Game glitches can be the bane of a gamer's existence, causing interruptions in gameplay or reduced immersion thanks to graphic problems or other distracting issues. They can also be a source of entertainment—Skyrim is notorious for hilarious glitches. But some game glitches transcend both annoyance and hilarity.
These three game glitches went from accidental bugs to treasured game mechanics in many of today's most popular series, proving that sometimes mistakes make, not break, the game.
Street Fighter II's Accidental Combos Became Genre Staple
Combos didn't originate in the Street Fighter series—that honor belongs to arcade classics like Renegade and Double Dragon—but Street Fighter II set a new standard for how combos could affect gameplay. The game included high-powered attacks that, when strung together, could render an opponent defenseless, leaving them open to a series of combos that could take out up to a third of a health bar.
Supposedly, the game's creators considered these glitchy attack strings too difficult to achieve in normal gameplay and left them in; they assumed the skill required to pull them off would make them more of a surprise than a sought-out mechanic. As it turns out, Capcom seriously underestimated the desire of gamers to get ahead. Players replicated the unbeatable combos until they could pull them off smoothly, and their popularity inspired the developer to keep including them in future games. Now these difficult-to-pull-off but highly effective combos are a standard in fighting games like Killer Instinct, Tekken, and Dynasty Warriors, all thanks to a mistaken belief that players wouldn't bother with difficult attacks.
Juggle Mechanics in Devil May Cry a Happy Accident
While developing Onimusha: Warlords, Hideki Kamiya, director of Devil May Cry, discovered a bug that allowed the player to juggle enemies by repeatedly slashing at them with a sword. The ability was an unintended glitch and was removed from the game, due to concerns that the ability to hover in midair while attacking didn't fit the tone of Onimusha: Warlords.
In Devil May Cry's development, Kamiya included it as an intentional game mechanic. Players are able to juggle enemies by shooting and slashing at them, as well as hovering in the air to create epic combos. This mechanic complements the highly stylized combat in the Devil May Cry series, keeping the fighting style of demon-slaying Dante and the game's other protagonists entertaining and engaging through the hordes of enemies.
Players loved the absurd fun of suspending their character in midair while attacking—so much so that the mechanic caught on in Kamiya's Bayonetta and other combo-heavy action games like Ninja Gaiden and God of War.
Mario Wall Jumps Into History
Super Mario Bros. is one of the most iconic games of all time. It was the introduction to gaming for many people, and became a popular target of glitch exploitation and speedruns.
One popular glitch allowed players who timed a jump correctly to jump higher than was typically possible. The glitch was common in NES and SNES games, but it wasn't until Super Mario 64 that the ability changed from an unintended glitch to an important game mechanic—one of the stars in the game is named "Wall Kicks Will Work," telling players that what had been a glitch was now a required move.
The move is so commonly included in video games that many people don't know it started out as an accident. Wall jumping is a core mechanic in many platformers but has also made its way into other genres; it can be seen in games like Titanfall, Jet Set Radio Future, and Nidhogg.