What happened to the cheat codes?.
KACHING, BIGDADDY, IDDQD – maybe you have a note somewhere with one of these terms on it. The cheat codes have now almost completely disappeared from the games, even though they have caused us a lot of memorable minutes in the last twenty to thirty years.
It took a long time for me to realize that The Simset could be, in fact, sometimes better to play without first typing the word “klapaucius” into the console that could be pulled out forty-two thousand times with CTRL + SHIFT + C. I got it approx. Fifteen years ago, the special cover, TDK-plate special edition that came with a list of cheats that could make my Sims ’lives much easier could focus on what I really loved: building a house, hanging out, wiping a ladder out of the pool. Of course, this was not the first game in which you could cheat.
Since there has been play, there has also been a cheat
Cheats have been around since the eighties, and obviously not so that players can break the rules, make their own thing easier; the developers did not develop complex progress systems so that they could be nullified by typing a few letters. The original purpose of the codes was to make it easy and quick to test what works, and not always have to play through a game if testers wanted to check the success of a bug in the middle at the end. They could have been removed before the release, but many developers would rather not poke the code of a working game at the last minute because no new bugs were needed. Anno, patching was not as easy (when it was possible at all) as it is today.
Somehow then it always became clear what codes existed and what they were doing, they started to spread among the players, magazines dedicated separate sections to them. This is, for example, the Cheatz section of the 2005/06 SamaGame magazine (or as you may know it: the legendary “boxed SamaGame”) within the Tips section, which otherwise readers could learn how to take six gang members on a bus in San Andreas, how many to raise money in 7 Sins and why it’s good to take to the skies in Battlefield 2.
The whole thing then escalated to the point that cheat had already been incorporated directly to the delight of the users, suddenly gaining advertising value for both publishers and journalists. It was a lot more fun to play a game that hid secrets. Eternal life was the foundation, free ammo, but in Age of Empires, for example, we could unlock a sports car, and in other games, bonus modes were hidden.
Since you have a cheat, someone has been doing well
Many people also searched on cheats. Trainers soon appeared, and perhaps some of you still remember Game Genie, designed by Codemasters from the ’90s, which we could connect to Nintendo and SEGA machines to modify some game data. Nintendo was very opposed to this, it also sued (failed), but SEGA supported it on the condition that it would not work on games that could be saved. Code Breaker and GameShark devices played similar roles a little later, but with the proliferation of CD-ROMs and constant system and game updates, they slowly stopped working or became redundant. Increasingly, the increase in the number of internet users has also pretty slowly eradicated magazine cheatrovats because all the code was just a search away – and eventually dug the cheat itself.
The internet has killed that too
Consoles have been expanded with more and more online features, multiplayer modes, leaderboards, achievements, and trophies have been added to the games, and all of these have been harmed by scams. They suddenly changed from a funny extra feature to a huge problem, which was easiest to do by stopping the whole practice. They also lost their original purpose, as the developer tools also evolved significantly: either no such tricks were needed, or the console and the entire tester system could be removed with one click. Nowadays, anyone who wants to break the rules with a game is forced to reach out to mostly mods. It is very rare to meet cheats these days. They’re in Grand Theft Auto V, for example, but they’re built into just a few games, and they don’t necessarily make the extra modes and options available with code, but we can unlock them by completing tasks.
What were your favorite cheats? Which one did you use the most?