There is no such thing as the perfect video game. Since the medium’s inception several decades ago, glitches have existed to remind players that no piece of art is ever perfect, no matter how immersive it may be as a whole. Sometimes, these bugs manage to leave a borderline traumatic impression on the end user. From mutated babies to levitating viscera, the following breaks down the scariest video game glitches fans have encountered so far. If you get creeped out easily, this is your final warning.
Scariest Video Game Glitches – The Manimals (Red Dead Redemption)
As great as Red Dead Redemption is, it’s not without its flaws, especially when it comes to its open world design. In some particularly unfortunate incidents, players may find that the title’s NPCs can take on the characteristics of wildlife creatures, rendering townsfolk squealing like pigs, flying like birds, or waiting to be ridden on by John Marston.
These glitches aren’t only relegated to humans, as there are instances of dogs picking up rifles and running around on their hind legs like it’s no big deal. Players once thought that the bugs were intentionally left in to simulate desert hallucinations, though Rockstar eventually did put out a patch to eradicate these incidents entirely.
Scariest Video Game Glitches – The Pikamen (Super Smash Bros. Brawl)
Otherwise known as the Longchu, the Pikamen of Super Smash Bros. Brawl are essentially what would happen if Pikachu and Ganondorf had a baby. Though the Pikamen are glitches triggered by hacks, this doesn’t take away from how sinister these things look.
The game can’t allow the electric mouse to adopt Ganon’s fighting style without first giving it an elongated body with slender arms and legs. The result is something that will chokehold you in your nightmares for days to come. It doesn’t help that this was a meme back in the day, spawning some of the creepiest videos one could find on the internet.
Scariest Video Game Glitches – The Babies (The Sims 3/4)
Parenthood is a grotesque experience in The Sims 3 and its sequel, but not in the ways you expect. Occasionally, each game decides to give you the gift of a malformed, misshaped baby, the likes of which may have a contorted face, claw-like appendages, stubby feet, and more. Sometimes the baby is little more than a floating stick. In other cases, it’s just a levitating head with no body whatsoever.
This travesty may be severe enough to affect mothers during pregnancy, rendering them as little more than piles of cylinders hastily put together. In order to navigate around the game world, these women may have to crawl on all floors like demons spawned fresh out of hell. Try to get these images out of your head anytime soon:
Scariest Video Game Glitches – Floating Viscera (Fallout: New Vegas)
If you played a Fallout game before, you know that most entries in the series include glitches due to each title’s large map size and open world design. Fallout: New Vegas so no different, though its bugs are a bit harder to swallow. When roaming around the game’s overworld, players may bump into NPCs who have no skin on. Forget about clothing – these people have their guts literally hanging out from their bodies.
Imagine turning around a street corner to see one of these things staring at you. Though Doc Mitchell’s rotating head glitch towards the beginning of the game is worth a mention, New Vegas‘ floating viscera will go down as the definition of video game nightmare fuel.
Scariest Video Game Glitches – The Suicidal Photographers (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas)
The suicidal photographers of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas can be found on the inlet side of the Flint County Scenic Route, casually taking pictures of the big city across the water. After clicking away for a couple of seconds, these pedestrians stand upright and stroll into the inlet itself, essentially killing themselves without so much as a peep.
To say that the phenomenon is disturbing is an understatement. What makes matters worse is that nearly every pedestrian model is eligible to take on the role of the next suicidal photographer, making it appear as if the NPCs in San Andreas want to each end their lives to get away from the player.
Though developer Rockstar hasn’t offered any explanation as to why this occurs, the most practical reason may be that the studio forgot to add a path for the photographer after he or she takes the photos. This results in a default path that leads the character forward into the water, where he or she dives deep enough to commit suicide. Whatever the true reason may be, it doesn’t change how creepy the whole thing is.
Scariest Video Game Glitches – Watson (Sherlock Holmes: Nemesis)
Watson is everywhere in Sherlock Holmes: Nemesis, and that’s definitely not a good thing. As the game’s titular character, players must use clues to solve a looming mystery, as is the case with any good story set in the detective’s universe. One mystery that the game does not give answers to, however, lies in Watson, the famous sidekick who apparently is a stalker and can move at the speed of light when no one is looking.
When players turn their back to the character in-game and move forward, Watson evaporates into thin air behind them. When they spin around again, he magically appears inches away. Turning your back and moving forward perpetuates his creepy behavior. Though this is likely due to an error in Watson’s walk code, it doesn’t make the companion appear as a very nice person to be around.
Video games will never be the same thanks to the wonderful contribution each entry on this list has made. Here’s hoping developers learn from these glitches so as to prevent further fan trauma. Of course, should players want more of this type of horror, all they have to do is ask. There will undoubtedly be plenty of more bugs in the future, each scary enough to make us all cower behind our computer desks in fear.