I remember hearing whispers on the playground of secret things you could do in video games that would unlock untold secrets. Those rumors gave the games a sense of mystery. Of revelation. And I do so wish these urban legends were true, if only so I won't have wasted so many hours of my life.
Although, that said, I was playing video games that entire time anyway, so I guess it wouldn't be unfair to say that that life was already wasted. In any event, here are the video game urban legends I wish were true!
Luigi in Super Mario 64
After a statue reading "L is real 2401" was found in Super Mario 64, theories began to pop up online as to how one would go about unlocking Luigi as a playable character. Some of the more popular notions suggested one could collect every coin in the game for a total of 2401.
But since playing as Luigi wouldn't really change the game in any way, you might as well download a trial version of Photoshop and learn how to shift specific colors and learn a little bit about graphic design. Or, you know, collect 2401 coins in a 17 year old game. Whichever one you think is more likely to lead to success in life. Remember, graphic design is a very competitive field.
Banjo/ Kazooie's whole Stop N' Swop ordeal
I was told by this kid Kenny in 5th grade that that if I collected all the Jinjos, musical notes, and red feathers in the game, I could get the elusive ice key and question mark eggs we all glimpsed but could never collect at the end of the first Banjo Kazooie. I spent hours working to accomplish this nearly impossible task, and when I finally did and nothing happened, Kenny laughed and started teasing me for believing him. Naturally I was heartbroken and FURIOUS with Kenny, but it turned out he was only acting out because his parents were getting a divorce.
Since then I've collected all the Stop N' Swop items from the Xbox Live Arcade rerelease of Banjo Kazooie and Kenny died lighting a fire in an old farmhouse to get his parents' attention, so I think we all know who got the last laugh there.
The Triforce can be found in Ocarina of Time
In the part of Ocarina of Time's menu that displayed the Sage badges you'd collected, there was an imprint of the Triforce that implied it could be collected in the game. A number of screenshots displaying the Triforce in the Ocarina of Time engine appeared online, but they seem to come from a demo video from before the game's release.
It became popular to post how you "found" the Triforce on internet forums, in increasingly bizarre game-breaking methods, but I never understood why. Once you can beat Gannondorf, there's nothing left to do in Ocarina of Time. Is Link going to just sit in his stupid treehouse apartment looking at it like a fat guy looks at his p90x DVDs?
Mew is underneath some truck
The rumor was that you could use the Pokemon attacks STRENGTH or CUT to get this truck out of the way and fight Mew, whom you could then weaken and capture. There ended up being no truth to this rumor, as the only way to get Mew was by performing a complicated series of precise steps to trick the game into letting you fight him. It's all very confusing.
A bunch of kids were given access codes to Mew shortly after Pokemon Red/ Blue's release, so I think at this point the easiest way to get Mew is to master quantum technology and travel to an alternate universe where you can be one of those kids.
Squall dies in the middle of Final Fantasy VIII
At the end of the first disc of Final Fantasy VIII, Squall is hit in the chest by a giant ice shard and tumbles over a cliff. The urban legend says that the SECRET narrative of the game is that Squall actually dies at this point, and that of the game is in his head as he falls to the ground. You can read about all the evidence at Squall's Dead, and it's pretty convincing. I hope it's true, because it means there's a chance that Kenny got to save the world before the farmhouse he lit on fire trying to get his parent's attention collapsed on top of him, burning him alive.
Fallout 3 predicts the future
Since Fallout 3 takes place in our future, we're sometimes told what happened in the game's past — our future — from the in-game radio broadcasts, including the day the queen of England dies and the year Britney Spears won an Oscar. But one supposed radio transmission was disquieting. Fallout 3, released a full year before Gary Coleman's death, predicted Gary Coleman's death. Another broadcast allegedly predicted the 2010 BP oil spill.
Bethesda has since debunked the rumor, but isn't that exactly what you'd expect someone with the power to see the future to do? I say we go to Bethesda for all our stock market advice from now on. Attention NASDAQ! I'll take a thousand shares of Dragonborn stock, if you please! (I don't have a goddamn clue how the stock market works.)
The secret island in GoldenEye
If you take a sniper rifle and look across the body of water in GoldenEye's Dam level, you'll see a small island that's impossible to get to with a single guard walking aimlessly. It sounds like it was originally a location players could travel to by boat, but when the level got too big, developer Rare decided to simply remove the boat, leaving in the island.
The small, desolate island is creepy, to be sure, but it's nowhere near as creepy as the house that young couple built on the lot over Kenny's farmhouse they were forced to abandon two months after they moved in.
Any gaming urban legends you've heard? Let me know on Twitter at @mikeyfromsu or in the comments below!