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Loophole Abuse / Video Games

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  • A bug or glitch is effectively when the rules a programmer had in mind when writing a software are bypassed because of some flaw in the code that the coder didn't think of. The exact semantics of what counts as a "glitch" are hotly debated in the Speedrunning community, where "Glitchless" speedruns have become popular. They typically agree that an "exploit" is just using a mechanic in a way that the developer didn't intend (e.g., abusing Knockback to reach somewhere you couldn't normally) and a "glitch" is when the coding is exploited (e.g., abusing clipping physics to move around an enemy's loading zone so you don't have to fight it). Even with these definitions, you can tell that there's a massive grey area in between, which is why Glitchless speedruns tend to be controversial.
  • Ain't No Rule against "Ghosting" or "Stream-sniping". Professional people often stream their games. Their opponents are well aware of this, and will join in their stream as an anonymous watcher or as a dummy-account and spy on their opponents when the game doesn't let them do it. Against the rules? Nope — Ain't No Rule saying you can't do it, since it's not part of the game itself.
    • Which is why some professional streams, if they don't quit streaming outright, purposely put in a delay (usually of about 30 seconds or so) to prevent this kind of thing from happening. Twitch, one of the most popular services, does this by default (22 to 45 seconds).
    • Some games like Dota 2 and Apex Legends have also tried to mitigate this by adding in a sorta Streamer Mode option. In Dota, this renders the minimap completely littered with fake wards to hide the locations of the players and their wards. In Apex, it turns all the names of the players into generic names to hide them from everyone else. The option has had varying degrees of success.
  • In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the "Stalk market" has caused several of these:
    • Communication is in theory done via in-game text and/or the Switch online app. Ain't No Rule against using Discords or other forms of social media to communicate since the game offers no in-game way to post Turnip prices to other users.
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    • Ain't No Rule against allowing people on your island... then telling them they are expected to pay up to 10 Nook Mile Tickets. Even though charging entry fees is frowned upon and even a bannable offence by turnip-sharing communities, enforcement is at best slipshod and at worst nonexistent. Therefore players will routinely decide there Ain't No Rule against saying you don't require any fees, then requiring players to pay up when they enter and kick them off when they're called out.
  • The party in Tales of Hearts scales the tall Tower of Heroes King's Cross as part of the Inevitable Tournament, only to be greeted by the recurring tourney champ Ameth, who informs them that there Ain't No Rule about riding an airship to the top of the tower.
  • Referenced in Baldur's Gate II with a magic ring that fires a blast of fire. The flavor text indicates it was used in a duel between two drow, where each was allowed the use of one magical item. It was used by a friend of one of the duelists, who shot the other party in the back from the stands. Being Drow, everyone agreed this was a brilliant interpretation of the rules.
    • During one quest, the party will encounter a summoned creature who was ordered to guard a chest. It can be fought and slain to gain access to the contents of the chest, but a character with sufficient Wisdom can think to ask if the creature was instructed to guard the contents of the chest. It will realise that he was not, and (being rather annoyed with his compelled service) it happily allows you to plunder the contents, seeing as the chest isn't being taken anywhere.
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  • The World Ends with You has the entry fee, in which the Conductor takes from the player whatever is most valuable to him or her. The loophole is that the Conductor gets to choose what that entry fee is. In Week 2, he takes Shiki Misaki as the fee to hide the fact that he can't return her to life (although since Neku and Shiki had become close over the course of Week 1, he didn't suspect anything). In week 3, Kitaniji takes every other player from the game as Neku's entry fee because a player is helpless without a partner. This creates a situation so Unwinnable that even Uzuki and Kariya are doubtful of its morality. Thankfully, there was Beat, a Reaper who was willing to Heel–Face Turn.
  • In Granblue Fantasy, almost all Fate Episodes with battles in them will require the featuring character to be used in the battle, but it does not state which version or rarity. For example, you can use Rosamia's SSR version to clear her R version's episodes.
  • In the Half Life 1 expansion Opposing Forces, protagonist Adrian Shephard can avoid the order to kill Black Mesa personnel to cover up the incident because he never officially got that part of his orders. He should be able to reasonably deduce that part of his orders by asking (or just watching) the others, but remains purposefully ignorant.
  • Explicitly invoked by Aigis in Persona 3: "Nowhere in the school regulations does it state that canines are prohibited from attending school." It doesn't happen.
  • My World, My Way is built around "Ain't no rule" as a gameplay aspect. Why struggle when whining can change your situation?
  • Sissel invokes this in Ghost Trick. He can only go back to four minutes before someone's death, and he can only go back if they've been dead less than a day. But Yomiel's body technically died ten years ago and stayed suspended at the moment of death until the meteorite was removed to make him truly dead. Sissel uses Yomiel's body to go back ten years into the past and avert the events that made Yomiel into a ghost in the first place, thus changing the entire timeline to save everyone.
  • Given that it was a widely-played MMORPG, World of Warcraft has had a few instances, some controversial, some not:
    • Given that this achievement is typically extremely difficult (or, depending on your class, nearly impossible), it's generally considered that the intended way of achieving it is through abusing the rather literal wording of the achievementnote 
    • One particular perk was available to warriors for a very short time after Burning Crusade was introduced: The new Commanding Shout skill increased the max life to everyone within its radius by 1680-ish HP, but also increased the current life by 1680 if the buff hadn't been applied yet. No big deal... except that it also buffed the current life back to 1680+1 if it fell below that amount, giving warriors on low HP basically a free heal every GCD for 10 rage. It got remedied rather quickly.
    • Another Loophole Abuse in the game was involving Warlocks. Demonology warlocks used to have a talent point where their active pet would give them a buff, and if they sacrificed it, they would be given a different buff to replace the one granted by the pet. However, one curious player who had invested in engineering attempted to use the goblin jumper cables on his pet, and to his surprise, the pet then came back to life and granted them the buff...while they still had the buff from sacrificing the demon on top of it. Other warlocks begun to try this too; although it was still a pretty low chance of success, it worked. It wasn't even removed in an Obvious Rule Patch, believe it or not — Blizzard even encouraged people to try it. It was removed before expansions, though.
    • Before it was removed, someone described a pretty creative use of Hello, [Insert Name Here] as a hunter. Ain't No Rule saying you can't give your pet the same name as you to screw up targeting macros.
      • Ain't No Rule against making a couple toons for PvP and then giving them really long names that are hard to type (and start with the same letter) or really similar names for the same purpose.note 
    • Griefing has had many loopholes....
      • "Rooftop camping". Before, there was no rule against people with ranged attacks (especially hunters) standing on the roof of a building in contested territory and firing. Normally, guards should have been able to come in and hurt them, but since the guards could not get up to the roof, they couldn't do anything to stop players from picking off others on the ground. Duskwood was the best place to do this because there was a ledge where you could jump onto a roof and the guards wouldn’t spawn. However, they would normally die from you and not suffer durability loss — in Gadgetzan, it was far more annoying, because people would just shoot one person and then feign death as the guards run over and pummel the poor player to death. Snipers were added on the roofs to prevent this.
      • In neutral Goblin cities (Booty Bay, Ratchet, Gadgetzan, Everlook), Rogues would often grief players by sneaking up to them, sticking a knife in their side, and then vanishing while the guards beat up the player who was busy wondering what was going on.
    • A few rather hilarious examples resulted in an Obvious Rule Patch:
      • Before it was given to Mages as a talent, a boss in Molten Core named Baron Geddon would make a certain raid member a "living bomb", which would cause them to eventually explode and damage all people nearby (including themselves). He could also do this to pets, too — and people realized that you could get past this by simply dismissing the pet. However, one time a hunter did this and then called it out in the middle of a heavily populated city... and he still had the living bomb debuff. A few seconds later, there was a mountain of corpses in the middle of the auction house. Cue people replicating this until it was fixed in a patch.
