Every popular game has a rumor around it that elevates into near urban legend, and perhaps due to an oversight or hanging plot thread it seems just plausible. It's not hard to believe them, since the games often have real secrets and glitches that are so bizarre that they sound made-up (such as the Sailor Moon and Space Sheriff parodies you can unlock in Silent Hill 3, or the fact that Iggy Koopa's fireballs in Super Mario World will turn into glitchy blobs if you slide into them). Yet no matter how much evidence is eventually against it, the rumor just won't die.
A common source of these is April Fool's issues of popular gaming magazines. After all, if it's in print, it must be true! ...not quite. Other sources include mistranslated lines, aspects of the game being Dummied Out, and Missing Secrets.
A frequent motif in such rumors is that of a secret supposedly unlocked by performing some action in the game for hours on end, pulling off a difficult feat several times in a row, or just doing something complicated exactly the right way—which makes the rumor harder to verify and contributes to its longevity.
Sometimes, the game's creators will include a character or a feature in the sequel because of these rumors. For instance, when a cameo appearance of Cut Man in Mega Man 7 led to a rumor that he was in the game as a secret boss, Capcom added him as a secret boss in the Saturn port of 8 (he also appears as a secret boss in Mega Man X 8, probably an in-joke reference to this).
Occasionally, this will reach the point where the rumors take on a life of their own. This can culminate in the creation of a "FWAK", a parody walkthrough containing intentionally fake "secrets". The most infamous of these is undoubtedly Eggnog's hidden character FWAK for Final Fantasy VI. FWAK stands for "False Wisdom and Knowledge".
It's worth noting that the explosion of Internet access has allowed for both rapid debunking and rapid propagation of such digital legends, resulting in people being no better or worse informed about them than before.
Please do not confuse this trope for an Urban Fantasy edition of The Legend of Zelda. Even if it doesor does notexist.
As an aside, this trope's name could be a "Before & After" puzzle on Wheel of Fortune.
Compare Wild Mass Guessing and Fandom Berserk Button. For more information, check out Pop Fiction, an excellent Mythbusters-type show on this very subject, or Did You Know Gaming?, which features gaming Urban Legends and Easter Eggs.
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The Legend Of Zelda (Trope Namer)
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was caught by a rumor saying you could unlock the Triforce in the game, most likely caused by screenshots of the game in its early developmental stages which did in fact contain the Triforce. The final game did not contain the Triforce as an obtainable item, but that didn't stop people from looking for it anyway. These rumors were even backed up by photoshopped pictures of the "Temple of Light".
A (comparatively) convincing theory involved learning a song called the "Overture of Sages" that allowed you to catch a glimpse of, but not actually obtain, the Triforce prior to pulling out the Master Sword. This was accompanied by (again, comparatively) convincing screenshots. Naturally, the person who revealed this declined to give certain details of how to learn the song. Learn that story here.
Also, the rumor that you can beat the Marathon Man. The fact of the matter is, you can't. The game's designers, apparently, had no clue what to do if you won (can't give you a bigger bomb bag because that's somewhere else, etc.), so he always beats you by exactly one second - even if you use a cheat to finish in zero seconds (giving him a time of "00:0/"). The real point of the race ended up just being to beat your best time.
There's a hacked video on YouTube claiming that you can beat him by going back in time and waiting for seven in-game years. Clever idea but this, too, is a hoax, as a simple examination of the game's text dump (which can be found here on GameFAQs) shows.
There was a rumor that you could, as Adult Link, climb up the back of the great Deku Tree and find a hammer which could be used to break the ice that had trapped the Zoras. With cheat devices, you canenter the Deku Tree as an adult; the place is intact, but there's nothing new to see.
Another OoT rumor spoke of the "Desert Pyramid", a dungeon hidden in the Haunted Wastelands which contained the Triforce for whatever reason. The "pyramid" can be revealed by playing the Song of Storms in a specific location and with the right orientation; the lightning flashes illuminate a triangular silhouette on the horizon, and thus the rumor writes itself. Reaching the silhouette without cheats is impossible thanks to the desert's swirling sands, but close examination reveals a simple rock with a particularly pointy top.◊
Once, Dan Owsen (back when he was running the "Ask Dan" column on Nintendo's website) posted an almost ridiculously long code sequence that would result in several characters becoming naked — specifically, Malon, Talon, and Ingo. So many people used the "code" and complained to Owsen when it didn't work that he had to eventually issue an apology and a message that basically said "Yeah, that code is phony".
There was another rumor that floated around saying how you could obtain an M16 shortly after beating the Water Temple and using a certain item (Usually a bomb or the hammer) in a specific spot in Kakiriko Village during or after the shadow attack.
Least convincing OoT rumor of all was the obvious April Fool's joke on one site that said you could totally get a gender-bending tunic that would result in a transvestite Link. Considering that Sheik held precedent, people actually believed it.
One of the best was probably the existence of a Sky Temple, fueled by the fact that the first Sage you meet is the Sage of Light, who never got trapped in his temple. One memorable story of how to get there was to use a Game Shark to prevent night from changing into day and kill hundreds of Stalchildren in Hyrule Fields, causing (supposedly) a gigantic skeleton to approach you from the distance, who could be killed with a single hit. The skeleton's skull was then supposed to provide a telepad to the Sky Temple, which was also rumored to contain the Triforce.
The Dummied Out Unicorn Fountain was rumored to be accessed through an underwater door in Zora's Domain. A pathway does exist down there, but it just leads to an underwater dead-end with a black wall — and you don't just make a hard-to-get-to space like that for no reason...
There were also a few reports of an item called the phantom arrows. These supposedly required the player to use the biggoron quest-chain potion on the ghost in the desert, and would replace the fire arrows.
There was also the "El Puerco" rumor that circulated around GameFAQs for a while, involving a strange pig-like enemy that was said to have an extremely rare chance of appearing during the graveyard race against Dampe. General consensus now is that the initial "sighting", if not a complete fabrication, was the result of a player encountering a very rare, very odd glitch with the ReDead enemy's model.
Another rumor involved a Gold Tunic that combined the effects of the Goron and Zora Tunics, and was related to the Gold Skulltula Tokens.
Perhaps the most insidious April Fools prank of them all: the realistic remake of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (rendered with the graphical engine of Twilight Princess) Electronic Gaming Monthly claimed was available with a Twilight Princess pre-order. The magazine even showed a photoshopped image of Link fighting a bird enemy, both of them being in the style of Twilight Princess, while the area the screenshot was in was from an area in Wind Waker. Sadly, some people fell for it and actually asked local retailers if the pre-order offer was really happening. The May issue included mocking letters from others who were fooled. Oops.
A few years ago there was a talk of a new, futuristic Zelda game where Epona was a motorcycle. It turned out to be an April Fools Joke.
Then there's the hoax known as Valley of the Flood, starring a Fake Ultimate Hero version of Link. An interview about it can be seen here.
While they were mostly joke topics to begin with, some people on GameFAQs tried to make up rumors about how you could get inside Fado's house in Twilight Princess. You can't. The door is always locked for some reason.
Also in Twilight Princess, there have been claims that you can find the hidden "Beta forest". These rumors have been fueled by what appears to be a wide open expanse of trees seen in the first two trailers for the game that is different from the usual cave-system-disguised-by-occasional-trees that passes as a forest in the Zelda games. The videos "proving" the existence of the Beta forest in the game or showing where the Beta forest was intended to be usually just consist of the player doing random stuff and exploiting random glitches in order to confuse the viewer.
Back in 2005 there was a bid on eBay for a game called The Legend Of Zelda: The Triforce Saga for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was supposedly a half-finished prototype for an unreleased Zelda game, but the bidder couldn't post much on it due to them "being very busy" and him not being a gamer. Someone brought the cartridge for $3000 but they didn't state anything on it. It was all quite obviously a hoax.
Rumors long abounded about getting Golbez to join your party. Ironically, in The After Years, Golbez totally does join your party.
The twin characters Palom and Porom. After their Heroic Sacrifice, they were rumored to be retrievable through a special quest you can get ONLY if you go out of your way to get it right at the moment that they are semi-permanently turned to stone. Urban Legends of Zelda aside, they eventually really do get better without your assistance anyway, but in most versions of the game, they don't rejoin you. It should be noted that the game programmers themselves did little to quell these rumors; in-game, you can attempt to use any item in your inventory on the now-frozen pair, implying that there was something you could find that would reverse the process.
