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Videogame Places You're Not Supposed To Go 261

Ssquared22 writes "The eight far-off realms in this article exist for different reasons. They could be developer test areas, or forgotten pieces of landscape that somehow made their way into the final code. Whatever their reason for being, they all have one thing in common: they weren't meant to be explored by the likes of you and me. But through persistence, hacks or some combination of the two, you can take in these rare delights for yourself. Pack your bags." What odd, interesting, or funny game locations have you wandered into?
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Videogame Places You're Not Supposed To Go

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  • Splinter Cell (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 11, 2009 @03:58AM (#28290439)

    I once stumbled across what I nicknamed "The America Room" in the original Splinter Cell. Inside the CIA level, turning on ghost mode allowed me to find a small room floating in space, covered in the U.S. flag.

  • GTA 3 Lighthouse (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheLink ( 130905 ) on Thursday June 11, 2009 @04:03AM (#28290471) Journal
    Years ago, I got up to the lighthouse on the island in Portland beach in the first GTA3 by getting a boat to it, and then jumping _backwards_ all the way up to the lighthouse.

    If you face the slope, the game slides you down. Not sure why it doesn't when you're facing backwards - maybe they designed it that way for people like me.

    Apparently there are plenty of other "easter egg spots" in GTA3.
  • Sierra (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jarlsberg ( 643324 ) on Thursday June 11, 2009 @04:05AM (#28290483) Journal
    In the old Sierra games (King's Quest, Colonel's Bequest etc), you could enter the debug mode easily - like pressing both shift buttons and the minus key for instance - and go to places never intended for gamers. You could read debug notes, supply yourself with inventory items etc, and of course transport to any place in the game that you wanted.
  • Stalker (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dunkelfalke ( 91624 ) on Thursday June 11, 2009 @04:09AM (#28290513)

    When you turn no-clipping on and try to explore the levels, you can very often see (especially at the wild territories and at the brain scorcher) that the levels were originally meant much larger and the story was meant larger, too (what's with the helicopter behind the fence at the radar site?)

  • WoW Exploration (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sunami ( 751539 ) on Thursday June 11, 2009 @04:10AM (#28290523)

    For anyone who's been doing exploration in World of Warcraft for a long time, the name Dopefish has additional meaning. Wall walking to places was amazing, and 1.9 was a sad sad day, except wall jumping took it's place! Hyjal, above/under Orgrimmar, on top of zeppelins, epic levitate jump from Hyjal to Orgrimmar, above and 2nd floor of Undercity, under Stormwind and behind the gated instance portal, Ironforge airport, Wetlands farm, Elwyn house/retreat/pond, the Dragon-Dwarf fight on the flight to Searing Gorge, Troll village, half-existing Gadgetzan from ZF, outter edges of the BE starting zones, middle part of Eastern Kingdoms, smiley face under Karazhan, and the Crypts next to it, outside the Karazhan instance, most especially the large area where you fight Prince, underneath all of Outlands (except for Netherstorm, damn bridge) especially behind Black Temple, outside the playing parts of CoT: Hyjal, inside CoT pre-BC, top of CoT, on the hourglass (old and new), behind AQ (which allowed zoning in before the Wall opened), North Plaguelands, behind the Greymane Wall. So much amazing exploration over such a long time.

    Only 2 things I've never done that I really want to is get to Old Ironforge on my guy, and outside of Deadmines.

  • Re:Obvious reply (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fractoid ( 1076465 ) on Thursday June 11, 2009 @04:27AM (#28290593) Homepage
    There's also the caverns under Karazhan, which you can only get into via mild exploiting (sit in a corner and get another player to duel you and cast a 'fear' spell on you, you have a chance for the 'run around like a headless chicken' code to actually run you through a closed gate). It's surprisingly creepy [] down there.
  • OBlivion (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 11, 2009 @04:32AM (#28290623)

    Oblivion has a nice place you can teleport to.
    Its a room full of doors.

