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The Art of Breaking Games

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    Post your favorite breaks, cheats, cracks, hijinks, codes, glitches, corrupt file attempts and losses here.

    I’ll start with the FFVII item dupe cheat. use W-item materia to select an item during battle then deselect it before using the second.

    Breaking the game wise, I took advantage of all the enemies in the sunken air ship, and morphed each one until everyone in my party had max stats and a copy of each master materia. This allowed me to defeat the final boss using only death blow/all.

    My brother on the other hand was big into the first halo. So much so that he recorded play throughs on our old analog/digital camcorder. Yes, it recorded digital footage on an analog hi 8 tape. These weren’t just play throughs, but attempts to take the warthog through every level, including all the underground tunnels/bases. Not easy. But he had fun.


    I have a friend who has a talent for beating games wrong. Myst games in particular. He beat exile by guessing the pass phrases by going by which symbols looked similar. He beat end of ages when he decided to test the image recognition algorithm. To visit an age you must draw the symbol for that age so he decided to draw one of the symbols really badly and it took him to the end of the game.

    In high school we did some heavy modding of Tribes. One of our favorite weapons were the gravity grenades. We discovered that you could set the amount of knockback a grenade had to a negative number so we made grenades that had extremely low damage and a very strong pulling effect. Inside buildings they would kill enemies by causing them to slam into walls and outside they could be used to send yourself flying across the map. If there was an enemy in heavy armor running along a hill you could launch him into the air by dropping a grenade above him and sending him high into the air and let him splat on the ground. We also created what we called rocket Mortars. Slow moving high impact rockets. Often when a player was killed by one a non-collide-able “statue” of the player was left behind. Areas where there was a lot of combat were often full of these images of dead players.

    I think we have all done the Missingno item duplication glitch at some point.

    Steam: Garayur


    Daggerfall (the best Elder Scrolls) had few due to being a massive project (the Skyrim of it’s time) that give me that nice warm nostalgic feeling.

    The biggest one: Craft so powerful magic power boosting equipment that the cost of custom spells became a negative value (since the game kept track of your underwear I of course made myself the all-powerful “One String”). At this point any spell costs the minimum cost of 5 mana per casting. So make yourself unique god-spells that shield you from tens of thousands of damage, regenerate thousands of health per second for days, giant explosions that instantly kill all enemies three times over (that was a bit weird), etc.

    Incidently, that game had much more complex custom item and spell crafting than any of the sequels. “Oh, I can bind TWO magic properties to my sword? And choose between FOUR different souls to power it? Oh my, Skyrim, you’re so complex.”

    Citizen Stu

    I work in the games industry and I can tell you that one of the hardest things to do is balance a game so that you people (:-P) can’t break it.

    I’m kidding of course… partly… I’ve broken many games in my time too and it is sometimes hilarious to see the ways in which players break the game you have made once they get it into their hands. I’m not talking about the big horrible crashes that keep game devs awake at night but the funny stuff that we simply were not expecting players to do or that we ourselves didn’t even think of realize was possible.

    One funny example was players turning a non-lethal droid companion into a lethal suicides bomber and by putting trip mines on it and letting it lose in a group of enemies.

    An accident prone Englishman living in the Netherlands:


    I haven’t broken many games. I mean there were always the dupe procedures for Diablo 1 and Oblivion and such. I think one of the only games I properly broke was thief 2.

    In some of the levels you can get gas arrows that are basically knockout gas. When playing on Expert, where you can never kill anyone, only knock them out, these are like mana from heaven. Unfortunately, they are expensive as balls and you’ll find an average on maybe 1 on each level that has them. BUT sometimes the game does some screwy things thanks to the arrow pick up mechanics. When a regular arrow hit wood it would get stuck to it and you could pick it back up. You could do the same with rope and vine arrows. Sometimes the gas arrows would do the same thing, but they would stick out of people. Whats even better is that it still registers the hit, and they get knocked out.

    In addition to this I remember the gas arrow knocking out normally immune enemies wearing gas masks. All of the sudden you could just snipe and know out half the most troubling enemies with a single gas arrow. That was pretty awesome. I could never figure out how to do it reliably, so it involved a lot of save and reloading to do. Sometimes I swear it would work for a single encounter then after a save or load it wouldn’t work again.

    My other name is Rosswell


    To balance out my Daggerfall comment, and because I actually listened to the episode and heard the Metal Gear comment… Oblivion, the Elder Scrolls people actually know about had an armor mod called “Chameleon x%”, that would make you x% harder to detect. The problem was that you could stack it, so having 5 items with Chameleon 20% actually meant you were 100% harder to detect. Forget Skyrim’s merchants with baskets on their heads, with 100% chameleon you could just march in and take their things – in fact, just punch them in the face while you’re at it, you were “100% harder to detect than normal” so they weren’t gonna notice.

    Ice Abyzz

    I’ve never broken any games I play but I have a weird habit of trying to make it way to easy on me, even if it means spoiling the story or big parts of games. The most recent example I can give is when I was playing Legend of Grimrock. I was about 1/3 through the game when I realized I completely messed up one of the characters, rather then forcing my way through the game I quickly looked up how many of each best weapon was and ended up creating what I would call a powerhouse of min/maxing characters and I simply flew through the game once I understood and knew what items I would have access to. Not game breaking but definitely made the game way to easy, but the puzzles and exploration was still awesome.

    The closest I’ve probably ever come to breaking a game is in one of my playthrough of my favorite game, Breath of Fire 3. Around 1/3 through the game you get this kind of grindy quest that you’re supposed to play along side the story for access to a SMALL chance at some amazing items. The game is kinda funky in the way that killing all your teammates and hogging all the XP is the best way through the game when you don’t count in status effects. Well I was doing a solo character run and I decided to save scum until I got two copies of an item that gives you a 50% chance to ignore all status effects. Absolutely destroyed the rest of the game, and since I had saved and loaded for what was probably 5 hours to get those items, it didn’t count on the clock, giving me my fastest run even though I wasn’t really “speed running”.

    When I think about it, I have “broken” one game in my life. In Final Fantasy IX you can get access to a flying chocobo by “cheating” the system a little bit and abusing a boat you get. Using the flying chocobo, you fly to an area that you are only supposed to visit way later in the game, skipping the story way ahead and locking one of your characters in “bad state” that was related to the story and was supposed to be resolved in the part you skipped.

    that’s how I finished Oblivion for the first time 😕


    @M that’s how I finished Oblivion for the first time :-?

    Boromir finished Oblivion.
    You watched.


    I ran across this article the other day. I think I will bring out the gabe cube this Christmas.

    Most of these are pretty cool, but #2 and #1 are downright awesome.

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