The Art of Cheating

With the Thanksgiving holiday come and gone, I’ve had time to reflect on one of my favorite Thanksgiving memories. This one has nothing to do with gathering at the table with family, nor does it have to do with the actual holiday itself, this one is video game related. It was on Thanksgiving, when I was much younger, that I beat Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game for the NES, using cheat codes. Although I cheated it was still an outstanding feeling to have beaten the game, and even the ability to cheat and bypass parts or unlocked parts of games has it’s own euphoria that goes along with it.

Throughout the life of many gaming systems cheating has been a simple way to unlock things you’re not suppose to see yet, and sometime things you were never suppose to see at all. Cheating comes in the form of a special code entered through the controller at a certain place within the game or through cheat devices such as the Game Genie, Game Shark or the Action Replay. Whatever your chosen method, if you cheated at a game, you had way more fun than you did simply following the rules.

It is said that codes were originally used by the developers to test the game fully, without having to play all the way through. As time went on cheat codes seemingly turned into more of a bonus for the players, rather than a tool for the developers. Websites started popping up all over the internet to database these cheat codes, but as systems became out dated most sites dumped the older systems in favor of the new ones, making finding cheat codes for vintage games somewhat of a task.

I’m not saying its impossible to find the codes for the vintage games, with sites like still supporting all the way back to the Atari 2600, its just harder to find the sites who have kept an accurate list of codes on their sites without removing them to make room for the newer stuff, or being overloaded with fake codes. Today I like to enjoy a game all the way through before I test out some cheat codes. There is just something about using codes to do almost anything within a game that makes it almost like a whole new game, and sometimes it literally can!

Posted December 7th, 2011

About the author

Samuel Floyd first fell into video gaming with the Atari the mid-90s! Always late into the system wars, Samuel enjoys that as he acquires them when they're cheap and the hot titles of yesteryear are bountiful. Samuel loves RPGs, his favorite being Crystalis for the NES.


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