Ah video game glitches and bugs, they’ve been with us from the very beginning and will probably be around for a very long time. In older games, if you encountered a bug or a glitch, you would have to hope that it wasn’t a game breaking one. Nowadays, these can be patched (or made worse, depending on the update). Some of these glitches and bugs can be incredibly frustrating but others hilarious oversights. In speed-running, these issues are often exploited to get the fastest possible time, from tricking Mario Kart 64 into thinking that you’ve completed a full lap to using a wrong warp in Super Mario Bros. This blog post is partially inspired by the Angry Video Game Nerd (hence the title) and by the recent issues that have plagued Cyberpunk 2077. Since I haven’t played Cyberpunk 2077, I don’t think it would be best to comment on it but below are some glitches I have encountered, from the frustrating to the bizarre to the hilarious. Enjoy.
No Platinum For You
I enjoy TT Games Lego series. They follow the same style throughout: beat levels, unlocks characters, revisit levels to find hidden items, 100% it. They’re very easy to unlock achievements for (it’s why they make up a large amount of my complete games on both Xbox and PlayStation). The other thing they’re known for is glitches. These can be characters failing to unlock, trophies or achievements not popping, or the games freezing. Normally resetting the system can fix these. However, there are those that require you to restart the game. Recently playing through the first Lego Batman, Sharon and I encountered an Achievement bug on the first level. As it’s early in the game, restarting isn’t a big deal. Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is a different story. Lego Batman 3 is a big game for a Lego game. It has a tonne of collectables, scattered across multiple levels and hub worlds, it has a huge selection of characters to unlock and its Trophies can be obtained in two-player. One of these Trophies is linked to Adam West, who you have to rescue in each area and level. Find all of these and you unlock him, whereby playing as him unlocks the Trophy. However, one of these bugged out. Meaning that we rescued him but it never registered so we’ll be stuck at 15/16 for that save file and can’t unlock the Platinum Trophy. Even reloading the save file did nothing. Looks like we’ll just have to start it all over again…
This one isn’t really a specific glitch or bug but a fun little issue that we don’t see anymore. Back in the days of cartridges, the contacts would often gather dust. When you went to plug these into your console, you would get all sorts of glitched out images. This seems to be more common on the NES than other cartridge systems, but that may just be my experience. Some of these glitches included title screens that were all messed up, from ineligible menu screens to terrible colours, games that would play normally before descending into glitch madness or, in the case of games like Super Metroid and Donkey Kong Country, an anti-piracy message being displayed as it thought you were playing an illegal copy. Sure, modern games have their own issues, but they’re nothing quite like a game bugging out and being fixed by blowing into the cartridge (don’t blow into the cartridge, this never actually worked!).
Some bugs can cause the game to freeze or stutter momentarily. While playing Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity in two-player, the game would often slow down as it struggled to deal with the action. I don’t know if you’d classify this as a bug or a glitch over a framerate issue but it was frustrating. While annoying, it was manageable. However, what wasn’t manageable was when it happened in F1 2010. I had mentioned in the Rocky’s Review of it that it had occurred and it was frustrating. However, it’s hard to portray how frustrating it was. In F1 2010, a slight mistake can cost you a track position. When it would freeze, I would hope I was on a straight. Nine times out of ten, I was but there was that one time… oh boy… While racing around the Singapore track, the game decided it would be best to freeze during the “Sling Chicane”. If you’re not familiar with this, this was a piece of the track that was notorious for launching cars into the air in real life. It’s not that severe in the game but it can be tricky to manage as there’s a wall on the other side of it. The game froze as I was coming up to the chicane and when it unfroze, I locked up my breaks and hit the wall, ending my race. Good thing the game has Flashbacks…
Temple of Nope
This is less a natural glitch and more of a “don’t be a cheater”. In the original Final Fantasy VII if you used an Xploder / Xplorer cheat device, there would often be little graphical glitches. These would mostly be a square shimmering or flashing, nothing major but annoying. Most games have some issues when using a cheat device but this one stands out the most. When I was younger, I struggled with the game, so resorted to using a cheat device (the shame). Most of the glitches were manageable but then I got to the Temple of The Ancients. For those unfamiliar with this area, the main part is a sort of maze that you have to navigate through. It’s a sandy coloured area where the different routes can blend in together. That is unless you’re using a cheat device. Then it’s just a garbled mess of lines that scroll down the screen. There are gaps in the lines so it is possible to navigate the maze (I managed to do so) but the lines are so intense, they ended up giving me a headache. Moral of the story, don’t cheat.
The original Pokémon trilogy is notorious for a few glitches. The most famous is probably MissingNo. This buggy Pokémon can be caught just in a few areas and can open up certain exploits. I’ve never caught him as I was afraid of any issues it might cause (also, I don’t know how to catch him). One exploit I do know how to do is the Mew glitch. This allows you to catch the fabled 151st Pokémon. It involves tricking the game into thinking you’re entering into a battle while using fly and then triggering a certain battle elsewhere. Then, I would fly to Lavender Town, walk West and trigger a battle with a level 7 Mew. When I found out about this glitch, it blew my mind. Previously, I had traded my friend for a Mew but when I lent my Pokémon Yellow to another friend and someone he knew stole all my best Pokémon. I didn’t think there was any way I’d ever get another Mew as we never had Pokémon events in Ireland. Discovering this was great and even to this day, I still love that little pink ball of fluff.
Ah FIFA, the annual instalment that I waste my money on for little improvement (except FIFA 21). Over the years, I’ve encountered a few bugs in the series, from managers running onto the pitch, to referees having different colour arms to players merging together when they collide. The one that sticks with me the most is the invisible ball in FIFA 15. During one of my matches, the football disappeared. No amount of reloading the game, installing updates or restarting Career Mode helped. The ball was gone. The players still interacted with each other like there was a football and you could technically score a goal. It was such a strange glitch. There is a way around it. It turns out the invisible football glitch can occur if you have chosen to have an automatic football choice that is linked to each competition. If you simply select a football rather than leave it automatic, the ball reappears. However, switching it back to automatic causes the ball to vanish again.
How could I talk about glitches and bugs and not mention Bethesda. Across their wide range of games, there have been so many issues. From New Vegas’ spinning heads, Dogmeat just disappearing in Fallout 4, the giants knocking you skyward in Skyrim and quests just flat out saying nope. I had this with a Companion Quest in Skyrim. I became a werewolf during the questline and to cure myself, I had to finish the full quest arc. However, a glitch occurred where the quest giver wouldn’t actually give me the next mission, thus freezing me out and condemning me to a life of Lycanthropy (in that save file anyway). It’s ok, I got my own back by exploiting the Oghma Infinium. Take that Skyrim! Now I can smash almost anything except the giants, they still send me flying high…
What are some of your favourite glitches and bugs? Are there any game-breaking ones you’ve encountered?