It was made even worse that a particular walkthrough actually quotes this as fact (or lists FWAK entries among accurate entries). This rumor has also intertwined with the very real hidden room Easter Egg from the Japanese version, and thus it has been said that Palom and Porom can only be retrievable through the hardtype version of the game.
This one actually has some truth to it — in the original version of Final Fantasy IV SFC, there was an item called a Golden Needle (which did appear in the English localization of Final Fantasy VI under the name "Soft") that would remove Stone (and only Stone). Using this on the twins would give you a message saying that it wouldn't work for plot reasons. The original US version of Final Fantasy II was made significantly easier for US audiences, including the removal of all status effect healing items in lieu of the "Heal" item.
Another FFIV rumor related to Dark Matter, which could be stolen from the initial stage of the last boss Zeromus. At the point where the only US version was the edited FF 2, which did not have the item, rumor had it that it was necessary to steal it to reduce the damage done by Zeromus's attack and that removing the need to do this was one of the changes made for the easier FF 2 version. FFIV was later brought to the US unedited for newer systems and the Dark Matter has no effect (though in the Nintendo DS version it allows fighting a Bonus Boss later).
There is a myth about Final Fantasy V involving a secret job class. When you ride on the submarine there is an underwater rock shaped like a human face; there are a variety of myths (beat the game, land a certain number of steps away from it etc.) that is involved in unlocking the Paladin class.
Possibly as a nod to this, in the GBA remake, the underwater face does lead to extra job classes: three as soon as you access it, and a fourth after defeating a difficult Bonus Boss after beating the game.
Resurrecting General Leo after Kefka kills him. The GBA port of Final Fantasy VI caused a brief resurfacing of these rumors — not only was it claimed that a newly-added side quest would allow you to bring back Leo, but he could permanently join your party afterwards too. The same was even claimed of antagonist Emperor Gestahl.
Note that it actually is possible to revive Leo in the SNES version, but with certain restrictions and not for the entire game. However, none of the legends that circulated about this back in the day were true, as reviving Leo depends on a glitch that wasn't discovered until a couple of years ago. Read all the details here (if you specifically want the part relevant to the legend, it's in Part 12).
A rumor went around a while back that if you got every single one of Shadow's dream sequences — scenes that you get by sleeping in various inns around the world with Shadow in your party in the World of Ruin (including a nonexistent "secret" scene that you have to do something special for, like having another character in your party at the inn) — you could get an alternate character ending.
A somewhat low-key but persistent rumor is that there's some arcane trick to preventing Shadow from leaving after battles during those segments when he can (doing the "three scenarios" segment in a particular order, not making so much money from battles, changing your party order, etc.) There are tricks to stop him from running, actually, but they mostly rely on keeping Shadow from being alive and present at the end of battles (knock him out, make him run, etc.) Beyond that, it's 100% random.
The presence of Kappa/Imp-specific equipment in the game, the Imp named Kappa who teaches the player about Gau's Rage ability, and the Imp Robot joke auction in Jidoor are enough to make some players believe a separate Imp could be recruited into the party without having to waste an existing character with the Imp condition set on him/her. There was a photo taken of an Imp casting black magic — not normally possible, but easily faked by having the Imp use a magic rod in battle as an item.
One FAQ stated that if you got all the Imp-specific armor, equipped it to a character, used a Rename Card to rename them "KAPPA", and cast Imp on them, they would turn into an unstoppable new character. While this has truth in it — equipping an Imp-ified character with all Imp armor makes them a force to be reckoned with — it can be done at any time with or without the Rename Card, the character does not actually change into an Imp, and they can be turned back at any time.
That "FAQ" had an enormous list of these including how to get Ultros, Siegfried, Leo, Kefka, Kappa, and characters from other games entirely, in increasingly crazy ways that would have required more memory than a SNES cart could hold.
Was the said FAQ found on the same site as the abovementioned FFIV FAQ that was full of FWAK entries as well by any chance? Maybe the writer of both walkthroughs was using FWAK as Copy Protection...
Various rumors surround the 1/1200-scale model of an airship and the Imp Robot that can't ever be bought from the auction house. (You will always be severely outbid by a gentleman who will offer more than your Gil Cap — and no, there's no way around it.)
Rumours about a ninth dragon were also circulating at about the same time as the original General Leo rumours, on the basis of a NPC who talks about a "terrible dragon" living near the Veldt Cave. It turned out to be a mistranslation of the Japanese word for "dinosaur," and referred to the dinosaur enemies found in the forest near the cave, but spawned many fan theories about a ninth dragon that could be found and fought. Some of them connected it explicitly with the Leo-resurrection rumour, claiming that defeating the ninth dragon gave you an item that could be used to resurrect Leo.
A related rumor sprung up concerning the superboss "CzarDragon", where by some obscure method, you could re-fight the Eight Dragons again in sequence, then face CzarDragon at the end. This one actually has a lot of merit to it — hacking the game's code reveals there is an enemy called CzarDragon, with a unique sprite, a taunt speech to be delivered to the party at the start of the battle, and stats. And there were cut battle messages that make it clear the Eight Dragons would have been fought again and would have called in their allies one by one, and a couple battle messages allude to some of them Turning Red as well. However, none of it turned out to be true, with the most common rumor, that being you have to petrify the Blue Dragon, being impossible since the Blue Dragon is immune to petrify. Then the Updated Re-release for the Gameboy Advance which saw a bonus dungeon with powered-up forms of the Eight Dragons be added, and at the end of the dungeon waits their boss, Kaiser Dragon. He uses the same Japanese name as Czar Dragon (Czar and Kaiser are the Russian and German variants, respectively, of the title "Caesar") and has an expanded, paraphrased version of Czar's original introductory taunt, as well as a larger, more elaborate sprite clearly based on Czar's.
That Gogo is actually General Leo/Emperor Gestahl/Adlai Stevenson the politician (though that last one can be convincing if you buy into the fake quotes from his works.) This one kind of died when Final Fantasy V was released in English, since he's quite obviously just a simple cameo from that game.
Two empty spaces in the complete Magicite menu in Final Fantasy VI prompted rumors of hidden Espers that would grant various absurd and powerful spells if you could find them. In reality, one of the empty spaces was the one vacated by the Odin esper when it evolved into Raiden (destroying the original in the process), and the other was there because you needed a blank space on the menu to be able to remove an Esper from a character.
Of course, the reality of the situation (and Odin's unique level-up buff) only encouraged the rumor that there was a way to get Raiden without losing Odin. A popular one was that you had to kill the dragon in the underground castle using Break. Possessing all of the espers (both Odin and Raiden included) was in turn supposed to unlock the Czar Dragon battle. And then Final Fantasy VI Advance came out, which had four new Espers (Gilgamesh, Leviathan, Cactuar, and Diabolos) and the long-awaited Kaiser Dragon boss battle (at the end of a brand-new dungeon!).
The death of Aerith/Aeris shocked many players at first, so naturally a rumor started that she could be revived. This evolved into a more refined rumor that such a quest was left on the cutting room floor. The game's producers had categorically denied this, citing it as ruining the dramatic impact.
One of the rumors regarding the resurrection focused on the relatively-useless "Underwater" materia, which had no point in the Japanese version and only removed a time limit during an optional boss fight in the other releases. It was said that if the materia AP was maxed (something in itself that would take months of level grinding), you could travel underwater in the Forbidden City where she bit it and bring her back to life. It turns out that maxing the AP of the materia just set it back to 0.
Another tantalizing bit is there's a materia that is reachable after she dies, and upon activating says something like "You hear voices" and made it seem like she did special things with the white materia.
The most unusual thing about the resurrection rumor is that it is extremely easy to disprove. You can put her back in your party using a save game editor. However, at various points from then on, the game will either crash or preemptively remove her from the party.
Another variation of the resurrection rumor was one that involved being very nice to her in all of your dialogue options while being downright cruel to Tifa; doing so would make Tifa die instead during the infamous scene.
Speaking of Final Fantasy VII, a specific "infinite gil" cheat made the rounds not only on the Internet, but in magazines and printed video game hint books, over and over again, despite the fact that the method itself was insanely, obscurely stupid. And couldn't even work, mostly because the item (a "time card") and the town(?) ("Manchuria") central to it didn't even exist. That's not even considering how easy it is to get more cash than you can ever spend (start by selling a mastered All materia for 1.2 million gil, which most people will have lying around somewhere around Disc 2 and go from there)... Or, alternatively, abusing the item duplication trick and selling off excess items.
