Anti-Piracy Screens

Anti-Piracy Screens

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Anti-Piracy Screens are screens most often seen in video games and other media that are displayed when a person is playing a pirated copy of the game, stopping the player from playing any further and often reminding them that piracy is illegal and encouraging them to buy the game. While real anti-piracy screens exist, such as the one seen in Donkey Kong Country 3, fake anti-piracy screens became increasingly popular throughout the 2020s, often made to be scary and discomforting, borrowing from creepypastas. In 2021, a series of fake Mario Party DS Anti-Piracy Screens went viral, garnering more interest in fake anti-piracy screens that double as creepypasta.


Video games have used measures to prevent players from playing pirated copies of video games since as early as the 1990s. While some measures make the game unplayable, such as the Super Nintendo game Earthbound, which causes the game to freeze during the final boss fight, others simply display unpassable screens telling the player they're playing a pirated copy of the game. [1]

Two early examples of purportedly real anti-piracy screens are seen in the 1995 and 1996 Nintendo games Donkey Kong Country 2 and Donkey Kong Country 3, which were uploaded by YouTubers[2][3] neodoshi and TheKronickXD on February 23rd, 2009 and March 2nd, 2010 respectively, garnering over 430,000 views and 800,00 views in 15 years (shown below, left and right).

On June 18th, 2020, YouTuber[4] Super Mario 64 Beta Archive uploaded a video of a fake anti-piracy screen for Super Mario 64, garnering over 2.2 million views in four years (shown below). This is one of the earliest examples of a viral fake anti-piracy screen.


Fake anti-piracy screens became increasingly popular throughout 2020 following the release of the fake Super Mario 64 anti-piracy screen. Many users post these screens as if they're real. On October 13th, 2020, YouTuber[5] Joey Perleoni posted a fake anti-piracy screen for Mario Party DS, posting several more videos about it over the following months, turning it into a creepypasta series, garnering over 1.3 million views in four years (shown below).

On January 2nd, 2021, a thread was started on ResetEra[6] to discuss and share fake anti-piracy screens. On January 10th, YouTuber[7] Beta Mario posted a compilation of fake anti-piracy screens, garnering over 3 million views in three years (shown below, left). On March 12th, 2022, YouTuber[8] Pixels After Dark posted a video discussing seven purportedly real anti-piracy screens, garnering over 1.2 million views in two years (shown below, right).

On February 19th, 2023, u/Jadeblade07 posted a meme to /r/casualnintendo[9] referencing Nintendo's typically dark anti-piracy screens, garnering over 2,000 upvotes in a year (shown below, left). On September 26th, u/Sussy_guy123 posted a similar meme to /r/starterpacks[10] that gained over 3,300 upvotes in five months (shown below, right).

NINTENDO GAMES NORMALLY THE ANTI PIRACY SCREEN Tv show/Movie/Game fake anti piracy screen starter pack by u/sussy_guy123 "Cinsert movie, show or game here) is for good boys and girls not criminals like you" black eyes with red dot jump scare character either in jail or brutally killed wants to be this so bad Tries way too hard to be scary PIRACY IS NO PARTYR It is a serious crine toatevideos Please power off the susten andresort the For more information please voit comen POWER OFF NOW

On February 19th, 2024, X[11] user @CEOtheIsaac posted a fake anti-piracy screen for an NBA Youngboy song, which was originally posted to YouTube[12] in December 2023 by Legend funny, garnering over 8,100 likes on the former in a day and 13,000 views on the latter in two months (shown below).

Mario Party DS Anti-Piracy Screen

Mario Party DS Anti-Piracy Screen refers to an anti-piracy screen that allegedly pops up if you try to play a pirated version of Mario Party DS, stopping you from playing. The anti-piracy screen became the subject of memes in late 2020. The screen is a hoax, and does not actually exist in Mario Party DS.

Various Examples

Search Interest

External References

[1] YouTube – Starman Net

[2] YouTube – neodosh

[3] YouTube – TheKronickXD

[4] YouTube – Super Mario 64 Beta

[5] YouTube – Joey Perleoni

[6] ResetEra – Fake anti-piracy screens are pretty cool

[7] YouTube – Beta Mario

[8] YouTube – Pixels After Dark

[9] Reddit – casualnintendo

[10] Reddit – starterpacks

[11] X – CEOtheIsaac

[12] YouTube – CEOtheIsaac

Recent Videos 5 total

Recent Images 2 total

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