7 Greatest Video Game Urban Legends


We all have heard of them, swore to have done them or know someone whose cousin has. That’s right, I’m talking about Video Game Urban Legends (VGUL). No, we’re not going to talk about the munchkin in the back of “Wizard of Oz” who supposedly hangs himself from the tree. We’re not talking about how there is a ghost in the window in “3 Men and a Baby” who died in that house. Not Bigfoot or Loch Ness. We’re talking Video Games…. We’re talking Urban Legends in Video Games.

We searched high and low to bring to you, our latest installment of these Urban Legends, and hope you enjoy what we have come up with.

Tomb Raider

The Urban Legend – Lara Croft appearing Nude in Tomb Raider

The System – PSX

This story goes as far back as the time when the game was first launched. It was almost like every video gamer wished this one to be true. I’ve heard it all from, “if you go in the water, you’ll see her nude”. Sorry to tell you folks, this one is a big fat lie. If you wanted to see Lara nude in a game, your only option was a mod for the PC game. An interesting notes is that “Lara Croft Nude” is the most commonly searched string on our site. To appease our perv surfers, we posted “Lara Croft Nude NSFW Fan Art” a while back.

Street Fighter II

The Urban Legend – Beat every character without losing a round or match lets you play as the four bosses Balrog, Vega, Sagat, and M. Bison.

The System – SNES

Well, this is an urban Legend that I believe all Street Fighter 2 players have tried. Now, while it isn’t that impossible, is was very hard. The rumor of playing as one of the bosses, went cross country. It always seemed that the more you went unbeaten the tougher the opponent got. I recall playing one whole day trying this one out, and after going unbeaten straight through Balrog, Vega became impossible. He would hang off the fence and “huaaahhh” with his blades onto my head. Of course, I used Ken and the timing of a shyruken was hard.

No doubt, once I completed the game unbeaten I realized it was a hoax. With people then saying “You have to perfect every round” back I went to the SNES and 15 years later…


Playstation 2

The Urban Legend – Iraq had purchased 4,000 PS2s to launch missiles.

The System – PS2

World Net Daily claims that both the FBI and the US Customs Service are investigating the transfer of thousands of consoles to Iraq. According to a secret Defence Intelligence Agency report, 4,000 PS2s had been bought in the US and shipped to Iraq in 2000.

Some US military experts believe that several PS2s could be linked together to form a “supercomputer”, which could control a missile or an unmanned aircraft. They fear that the console, which contains a 128-bit CPU, could provide the power for Iraq to launch chemical weapons at its enemies.

It’s also very unlikely that bundling any number of PS2s together would actually work in this application, as it would be extremely complicated to have a number of processors accessing shared memory and splitting up the computation. The complex software required would take years to develop. Sony refused to say whether it was possible to link PS2s together to form a supercomputer, explaining that it did not comment on speculative stories.

Super Mario Bros.

The Urban Legend – Jumping over the flag pole at the end of the level

The System – NES

In 5th grade, Kevin Diley once told me how he jumped over the flagpole in Super Mario Bros. I’ve called him on the telephone while I tried, he came over to try, I even asked him to video tape it on his VHS camcorder. He was never able to reproduce it. Till this day, I do not know a single person who was able to jump over the flagpole. I’ve heard of mods, and hacks that allow this. But until I see this:

  1. Cartridge being blown into the bottom
  2. Popped into an original NES
  3. Original NES controller used to jump over flagpole

This will not hold true to me and Kevin Diley will continue to be a liar! The last time we posted this urban legend, we received tons of comments from people claiming they pulled this off. I guess the world is full of Kevin Dileys.

Legend of Zelda

The Urban Legend – There is a dungeon level in the Legend of Zelda that is a swastika.

The System – NES

Now although this is not completly an urban legend, it is more of a terrible version of the game telephone. It starts off with one person saying what they say, and it gets turned and twisted into an Urban Legend. So, let me explain. The third dungeon has the shape of what appears to Western audiences as a left-facing swastika. This shape is actually a “manji”, which is a Buddhist symbol of good fortune. In Japan, where this game was initially released, swastikas and similar shapes are relatively benign, which explains why a symbol so offensive to many Western audiences could be included. In the United States, there were surprisingly few complaints about the manji, but years later, when Pokémon became popular in the United States, Nintendo was forced to alter one of the cards due to complaints regarding a manji.

