Last year, I wrote an article on the 7 Top Video Game Urban Legends. I got flak for some of them, (jumping over the flagpole in Super Mario) and some we well remembered. I figured, I’d bring back the post with some much needed fixup. So without further ado…
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, I’m not going to talk about the munchkin in the back of “Wizard of Oz” who supposedly hangs himself from the tree. Not also 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. I’m talking Video Games…. I’m talking Urban Legends in Video Games.
I have searched high and low to bring to you, our latest installment of these Urban Legends, and finish up with a wide known but not seen VGUL.
The Urban Legend – Lara Croft appearing Nude in Tomb Raider
The System – PSone
This story goes as far back as 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. With Tomb Raider making it’s way to PC, we know patches have revealed Ms. Croft in the nude (pic above) but not on the gaming console PSOne.
Street Fighter II
The Urban Legend – Beat every character without losing a round or match let’s 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…
The Urban Legend – Iraq had purchased 4,000 PS2’s 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 Defense 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, 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!
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 completely 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.
The Urban Legend – A code that enabled the “Blood Code” instead of a grey smokey splat
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. ROM’s 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.
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.