Welcome to the dark side
Messing around inside a game can be one of life's genuine pleasures. While it's always fun to cause havoc in an open world, it's often more satisfying to feel as if you're breaking the rules somehow. This mischief can range from petty stuff like giving your character a rude name like Seymour Butts or Hugh Jass, all the way through to elaborately planned, utterly devious schemes like taking your annoying date for a rooftop stroll on one of Grand Theft Auto IV's skyscrapers, only to push her over the edge.
So, over the next few pages we'll tell you about the most hateful things we've done while playing games. They range from simple tricks to utter virtual bastardry--although these acts were always strictly done in good humour. Ish.
Andy: I filled a mans house with carrots in Skyrim
Haha - look at this clown. Im literally stood next to him, in his own house, stealing his valuables, and he cant see me. Ha - you should have eaten your carrots, mate. Tell you what... Im going to fill your house with carrots so youll never get burgled again. Thats how my thought process went around the deep, dark 120 hour mark in my Skyrim playthrough.
And I was as good as my word. After selling the poor fools valuables for a few coins, I emptied my inventory and traveled Skyrim in search of carrots. Hundreds of them. Which I deposit--en masse--onto his dining room table one night. Fact: when youre not looking for carrots, they seem to be in every barrel. When you are looking for carrots, theyre surprisingly hard to find...
Cooper: "I took a date to the top of a skyscraper in Grand Theft Auto IV... and pushed her off"
It was an experiment. I wanted to see if it was possible, in any way, to kill your date in Grand Theft Auto IV without, you know, actually killing her. So I did what any psychopath would do: I stole a helicopter, asked her to get in, and flew to the top of a large building. We got out, admired the view, and then I... nudged her.
She fell, and eventually vanished out of sight. The game didn't acknowledge what had happened, and a few days later she called me as though nothing was out of the ordinary. And it was horribly frightening.
Justin: "I trolled AI opponents in Virtua Racing"
When youre about 12 years old and have loads of free time, Virtua Racing's three race tracks (and a mirror mode) arent going to challenge you for too long in single-player. So pretty soon youll need to make your own fun. A great one is trying to make the CPU-controlled cars spin out. They rarely go off the track themselves, but they always try to give you room on the straights when youre near.
So just angle yourself slightly towards the grass and stay alongside the other cars and theyll drive onto it before inevitably spinning out. They dont take damage, they dont flip out like you do (theyve barely got 20 polygons each)... but the fact is theyre fallible. And that means hours of mirth.
Andy: I fed an innocent man to the cougars in Red Dead Redemption
The ability to hogtie a person and transport them anywhere on the map is the feature that lets you get truly creative with evil-doings in Red Dead Redemption. Id done all the usual things--dumped a woman on the train-tracks and let the locomotive end her. Id even lined up a pair of horses either side of her. Id slowly dragged a body through a thriving town, and Id dumped a hogtied man off a cliff. It just wasnt enough.
So, for my ultimate act of bastardry, I found an innocent man, hogtied him, and hefted him onto my horse. We rode deep into the wilderness and found an area thick with cougars. I dumped him on the ground, and retired to a nearby bush, sniggering. But the cougars wouldnt touch him. Eventually, I untied him, and suddenly the furry predators took an interest. As he began to run, a pair of cougars pounced onto his back and... well, the rest is bloody history.
Sophia: I stole gear in MMOs just so I could destroy it
Before all these fancy MMOs with graphics hit the market, I spent an embarrassing amount of time mudding. Think EverQuest without the graphics. I played on a mud that had an active PVP system in place, and depending on which clan you joined, you played by a certain set of rules. I usually tried to align myself with the "good" clans, but my friends persuaded me to team up and go over to the dark side.
This typically involved picking on low level characters or in some (OK, most) cases, we'd run around with our low level characters targeting high level people with sweet gear and cast heat metal. Heat metal has a chance of making people drop their gear for us to scoop it up and give it to our own clan members. But on days where we felt particularly spiteful, we'd destroy peoples gear right in front of them.
Andy: I killed the poor in droves in Assassins Creed 2
While not as rich as a GTA or Skyrim, Assassins Creed is always ripe for mischief. In AC3 you can nudge fishermen off the Boston peer and--because they have no swimming animation--watch them drown in three-feet of water. You can deliberately nudge merchants to make them drop goods, and only steal from the poorest dock workers. However, its in Assassin's Creed 2 where I discovered the best trick.