    Behind every door, there is something developers used to test, like items, enemys, even a whole test city :D

    When talking to test npcs there can be very funny messages ^^

  • UO, EQ, WoW (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 11, 2009 @04:51AM (#28290689)

    UO: "Green Acres"; dev area where many of the dungeon levels were build/saved. Get summoned by a GM, mark a rune. Probably fixed that now, but the old runes still work/exist...; inside various unfinished temples, accessed with teleports and clipping. Many others.

    EQ: Behind the geometry in Grobb (levitate up the side walls); The "eye" above the zone in to PoFear (lev + climbing up the dead trees there); the top of the outside of the Tower of Frozen shadows. Top of the volcano where the epic quest fishie spawned (eventually); many others, reachable with levitation and the wonderful, epic BFG.

    WoW: "Green Acres, V2". Unfinished areas north of EPL, south of silithis, between feralis and tanaris, outside the nagrand arena, many others. Not like the airport and other "finished but only intended as eyecandy" locations, these are raw unfinished terrain, sheer walls, missing textures/colors. The bottom of the geyser in ungoro (it's DEEP), etc. All accessible without any type of exploit btw...

  • More Halo love... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by interactive_civilian ( 205158 ) <mamoru AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday June 11, 2009 @05:11AM (#28290763) Homepage Journal

    There is a lot of fun exploration in Halo 1, and even some in Halo 2. In the second level of Halo 1, there are numerous places you can get to using the Warthog, the easiest of which is the plateau between the central valley and the valley where the UNSC men are hiding under ground. It is also possible to get up the sides of the valley with the first pulse generator, though it can be difficult, because the action freezes in most situations when the pulse generator fires. Also, using co-op and some clever grenade work, you can get yourself and a Warthog on TOP of a pulse generator. Finally, in that level, it is pretty easy to get to the bottom of the underground cave where the light-bridge is.

    It is also possible to get on top of the island in Silent Cartographer and roam around, and if you are tricky, you can also get a warthog up there. Also, though I've never managed it, it is possible to get down to the bottom of the deep shaft in the Silent Cartographer. You can surf the Pelican and jump off a the right time to land on top of the cliff on the level 343 Guilty Spark as well. From there you can walk all the way around the beginning of the level, and you will come across a non-responsive Pvt. Jenkins up there as well.

    You can do quite a bit of exploration in Assault on the Control room, especially if you can steal an early Banshee. A fun thing about this is that you can use the Banshee to get to places without activating the enemy spawning, and then you can move things like vehicles around and use all of this to help set up one of the most amazing mega-battles [] of the game. Also, if you can manage to get a Banshee in the final part of the level and fly up above the control room to one of the ledges of the upper structure, you can find a nice Easter Egg: you can hear the music of "The Siege of Madrigal" from Myth. Finally, it is possible to get outside on various places of the Pillar of Autumn in the final level of the game.

    There wasn't a lot of exploration possible in Halo 2 because there were several insta-kill zones, but sometimes, if you could manage to stay off the ground (either using a ghost or a banshee, you could do some exploration). The most notable exploration is in the level Delta Halo. If you nab a Ghost and then head about halfway back towards the first area, there is a place where you can ride the Ghost up the cliff and explore the top of the level.

    Sadly, I haven't played Halo 3, so I don't know what, if any, opportunities it has for exploration.

  • by Scott Kevill ( 1080991 ) on Thursday June 11, 2009 @05:19AM (#28290795) Homepage

    A secret area in Quake II with a stash of ammo, that you could only get to by rocket-jumping.. acknowledging a unintended trick that started with the original Quake. The message printed on the screen was, "This is for you, you crazy rocket-jumpers."

  • Ultima VII (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RogueyWon ( 735973 ) * on Thursday June 11, 2009 @05:23AM (#28290807) Journal

    I remember a great one of these in Ultima VII. Basically, there was a certain building in the first town, which had an invisible portal hidden behind its chimney. To access it, you had to either cheat (which is... well... cheating), or else build a staircase out of crates to get onto the roof. To do this, you needed to pretty much scour the entire town for crates, as you would need every last one to get up there.

    Once you went through the portal, you found yourself in a strange sci-fi type area, with the Kilrathi theme from Wing Commander 2 playing as BGM. There were chests containing multiple sets of the best equipment in the game, a huge variety of useful magical items, as well as most of the plot-related items. There were also teleporters that could take you to most of the key points of interest around Britannia.

