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Bugged games from the time before patches


dumpster
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1 hour ago, Droo said:


lol. What bugs were they?

Yeah just silly stuff like glitching and getting stuck in walls or squashed on moving objects (sonic 2 chemical plant zone is infamous for this one) or being hit but being hit in between an invincibility frame and dying.

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7 hours 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.

 

The only manual with that text was Sonic 3! Which is fair enough, given that Sonic 3 alone was possibly the buggiest Sonic game prior to 2006. (Fortunately plugging it into Sonic & Knuckles fixes many of them.)

 

Screenshot_20211028-160322.png.99634c7a85255a097751beafe2ffb2f3.png

 

 

Everyone always remembers the one above - "Robotnik's diabolical traps" has become a bit of a meme. But it's immediately preceded by another plea to players to avoid a specific glitch involving Tails:

 

Screenshot_20211028-160309.thumb.png.cbab78829d1cb8cc316c25bd4e5dce8e.png

 

That's a reference to this bug, where if you're playing as Tails alone and don't go into the first Special Stage in the IceCap Zone, you automatically die when going down the first slide:

 

 

 

Explanation from:

https://info.sonicretro.org/Sonic_the_Hedgehog_3/Bugs#Tails_dies_when_descending_the_first_slide

 

Quote

In Act 1, Tails will lose a life when going down the first slide past the first Star Post in the initial run of the Act. This can be avoided if you can manage to re-enter the Act, such as returning from a Bonus Stage or Special Stage (a giant ring can be found just above said slide), or after losing a life and respawning from the checkpoint. After returning in one of these manners, Tails can go down the slide without issue; however, dying and returning to the beginning of the Act, and not from the checkpoint, will not fix the issue.

 

The bug is caused by an oversight in the code. The vertical looping flag on the initial run is set during Sonic's snowboard sequence at the beginning of the Act. Since this sequence is not triggered for Tails, the flag is not set when entering the Zone for the first time. When Tails goes down the slide, which happens to be at the bottom of the level, the lack of the looping flag treats this as Tails falling into a bottomless pit.

 

Amusingly, the English manual makes an oblique reference to this bug, while trying to avoid identifying it as such: "In the IceCap Zone and throughout the game, avoid having Tails get stuck in passageways or get caught in traps. Have Tails activate Starposts or enter into a Special Stage as quickly as possible."

 

 

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19 hours ago, K said:

The original version of MSR couldn’t be completed, as one of the target times in a time trial event was impossible (on top of all the other bugs). 

 

You're conflating two bugs there! The race that had its target time set impossibly low was an optional race to acquire a car. The thing that made 100% completion impossible was a challenge race set to infinite laps:

 

https://www.thedreamcastjunkyard.co.uk/2015/04/the-bugs-of-msr.html

 

Quote

The Alfa Romeo GTV cannot be gained legitimately as the 'time to beat' was set too low at 31 seconds (first and second PAL version)

 

The Street Race in Chapter 17, Challenge 8 cannot be beaten legitimately as it was mistakenly set to infinite laps (first and second PAL version)

 

 

IIRC the first Project Gotham Racing also had issues with impossible target times, but the problem there was that they were possible in 60Hz but impossible in PAL 50Hz!

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35 minutes ago, Nick R said:

IIRC the first Project Gotham Racing also had issues with impossible target times, but the problem there was that they were possible in 60Hz but impossible in PAL 50Hz!

 

That reminds me of this video about someone stuck on DK64 for two decades on a particular challenge. The cycles of the "boss" are longer if the framerate is low while the timer is in realtime. Your aimed mode causes lag, so if you use it to aim at the weak points the challenge is impossible as you won't have enough cycles where it's vulnerable to be able to complete it before the timer expires. Probably only affects Rare games that used that weird form of lag compensation.

 

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21 hours 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! 

 

Ocean were one of the biggest publishers back in the day, I struggle to believe they couldn't have found the talent to fix it before launch. It was hardly a small release, putting a game like that out in such an obviously broken state really was an awfully shitty move given how many kids would have been launching joysticks against the wall trying to clear it. I'd love to know more about what happened with that, I wonder if it was a last minute screw up?

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4 minutes ago, englishbob said:

 

On the subject of POKEs then, does anyone remember (and can post it) the one that used to make it look like a game was loading, sound and all?