Take one poisoned dart, and fire it into the biggest, axe-carrying guard you can find. Next, approach that guard and--when he starts to flail his massive axe around--throw money at his feet. The poor locals will blindly rush to pick it up, and theyll be cut down in droves by the poisoned guard. Awful, devious, and it doesnt change your synchronisation one bit. You can just walk away like the worst man in the world.
Cooper: "I 'collected taxes' for the Imperial Army in Star Wars Galaxies."
In Star Wars Galaxies you would be "incapacitated" if your life total ran out, and you'd get back up unless someone delivered a "death blow". This applied to player-versus-player combat as well. Sometimes I'd hang out outside of Anchorhead on Tatooine (a notorious Rebel city) and wait for Rebel scum to walk too far away from the borders. And then I'd incapacitate them.
When they were down I'd tell them they had two options: pay me 1000 credits the second they stand back up and then walk away, or I'd knock them down again and deliver a death blow, doing permanent damage to their equipment. They'd always pay. I'd always kill them anyway.
Andy: I changed the text in my room-mates version of Championship Manager
I dont normally like to torment real people in games, but after an incident where my room-mate had returned home at 3pm on a Thursday, drunk as a lord, and vomited blue-liquid into our only sink while I was revising for an exam, I feel this villainy was justified.
My roommate--who well call Tim, because that was his name--was partial to a game of Championship Manager (1998 edition). So, myself and some friends went into the source file for the in-game commentary and started making changes. At first he assumed human error, when he saw text flash up saying The linesman has raised his fag or Its going wide. Its wide. GOAL!. It wasnt until he had a goal disallowed for Not being good enough and that The ball has burst, the game is over! that he started to get suspicious.
Dave: "I spent hours pushing people down the stairs in GTA 4""
It never gets old. It genuinely never gets old. No matter how many times I do it, the sight of that Euphoria physics engine interacting bluntly with a hard stack of layered concrete is gut-busting hilarity of the highest order each and every time. Its because its always different. The NPC in question will (fail to) deal with their situation differently every single time.
Some will simply collapse down the stairs head-first. Some will desperately attempt to hold onto the hand-rail as their own useless feet collude with gravity to drag them ever downward. And some (and this is my personal favourite) will try to offset the inertia, taking rapid, small, skittering steps down the stairs in an attempt to manage their unwilling descent, before inevitably losing control and lunging forward from the bottom step for a sickeningly concise face-plant. All of them are different. All of them are brilliant. Its their own fault, really. If they werent so endlessly funny I wouldnt keep doing it.
Andy: I punished my team-mates in Bad Company 2 for not getting involved
Battlefield Bad Company 2 (online) is a team game. You need a good balance of all four classes to win, and if you play purely for personal gain, youre letting your team down. Thems the rules. So, it never fails to irritate me when I see players picking the Recon class, and sitting miles from the battle attempting headshots. No team-play, no help at all.
So, I learned ways to deal with these fools. Hunting opposition-team Recons was easy enough. Circle around far enough, and they never see your knife hurtling towards their dogtag. However, as you cant kill campers on your own team, you can make damn-sure the enemy does. Tagging them with a flashing homing beacon usually does the trick. Sticking it to their forehead so they cant see down their stupid scopes is even more effective... You can see a collection of tagged snipers right here.
Cooper: "I murdered an adopted child in The Sims"
Again, I'm using the "it was an experiment!" excuse, but only for the first half of this tale. I wanted to see what options there were to adopt a child in The Sims 2 (yes, the image above is from The Sims 3), so I called up the adoption agency and noticed that there was no way to hang up. It was forcing me to adopt. I adopted the oldest child I could, because the next part of my plan... it was dark.
The van shows up, drops the kid off, and I freeze time--building a square around the kid. The parents walked outside to meet their new son, but he was nowhere to be found. There was a weird monolith, though, and they stood beside it, crying. Inside the box the boy cried, too. They all cried. And then he died, and appeared in a grave in the back yard, and then the parents went to it and cried, and refused to leave, and eventually died. I felt like a monster.
