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Bugged games from the time before patches


dumpster
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I guess it all started with the Attic Bug in Spectrum Jet Set Willy.  Entering the attic caused the game to crash in specific other rooms and as far as I know there was no way to complete the game because even if you understood the bug you couldn't map a route without getting to a dead end. 

 

From my days in retail I recall WWF No Mercy, an expensive N64 cartridge that sold bucket loads on launch only for the story mode to lock up early in the game.  Considering how early I was surprised how few were returned to us, and even though there was a lot of publicity and a second release with a fixed cartridge many people didn't bring theirs back to swap making me think a lot of people who bought it must have been young kids who just liked bashing the buttons.  

 

Any other big name releases that would have had a major day one patch , if patches were a thing at the time?

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Space Station Silicon Valley is one notorious example – an item (a coin or token, IIRC) on one level has no collision detection, so can’t be collected, preventing a 100% item completion. The US version also crashes if you have the RAM pak (used for Donkey Kong 64 and Perfect Dark) installed.

 

https://tcrf.net/Space_Station_Silicon_Valley_(Nintendo_64)

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I had that No Mercy bug but never bothered returning it since we only bothered with multiplayer anyway (and preferred WCW vs NWO: Revenge).

 

I'm sure Space Station Silicon Valley on N64 had a bug where one if its late-game trinkets was missing a collision box so couldn't be picked up, making 100% completion impossible.

 

The arcade version of Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike could lock up completely if Ken killed Makoto with a forward throw, which isn't too unusual an occurrence.

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The A1200 version of Gunship 2000 had a bug where, after you got promoted to Major, none of your missiles ever hit the target. They’d just aim for a spot about thirty feet above where they were locked on, so the game became impossible to play (on that pilot, at least). 
 

I was perplexed by this and ended up ringing Microprose UK to ask why this was happening, and the guy I spoke to said “erm, yeah it just sort of does that”, which was infuriating. 

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2 hours ago, Down by Law said:

Metropolis Street Racer had a replacement disc program due to some career stopping bugs iirc 

From what I remember the bugs made it too easy. It was impossible to fail races.

 

 

Robocop on the Commodore 64 would badly glitch if you got past the third main level. To avoid anyone noticing this, and to get the game out in time, the developers reduced the time limit for the third stage until it was impossible to beat legitimately. I spent months perfecting that level, thinking it was my skills that weren’t good enough! 

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2 hours ago, Down by Law said:

Metropolis Street Racer had a replacement disc program due to some career stopping bugs iirc 

 

It made career mode easier as you could access any race. The other bug was that no matter what time you played the game the time of day in the three cities never changed. In addition the elastic banding was awful (although I don’t think this was fixed). I didn’t bother replacing my copy.

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20 minutes ago, Monkeyspill said:

Robocop on the Commodore 64 would badly glitch if you got past the third main level. To avoid anyone noticing this, and to get the game out in time, the developers reduced the time limit for the third stage until it was impossible to beat legitimately. I spent months perfecting that level, thinking it was my skills that weren’t good enough! 

MOTHERFUCKERS!

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58 minutes ago, Monkeyspill said:

Robocop on the Commodore 64 would badly glitch if you got past the third main level. To avoid anyone noticing this, and to get the game out in time, the developers reduced the time limit for the third stage until it was impossible to beat legitimately. I spent months perfecting that level, thinking it was my skills that weren’t good enough! 

Son of a fucking bitch! That explains so much!

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I'm sure I once saw a C64 game, possibly one of the Apex games like Creatures or Mayhem, get a listing printed in magazines - and rather than being a cheat for infinite lives or whatever, it was a "fix" to correct a bug in the final game. So you'd have to type in the listing, save it to a tape or something, run it, and then run the game afterwards.

 

EDIT: It was Mayhem. CF's own Warren "Waz" Pilkington talks about it in the below link, but the TL;DR is that your life counter could be in double-digits (11 lives, 15 lives, whatever) and when you lost a life, it would deduct from the first digit - going from 11 to 01. This is what the fix was designed to remedy.

