Video games are a wonderful way to burn off steam, make new friends, or improve your skills. Ideally, they should be fun experiences that still offer up a decent challenge. However, everyone’s skill levels are different and what’s easy for some may be impossible for others. To help level the playing field in the world of gaming, certain titles had secret cheats hidden in their games that could unlock wild things like invincibility, all weapons, or level select.
As cheats became more normalized, there were more creative and different ways to implement them into titles. Codes and cheats are still a fun way to get a slightly different gaming experience, but sometimes these bonuses also find a way to punish players. Accordingly, Here Are 20 Video Games That Trolled Players When They Cheated.
20 Streets Of Rage 3
This is another instance if trolling that’s not exactly cheating, but it’s so vindictive that it needed to be included. The best beat-’em-up brawler, Streets of Rage 3 offers up an Easy Mode for struggling players. However, this greatly alters the game. You don’t even get to fight the final boss, but instead face a robot double (who also tells you that you play like a beginner). What’s even worse is that the ending’s final image is the real final boss, Mr. X, getting frustrated over your decision to play the game this way.
19 Animal Crossing
Animal Crossing is one of Nintendo’s more adorable franchises out there, which makes its darker side all the more surprising. Players found a way to slightly “cheat” the experience by resetting the game after making a decision that they regret. Doing so unleashes the wrath of Mr. Resetti. Resetti will harshly scold you and you can’t even rapidly skip through his dialogue because it contains random prompts. It’s a fun way to frustrate players. Plus, Mr. Resetti’s warning that “There is no reset button on life!” is oddly poignant.
18 Grand Theft Auto V
When it comes to Rockstar’s efforts to dissuade cheating in Grand Theft Auto V, they deserve some serious credits. If you use cheats in the game, your character will suddenly sport a dunce cap that flags you. To go even further, if you try to bring a banned car into the game’s online mode, that car will immediately explode when you try to get into it.
The fun new title that’s captured everyone’s hearts features a dozen different endings based on how you play your game. Many of these endings relate to your performance, but if you happen to play around with the game’s files or attempt any kind of hacking, there’s actually an ending that reflects this. The “Dirty Hacker Ending” has Sans lament how he wound up with this ending as he tells you, “You’re just a dirty hacker, aren’t you? Yeah, get outta here.”
16 Persona 3
If you use codes to gain any sort of advantage in the game, whether it’s skills, persona, or items, Persona 3 will let you get away with it, but it scolds you in the way that a parent would. Your allies, Mitsuru or Fuuka will explicitly reference your cheating—and in fully voiced performances, mind you. They not only question why you’d cheat in the first place, but they voice their disappointment in you, which perhaps stings even more.
15 Donkey Kong 64
In the ’90s, the advent of cheating technology like GameSharks allowed gamers to get a big of help by manipulating the title’s code. To remedy this in their game Donkey Kong 64, the use of a GameShark makes Donkey Kong useless, shake uncontrollably, and unable to pick anything up. He’ll also die in one hit. Plus, if you save the game while using a GameShark, these glitches will remain permanent!
When video games garner sequels, it’s fun to see when they allow their codes to become a reflexive commentary on the past. For instance, in Descent, typing “gabbagabbahey” will give you all weapons, upgrades, and shields. However, the game also erases your score and just flashes “Cheater!” whenever points are accumulated. If you try the same code in Descent II and III, the game will just reduce your health and shields down to 1% instead.
13 Duke Nukem 3D Megaton Edition/20th Anniversary World Tour
The anniversary re-release of Duke Nukem 3D pays tribute to the game’s infamous codes, but in a modern context. The codes still work, but activating them will earn you a shameful achievement that brands you as a cheater. What’s interesting here is that completists who want to get all of the game’s achievements will actually have to cheat.
Back in the day before the Internet was a powerful resource and codes for games were just readily available online, it was much more difficult to actually learn codes. Accordingly, the codes that people did know, like the Konami Code or Doom or Duke Nukem’s God Codes, would be attempted in as many games as possible because you never knew when they might work. Heretic clever takes the opposite approach. If you try to use the infamous codes from Duke Nukem, the game will actually punish you in cruel and humiliating ways.
