Not sure this properly counts as “commentary,” but for lack of a better place to put it…

Anyway, playing some games and reading some stuff has gotten me wondering about a sort of ethical question.

But not simply any ethics, but GAMING ethics.

Typically, if you use a GameShark/Game Genie/Pro Action Replay/whatever, it’s regarded as cheating.

But, is it always?

Case in point: I’d love to get ahold of The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past for the GBA.? I hear there’s a new dungeon to be explored when you beat the Four Swords part, so combine that with my favorite Zelda game to date(followed closely by GameCube’s Four Swords Adventures), and it sounds like a definite win.

Except for one thing.? My understanding is that you need at least two copies of the game to play Four Swords, and brothers and sisters, let me just tell you that ain’t happening anytime soon in this house.

Which basically brings up the point: I want to play this dungeon, but don’t really have the means of reaching it.? I have a ProAction Replay for GBA/DS that I got for cheap on clearance some time ago, but never really used.? I would imagine there’s some code that might unlock the dungeon in question.? But is it cheating to do so?

In another example, one that actually applies to a game I own.? Plugging in Boktai 2 into your DS’s GBA slot for Battle Network 5 unlocks Django Soul, and a completed BN5 GBA game will unlock a version of MegaMan’s Bass Cross form.

Is it cheating if I’m not shelling out more money for these extra games, especially when in the case of the Bass Cross I’d be buying an inferior version of the game I already own and would be playing?

Another example: I have Super Mario Bros. 3 for the GBA, and near the end of last year got ahold of an eReader, when it and its cards are mostly pulled from shelves.? I did manage to secure a SMB3 card pack, however, and have enjoyed the stages it allowed me to unlock.? However, the actual process of connecting everything and actually having to BEAT the stage while it’s all hooked up in order to save it for future replays is a major pain in the ass.

If I used the enhancement device to just unlock all those levels and whatever else they provide, is that cheating?

Now, I have to admit, I don’t know if any of these codes actually exist, so it might be a null point, but I’d be surprised if NONE of them existed.

All the same, which of these, if any, counts as cheating?

LBD “Nytetrayn”

  • Sonic Tengu Man

    Well, I consider cheating something like hacking the game to modify your stats to max. However, I also consider it not cheating to hack out items and stuff that isn’t normally available to you, like the Japanese Item set in the Gamecube Animal Crossing, some parts in F-Zero GX, and sidequests that we can’t play like the Forte substory in the EXE 5 GBA games. But the biggest one, to me, is accessing Pokemon that need going to an event to get an item. Not everyone can travel to a distant city to recieve a little piece of data.

    However, I consider it cheating if people use all Master Balls to catch Pokemon, level up through limitless Rare Candies, Infinite Money in any game, having a three star rank without earning it in Mario Kart DS, or breaking the e-reader limit in EXE 5 GBA. Basically, going above and beyond to make yourself uber and basically not doing things fairly just so you can succeed. But gaining items that you can’t normally access or you have a special circumstance isn’t cheating. It’s a strange line, really.

  • Splashman

    Well, yes. Any kind of manipulation to a game can be considered cheating, but not every kind of cheating is the uttermost unmoral work of Satan himself.

    I think the only situation where cheating is truly unjustified is during competition against other players, or if you’re just trying to be a show-off.
    Who the hell should care if you’re taking the backdoor to make your rare items collection and unlockables complete? If it’s for your own enjoyment, then only you yourself should care. And if you already made up your mind that you’ll probably never get such event/card-based unlockables by other means than cheating, then just go for it.

    What you also need to consider is, is the unlockable you recieve in the end really worth all the effort that you have to put into the game?

  • Pkmaniac1

    I think all of those situations would count as cheating, as you would be using game cheats or a device that creates game cheats. As long as it’s they’re not used in some kind of legalese-filled tournament, I don’t see it as wrong. Especially with Megaman.EXE, it’s the most practical way to enjoy the total game without accruing extra, unnecessary costs.

    With everything that is ridiculously rare: cards, comics, books, games (Phoenix Wrights roms), using a substitute or a some other cheat cuts costs, and let’s you do or see what you normally couldn’t. I think anime and some music downloads go into this category.

  • egg

    None of that is cheating.

    It’s not!

    If anything it’s illegal, depending on the process. I mean, after all, in some cases you are unlocking content in your game that you purchased but technically should not have had access to without buying more products.

    But the real fault is of game companies, particularly Nintendo, for releasing useless connectivity and forcing content into them without really justifying their existence or practicality.

    It’s only cheating if you do it online or in a multiplayer context. In which case it /is/ cheating and you deserve to be punished.

    If you’re not cheating players, you’re not cheating.

    It’s like playing solitaire but you constantly make illegal moves. honestly who cares?

  • Bobcat2022

    I’m with egg and Splashman. If you cheat in a single player game, the only person you’re cheating is yourself, and I couldn’t care less. If you cheat in a multiplayer game, you’re an incredible jerk, and may as such be subject to legal recourse and/or beatings. It’s the difference between cheating at Solitaire and cheating at Poker.

    Also, if you go around bragging about how well you cheated at Solitaire, you sound like a major-league tool.

    It’s for this reason that I was thrilled to hear about a feature in the upcoming DS Pokemon games where by, in wireless battles, your Pokemon can be automatically, temporarially leveled up to either level 50 or level 100. They don’t get the benefits of being actually trained for all those levels, like learning the moves or getting the Effort Values, but it allows you to compete on a relatively even field with someone who’s pumped a lot more time into the game. They’ll have to crush you with their strategy- they can’t rely purely on overwhelming force. And I’m for it (’s my source on this one).

  • LBD Nytetrayn

    Bobcat> While I agree in those sets of terms, I don’t think it really applies to the situations I’m looking at above. I’d consider something that boosts my stats or makes me invincible, etc. to be cheating, no doubt.

    It’s the matter of accessing content that cannot be attained through simple gameplay that I’m looking at. No matter how much time I put in, no matter how good I get, that stuff will not make itself available to me unless I start spending an exorbitant amount of money to get it, particularly now that some of the product in question is no longer readily available on store shelves.

    LBD “Nytetrayn”