Ryan: I punished my enemies using SimCity 2000
Back in elementary school I had a huge crush on a girl in one of my classes. Unfortunately I was super shy and couldn't talk to her (plus we were, like, 12), so my crush endured into middle school, where I deemed myself to be "very mature". So I finally mustered the courage to write her a note--the kind that asked if she would be my girlfriend and to respond by circling "yes", "no", or "maybe". She circled no; she already had a boyfriend.
Now, you might ask yourself what this story has to do with video games. Well, I developed a strong... dislike (thanks, jealousy!) for the boy she was seeing, so I did what any other person in my situation would do. I built a new city in SimCity 2000, named it after that kid, and burned it to the ground with a series of Firestorms. Goodbye forever, Keithtown.
Andy: I threw lovers into the lake using telekinesis in Destroy All Humans
Ok, so the point of Destroy All Humans is to, er, destroy all the humans. I get that. And the anal probe gun, which sees people dash around in agony, soiling themselves, before their head explodes... yeah, thats pretty funny. However, I found new ways to turn Cryptos abilities on his enemies.
In the first town level, you can find cars down by the lakeside. Its a make-out spot, and--haha--the cars are rocking as the inhabitants get busy. And they continue to rock as you lift them into the air with telekinesis. And Im pretty sure they carry on rocking as Crypto flings them deep into the nearby lake. At least they go out with a bang.
Dave: "I played conkers with humans in Mercenaries 2"
Beaching an enemy patrol boat on top of a tower is basic stuff in Mercenaries 2. Its AI trolling 101. You just get a helicopter, fly low over your waterbound prey, winch them out of the sea and drop them on top of the tallest fortification you can find. Blowing up the tower afterwards is optional. But youll probably do it.
But the real fun comes when you start playing around with the greater possibilities of that winch. Like when you realise that with a strong enough helicopter you can lift a boat, an innocent passer-bys car, or even a fuel tank into the air, head to the motorway, and swing it through the oncoming traffic. And when I say through I really do mean through. The game is to see how many commuters you can knock off the road or blow up before your own vehicular flail explodes. You can count anything that gets wiped out in the splash damage too. My record is about 14.
Andy: I drove a character to kill himself because his watercooler was broken
Good old David Cage. His games, while striving to capture the essence of the human condition, are always a great place for messing about. In Indigo Prophecy (Fahrenheit in Europe) you split your time between three playable characters, each with a penchant for self-pity. You have a mood meter, and if that hits rock-bottom your characters will kill themselves.
You can finish Lucas off in a number of ways. Get him emotionally fragile enough, and hell top himself after playing a bad song on his guitar. Tyler the detective, however, will kill himself after trying--and failing--to use the offices broken watercooler (if hes depressed enough at the time). Its a bit morbid but... come on, David Cage is practically demanding that I sadistically mess around with his characters.
Justin: "I played Sonic 2 alone. Even in co-op"
Sonic 2 features one of the first instances of drop-in/drop-out co-op play, allowing two players to play on a single screen just so long as someone picks up the second pad. Stop pressing buttons on it for a few seconds and Tails will go back to following Sonic automatically. But with only one screen and two supercharged characters zooming about, its impossible to keep both characters in-shot all the time.
If Tails gets left behind, he automatically flies back towards Sonics exact position--quite slowly, so Player 1 must wait. But if you jump just before he lands, Tails cant touch down. Player 2 cant play and its absolutely hilarious. Then its time for the special stage where you can continue the trolling by always jumping ahead of Tails so he cant get any rings.
Andy: I stole everything a man owned in Elder Scrolls just because I could
You get a lot of time to be creative in Elder Scrolls games but, if you play them for too long, that creativity starts to manifest itself in increasingly devious ways. The most cold-hearted thing I ever did in Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion on Xbox 360 during my 150 hours of play was a strange twist on burglary. Obviously youre meant to kill, steal and double-cross, but this was petty, meticulously planned bastardry.
For reasons I cant recall, I took a dislike to one of the characters who lived in Bravil. I couldnt just kill him, so one night I crept into his house and stole everything he owned. Weapons, food, cutlery, clothes the lot. Still under the cover of night I waddled down to the river and dumped all his items into the water. Thatll teach old Whatshisname. He wont do whatever he did again.