So take a chill pill, it’s just some Manji – Word of the Day. If you want some swastika gaming action, check out the following YouTube video showing what happened when Hitler was banned from Xbox LIVE (this is NOT an Urban Legend… It actually happened…):


Mortal Kombat

The Urban Legend – A code that enabled the “Blood Code” instead of a grey smokey splat. We can probably thank Al Gore for this retarded series of events. Some of you may not be old enough to remember, but Al Gore was kind of the Jack Thompson of the 1980s and 1990s. His anti-gaming stances were very influential on decisions made by Nintendo. At the time, Sega was under fire for some of their more violent games such as Mortal Kombat and Night Trap.

The System – SNES

This one is fairly easy to explain because it never existed nor was it an Easter Egg. Nintendo was/is very censored so they never allowed blood in their Mortal Kombat game. It was said that the Genesis version of MK sold better because of the fatalities and blood. Nintendo then tried using Genesis’ decision of incorporating blood as a negative, but that never flew. So now you had those Genesis freaks soaked up to their ankles in Hawaiian Punch and it was cool.



The Urban Legend – A government run arcade cabinet was used to collect data. Once played this game would cause seizures, memory loss and people were brainwashed.

The System – Arcade

This game was out for a very short trial run of one month in small arcades in Portland Oregon in 1981. Produced by the company Sinnesloschen ( A German term meaning “sense-deleting,” or “Loss of senses.”), the game gave many players nightmares and many who played it completely swore off all video games afterwards. Others complained of having blackouts and memory loss. Employees of the manufacturer, in black coats came and collected data from the machines as part of a lease agreement. After only one month, all of the machines were removed. ROMs of this game are rumored to be in the hands of some collectors but at this time they are not generally available. Check out more info here at Polybius Theory. We tried for months to find out the origin of this legend, but it seems to have pretty much appeared out of thin air. Did Polybius actually exist? I have a feeling it might have, but there’s really no way to know the full story. To date, there’s no existing proof of the game. Rumors exist that there are some original Polybius ROMs out there, but we have yet to track one down. If you’re a big fan of the Simpsons, the Polybius arcade cabinet makes an appearance in a couple episodes.

Game-play: There are two explainations for game-play.

1: Action/Puzzle game. Rumored to have a rotating 3D Puzzle, along with logic puzzles, and mazes resembling the playing style of Pac-Man.

2: You were flying through a tunnel and had to dodge things in your path. Lights flashing at rapid rates to heighten the effect. Said to resemble a pro-type for Atari’s “Tempest.”(Which was a shooter game. In an article about Tempest, it was said that the prototype caused motion sickness after a period of time.) The basis of the game was to get through a maze without being caught in a trap or a mine. Apparently, the further the levels went, to make the game more difficult, the background would start flashing much like a strobe light, and the spinning of the mazes.

Polybius Wikipedia Page

The following video shows “gameplay” from Polybius, but we’re pretty sure it’s a fake.


More VGULs from the web:

Video Game Myths: Fact or Fiction?

‘Lover Boy’ video game, was it real?

Mario shoots Mike Tyson?


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135 responses to “7 Greatest Video Game Urban Legends”

  1. PohTayToez says:

    1. Given that i saw the actual nuderaider patch available before I heard of any ‘rumor’ of it, I doubt that the mod was created before the rumors. I have no way of proving this, of course, however I see no basis for your statement of the mod being created to appease the rumors.

    2. I have no evidence at all, nor did I say anything to infer that I thought that was the case. I was only correcting you when you said that is was not possible, when the case is that PS2 supercomputing was not only possible, but was relatively common in practice. This was a somewhat widely circulated story based on a leaked DIA report, however as I was not able to find the actual DIA report cited, this story definitely fits the definition of urban legend, lacking the evidence to be either proved or disproved. My point is that it is possible, while you were treating it as compete fiction.

    Also, it may interest you to see the original story that started the rumor:

    3. The way I see it, even being a skeptic myself, is that there are enough instances of people claiming to do it that it is more or less a well accepted possibility. Everyone that has done it describes the same thing happening, something that wouldn’t happen if they were just making up stories.