11 The Witcher 3
In the game’s White Orchard area there is a population of cows that can be slaughtered to acquire rawhide and then get a lot of money. Players exploited this money hack, so CD Projekt fought back by putting a vicious Chort demon in the area that spawns and kills you if you attempt such things. Furthermore, the Tax Collector character that was added to the game wryly rubs in your cheater status and subtly calls you out on it if you have a huge sum of money.
10 Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
The Metal Gear Solid series has always demonstrated a strong voice and been a wildly outside of the box collection of games. Codes aren’t necessarily a big part of the Metal Gear games, but they still manage to troll gamers in a similar fashion. There’s a Super Easy Mode that’s offered for people who just want to breeze through the game. The catch is that it puts Snake in a silly chicken costume that also remains on any playback, so everyone will know.
The SimCity games helped put the simulation genre on the map. They’re a great learning experience, but sometimes gamers are impatient and they just want to get an easy payout and have fun. SimCity offers such an option if you enter the words “FUNDS” properly. $10,000 gets deposited in the city’s bank. However, if you abuse this trick, your city will be plagued with earthquakes, which will likely drain your bank account in repairs. If you try the same trick in SimCity2000 you’ll get the money, but also be slapped with 25% interest on it!
8 Railroad Tycoon II
The railroad simulation title, Railroad Tycoon II, is an exceptional take on the formula and one of the better games in the series. The title does contain a few handy cheats that make the experience easier, but there’s also a code that basically beats the game for you. If you enter this “autowin” cheat, Railroad Tycoon II will play through the campaign, but then begrudgingly tells you, “You win, cheater…”
7 Guild Wars
In competitive online games like Guild Wars, cheating is a serious offense with real repercussions. You’re not just cheating against a game here, but real people. Most games will just ban players, but Guild Wars goes the extra mile. Dhuum, a Grim Reaper-like beast will appear and execute cheaters, much to everyone’s enjoyment, before the ban takes place.
6 Star Wars: Dark Forces
Before Star Wars was the revived juggernaut of the franchise that it is now, there were a series of LucasArts PC games that really hit the sweet spot. Dark Forces was pretty much, “Doom, but with Star Wars.” Cheats were available in the game, but they came at a demeaning price. All codes in Dark Forces start with LA for LucasArts, and the game’s master code is “LAIAMLAME.” You need to admit that you’re lame to play with cheats.
5 Wolfenstein 3D
Much like with Doom and Duke Nukem, Wolfenstein 3D is from that sweet early time for PC first-person shooters. Codes were rampant during this era and many games had a sense of humor about it. In Wolfenstein 3D, one code will erase your score and another cheekily refers to you as a “Cheatmeister.”
4 Postal 2
The Postal games pride themselves in their over the top machismo. They’re highly exaggerated experiences and this even translates over to their cheat system. For starters, the cheat mode is activated by typing in “SISSY.” As you enter in your codes, the game’s protagonist will berate you with insults. It also uses “IAMSOLAME” as its Master Cheat, too.
3 Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic has established a strong legacy along Star Wars fans as the game mines the corners of the franchise’s Extended Universe. Like many shooters out there, Knights of the Old Republic allows cheats to be enabled, but it comes at a price. If you’re playing the game with codes activated you’ll receive a big surprise when you save your game. “CHEATS USED” will appear in huge yellow text over your save file’s picture, forever branding you a cheater.
The game rather cleverly has a cheat-entering system built into the game’s gigantic sandcastle. There are certain quality of life cheats that can be accessed through entering phrases on the giant board, but also others that will help you clear the game at a much easier pace. Curiously, if you try to enter three of these illegal codes then Gruntilda will threaten to delete your save file. She’s not kidding either. It will happen if you don’t heed her advice.
1 The Stanley Parable
The Stanley Parable’s way of dealing with cheaters is wildly in line with the game’s wry sense of humor. If you enter “type sv_cheats 1” into the game’s commands, then you suddenly get whisked away to “the serious room.” Here you just get an incredibly dry, boring lecture on cheating. The game’s narrator informs you that you’ll be stuck in this serious situation for “one hundred billion trillion years.” Get comfy.
Sources: TheGamer.com, ScreenRant.com, IGN.com