Hidden secrets in games are quite common in the popular entertainment medium. Easter eggs, deliberate glitches, and other silly oddities have become part and parcel of the video game sphere–giving the game an extra layer of depth that you didn’t know was there. However, there are also those rare titles that feature hidden secrets that punish the player for their actions…
Yes, it’s not all humorous references and hidden doorways. No, there are also those games that anticipate wrong-doings by the player, only to teach them a lesson for not playing the game in the way that it was intended to be played. That’s where this list comes into play. It includes hidden secrets in games that didn’t pander to players, but rather, treated them harshly for various reasons.
Whether it’s chastising you for not saving your progress, or blowing you up for trying to exploit a glitch in the game–these titles don’t suffer fools gladly, and they make sure you learn from your mistakes the next time you try to pull the wool over their eyes. These are 15 hidden secrets in video games that punished the player. That’s right – hang your head in shame.
15 Whaddaya Mean You Don't Wanna Save?
Have you ever played a game and thought that it would be great to get a warning to save your progress? Well meet Animal Crossing–a game that does its damndest to make sure you save before losing all your hard earned work.
Not only does it caution you, but it practically demands you to save it through one of its characters. Yes, Mr. Resetti will militantly warn you of the dangers of not saving your progress, before making you pen him an apology letter if you still aren’t doing it.
However, it gets worse. The devious fellow will shut down your game if you stubbornly barrel through without saving, before springing the game back to life to once again tell you how forgetful you are. It goes without saying that in Animal Crossing, you learn the hard way.
14 Cheating's Fine In Moderation
Few games were as revolutionary as the first SimCity game in 1989. With its astonishingly detailed world-building elements, it’s no surprise that the franchise became the world eater that it did. However, the first title in the series was also very devilish in some respects–not least sending cataclysmic natural disasters towards your city if you’re not careful.
It turned out that there was a way to get free money in the game by simply entering the word ‘FUND.’ Doing so would automatically send $10,000 into your bank account. However, probably anticipating players’ greed, the developers decided that they would also include consequences for those who took advantage of it.
If you enter the word into the game too many times, a destructive earthquake will be sent to destroy your whole city. So next time you want more cash in SimCity, it might be easier in the long run to make it the right way.
13 This Car's Rather Explosive
You’ve got to love a game that stays true to itself no matter what, and in terms of that criteria, none do it better than Grand Theft Auto V. It’s a game with a real sense of identity, and it doesn’t mind showcasing that identity even with players who are trying to hack it.
Some renegades playing the open-world modern classic exploited a bug in the game by transferring the beastly Duke O’Death vehicle into the online portion of it, and in doing so, hoped to get a leg up on the competition with its lethality. However, developers Rockstar cut them off at the pass.
Because if they did manage to get their vehicle from the single-player mode into the online mode, they were greeted with a bang every time they tried to enter it. Yes, that’s right–no banning, just blown to bits instead. What’s more GTA than that?
12 Just Like In Real Life, You Can't Skip It
Speaking of Rockstar punishing players, they showcased their twisted amusement at torturing their fan base in their 2006 title Bully. It’s much more punishing than our last entry in that it goes on and on and on…
Yes, if you’ve been behaving badly on the playground, you’ll find yourself thrown in detention for the offense. However, in an attempt to actually emulate real-life detention, the game practically forces you to do chores before you’re allowed out again.
Even more frustrating is the fact that these portions of the game can’t be skipped–giving you plenty of time to think about your actions, and how not to get caught again the next time you do them. Detention is bad enough without having to relive it in a video game!
11 Honestly, You Just Suck
We gamers like to think we’re the best at the entertainment medium, but some games like to throw that cockiness back in our face from time to time (looking at you Dark Souls). However, in Super Smash Bros., they take that to a whole new level.
It’s certainly a tough game, but some have even speculated that the A.I. in it actually taunts the player for not being good enough. If you make mistakes or simply repeat the same moves too often, the A.I. opponent will perform weird gestures to let you know that it thinks you suck.
It’s certainly quite astonishing how ahead of its time the game was when it comes to the computer actually reacting to the player’s input, but it’s also something which will have you raging at its demeaning reactions to your gaming quality–or lack thereof.
10 You Thought Your Game Was Safe?
Thought being scolded to save your game in Animal Crossing was bad? Think again. There’s actually a game that goes through with destroying all of your progress, and that game is Banjo-Kazooie for the N64.
The game will threaten to wipe out your progress if you decide to skip the tutorial at the start, however, it never happens. So you’re in the clear, right? Well not if you don’t heed the second warning given by the irritating witch Grunty. If you choose to cheat in the game, she’ll make the same threat–except, she actually does it.
She’ll delete the save you’re currently playing on, forcing you to start the game from scratch. Cheaters never prosper they say–particularly if they try to deceive in Banjo-Kazooie.
9 Watch Out For The Cuccos!
Ever wondered what the point of the cuccos being in The Legend of Zelda is for? Well, it seems it’s simply to torture the player, because if you strike one of them, you better run as fast as you can.
These initially harmless looking animals wander around quite aimlessly, but don’t get on the wrong side of them–they turn vicious if provoked. Yes, attack one of them with your sword, and a whole host of them will come for you.