      • The famous Corrupted Blood Incident resulted from a hunter taking an infected pet into Ironforge & Orgrimmar and spreading the plague across the cities.
      • This was studied by the World Health Organization as an actual epidemic outbreak due to people purposely spreading the plague and many trying to stave the outbreak by quarantining themselves, killing players trying to spread the plague, or healers trying to save lower-level players.
      • Ain't No Rule against putting a single item for sale at a huge price so people buying stuff for crafting professions accidentally buy one item instead of a full stack.
      • In one instance, a programming oversight resulted in a Worgen mob being able to be tamed. So a bunch of hunters eventually caught and tamed this pet.
      • Ain't No Rule that you can't kite high-level world raid bosses into capital cities to sit back and watch the carnage (provided you can achieve the task of getting them across the continent). This was eventually fixed by having bosses leashed to their spawn locations, presumably because the GM team got tired of having to reset the server whenever someone kited Lord Kazzak into Stormwind.
      • A GM invoked this in reverse on someone who asked if they could get banned for kiting Kazzak into Stormwind, noting that while there Ain't No Rule against it, having a 40-man world raid boss rampaging around the human capital city was extremely disruptive for other players, so the GM could consider it a Zone Disruption and punish the player(s) responsible under those terms.
    • Ain't No Rule against bringing friend(s) into the Raid Finder and have them roll on gear they don't need to increase the chances that you'll win it. (This was removed in Pandaria, which gave everyone a piece of loot or gold with bonus chances awardable via tokens.)
    • In a rare positive example that could honestly have been done in any game, a player in a guild had a buddy who was rendered blind by an accident while stationed in Iraq. He regularly performs very well in-game, so how does he do it? The blind player and his friend acting as a "seeing eye dog" used mods, macros, and private-sound channels so that he could play the game blind.
    • Want to transfer a character to another server... but do you also not like their name? Ain't No Rule saying you can't make an alt with the same name, then get a free name change out of it.
    • Aethis Sunreaver didn't help the Horde steal the Divine Bell by moving it through Dalaran. He merely did the equivalent of looking the other way for a few minutes and humming loudly. Unfortunately for him, Jaina didn't care that he didn't technically help them.
    • Potions can provide a variety of useful effects, particularly a large increase to your stats for a few seconds, but unfortunately, players can only use one potion per attempt on raid bosses — once they use a potion, a cooldown goes into effect and they can't use another until combat ends. As such, a common practice is to have players "pre-pot," by consuming a potion seconds before a pull, so that they enter combat with the potion in effect, without the cooldown activating, and can use a second potion during the encounter.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Humans under the Treaty of Farixen are only allowed to build one dreadnought per every five the turians have. Instead, they began building carriers which were not subject to any restrictions. This was mostly because humans were the ones to introduce the concept of carriers to the galaxy in the first place.
    • In Mass Effect 3, there are several ways the quarians try to get around this rule: they were arming every single ship they had so even the huge ships would be armed (and as such weren't purpose-built dreadnoughts), they were salvaging destroyed dreadnoughts (thus making what the quarians were doing technically rebuilding them), the Council is too busy prosecuting the war with the Reapers to pay attention to them, and if the council wasn't, the quarians' signatures were effectively removed from the treaty when they lost their embassy and they largely operate outside the Council's jurisdiction anyway.
    • Doctor Chakwas was the only member of the Normandy crew in the second game to not face any formal charges for working with Cerberus because she had gotten a proper leave of absence from her previous post and refused to accept payment for working as the Normandy's doctor. Though she does acknowledge that if Shepard had actually been judged a war criminal before the Reapers hit, she likely would have been tried as an accessory, so she got lucky there.
    • The Systems Alliance in Mass Effect 3 invokes this as well. Either Shepard is guilty of working with a terrorist organization or of killing 300,000 batarians in Mass Effect 2. Either way, the evidence is clear, since Shepard isn't trying to deny it, but putting Shepard on trial would be devastating for humanity's image in the galactic community, since Shepard is a hero across the galaxy and a paragon for humanity. So the better option is to administratively lock-up Shepard, strip his/her commission, and say that a trial will occur "soon". The galactic community is placated, Shepard isn't dragged over the coals, and everyone goes on with their day (except for the batarians, many of whom were furious that s/he basically got off with time-out and a slap on the wrist).
    • In Mass Effect 2, the krogan Rite of Passage allows the young krogan undertaking it to bring a "krantt", a small group of one or two established warriors. When Grunt undergoes the trial, Shepard and another party member come along as his krantt, because nobody said that the warriors have to be krogan. The traditionalists are pissed, but the clan chieftain and the shaman administering the test allow it (especially if said chieftain is Wrex).
  • In Fire Emblem Awakening, the only way for the fell dragon Grima to truly and permanently die is by his own hand. The mortal vessel used as a sacrifice to bring Grima into this world was the Avatar. Obviously, Grima's not interested in offing himself, but since Grima travelled to a time before the sacrifice was made, the Avatar could kill Grima, as they are the same person. There is a price for abusing this loophole, though: since their souls are tied to one another, Grima's death would also mean the Avatar's death... but if the choice is taken, he or she ends up temporarily erased, but ultimately brings him/herself back.
  • Fire Emblem Fates: Prior to the game's beginning, Nohr was incapable of invading Hoshido because Queen Mikoto erected a protective barrier around Hoshido itself, causing Nohrian soldiers to lose their will to fight as soon as they step into the country's borders. The Nohrians get around this by creating the Faceless, monsters of Black Magic with no minds of their own, to attack Hoshido.
  • Saturos in Golden Sun lives and breathes this trope, routinely making the heroes offers that he words so they don't get anything out of them. The most memorable deal is offering a girl's safety in exchange for a MacGuffin... a girl that he needed safe anyway, and he never said anything about letting her go.
  • Metal Gear Solid has an interesting one. There are laws limiting the use of nuclear missiles. Metal Gear Rex uses a rail-gun to fire nuclear warheads.
  • In Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Raiden's Pre-Asskicking One-Liner against the Final Boss invokes this trope.note 
    "I said my sword was a tool of justice. Not used in anger. Not used for vengeance. But now... Now I'm not so sure. And besides, this isn't my sword."
  • In Disgaea 2, you will repeatedly be subpoenaed by the Dark Court for various "crimes" committed by your party members. This being the Netherworld, you want to have extensive crime records, since it gives benefits. While the rules stipulate that a person has to find and enter the gate to the Dark Court, it doesn't actually have to be the person who did the crime. It also doesn't say only one person has to go in — you can form a ladder and throw up to nine people before the judge, who will write up everyone for this underhanded behavior.
  • Played with in Inazuma Eleven 3, when Coach Kudou forbids the entire team from going outside to practice or play soccer. To Endou, no soccer is probably as bad as having no food to eat, so he grows restless and starts kicking a soccer ball around indoors. Several of his teammates notice and realize that Kudou only forbade practicing outside, so they start doing Improvised Training indoors, as silly as that may sound. But then it turns out this was exactly what Coach Kudou wanted them to do, as being able to control and keep possession of the ball within tight boundaries would turn out to be extremely useful against their next opponents' tactics.
  • In RuneScape, the "Falador Massacre" was a result of a player abusing a glitch. The first player to reach level 99 of Construction held a party in his house. Eventually, so many players flooded the house that it crashed and booted them all to Falador. However, players inside the arena in the player's house were still flagged for PvP (which the other players weren't, and was disabled in that zone at the time) and proceeded to go on a killing spree.
