Where Have All the Cheats Gone?

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Where Have All the Cheats Gone?

Cheating used to be an integral part of videogame culture, but Achievements and Trophies ruined that fun forever.

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They can still do it and even a code breaker type service, the trouble is they do not want to and gaming has become more boring from it...

R.I.P. game cheats :(

article:
NES games like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 and Shinobi were made infinitely more playable thanks to codes that allowed us to skip levels

Um, Shinobi? One of Sega's flagship franchises in the arcade/8-/16-bit eras? A NES game? Really?

*checks*

Wow, it really exists - didn't expect that. That's like Uncharted on the XBox 360.

I miss cheats as well...
They used to essentially double the lifespan of any video-game; you'd beat the game without cheats, then you'd beat it with cheats.

I remember that Saints Row 1 & 2 have cheats.
Yes, they have cheats, and achievements.
Yet achievements will be disabled as long as you cheat (logically, kaderp.)

Cheats are dead, long live mods?

I can still remember when I found that there where push button cheats for Goldeneye on the n64, also when the rumor went around the school that there was a kid who calmed to have found that cheat to get lara croft naked in tomb raider. I miss those times.

Not that hard of a thing to program, "If cheats are activated, then achievements are locked." Apply it to saved games so players can use them to help get through an area and once they get better at it they can reload prior to the cheating and try it for achievements.

Lot easier on sandbox games that don't have linear missions to implement.

Hell, I don't even get through the single campaigns anymore unless i am on easy. I have more things to do with my time, that is why i love one or two cheats. Even a simple money glitch in Oblivion will help you out greatly to get through the entire game and still have a wonderful experience. Easier to do on the PC than Console of course.

On the console, I bought the Frost Spire. The Flame Atronaught that you get to follow you, got lost falling into a pit in one of the dungeons, and is lost forever. I can't resummon him at all because he is still alive! This is why i don't buy DLC anymore on the consoles, that and the DLC takes up Overly Expensive HDD space. I get the PC version for cheap thru steam sales and then mod to my hearts content. The only reason i prefered Consoles for the longest time was they are dedicated to gaming and are automated to that purpose, plus you could lay on the couch or floor without the need of a keyboard or mouse. Now after saving a lot of money, I have my PC to a 55" with a wireless controller. I still miss they automation though!! I don't want to have to double click on anything!

Not dead, just transmuted into gameplay in the form of easier modes and regenerating health.

It should be remembered that actually beating games back in the day was an real test and your victory was by no means guaranteed. Bring someone from back then to today and show them a game during gameplay. They'll probably ask what you put in to make it so easy.

Quite honestly, I don't think the death of Cheat Codes has anything to do with Achievements, since it's been noted that Rockstar puts them in and just makes it impossible for you to unlock Achievements with them.

Rather, it's that people can complete the game with them and won't pick them up again, or that they're extra coding that won't contribute anything useful. Games are getting longer to develop and more expensive, so you want to cut out bits that don't really matter (like cheat codes), while the designers obviously want people to immerse themselves and enjoy the game that they've created, and cheat codes sort of undermine this.

If designers could, though, I wish they could just throw in something for laughs, like an 'invincibility cheat' or a 'big head code', and make that only available at the end, so people have to complete the game first before they start screwing around.

The demise of cheats has coincided with the rise of multiplayer. Cheats didn't matter in the era of single player but in the world where most fps are designed to be played as multiplayer games they are dead as duck

Ah yes, cheats. I really miss them too sometimes.
And it´s really weird that they´re gone too. There´s nothing wrong with disabling achievements for them, so why don´t they still include them? On the other hand, games have gotten so much easier, even compared to the previous generation, that there´s no real need for them as a helper anymore but I´d still like to fuck around with the game here and there.

I remember Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter though. The only game I know that you can play with cheats and still get the achievements.

randomsix:
Not dead, just transmuted into gameplay in the form of easier modes and regenerating health.

It should be remembered that actually beating games back in the day was an real test and your victory was by no means guaranteed. Bring someone from back then to today and show them a game during gameplay. They'll probably ask what you put in to make it so easy.

This, a thousand times this. That said, I don't want to be dragged through a time-gate to see one or two generations of games ahead. I'd probably go all John Connor when I got back; trying to save the industry from pay-to-win and 30 min 'gamisodes'.

It is sad that cheats have died out. The last game I remember that had cheats was Mercenaries 2 which disabled the trophies whenever cheats where active. It does highlight the argument of why don't all games do that to keep cheats in?

At least I still have the console commands on pc games for when I get bored and decide to turn myself into a demi-god to wreck havic on any unfortunate npc that crosses my path.

I was actually going to write up something for the EC guys about cheating explaining the three main reasons people use cheats. Especially considering...games nowadays STILL have the same problems which caused people to use AR and other such devices.

First off...I want to clarify that I don't consider imbedded cheat codes like the Konami Code cheating. If the programmers put it in there, the general assumption is they want to see if you can find it and actually use it. Also, I do not consider using any command and/or manuver programmed into the game and usable by all cheating either. So...you people calling Snaking cheating in Mario Kart? You're just whining because someone else was good enough to pull it off and is therefore better than you.

