Video games have become one of the most dominant mediums of entertainment around and for good reason. After all, unlike movies and TV shows, video games actually allow you to control the actions of the main character (if not multiple characters) to varying degrees. Gone are the days when Pong and Tetris used to be the only games worth playing — in the modern landscape, the gaming industry has boomed to the point where numerous AAA titles strive to provide gamers with the most premium and unique gameplay experiences around.
Unfortunately, at the end of the day, video games are pieces of software, and — as is the case with pretty much any form of software — hackers and pirates are always on the prowl to either obtain an unfair advantage or unlock the means to play the game without playing a single penny.
However, the video game industry has become wary of these attacks and unethical actions over the years, trying their best to ensure that these people get what they deserve and don't enjoy any unfair benefits. While most of the measures that the video game industry has taken never really come to fruition, the fact of the matter is that there are moments when some of these safeguards have actually been quite creative and effective at the same time, posing as a substantial hurdle for hackers and pirates who get pulled into an incredibly frustrating situation in the process. Here are a few such instances where video games punish hackers and pirates in the most hilarious manner possible.
22 GTA V – Dunce Caps And Car Explosions
Grand Theft Auto V is definitely one of the greatest video games of all time, featuring a level of production quality that was unheard of, ever for the usual AAA title. It is the definition of a classic, and also introduced multiplayer to the series.
However — as is the case with online play — hackers tried to ruin the fun for everyone.
Thankfully, Rockstar didn't let this slide. Any hacker who was caught screwing around in the game was either booted to a server with other such players or forced to wear a dunce cap. Meanwhile, the expensive cars that they hacked into multiplayer from singleplayer exploded the moment they sat in it.
21 Batman: Arkham Asylum – The Cape Doesn't Work
Before the advent of the Batman Arkham series, the idea of a good superhero gaming franchise was nothing more than a pipe dream. However, that perception changed entirely once Arkham Asylum entered the scene and shocked the world with a groundbreaking combat system — something that most games still try and replicate to this day.
The game also had a secret punishment for pirates.
Pirated copies of the game, once detected, would cause Batman's cape to become useless. While gamers could still play through a sizeable chunk of the game, the sections where gliding was a necessity would cause no end of problems to these pirates.
20 Banjo Kazooie – Use Too Many Cheats And Your Game Pak Is Deleted
Banjo Kazooie is one of the most celebrated 3D platformers of its day, featuring innovative gameplay and a colorful cast of characters that most people still fondly remember to this day. It also featured a way for players to cheat — albeit with some major ramifications if the system was abused.
You see, if you perform a certain cheat too many times, Grunthilda will warn you that your Game Pak will be deleted if you continue cheating. Fail to heed the warning... and you'll actually receive this ultimate penalty.
19 SimCity – Cheat Too Many Times And An Earthquake Will Destroy The City
The concept of cheating too many times held a penalty in most video games. We've already discussed one such instance before, but the fact of the matter is that age-old games like SimCity also have this... "feature," if one can even call it that.
As is the case with Banjo Kazooie, SimCity also allows you to cheat as well. However, overusing the money cheat is strongly frowned upon. If you use this one too many times, then an earthquake will straight up wreck your entire hard work in a matter of seconds.
18 Slender: The Arrival – Subverting The Game Map Is Frowned Upon
The Slender games have become nothing short of redundant, and the fact of the matter is that the hype train for this scary thing ended quite a while back. Just take a look at the horrible critical performance of Slender Man to understand what we're talking about.
Anyway, the game we're talking about in particular is Slender: The Arrival. In this title, there are moments where you might think that subverting the map by exploiting the game is a possibility. However, it's anything but — while trying to do so, you'll fall through the map and get jumpscared by Slender Man as well, who has some tasteful things to say to you.
17 Animal Crossing – Resetti Constantly Lectures You
Animal Crossing is one of the oddest yet most endearing gaming franchises of all time. One of the main reasons why Stardew Valley became such a smash hit was partly because it perfected the formula of Animal Crossing, along with a few much-needed improvements to the overall concoction.
