Some Bugs Are Just For Fun
It's been a great discussion so far, and we've outlined many different bugs from game-breaking glitches to unintended side effects that became standard strategies. But I think the best way to wrap up this blog post is to leave the reader with a few “for fun” bugs. That is, bugs that make for entertaining Youtube videos but don’t really impact fights in any serious way, because they happen so rarely or are just aesthetic weirdness. Let’s rapid-fire a few of these off, and then close.
In Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact (and also 3rd Strike), there was a way to get Necro’s human pal Ellie to spaz out on the win screen:
Mortal Kombat has a ton of these, but I find this one particularly funny. I don’t want to explain it, because it’s funnier that way:
In Smash Bros. Melee, you could cause Samus to slide instantly across the entire stage by inputting a specific direction on 1 very specific frame after her Bomb special move. Some Samus players that are feeling themselves will try to do this after they kill their opponent for added style, while other, smarter players will actually do something productive, like charge their Charge Shot.
In the original release of Marvel vs Capcom 3, Dr. Doom could ‘stack’ missile launchers for reasons unknown. It let you launch an absurd number of projectiles, locking your Xbox and probably starting a wildfire when it overheated.
Wacky stuff could happen on the SF2 bonus stages:
In SFV, if you tried to V-Reversal with Nash at certain times, the camera would go all wacky for about a second before stabilizing.
This has been an extremely long post, and to anybody who actually read the whole thing to this point, thanks for sticking with us. We hope this has been as entertaining for you to read as it was for us to make.
I think it’s worth stressing a few key takeaway points from the blog as we wrap this up.
The first one for me is that there is a very distinct hierarchy of which glitches are obviously bad for a game, and which have potential to maybe add something cool. Players who are reacting to a glitch in their favorite game should think a bit about whether the glitch is truly game-breaking, or just a minor inconvenience which has pretty straight-forward workarounds. Not every unintended behavior is automatically bad, and pretty much every fighting game ever deals with numerous bugs of all degrees. It’s something you have to accept as a fighting game player.
Game breaking bugs are bad. Bugs that aren’t game-breaking are more grey, and should be approached with an open mind. On top of that, there’s a lot of unintended behavior in fighting games that affects moment-to-moment gameplay, not to mention tournament results, than may be obvious at first glance. Above all: unless your game hangs because X character decided to jump on Y frame on stage Z, don’t panic! It takes time for game-altering behavior to settle and for the community to understand its actual impact.
Akuma was banned from ST tournaments, but none of the glitches were. The game is better for it.
I think devs should take a similar approach too, even though I doubt any of them will have read this post. Just because your game has a bug doesn’t necessarily mean it benefits the game to patch it out! Maybe it actually adds something unique and charming to the game, helping it carve out a cool niche or overcome a design flaw in a roundabout kind of way. Unless the bug is super severe, and especially if fixing the bug requires you to redesign some other aspect of the game, think about it with an open mind first.
Thanks for reading. Keep your stick on the ice.