Top 10 Bugs That Became Features in Gaming
VOICE OVER: Riccardo Tucci
WRITTEN BY: Caitlin Johnson
These Video Game bugs were just so great they had to stay! Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we'll be counting down our picks for the top 10 bugs that became features in gaming.
To have your ideas turned into a WatchMojo or MojoPlays video, head over to http://WatchMojo.comsuggest and get to it!
Top 10 Bugs That Became Features in Gaming
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 bugs that became features in gaming.
For this list, we’re looking at mistakes the developers made in their games which ended up never getting removed. This could be because they never thought the glitch would amount to anything or because fans loved the exploits so much they decided to leave them in.
#10: Lara Croft’s ‘Marketing Strategy’
“Tomb Raider” (1996)
The modern “Tomb Raider” reboots have taken a more realistic approach to an often off-the-wall franchise, mainly in terms of Lara herself rather than the supernatural storylines. The famous, bizarrely proportioned body she had in the original games was actually the result of a programmer error, only righted by the 2013 installment. It happened when a programmer accidentally inputted a 150% breast increase in Lara’s character model rather than the intended 50% increase, and for whatever reason just decided to leave it in. Whether this really was an innocent mistake or an attempt to sell a female protagonist to the largely male demographic of the 1990’s, we may never know.
#9: Wall Jumping
“Super Mario Bros.” (1985)
It’s hard to believe that one of the most useful and iconic platforming mechanics in gaming actually originated from a glitch, but it’s the truth. When the first “Super Mario Bros.” came out players soon learned how to exploit the game by having Mario perform a mid-air jump if he lands on exactly the right part of a wall – provided they had frame-by-frame accuracy to know when to push the button. This was tricky to pull off, but the glitch persisted so much that Nintendo finally implemented it for real in “Super Mario 64”, eleven years later.
“Starseige: Tribes” (1998)
At its height, the “Tribes” series was dubbed the “world’s fastest shooter”, entirely because of the existence of a bug which allowed players to “ski” across the map. While going down a steep hill, players found that spamming the jump button would allow them to gain an incredible amount of speed, enough to propel them long distances. They began scripting exploits to spam the jump command hundreds of times a second, and it was next to impossible to play the game without employing these techniques. Skiing was such a core part of the game that the developers included it in “Tribes: Ascend” as a genuine part of the gameplay.
“Street Fighter II: The World Warrior” (1991)
Developers of “Street Fighter II” noticed that if a player executed a certain string of button pushes quickly and accurately enough, they would obliterate their opponent with a flurry of unblockable hits, leaving the other player at their mercy. Thinking that nobody would work it out, or be good enough to use these methods competitively, they decided to leave this glitch in. However, players quickly discovered it, and combos in video games were born. Today, hundreds of games employ combos outside of the fighting genre, and mastering them is a necessity for anyone who has a hope of playing competitively.
“Diablo II” (2000)
The Paladin class may not necessarily be the most powerful class in “Diablo II”, but gamers worked out that a glitch in the game led to the basic Blessed Hammer ability becoming immensely overpowered. The skill Concentration will mistakenly increase the physical attack damage of Blessed Hammer by a huge amount, which essentially meant that players were untouchable as the hammer circled around them and destroyed everything in its path. This build was nicknamed “Hammerdin” and, though Blizzard greatly reduced its effectiveness, its become a mainstay of the “Diablo” series.
“Super Smash Bros. Melee” (2001)
It’s considered an advanced move to pull off but is something every “Smash Bros.” player has to learn to have a chance at winning. A wavedash is a simple sliding motion that happens by jumping and then immediately dodging towards the ground; it’s good for carrying out more complex offensive moves without changing direction or sacrificing speed, and allows characters a better chance at evading attacks. The importance of this move in the “Smash Bros.” series makes it surprising that wavedashing was considered so inconsequential by the developers that it just wasn’t removed when “Melee” came out.
#4: Rocket Jumping
id Software perfected the FPS formula of “Doom” with the equally-influential 90’s shooter “Quake.” While “Doom” was first to use explosives as propulsion, in “Quake” players used the mechanic to its full extent. This bug saw players able to launch themselves huge distances by shooting a rocket at the ground and jumping at just the right moment. It’s used not just to gain an advantage in combat but also to reach hidden, usually inaccessible parts of the map. Be warned, trying to perfect this will lead to many deaths at your own hands, but once you figure it out, rocket jumping is pretty sweet!
#3: Nuke Happy Gandhi
“Civilization” series (1991-)
Mahatma Gandhi was the father of peaceful protests; when trying to free India from control of the British Empire, he never once resorted to violence. This is why his habit of dropping nukes left, right, and center in “Civilization” is such a huge glitch. He originally had the lowest “aggression” rating of all the world leaders, but this rating automatically dropped by 2 if the player adopted democracy. Rather than make him even less aggressive, this meant that his rating looped to the highest possible score of 255, meaning he wanted to nuke the hell out of everybody.
#2: Police AI
“Grand Theft Auto” (1997)
In 1995, small-time game studio DMA Design were developing a cops and robbers title called “Race’n’Chase.” Its 2D, top-down gameplay revolved around racing and crashing cars, but an error in the AI for the police cars led to them being aggressive, psychotic madmen. The police would pursue the player to the ends of the earth, running over pedestrians, crashing into other cars, and even killing the player in the process. However, this glitch served to make the game way more fun as before this point it had been testing poorly. After this, it was reworked into what eventually became the first “Grand Theft Auto”, with DMA Design evolving into Rockstar North.
The most recognizable things to come out of “Minecraft” are, of course, the tall, green Creepers. These mournful monsters spawn in darkness and attack the player if they get too close, running up and detonating themselves. But their creation was actually the result of a coding error on creator Notch’s part. He admitted that, while trying to input the code to create a pig, he got the dimensions confused and made the creature tall instead of long. He liked it so much he turned it green and added the suicidal tendencies. Ever since then Creepers have become one of the most enduring enemies in all of gaming.