 

https://commodoreformatarchive.com/mayhem-in-lives-bug-land/

 

And the listing is in page 42 of CF #45 here:

 

https://archive.org/details/commodore-format-magazine-45/page/n41/mode/2up

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6 minutes ago, dumpster said:

How? My tape stayed intact?


They released a set of pokes via the magazines. Including a way of replacing the loader with a new one that fixes it.

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Imagine’s RTS Stonkers was borked on release, the game would just crash randomly, which was frustrating as it seemed pretty good otherwise.

 

Ocean’s much hyped 1986 Super Bowl was a classic of the genre. Everyone was expecting it to look amazing with proper graphics of players, and then when it came out it looked like this:

 

30106ED2-18A3-477F-8901-9C0D3711029A.gif.4867c32495d84ed1016716f7938045db.gif

 

To add insult to injury it had a massive bug in it that meant as soon as the game started all those little dots decided to run to one side of the pitch and stay there.

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2 Spectrum games spring to mind. Ghostbusters, where the codes from completing the game would never ever work so you couldn't buy the expensive car, and I think it was called Werewolves of London where at a certain point it would drop you through a fence in the bottom of the screen so you got trapped and couldn't escape.

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The space station silicon valley one is the one that immediately came to mind for me. It wasn't even late in the game, it was on the very first level! It was a shiny trophy thing. The idea was that if you got all the shiny trophies you'd turn in to a super robot on the last level. So naturally I wanted to get them all and spent hours trying to figure out how to make the first one collectable. Thought I had to do something then I could get it.

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One of the sequels to Prince of Persia Sands of Time had a bug where if you saved the game at the save point just before the final boss it corrupted the save. RIP anyone who used the same save slot and just overwrote it each time.

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The Streetfighter 25th Anniversary Collection on XBOX360 (I think, could have been PS2) had a very broken audio track on Hugo's stage. The new remixed version of the stage music was fucked; it would glitch out and loop strangely. This was on all the pressed discs. I was tangentially involved with Capcom at the time so had the game very early. I reported it up the chain but I still don't know if it ever got fixed via patch or a 2nd run.

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Finla fantasy 7 had a glitch that in the final crater you had a one time use save crystal. If you used it on one screen you could glitch the game so you could never leave the crater. I did this on two consecutive play throughs. I was amazed when my friend could go in and out at will on his copy. 

 

 

 

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27 minutes ago, Ketchup said:

Sonic The hedgehog on the mega drive had lots of little bugs that the manual mentioned saying if you came across one it was actually Robotnik who’d set a trap for you. Quite a nice way to get around it.

 

In the Phantasy Star III manual, there's a correction for the game's dialogue:

 

1054974443_Screenshot2021-10-28at09_34_58.png.a7c363c20b04f7453457af56d3ed90de.png

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Fist 2 the Legend Continues had a number of bugs. 

 

251736-fist-the-legend-continues-commodo

 

At the bottom of the screen you have these yellow scrolls the represent your health and your opponents health. As the game got on through various actions you could make it longer and longer until you maxed it out.

 

Except it wouldn't max out, it would loop around to a smaller value. Which meant near end game you might end up being one hit killed.

 

Also it had this amazing music that would change around transition points.

 

251737-fist-the-legend-continues-commodo

 

Usually when you entered a building like this. And if you hit that transition point and then accidently or by reflex jumped backwards the scrolling would "lock" leaving you unable to continue.

 

Still loved it though.

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1 hour ago, Benny said:

One of the sequels to Prince of Persia Sands of Time had a bug where if you saved the game at the save point just before the final boss it corrupted the save. RIP anyone who used the same save slot and just overwrote it each time.

 

Sounds like Warrior Within, you could also get yourself trapped if you time travelled in the wrong area with some levers the wrong way and saved there. AND one of the time travel portal things would sometimes just drop you through the floor to your death. :seanr: 

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40 minutes ago, Ketchup said:

Sonic The hedgehog on the mega drive had lots of little bugs that the manual mentioned saying if you came across one it was actually Robotnik who’d set a trap for you. Quite a nice way to get around it.


lol. What bugs were they?

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