While not as popular, there were/are also theories about how to find or resurrect Zack. One of the most common was that the sick Sephiroth clone you find living in a sewer pipe in Midgar is Zack, and that Aerith's mention of "Sorry, I'm too weak to heal him" means that you have to buff her up to ungodly levels and talk to him again. Given that the area is only accessible (with Aerith, anyway) for a brief period in which there are only fairly weak enemies to level-build on, one can only imagine the wasted hours and snapped controllers sacrificed to this rumor.
Another rumour of how to find Zack was actually printed in an issue of the UK's Powerstation magazine. It involved the useless items that could be won from the Speed Square at the Gold Saucer — the 1/35 SOLDIER, Super Sweeper and Masamune Blade — and somehow using them on the ruined reactor in Gongaga.
Another screen-crunching leg that this rumour grew was that if you fought the infinite mooks at the end of the subway tunnel when heading to the second mako reactor for a solid hour, you would get access to a hidden treasure trove that contained an item needed to revive "Zack".
Also Cloud's sister Gale (New Game + mode) and the Joke WEAPONS Cheese Weapon and Chocobo Weapon. The explanation of the Gale rumor was incredibly detailed and seemed plausible until the very end, where her second Fourth Level Limit Break was "beating you to a pulp for believing such a stupid rumor." Some people still did not get the joke. The part about an actual female Cloud (as opposed to just a crossdressing normal one) is more Hilarious in Hindsight at this point than anything, considering Square's basically admitted that Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII is meant to mirror Cloud and she can wear Cloud's SOLDIER outfit and use his Buster Sword in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII as a preorder bonus.
Often in conjunction with the revival of Aerith, there was the rumor of a White Chocobo that could travel everywhere the Gold Chocobo could, as well as underwater, usually leading to the White Materia/Aerith's body/another WEAPON (usually Onyx).
One fan theory that still hasn't died postulates that Ultimecia was Rinoa in the future, and her Griever GF was somehow Squall. The whole theory was based on leaps of faith and small plot holes in the game. Square denied the theory in the Ultimania Guides. For a good laugh or two, go on the GameFAQs boards and ask them about this "strange rumor my friend told me about Ultimecia and Rinoa being the same person." This rumor is also based heavily in Rinoa's private talk with Squall aboard the Ragnarok on disc 3 where she announces Ultimecia's goals as her own. While it's intended to be romantic, the way she carries on about making one moment last forever makes it easy to see where the rumor came from:
I don't want the future. I want the present to stand still. I just want to stay here with you.
Although, there is more beef to back up this rumor than most; at one point in the main story (not even a side-quest), Zell conspires with Rinoa to steal Squall's Griever ring in order to copy it. She later shows him her copy on her finger. Rinoa first notices the ring at an earlier point in the game, whereupon the player is prompted to enter a name for the ring (default "Griever"). In the final confrontation with Ultimecia, the name of the GF she summons is the name the player gave the ring. This is all fine and good, except for one little problem: It's expressly stated in the game (by using Scan during the boss battle) that Ultimecia created the Griever boss by reading Squall's mind, so naturally it would be using the same name. The conversation where Griever is named could just as easily have been done with Zell, Quistis, or anyone else.
Reaching the final dungeon within twelve hours will get you the Excalibur II. (That part is true.) That itself is a difficult accomplishment, but a rumor used to persist on the GameFAQs boards that beating the entire game in twelve hours would result in an alternate ending where a twenty-five year old Eiko kills Garnet and then traps Zidane in a crystal.
A cheat was posted on Gamewinners.com at one point that if you name Garnet "Pleb", Steiner will give Vivi the Octagon Rod, a late-game weapon which teaches Firaga, Blizzaga, and Thundaga, absorbs Wind damage, increases Water damage, and gives the Add Status "Trouble" (which causes the affected target to share half of the damage it received with other party members when physically attacked). Of course it's fake; there's no way to get the Octagon Rod until the third disc.
It was popular for a time to claim that Shiva from Final Fantasy was named for a Celtic ice goddess, rather than the better-known Hindu deity. While this was untrue, there are vague similarities to the Hindu deity Shiva. Hindu deities are both male and female, and both the deity and Final Fantasy's Shiva have blue skin. (Although the former comes from ingesting poison, and the latter from connection with ice.) The name was probably supposed to be "Shiver" and was simply mistranslated.
The original games, Pokémon Red and Blue, have so many legitimate secrets and glitches that it was inevitable that this trope would come into play. Many of them had some grain of truth that are only becoming obvious now.
There's generally one Pokémon in each set of games that can't be captured during regular gameplay (requiring a limited-edition promotional item or Gameshark to get). The rumors revolve around a hidden point and/or series of actions to take that allows you to get it.
The biggest proliferation happened with the first generation, which was released before sites like GameFAQs hit it big. There were probably 73 different ways claimed to get a Mew. There actually isa working glitch to get Mew, but it was discovered in 2003, 5 years after the game's North American release, after most of the rumors had died down, and around the time of the release of the incompatible (due to hardware limitations) third generation of games, which due to said incompatibility couldn't use a Mew found using the glitch in the first generation of games.
Even the Generation III (Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald) games are not exempt. There is a persistent rumor that when the shuttle launch count in the Mossdeep City reaches a certain number (50 and 99 were two of the fairly popular numbers), you will be able to hitch a ride on one of the rockets. This will take you into space, where you can catch Deoxys or Jirachi. There's also an obscure urban legend about Celebi having a one in about two hundred million chance of appearing on a certain route in pre-order copies of the game, though due to the sheer improbability this one didn't circulate much.
Perhaps complicating the situation was the legitimate Missingno. glitch which seemed just as insane and arbitrary as any of the rumors (at least to someone not versed in programming). You had to talk to an irrelevant-seeming tutorial NPC in Viridian City, and then Surf along the beach of Cinnabar Island. This made weird Pokémon show up, like Golbat and Snorlax over the level cap of 100, and a pair of glitched "Pokémon" called Missingno. and 'M. They were actually placeholder values in the game, and so catching them made even weirder stuff happen - in-battle graphics would be screwy, the Hall of Fame would be permanently glitched, and if you put it in a PC box you might not be able to ever retrieve it (depending on your name). Missingno. got so popular for another reason, however. The 6th item in your inventory would be cloned to 128 after encountering it or 255 after capturing it. This means with a little planning, you can create infinite numbers of rare and powerful items like Master Balls and rare candies, which makes the game laughably easy.
Note that there isn't actually so much a "pair" of glitched Pokémon as much there are (at least) twelve of them, plus a few only available through Gameshark, as chronicled by Glitch City Laboratories. The best is LM4, which is a blur of dots that will, at Lvl. 18, evolve three times back-to-back: First into Clefairy, then into Clefairy again, and then into Nidoking.
This much is true, but the Missingno spurred the creation of a number of myths, the main one being that it was meant to be in the game. It's actually a programming glitch, and the fact that it has any readable name is a glitch on top of that. But it was often claimed that this Pokémon was created to be the proverbial joker in the deck, and that, if caught, it would erase your other Pokémon or even your saved games if a certain condition was met (the myth had several variations on this point). It was supposedly named "Missingno" because your files are missing now. (In fact, Missingno is just an abbreviation of "missing number", the translation of a japanese phrase relating to the superstition that certain numbers are unlucky due to their association with death.)
When Red and Blue were finally released in Europe, they did so in translated versions fit to the official languages of the countries they were released in. Game Freak took advantage of this to slip in patches for the game's most known bugs (read: Missingno) before handing over the code of the game for translating. Gaming publications, however, mostly did a translation job of North American guides which detailed the steps required to find Missingno without actually bothering to check* In their defense, you did have to almost clear the game in order to try it, steps that no longer worked in the European versions. This turned Missingno into an Urban Legend of Zelda local to Europe only. It didn't help that several other glitches (like Glitch City) or unexplained mysteries like the Truck were left in.
On the subject of the European translations, the manual advised to avoid trading Mons between versions of the game in different languages in order to preserve the data integrity of the save file. This, of course, led to a slew of small Hylian myths, such as the "World Tour" cheat, which involved trading a Mon around all released translations of the game and then back to the original OT. This would presumably allow the Pokčmon to break the level 100 Cap and go all the way up to 999.
