Funny AI glitches in games

I think this type of thread has been done before, but many new games have been released in the meantime with lots of entertaining AI glitches. “Open world” games like GTA and Skyrim are especially fruitful for this.

Here’s my current favorite - it’s from Skyrim, and has a minor spoiler. Some users playing as a male character may experience Vilkas chasing after them in Jorrvaskr trying to marry them, with his weapon drawn, and no actual action done by the player. Vilkas is a very butch warrior type, but apparently has homosexual tendencies. “Chasing after them with his weapon drawn” indeed… Any others?

Moved Cafe Society --> the Game Room.

Games with pathing will often end up with a character Buridanning: Trying to get around an obstacle, starting off going one way around it, and then as soon as it’s taken one step that way, deciding the other way is better, and so on, resulting in the character oscillating in place. When the character doing this is a monster trying to reach you, you can sometimes exploit this to kill it from a distance.

Star Wars MMORPG had a bug where sometimes the cut scenes would pull the tiny Holograph model for characters instead of the life size one. There is Something really awesome about an 8 inch general standing on a table yelling at you.

Fallout 3. NPC’s in Megaton have a tendency to fall to their deaths from the balcony of the second level. Nathaniel Vargas is probably the most apt to do this. Though the guy who you can give scrap metal to also sometimes does this.

Some NPCs are prone to do this too in Diablo 3.

Deckard Cain doing it a couple of days ago is in fact what inspired me to remember it, though I’m not sure precisely what caused it in his case (he’s not really pathing to anywhere). What was most funny was seeing it when he was supposed to be inside his house getting killed by Magda

I once bailed [Missed] a trick in a judging competition round of one of the Tony Hawk games [I have most of them, so sue me.]

I bailed directly between two obstacles, so that I didn’t technically bail. I had inifnite air, without a cheat code in effect.

Was fun, until you realized that the game hang on me ending the trick, pass or fail. I hit all the buttons, and ended up LANDING the trick, a 1,080,000 or some other insane number like that.

Needless to say I won the competition round from the judges.
The funny part? Two of the judges still gave me 98s instead of 100. … Which were both thrown out per the “Take the best 3 scores” clause. … Just interesting to see that dummy scores were put in, in that manner.

In Need For Speed: Most Wanted, you could drive into the bus station and set yourself up in a place where the police would never be able to get you. They’d try, but they would continually crash into each other and you’d get crazy bonus points for wrecked police cars. The helicopter would come and hover right over top of you until it ran out of gas and went away. You could leave it there for hours in the middle of a chase and forget about it.

The old Atari 7800 game Riddle of the Sphinx had a weird bug where you could place your character on the ground near the edge of the screen behind a mini-pyramid so that the flying enemies couldn’t get to you and the enemies that buried themselves underground would crash into the pyramid before thy could get you.

The game was weird in that the waves of enemies were determined by the amount of time you spent playing the game, not by the actual level you were on. So with this little trick you would eventually get to the point where the screen was essentially filled with flying enemies. But then the game would give up, and you would have no more enemies remaining except for the burrowing ground ones. You could essentially fly your way free to the boss sphinx at the end of the level. And he could only spit darts at you, as opposed to darts and enemies as he usually did.

Of course, you were in a world of shit when you hit the next level, because the game would suddenly spawn everything against you based on how long you had played the game, but it was still amusing.

In Ultima VII (and VII part II), guards in towns had routes they patrolled. If you, or another NPC, got in a guard’s way, they would stop and yell at you until you moved. Once in a while, two guards would bump into each other, and just stand there yelling at each other. “Thou art in the way!” “Stand aside!”

I love this one! These are great…keep 'em coming.

Here’s another one from Fallout 3: objects that don’t belong to you are sometimes flagged by your cursor turning red when you put it over them, meaning if you take the object it’s stealing. The logic in the game turns nearby NPCs hostile if you do that, so if you steal someting from a shop for example all hell breaks loose. In some cases the “illegal” flag has been applied a little too liberally; for example, in one case I remember a radio that is “illegal to touch”. I “used” the radio, turning it off, and suddenly utter panic, as if I’d committed some major crime - “Oh god…I’m out of here”, NPCs running everywhere yelling etc.