    4. A swastika can face either way. While the Nazi swastika was always clockwise, that does not mean that a swastika always has to face clockwise. For example, in Hinduism, where the shape is actually referred to as a swastika, clockwise it represents evolution, and counterclockwise it represents involution. In Buddhism where it is known as a Manji, clockwise (as in the Nazi symbol) it represents strength and intelligence, and counterclockwise it represents love and mercy (not good fortunes as you stated). The link between a swastika and good luck is a western notion, one that was mostly abandoned after WWII.

    5. My argument here can also be applied the the Tomb Raider issue. While I realize the blood code wasn’t available on the SNES version (ignoring the PSone typo, I know what you meant), my point is that I don’t think that you could really classify this as an urban legend. When I think of an urban legend, I think of a story that sounds somewhat believable, but either has a basis in fact and then was exaggerated, or is completely false. The Tomb Raider and Mortal Kombat urban legends seem to follow the pattern of:

    “You can do X in the A version of Z”

    But the truth is:
    “You can do X in the B version of Z”

    This seems to be more of just a plain incorrect statement that might have been voiced by several ill informed people, but is easily correctable, and doesn’t really seem deserving of the title of ‘urban legend’, while the SFII, Polybius, and PS2/missile stories do.

    I hope you do not take these arguments as personal attacks, I am only trying to correct misinformation, and I have no problem with you as a person.

  2. mrjuandrful says:

    Not at all, I appreciate your rebuttle. As a writer my views will always be challenged, which in turn is why I write. I hope to continue hearing from you on all our articles, as you might very well be my favorite critic :)!

    When Nintendo Power replies to my email, I will personally come here and apologize for the inaccurate information I supplied. Till then, Mario has only been a lollipop on that pole for me….

  3. kezins says:

    I wish people would stop talking about Iraq using PS2s to launch missiles. I was there… they barely had the technology to launch missiles off the backs of camels so the notion that they bought a ton of PS2s for missile launching is absurd. Makes me wonder if someone in the Bush family started the rumor.. it’s almost as absurd as the hunt for weapons of mass destruction.

  4. PohTayToez says:

    Well, the articles I read don’t mention anything about any specific application. I’ll agree that the idea of using them for missile guidance is absurd, as I am relatively certain they don’t have the technology for guidable missiles in the first place. However, a super computer could be used for many different applications, military and otherwise.

  5. MDavis says:

    I am not sure that I can completely understand your comments. Would you be so kind as to expand on your reasoning a little more before I comment.

  6. […] 7 Greatest Video Game Urban Legends […]

  7. Raf says:

    Jumping over the flagpole in Super Mario Bros is possible. It is no hoax! I have done it myself.. ONCE. And I could not reproduce it. I believe it was a glitch in the game because I kept running and the background was just a repeating castle and went no where.

    There were other secrets in the game as well.. World -1 (the repeating swimming level), and shooting fireballs while you’re small. Just google Super Mario Bros tricks.

  8. Daniel says:

    I couldn’t understand some parts of this article est Video Game Urban Legends | Kezins.com, but I guess I just need to check some more resources regarding this, because it sounds interesting.

  9. banana says:

    Jump over flagpole in level 3-3

  10. PohTayToez says:

    MDavis, I made quite a few comments and I find it unreasonable to ask me to expand on them without being more specific. If you tell me exactly where you’re having trouble understanding what I am trying to communicate then I would be glad to help.

  11. kezins says:

    It’s probably possible for a bunch of linked PS2s to be used for some kind of application. I’m just not sure if missile launching would be on the list. I know they say Iraq was restricted from purchasing certain items (such as high end computers), but we all know that’s a load of crap to a degree. I was on the ground on several occasions and assure you that Iraq was getting all kinds of weapons from northern business partners.. so I’m sure obtaining computers wouldn’t be a challenge for them.

    Them not being able to buy computers is like saying you can’t buy booze in the middle east.. which some people think you can’t get there either.. but whenever money is involved, anything is obtainable for the right price.

  12. PohTayToez says:

    Clustered PS2’s could be used for ANY application that any other computer/supercomputer could be used for. And as for them being able to purchase computers anyway, I don’t think that’s the point. The idea is that at the time clustered PS2s could provide much more processing power than standard computer hardware for the same price, which would be important when you’re working with a meager military budget. Again, I’m not saying that it happened or even that it was likely, but I don’t think you can place it outside of the realm of possibility.