Many of the rumors centered around a truck hidden on a secret harbor of Vermilion City that could only be seen by surfing around the S.S. Anne — however, you only obtain the HM for Surf later in the game, and the S.S. Anne leaves to never return once you've obtained the necessary Cut HM on it. Clever players went around this by by either avoiding the S.S. Anne altogether by simply trading for the necessary move from another game, or by deliberately losing in battle (which automatically takes you to the last-visited Pokémon Center), which would trick the boat into remaining in harbor. While the truck contained no secrets, neither Nintendo nor Game Freak has ever made an official statement explaining its presence. However, Game Freak referenced the rumors by putting a Lava Cookie (a status-healing item that can be bought in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire) beside it for the GBA remakes.
The truck rumors were also referenced in Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness when a woman says "There's no Pokémon under a truck, maybe you'll just find a Muk," as part of a song she's writing.
Speaking of the S.S. Anne, there were also quite a few rumours based around getting it to come back. These were supported by an NPC stating that the S.S. Anne would return in a year, but the original games had no way of telling the time beyond hours played.
Back in the days, some people actually believed Shellder to lose its shell when evolved the first time, and then after that evolve into Gastly and follow Gastly's evolution path. This was supported by the Red and Blue instruction manual that showed both Shellder and Gastly in their slots in the Pokédex with only one slot between them. The slot between them later turned out just to be Cloyster.
As well, there was an infamous "trick" from the first set of games which was supposed to allow you to transform a Dragonite into Yoshi, in yet another Electronic Gaming Monthly April Fools' joke gone wrong.
Similarly, there was an April Fool's joke that you could evolve a Lickitung into Luigi by feeding it a Rare Candy while holding your Game Boy UPSIDE-DOWN. This one actually came from the official Web site of Nintendo of America, which to be fair made the joke more ridiculous than the Yoshi one; in addition to the requirement of holding the system upside-down, it required the Lickitung to be captured in a specific type of Poké Ball (which the games didn't keep track of until Ruby and Sapphire) in Blue specifically, with this only being possible in Yellow (which was out in English at the time), with Red and Blue having it obtained through a trade, and Luigi's "sprite" was clearly a grayscale version of his artwork for the original Super Smash Bros. and much higher-quality than the games' actual sprites.
When breeding was introduced, the fact that Nidoqueen could not breed for some unexplained reason caused a lot of rumors, many people claiming that you could use one to breed an incredibly powerful Pokémon if some conditions were met. (Almost every version of this rumor claimed that you needed a Nidoking as the breeding partner, but could agree on what the other condition was.) Gamefreak itself has confirmed that this is false; Nidoqueen cannot breed, period.
It wasn't helped that a few sources suggested that Nidoqueen could breed, which added fuel to the fire. Several versions of its Pokédex entry claimed that it was protective of its young, while in the anime special Mewtwo Returns, a cloned Nidoqueen was shown to be able to breed, producing offspring with a male Ryhorn. (Of course, this anime broke the rules in another way: One of the offspring was a baby Nidoqueen, not a Nidoran. In the game, a Pokémon's offspring is the lowest evolutionary rung of the family line, except in cases with "baby Pokémon" like Munchlax where a trainer has give the mother something in order to get one.)
Rumors for the games were practically defined by the supposed presence of hidden or new Pokémon. These new Pokémon were usually seen in the anime or online in very early Gold and Silver beta artwork and pre-release artwork, at such an early time no one expected sequels so assumed these "new" Pokémon were in the current games.
The most popular of these was "Pikablu", which was thought to be a Water-type Pikachu. It eventually turned out to be Marill, though it was first seen at the same time the Red and Blue versions were released, which was over two years before Gold and Silver.
Another rumored type of "secret" Pokémon were new evolutions for Eevee. Eevee had evolutions for nearly all the elemental stones (Fire, Water, and Thunder), but none for the Leaf or Moon Stones. Rumors began to be circulated for getting Eevee to evolve using either of the unused stones. This demonstrates just how easily a rumor could come about. Coincidentally, a "Moon" (Dark)-type Eevee evolution would eventually become a reality with Umbreon in Generation II (though it evolved via Happiness at night, not via Moon Stone, it was listed in the Pokédex as the "Moonlight Pokémon"), and Generation IV added the Grass-type Leafeon, which evolved by leveling up an Eevee in a particular area, not with a Leaf Stone (to keep everything consistent in-universe).
"Bill's Secret Garden" was a HUGE Urban Legend Of Zelda because when one enters Bill's house, they can see what looks like a path that continues north. This "Garden" (sometimes described as a "Mountain" or "Forest") was said to have extremely rare Pokémon, usually Mew, Togepi, or Pikablu.
There were also rumors that you could capture Charmander, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur there, since you could only pick one at the start of the game, and as breeding hadn't existed back then, most people wouldn't want to trade their starters just to complete the Pokédex.
If you use a Game Shark you can use a walk through walls cheat and go back there. It's a patch the height of your character and as wide as Bill's house with nothing in it.
Becomes Ascended Fanon in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, where completing the entire Pokédex (bar Legendaries) unlocks access to a "secret garden" area where you can find a shiny Haxorus and many otherwise-unavailable Pokémon.
The enigmatic Hall Of Fame room, where Prof. Oak recorded your victory over the Elite 4 at the end of the game, was wide enough that it seemed to stretch past the horizontal borders of the screen. Legend says that beating the Elite 4 a ridiculous number of times, while fullfilling an equally insane condition (besides the bullet point of having completed the Pokčdex) would cause Prof. Oak to snap, say something like "I'm sick of this!" and leave, allowing you to explore the edges of the room. Take a wild guess as to what it allegedly had: it begins with M and rhymes with "three". Like with Bill's Secret Garden, Gameshark has shown there's nothing there.
There's also the various myths about increasing your chance of a Pokémon being captured by mashing buttons in a certain order or time. The fact that the official Nintendo website once confirmed this is probably to blame.
Note that this is actually somewhat true: the Pokémon RNG is slightly affected by button inputs. However, as this requires frame-perfect timing, it is largely something for the speedrunners. Mostly, though, this idea persists because it just FEELS effective.
There were rumors of being able to evolve Venusaur, Charizard, and Blastoise again into Sapusaur, Charcolt, and Rainer respectively. These generally involved using the mythical "Mist Stone" on them, although a claimed method for evolving Charizard into Charcolt required waiting to evolve Charmander into Charmeleon until Nugget Bridge and waiting to evolve Charmeleon into Charizard until the Elite Four among other things.
Ironically, Venusaur, Charizard, and Blastoise would be able to Mega Evolve starting in Generation 6.
Another story described how catching several different kinds of Bug Pokémon and going through Victory Road and the Elite Four using only those Bug Pokémon would result in Professor Oak acknowledging your love for bugs and giving you a cricket Pokémon named Tricket as a reward. This sequence is impossible as the required Pokémon cannot learn Surf or Strength, necessary to get into and through Victory Road. Diamond & Pearl did introduce the cricket Pokémon Kricketot and Kricketune many years later, though.
Most (if not all) of these Pokegod rumors involved talking to various NPCs (some important, such as your Mom, Prof. Oak, and others just random) a certain number of times to get them to say something different.
This was probably fueled by the fact that there was one situation where repeatedly talking to an NPC did something. (The gatekeeper outside the Safari Zone would let you in for free if you talked to him enough times.)
This is a project working to archive and research all the old codes and rumors in the Pokémon games, particularly the PokeGods.
Pokémon is also frequently subject to creepypasta, particularly original Red and Green versions. Lavender Town is frequently the subject of these stories.
One of these stories was about Pokemon Black (not to be confused with one-half of Pokémon Black and White), a rumor about either a hacked rom of Pokémon Red/Blue or an actual bootleg cartridge (which would also be a hack) with a black sticker on the front. Basically, you start out with a "ghost" Pokémon you can never switch out of your main party. It has the sprite of what all ghost Pokémon look like before you get the Silph Scope which allows you to properly see them. All other Pokémon are too afraid of your ghost to attack it. The ghost's only attack is a Curse which instantly knocks out almost all other Pokémon in one hit. The victimon's defeat cry is played in a distorted way. The ball that it was in disappears from your opponent's roster (unless you fought a wild mon). Once you win, you get the previously unavailable option to use Curse on your opponent directly instead of just his Pokémon. Your opponent disappears from the screen and never returns. Some versions of this story have a grave of him appearing in his place. Usually you can talk to anyone you have defeated. The game continues as normal until you beat the Elite Four. It then flashes forward to you as an old man alone in a town. You return to either your home where you first start the game or Professor Oak's lab who gave you the ghost in the first place. You then see the image of every mon and trainer you cursed. Then your once loyal ghost attacks you directly. All you can do is the struggle command which shaves off a little of your life and does no damage to the ghost. Once your HP hits 1 or 0 the mon Curses you. The screen goes black and will not change. If you turn the game back on you will find your save file erased.