  • The Cavern of Transcendence trial in City of Heroes required a team to get through the enemy-filled caves beneath the Hollows and then enter the Cavern, a massive room filled with monsters, and then activate 8 triggers (one for each team member) simultaneously that were spread throughout the room, in 90 minutes after receiving the mission. The obvious intended challenge was obviously for the team to fight through the caves, then clear out the monsters before activating the triggers. However, activating the triggers is all that's required to actually successfully complete the trial. A standard tactic quickly became having one team member with superspeed (which has a stealth benefit) and/or flight plus invisibility or some kind of stealth power, and recall (teleporting one teammate to your position) race through the caves, past all the enemy mobs, to the Cavern door and teleport in teammates. Upon entering the Cavern, the stealth teleporter would go to each trigger in turn and bring in a teammate, again without alerting any of the monsters. End result? A 90-minute trial that could be finished in a few minutes without having to engage a single enemy.
  • A shortcoming in the engine that supported Defense of the Ancients: All-Stars allowed players to kill their own mobs. So what this encouraged was someone to stay behind and kill every single one of "their" mobs so the enemies couldn't get experience at all, and thus the "Deny" mechanic was born.
    • Another notable example relates to neutral creeps, mobs that spawn in set camps for either side to kill for money. Creep camps are rigged to respawn at set intervals if cleared. However, the trigger that respawns them checks whether there are units in the camp, not whether the existing creeps are actually dead. Players quickly found out that, by drawing aggro from a creep camp and luring it away just as it's about to respawn, you can spawn multiple camps in the same place and thus give more money to your side's players that need it. Creep stacking, as it came to be known, is now an integral mechanic of the game and actively encouraged by the Updated Re-release Dota 2. The creep trigger is also exploited in the opposite direction by people planting invisible wards in creep camps so that they don't respawn until the ward goes away, starving the other team of money.
    • The sequel by Valve added a pause feature so people don't have to have a Bladder of Steel (or in case something happens that makes their game client crash). Even if a player leaves, it won't necessarily cost their team the game. In order to prevent people from using this as an excuse to pause the game and plan ganks or other elaborate plans, any person can force-unpause the game. However, this appears to have encouraged the perverse Double Standard that whenever the afk player is on their team, the other team will wait for them...and whenever they're on your team, you can practically hear the other team saying, "Ain't No Rule saying we can't constantly force-unpause the game and get further ahead while they're gone." This has been somewhat addressed by not allowing the other side to unpause for a certain amount of time if they do it enough (which brings back the original problem).
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • In the backstory, the Dwemer were known to bend the "Earth Bones" (essentially the laws of nature and physics) with their creations, allowing them to last for millennia. Notably, the core of the Dwemer's magical technology involved machines and tools designed to manipulate "tonal architecture" or the sounds and vibrations created by the "Earth Bones." In effect, they completely bypassed "normal" magic (which involves using the magicka that flows into the world through the sun and the stars) and instead hijacked the fundamental laws of the world and used them for their own ends.
    • The Bosmer (Wood Elves) are bound to the Green Pact, a deal they made with the patron deity of their forest homeland. The Bosmer use a range of options for getting around the restrictions of the Green Pact. For example, the Green Pact says that one cannot harm living plants, and cannot eat food made from plants. However, some Bosmer eat raw fruit that has fallen from trees and they are able to eat mushrooms, which do not count as plants. It's also acceptable to eat insects, honey, and dairy products. Additionally, while they may not harm the plant-life of Valenwood, certain outsiders are allowed to, and the Bosmer have been known to purchase lumber from outsiders who cut the trees. They are also known to import wood from other regions into Valenwood when necessary.
    • In Skyrim, if you use Thu'um shouts within the view of a hold's guards, they'll get on your case and tell you to stop that "... shouting thing". If you take the "Make me" route in the dialog, they say there isn't any rule against it really, and then cut off with "I'm watching you..."
    • In a similar vein, if you need to kill someone in a hold in Skyrim but don't want to incur the negative penalties for murder, you can just use Unrelenting Force to blow them off a high ledge. You'll get fined for Assault (as the Thu'um is considered an attack), but you won't be fined or jailed for murder, as it's technically not you who killed them, but the fall that did. Similarly, if you need to grab something from someone's inventory without it count as stealing, killing them this way would let you grab it with impunity (minus, again, the fine for assault) from their corpse.
  • In Phantasy Star Online, when using a telepipe or the technique Ryuker, the portal created by it would remain up until the player that created it traveled back through it. There was nothing to prevent two different players in the party from creating a portal each, then using each other's portals: as long as they never use their own portals, they could stay up indefinitely, sparing resources.
  • League of Legends often gives deals to get champion skins for free. However, if you do not have the champion in question, you can still get the champion and the skin for free.
  • Related, PC gamer magazine often runs a code to receive a freebie for a game in its magazine, such as a free pet in Guild Wars or a free champion (and a skin) in League of Legends. There's always at least one person who goes onto their forums and asks them for a new code because theirs didn't work — Ain't No Rule saying people can't just go into a magazine store, take a copy of the magazine, snap a picture with their phone or write it down, and then enter it into the game without having to pay a cent for the magazine.
    • Newer issues of PC Gamer (at least the UK version) now come in a sealed plastic or cardboard sleeve to stop that sort of thing.
  • Fate/stay night is filled with these.
    • The Holy Grail War is a fight between Servants. Ain't No Rule that you can't kill a Master (who is usually a Squishy Wizard) to make their Servant disappear. In fact, since not all Servants are suited to direct combat, sometimes it's the only way to have a chance.
    • A Master is given the power to summon one Servant, and if he loses it, he can form a contract with a Servant whose Master was killed. Ain't No Rule that he can't form contracts with multiple Servants at once (though, given the mana requirements a single Servant has, a mage strong enough to provide for multiple Servants would be rare indeed).
    • There does seem to be a rule that one Servant can't summon another, but the Grail's punishment is simply to make it a fake Servant who can still fill the role nicely enough.
    • Ain't No Rule that the supervisor of the war can't compete in the war.
    • The Berserker class has probably never been used for its original purpose (powering up a weak Servant to usable levels), with every known Master opting to make a powerful Servant even more powerful.
      • On a related subject, the Berserker class is supposed to trade its sanity in exchange for raw power; the sanity reduction does hinder the Servant's fighting ability, but the power increase is supposed to make up for this and make the trade-off a net positive. However, there Ain't No Rule that says you don't get the power if your Servant has a skill which effectively renders the sanity loss moot (for instance, the Fate/Zero Berserker has a skill called Eternal Arms Mastership, meaning his fighting abilities aren't affected by mental hindrances... like the sanity loss caused by his class), allowing for the Servant’s fighting ability to fully benefit from the power increase without being impacted by the sanity reduction.
    • Ain't No Rule that you have to wait until the war begins to summon your Servant.
    • Broken Phantasm is a technique that releases all the power in a Servant's legendary weapon at once, destroying it in the process. Ain't No Rule that you can't use it with temporary copies of weaponsnote .
    • From the 3rd Holy Grail war in the backstory and Fate/hollow ataraxia: Ain't No Rule that you can't apply your family's "cast spells twice" ability to the ritual that summons Saber. Meanwhile, the summoning of Angra Mainyu as Avenger was an attempt at Ain't No Rule that suffered from Epic Fail and Gone Horribly Right (they tried to summon the God of Evil and got a random guy whom early humans used as a scapegoat, who has no powers and only qualifies as a Servant by being the embodiment of humanity's wish for evil to exist in a form they can see; when he died, his spirit entered the Grail... which grants wishes).
