Serious Sam 3: BFE – Invincible Scorpion
You’ll be in for one nasty surprise if you decided to pirate developer Croteam’s game. Instead of simply locking the game up or making it unable for the user to play, those who have a pirated version will have to contest with a rabid scorpion-man monster. The catch is that this monster is far faster than you and is completely invincible to any form of damage, meaning it will forever chase you around the map.
This creature will also be accompanied by any level’s normal enemies, all in hopes of driving pirates away with frustration. Plus, if you do manage to kill scorpion man via a glitch or cheats, then Serious Sam 3 locks your camera and makes you stare at the sky indefinitely.
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 – Exploding Troops
Red Alert 2 is perhaps one of the most famous real-time strategy games ever produced, mainly thanks to the hilariously over the top story, interesting factions, and the wide variety of troops at your disposal. However, if you decided to pirate this title instead of pay for it, developer Westwood Studios has a surprise in store. Any time you load up a match, whether it’s online or offline, your units will meet with a comically horrible fate.
After a minute or so of playing, all of your units, regardless of where they are on the map, will vaporize and instantly die. This will happen for every unit you start out with or create, making it virtually impossible to gain any resources or have a chance of winning. In the video above, the tutorial narrator doesn’t even notice the mass murder going on.
The Sims 4 – Pixilated Madness
Anyone who’s played The Sims before knows that whenever one of your characters gets into the shower, they become pixilated to obscure their naked body from the player. Yet, if you decide to obtain an illegal copy of The Sims 4, this pixelation will begin to make its way into the core game. Spreading like a virus, the filter will spread across your screen, making everything blurry and, eventually, impossible to play effectively. While you can still vaguely make out your surroundings and various items, this renders the game visually off-putting and can cause a number of headaches.
What’s worse is that the actual HUD of The Sims 4 remains the same, so you can still have the illusion of control. It’s like your Sim is watching you, silently judging your choice to not pay for a copy of this game. Silver lining is you won’t have to watch characters awkwardly dance as if they’re being electrocuted.
Crisis: Warhead – Revenge of the Chickens
Developer Crytek may have been killing too many Cucco’s in The Legend of Zelda when they came up with this anti-piracy idea. If you download a cracked version of Crisis: Warhead, you’ll have all of your ammunition and grenades replaced with the deadliest of all projectiles – chickens.
The poultry ammunition, while amusing, is fairly harmless and makes it virtually impossible to progress through the game. Sadly, these aren’t the kind of chickens that will attack in a wild frenzy if you strike down one of their brethren, either. They just flop around like rubber before popping out of the world.
Gary’s Mod – Shaded Polygons
Perhaps one of the most ingenious ways to catch video game pirates is to have them turn themselves in without knowing it. Enter Gary’s Mod, a seemingly innocuous title that brings up an unknown error if you pirate the game. The actual text that pops up reads, “Engine Error: Unable to shade polygon normals.” The catch is that this isn’t a real in-game error.
This message will only pop up if you pirate the game, which makes players effectively announce to the world that they have a cracked version whenever they search for help. Those looking for polygon shading fixes on the game’s forums were met with a permanent ban.
Game Dev Tycoon – Failing Business
Game Dev Tycoon is a title based around growing and producing a video game development and publishing company, so developer Greenheart Games came up with a perfect solution to deter pirates. Instead of simply crashing the game, they decided to educate the hapless thieves by having every game their company produces fail spectacularly. After you release your title into the world, a text box will appear that reads, “Boss, it seems that while many players play our new game, they steal it by downloading a cracked version rather than buying it legally. If players don’t buy the games they like, we will sooner or later go bankrupt.”
The message is accompanied by a frowny face instead of a continue button, as well as a poor performance in sales. This will continue to happen regardless of how good your game is, making it literally impossible to not go bankrupt in Game Dev Tycoon. We have to hand it to Greenheart Games for this clever way of both informing and combating piracy.
Dragon Quest V – Long Boat Trip
There’s rarely anything more satisfying in a new RPG than gathering your party and setting off a new, adventure-filled quest. Yet, if you are one of the people who obtained a cracked copy of Dragon Quest V, then you will never get to truly get to explore this massive title.
Players using a pirated copy of the game will never be able to leave a boat they board in the very beginning of the story. It doesn’t matter what NPCs you talk to, how long you wait, or what you do, pirates will never reach land and thus find Dragon Quest V completely unplayable. Best case scenario is you reenact what it’s like to be stranded at sea with a bunch of hopefully optimistic people.
Mirror’s Edge – Slow Down
Mirror’s Edge is a game completely based around speed and momentum, as players take control of a free runner named Faith who navigates a nearly colorless city. However, those who pirate Mirror’s Edge will be met with a rather abrupt surprise during their gameplay sessions. As players approach a certain checkpoints, such as the ramp in the video above, their speed is slowed down to a crawl that almost makes them completely immobile. It not only makes the immediate jump impossible, but effectively hinders users from ever experiencing any other part of this game.
There’s no way to get around it regardless of how fast or knowledgeable of the map layout you are. If you managed to obtained a cracked copy of this first-person action game, then you can kiss that epic parkour feeling goodbye.
The Witcher 2 – Cutscene Additions
The Witcher 2’s anti-piracy addition doesn’t ruin the game for you mechanically by locking the screen up or creating an invincible enemy. Instead, a multitude of the game’s cutscenes are altered to either feature Geralt being killed in a variety of different ways or by switching out all the women in the sex scenes with elderly ladies. Sure, this won’t directly affect the game, but it’s a hilarious visual that did just about the trick.
Warning: the video above is NSFW
Earthbound – Cruelest. Bug. Ever.
Earthbound is one of the most charming RPGs ever made thanks to its colorful design, cute visuals, and quirky cast of heroes and villains. This is a game that should be experienced by any fan of this genre, and is considered by many to be one of the best game on the SNES. However, if you managed to obtain a pirated version of Earthbound, you will be in for one hell of a surprise when you reach the final boss.
Instead of stopping players midway or just not letting them play, pirates can experience Earthbound in full with a catch. Once you reach the very last boss this title will lock up, crash, and erase all of your saved data. There’s nothing you can do about it, and it makes Earthbound virtually impossible to finish. After investing so much time and energy into seeing how this title finishes, having it crash and burn is a not-so-subtle reminder that you shouldn’t pirate games.