Another Black and White Urban Legend that spread and was believed for a short amount of time was that Bianca was the Champion. Even after this turned out not to be the case, fans have still debated whether it was misinterpreting her post-League team data as a Champion team or if it truly was Dummied Out. An interview on GameFreak's website mentions that the ending was one of the first things written, leaning toward the former scenario. This didn't stopped some fans from wanting Bianca to be the Champion in the expected third installment, though in the end she was not - and the "third version" turned out to be two more games.
There was also a rumour that you could drive a car at one point, probably based on the fact that actual cars appeared and one NPC talked about getting his driving license. A more obscure, but similar rumour came up between the first and second generation, where people believed there would be a way to ride your Pokémon rather than travel by bike. Then in comes Pokémon X and Y.
There were rumors that the previous player protagonist would appear in the titles. Some rumors said Hilda was canonically the hero while others said that Hilbert appeared if you played as Rosa and Hilda appeared if you played as Nate. Nevertheless, the character is nowhere to be seen. The speculation might have come from Dummied Out data that has Hilbert and Hilda in the PWT.
Another fuel for Urban Legends Of Zelda was the closed tunnel-way between Celadon City and Saffron City in the second generation. In general, most things that had suddenly changed between these two generations spawned rumours.
Yet another example from Black and White. It's been proven Zekrom and Reshiram can sadly, not be shiny. However, this hasn't stopped rumours you can get a shiny one from Dragonspiral Tower. Hackers have proven many times you can't, yet some fans still insist you can, which are sadly mistaken. Victini too is programmed not to be shiny either in-game.
Despite this, all three of these Pokémon do possess shiny sprite data (in case someone hacks them in), which leads to the possibility of future shiny versions of these Pokémon obtainable via events - though this is unlikely, as Reshiram and Zekrom are plot-critical legendaries (one of the pair, depending on the version, must be captured to complete the game), and Victini was only available via an early-adopter Wi-Fi event.
Regardless, Zekrom and Reshiram were part of a Wi-Fi giveaway for Black and White. The dragon you normally couldn't get in your version was the one you'd receive, so their plot relevance didn't really hinder the distribution.
There is a persistent rumor that Mew in Pokémon: The First Movie was very anti-clone. It's said that instead of saying how true power came from the heart Mew said clones were inferior and should perish. While Mew's true words aren't as positive as in the dub it's not quite as edgy as the rumor. All it said was that the originals will always win over the clones.
Pokémon also has a lot of rumours and urban legends about the games before they even get released. You've got fake magazine scans showing Pokémon that are supposed to (but obviously don't) exist in the next game, a fake Pikachu evolution that spread like wildfire across various Japanese Twitter feeds and tons and tons of lists of rumoured things supposedly in the next Pokémon game and told to the author by their friend/relative/someone who works on the development team. Seems like all the Pokémon rumours have gone from being about the content in game to the content of the next currently unreleased installment.
In 2005 there was a rumor◊ of a Hey You, Pikachu! remake for the Nintendo DS that introduced a new Pokemon called "Korechu". It was an April Fool's prank in the end.
Speaking of Hey You, Pikachu!, a persistent rumour about it is that saying "PlayStation" or "SEGA" will make Pikachu angry. Neither word is in the voice-recognition's library.
In Pokémon X and Y, you can tip certain NPC's after conversations, your choice of nothing, 100, 500, 1000 in-game currency. Allegedly, tipping 1000 all the time increases your chance of getting a Shiny Pokémon to appear in the wild. Given that the Nintendo 3DS has yet to be successfully hacked, there's no way to tell if this is true or baseless yet.
There were rumors of a second Eeveelution - typically considered a dragon type - given that new Eeveelution's only come in pairs and that Nintendo hadn't promoted Glaceon or Leafeon. After a few weeks of release, and no one finding anything, the speculation died down.
A rumor that Sonic Lost World had a secret ending spawned from a supposed quote from a SEGA employee and people's disappointment in the story's end. After the employee implied it was a misquote and the most obvious methods for unlocking a new ending yielded nothing, the rumor died down, being replaced with the rumors of a direct sequel to the game.
In Sonic Generations, there was a rumor that Blaze referenced Crisis City (and thus, Sonic 06; keep in mind that this Blaze is claimed to be the Sonic Rush Blaze) when saved by Modern Sonic. As it turned out, this was false. All she said was for Sonic not to tell others of her slip-up. However, she DOES mention it if you complete the Modern mission where she assists you and then talk to her; her exact words are "I never thought I'd find myself in Crisis City again".
There were also rumours of DLC stages coming out. This was also false, unless the downloadable Casino Night Zone pinball minigame counts.
This apparently has now become an I Knew It, as Sega has announced Sonic Lost World, exclusive to the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. Still, it's not quite what was rumored, which was essentially a Wii U-exclusive game similar to Sonic Generations, to make up for that game missing both of Nintendo's home consoles due to the Wii not being powerful enough and the Wii U coming out too late for the Milestone Celebration.
There were a few rumors about some bizarre, secret levels in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and at the time what presumably was in these levels took on mythic proportions. Turns out the levels existed, kinda', but were basically left overs from the development phase. The levels existed at a certain point in development, hence the music from them and the screenshots (which spawned the urban legends) were real, but they were later axed. This is similar to the first Mega Man X's fabled "White City" and "robot partners"—mentioned and shown in early previews and screenshots but removed during development.
Sonic & Knuckles was subject of numerous rumours regarding connectivity and several magazine hoaxes; claims that you could play as Knuckles in Sonic 1, Ecco the Dolphin and Streets of Rage 2 were the most memorable, but there were also some related to a secret if you played all the blue sphere levels with Sonic 1 connected, such as playing as Hyper Tails, Metal Sonic or Robotnik. Nothing would actually happen, and if it's assumed every blue sphere level is solvable in two minutes, it would take roughly 400 years of solid play to finish them all (there are over 100 million).
In an example of Cowboy Bebop at His Computer, the Australian magazine "SEGA Megazone", who later admitted that they weren't sure that locking Sonic 1 onto Sonic & Knuckles could actually make playing as Knuckles in Sonic 1 happen, made a fake screenshot of Knuckles in Green Hill Zone and claimed you could play as Tails in Sonic 1 too.
Chaos Chao were like this after the game was first released, but fortunately, they were 100% real, and you could easily get one without an Action Replay.
The Air Necklace, Knuckles' power-up found in Aquatic Mine that lets him breathe underwater (making his part in Cannon's Core a hell of a lot easier) was the same way as the Chaos Chao.
Who remembers the ridiculous amounts of "secret unlockable items" there were? While there were many different rumors, the most infamous example was the Chao Cookie, a Rare Candy that would greatly boost your Chao's stats, and was only obtainable after collecting all of the emblems. Guess what? It wasn't real.
Speaking of item rumors, this damn game even gave us Store rumors, as in Grocery Store. Apparently, if you collected all of the emblems, you could buy the "White Market", which was like the Black Market, but you could get really rare Chao egg colors like Olive, Moon, Rainbow, and yes, Energy...
Back when Sonic 3 was first released some fans noted some musical similarities some tracks in the game had to Michael Jackson songs, giving rise to over a decade of rumors that Jackson was involved with the game's soundtrack in some way (in keeping with the first two games being composed by Masato Nakamura of Dreams Come True, who didn't return for the third game over a money issue). This was eventually confirmed, although Jackson goes uncredited in the final version, apparently either out of dissatisfaction with how his music turned out or Sega attempting to distance themselves from the scandals.
When Super Mario Bros. came out on the NES in North America, several rumors went on about how you could access a secret World 10-1 but proved to be false, although thanks to how the Famicom games were programmed when the Game Genie came out you could use a code to access a world labeled 10-1 but it was just a botched graphical version of World 1-1.
Super Mario Bros. also had a supposed 'no death' trick by holding on the second controller's B button with your toe (or, presumably, with the help of someone else's toe. Or finger, for that matter), that one proved to be false also.