    • One example not related to the Grail War rules: in Fate/Zero, Kiritsugu puts himself under a geas that he will not harm Kayneth, provided that Kayneth gives up on the Grail and kills his Servant. Kayneth agrees and does so... and is immediately shot dead by Kiritsugu's ally. After all, Kiritsugu himself did not harm Kayneth.
    • The Grail War is full of loopholes because many of the rules were made by the Mages' Association and Holy Church, but the Grail only follows its own rules. As far as the Grail is concerned, there ain't no rule Masters have to be chosen from members of either of those organizations, or that their Servants have to recognize their rules.
    • In the end, really the rules are just flimsy guidelines and a set of things you physically can and can't do, but at the end of the day, all that really matters is that the last man standing can claim the prize (and they might not do even that). For example, it looks like a rule that every entrant is a Master with Command Seals to control and maintain their Servant, but all that's really there is that Command Seals help control a Servant, and Masters are granted them; anything from an unruly Servant, to Masters stealing Seals, to alliances, to unrelated parties jumping in, to even the supposed neutral ground can jump in on the action. Anyone who strictly plays by the intended rules is doomed to get taken out by everyone else.
    • In Fate/Grand Order, Merlin pulls one off against the rules of reality: it is impossible for a living person to be summoned as a Servant, and since Merlin exists eternally in Avalon, he will never die. However, he managed to get summoned as a Servant in Babylonia because that time was before he was born, so from the perspective of the world thousands of years ago, he was "not alive" and therefore must be considered "dead".
      • King Solomon's final Noble Phantasm, Ars Nova, returns all of his gifts back to God and ends his existence. Doing this requires all ten of his Magic Rings to be gathered in the same location. It does not however require all ten rings to be in the possession the same person. Thus, Dr. Romani (the reincarnated Solomon) is able to use the 10th ring to erase both himself and his original self's corpse (which is being animated by Goetia and holding the other 9 rings) once he's in the same room with Goetia, and there's nothing Goetia can do about it.
  • Similar to Germany before World War II (see Real Life example), the USSR in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 manages to build up a large military partly through this trope. One of the restrictions is the limitation on military aircraft. So, the Soviets build thousands of armored zeppelins to act as bombers. Ain't No Rule about mind-controlling giant squids to sink Allied ships, right? Having powerful psychics under your command means you can have every Allied inspector come back saying exactly what you want him to say, even if he just saw a column of Apocalypse tanks roll by.
  • Tin Star has an example, with the sheriff Tin Star trying to figure out how to deal with an invasion of bandits dressed up as women without breaking the code "never shoot women and children".
    Mo: Now what do we do, Tin Star? Why are you looking at that Good Guy Code of the West?
    Tin Star: Looking for loopholes. Aha!
    Mo: What?
    Tin Star: It says here "never shoot women and children."
    Mo: Yeah, so?
    Tin Star: So these are just women on their own! Get my guns, Mo!
  • Used to thwart the fal'Cie's plan in Final Fantasy XIII. The l'Cie's Focus was to destroy Cocoon by killing Orphan, the fal'Cie responsible for providing the rest of the Cocoon fal'Cie with the power needed for maintaining Cocoon's vital functions. The Focus didn't say anything about what they could do after they accomplished this task, which is the loophole Fang and Vanille abuse to save Cocoon from crashing into Gran Pulse and killing its entire populace as the fal'Cie wanted.
  • The Professor Layton series absolutely adores this trope. With each game's puzzle collection, you can expect at least 20% of it to be comprised of puzzles that can only be solved by exploiting loopholes in the rules.
    • Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box:
      • Puzzle No. 34 shows 5 trees in a row. The question is which two trees are furthest from each other. All five seem to be equally separated at first glance, but the solution is lateral thinking: the ones in the far ends. No one says that the trees you're asked about must be adjacent.
      • Puzzle No. 37 features a pro golfer who can putt exactly a number of distances (3, 5, 7, and 11 feet). The puzzle asks you what's the minimum number of putts he needs to sink the ball when he's 20 feet away from the hole. It can only be solved by assuming the golfer putts diagonally 11 and 11. After all, no one said all putts have to be directed at the hole.
      • Puzzle No. 74 requires you to use two corks to plug up a maze of twisting passages to ensure that the smell of the garlic does not reach the person's nose. A careful examination of the puzzle reveals that you would need three corks to block all the holes, so you instead put them over the person's nostrils.
    • One puzzle in Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask, like other similar puzzles, requires you to hit various colored blocks on their side with a hammer so that they are arranged in a certain order. The other ones involved hitting them in a certain order, but this specific puzzle is impossible... unless you hit the block at the bottom, which tilts the base on which the stones rest and causes them to slide into the correct positions.
  • In Return to Zork, when you're about to finish the game, you can simply go on a killing spree. No wait, The Guardian will not allow this. However, you can simply stab them, then drop all your items (that he'll take) so the Guardian will confiscate your nothing. Then you can pick all your items up, and go on a rampage by repeating the process.
  • In the Japanese pornographic game Monster Girl Quest, there's a commandment handed down by the Goddess Ilias — one commandment out of many, of course. The commandment is that humans must never give their semen to monsters by sexual intercourse, since monsters are "evil" and such an act is taboo. Alice abuses a loophole when she wants to give Luka a good time before his fight with the Monster Lord, who is Alice herself: Alice has a "human form" she can transform into, and because she has intercourse with Luka in her human form and not her monster form, Luka isn't breaking the commandment when they have sex. Meia the mermaid and Sara the human also engage in sexual relations with Luka the protagonist, but more loophole abuse comes into play: Meia gives Luka a blowjob; she doesn't actually have intercourse with him, so the commandment isn't broken. And Sara also just gives Luka a blowjob, but even if they had sex, it wouldn't matter since Sara is human. So the only actual intercourse that canonically happens without losing a fight is the one with Alice, who is in her human form when they do it. However, virtually all lost fights lead to rape in this game.
  • Touhou
    • Marisa Kirisame has promised that all the long-lived youkai she's "borrowed" spellbooks and things from can have them back when her short human life ends, either by death or by becoming a youkai herself. One of her works-in-progress, occasionally seen in background material? An Elixir of Life.
    • Gensokyo has some very strict rules as to eating humans, with youkai only allowed to attack humans during the night, and only then if they aren't in one of the designated safe areas, the Human Village being the largest. However, this doesn't apply to humans from outside Gensokyo, leading to the not uncommon practice of youkai abducting humans from outside the Barrier to eat them (Remilia is implied to receive her food in this way, courtesy of Yukari). There also isn't any rule saying that humans have to know about these rules, so if a hapless human is to accidentally fall through the Barrier (a semi-regular occurrence) and stay out after dark, well...
  • Some online games have cracked down on mods because a lot of players would say "Ain't No Rule I can't just mod the game so that it plays for me or gives me an advantage."
    • On a similar note, games with glitches, exploits, or just plain overpowered moves/characters that are impossible to counter are heavily abused in online games, while the people who use said exploits shrug their shoulders and wonder why people are making a fuss over something everyone can easily do.
    • This mentality leads to a highly ironic double standard in Gunz The Duel, where an exploit existed that let players block, jump, and fire a shotgun in rapid succession — and continue to do so indefinitely, letting them essentially fly while defending and attacking all at once. The exploit became so widespread it became one of the main ways to play the game. The irony comes in in that players could be called 'Sprayer Noob' if they used a regular weapon to take them out by relying on automatic fire or splash damage to tag the agile sword users. So yes, some people get so deep into the exploit that not only do they not make a fuss over themselves using it, they can take offense to someone playing the game normally and actually defeating the exploit.
  • Pokémon:
    • Random Number Generator, or RNG abuse. As long as you have the right computer software, you can catch or hatch a mon with perfect stats, even a shiny one, quite easily.
