Gameplay Journal 6: Castlevania 64 Real Time Corruptor
With my first experience with real time corruptor I had an explicit goal of trying to create a playable glitch, one that didn’t entirely crash the game. After about an hour of constant crashes, chaos, and an unplayable mess I was able to dial in an acceptable intensity and stopped auto-corrupting once something interesting but playable was achieved. I wanted to avoid the standard aesthetic of a game glitch as “This trivialization of glitch effects as mere appearance neutralizes the role of glitch in bringing to the surface and interface level the constraints and limitations of the experience of digital media.” (Ferreira, Ribas 115), meaning that there’s a standardization in the zeitgeist of how we think a glitch should look, sound, and feel and I wanted to do something outside of that norm. To pick a game for the corruption I decided to do an early 3D game instead of 2D because I do think that the aforementioned standard glitch aesthetic is something more prevalent in 2D games due to how sprite renderers work and replace sprites with noise. I then chose Castlevania 64 specifically because of the games self serious nature and it’s attempt to straddle the line between gothic horror and action that tends to end up comical, skeletons on motorcycles are featured, which makes it ripe for deconstruction.
The glitch I ended up highlighting is one I’ve titled “Wide Reinhardt.”, it started with the player character’s limbs stretching and distorting and ended with his whole model growing by a factor of two on the X-Axis giving him a wide but flat appearance. The gameplay remained mostly the same, the hit box for Reinhardt did seem to be affected at point and some items and enemies would also grow slightly in size but it was perfectly playable. I initially thought that the glitch reconfigured normal experience with this game by taking something that was meant to be moody and scary and making it absurd by having a man the size of a fridge wail on skeletons. I realized however that the opposite had occurred, a campy, overdramatic, silly game had been made unsettling by the introduction of this glitch and the more I view it the more strange it seems with Reinhardt being out of scale but interacting with this world normally. I think what had occurred was the creation of something uncanny, a figure with human form yet slightly off feeling closer to the monsters fought than than to the person controlling the game.
Ferreira, Pedro and . “Post-Digital Aesthetics in Contemporary Audiovisual Art.” Proceedings of the 8th Conference on Computation, Communication, Aesthetics & X, Universidade do Porto, 8–10 July 2020, 115. https://2020.xcoax.org/xCoAx2020.pdf