In fact, the only way to avoid certain death is to leave the area which they are in–saving your behind as well as a lot of unnecessary bloodshed. Who would think such delicate looking creatures could be so feisty? Either way, it’s probably best for all parties involved if you just leave them be.
8 This Hurts Me As Much As It Hurts You
The second instalment in the Silent Hill series still stands out as one of the best survival-horror games ever made–one that just gets better with repeated plays. One of the reasons for revisiting it again is for the unlockable sprays which can be used against your foes.
The Hyper Spray–which can be found in a motor home if the player completes the game three times–has four different coloured sprays depending on the ranking the player achieved during their previous playthroughs. Any of them can be used to damage the undead, however, they can also damage you…
The game punishes the player if they use the overpowered spray too much by depleting their health. So next time you think about breezing through the game with The Hyper Spray, just remember that it might harm you as much as your enemies if you’re not careful.
7 When They're Angry, They're Angry
The moral of the story for Civilization: don’t be a bully. If you are, you will be forced to face the repercussions. Because once you irk your neighbours, they won’t take too kindly to your bullish tactics.
If you decide to be a suave negotiator and you treat your neighbouring countries with respect, chances are you’ll not get on anyone’s bad side. However, if you do the opposite, you may find that no other countries want to trade with you anymore.
What’s more, the stronger country leaders in the game will look to defend the smaller ones from your harsh stance, so expect all-out war to ensue if you don’t buck yourself up. Nobody likes a bully–especially not the country figureheads in Civilization.
6 You Think You Can Run...
Chances are if you bought Slender: The Arrival, you’re asking to be scared. However, for those bizarre few who wish to escape the demon’s clutches altogether, there is a bug in the game that allows you to.
Although, you may not like the outcome. There’s a way to get away from him by glitching to the other side of the map. Unfortunately though, the developers saw this sly move coming. If you try to perform the glitch, you will find yourself hurtling down a bottomless pit–arguably facing an even worse fate than at the hands of the Slender Man.
Adding insult to injury, he pops up to chastise you, saying: “Not even a bug in this game will save you from me.” Yikes!
5 This Is Probably Why They Took It Out Of Later Games
Even in the Fallout series’ humble beginnings, the developers exhibited the meticulous detail of their work. Take this punishing hidden secret from Fallout 2 for example–one which is deliberate in its punishment of the player.
As with all of the games in the franchise, the player is given a decision to make on nearly all of the game’s quandaries. Be careful though–not all of them yield desirable outcomes. Because while the game allows you to ruthlessly kill a child, don’t think that there won’t be any repercussions.
If you go through with the despicable deed, your name from there on out will be ‘Baby Killer.’ Yeah, just try explaining that one to your friends and family the next time they come over for a gaming session…
4 How DARE You!
Scorned girlfriends aren’t just around in real-life, but video games too it would seem. Because in Metal Gear Solid 2, Raiden gets an earful from his girlfriend for, quite frankly, being a cruel idiot.
Any sadists among you probably decided to shoot those innocent looking seagulls when controlling Raiden. However, there is a price to pay for your inconsiderate actions. The protagonist’s girlfriend will ring him up, before breaking up with him for being a “monster.”
Even worse though, is that she will then refuse to save the game for a period of time – ultimately forcing you to continue playing while simultaneously feeling like a horrible human being at the same time. Maybe you’ll not be so cavalier with your gun the next time!
3 Once Shy, Twice Broken
Remember the GameShark? That device where you could edit games to include cheats and other buffers? Yeah, well don’t try using it on Donkey Kong 64–it will practically ruin your whole game.
For some unknown reason, when the player attempts to enter cheats into the game through the device, the game will start to become glitchy and buggy. Want to pick up that item off the ground? Good luck. Want to absorb more than one blow in a fight? Forget it. In fact, the game is basically unplayable if you use the code manipulating cartridge.
However, even more infuriating is the fact that the damage can’t be undone by booting up the console again. No, your save file is forever corrupted thanks to your cheating ways. Tut-tut!
2 I Thought You Were On My Side!
Don’t get on the wrong side of Luis Sera in Resident Evil 4, because if you do something which we all impulsively do in shooting games, you’ll find he has a nasty surprise waiting for you.
Yes, despite him being an ally of yours, the segment where you can interact with him will turn deadly if you try to mess with him. If you shoot at him three times, a specially made cut-scene will play out where he shoots back at you.
We gamers just like to shoot things in games, and clearly, Capcom anticipated this. Even though he’s not the enemy, it’s pretty neat that Capcom foresaw our unfriendly interaction with Sera–even if what they inserted was a punishing damnation of the player’s incessant lack of friendliness.
1 A Title You Just Can't Shake
No one wants to be branded a thief, but in Link’s Awakening, that’s exactly what you’re considered as if you try to steal. If you try to rob from the shopkeeper in the Game Boy title, you’ll be unceremoniously punished for it.
Many players noticed that there was a way to fool the shopkeeper by circling him until you get to the exit, loaded with unpaid for items. However, even though you might get away with it initially, you’ll soon notice that people greet you differently.
Yes–you are now called ‘THIEF’ for your unscrupulous actions, but it gets worse. If you attempt to go back into the same shop you stole from, expect the shopkeeper to fire some well-placed lasers in your direction. Shame on you!