Many people are convinced that something great will happen if you jump over a flagpole in Super Mario Bros. While this is possible to do in World 3-3 by using the scale lift at the end, there's nothing past the flagpole except featureless, infinitely repeating landscape. Then you just have to wait for the timer to kill Mario, because the Ratchet Scrolling won't let you go back. Several levels in Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels did continue past the flagpole, but this often led to the infamous backwards Warp Zones.
There was a rumor going around back in the late 1980s that if you beat the original Super Mario Bros. for NES twice in a row it would open up an option to play Super Mario Bros. 2. Of the many rumors on this page, this one probably makes the least sense—if SMB2 had already been completed at that time, why not just release it seperately?
What does happen when you beat it is that all 8 worlds repeat, with changes to the platforms and enemies to make everything harder. This fact probably led to the misunderstanding that rescuing the princess unlocks a whole new game.
One of Jeff Rovin's How To Win At Nintendo Games books thanks a reader for describing the (real) Minus World trick...then says there's also rumors going around of a hidden "Chocolate Factory" level, though no way to access this is ever given.
Super Mario World had several urban legends. The rise of Lunar Magic modding perpetuated many more:
There is a real secret bonus world called the Star World accessed via a Star Road that paths from normal levels lead to once completed (generally after getting to an alternate goal and not the standard one). It contains several Star Roads itself that lead to various parts of the game's large world map... except for one hidden Star Road that instead leads to the even more secret Special Zone that is accessed via the alternate goal of the last Star World level, which if completed will change the graphics from Summer to Autumn. A rumour persisted that if you did the Star World/Special Zone again you would get a Winter and Spring seasonal change respectively.
An SMW game hack/patch DOES exists with graphic changes and ice-and-slippery snow everywhere where if you go through the Star Road it changes it back to normal gameplay, but sorry no spring-style dino islands.
There have been all sorts of rumors claiming that a secret "97th level" exists in the game, with its access methods ranging from getting a string of Dragon Coins in the right order in certain levels or collecting all Dragon Coins in every level. No such level exists - there are 96 exits in total, including all secret levels. Shigeru Miyamoto even denied the existence of any such level in an early 2000's interview.
Tied into this is the "Moon World", supposedly accessed from either the Star World or one of the Vanilla Dome levels. Although the Moon could be visited in other Mario games (Super Mario Land 2, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island), it cannot be accessed at all in the original SMW. Many confuse it with the Star World itself, perpetuating the rumor. It also doesn't help that at least one account says that the rumor was mentioned in an issue of the Australian Club Nintendo Magazine from the early 90's.
This YouTube video, uploaded in 2007, showed seemingly-legitimate footage of a player accessing a heretofore-undiscovered level via jumping between two "?" blocks in the Top Secret Zone (which is apparently home to a pipe). Said pipe leads to a level exit, which then continues into an extra level (called '???') where Mario discovers a "Laser Suit", complete with a congratulatory message from Nintendo. The uploader never responded to the video, and (after a long period of believing it to be real) most people nowadays consider it to be a well-made hack using Lunar Magic, but that doesn't stop some people who've stumbled upon the video from taking it at face value and trying to replicate the conditions for themselves.
Super Mario 64 was rife with these styles of rumors, including how to get a Hammer Bro Mario (a joke about Super Mario Bros. 3's Hammer Bro Suit, which was at one time a secret) and Yoshi to ride (again a lovely rumor spread by Monthly Gamer Magazine) but nope...not true.
The game contained only Mario as a playable character. That didn't stop some, though; a rumor of a playable Luigi spread across the Internet. This was exacerbated by rumors about a mysterious inscription on a fountain in the Big Boo courtyard that some said read "L is real 2401."
The rumor was perpetuated by none other than Dan Owsen. He didn't ever hint that it was real, mind you, he just refused to answer the question when someone wrote in asking about it (his/Evil Dan's initial response was "the truth is out there". He then repeatedly refused further requests to answer the question, using his "Evil Dan" e-persona to mock everyone the whole time, despite requests that he stop doing that. At the end, he put an answer into his FAQ confirming it wasn't anything, but by then, the rumor had spread far and wide. Had he done his job and simply answered the question (or ignored it and not put in his Q&A in the first place) the rumor would likely be long dead.
Luigi was eventually made playable in the DS remake... which, in conjunction with Wario, then led to a rumor that you could unlock Waluigi.
There were a couple of other unlockables rumored in Mario 64, including a controllable Yoshi (which was why the Yoshi model existed, but there was apparently no time to actually implement the feature), Ninja Mario, Fire Mario (with fire power), and Naked Mario.
The Luigi rumor attached to the original Super Mario 64 may have been fanned so widely by an earlier grain of truth: early beta screenshots printed in Nintendo Power, and interviews, have revealed that Luigi was intended for the game, but later removed. Likewise, hacking reveals the invincible star as an item, though Ninja Mario, Fire Mario, and others are untrue.
Rumours of being able to find Bowser's submarine after it vanished were sometimes thrown around. The typical "do something for an unreasonably long time" rumour also found a home in claims that it was possible to climb the endless staircase if you just stuck at it long enough or jumped at exactly the right moment.
You actually can reach the top of the Endless Stairs without 70 stars, as demonstrated by the 16-star speedrun at speeddemosarchive. It involves exploiting a glitch that rockets Mario up the stairs faster than the screen can scroll (to be specific, you're being warped backwards constantly, so if you go fast enough, you'll rocket past the part that warps you back, and you'll make it upstairs) and letting you reach the top. Very likely not intended by the developers at all, of course.
One of the more elaborate myths came from a site called "W is real". It involved using the Wing Cap to hit a (non-existant) black box that showed up in the file select screen due to a glitch, exactly on the corner, and it would change the Wario door to a door to a secret Waluigi dungeon. They even went so far as to photoshop pictures of a unique level, boss, and Waluigi sprite.
One of the theories is that "2401" was supposed to be one of the release dates of Paper Mario; it was released in North America one day after the fourth day of February, 2001, which rendered by a simplified version of that region's format is 2/4/01. Luigi's role in the game is fairly minor, North America wasn't the first region to get it and the Month/Day/Year format is rarely used in Japan (which generally uses the Year/Month/Day format instead, which renders the date as 01/02/04).
Ultimately, the text that supposedly reads "L is Real 2401" was revealed to actually be "Eternal Star", though the image used lost a lot of resolution when it was imported into the game. It wasn't fixed in the remake either.
In Super Mario Sunshine, there's a rumor going around that if all the Shine Sprites are collected, Mario can fight Waluigi, who is holding Luigi captive in a cage. When the battle is won, Luigi becomes a playable character.
Back in the day, Super Mario Bros. 3 had a very popular rumour of a 9th world hidden in the game. Despite the fact that the actual 9th world is the Warp Zone (i.e. the "World (insert number here)" display changes to say World 9 when in it), which is hidden but hardly a mystery. This was likely fueled by a combination of not paying attention and the fact that the boxes of SMB3 had screenshots of a level that didn't entirely match any of those appearing in the finished game. It's worth noting, though, that there are real hidden levels in the game, but they're (sometimes unfinished) prototypes only playable via a hack or cheat device.
It was said by some that you could reach World 9 by finding and using the "Golden Whistle". This probably wasn't the only method proposed...
Yoshi's Story had "Purple Yoshi," a ninth Yoshi color. Allegedly, you unlocked it by collecting every single coin from every single level, from the ones buried in the ground to the ones only found by using a Super Happy Fruit. Some unofficial hint manuals even printed the rumor. Yeah, no, the only two hidden Yoshi colors are white and black.
Take any game where Luigi's not playable. There are rumors going around about how to unlock him in that game.
In a similar vein, there were a couple of rumors that you could play as Mario in Luigi's Mansion; most such rumors said you first had to beat the game and unlock the "easy mode". Nope.
Now inverted in New Super Luigi U, where rumors abound on how players can unlock Mario as a playable character.
The rumor that Super Mario 64 started out as a Super Nintendo game using the Super FX. It came from a Nintendo Power article where Miyamoto stated he was working on a 3D Mario game when Star Fox was in development. On that matter, "Super Mario FX" was the code name for the Super FX chip.
One of these (for Dead or Alive: Extreme Beach Volleyball) was the subject of one of Electronic Gaming Monthlys infamous April Fool's Day jokes.
IGN 64 played a similar April Fool's prank in its early years with IGN 64.com claiming the secret for a Vanna White nude code in Wheel of Fortune 64.
An ad in an American game magazine around the release of Tomb Raider 3 for the game said something to the effect of "We've improved on everything you asked about... but sorry, still no nude code."
