Fancy graphics are fine, but all gamers know in their hearts that nothing will ever top the drama of Final Fantasy VII or the pure physicality of Super Mario Bros. 3. Playboy’s Retro Gaming articles look at why we love the classics and give you your nostalgia fix.
Gaming companies can be just as bad as regular software manufacturers when it comes to releasing glitchy products. Throughout the history of gaming, various titles have been issued with everything from minor bugs to major snafus, and the latter can certainly trip you up, especially when they stop the game dead (This is why games are supposed to be tested!).
While classic arcade games have been known to have glitches—Ms. Pac-Man has the infamous kill screen, as does Donkey Kong—there are plenty more in the world of home gaming. Let’s check out some of the sickest snafus.
8. THE DEATH HOLE GLITCH
In The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time you can learn what the living definition of purgatory is. There’s a grotto entrance by the brook in the northwest of Hyrule Field. If you (as Link) hold a bomb and it explodes just as you are going down the hole, you’ll drown and can be revived, but can’t actually return to the ground level. You can see the landscape above from underneath, but you’re stuck.
And in other instances, even if you manage be revived from the hole, you can’t escape its weird gravitational pull, like a natural tractor beam. Your only recourse is to reboot, but do not save the game.
7. SYSTEM KILL
Donkey Kong Country 2 is evidently loaded with glitches, but the worst one can possibly cause permanent damage to your actual copy of the game. During the Castle Crush stage, grabbing a specific barrel that breaks apart for whatever reason causes the action to freeze and can screw up your cartridge and potentially your gaming system itself. That’s even worse than your banana hoard getting stolen.
6. FALLING INTO THE SKY
A game revolving around badass ‘60s bikers, Ride To Hell: Retribution is considered by some to be among the worst video games ever due to its lame narrative and glitches galore. The craziest snafu occurs when you ride down any number of roads and suddenly find yourself floating or falling into the sky.
Why? Who knows. Think of it as a bonus acid trip from the hippie era, except you’ll need to reboot to return from it.
5. THE RED RING OF DEATH
Several years ago this terrible Xbox 360 malady, so named because of the feared ¾ red circle appearing on the power display of the console, came about when the system got too hot. The Guitar Hero series was among the games that allegedly brought about the dreaded RRoD, making your console effectively into a fancy plastic doorstop that wouldn’t even turn on.
Microsoft was at a loss as to what was going wrong—symptoms reportedly included game freezes, graphics problems and sound issues during gameplay—but the company eventually offered to fix or replace the thousands on thousands of affected Xboxes at a whopping total cost of $1 billion. Hey, it was either that or throw in the towel on the brand. And wrapping an Xbox in a towel was one weird but temporary fix that users tried to keep the system from getting too hot. The video above shows one other solution, although it was a tad more drastic.
4. ELEVATOR TO NOWHERE
The elevator ride leading to the climactic battle in Legendary (aka Legendary: The Box) is an essential part of the narrative, but it seems like the lift doesn’t like its job too much. In some instances, players end up in a weird netherworld where the elevator dumps them then rises above and abandons them. In other instances, the elevator squishes down and kills them. Either way, your adventure is ruined by faulty programming. Joy.
3. ETERNAL FOUNTAIN OF CATS
And now for some comic relief. This isn’t actually a Minecraft hiccup that you can randomly happen upon—you’ve got to work at it, but it’s pretty cool once you do. As fans know, when you tame an ocelot it will follow you around and can even teleport to get closer to you if you move too far away.
Want to see how intense their love can be? Build a column up to the top of the world and execute a specific block placing plan. At the right angle you can create a spot where all the cats down below will teleport up to be with you. But since there is no place for them to actually sit, they will fall off and continually teleport back up again. Endlessly. For cat lovers it’s purrfect.
2. SINISTER SURGEON
While this problem was ultimately fixed with a patch, it’s still a classic creepy glitch. It did not stop gameplay but certainly set a weird tone for Fallout: New Vegas. At the start of the tale, The Courier (you) has been saved from death by Doc Mitchell, who dispenses some helpful advice. But many gamers watched his head twist around his neck as he talked, as if they suddenly became trapped in some twisted J-Horror Western. I’d be freaked out if I woke up to a sight like that, but evidently it was just another day for Mitchell.
1. SWALLOWED WHOLE
Hitting the pavement hard can suck for skaters. It’s only a mild annoyance for gamers. But in Skate 3, which has its share of crazy flying, falling, and falling through glitches, you can not only wipe out and eat cement but get swallowed up by it—sometimes whole, sometimes just your head.
It might be funny to watch a trapped body flail around like that onscreen, but in real life that would be utterly horrifying to experience. Unless you’re The Vision and can alter your body matter. Then you’re just messing with people.
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