Video games are highly complex creations and as such, encountering bugs and glitches are just a reality of playing them. While bugs are often detrimental to the user experience, glitches are generally harmless and often present themselves in a hilarious fashion. The scope and variety of glitches feels almost as limitless as the games they turn up in, leading to some pretty fantastic ones. The following are 10 of the craziest instances of games not behaving as they were intended to.
10. Dead Space 2 Half-Body Glitch
As if Dead Space 2 wasn’t already crawling with unspeakable horrors, a notable elevator-related glitch causes lead character Isaac Clarke to appear sans-torso, with only a disembodied head and gory legs left in their wake. Amazingly, Isaac is still able to go about his alien-slaying escapades despite missing his arms and most of his body. On the bright side, at least this gives the games monstrous enemies less to chew on.
9. Goldeneye: Spinning Guards
Game development has come a long way since the days when Goldeneye: 007 for the Nintendo 64 dominated the shooter genre, but the game is still an undisputed classic. It also had its fair share of glitches, with the craziest and most hilarious arguably being the spinning guards who would get stuck in the ground and dance uncontrollably in circles. Apparently, this glitch could actually be put into effect manually by pulling the game cartridge out slightly on the left side and then walking up to a guard in the game. They sure don’t make glitches like this anymore.
8. Skyrim – Backwards-Flying Dragons
As it’s a colossal game, it’s fitting that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has numerous glitches. There are a lot of notable ones that have cropped up, such as the giant attacks that send your character hurtling hundreds of feet through the air, but the most memorable glitch is arguably the backwards-flying dragons due to its pervasiveness. Dragons are a prominent feature of the game and are meant to be formidable opponents. This humorous glitch definitely had the opposite effect, making the fearsome fire lizards look like they were stuck in some kind of wormhole, and the best part is that this was a glitch that was introduced in a patch that was meant to clear up other bugs and glitches!
7. Fallout 3 Gore Princess
Yikes. You’d be forgiven for thinking that Princess, a member of the Little Lamplight child settlement in Fallout 3, was supposed to resemble a bloody carcass. After all, the game is set in a post-apocalyptic future filled with radioactive deformities, so this horrific sight kind of fits in with the surroundings. Alas, Gore Princess, as she’s been affectionately dubbed, is merely a bizarre character glitch that turns the little girl into a walking nightmare. This is definitely not a sight that can be unseen.
6. Red Dead Redemption’s Flying Carriages
There are a lot of wacky glitches in Rockstar’s open world Western game Red Dead Redemption, including a variety of different flying people glitches. As hilarious as those are, this flying horse carriage glitch outranks them all. Apparently, the physics were taking a vacation on this particular day. How else do you explain the feats of these gravity-defying carriages, which burst into the air without warning? There are enough things to worry about in the Wild West without having your horse suddenly buck you 200 feet into the air to your death.
5. Battlefield 3 Giant Crawling Solider Monster
The Battlefield series has the unfortunate distinction of being just as well known for its numerous bugs and glitches as it is its award-winning multiplayer. While these defects have tarnished the brand’s reputation, particularly with the defect-ridden launch of Battlefield 4 in 2013, the series has also had its share of wild glitches that actually increase the charm of the po-faced military shooter franchise. Some players encountered a glitch in the game’s online mode that rendered characters as gigantic monstrosities that can seemingly pass through any object in the environment. However, the truly horrifying part is the soldier-monster’s face. We’re not doctors, but we’re reasonably sure that eyeballs are not supposed to pop out of the head like that (or be the size of boulders, for that matter).
4. Creepy Dr. Watson
Flashy, physics-related glitches are often the most eye-catching, but there’s something to be said for ones that disturb the soul. Sherlock Holmes Nemesis, a 2007 mystery game for the PC based on the famous detective, is not exactly a memorable game…unless you’re talking about Holmes’s creepy assistant Dr. Watson. Playing as Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson will follow you around at certain points in the game, which is where things get weird. Watson seems to have access to some sort of teleportation device, as he will constantly appear suddenly in front of you when you break line-of-sight with him. This glitch was so well-known that the game’s developers issued an April Fool’s Day demo for the next game, Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishment, titled “Creepy Watson: The Return.”
3. GTA IV Swingset Glitch
Open world games such as the Grand Theft Auto series generally tend to have more glitches than linear story-driven games, simply due to their sheer size and scope. As we’ve already seen with games like Red Dead Redemption and Skyrim, sandbox games generally have some of the best, most entertaining glitches. Grand Theft Auto IV is no exception, containing one of the craziest physics-related glitches in all of gaming. Certain swingsets in the game will inexplicably send players and their vehicles catapulting through the air. It seems that our parents were right: playgrounds really are deathtraps!
2. The Sims 3 Creepy Baby Glitch
Artists and designers spend a lot of time and effort trying to create grotesque monsters in horror games. All credit to these extremely talented men and women, but they really can’t compete with revolting glitch creations like the baby-mother hybrid monster in The Sims 3. This unholy creation is the stuff of nightmares and should probably be killed with fire.
1. Assassin’s Creed Unity Horror Faces
It’s funny how many of these glitches involve creepy body distortions. Assassin’s Creed Unity launched last year with numerous game-breaking bugs and glitches, but no glitch encompasses the game’s shortcomings more than the now-infamous horror faces. This glitch would sometimes occur during cutscenes, rendering certain character faces in a way that looks like a Mr. Potato Head toy gone wrong. Floating eyeballs and unflinching grins are just a bit distracting in a game depicting an event as serious as the French Revolution.