  13. Jennifer says:

    I bet you broke many hearts with the laracroft one.

  14. kezins says:

    yeah you’d be surprised how many people search for “lara croft nude” on Google. It’s one of the top strings that lands people on this article actually 🙂

  15. Abelman says:

    Just thought I’d throw out another voice on mario over the flagpole. I did it. He kept going with the repeating background. It wasn’t that great. The initial thrill of hopping the pole is quickly destroyed as your realize what has happened. You’re in a never-ending castle background. Bleah.

    Also: It is “Spaceballs 2: The search for more money.” Unless they changed it for Spaceballs the Video. I suppose the only way to know is to watch a bootleg filmed of the original release.

  16. Union Jack says:

    Wow… It’s amazing how the term “Urban Legend” actually means “Shit the author never saw”… SMB world 3-3 makes it entirely possible to jump over the flag pole un-modded, and like everyone here has already said, you get a scrolling background with no exit until your time runs out…

    We’ve all done it. You’re the one kid who’s still bitter that you lacked the basic hand eye coordination to perform a simple task… Hell, the controller only had two buttons!!

    I’ve never seen an aircraft carrier, the Grand Canyon, or Niagra Falls, so from now on, they don’t exist…

    MK Blood code? Absolutely…

    Flag Pole Jump? Absolutely…

    Zelda Swastika? Yeah… Just because it’s called something else in other parts of the world doesn’t mean it’s not still a swastika. Mis-information does not make it untrue…

    Lara Croft Nude? Yeah, it’s a MOD, but it doesn’t make it an urban legend…

    And then there’s this, from the official Sinnesloschen website:

    “Sinnesloschen has a tradition of developing the visual and auditory cognitive interface dating back nearly thirty years. We have just completed a twenty-five year commitment to a military contract and are ready to move back into the private sector. We believe our new line of educational and entertainment software will revolutionize the current standard. Our technology can heighten the gaming experience by inducing aggression, provoking fear, and embedding character preferences and aversions. Our educational software provides not only the content but the motivation to learn. We hope parents will appreciate seeing their children stop endlessly playing video games and begin studying for the first time. Your children will want to play our software for a half and hour each evening before beginning their homework and chores. Finally, we will provide a full line of relaxation and meditation software to help you quit smoking, sleep better, boost confidence, and, put simply, make you a better person.”

    Sounds like subliminal mind control to me… straight from the companies website…

    I can thusly conclude that you, Sir, are an idiot. It took me all of 2 minutes of research to prove that Sinnesloschen does, in fact, manufacture games designed to create and maintain certain behavioral patterns… Do some basic fundamental research, learn the definition of “Urban Legend” and write a compelling article next time…

  17. mrjuandrful says:

    So now a new Jack enters the comment section.
    Let me reply to some of your comments:

    I’ve stated already that I sent an email to Nintendo Power asking them if this Urban Legend was true. I haven’t received a reply back yet.

    MK Blood code for SNES is an Urban Legend. Read the post, Genesis had it which made it an Urban Legen for the SNES user’s.

    Lara Croft Nude Urban Legend – Mods were released AFTER nerds said it was possible to see her nude. Since you like to research, look that one up!

    ” 1 Tomb Raider – As I explained, for the PSone (without a mod) this is an Urban Legend. I could create a mod for the PC that turns Lara Croft into Mike Tyson. My point was, rumors started, then a mod was created to please the rumors. Like the Street Fighter rumor, in the original Street Fighter II you can not play as any of the bosses, then in the next release they listened to the SF community and inserted them as playable characters.

    2 Because of the back and forth of this Mario Brothers topic, I have sent my article to Nintendo Power. Until then this IS an Urban Legend!

    3 The Manji they used in the dungeon is not a swastika (a swastika is a backwards manji). To the eye, it looks like a swastika, but it’s a Manji.

    4 Again, on the SNES, this was not possible. The Urban Legend is that since the Genesis had a blood code, everyone lied about having blood on the SNES version.”

  18. Host says:

    I searched for \’Host Additional Domain Outlook Web Access\’ in google and found this your post (\’nnial 2007 – salvatore iaconesi – del.icio.us poetry\’) in search results. Not very relevant result, but still interesting to read.