Arguably the Ur Example of the Nude Code is the classic Australian magazine N64 Gamer. Then-deputy editor Narayan Pattison superimposed a topless picture of Elle MacPherson into a screenshot of Golden Eye 1997, with the caption "Write in and we may give you the nude code." The magazine received over 2000 responses from people asking for the nude code, and people were still asking for it over six months after the rumour was bluntly dispelled.
In Mortal Kombat II, the female characters were rumored to have "nude-alities". Heck of it is, it actually sounded somewhat plausible at the time. Mortal Kombat had already pissed off plenty of parents, why not take it to the next level?
Parodied by This Is Otakudom, where they find a working nude code for Space Channel 5, ("Dude, they have screen shots") but later realized that it's actually codes for Mario.
Mario: It'sa me! Mario!
Due to a number of odd "clues" in the game, a number of people are searching Shadow of the Colossus for hidden secrets and a "17th colossus" that keeps coming up in discussion despite absolutely no evidence or reason for it. Via emulation, glitches, hacks, and probably caffeine, a few members of the official forums have discovered some interesting Dummied Out sections of the map. Look for PikolUploader on YouTube, or "last big secret" on Google, which points to the forum thread for finding such things.
Buck Bumble had a cheat actually published as legitimate cryptically called "Dark Stinger" which had you input a long button combination before the opening logos appeared.
LEGO Rock Raiders has an annoying rumor of three cheat codes. Extensive looks and hacks show that they do not exist (though you can mod in what they are supposed to do), yet the rumor just keeps on.
An interesting example is in The Art of Theft, by Ben Croshaw. As a Self-Imposed Challenge, the player can put on a special outfit that makes them more visible to guards, thus making the game more difficult. There was a rumor that if you complete the bonus mission (all seven of the previous levels in a row) using this outfit, it unlocks a minigame. What you actually get is a message that assumes you heard the rumor already and encourages you to continue telling people that the minigame exists, making this a rare example of a Urban Legend Of Zelda executed by the game designer.
In a similar vein, beating Shift3 unlocks Fancy Pants Man as a playable character; reviewers are encouraged by the game's ending message to identify the unlockable character as Mel Gibson instead.
Players initially believed that the dormant volcano in the first area of Uru: Ages Beyond Myst could be entered somehow, allowing access to the D'ni civilization. While this isn't true in the original game (the volcano isn't fully solid, and the attempting to climb it will dump you out of the level), a fan modification has not only made the volcano climbable, but ALSO allows the player to import data from Myst V: End of Ages into Uru - meaning that jumping into the volcano will actually allow access to the areas of the volcano seen in Myst V. Damned cool.
One persistent rumor on a few gaming sites said that jumping off of the Statue of Liberty 30 times in the game of Spider-Man 2 would let you play as Kermit the Frog. Sadly, this does not happen.
Back in the C64 days there was a graphic adventure game named Castle of Terror which gained a reputation for being Nintendo Hard because it seemed to be impossible to kill Count Dracula at the end of the game. A gaming magazine publishing an account from a gamer who claimed to have been able to do it, but the gamer himself proved mysteriously uncontactable when attempts were made to verify his claims. Many years later the designers confessed the game was in fact Unwinnable by Design and it was impossible to kill Dracula.
Another one from the Tomb Raider series. There is a rumor that there are unreleased versions of Tomb Raider 2 and Tomb Raider 3 on the Sega Saturn and Sega Dreamcast, respectively. The two games are believed to contain various unused content not included in other releases. These range from different outfits, unused weapons, better lighting (in the case of TR3), and even unreleased levels, such as the entire Peru section that was cut from the final version of TR3.
Then there was their infamous "Sheng Long" and "Sonic and Tails in Melee" tricks mentioned below.
In fighting games, this trope takes the form of incessant rumors about unlockable characters. The most famous instance of this was the rumor about an impossibly hard way to cue a hidden final battle against an opponent named Sheng Long in Street Fighter II: The World Warrior. The character Ryu's win quote in the game was, "You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance [against me]" — using the Chinese name for his Dragon Punch, and mistranslating it; the proper translation would be more like "You must overcomemy Dragon Punch to stand a chance [against me]." A version of this rumor was later published by the magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly in 1992 as an April Fool's Day joke. It's rumored that the character Akuma in Super Street Fighter II Turbo was added because of the attention, as his appearance and abilities are similar to Sheng Long's; however, Capcom has neither confirmed or denied this (EGM repeated the joke five years later after Street Fighter III: New Generation was revealed, complete with more doctored screenshots and even character artwork).
The EGM version of the rumor was that the player had to play as Ryu and win every fight without getting hit once UNTIL reaching M Bison, at which point you had to go 10 rounds not hitting M. Bison and not getting hit by him until finally Sheng Long was supposed to step in and fight you. If you won that fight, you unlocked Sheng Long. Talk about Nintendo Hard (EGM knew it too. The name of the fictional contributor to the trick was given as W.A. Stokens (Waste tokens)) of Fuldigan, HA (Fooled ya 'gain, HA!).
Capcom acknowledged the joke on April Fool's Day 2008, when the official Japanese development blog for Street Fighter IV teased that Sheng Long was a playable character in the new game. At this point, though, everyone was cynical enough to know it was a joke. But a couple of weeks later, Capcom revealed that his actual equivalent, Ryu and Ken's master (and Akuma's brother) Gouken, was to become a character that players could fight in the arcade version...and control on the home versions. (On April 2nd, the Japanese site explained the origin of Sheng Long, and stated that "Sheng-Long is still now and always will be, truly a character of legend.")
Taking the acknowledgement a step further, Gouken actually resembles the original "Sheng Long" graphic that EGM cooked up... and he has, in one way or another, every move EGM listed him as having. This may count as a DefictionalizationMoment Of Awesome.
Prior to EGM's April Fools gag, "Sheng Long" was actually considered to be the name of Ryu and Ken's master by Capcom USA before the character was even given a name in Japan. In the manual for the SNES version of Street Fighter II, Sheng Long is mentioned in Ryu's and Ken's profiles. However, the manuals for all subsequent Street Fighter II games removed all references to Sheng Long and the name "Gouken" was used instead.
On the note of Street Fighter II, a quite persistent rumor when the SNES port came out was that of a "Boss Code" that let you play as the four boss characters. Some felt this justified because there was a code that let both players use the same character in their Champion Edition colors, something not possible in the arcade version of World Warrior; plus, the CPU (including the bosses) would always use their character's alternate color if the code was entered. There's no actual way to play as the bosses in the game short of using a game enhancer and replacing your character's sprite or playing a South American bootleg version which hacked them in. They did became playable in Street Fighter II Turbo.
Theories abounded as to how to perform Ryu's "Red Hadoken" in Hyper Fighting... Which was actually a random bug that was kept in the game. Then in Super Street Fighter II, it was actually possible to deliberately perform a Red, fiery fireball...
Probably a minor example but after Mortal Kombat appeared there are occasional rumors of fatalities in Street Fighter II, mostly by school-age kids at the time.
Another rumor was of a special move to shoot blood at the opponent, which would One-Hit Kill them if they were of a different blood type.
In Alpha 3, which came out after the Mike Tyson ear biting scandal, rumors persisted that it is possible to to purposefully throw the fight in a unique way, when using Balrog the boxer (Mike Bison in Japan). It required the player to cancel Megaton Blow into a Super Combo as the punch lands, rotating the controller full circle twice and pressing all three Punch buttons, and he will attempt to bite his opponent until Edi.E arrests him, forfeiting the fight.
Electronic Gaming Monthly, a veritable Urban Legend Of Zelda factory, claimed that Super Smash Bros. Melee featured Sonic and Tails as unlockable characters, and gave a nearly (very nearly) impossible method of unlocking them. Naturally, none of it was true, but not many gamers could find out for themselves before EGM confirmed that this method was actually their annual April Fool's Joke. To a lesser extent, someone online also said that Toad was unlockable. (The believability of the original rumor was enhanced by the fact that Sega had stopped producing its own game systems not long before, and the GameCube hosted the first Sonic game on a Nintendo system.) This rumor then moved to the game's sequel, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and eventually proved to be true.
This suggests if you make Kirby suck up Mewtwo and then jump off a cliff, you'll get Mewthree. This version is adorable.