Anyways...the problems in games requiring cheating. Basically, I'm referring to difficulty control, unlockables, and broken issues.

Difficulty control is the most obvious because not all gamers are alike. Even if you have two gamers with the same experience with the same type of games over the same period of time...they will still tackle a brand new game two different ways. As such, there will be people who will find even the easiest difficulty settings of some games too taxing or those who find the most difficult settings too easy. Heck...there were once codes for the ORIGINAL version of Devil May Cry 3, a game already considered too difficult to play, that made THAT game more difficult!

Unlockables refer to those things that are like Achievements in games, but have a more tangible reward like new stages, new items, or even new characters. Problem is there were still some games in which the unlockables were either items that many felt should've been included from day one, like Sonic and Snake from SSB:B, or are rewards that didn't match the effort put into getting it, like Falco from the same game. Heck...no doubt many here actually used an AR for SSB:M since you didn't want to spend a gabillion hours getting everything unlocked.

Broken issues are pretty much omnipresent in all games. RPGs, however, have a big one in the form of grinding for gold. It's one of the main reasons why most gamers ask for a "gold code" first thing for any DS or PSP RPG. Reason being that trying to grind for money almost always leads to overleveling. I saw this in Dragon Warrior IV for the NES. As Ragnar I decided to grind until I got enough money for the best equips in town before tacking the tower, and found myself three levels higher than I needed to be to tackle the tower...making the boss fight WAY too easy after getting the Sword of Malice.

Personally, I feel the above illustrates why the loss of cheats is kind of a downer, but then again I can understand why they have gone the way of the ghost. As albino boo pointed out, the advent of multiplayer games killed cheats since...well...do you want to play against someone in PVP who turned on the Godmode cheat? Didn't think so.

CAPTCHA: the atedsei

Not any atedsei, mind you. THE atedsei!

Maybe I'm alone in this, but frankly I don't think much would be lost if Cheat Codes were gone from the world of games. Can it be fun to look at the game in a way that undermines the point of the game? Of course, but I'd argue that Cheat Codes don't do that. Since the codes are something the developers put in, it would be reasonable to assume then that the Cheats you're using, no matter how much you think they break the game, are still things that the developer designed, so in truth you aren't really breaking or cheating the game, you're just using shortcuts that are meant to be used if you want to use them. You aren't really exploiting the game, you're just playing it in a way that is different, but takes out the challenge of the game. Modding is a different story of course, because with full acess to the tool set you can alter the game in ways the developer never expected the player to do, and can radically change the game you're playing, actually cheating both the game and the developers by doing something with it that was never meant to be done. Besides, without cheat codes the game forces me to get better at it, allowing me to explore and better understand the actual mechanics and little touches the game offers that allows for a better and more fulfilling gameplay experience.

Usually after I beat a game I'll cheat with it to have more fun with it. Hooray for cheat engine (pc) and trainers! I absolutely hate anyone who uses cheats in multiplayer though, just ruins the whole point and spirit of the game then.

I really miss cheats in games though because sometimes with the right cheats they really extended the gameplay.

The only thing I can think of is that most games now don't need them because they are so easy. The difficulty now-a-days throws me off whenever I fire up an older game and I get my ass handed to me until I switch up my tactics or apply some thinking to get through certain obstacles and situations.

Archangel357:
That's like Uncharted on the XBox 360.

Which would be awesome.

I still get trainers for every game I play. Cheating is not dead at all. Take Deus Ex: HR... I knew I was only going to play through it once, so why the hell shouldn't I have all of the augments? Trainers game me a gazillion Praxis points.

I think with the big push into MMO, cheating has become a bit of a taboo topic.

Nobody likes a cheater.

I never cared for cheats in old games I played anyway. I much prefer to play the game properly.

i assume you guys never seen free software called cheat engine

GamemasterAnthony:
If the programmers put it in there, the general assumption is they want to see if you can find it and actually use it.

Not strictly true. Some of the early cheat codes were put in to make testing easier (just because you're good at writing code doesn't mean you're good at playing games), and they forgot to remove them before shipping the finished product. The Konami Code itself is actually an example of that. All kinds of weird things have slipped into games over the years either because people forgot about them or because there wasn't time to run them through the QA process again after stripping out undocumented/testing/unfinished features, so they just get left how they are and shipped if they won't cause problems. Most of them don't become quite so famous, though.

Nalgas D. Lemur:

GamemasterAnthony:
If the programmers put it in there, the general assumption is they want to see if you can find it and actually use it.

Not strictly true. Some of the early cheat codes were put in to make testing easier (just because you're good at writing code doesn't mean you're good at playing games), and they forgot to remove them before shipping the finished product. The Konami Code itself is actually an example of that. All kinds of weird things have slipped into games over the years either because people forgot about them or because there wasn't time to run them through the QA process again after stripping out undocumented/testing/unfinished features, so they just get left how they are and shipped if they won't cause problems. Most of them don't become quite so famous, though.