On the Spectrum? I don’t think there was one - the sound was on the tape not the computer so don’t know how it could be done.

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41 minutes ago, deKay said:


On the Spectrum? I don’t think there was one - the sound was on the tape not the computer so don’t know how it could be done.

There was one that did make it look like a game was loading, but there wasn’t any sound. 
 

Quote didn’t work as I expected, sorry.

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1 hour ago, englishbob said:

 

On the subject of POKEs then, does anyone remember (and can post it) the one that used to make it look like a game was loading, sound and all?

They weren't pokes, one of them was Randomize Usr 1331 I think

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I've never forgotten the poke for making the colour code accept anything so you could play pirate copies of Jet Set Willy.

Poke 34483,195

 

That is probably lodged in my mind till I die, taking up valuable space that means nowadays I sometimes forget what I've gone into a room for...

 

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3 hours ago, Robo_1 said:

 

Ocean were one of the biggest publishers back in the day, I struggle to believe they couldn't have found the talent to fix it before launch. It was hardly a small release, putting a game like that out in such an obviously broken state really was an awfully shitty move given how many kids would have been launching joysticks against the wall trying to clear it. I'd love to know more about what happened with that, I wonder if it was a last minute screw up?

Didn't Ocean also produce Renegade 3, which also had a deliberately impossible boss because they didn't write any further content or an ending?

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I played through the unpatched Ultima VIII: Pagan with its lottery jumps. https://gigi.nullneuron.net/ultima/u8/u8patch.php

 

I think the patch was given away on magazine floppies, but you had to restart and I was a fair way in. They even animated your character losing his footing as he fatally slid off another stepping stone, completely removed from your control!

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10 hours ago, cubik said:

They weren't pokes, one of them was Randomize Usr 1331 I think


I used to go into WH Smith’s & Boots, and do a thing that made the screen say LOAD”” PROGRAM: (name of whatever was the latest game) alongside that poke, and then watch people waiting for it to load until they realised there was no cassette player attached…

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11 hours ago, dumpster said:

Didn't Ocean also produce Renegade 3, which also had a deliberately impossible boss because they didn't write any further content or an ending?

 

Yeah, it went out under their Imagine label. It was completable on the Spectrum, not sure about other platforms. Not even sure if the Spectrum version had bosses come to that, I think you were just rushed by two waves of enemies.

As an aside, Spectrum Next devs are actually working on a remake of Target Renegade for the platform, I hope they tackle Renegade 3 after that and give the franchise a proper send off!

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5 hours ago, ZOK said:


I used to go into WH Smith’s & Boots, and do a thing that made the screen say LOAD”” PROGRAM: (name of whatever was the latest game) alongside that poke, and then watch people waiting for it to load until they realised there was no cassette player attached…

I did the very same thing.

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Kokotoni Wilf on the Commodore 64 had this bug on level 2 or 3, where if you entered a particular screen from one side at a certain angle, you’d be unable to avoid hitting a monk and losing a life. Then you’d spawn in exactly the same place repeatedly and lose all your lives until it was game over.

 

I didn’t understand it was a bug when I was a kid. I thought it was a feature.

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I'm not sure if this is classed as a bug, but in Championship Manager 01/02 it was possible to bid £100m for Johnny Scorealot or whoever so the club would definitely sell him to you, then when you negotiate the contract you could click on their name, withdraw the offer and then go back and complete the deal for nothing. I think they eventually sorted that one out, but it was an interesting quirk as unlike a lot of these bugs that would appear from nowhere and ruin your day, this one was amazing and relied entirely on the will power of a teenager not to purposefully break the entire game for yourself.

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2 hours ago, Pob said:

Ha, that's cool. I never thought of pokes being used to address bugs. Essentially DIY patching. Did that happen much in the 8-bit days?


Yeah, quite a lot!

 

Here’s one for Impossible Mission (which isn’t completable due to bugs):

 

93C7348A-6A8D-4990-9146-5BE129900987.thumb.jpeg.718678419eb536a53077cd42168cbac7.jpeg

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On 28/10/2021 at 20:23, englishbob said:

 

On the subject of POKEs then, does anyone remember (and can post it) the one that used to make it look like a game was loading, sound and all?

 

Wasn't something like RAND USR 1331 

Not 100% sure, it was nearly 40 years ago for me

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