    This one was so cool because it didn't require the use of a cheat or clipping exploit to find it. Sure, nobody was ever going to find it on their own accord without having been told about it in advance, but you could get in there without typing in any special commands or cheat codes.

  • by wisebabo ( 638845 ) on Thursday June 11, 2009 @05:31AM (#28290839) Journal

    In the book "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card, Ender keeps exploring the super video game the kids are given beyond what anyone else does. Since the game "engine" is very sophisticated it keeps generating new territory and challenges for him (sometimes based on his alien influenced "dreams"). Not only does he eventually successfully complete his self-driven quest but the computer creating the game becomes sentient! Of course this is just one of several important "games" in the book.

    So, maybe if you go places in your videogame that you're not supposed to go, you'll create new territory not imagined by the designers of the game and cause the game to become self-aware!

  • Re:OBlivion (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 11, 2009 @05:49AM (#28290899)
    And how does one get there?
  • by dzfoo ( 772245 ) on Thursday June 11, 2009 @06:32AM (#28291045)

    In Stonetalon Peak, slightly south-west of the Inn, my wife and I tricked-jumped on a spot of the mountain side that looked the most accessible, and we eventually reached the top. Right there, you get to a plateau on top of some of the highest mountains in the area, with a nice and beautiful view of the mountain ranges as far as your GPU will render. You can see various map areas all around.

    Anyway, that's not the coolest part. The best part is what lies beyond. There is a cliff at the edge which brings you to a "secret" area. If you jump down from the left-most edge of the cliff, you'll fall down and die; but with persistence you can then come back the same way as a spirit, jump down and reclaim your body. Et voilá, you're in!

    This area is a wide expanse of unfinished terrain between the various world sections that intersect there. It seems to be completely uninhabited and serene. It is vast and pretty, with a weird mélange of texture maps. you can explore this huge area and marvel at the beautiful collage of colors, textures, and terrain elements.

    Eventually, you'll find a rather large, rectangular pit, where various areas coincide. It is like a huge deep pool drained of water. Its floor is composed of texture tiles from the different areas that meet at that point. But be careful! If you decide to jump in, know that there is no way out of it. You'll have to use your hearthstone (or call a game master). There is plenty more beyond that point which I haven't explored yet (as you may imagine, we dropped into the pit and got stuck).

    All in all, it is one of the most strangely beautiful areas--hidden or not--of the World of Warcraft. So, be sure to pack plenty of sandwiches, your beverage of choice, and your video camera!


  • Re:OBlivion (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 11, 2009 @07:58AM (#28291421)

    They had these in Morrowind as well: there are a couple of different rooms you can only get to by cheating, and they contain something to test pretty much anything in the game from whether or not the Ordinators arrest you for crimes to whether or not Vampirism was infectious like it should be.

    They also contained lots of rare items, which is what most people were interested in them for: as far as I remember they were the only realistically possible way to get a full set of Daedric armour without killing a quest-critical character.

  • by bushing ( 20804 ) on Thursday June 11, 2009 @08:20AM (#28291577) Homepage

    How about a collision-detection bug turned in to an easter-egg?

    In some cases, the collision detection is broken in Katamari Damacy, and you can end up falling through objects. (The easiest way I've seen this happen is if you're moving and some other object pushes you through a wall, but there's a video on YouTube [] with a simpler way to trigger it.)

    When it happens, the screen fades to black and the King of All Cosmos apologizes for the inconvenience and uses the "Royal Warp" to put you back on the playfield. Looks like they caught a bug right before they had to ship and didn't have time to fix it, so they turned it in to an easter egg.

  • Re:Duke Nukem (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 11, 2009 @08:25AM (#28291619)

    The Serious Sam games had a number of jokes about Duke Nukem, one of them was in Serious Sam II in the swamp level. At some point you can find a "Duke's coat", "Duke's sword" and "Duke's hat". If you continue in the direction that those items are strewn, you will see a tree with a skeleton hanging from it (complete with blonde flattop) with a missile stuck up its ass. Sam says something to the effect of "Dude, you've like been hanging around here FOREVER".