Anyway, most Animal Crossing games have a save-as-you-go feature. However, this can be subverted if you reset the game after making a mistake. Don't think that you'll get off scot-free tho — a creature by the name of Resetti will constantly hound you, becoming more and more annoying as you continue to hard reset the game.
16 Donkey Kong 64 – Using A Gameshark Makes Donkey Kong Spasm Uncontrollably
Consoles aren't exactly known for letting you mess around with its games, but this wasn't the case a few years back. At that time, the GameShark was a popular tool that let you mess around with games on the N64, to varying degrees of success.
However, Donkey Kong 64 was having none of that. If the game detected that you were using a GameShark to mess around with the files, then it would straight up cause Donkey Kong to have a seizure and render the game unplayable.
15 Tomb Raider II – The Konami Code Explodes Lara
How can one talk about cheating and not bring up the Konami code? It's one of the most legendary codes for a reason and has remained a staple of pop culture ever since. Too bad then, that it shares its name with a company that is pretty much reviled by the majority of video game fans — and for good reason.
The Konami code also made its way into Tomb Raider II, but not in the way you might expect. You see, while it's all well and good to use the cheat, the last step needs to be altered slightly to get all the weapons — which was the original motive of using this cheat. If done incorrectly, Lara will explode into many pieces and you'll feel somewhat dissuaded from cheating in a video game ever again.
14 Gradius 3 – Use The Konami Code And Your Ship Explodes
Gradius is known to be one of the hardest games of all time, posing a serious challenge to even the most hardcore of gamers. Oh, and since we've already spoken about the Konami code, let us also state that Gradius was the first game ever to feature this iconic cheat code.
However, it seems that by the time Gradius 3 came into play, the developers didn't want anyone to skip out on the challenge. So, the cheat that normally gave you extra lives destroyed your entire ship instead.
13 Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 – Get Locked Into A Server With Other Rage-Quitters
Fighting games aren't exactly known for having fans that are classy in any sense of the word. In fact, one might argue that this community is one of the most toxic in the video gaming landscape. A great example of this would be the players of Marvel Vs. Capcom 3.
The game was riddled with a problem where fighters on the verge of quitting would exit the fight at the last second, proving for a very unsatisfactory victory. So, to counter this, Capcom decided to program so that these rage-quitters would pair up with other rage-quitters.
Now that's a witty punishment indeed.
12 Serious Sam 3 – An Invincible Scorpion Enemy Chases You Throughout The Game
The Serious Sam series is — in stark contrast to its name — not really all that serious, to be honest. It's a just a dude with a gun blasting waves upon waves of enemies... that is, unless you decide to pirate the game. In this situation, the game turns from a first-person shooter into a first-person horror game.
We say this because — if the game detects itself to be a pirated copy — an invincible scorpion will chase you down and cause you no end of grief. Basically, your game is rendered completely unplayable.
11 Game Dev Simulator – Your Game Gets Pirated
Whoo boy, talk about being poetic. We might've talked about developers screwing around with pirates, but it's pretty obvious that we haven't even touched upon something so beautifully sinister.
What we're talking about is Game Dev Simulator — a game (who'd've thought) where you head a gaming studio. If the game itself is a pirated copy, then the products you release in the game will also get pirated, leading to your studio eventually shutting down.
That is quite a meta-lesson, indeed.
10 Alan Wake – Get A Pirate Eyepatch
Time from the realm of the poetic to something way more obvious and non-intrusive. Remedy Entertainment is a studio known for making atmospheric third-person games, and it seems that they don't mind it if people who pirate their games also get the opportunity to play it.
However, they don't leave the pirate unscathed. In Alan Wake, pirates will be forced to play the entire game while the main character has an eyepatch for the rest of the game. Quite funny.
Oh, and this wasn't the only time when Remedy Entertainment pulled this off — they also did the same thing in Quantum Break.
Too bad nobody really played that game.
9 Five Nights At Freddy’s – A Jumpscare Every Single Time A Pirate Closes The Game
Five Nights at Freddy's is a franchise that has seen its fair share of ups-and-downs, although — to be perfectly honest — it's been more of a downer in recent times. However, don't let that take away from the fact that its developers are still hard at work trying to punish pirates.
