The Most Iconic Cheats In Video Games

Nintendo NES Video Game Cheats

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Cheating can make video games better.

Not when you’re playing a multiplayer game, unless all parties have agreed to abandon civility in favour of a lawless, crime-filled round of screaming. But when you’re playing a video game solo, and the only concern is your own hedonistic self-pleasure, using cheat codes can be an entertaining way to adjust your experience for maximum joy.

People play games for many reasons, though primarily to relax, unwind and have some fun. What could be more fun than being invincible and having infinite money?

In recognition of their noble service, here are some of the best, most memorable cheats in video games.

The Sims, “rosebud”

Released in 2000, PC game The Sims lets people engage in the fantasy of owning a house and having friends. However, you don’t want to worry about a budget when building your dream home. Fantasies are no place for things such as mortgages and moderation. Fortunately, a simple cheat code can rid your Sims of financial concerns forever.

To use the code, hold down Ctrl+Shift+C to bring up an input box. Type “rosebud”, hit Enter, and bam – your household is 1000 Simoleons richer. If you want more, follow “rosebud” with as many “;!”s as your little heart desires, as each repetition will add another 1000 to your bank account.

The Sims series has had a money cheat in every game since. Both The Sims 2 and share the “motherlode” cheat, which adds 50,000 Simoleons to your household, and “rosebud” and “motherlode” both work in The Sims 4. You may not have the Seasons expansion pack, but you can still make it rain.

Age of Empires II, “how do you turn this on”

Age of Empires II is a classic real time strategy game in which you build a medieval civilisation from scratch then watch a horde of jerks come and tear it down. But for that brief, shining period when your village is not on fire, it’s quite a lot of fun.

In order to construct your ill-fated town, you need to gather four resources: Food, wood, gold and stone. You can set your villagers to this task, but they are only tiny digital humans, with tiny digital hands. It takes a while for them to collect everything you want, which is where cheats can speed things up.

To activate cheats – which are only available in single player mode unless deliberately enabled – you merely have to type them into the chat box and hit Enter. To get 1000 food, type in “cheese steak jimmy’s”. For 1000 wood, use “lumberjack”. “robin hood” grants 1000 gold, and “rock on” will give you 1000 stone.

These are great cheats that have seen much use in my time with the game. However, possibly the most iconic Age of Empires II cheat is “how do you turn this on”. Typing that sentence creates a very anachronistic AC Cobra car that shoots bullets, and is one of the fastest units in the game. The Cobra car has good range, health, armour and damage, but it also deals friendly fire. As always, take care when operating heavy machinery.

Doom, “IDDQD”

In classic first person shooter Doom, you run around Mars shooting demons in the face. It’s tough work, seeing as there are so many bloodthirsty demons and just one bloodthirsty you. Happily, the game includes a number of cheat codes to help you along.

The most famous of these codes is “IDDQD”, which also works in Doom 2. Type in that series of letters at any time during the game, and a message will pop up in the top left corner of the screen saying “degreelessness mode on”. And by “degreelessness mode”, they mean “god mode”. The code bumps your heath up to 100 percent, which doesn’t really matter considering it also makes you invincible.

“IDDQD” doesn’t work if you’re playing on Nightmare difficulty, but on other difficulty settings it will let you go on a fearless, bloody rampage. It also makes Doomguy’s eyes glow gold, which really should be a warning for demons to run the heck away. What are the forces of Hell to a god?

The Konami Code, “⇧⇧⇩⇩⇦⇨⇦⇨BA”

The Konami Code is the undisputed king of cheat codes. No cheat code is as famous or beloved. In fact, the Konami Code has transcended not only the original game it appeared in, but the game studio that created it as well.

The code first appeared in 1986 NES game Gradius, after a developer who added it for testing purposes mistakenly left it in the finished game. By using the controller to enter “⇧⇧⇩⇩⇦⇨⇦⇨BA” while the game is paused, players can give themselves almost all the power ups in the game.

This powerful cheat code soon made its way into other Konami games, granting different benefits depending upon the title. However, the Konami Code’s widespread popularity in the West is largely attributable to its inclusion in 1988 NES game Contra. Entering the code at Contra‘s title screen gives the player 30 lives.

The Konami Code has since been included in a plethora of games from other developers, as well as in films and on websites.

In Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed 3, using the code puts an tiny assassin’s hood on a turkey and makes it follow you around. In Disney film Wreck-It Ralph, King Candy uses the Konami Code to unlock a door. And entering the code on the website for Blizzard game Overwatch will cause hero D.Va to recite it while sprites of herself rain down the page.

The Konami Code has transcended its game, ascending from its humble beginnings to become an independent and ubiquitous part of pop culture. Who says cheats never prosper?