The insanity of ours and other game websites’ April Fools’ Day pranks, fake news articles and whatnot is over and done with, but how about a reflective moment on videogame hoaxes?
Hoaxes are a part of our culture, and as humans we love getting our kicks out of creating a bit of tomfoolery, so it’s no surprise that there have been so many fake rumors and long-winding jokes when it comes to the secrets hidden within the games we play.
So from the ridiculousness of EGM’s “Sheng Long” Street Fighter II gag to unlocking Luigi in Super Mario 64, we’d like to share some of our picks for ‘most absurd videogame hoaxes.’
Getting the secret Pokémon “Pikablu” in Pokémon Red/Blue (GB)
With that rabid card-collecting and game-link battling/trading came some pretty crazy rumors that may have started fairly tame before getting lost in a game of telephone and transforming into something so absurd that even little innocent me scoffed at it.
According to a classmate from fourth grade, a Pokémon Red/Blue player could acquire the uber-secret “Pikablu” by talking a thousand times to the thirsty checkpoint officer followed by a visit to your house. Apparently Pikablu would surface there and murder your mother (this is where I officially called bull****) before you had to fight and capture it. I wish I was making this up, but this is indeed what my classmate had claimed.
The rumor may have been perpetuated after someone found early art of Marill, a blue Pikachu-looking Pokémon from Gold/Silver. That, or some kid in school thought it’d be fun to be a wiseass and make everyone break the ‘A’ buttons on their Game Boys from talking to that guy so many times.
We really did have a lot of free time back then.
- Patrick Kulikowski
Finding the sasquatch in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Supposedly, the Sasquatch would appear somewhere in the foggy forests of the Mt. Chilliad area during the nighttime. I’m not exactly sure how this rumor began, but it has captivated thousands of players to go on a wild goose chase.
Even though this ended up being a hoax, it didn’t stop gamers from creating mods that adds the Sasquatch in there. In fact, this hoax got so popular that Rockstar made killing Sasquatches a side mission in Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare and even went as far as making it part of the Los Santos Police Department’s shield emblem as seen in the Grand Theft Auto V trailer.
I remember actually spending some time walking and driving around in the foggy forests in search of the Sasquatch, but all I ever found were some creepy ghost cars.
- Allain Richard
The supposed nude cheat for Tomb Raider (PS1)
Ah, male adolescence. There’s nothing like being a walking, talking, perpetually distracted ball of hormones with only one thing on the mind. As a budding teenager back in the ’90s, I realized that girls weren’t the cootie-ridden bags of “ew” that I’d made them out to be.
So much like many of my contemporaries at the time, you can imagine how I reacted when Tomb Raider came out. Guns? Check. Danger? Check. Big triangular boobs on a scantily clad digital lady? Double check.
By the time I’d picked up Tomb Raider II, talk around the lunch room was that there was a secret code to make Lara Croft naked. It was the kind of thing that a teenage boy limited by his 56k modem considered the holy grail.
The reason why this makes one of the most memorable hoaxes in gaming history is because there were actually a number of different codes that gamers at the time swore were the real thing. Rumor even has it that Core Design, the now defunct team behind the series, was known for letting slip the inputs for such a code following the release of TR II.
Whether Core Design released fake codes or not, that didn’t stop gullible boys from trying it out.
However, when anyone tried to use the code, Lara would violently explode, resulting in her head, arms and legs flying off as she screamed.
Sure, there are mods for the PC versions of Tomb Raider games that get Lara in the buff these days, courtesy of the internet. It’s bound to happen – rule 34 and all.
Kids these days will never know the anguish/horrible embarrassment suffered at the hands of those looking to see a buxom PlayStation-era lady in only what a development team in Derby, U.K. gave her.