Similar to the previous entry, Five Nights At Freddy's lets players play the game, with one small annoyance — every time the player goes to close the game, he'll become the victim of an unexpected jumpscare.
8 Crysis Warhead – Get A Harmless Chicken Gun That Renders The Game Unplayable
At this point, it shouldn't take an expert to state that piracy is frowned upon in the video game industry. Yet, people still choose to go down this path nevertheless. Well, it seems that the makers of Crysis Warhead wanted to teach these people a lesson they would remember forever.
Pirates who started Crysis Warhead would soon realize that the game is close to impossible to complete since any gun they'd use would just shoot harmless chickens that do nothing to damage their enemies.
7 The Talos Principle – Get Stuck In An Elevator Forever
The Talos Principle is one of the most innovative puzzle games, breathing new life into the genre with a philosophical angle that is quite engrossing as well. So, it's only fitting that pirates should have the privilege to play this beautiful game.
Well, in a bid to prevent these cheapskates from enjoying the quality of the game, The Talos Principle traps these people in an elevator of the game... forever.
There's only so much elevator music you can hear before going insane.
6 ARMA – Your Entire Game Starts Degrading Over Time
The ARMA series is generally known for being one of the most realistic shooters around, and it's a testament that the developers have strived to keep this experience exclusive only for those who actually bother to pay money for the same.
This series has one of the tightest copy protection systems, which slowly but surely degrades your game over time. From the screen becoming blurrier to your aim becoming less accurate — the people who developed ARMA wasted no time in striving to make the lives of pirates a living nightmare.
5 Mirror's Edge – Faith Slows Down Just Before Making Big Jumps
Who'd have thought that first-person parkour game would be such a roaring success? That's exactly what Mirror's Edge managed to accomplish with a dynamic movement system that needs to be played to be believed.
That is, unless you happen to be a pirate. In that case, the game never really played out in the way you expected since Faith would slow down just before she was supposed to make a big jump.
So basically, the game becomes impossible to play.
4 The Sims 4 – Entire Game Gets Pixelated
The Sims series is probably the most popular simulation gaming series of all time, and perhaps one of the most played games on the PC. What does that imply? The onset of pirates who want to enjoy the game without paying a single penny.
Well, Maxis was wary enough to account for this situation.
Pirates who got their hand on a cracked copy of The Sims 4 were in for a surprise when the cartoony censor that comes up when a Sim did their "business" didn't go away, but instead spread all across the entire screen!
Yep — the entire play screen gets pixelated if you play a pirated copy of The Sims 4.
3 Earthbound – The Game Doesn’t Stop Punishing Pirates
Earthbound is one of the oddest, yet the most endearing games of all time. It's a JRPG that showcases none of the tropes in the genre, making it a wholly unique yet familiar gaming experience at the same time.
However, a pirate's experience would be wildly different.
Instead of a relatively easygoing experience, a pirated game would feature more frequent and tougher battles. If that wasn't bad enough as is, the tainted save game will also be deleted near the end of the game!
All the effort one has made would be for naught, and maybe that's a good thing.
2 GTA IV – A Wobbly Camera And Exploding Cars
The Grand Theft Auto series isn't a stranger to pirates — one need only look at Grand Theft Auto IV to understand this statement. When it came out on PC, the game was pirated to the stratosphere.
But Rockstar wasn't going to let this slide.
So, they decided to build in a system to detect whether the game was pirated or not. This was done by gifting these pirates with a wobbly camera once the game started. If that wasn't bad enough as it, any car that the player entered would instantly get damaged to the point of exploding and automatically accelerated without any player input.
It was — quite simply — unplayable.
1 Chrono Trigger – An Endless Looping Warp Animation
Speaking of JRPGs, how can we not mention one of the greatest games of all time in this genre that was the epitome of everything that made this genre so memorable in the first place?
Chrono Trigger is a game that was also wary of piracy.
If the game detected that its copy wasn't authentic, then it would trap the player in an endless time warp loop that happens a fair ways into the game.
Isn't that an irritating situation?