The Worst Game-Breaking Bugs In Video Game History


Glitches in video games can range from harmless to harmful, but there are a few games, including Pokemon and Mega Man, with bugs that proved devastating to themselves as well as others. Unlike glitches that can interrupt tasks or even require a reset, the very worst glitches cause problems that cannot be easily fixed. Unfortunately, despite how far programming has come, these sorts of disastrous bugs still show up from time to time.


Video game glitches are an interesting phenomenon. Whenever a major game gets released, glitches are frequently reported by players. In modern times, this serves to point out issues with games that can be fixed in a patch thanks to the way that games can be updated after release on modern consoles. However, games from the past also had glitches, some of which were worse than the issues seen in modern games. Unlike Super Mario 64‘s backwards long jump glitch, these bugs are feared rather than revered. Since games were not actively updated in the past, they were left with their bugs intact, even the game-ruining ones.

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Many of the worst glitches in gaming history come from the era where they couldn’t actively be patched out. This left a permanent scar on many of them, especially to those who experienced these glitches for themselves. These types of glitches deserve to be documented, so that future players can be aware of some of the biggest mistakes in game programming history.


Pokémon X and Y Could Glitch The Game By Saving

Tea Pokemon series is no stranger to glitches, as any fan of the original Red and Blue games could likely attest. In fact, Pokemon‘s most famous glitch, MissingNo, is likely the most well-known glitch in any video game. However, MissingNo is ultimately harmless aside from a few graphical errors. It wouldn’t be until Pokemon X and Y that the series would encounter a terrible, yet easy-to-trigger glitch that players would need to be wary of.

Luminose City is one of the major cities in the Kalos region, and is home to the game’s fifth gym. It is one of the game’s biggest cities, and it also hides one of the series’ most dangerous glitches. If the player saves near one of the taxis in Luminose, then the save file can become corrupted. The file will refuse to play, even after restarting the system, and the player will have no choice but to delete the file and start anew. Since Luminose is about halfway through the game, this lost data can cost the player several hours of gameplay.

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Exploring old or used Pokemon save files is a delight, but losing one’s own data is miserable. Thankfully, this glitch could be resolved by deleting the corrupted save, and a later patch resolved the bug altogether. Since most dangerous Pokemon glitches required outright hacking the game to see them, such an easily accessible and harsh bug was quite a shock.

Soulcalibur 3 Could Corrupt The Player’s Memory Card

soulcalibur 3 featured a mode that hasn’t been in any other soulcalibur game – Chronicles of the Sword. In CotS, the player controlled units on a battlefield, moving them around the map to either defend their own territory or attack enemy bases, while using the game’s usual fighting system for the battles themselves. It was effectively the game’s career mode, and it was largely decent, albeit marred by the game’s frustratingly strong AI. In addition, until Hwang’s DLC return in soulcalibur 6, SC3 was his last, albeit non-canon appearance in the series.

Chronicles of the Sword also saw the worst glitch in any soulcalibur game. Once the player created a CotS save file on their game, deleting or moving any data from the same memory card that was created before soulcalibur 3‘s date will trigger the glitch. When activated, the glitch will corrupt the CotS save data and make it unreadable, and in some cases it will corrupt all of SC3‘s save data. This can also leave a block of corrupted data on the memory card that can’t be erased.

Since Chronicles of the Sword is required to unlock a lot of character creation pieces, this bug is a serious issue. The only way to completely avoid it is to make sure that soulcalibur 3 is the first thing saved to a memory card. soulcalibur and tekken may share Yoshimitsu, but only soulcalibur has featured a data-destroying glitch.

Mega Man Battle Network 4’s Multiplayer Could Destroy The Game

Mega Man Battle Network 4 released in a fashion similar to most Pokemon games, with two versions and different in-game exclusives, Red Sun and bluemoon. In another move similar to the Pokemon games, players could link the games at the Free Space battle board. However, doing so can lead to a terrible glitch that can literally destroy the game.

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If the player links Red Sun to bluemoon before obtaining all six of their version’s exclusive Navis, then it will trigger a catastrophic glitch. For some reason, these conditions cause the game to corrupt entirely. This cannot be fixed by starting a new game either, because the game’s very code is damaged by the bug. As a result, the game itself becomes unplayable. To put things into perspective, Cyberpunk 2077 was removed from the PlayStation Store due to its issues, and nothing in that game was bad enough to do what a player could accidentally do to Battle Network 4 with a single innocent action. Because the Free Space battle board is available almost immediately, while it takes at least two full playthroughs to unlock all the exclusive Navis, it is very likely that several copies of the game were ruined by this glitch.

It’s a mystery as to how the programming of a major feature could lead to such a game-killing bug. The fact that it could be activated so easily through such an innocuous function makes it even worse. Mega Man is a gaming icon, goal Battle Network 4‘s destructive bug is an embarrassing stain on the Blue Bomber’s legacy. One can only hope that the upcoming Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection will be free from anything even half as bad as Battle Network 4‘s link glitch.

Ruins Of Myth Drannor Could Destroy An Entire Hard Drive

Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor was the last game in the Pools of Radiance series, and its poor reception may have been the reason why. Ruins of Myth Drannor was a rather buggy game, with several problems ranging from visual glitches to the game outright hindering the player’s progress. Even amid all that, one bug stood out due to its horrific consequences.

If the player uninstalled the base game of Ruins of Myth Drannorit would also uninstall the system files from the computer’s hard drive. Paper Mario‘s buggy Switch port may have been disappointing, but Ruins of Myth Drannor‘s uninstall glitch is horrifying. With this glitch, Ruins of Myth Drannor was not only a bad game, but a bad game that one couldn’t get rid of without destroying their computer. There was a patch on Pool of Radiance‘s web site that could prevent this glitch, but that could easily be missed by players, especially back in 2001. Even with a patch, the fact that the game shipped with such a bug is inexcusable.

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A glitch that hurts a game is one thing, but Ruins of Myth Drannor‘s uninstall glitch could kill a computer, costing the user hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Even with Dark Alliance‘s disappointing uncustomizable characters, Dungeons & Dragons will almost definitely never have as big a failure as Ruins of Myth Drannor again. Because it brings down an entire computer rather than just a game, the uninstall bug in Ruins of Myth Drannor is a strong contender for being the worst bug in video game history.

Video game glitches are common, even in high-profile series like Pokemon, but bugs that can render a game inoperable or worse are a different case. When a game can feature such a consequential bug, it can make one wonder how it could have possibly gotten through testing undetected. The worst game-breaking bugs in video games live on as morbid curiosities in the history of the industry.

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