    • Ultra Necrozma is actually very easy prey to Artificial Stupidity if you lead with a Zoroark that disguises as a Poison-Type or Fighting-Type Pokémon at the last slot in your party. And with Darkinium-Z, Zoroark can set up and unleash a +6 Black Hole Eclipse without even a scratch! (This A.I. Breaker has actually existed since Pokémon Black and White, since the AI doesn't see through Illusion.)
    • The Generation VI trading server has one. It only checks for illegal moves, not illegal move combos; therefore, while you can't trade a Pichu that knows Surf or Fly, you can trade a female Shiny Pikachu that knows Surf, Fly, and Volt Tackle all at oncenote . This loophole was patched for Generation VII so that illegal move combos are flagged as well.
    • Steel type pokemons, introduced in Gen II, are immune to poison type attacks, and by definition, immune to getting poisoned as well. But due to an oversight, they can still be poisoned by the attack "Twinneedle" since it is not a poison attack, it is bug. This was fixed in Gen III.
    • Starting in Generation II, legendary Pokémon are genderless so that the player can't breed them to make a whole army of unstoppable legendaries. However, aside from cheating via cheat devices/modified save files, there's nothing to stop a player from having a second copy of a game and a second handheld console where they can get more legendary Pokémon and transfer them to the first copy. While it can be done, doing this method would take quite a long time.
  • Many builds of the Shifter class from Neverwinter Nights involve taking a few residuals levels of Monk, in order to catch feats, armor class based on the wisdom modifier, and competency with the unarmed shapes. Because only a few levels are needed, this would incur in a nasty XP multiclass penalty if you are not human or half-elf. Some crafty players pick elves nevertheless (whose favored class is Wizard) and essentially forget about multiclass XP penalty at druid level 5. Shapeshifting overrides the current race by the race of the creature, and thus the preferred class of the creature (which is the same as humans usually, that is, the class with the highest level).
  • The Witch's House: There is a note on the third floor warning Viola not to be distracted in the following corridor, and walk in a straight line to the exit. If the player doesn't ever read the sign, they can go off the straight line as much as they want: ignorance of the rule excuses you!
  • GrimGrimoire uses this at the very end as the capper to Lillet Blan's rise to Magnificent Bitchhood. You see, whenever a major demon like Grimlet is summoned, you are allowed one wish from that demon in exchange for your soul — the demon, of course, is imprisoned in hell if it ever fails, or refuses, to fulfill this wish. Nothing is ever said as to the context of the wish... and Lillet exploits this loophole to eliminate him by asking him to embrace God. Advocat exclaims afterwards that he never felt such joy in a hundred years.
  • In Bioshock Infinite, Father Comstock loves to abuse loopholes, particularly ones in the Bible, to justify his violence and racism. Comstock also only describes the United States as the Sodom Below when referring to it in terms of Columbia's secession, because he justifies the secession by arguing that the U.S. had become so corrupt from its founding principles that it was no longer really America any more. In this light, technically Columbia did not secede, it became the United States and cast out everything on the ground from the Union.
    "The Lord Forgives everything, but I'm just a prophet, so I don't have to. Amen."
  • In BioShock 1 and BioShock 2, Rapture technically doesn't have any rules aside from not compromising Rapture's secrecy, so when Lamb and then Fontaine threaten Andrew Ryan's position of power, he has to resort to this trope to protect his power, claiming the former is a Bolshevik spy and claiming the latter's smuggling will expose Rapture to the rest of the world in order to have them... removed. Unfortunately for him, his hypocrisy is obvious to the rest of Rapture, starting a chain of events that lead to a civil war.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, one of the sidequests you can undertake from the NCR's Mojave Outpost is to clear out giant ants at an intersection. Do that and inquire about a reward, the Ranger who gave you the quest will state that he said nothing about a reward and that NCR can't legally sanction mercenaries — right before he hands you some supplies anyway, stating that they're "misplaced" items which "nobody will miss". (This makes that quest a strange case of Double Subversion where the quest-giver appears to be using Loophole Abuse to deny you a reward, then uses Loophole Abuse to give you a reward.) The only other quest you can get from NCR personnel at the outpost (checking out Nipton for the other Ranger on the roof), sure enough, gets you no reward beyond the usual experience point bonus.
    • The Courier can become the beneficiary of accidental Loophole Abuse when finding the robot Yes Man in Benny's suite. Benny programmed him to be polite and follow every order he's given. However, he forgot to specify "only follow orders from me", which means anyone can boss Yes Man around just as easily as Benny, and thus the Courier can use him to help him/her take over New Vegas him/herself. Yes Man himself actually says it was quite dumb of Benny to not specify such a rulenote , and if the Courier completes the game by taking over Vegas with Yes Man's help, Yes Man will say he is updating his programming to become "more assertive", which was clarified by Word of God to mean that he was putting in the rule Benny neglected so that he will only follow orders from the Courier.
    • That said, Yes Man finds creative ways to politely express a lack of understanding should the Courier pursue... alternative methods of taking over New Vegas:
    Yes Man: "You... blew it up! That's just funny, because that... army seems like the secret weapon that was the whole point of... you know... I can't get over how brave you are to destroy all those Securitrons at the fort! You know, it's going to make everything so much more... uhhhh... challenging! Yeah! Challenging!"
  • Danganronpa is full of these: Monokuma is happy to admit that he deliberately introduces rules including exploitable loopholes, partly because he uses those loopholes himself. Some of these include:
    • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc:
      • Monokuma introduces a ban on students lending their ID cards to each other. Ain't no rule that you can't borrow or steal an ID card; and, in fact, Monokuma leaves the dead students' ID cards in a publicly accessible box in the school lobby where anyone can pick them up.
      • You can't break down locked doors. Later in the game, though, the students break down a door into a sealed room, because it was barred, not locked.
      • Any student who kills another and then is discovered at the trial faces execution, but ain't no rule that they actually have to die. Towards the end of the game, Alter Ego and Kyoko Kirigiri manage to disrupt Naegi's execution and bring him back into the school, causing Monokuma, who can't break the rules to execute Naegi again, to fly into a rage and allow a "final trial", which sets up the ending of the game.
      • The students are forbidden from sleeping anywhere but the dorm rooms. However, the rule does not specify that students have to sleep in their assigned room, nor are they forbidden from sharing a room with another student. Also, it only covers deliberately sleeping, being knocked unconscious is not counted as a violation of the rule.
      • There is a rule that says a participant may not kill more than two people. More than once has someone tried to bypass this using the exact same loophole: specifically, participants may not kill more than two people, but Monokuma can, and the person in question deliberately sets things up so that the students accuse the wrong person at the class trial, getting everyone but the murderer killed, thus killing more than two people. Yes, this means the one who tries to pull this dies too, but circumstances tend to mean they don't care.
    • Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair:
      • Monokuma cannot kill a student unless they break a rule. What he can do is lock them in an area without food and wait for them to starve, unless they fulfill the escape clause of any student dying. Technically it's the students' fault if they starve.
      • The entire premise of that game can revolve around this. Once Monokuma took the role as the teacher for the Neo World Program, Monokuma needed to find loopholes in order for his plan into reviving Junko Enoshima to work as the role of the teacher can not kill a student unless they break the rules. Because of that, he ended up creating the killing school trip as if a student committed murder, they would have broke the rule against violence at the island thus Monokuma has the right to execute the killer if they kill somebody.
      • Nagito ended up threatening to blow up the entire island killing everybody inside it (which is actually a bluff, but Hajime doesn't know that yet). Hajime attempts to convince Monokuma to stop him as this is a violation of the rule in which you can't kill more than two people. Monokuma refuses to stop him as punishments only apply after a rule is broken. There are no rules about intent to break other rules.
    • Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony:
      • The game has the same basic premise, but a slightly different ruleset, so many of these loopholes no longer apply, and some new ones are created. For example, there is a rule saying that you may not enter the gym or the pool after nighttime... but no rules saying that you cannot enter the pool area after nighttime... or that corpses cannot enter the gym at nighttime.
      • There is a big change to the "two murder limit" rule. There is no limit to the number of people you are allowed to kill. Also, the killing game ends when there are only two people left. The loophole these two rules create does not go unnoticed - kill everyone but two people (ideally yourself and someone else), and the game ends with no class trial or execution.
  • Until the 1990s, South Korea banned all Japanese products from entering the country. Nintendo got around the ban by abusing a loophole whereby products sold by Korean companies were considered Korean. Nintendo commissioned Hyundai Electronics and later Daewon to distribute its products in Korea. Since Hyundai and Daewon were Korean companies, that effectively made Nintendo products Korean, thus avoiding the ban.
  • Valkyrie Crusade gives you bonuses for posting achievements to Twitter. The idea is to spread the word about the game and get rewarded in exchange. However, the game only checks that you've sent a tweet, not whether you've preserved the contents of the original tweet, such as the link to or the name of the game; you can make a spoof of the tweet, change it completely, or send it as a direct message to yourselfnote . Another option is to make an alternate Twitter account exclusively for game-related spam and send your tweets there. Of course, there's a catch; whether you use the tweet function properly or not, each type of achievement will only yield bonuses once per day, to prevent total abuse.
  • Though it was once allowed for a Diva vs Superstar prior towards 2009, the WWE Series including 2k doesn't allow for intergender matches. However, gamers got around this by having a female manager and disabling the DQ rule at the setting for each match. There's no rules about Diva attacking a Superstar and vice versa in Create-A-Story cut senses.
  • MechWarrior Living Legends Planetary League and scrimmages were full of loophole abuse:
    • In one notorious League match, the Knights of the Inner Sphere took one of their typical lances - a mix of long range Battlemechs, a scout mech, and a pair of aerospace fighters. The attacking team, Clan Smoke Jaguar, took almost entirely close-range brawling mechs (and one aerospace fighter) on a map where the engagement range is measured in kilometers. When the SJs realized how screwed they were when their only long range asset, the plane, was blasted out of the sky, they decided to force a draw by hiding inside their spawn hangars, where the Knights low-DPS sniping mechs would have no chance against the SJ's brawlers. They did it again in the next round and demanded that KoS cede victory to CSJ if they wanted end the pointless match to get out of the hour-long camp. Needless to say, this caused a lot of rage from the Inner Sphere units and even a few Clanner units, forcing a rule change in the next round so that any units still in the hangar after a round begins are forfeited
    • There is usually a "no ejecting" rule in scrims, though the rule is very grey when players crash - In a scrim between the 12th Vegan Rangers and the Knights of the Inner Sphere, KOS suffered a player crash in the middle of combat but continued to fight on. At one point, the last Knight - with both arms blown off and only a pair of machine guns, ejected out of his battlemech and used the Battlearmor's laser to finish off a critically Vegan mech, then hopped into the empty mech of the crashed player and chased down, legged, then (eventually) killed the last Vegan mech. However, the Knights ceded victory to the Vegans due to the greyness of the situation and the general good spirit between the two units.
  • Phantom Brave has a particularly bastardly example. At one point, Marona is hired for a mission to stop Raphael from causing problems in a village, only for it to turn out to be an imposter. The man who hired Marona subsequently refuses to pay her because, regardless of who was actually behind it, the job requirements explicitly stated that she had to stop Raphael. In a spot of Laser-Guided Karma, the real Raphael, who had shown up to help Marona stop the imposter and who had heard the entire exchange, promptly starts causing trouble himself, with Marona declining the man's plea for help and walking away.
  • In Shadowverse: Several Dragoncraft cards offer great effects in exchange for having to discarding your low-cost cards first. However, what isn't immediately noticeable (due to needing to read between the lines in the card text) is that the player doesn't need to have anything to discard to get the effect to work. Crafty Dragon players utilize this quirk to bypass the "costs" of these effects and minimize loss in card advantage.
  • Super Robot Wars normally doesn't allow characters to pilot Humongous Mecha from outside their own series. However, Super Robot Wars Z 3: Jigoku-hen manages to put Heero Yuy and Chirico Cuvie in the Bonta-kun Powered Armor from Full Metal Panic!. This works because Bonta-kun's "pilot" is Bonta-kun himself, with his own stats and abilities separate from his creator and primary user, Sousuke Sagara. Thus Banpresto simply included both Bonta and Sousuke as separate characters on the same stage, and then had the dialog outright say that Heero or Chirico was using the suit (as well as making them otherwise unavailable on that stage).
  • The goal of Don't Shit Your Pants is to...well, not shit your pants. While the correct solution is to go in the toilet like a civilized human being, the player also gets a victory chime for taking off their pants and shitting on the floor. Hey, technically you didn't shit your pants.
  • Dominions has the Divine Emperor Pretender (Pretenders is a Dominions term for godlike beings vying to become the true supreme god of the world), which is the beneficiary of a quirky loophole: the nations that have the Divine Emperor available apparently uses Roman-style post-death deification of their emperors. The Divine Emperor is the son of the previous emperor, who, being dead, is a god, making his son the Son of God. As the Son of God, the Divine Emperor is sufficiently divine to lay claim to Pretenderhood and all the perks thereof (like immortality) despite really being an ordinary human.
  • The notorious Redemption mission in X-Wing is a lot simpler when you realize that the objective is that the Redemption, the Corvette, and all three shuttles make it to hyperspace before being destroyed, and not that the shuttles and Corvette have to unload their wounded onto the Redemption. You can simply order the three shuttles to hyperspace home as soon as they jump into the system, which means that the Corvette can begin unloading its wounded immediately and leaving you with three fewer fragile targets to defend.
  • In the final boss fight in Scribblenauts Unmasked, Brainiac sets it up so that, if you summon a hero from this dimension, he'll toss them right out of the barrier he's trapped Maxwell in. However, that doesn't include alternate universe versions of those heroes, so summoning Batman Beyond is incredibly fair game!
  • In Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, G0-T0 has every law of every planet stored in his memory, which he uses to coerce a trapped salvager in the ruins of the Jedi Enclave into selling his haul.
    G0-T0: Amendment 1695-30 of the Khoonda Civil Code allows us to sell you into slavery.
    Jorran: What?! That's ridiculous!
    G0-T0: Paragraph 12: Salvageable items include organic matter incapable of leaving the boundaries of the salvage area.
  • in Star Ocean: The Last Hope , following the destruction of the Eldarian homeworld, the USTA declares that the SRF is to be disbanded. In fact, it never existed, and therefore couldn't have caused the destruction like the Eldarians claim. Commander "Lightspeed" Kenny is ordered to carry this out by destroying all remaining SRF vessels, but when he encounters Edge and his crew and explains the situation to them, Edge refuses to stand down, even knowing that he'll be branded a pariah, and the rest of the crew stands with them. Kenny decides to let them go. Afterwards, in explaining how they'll justify this to one of his comrades, they never encountered any SRF vessels. After all, there is no SRF and never was, so how could have any vessels?
  • PAYDAY 2:
    • The Fugitive skill "Hidden Blade" is made slightly more useful than it might otherwise be thanks to Exact Words. The description states that increases your melee weapon's concealment by 2 points. Thing is, you have to have something the game classifies as a melee weapon, even if it's simply bashing cops with the stock/grip of your gun or even punching them out, so in practice the skill simply gives the player a flat 2-point increase to Concealment.
