun but only happened on that level, I reset to try it again but it worked normally this time.
  • If you want to see some entertaining clitches/bugs play this game for 30 mins. I can't even configure the graphics option without it crashing out. Shame, because it would be an amazing game if it wasn't so broken.

    http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=59 379 [eurogamer.net]
    • yeah im currently negotiating some sort of deal with satan so i can play and enjoy boiling point. seems to be the only way. gotta love atari for releasing it in that state. apparently the euro patch is out this week which should fix some of the bigger problems, although im holding out for lucifer personally.
  • The other day I turned a corner in San Andreas and found an intact police car buried at a 45 degree angle in the road. It was like it had been teleported and ended up half in solid ground.
  • This fighting game is choc full o' bugs, and many players think it's the bugs that make the game so great. Most of the higher level play revolved around glitches. If anyone's played this before and experienced an unfly mode combo... then yeah... Fun game, though. Once you learn the glitches.
  • City of Heroes had some fun glitches.

    There was a spot in the King's Row map, a sewer access door set at a 45 degree angle, right near the tram station, where the pedestrians would get stuck in an endless run/jump loop. They would basically run full speed up the door and when they reached the top they'd do a 180 and jump. When they hit the ground they would do another 180 and run at the door again, repeating ad infinitum. When the developers finally fixed the bug they put a plaque on the door that said so
  • One of my favorites was one I discovered completely by accident--the "Galaxy Droid" glitch in KOTOR (actually, it was a debugging or demo mode created by the developers).

    It just so happened that I did all the stuff to cause it, completely unitentionally. It was only after I went online that I discovered that I had just stumbled on something that others were working hard to recreate.

    I still have the game save on it, so I can go back and show doubters that it is real and the neat stuff you can do with it (li

  • by pnice (753704) on Monday June 06, 2005 @02:12PM (#12738243)
    I do remember one very frustrating glitch in Street Fighter 2. I grew up in the arcades and I remember playing at a Putt-Putt not far from my grandparents house. I was 12, playing against this guy on one of the big screen versions so everyone could watch the action without huddling around the regular monitor and he got me with that Guile handcuff-freeze thing. I never saw it again and never figured out what caused it until we finally got the internet and I was able to look up the move. It was a glitch and not a real move at all.

    You could also do the following on the Street Fighter 2 machine during the demo to see how many credits where used for each character (see who was being played the most): "On the player 2 side press Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, MP, LP" which always got an "ohh" out of my friends since you could make the machine do something without actually putting money in.

    Finally, when Mortal Kombat II came out, my love for glitches came out. Since Midway decided to release rom upgrades to the game you could always hunt down the specific version of the game you wanted. My favorite was the V2 (I think) that allowed you to do multiple babalities over and over. It sounded so sweet on those arcade speakers with explosions over and over. I would finish it off with a friendship on top of the babality. Super sweet.

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