In Banjo-Tooie there is the infamous story of Canary Mary. The first time you meet her, it’s a button mashing race where mashing fast enough means winning. The second race was intended to be the same, but due to time constraints didn’t quite work out that way.

You see, Canary Mary has rubber band AI, meaning that if you mash fast enough, she’ll overtake you and you’ll lose. The trick to her is to mash slower than you’d think, since it keeps you ahead of her but doesn’t exacerbate her AI.

In a funny quirk though, she has a max speed (or something) and it IS possible to out-mash her, which several people managed to do (you know, the assholes that always beat you at Mario Party mashing games)… or you can just plug in a turbo controller.

The Giants’ clubs in Skyrim are overpowered, but it leads to some epic death scenes. This clip from the Giant Bomb review captures it perfectly. Later in the review, the Giant Bomb guys question whether the glitch was kept in because it’s so funny/awesome. I think it was.

Skyrim Giant sends Sabre Cat into orbit. (NSFW for language)

This isn’t a glitch - quite the opposite, but it’s one of my favorite Giant Bomb moments. Resident flight sim expert Drew Scanlon is showcasing his skills in the ultra-realistic Digital Combat Simulator: A-10C Warthog game. Here, he manages to get the engines started - sort of.

Drew is an awesome virtual pilot.

In the training mode for Black and White, they showed you how to use the zoom feature. When you made a mistake, the trainer would correct you by saying “No, no, no! Try zooming!” Unfortunately, even if you were using the zoom function, the trainer would still get pissy at you and keep admonishing you to No! No! No! Try zooming!

This is third hand, but my friend who owned the game said that he once tried to teach his Creature to put himself out when he got on fire. He did this by setting the creature on fire and extinguishing him. This resulted in a creature that learned to repeatedly set itself on fire and then extinguish it.

In the Paludal Caverns in Everquest 1 there was a fish embedded in a cavern wall that if you lined up just right you could whack on it all day long and improve your weapon skills but it could not hit you. Technically it was an exploit but we never did anything about it because the fish couldn’t die so you couldn’t level from it, just get weapon skills.

I should see if I can get the HDD out of the computer I was using at the time and see if I can get the email and chat files from when I was a GM, there were a bunch of glitches we dealt with, some funny, some annoying. [Not a glitch, but some guy in my guild bound in what he thought was a safe place, but was actually where there was normally a guard. He fell asleep, got killed and popped by that guard who then spent enough time killing the poor guy that he deleveled 3 whole levels before he woke up, logged out of the game and managed to get a GM to move his bind spot somewhere he wouldn’t instadie very time he spawned =)

You can get the same effect in Fallout 3 under the right circumstances. I recall being chased by a Yao-Guai once and I happened to go into VATS with my combat shotgun as it was leaping off a ledge to attack me, placing it several feet directly above me when the killing blow hit and sent it rocketing into orbit as the bullet-time camera followed. I think it was about 35-40 seconds or so before the corpse hit the ground.

World of Warcraft had special mobs in one of their zones that couldn’t die unless you used a special quest item on them. People would use them to level up their weapon skills.

Their first expansion made it even easier by having special demon mobs that were permanently banished (i.e., invulnerable) until you triggered some kind of event. You could set your character to auto attack and then go afk while they leveled up the weapon skill of your choice. They eventually patched the exploit, but must have decided the whole idea of having to level a particular weapon was stupid because later expansions removed weapon skills entirely.

In Baldur’s Gate, you and all of the party members you could recruit had an alignment (good, neutral, or evil), and as you went through the game, you built up positive or negative reputation (positive for completing good quests and the like, negative for attacking guards or stealing or whatever). If your reputation got too far out of line with your party members’ alignment, they would grumble about it and eventually leave you. Neutral party members complained if your reputation got too good or too bad.

Well, one of the first party members you get, who the game designers considered one of the “main characters”, was Jaheira the druid. This being D&D 2nd edition rules, druids were required to be neutral in alignment. But the character was written as if she were good. So if you started getting too good a reputation (which pretty much happened automatically, unless you were actively trying to be an evil bastard), she’d start griping about how you weren’t good enough.