Generally speaking, if a computer program has a glitch, the consequences can be disastrous. As a failure or flaw in a computer's system, a glitch, even a very small one, can lead to something catastrophic, and we don't mean having to rewrite a school project.
Minor programming errors and flaws have destroyed costly rockets intended for space exploration (look up the European Space Agency's Ariane 5 rocket), destroyed financial companies (Knight Capital lost 75% of its value after a problem with trading software), and of course, glitches can kill people. Like with medical tech, such as a malfunctioning x-ray machine in the 1980s that fried five people because of a programming bug.
In the gaming world, the stakes are still high, but given that they are, after all, just games, there are never (rarely?) life and death situations. Because of this, glitches are things that are often removed in the development phase obviously, but if they do make it into the final product, most gamers, as long as their experience, or progression through the story isn't severely disrupted, can laugh at little bugs and glitches here and there. While linear shooters, sports and racing games, and most other types can be made with few glitches, an open world environment offers much more in terms of things that can go wrong. There may be no better example than the Grand Theft Auto series.
Given the amount of things one can do in these games, it is no wonder that they have glitches. A possible saving grace is that while glitches do happen from time to time, they rarely impede mission progress, but are just funny and surprising. Here are fifteen of the series' craziest glitches.
15 Headless CJ in San Andreas
This hilarious glitch is straight out of San Andreas and requires two people to perform. This game was one of the first in the franchise to have a multiplayer mode. It wasn't very good and offered little more than playing missions in a co-op format.
The way this glitch is achieved is by having player two kill player one (who is playing as protagonist CJ) with a katana. This weapon often severs the head when used to kill someone. With a successful slice, CJ will be "Wasted" and end up at the nearest hospital. He will not have his head when he returns, however, and will be able to run around with blood spurting out from his neck.
14 Disappearing Vehicles
For the most part, this glitch is minor and nothing more than a slight hindrance, but for certain missions, it can cause a serious headache. To put it as quickly as possible: sometimes, when a main character (this glitch is very common in GTA III, Vice City, Liberty City Stories and Vice City Stories) parks a car and enters a mission marker, the programmed cut-scene plays, and when it concludes, the car the player parks is nowhere to be found. Now, if you've just miraculously stolen...let's say an Infernus (Lamborghini Diablo) and you know that you need a quick set of wheels for a certain mission, and this happens, you're right to be infuriated. Rockstar said they got rid of this glitch in GTA IV, but many players still reported it happening.
While it is likely that this glitch exists because the car's presence in the area somehow clashes with events in the cinematic and the car has to be erased, we'd prefer to believe that the carjackers in the GTA universe are just quick and very daring. Of course, some vehicles in these same games get parked on the side of the road and end up staying there for hours.
13 No Restricted Zones in GTA V
This glitch allows you to enter zones that are completely off limits and that would typically result in multi-star wanted levels. It can take place during the mission Fair Game in which Trevor and Cletus go elk hunting. For the final kill of the mission, Cletus leaves and lets Trevor make the last shot on his own, without any help. There is no time limit on this mission, so the player is free to roam and can go just about anywhere. This includes areas that are heavily guarded and result in wanted levels just for entering, such as Fort Zancudo, Bollingbrook Prison and Humane Labs. So, if you ever wanted to check out some restricted zones without any hassle, this is the way to do it!
12 Two Tanks for the Price of One?
If the real purpose of the Grand Theft Auto series is to produce as much carnage and brutality as possible in a relatively consequence free environment (this is the purpose of the games, by the way), there is no better way to accomplish this than the tank. The Rhino looks very different in GTA V than it did in its first appearance in GTA III, but the results of getting one are roughly the same.
It can be quite difficult to get one, but if you're not all about putting effort into things, there is a simple cheat code that can provide you with this magnificent war machine. When you enter it, along with the tank you're given, another one will spawn on Liberty City Campus. We don't know why, but we'll never complain about two tanks.
11 Blue Hell
While many of us may consider certain GTA missions to be our own personal hell (yoga lessons in GTA V most recently), there is actually an area underneath many of the 3D and HD GTA worlds that is colorfully referred to by gamers as "Blue Hell." It is essentially an area that exists underneath the normal ground surface in the game and can be accessed only through certain points on the map in which the player can "fall through" a hole or "crack" in the programming of the game. If you do enter Blue Hell, take a good look around quickly because you'll likely only be there for a few seconds, as the programmers tuned the game to know when a player has entered this realm and quickly return them to the surface.
10 Brown Thunder Spawn Glitch
This is a very convenient glitch that can make it very simple to make a ton of money in Vice City. Vigilante missions spawn criminals that the character has to kill and can earn money doing so.
If you enter a "Hunter" (Apache) attack helicopter and turn on the airborne vigilante mission option "Brown Thunder," the criminals Tommy Vercetti is required to kill sometimes start to spawn over and over again in the same spot. The airport is one of the most common areas in which this may happen and it becomes an issue of just hovering and continuously firing rockets at cars while raking in increasingly absurd amounts of money that would never be paid out to real life law enforcement personnel.