  19. jennifer says:

    in super mario brothers, i actually jumped over the flagpole once too . i was a kid, however i remember this vividly, because i was pretty far up in worlds, and it wouldn’t let me go back to the flag to complete the level. i was just kind of “stuck” , which pretty much sucks without being able to save your game. there was a ‘game genie’ or something i’d used a few times after to impress my friends with and repeat this amazing feat, however i was never quite able to get over the flagpole in any regular mode again. i believe it was a glitch. your friend may not be the liar you think him to be 😉

  20. glomb says:

    ur a dousche, i have – many a time – jumped over the flag in mario. i am mario

  21. found your site on del.icio.us today and really liked it.. i bookmarked it and will be back to check it out some more later ..

  22. Wii Quiz says:

    I believe it is safe to say that the Lara Croft rumor was the biggest downfall on the planet. So many fake screen shots were circulatng the internet it is a shame. I even heard there was mods made for this.

  23. D'oh boy says:

    The ‘Supercomputer’ legend is true. Sony had what was later called a GSCube (see http://www.geek.com/sonys-gscube/ ) that used 16 graphics chips to show off demos and shows like SigGraph in 2001. The PS2 was a bitch to program and optimize (much like the PS3) so coding something up fast in C++ but running on a much more powerful set of graphics chips was very common.
    At this time the power of the GSCube rivaled that of any PC and was at or near the power of popular supercomputers like the infamous Cray. “A current model quad-core Xeon workstation running at 2.66 GHz will outperform a multimillion dollar Cray C90 supercomputer used in the early 1990s” as quoted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supercomputer
    The real threat was that the PS2 already used Linux and was very easy to hook up a keyboard and mouse. Thus for a few hundred you had a very cheap mobile PC and guiding a missile is not very difficult for a PS2.

  24. IrishVampire13 says:

    The Super Mario flagpole one, I guarantee you, is NOT a myth. I did it once back in the early 1990s. It’s difficult to do, because the game automatically will send you to the top of the flagpole if you jump very high and fast (pressing B to run while at the far edge of the stairway blocks, then hitting A to jump when you reach the edge near the pole).

    I did NOT do it deliberately; it just happened as a complete fluke one day. The game doesn’t seem to like players doing this; there is a penalty that you just keep running and running along past the castle, with no obstacles or enemies, until the timer runs out. Because, after all, in the original Mario, there is no backward scrolling (which I always found annoying).

    I swear to you on my grandfather’s grave (and he was very, very dear to me; I’d rather die than break such an oath), it is entirely possible to jump over the flagpole.

  25. IrishVampire13 says:

    P.S. No, I’ve never tried to replicate the flagpole jump. It freaked me out so badly that I didn’t WANT to try it again.

  26. yotan says:

    why not discuss the rampant urban legend of aquiring the triforce in legend of zelda: ocarina of time? that is still hugely debated.

  27. magallanes says:

    The myth about Ps2 and Iraq indeed WAS TRUE but for other reasons. The ps2 never was more powerful that a pc that you can buy in a store, so in this aspect a ps2 is plain as useless for to use as a computer

    But Ps2 (the big and old model) is special because the amount of a specif material called :coltan
    ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coltan ) This mineral is rare, expensive and controlled and is a vital part for some specific electronic stuff such military installation. So yes Ps2 can’t be exported to Iraq because this reason.

    The myth about a supercomputer “inside” a ps2 is just BS.

  28. FlagPole says:

    The flag pole jump is completely real, i’ve done it a few times. Nothing over there, you can jump back onto the flag pole from that side or let time run out.

  29. ejuhos says:

    I think the Pokemon one should have been included. In red/blue version. If you catch all the Pokemon and you talk to your mother she gives you mew.

  30. […] 7 Greatest Video Game Urban Legends […]

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  32. EfXSaint says:

    Love the list. Although I have to agree with most of the comments. I TOO have jumped over the flagpole in smb!

  33. ihavejumpedtheflagpole says:

    OMG. HAHA i actually did jump the flag pole in super mario, must be a glitch cuz i did it. after you do, there is a warp zone thing. no joke

  34. ihavejumpedtheflagpole says:

    BTW, the mario cartridge is the edition that has all of them in one. THinks its called super mario all stars

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