Glitches are a part of every video game, large or small. Sometimes they’re annoying, sometimes they’re terrifying, and sometimes they’re downright hilarious. As long as they’re not game breaking, they can actually be some of the most memorable moments in any game, since they’re so unexpected. These eight glitches are some of our favorites from games throughout the years.
Have a favorite that we didn’t list here? Tell us in the comments!
Flying Tanks (Grand Theft Auto 3)
Recent editions of Grand Theft Auto have had some glitches, but none have been as fun as the flying tanks of Grand Theft Auto 3. If you drove a tank backwards across an arched bridge and fired the cannon at exactly the right time, the recoil from the blast would literally throw the tank into the air. As long as you kept firing, you could keep the tank airborne almost indefinitely.
Swordless Link (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is a fan favorite, but it had one of the more memorable glitches from any The Legend of Zelda game. It was possible to deprive Link of the Master Sword, and in doing so, allow him to use all of his weapons in unintended ways. All you had to do was reach the game’s final battle. At the beginning of this fight, the Master Sword is knocked from link’s hand. If you saved the game and restarted, you’d find yourself outside the boss room without your sword. That wasn’t the major effect of the glitch, though. Losing your sword in this way would allow Link to use all of his weapons on horseback; not just the bow and arrow. It also let adult Link use child Link’s weapons, and you could even play in a first-person perspective. It was a bizarre list of effects, which is probably why Nintendo moved so quickly to eliminate this method of triggering it. There are still some more complicated ways of getting the effect, though.
Manimals (Red Dead Redemption)
Donkey-women, cougar-men, and bird people. Nope, it’s not a series of bad B movies – it’s one of the craziest glitches from Red Dead Redemption. The glitch combined the actions and appearance of the NPC humans and animals, resulting in some frightening combinations. When this glitch was first reported, gamers treated the stories as near-mythical, but they’ve been confirmed several times over by now.
The Jesus Shot (Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08)
A video appeared on YouTube in 2007 that showed a gamer playing Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08. In the video you see the Tiger Woods character walking on water, and then playing a shot off the surface fo the water. That’s strange, but what made this glitch even better was that EA responded with a video claiming that it was not a glitch. Instead, it was just because Tiger Woods was that good, and they got the man himself to prove it in this video.
Swingset Catapults (Grand Theft Auto 4)
Flying tanks aren’t the only glitch the Grand Theft Auto series has to offer. In Grand Theft Auto 4, you can use any swingset in the game to launch you and any vehicle you’re driving into the air at a ridiculous rate of speed. While it looks entertaining (and possibly painful), you have to wonder what happens to all the kids who want to just go swing.
Giant Attack (The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim)
The world of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is filled with dangerous foes, and none are more deadly than the giants. These huge creatures carry enormous clubs, and are usually hell-bent on hitting you with one of them. The damage they deal is bad enough, but if one of the giants hits you with its ground slam attack, you’re apt to leave the ground for good. As you can see in the video above, instead of just bouncing you into the air, you’ll be launched ridiculously high in the sky. While I’m quite certain that the developers at Bethesda didn’t intend to have giants serve as a launching pad for stratospheric expeditions, you can’t deny that it’s pretty funny stuff.
Minus World (Super Mario Bros)
At the end of world 1-2 in the NES version of Super Mario Bros, if you smash all the bricks except the one next to the pipe leading out of the level, then crouch down and jump backwards to the brick without breaking it, you’ll find yourself in a warp pipe. Go down the pipe, and you’ll find yourself in the Minus World. The Minus World is identical to world 1-2, except that you can’t ever leave. The pipe at the end takes you back to the start of the level, leaving you with no option but to run the same level over and over again until all your lives are exhausted, or to reset the game.
Corrupted Blood Plague (World of Warcraft)
One of my favorite glitches of all time is World of Warcraft’s Corrupted Blood Plague. The end boss of the Zul’Gurub raid was a troll god named Hakkar the Soulflayer, and one of his abilities placed a debuff on characters who attacked him. That debuff was called “Corrupted blood,” and it inflicted several hundred points of damage every few seconds. It was also highly contagious, spreading to any nearby characters. The debuff went away if you died, but there was an oversight in the way it was designed. If a pet got the debuff, and was dismissed, it would still have the debuff when it was summoned again.
No one’s sure if this was discovered accidentally, or planned with malice, but whatever the reason, the first pet to be summoned in a capital city with the debuff laid waste to the players there. Low-level characters could be killed almost instantly by the damage, and the NPCs who got the plague were immune to its damage, so they simply functioned as carriers. After several attempts to wipe it off, Blizzard finally reset the servers and fixed the glitch. Since then, the CDC has used the incident as a model to study h9ow people react to a viral outbreak, and the Center of Terrorism and Intelligence Studies used it to examine the tendency for some players to willfully infect population centers as an analogue for terrorist behaviors. It possibly has had the most far-reaching effrects of any glitch in history.