You know why games like Skyrim, Batman: Arkham City and Xenoblade are so damn near perfect? It's because there are two kinds of players. There are those that say, "Fuck your linear plot. I'm going to see what's over here," and there are those that say, "Fuck that shit over here, I just want to get on with the plot." Those games can appeal to both, and it makes everyone happy. They're very liberal about the game/gamer relationship.
But some games want you to do as you're told, and have no problem letting you know when you're venturing outside of the realm of their intended manner of play. It's their way of saying, "Quit being an asshole and rescue the princess like we said to." And then of course, there are the best kinds of reprimands, those that deal with piracy the only way that frustrated game designers with demented minds can, by screwing with you. Both magnificent bastards will be featured here.
Yeah...about Arkham City. At one point in the Catwoman episode, you're given the option to either leave town with two trunks full of loot or go help Batman escape in time to stop Joker from gaining the immortality-granting powers of the Lazarus Pit. If you do the former, the game will treat you to a credit sequence full of the sounds of Oracle tearfully narrating how the Joker has killed Bruce Wayne and is now an unstoppable force. Then it comically rewinds back to the choice and frog-marches your ass out the way to help. Basically the game says, "Very funny, dickhead. Now do the right thing."
Nintendo already had a pretty bad problem with people downloading pirated games onto the DS, and it still persists on the 3DS. Ubisoft got creative when it came to dealing with that issue in the Michael Jackson Experience. Try to play a pirated copy, and all the timeless songs by the King of Pop will be replaced by one of the worst sounds known to man, the vuvuzela.
For some reason I don't understand, a lot of game designers absolutely hate the idea of you letting the character sit still. Sometimes it's as simple as Mario deciding to take a nap, or maybe it gets testy like in Chrono Trigger, where leaving your party idle on the world map makes them wave their arms and yell at you. Knuckles Chaotix, a Sonic spin-off that is all about speed running through a level, takes the cake, though. Sit still for a full minute and a metal version of Sonic will suddenly appear and start beating your ass. They really don't want your lazy ass just sitting around.
For reasons unknown, saving your game or using a tent in Final Fantasy IX involved summoning a helpful moogle with a magic flute. Usually he's quite cheerful and nice, but if you call him and don't do anything, he'll start to get a little angry. Then all of a sudden he starts telling you, "I'm sharpening my knife!" Wow, that escalated quickly.
Along the same lines as Arkham City's Catwoman walks out ending, but you have to be a special kind of jerk to pull it off in Custom Robo. As the game comes to its climax, your team gets ready for an assault on the enemy base. However, Matthew can refuse to go...all you have to do is say, "I'm not going," about 20 times while everyone begs you and tells you how much they need you. Finally, they just leave without you and it causes the end of their world. Nice work, douchebag.
Another good antipiracy dig. If you manage to get ahold of an illegal copy of Alan Wake, the load screen will tell you, "If you like this game, support Remedy by buying it." It also makes Alan wear an eye patch with a Jolly Roger on it in case you somehow missed the point.
Alan Wake approached piracy playfully, but Zak McKracken does it better. To travel during the adventure, you need a serial key that comes with the game, which pirated copies wouldn't have. Mess up inputting the key trying to guess it, and you get hauled off to pirate prison, where the guard will actually spend a good two minutes making you listen to a lecture on why piracy is bad for the video game business.
At one point in Phantasy Star III, your dad throws you in the dungeon. It's a storyline thing, and you're only supposed to get out a certain way. However, if you sell all your equipment at the very beginning of the game, you can buy an item that will allow you to get out of dungeons magically. Doing so at this point will take you to a special screen where the game praises your ingenuity, but also says that your smartass attempt to buck the system has broken the game and you must restart. Just do the dungeon, ya big baby.
When it comes to MMORPGs, game makers don't have to sit back and watch their work bear fruit, they can get involved in real time. In Everquest, Sony put a dragon in the game that was supposed to be unkillable called Kerafyrm the Sleeper. Well, gamers love being told something can't be done. It makes doing it more fun.
A team of the three top guilds banded together and managed to take on Kerafyrm in a grueling three-hour battle that they were winning by virtue of having enough clerics to resurrect dead characters faster than the dragon, with two instant kill attacks, swinging for around 6,000 damage, and ten times the hit points of any other boss in the game, could kill them.
Sony realized that they were about to be presented with a scenario they hadn't planned for. If Kerafyrm fell, he didn't respawn, and neither would the four dragons that guarded him and provided one-of-a-kind loot. Killing him would mean that new players on the server would never be able to obtain that loot. So Sony was forced to make Kerafyrm disappear with only 20 percent of his life left.
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Later they apologized and begrudgingly let the guild try again. They were successful, and Kerafyrm is now dead on all servers.
Of all the antipiracy tricks, none tops what Earthbound did. If you play a bad copy, two things happen. One, it's a bit harder. That's not so bad. However, it also waits until you get to the very last boss. Once there, the game freezes, and there is nothing you can do about it but reset. Back to the title screen, you'll find that all your save files are deleted and you have to start over...with only the same result waiting for you at the end of the game. So be aware, pirates, the game makers know you're out there, and they have no problem telling you what they think of you.