    • A pager will only trigger the alarm on the last answer if it's allowed to finish its entire "answering" loading bar. If another player comes and starts answering it, the first player can let go without setting off the alarm. The same player can then start "answering" the same pager again, allowing the second player to disconnect. Rinse and repeat to keep the alarm from going off. In a pinch, "pager juggling" can allow a team to kill more than the usual 4 guards with pagers (although it requires immensely good coordination between teammates, as well as a steady internet connection).
    • Civilians in a heist will walk around and raise the alarm if they see suspicious activity, so the idea in stealth missions is to avoid them if you can, subdue them if possible, and only kill them as a last resort. The cash penalty was meant to de-incentivize the killing of civilians, making heists less lucrative for the trigger-happy heister. In practice most people did stealth heists for the stealth and exp bonus, as a few lucrative loud heists could easily make up the loss (if any, considering this game was also quite liberal on giving out cash), so most people will simply walk in, drop an ECM to block cameras and alarms, and chuck a grenade into the room while picking off stragglers. The requirement for stealthing a heist only mentions no alarms, didn't say anything about leaving everything intact.
    • One of the Achievements for Car Heist requires you to finish it within 4 minutes. It does not say you have to stealth it despite the heist being a stealth-only one. Since the alarm triggers a countdown to failure and the countdown is exactly 4 minutes on the easiest difficulty, most people will just arm themselves to the teeth and charge in the front door instead of the usual method of sneaking in (which can take a lot longer for less experienced heisters). As a bonus, the alarm also functions as a in-game timer for the achievement, which is rather handy as the game doesn't have any other built-in way to track in-game time until the end screen.
  • In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Mario comes across four black treasure chests on his journey that contain demons that trick him into letting them out of their prison and then cursing him for his trouble. Except that these curses are actually very useful abilities with no downsides that are necessary to complete the game. Two of them even require standing on special panels to work! Paying an NPC to learn about the game's backstory reveals that these demons were once the legendary heroes who originally fought and defeated the Big Bad, but became cursed themselves, and changed into the demons that Mario finds. From this, one can gather that the demons are required to curse whoever lets them out, but found a loophole that allows them to give beneficial curses as long as they pretend it's something terrifying and horrible. And they really ham it up too. The fourth one is extremely disappointed when Mario tells it to just shut up and curse him already, and then is very grateful that Mario lets it do its monologue in the end.
  • In the Groove 2's r21 update allows players to play their own songs, but the song must not be tagged as longer than 2 minutes. Emphasis on "tagged"; the game reads the sound file's metadata to check for length, but it's possible to tinker with the metadata so that the game thinks a 5-minute song is actually only 1:45 long. The r23 update closes this loophole up by just cutting off songs after 2 minutes and 15 seconds. The popular Simply Love theme for the freeware game Stepmania shows the most popular fake song length, 1:45, as "not 1:45".
  • While more of a legal matter than an active form of Copy Protection, unlicensed developers who developed or bootlegged games for the Game Boy exploited a loophole on how the handheld implemented its licensing enforcement system. The Game Boy checks for the presence of the "Nintendo®" logo in the ROM image, but reads it twice - once to display it, and another to check against its own copy. Since including the trademark in an unlicensed game would be grounds for trademark infringement, intrepid developers got around this by loading a custom logo on the first check, while still keeping the Nintendo trademark for authentication purposes. Nintendo may still sue unlicensed developers for releasing games for the handheld, but they can use the custom logos as a form of Plausible Deniability in that no trademarks are visibly violated, but that would be moot once the ROM is disassembled and studied.
    • This has however been rendered pointless once the courts ruled in Accolade's favour in Sega v. Accolade, where Sega's trademark enforcement system was questioned as being monopolistic, and bypassing it by third parties on the grounds that it is for the purposes of lawful interoperability was ruled as fair use.
  • In Starcraft II Legacy Of The Void, this is how Alarak became First Ascendant of the Tal'darim. The Tal'darim operate off of a regulated form of Klingon Promotion (normally attacking a superior or even drawing your weapon in their presence is a crime punished by execution, but you can challenge them to a formal duel to the death known as Rak'shir where you take their position if you win), and Alarak, cunning sort that he is, noticed that while there is a rule against attacking a superior outside of Rak'shir, there Ain't No Rule that you can't talk your superior into challenging their superior in the knowledge that whoever wins, you'll be promoted. In the short story that debuted him, he got another: in Rak'shir, the two combatants can be assisted psionically by other Tal'darim who declare for them. Alarak entered the arena without declaring who he was supporting, supported one candidate (the former First Ascendant), then at the last second declared for the opponent and turned the tables, noting that while once you declare for a candidate, you have to continue supporting them until the end, there Ain't No Rule that you have to declare who you're supporting at the start of the duel.
  • In Tyranny, you are tasked to proclaim an Edict to the Generals of your side (reading a magical scroll filled with the power of the evil overlord), setting a day and month by when the rebel base has to be conquered, or every living thing in the region dies. Usually that results in a time limit of 8 days to do the various quests and avoid certain death. But... if you abuse an opportunity for a free resting spot, you can actually delay the reading and activation of the edict until after the date, which gives a time limit of a whole year since no year was specified in the Edict and it only goes into effect when you proclaim it. Similarly, the same Edict also claims that the Forces of Kyros must claim the Spire, meaning that if you so wish you can ally with the opposing army and fight both generals to conquer the Spire, since you yourself happen to be a servant of Kyros.
    • A later Edict involves ending the Regency of Stalwart in order to lift the Edict of Storms. Upon killing said Regent, you learn that he recently just had a grandchild who is now the heir to the Royal line, forcing you to commit infanticide... Unless you have the sufficient Lore knowledge or a scroll from the Vellum Citadel that lets you get the child's mother renounce her daughter's claim to the throne, which will also end the Edict. Tunon himself will even note how this was not Kyros intended the Edict to be resolved.
    • The citizens of Bastard's Wound tries to argue this when encountered, claiming that their settlement is beneath an Oldwall, not in an Oldwall, and therefore not in violation of Kyros' law (which mandates death for it). It probably wouldn't stand in Tunon's court, but as the Fatebinder on the scene it is entirely possible for you to roll with it.
  • Mortal Kombat 9: The Elder Gods use this to justify their refusal to intervene on Earthrealm's behalf during Shao Kahn's invasion. As they explain, invading other realms without declaring Mortal Kombat is not itself a transgression; since Shao Kahn hasn't actually merged Earthrealm with Outworld, he hasn't broken the rules, so they have no reason to intervene. For his part, Raiden considers it a Distinction Without a Difference.
  • In Mario Sports Mix's dodgeball, you can't hold the ball while you're in rival territory note . Specifically, while you're standing on it. What you can do, however, is grab the ball in mid-air and throw it before landing again. This strategy was actually used by advanced players in the online metagame.
  • Final Fantasy XIV punishes people who leave a duty with a party by giving the deserter a 30 minute lockout from all duties. Being kicked out via voting from other players doesn't count. Ergo, people who want to leave a duty without incurring a penalty will ask other players to kick them out instead. This issue tends to be an issue of itself since some think it's wrong to evade a penalty and that voting someone out wastes their 4 hour cooldown to vote again when they could have used it on someone like a troll. Others feel that there's no harm in voting someone out that doesn't want to stay and that "holding someone hostage" by not voting is bad.
  • When the NES launched worldwide, Nintendo of America placed extremely tight restrictions on third parties that wanted to make video games on the console so that history would not repeat the The Great Video Game Crash of 1983. Said restrictions were not allowing developers to produce more than 6 NES games a year. To get around the rule, companies would split up into smaller companies with different names and all would make video games. Since each company was "different", no rule was being broken. This practice died off once the standards of video game publishing changed over time.
