Helldivers CEO wants to keep the 'T-pose of democracy' fall damage bug: 'We'll add inflatable bouncy bags that deploy from under your armpits or some sh*t if we have to'

helldivers 2
(Image credit: Arrowhead Game Studios)

The "T-pose of democracy," as we learned yesterday, is a recently discovered glitch in Helldivers 2 that enables players to survive fall damage that would normally be fatal by doing a hug emote while sailing through the air like an errant (but loving) cannonball. It's funny and clearly not supposed to be like that, but even so some players are hoping that Arrowhead will leave it alone. And it turns out they have a friend in a high place: No less than Arrowhead CEO Shams Jorjani.

The glitch is very straightforward: If you find yourself launched into the sky by an explosion or some other bit of kinetic bad news, you can reduce the damage you take on your inevitable impact—and thus increase your chances of survival—by holding an emote before you stick the landing. The "hug" and "salute" emotes both work, but testing has apparently determined that hugging is a little more effective—and yes, the Helldivers have been testing.

Attention Helldivers, using an emote mid-fall may SAVE YOUR LIFE! from r/Helldivers

Most players are resigned to the likelihood of the bug being fixed, but some are holding out hope that Arrowhead will leave it alone, or at least not make it a priority. Some have even cooked up a canonical explanation for the glitch, which makes about as much sense as anything else in Helldivers 2: The protective power of Super Earth democracy!

Others argue more pragmatically that it's all pretty well balanced as-is, because when you're launched into low-Earth orbit like this it's usually the result of a glitch anyway, so countering it with a different glitch is just fair play.

How well those arguments hold water is a matter of debate, but Arrowhead CEO Shams Jorjani made it clear on Twitter that he's very much in the "keep it" camp. "Can we please, please keep this?" he tweeted to Arrowhead.

He's even come up with a way to justify the long-fall survival, although it will take some work to implement: "We'll add inflatable bouncy bags that deploy from under your armpits or some shit if we have to. C'mon! We have the technology—where there's a will there's a way!"

(Image credit: Shams Jorjani (Twitter))

I think it's a good idea. I also think it's very unlikely to happen: Throwing an emote to save yourself from high-speed dirt isn't a game-breaking bug by any stretch, nor is it even a guarantee of survival—it reduces damage but it doesn't eliminate it, so if you're in rough shape when you go up, you're probably not going to fare too well when you come down no matter how much you love democracy—but it is very clearly a bug. Even if it's low priority, sooner or later it seems likely that someone is going to say, "We gotta fix this."

As for why Jorjani doesn't simply use his powers as CEO to mandate the bug's continued existence, that's apparently not how he rolls: When someone suggested he should force developers to leave it alone, he replied, "What a terrible way to run a gaming studio filled with smart and creative people."

For the moment, developers at Arrowhead are presumably focused on other things: The 'divers recently liberated planet X-45, meaning work on the mysterious "interplanetary battle station" everyone's so excited about will resume soon. What happens after that bad boy is finished remains to be seen, but I'm sure it will be very interesting in one way or another.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.