Lucas: "I mocked my friend's rubbish gear in World of Warcraft"
There was a time when I was a hardcore World of Warcraft raider--back in the day, that was practically all I did. I treated it like a joke--a time to shoot the breeze with my pals on Ventrilo while the try-hards did all the heavy lifting in terms of DPS and heals. The reward for my time commitment was a tricked-out inventory rife with Epic-grade items, back before purple loot was commonplace. Though my skills were lacking, my gear bestowed me with a feeling of superiority--and such arrogance undoubtedly leads to hate.
My real-life buddy Taylor played on my server, but he rarely did dungeon runs. One night, in need of a spot mage, we invited him for a run through Molten Core. Halfway through clearing the instance, I decided to inspect his gear--and all I saw was the color green. Like a spoiled brat pointing and laughing at the poor, I ridiculed his Uncommon equipment. It wouldn't have been so bad, were it not for the fact that this jeering took place in raid chat, effectively inviting 38 other people to point and laugh with me.
Ryan: I deliberately made all the rides unsafe in Theme Park
Games like Theme Park and RollerCoaster Tycoon siphoned countless hours of my youth. There was something about building a giant metropolis of fun rides and stands of sweet treats that I found incredibly alluring, and I loved trying to maximize both my profits and my attendees' happiness.
Sometimes, though, I just wanted to watch them suffer. There were many ways to make my park-goers miserable, and my favorite methods included refusing to build bathrooms, not cleaning the vomit and fecal matter from my pathways, and, of course, disabling rides in the middle of a cycle. Deleting a section of rollercoaster track right as the coaster was about to reach it, for instance, was a particularly thrilling way to launch its passengers straight into the ground at 50+mph. I need help.
Andy: I imprisoned a Sim inside a family home, and made everyone watch him die
Simoleans exist to be tortured. Sure, the idea of micro-managing a virtual persons life is interesting at first, but--as the saying goes--the Devil soon finds work for idle hands. It was about a couple of hours into my first play-through of The Sims 3 that I decided to imprison my first Sim.
I started by creating a small bathroom in the middle of the living room. I painted it green and pink (like a Venus Flytrap) and waited for my victim. Soon enough, a male Sim called Barry wandered in. I quickly sold the door (and toilet) and replaced it with a wall. Ha. Pretty funny, but it wasnt enough. I then installed windows in every wall, so the rest of the family could see Barrys torment. I moved the sofa in front of the mini-prison and sold the TV, so they had nothing else to watch. House morale went through the floor, especially when Barry eventually died, but I like to think that the value of the property increased thanks to my truly unique character feature.
Cooper: "I locked the butler in the freezer in Tomb Raider 3"
Know that creepy butler in Tomb Raider 3 that follows Lara around the mansion? I wanted him gone. But because I couldn't just kick him in the face I had to get creative.
I'd hang out in the freezer and wait for his old, slow legs to slowly walk him inside. He'd stare at me. I'd stare at him. And then I'd backflip out, slamming the door behind me. Take that, old butler!
Andy: I trapped people in my Theme Park for years
The original Theme Park is the Holy Grail for messing with AI characters. Everyone I spoke to seemed to have a Theme Park story. Oh, did you push up the salt levels in the fries then max out the price of the drinks?, Did you trap customers on pathways that were covered in sick?. Yes and yes. And more.
My mischief was even more creative. Id build a modest-sized rubber-ring ride and wait for visitors to start using it. Now, if youre quick, you can sell the section of track in front of the rubber-ring rider, then sell the section behind them, essentially trapping them in a very short section of water. They cant escape, and will simply bounce from end to end for all eternity. Top tip: build all your other track-based rides (roller-coasters, go karts) around these poor trapped souls, to let them know the true extent of the park-owner's twisted mind.
So, you've seen the darker sides of your GamesRadar editors. Assuming you're still reading, and haven't fled the site in horror, we want to hear about the hateful things you've done in games. Don't worry, we're all friends here. We won't judge you.*
Want more excellent Week of Hate features? We've got loads. Check out the Most Hate Filled Game Characters Ever. Alternatively, if you want more examples of GamesRadar messing around in your favourite games, check out all of our How Fast Can You Die In... videos.
*We will definitely judge you.