The 10 Oddest Diseases In Gaming History

In the universe created for a video game, there are endless possibilities for dangerous and destrustive diseases. Some of them are based on real-life infections, others are completely fictional (thankfully!)


1. Blacklight Virus from Prototype

image: wikia

image: wikia

“[The Virus] enters, re-purposes and changes the cell. The new cell replicates with formerly dormant non-encoding regions active, causing drastic biological changes.”―Node of Intrigue

Once the host becomes infected by this virus, it activates formerly-useless DNA in them and gives it sentience. The vast majority of those infected will die very soon, however those who don’t die can gain super-human powers. This extremely contagious virus can be passed from human to human in numerous ways, including injection, bodily fluids, exposure via water or proximity, and physical contact.

2. Cordyceps Brain Infection from The Last Of Us



This is one of the most dangerous diseases on this list, in just a few short years it had wiped out 60% of the world’s population. This fungus takes over control of the host’s brain, taking away their ability to think or function on their own behalf, and turning them into monsters. There are various stages to the disease, shortly after exposure the host will become extremely aggressive, and start to lose any rational thought, and in the later stages the fungus will start to grow out of their face and completely take them over. Btw, Last of us 2 in development and confirmed

The disease from The Last of Us was inspired by an episode of BBC’s amazing documentary Planet Earth. You may recall the scene with an ant, and other insects, who became infected by cordyceps that took control of their brains and compelled them to climb as high as possible, at which point the fungus would grow out from their bodies, and use the height to spread itself across a greater distance. In case you needed any extra nightmare fuel, check it out:

3. Green Poison from The Division

image: arstechnica

image: arstechnica

This is a variation on the small pox virus, except it takes effect much more quickly, and is also a lot more contagious. It’s also known as Dollar Flu, as it was spread through dollar bills that were purposely infected, in order to control population numbers. In the Division the Green Poison was created by Dr. Gordon Amherst, and skilled virologist Dr. Kandel was the one working on a cure for it. This was a hybrid virus and contained traces of numerous of the world’s most deadly diseases, such as: ebola, H1N1, hantavirus, marburg swineflu, and dengue.

4. Genophage of Mass Effect


Genophage is a biological weapon from the Mass Effect world, used to drastically decrease the population. It was originally developed by the salarians as a deterrant, and not as something that would ever actually be used because it was so devastatingly destructive. The turians, on the other hand, gained control and used it immediately.

In the third game, you’re given the choice to cure it or not. 92% of people decided to cure it, the rest just wanted to watch the world burn apparently.

5. Angel Toxicosis -Tales of Symphonia

Tales of Symphonia
Collette, one of the eight protagonists of the game is affected by this disease that is also known as Cruxis Crystal parasitism. In its primary stages, this illness gives the infected crystal wings and the ability to fly but later on it will totally corrupt the body of the host. The victim will eventually become unable to sleep, taste food, cry, feel pain or speak. On the bright side, the afflicted gain extraordinary strength and visual acuity, but the final stages of the infection brings them to the point where they will permanently give up on their heart and memories, and ultimately their life.

6. Necromorph Infection from Dead Space



Necromorph are corpses that have been reanimated by an extraterrestrial infection. All they really want to do is to continue killing, to spread the infection further. They’re very aggressive, and incredibly tenacious. Shoot off their legs and they’ll still find a way to crawl after you. You’ve got to completely take them apart if you want any chance of survival.

7. Atma Virus – Digital Devil Saga

A virus that marks the infected with a tattoo somewhere on the body, the Atma transforms the victim into a demonic reflection of his internal personality. The disease is not transmissible and has a mystical origin. It makes the carrier feel an insatiable hunger for the flesh of the other infected people. If the afflicted tries to resist this urge for too long, the Atma virus will eventually give him a mind-numbing bloodlust and will make him lose his ability to ever return to his human form.

8. Rustlung from Gears of War



Rustlung, Imulsion sickness. Cases have been popping up all over since the Lightmass Bombing. Sure is a horrible way for a warrior to die.”

Shortly after the detonation of the Lightmass Bomb, cases of Rustlung started increasing drastically. It had been around prior to that, but was never nearly as commonplace. Rustlung is the result of inhaling the vapor from imulsion. Symptoms include coughing up blood, nausea, bleeding from the face, dark brown mucus, difficulty breathing, and chest pain. It is believed that the Coalition of Ordered Governments covered up the most severe effects of Rustlung, which likely got its name from the color of phlegm emitted by the patients. Gears of War 4 Screenshots Look Stunning.

9. The Virus from Metro: Last Light



The Virus is based on Ebola, but it’s an even worse version. It has been bio-engineered as a weapon, and has an incubation period of a few hours. Most victims are dead within a day or two. Throughout the game, you pick up clues and hints of the virus, but you don’t fully learn of its existence until later in the game.

10. Pokerus from Pokemon



Not all video game viruses are fatal, let alone negative. Pokérus is a microscopic-sized life form that can attach to a Pokemon, and adds positive attributes like doubling your EVs. It’s more rare than a Pokemon being shiny, and cannot be cured at a Pokecenter like other status conditions, only time will cure the virus. It generally takes a few days for the Pokemon cheats to be cured, so you can keep it in the PC if you’d your Pokemon to remain infected. Once the rare Pokemon has fought off the virus, it will become immune. The mechanics vary slightly from generation to generation, you can find more in-depth info here. You can get Pokerus by catching a Pokemon that has it, battling a Pokemon that has it, or getting infected by a friend. Pokemon Go players using this tracker to find rare pokemon.

Bonus: t-Virus from Resident Evil



The Tyrant Virus causes cellular necrosis and dementia, and the name covers several variants from the ’70s and ’80s. t-Virus was primarily used for military applications, and several subsequent viruses were based on it. There are 4 known treatments for t-Virus, including AT1521, t-vaccine, antibodies, and a final medicine known as daylight.

Bonus: Pox of LeChuck – Tales of Monkey Island

Also known as LeChucken Pox in the final episode of the series, this infectious disease appeared as a result of LeChuck being stabbed by Guybrush and losing his voodoo powers. Subsequently the plague spread across the Carribean and affected many pirates, giving them various symptoms, such as a green-skin and a foul-mouth. Not even Guybrush could escape this affliction, his hand being affected and getting a life of its own. The only known cure is La Esponja Grande, which is a magic sponge that Guybrush must find.

Bonus: Chrono-displasia – League of Legends

Chrono-displasia is a mystical disease that affects the hero Zilean both in a positive and a negative way. On the bright side, it grants him immortality but it also makes his mind wander through time never remaining in a particular moment of his existence. This affliction was created by Zilean himself, while tinkering with powerful temporal magic in an attempt to divine all the possible futures that could happen as a result of the approaching war that threatened his hometown.

Bonus: Corrupted Blood – World of Warcraft

This disease is very interesting since it spread throughout the game because of an unsolved programming issue. Initially, it could be contracted by fighting Hakkar The God of Blood in the dungeon of Zul’Gurub, it had an incubation period of 2 seconds and was highly contagious. The low level players were even killed by this ailment as it was spread all over the game by the pets that had initially caught it. Due to an initial error made by the programmers who forgot to code a way to affect only the players participating in the raid, the WoW AIDS became an utter hysteria and could only be removed through patches and game resets.