  • Divinity: Dragon Commander: In Camilla's Paragon Route, the dwarves try to take over large sections of dwarven territory via this trope. Give VERY generous mortgage rates, expedentially raise the interest, evict undead tenets when they inevitable can't pay, and then profit.
  • Age of Empires: You may find you have a wish to kill your AI teammates, but the computer does not let you target units that are technically on your side. You can, however, have units with splash damage attack the ground they are next to.
  • The Watcher, one of the titular Fallen Lords in Myth: The Fallen Lords is an expert at this. He is believed to be the oldest person alive in the Myth universe, mostly because he realized that the most powerful person in the world has a tendency to become the vessel of The Leveller, the local God of The Watcher was always careful to be second best. Additionally, in an age long past, he was sealed in a cave with an enchantment put on his arm that would, if he ever left the cave, turn him to stone. He got out by hacking off the hexed arm and leaving it behind (though he meets his eventual doom by being shot with an arrowhead made from one of his own hexed arm bones).
  • On the A Hat in Time level Queen Vanessa's Manor you are told once you enter the manor that your contract states you can not use any hats while in the manor. What the game doesn't tell you is you can still use the Dweller's Mask because it says "no hats".
  • Blazblue Cross Tag Battle: The rules of the world into which the cast have been drawn stipulate that only 2v2 formal tag battles are allowed. There is, however, no rule against a series of warning shots.
  • From the GameBreaker.Super Mario Bros page:
    Mario & Luigi: Dream Team has the Birthday equips, which have unimpressive stats under normal circumstances, but if you play on whatever day you registered as your birthday on the 3DS, their stats quadruple, making them as strong as the endgame equipment... The 3DS allows games that use the date to set an Obvious Rule Patch penalty for changing the clock settings, but Dream Team doesn't bother, and if you want to avoid taking the penalty on your other games that do, you can just change your birthday.
  • In Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, the heroes are presented a problem during the Frieza Saga: the Time Patroller is aiding Nail in battling Frieza so that Dende can give Gohan and Krillin the password to summon Parunga the Namekian Dragon. However, to both the Elder Kai and Supreme Kai of Time's shock, Turles and Lord Slug have found the Dragon Balls. Since there's no way for the Time Patroller to break off from fighting Frieza and race to Turles and Slug in time, the Supreme Kai of Time recalls the Time Patroller... then gives them a scroll that allows them to arrive at the point before the villains find the Dragon Balls, thus meaning the Time Patroller was at two places at once. The Elder Kai is upset at this sort of abuse, but the Supreme Kai of Time points out that things like that are what they're supposed to do.
  • The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One both have certification requirements specifying that games should be playable while partially installed. However, by "playable", they mean that the software simply has to start; it doesn't prevent games only simply loading up a menu with all actual content inaccessible until the game finishes installing.
  • In order to be able to upload levels online in Super Mario Maker, you have to play through your level and beat it since the game won't accept levels that are Unwinnable. There's no actual rule saying you can't place deathtraps (doors/pipes dumping you into a Bottomless Pit without a way to escape) or dead ends (a pit/area that's blocked off by invisible blocks once you get under them). Level creators will also make a level that's impossible to complete unless you find the "developer's path" that lets you bypass the whole level. While the sequel is no different with these issues, a level that gets enough dislike votes will have that level removed from the online roster, which discourages people from making troll levels.
  • Invoked in-universe in one puzzle in Chaos On Deponia, which requires the hero (who has no money but desperately needs a fortune cookie) to abuse the various, seemingly individually reasonable specials and deals offered by a fast food restaurant (e.g. "trade a big burger for a big drink" or "upsize a drink for half a coin") in order to end up with a combination translating to a meal costing absolutely nothing. Granted, it doesn't include any food, but because he still technically ordered a meal he's entitled the coveted complimentary fortune cookie. He concludes this by telling the cashier to keep the change and a 30% tip.
  • In The Legend of Zelda game Hyrule Warriors:
    • Certain Adventure Mode missions limit which character or even which weapon can be used... for Player 1 (Wii U), or the initially-controlled character (Legends and Definitive Edition). Player 2, or any remaining playable slots, can be filled by whoever you want *cough*Link*cough*, wielding whichever weapon you want *cough*Master Sword*cough*. Even if you don't have an actual second player in the Wii U version, you can always park Player 1 somewhere safe and rain down moons with Player 2.
    • The Training Dojo at the Bazaar doesn't let you level up characters any stronger than the highest-level playable warrior. Anti-Grinding at its finest... until you purchase the Boss Pack, and with it Dark Beast Ganon. Ganon can't be levelled through the Dojo, but his level counts towards "highest-level playable warrior", and his first mission alone is impossible to finish without going from Level 1 to Level 13 or higher, depending on whether you go for the captains. A little Rupee grinding (or some lucky amiibo scans) can turn the Dojo into a Disc-One Nuke.
  • A friendly version of this showed up in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Since a PVP flag has to be deliberately turned on so that players who weren't interested in being griefed by other players could go about their quests in peace, a strange mechanic showed up. Imperial and Republic players would cooperate on open world heroics and quests. Big scary boss on a planet? Well, there wasn't a rule against teaming up, other than the logistics of communication, easily overcome by use of third party chat programs and the "say" command. True, only one party would get credit, but rule against waiting for a respawn and helping the other party get the credit that time. Veteran MMO players seeing this in action remarked that it they never saw anything quite like that.
  • Civilization 6: Warmongering carries penalties, making it harder to get good trade deals and risking the other civs ganging up on you, but there are ways to get around this system. For example, suppose you wanted rid of Egypt, who is at war with Rome. If you declare a joint war then Rome will love you, but the international community will brand you a warmongerer with ensuing penalties. However, the other civs won't notice if you officially stay neutral but trade Rome copious amounts of gold and military resources. They won't notice anything if you settle a city in a tactical position on Egypt's border, build a military district in it and then gift that city to Rome as a diplomatic gesture.
  • Brawlhalla: Cross is a 50's era gangster who struck a deal with a demon: the demon will become bound to him and lend him his powers until Cross' last battle, at which point, he will recieve payment. However, Cross managed to get into Valhalla where he can keep fighting while not dying. So, he's happy to remain there, both for love of battle and fear of the alternative.
  • In Hay Day, when a new boat comes, you get 4 hours to start making the items it's going to ask for. If you log off of the game before the boat arrives, it still arrives at the end of the 4 hours, but the "boat timer" (which gives you 16 hours to fill all the boat crates) doesn't start until you log back in. So if the boat needs items that take a long time to produce, you can fire up the machines, walk away from the game, and come back several hours later to a load of freshly produced items and a timer with 16 hours still on the clock.
  • In Dragon Age, this is how a Mage Warden becomes Arl of Amaranthine. Legally, Mages are forbidden from holding lands and titles, but technically, the Arling itself is stated to belong to the Wardens, not an individual. The title of Arl/essa falls to whomever is appointed Warden-Commander of Ferelden, which in this case, just happens to be a Mage. Ditto with an Elven Warden.
  • The Forgotten City is set in a lost underground Dwemer city ruled by a Dystopian Edict: "The many shall suffer for the sins of the one." If anybody commits an act of violence or theft, even something as trivial as punching somebody or stealing a single coin, the statues in the city come to life and kill everyone. However because Humans Are Bastards and the Dwemer operated on Blue-and-Orange Morality, several things that would be crimes (or at least immoral) are actually fair game, including intimidation, doing drugs, swindling each other, Fantastic Racism and necromancy and rape.


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