  • Re:Stalker (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bokske ( 1429119 ) <> on Thursday June 11, 2009 @09:03AM (#28292041)

    What was the name again of that central Bar in a bunker, where all the Duty guys hang around ? You know what I mean, where you can trade items, and get a few assignments.

    Well, the road leading to the front entrance of that bunker, always has some dogs running around, chasing you when you approach. There's a grassy area besides the road, and those dogs are always runnning around in circles there, whenever you show up. This meadow is bounded with a fence, but it clearly continues beyond that fence. I once noticed there was a small hill next to the fence, and by walking up that hill, it was possible to actually jump over the fence.

    I found out soon enough that this was not what the developers had in mind. Elements of the landscaping were missing and the scene turned into just a barren plain. But surprisingly, when I continued through this landscape to further places that I knew for sure were "chartered territories", they too were incorrectly rendered. I assume that the scenery for these locations is only triggered when some well-known borders are crossed, not the "wrong" borderline over which I had come.

    The whole game had turned into a half-completed landscape, with no game characters anymore. I tried to get back to normal by jumping back over the fence, but that wasn't possible as there was no convenient hill at the other side of the fence. I ended up falling into some kind of shallow pit, and from then on, roaming the no man's land half submerged into the soil. Eventually I fell even further, hundreds of feet to the "bottom of the world". Stuck.

    This "falling through" is also a regularly occurring bug in the rarely played Project IGI. Being close to a door that is in the process of opening or closing, can force you out of the regular space, into the walls. You get to gaze around in the endless blue "behind the scenes", while some of the game scenery is still visible. Once in that void, any further step will then cause you to lose your foothold and fall a long way down, until the whole level layout is just a single dot high above.

  • Portal - Cake room (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 11, 2009 @09:31AM (#28292511)

    I always had to resort to cheat codes, but there are several videos claiming to do it through ordinary means:

    You can access the "cake room" in portal, seen in the final sequence after beating the game, containing a cake with a lit candle and a companion cube.

  • The university I went to had a campus that had been nuclear hardened in the long long ago, when they thought the bombs could be dropping at any time. Going inside the buildings was like walking into a faraday cage, and everyone left their phones on the windowsills in an attempt to get signal.

    Under the campus everything was connected by utility tunnels, with power, water, and data lines everywhere, but still more than large enough for a person to walk easily.

    People always used to make nuclear waste jokes about the place, because the snow melted off the grass VERY quickly in places. Exploring underneath, it was easy to see why: there were all kinds of rooms, probably once intended to be shelters, but now relegated to bizarre student organization storage. Very cool.

    I wish I'd brought a camera, or spent more time down there when I still had the keys. (Of course I didn't have the keys when I LIVED on that campus, and could have used those tunnels, nooooo, I got them later when there was little need to have them.)

  • by The Grim Reefer2 ( 1195989 ) on Thursday June 11, 2009 @12:53PM (#28295923)

    Speaking of Quake, does anyone remember the Well of Wishes in the first Quake? It was an underwater room with some goodies and a picture of Dopefish on the wall as well as the text "Dopefish lives".

  • Metroid (Score:2, Interesting)

    by AnotherAnonymousUser ( 972204 ) on Thursday June 11, 2009 @01:12PM (#28296231)
    I'm surprised no one's mentioned the original Metroid yet. When you effectively glitched out the game to reach the secret zones, there was more glitched out content than was in the actual game itself. It was a pretty impressive glitch.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 11, 2009 @01:41PM (#28296725)
    Atari's Hard Drivin' [] coin-op game.

    Make a hard left turn at the very start of the game (or on any lap where you know you're not going to make your checkpoint).

    You'll go down a long straight road that leads to a skid pad.

  • Re:GTA 3 Lighthouse (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Shadow of Eternity ( 795165 ) on Thursday June 11, 2009 @03:40PM (#28298787)

    DN3d has one of those "You're not supposed to be here..." eggs too.

"If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong." -- Norm Schryer