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1. People committing piracy are typically punished, but Serious Sam 3 actually rewards piracy with a special boss fight. Pirated copies of the game will spawn a pink-red variant of their scorpion enemies known as the Immortal Scorpion.
The Immortal Scorpion is all-around better than the normal variant. Faster, stronger...immune to damage. It’s a fun challenge to see how long you can survive against one, but don’t expect to kill it without cheat codes.
2. Mirror’s Edge is a game dependent on fast reflexes and parkour. Pirated games decide to throw a wrench in the situation by slowing down the physics to unplayable levels.
That means when you’re hopping over ledges, the game will slow...and you’ll be unable to use momentum to carry you forward, resulting in you falling to your doom. Tricky.
3. The Witcher 2’s anti-piracy methods are legendary among fans of the game. The game normally features Geralt, its iconic hero, romancing the ladies, however, pirated copies replace any potential love interests with Marietta Loredo, an ugly old hag who Geralt seems all too willing to romance.
Also, Geralt sometimes suffers brutal, untimely deaths. Strangely enough, both are so spectacular and strange they beg to be witnessed.
4. Garry’s Mod is a free game, so the idea of pirating it is already fairly unreasonable. Still, if for whatever reason you pirate Garry’s Mod, prepare for a strange anti-piracy measure: no polygons.
If you play a pirated version of the game, an error message will appear, stating the game cannot render or shade polygons. If you ask people how to solve this problem, you...basically expose yourself as someone who pirated a free game.
5. Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2 is a classic RTS game by EA. It contains one of the most devastating anti-piracy measures ever: total annihilation. If you load up a pirated copy of the game and start playing, you won’t notice anything wrong...until you have built up enough units.
Then, every unit in play will blow up, effectively destroying any chance you have at victory. It’s cruel, but also effective. If you want to win the game, don’t pirate.
6. The Secret of Monkey Island, as well as many old-school point-and-click adventures, incorporated a very clever means to avoid piracy. Monkey Island specifically asked you to coordinate a color wheel, which would coordinate colors with a series of numbers in the manual.
Input the code correctly, and you can play the game. Fail, and you don’t. The problem with this anti-piracy method is that you’d need the physical manual in order to solve it. Not a problem in the 90s, but in 2021, with most PC games being digital, it’s a bit trickier to tell your players to read the manual if you want to play the game.
7. The Sims 4 will pixelate your Sims when they take their clothes off. However, if you pirated the game, the pixels won’t just stop around your nude skin.
It will spread until it consumes the whole screen, making it impossible to see what you’re doing in the marbled mess that was once a game. Good luck ruining your Sims’ lives when you can’t see a thing.
8. Unlike many of the measures that make the games unplayable, Skullgirls just confuses the players. In Skullgirls, if you pirate the game, you end up being confronted with a baffling, confusing question: What is the square root of a fish? If you ask people online, they won’t tell you the answer. They’ll just laugh at you.
9. Michael Jackson: The Experience managed to troll pirates by hitting them where it hurt: the music. People who pirated this DS game would find, when they loaded up the ROMS, that all the music would be distorted by loud noises playing over the songs.
This made the game incredibly annoying to play...and ruined some of the greatest songs in music history in the process for all those pirates.
10. Earthbound has one of the oldest and cruelest anti-piracy methods. Enemies become harder and more plentiful throughout the game, making it impossible to progress with all the battles. That would be annoying enough – though some players might take morbid satisfaction in becoming strong enough to annihilate every enemy in their path.
However, JUST before the game ends...the game stops. You cannot finish a pirated copy of Earthbound. To make things even crueler, the game deletes your saved file! With the game being as uncommon as it is, however, many players have no choice but to pirate in order to play the game...leaving this game a tragic piece of fool’s gold.