Really? Huh...

Pity. I would've have thought the programmers were trying to be clever and giving us a bonus for figuring it out, almost like an achievement/unlockable in itself.

Yea cheevos are pointless and I miss cheat codes, but what irks me the most for some reason is that sites still put achievement lists in the cheats section. Those aren't cheats, don't tease me you jerks

i remember the days when cheats were programmed into almost every game. now no one wants you to cheat. i always get people complaining that there are cheats and being angry about cheaters. i counter with this: If the game developers and designers did not want us to cheat they would not program in cheats! sadly the days where cheats are no longer programmed in are coming all to soon. i only wish that the days of no cheats could wait until it is past my time.

Cheats Forever!

While cheats in game might be dead, Trainers for PC games are still going strong.

While some does not have optiones that you want they can still help you out on the "Cover mortals! Because I am GOD!" feeling.

Game cheats always felt like debugging code that they decided to leave in.

And sometimes it actually was. There was a game called "Carnivores 2", a dinosaur hunting game, where if you typed in "DEBUG UP" on your keyboard, it would start up essentially a superfast, flying, invincible mode.

Fun times with that.

This is basically the same point that Yahtzee was making last week about being able (and being encouraged) to "break" games - and I think his point that the ever-increasing cost of graphics is the driver for the clamping down on player choices, including the choice to cheat: "There will be no skipping levels! You WILL watch every single cut-scene we've rendered and you WILL like it!"

Man, I remember how much FUN cheat codes could be.

Big Head, DK mode, Paintball, infinite dual-wielding rocket launchers, and invincibility in Goldeneye? Awesome!

All weapons, level select, blood color choices, Wireframe mode in Turok? Amazing!

Access the Sonic Debug Mode? Sweet! Perform the Chrono Cross secret room disc swap? Cool! NARPAS SWORD in Metroid? Only way I could beat it the first few times.

I miss cheats. I miss cheat devices. Even if it wasn't "cheating", I loved making Mario grow and shrink in Mario 64, giving Link a "Gold" Tunic in Ocarina of Time, and using an Action Replay to unlock more than half of F-Zero GX (because you needed to transfer your memory card from an F-Zero AX machine... and only 7 exist! Screw that!)

I totally exploited glitches in Pokemon to fight MissingNo and duplicate Rare Candies. I loved using a Gameshark to get to the "mysterious island" in Goldeneye. I loved using a cheat device to see hidden, creepy, disturbing, sealed off rooms in Silent Hill 3. I most definitely enjoyed using them on long-winded Japanese RPGs to reduce level grinding and on Nintendo-hard impossible games like Battletoads. Man, I really appreciated that "There Is No Cow Level" cheat in Diablo 2 and "Power Overwhelming" helped me through Starcraft.

I miss that era a lot and it's a shame so few keep that spirit alive.

The only game in recent memory with "cheat" codes was Mortal Kombat, with the Kombat Codes that modify matches (Zombie Combat! Rainbow Combat! Vertigo Combat!), but that's pretty much it.

It's the combination of not JUST achievements (though that's a big reason), but also how the online community has thrived and fairness in games like Halo or Call of Duty would go out the window with cheats (not that modders don't do it anyway). If they could bring them back, I'd be all over them.

SQN Leader 095:
i remember the days when cheats were programmed into almost every game. now no one wants you to cheat. i always get people complaining that there are cheats and being angry about cheaters. i counter with this: If the game developers and designers did not want us to cheat they would not program in cheats! sadly the days where cheats are no longer programmed in are coming all to soon. i only wish that the days of no cheats could wait until it is past my time.

Cheats Forever!

Agreed. In-game cheats had the convenience of you not having to worry about whether or not your game would crash after 30 minutes, let you know that the cheat would WORK, and saved you the trouble of having to search through all the malware for a proper trainer.

Ruwrak:
I remember that Saints Row 1 & 2 have cheats.
Yes, they have cheats, and achievements.
Yet achievements will be disabled as long as you cheat (logically, kaderp.)

GTA IV also has cheats but using them disables which achievements/ trophies you can unlock.

Other than that though, this article kind of makes me sad. I was the kid who never knew any of the cheats. I only just found out this month that Super Star Wars had a debug menu! I miss the old days sometimes and hope cheating can find a way to return. In the mean time, I can still play those old games so there's always that.

In memory of Game Cheats, I'd like to give one final sound off to the Konami Code. I'll start us off.

Up, Up

The 'Old Days' of cheating aren't gone. The old button imputs may be, but unnaturally 'enhancing' your single player gaming experience on the PC is still pretty simple. Immediately coming to mind is Crysis. A simple glimpse into the .doc files in the 'program files' directory and you can have unlimited ammunition and as much nanosuit power as you could ever dream of. Also, I like that you can do pretty much whatever with single player, but online multiplayer is always Cheat-Protected. The way things should be.

I love PC gaming for this. It's not as simple and user friendly, but the rewards and extras are incredible with a little knowhow.

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