9 Swingset/Gate Launch
If you spend an awesome amount of time on YouTube and well...the internet in general, you've likely seen something like this. We couldn't tell you why, but the engineers in Liberty City and San Andreas seem to have rigged the swing sets and security gates with some sort of advanced catapult mechanism. To put it simply, if you hit a swing set in Grand Theft Auto IV or put your car up against a security gate in one of the nicer neighborhoods in GTA V, your car will be thrown through the air. You'll do flips, you'll fly football fields from where your journey started, and when your vehicle finally hits the ground again, you'll likely have a chance to get out and find a new car and try again. It doesn't happen every time, but when it does it's certainly good for a laugh.
8 Double Vehicular Explosion
Most of us have experienced this one at least a couple of times playing through GTA III to San Andreas. More often than not, when you fire at a car that has a person inside of it, they will quickly try to get out and flee. If you have a minimally powerful weapon such as a pistol or a sub machinegun, you'll likely run through your ammo within a few seconds and have to reload, giving them the chance to get away. Of course, more powerful weapons, especially anything firing explosive projectiles (rocket launcher, for instance) will blow up a vehicle before the person has time to escape. If a vehicle explodes while the occupant(s) are in the process of exiting, it will blow up, and stop moving, only to blow up a second time. Same amount of ammo, double the carnage. We'll take free explosions any day.
7 'Lady of the Night' Car Thief
There are a few hooker-related glitches throughout the series and they remain one of the most controversial parts of the game. This one is the funniest, however. If you pick up a lady of the night and start driving, but then decide to get out of the car, sometimes, the woman will just drive away. Other times she will get out and start walking however. If they do continue to drive the car, it is possible to let them get a bit down the road and then catch up with them. When you do, there will likely be a man sitting in the driver's seat. We aren't exactly sure why this happens, but it may have to do with the fact that the game isn't designed to have them driving and automatically swaps them out for a male driver. Either way, this is an absurdly quick sex change, even by video game standards.
6 Cars Spawn in Front of Player's Vehicle
This glitch is another relic that has been solved and no longer exists in the current "HD" generation of Grand Theft Auto games (GTA IV until present). From Grand Theft Auto III until Vice City Stories, when one would look into the "rear view mirror" to see what was behind their car, when the button to do so was released there would be a new set of vehicles in front of them. This was especially hazardous when being chased by the cops, as you'd be taking a quick look back, before all of a sudden there is a car in front of you and it is too late to swerve. This occurred because these games spawned cars at random wherever the player was not looking.
5 Monster Truck Glitch
One of the more entertaining stunts you can pull off in San Andreas is also about as simple as they come. Actually, come to think of it, the most difficult part of this mission is finding a Monster Truck to drive. They are rare, but there are a few areas throughout the game map in which this beast spawns, including most prominently the trailer park. Now to the actual glitch: park that monster truck on top of the hood of another car, and then enter that car. You will instantly be launched into the air and will likely travel several miles while doing flips etc. It may take up to half a minute to actually come back down. You'll likely earn some money for a stunt bonus for this one.
4 Invincible Car in Liberty City Stories
How this little glitch was discovered is beyond us. There is an order of things that must be done to achieve a vehicle that can go through buildings and withstand damage in Liberty City Stories. It is recommended to be wearing the Avenging Angel Fatigues as your outfit. The garage in Portland should also be empty. Select your vehicle and drive to the starting point of the "Avenging Angels" side mission. When a member of that gang is in the passenger seat, drive to the Crusher and park it so that it is under the crane and make sure that the driver's side door is blocked. Get out of the car and then quickly get back in, Toni will push the Avenging Angel out and then get back in as the vehicle is lifted up. It will be quickly put back down and then it is recommended that you drive to the garage (don't get out of the car at this point) and store the car. If you followed these steps then voila, you have a vehicle that should be driving through walls, some buildings and soaking up bullet damage like it's nothing.
3 The Ol' Invisible Vehicle Trick
It has been suggested that the invisible car can be achieved in Grand Theft Auto V by calling a cab and fast traveling to any area during a mission in which you need to pick someone up in a vehicle. Most commonly, however, this has been done during a mission in which Jimmy (Michael's son) has pissed off someone on the internet and has to be picked up and saved by Michael. When Michael arrives on the scene and exists his taxi, the invisible car should be sitting in the road, you'll know when you've found it. While it offers no perks, it is fun to just zip around a foot off the ground in a seated position.
2 Missing Gang in GTA III
This glitch is an absolute nightmare for completionist gamers. Eventually, as you progress through Grand Theft Auto III and reach Southside Vale, you come into contact with D-Ice, the leader of the Red Jacks group within the Southside Hoods gang. One of his missions is "Rumble" in which Claude is required to beat up several Purple Nines (a rival faction within that gang) with a baseball bat. If the player starts a new game but has completed this mission, the Nines may not end up spawning, making D-Ice's set of missions impossible. There are ways to get around this glitch, such as using a new memory card and deleting all your saved games, but if you don't know these fixes and want to get to 100% completion, it is an angering problem to be having.
1 GTA V Glitch Shootout Cutscene
As far as we can tell, the only way to get something like this to happen within the game is to enter into the cutscene in question during a mission with Trevor and Michael, with a wanted level. During the cinematic sequence, the two protagonists have it out verbally while cops raid the house and start taking shots at them while they continue to argue. We all know that normally there is a mechanism within the game that does not allow a mission to be initiated with a wanted level, but for some reason it is possible to occasionally side-step this. It seems that the two of them are completely invulnerable during this scene, which is hilarious, as we get to watch them get peppered with bullets and shotgun spray while continuing to bicker.