Same with playing as Giant DK and Metal Mario in the original Super Smash Bros., which were eventually acknowledged by the addition of Super Mushrooms and Metal Boxes in Melee. If you use a Gameshark to play as either of them (or Master Hand, or any of the Fighting Polygon Team, for that matter), the game freezes at the end of the match, because none of those characters have an animation for the post-match "applause" screen. The same thing happens in Melee if you use the Debug Mode to play as any of its normally unplayable enemy characters (Giga Bowser, the Wire Frames and the Hands).
When it was announced that there were non-Nintendo characters in Brawl (and were pretty much instantly identified as Sonic and Solid Snake), the rumors instantly started that there would be a third character from Capcom in the mix (Mega Man being the most popular guess). When the full roster was announced, with no Capcom characters, scuttlebutt was (and still is) that there was some sort of falling out between Nintendo and Capcom that led to the proposed Capcom entry getting left out.
The Other Wiki shot down almost-legitimate screen shots of the full select screen (the picture of Wolf was wrong, though Wolf really is in the game) shortly after the game was released in Japan... due to the fact that Bomberman wasn't on it. Seen here.
An interview with Keiji Inafune specifically asked if he was ever asked by Nintendo if they could put Mega Man in Brawl. He wasn't, but notes that if he was, he'd have said yes in a heartbeat.
Mega Man does make it into Smash Bros. Wii U.
Let's not forget the rumor stating that Miyamoto (or maybe Sakurai) said on a radio program that Bowser Jr., Ridley and Wind Waker Link would join Brawl while Ice Climbers, Young Link and Game & Watch would be taken out. The Link part was true, but pretty much by coincidence.
Ridley was also put into Brawl, but as a boss character, so that makes 2 right. The rest, however, are still wrong.
There are also persistent rumours that the otherwise useless Goldeen will use Horn Drill under certain conditions.
Before the release of Brawl, there were reports of various Assist Trophies and Poke Ball Pokemon that had been seen at demos at conventions, such as Rosalina, Duster, and Sothe. None of them ended up being in the final game. The most likely assumption is that the blurry/hard-to-see gameplay footage, hazy recollections caused observers to mistake several real assist characters for the rumoured ones (e.g. Gardevoir for Rosalina, Isaac and/or Saki Amamiya for Sothe, and Barbara the Bat for Duster).
One of the most well-travelled examples; there were many, many rumoured ways to play as Goro, Shang Tsung, or Reptile in the first Mortal Kombat. None of them worked.
Goro however, could be legitimately unlocked for normal play in the Game Boy version. There is also a glitch to (barely) control him in the SNES version.
The rumor that Sub-Zero could become a polar bear in Mortal Kombat 2 was so persistent that the creators added in "Animality" transformations to the third installment. Care to guess what Sub-Zero turned into?
Likewise, there were many, many rumors about Shang Tsung being able to transform into the character Kano, who was absent from MK2 for plot reasons. The message "I HAVE NEVER SEEN A KANO TRANSFORMATION" briefly became a fan meme as a result. (This was all caused by a counter in the Arcade's test mode reporting the number of Kano morphs.)
Similarly, in MK2, it was heavily rumored that the trees in the Living Forest stage could eat the opponent as part of a secret stage fatality. Not only was this bogus, but it remained so for all subsequent remakes of the stage.
Mortal Kombat 2 had a very well known rumor that you could knock people onto the hooks in the Dead Pool stage.
The first Mortal Kombat allegedly had a rare occurence where Scorpion or Sub-Zero would appear in a red outfit, and the words "ERMAC" would appear over the life bar, as shown by a faked screenshot in Electronic Gaming Monthly. There hasn't been a single case where the supposed Ermac "glitch" was triggered without hacking into the game. The name, short for "error macros," only appeared on a debug menu, and the red costume was because, when the actors performed their moves, their costumes were usually colored red to avoid clashing with the green screen. The original sprites were red, with blue/yellow/green/whatever added on as a color palette to differentiate between characters. So the "Error Macro" coinciding with a complete lack of a color palette makes sense. And of course, Ermac nevertheless made his official debut in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3.
The beauty of the above 4 entries is that when they made Shaolin Monks, they took pretty much every widespread rumor that could be even remotely possible and made them true, so yes, you can fight Kano, feed Mooks to the trees in the Living Forest, knock them into the hooks in Dead Pool and fight Ermac as well. Subverted slightly in that they inserted a lot of even more fake rumors into the random "hints" the game gives you whenever you die, although those are far less likely to end up on this page.
There was also the case of Hornbuckle in Mortal Kombat 2. Sometimes, Jade would appear on the screen and say "Hornbuckle who?" leading fans to believe that there may have been a hidden character with that name; a lot of fans gave the name to the unnamed warrior seen fighing the fiery warrior (named Blaze in later games) in the background of The Pit 2. In truth, Ed Boon said at one point that the character in the background was actually Liu Kang. Jade's comment was, in fact, a reference to Leanne Hornbuckle, someone mentioned in the game's end credits.
One they didn't insert was the common, highly juvenile belief in a secret character named Go-Nad. Or the similar hoax Computer and Video Games magazine put in one April issue regarding the second game, where they claimed one version contained Pedro, a Mexican brawler with a flammable anus.
An obscure red Kitana palette character called Skarlet (from the same glitch/coloring issue that created Ermac). She would later become DLC in Mortal Kombat 9 complete with defined abilities.
Since Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance, rumors of "Super Unlockable" characters have emerged, with completely ridiculous methods of acquiring them coming to light. None of them have ever been proven true.
Finally, there's the infamous "Nudeality" rumor. Mortal Kombat seems to be a magnet to this trope. In fact, the fact that the games keep including new types of Fatalities cause rumors of types that don't exist, such as the Hookality, Nationality, Rapality, Sexuality, Beastiality, and Weirdality, just to name a few.
This is based on Tattoo Assassins, a cheap knockoff of Mortal Kombat. Its only claim to fame is its "Nudealities". There is a video on Youtube if you are so inclined.
There's also the infamous Nimbus Terrafaux hoax by EGM.
NMS (Now ONM) magazine printed a hilarious and widely believed article explaining exactly how taping a penny to the top of your SNES Mortal Kombat cartridge, adding a certain amount of weight to it, then certain codes at certain times while using certain fighters would unlock the blood and new fatalities. It was called "Killer Kombat Mode".
Babalities and Friendships also originated as spurious rumors.
There was a long rash of rumors revolving around the SNES port of Mortal Kombat, mostly about how to enter a blood code. The SNES was the more popular console at that time and most gamers only had one console, so a method of unlocking blood for SNES was the holy grail. Most of the rumored codes were nearly impossible, like entering a long string of buttons in some tiny time frame such as when Goro appears on the opening screens.
On the SNES version of MK, it actually was possible to use a Game Genie code to Palette Swap the "sweat" back into blood. However, there never was any way of restoring the original fatalities, since the necessary animation frames simply didn't exist in the ROM.
Fighting games seem to attract these sorts of things. In Killer Instinct, one of Orchid's finishing moves was flashing her opponent (though of course the player couldn't see anything). Reportedly, on one stage, if you positioned her in front of a mirror and performed the finisher, you could see her breasts. The developer's response? "I don't recall a mirror in that stage."
There is a cheat that was in some early FAQs of the first Guilty Gear for the PlayStation that would unlock Justice, Testament and Baiken without having to beat the game all the way through. Turns out it really just increased the game's difficulty in Normal Mode.
There was a rumor in Japan that if the player completes the Famicom version of Kung-Fu 24 times (the number equivalent to the letter "X", a reference to the Japanese title Spartan X), the player will forced to fight Sylvia (the hero's girlfriend) as a Bonus Boss. It turns out the rumor was a started by a gag in a video game manga titled Famicom Rocky, where the protagonist uncovers this secret after completing the game too many times.
There were also persistent rumors that, if you beat Dragon Ball Z Budokai on the hardest difficulty, you would be able to play through the Buu Saga in the Story Mode, especially after people found Great Saiyaman as a playable character. However, no matter how hard you try, there is no such thing coded in the game.
Rumor had it that the X-Men arcade game had a secret, more satisfying ending that would only be unlocked if you beat the game multiple times in a row on the same playthrough (since normally, a victory looped you back to start to continue your credit). Proving or disproving it required more time and more quarters than most kids could manage. The rerelease makes it clear that it's not true.
There were rumors everywhere talking about being able to break free a Thwomp named Marty in Mario Kart 64. Fans dubbed the name to the Thwomp that was behind bars in the Bowser's Castle track. Once Mario Kart Wii showed N64 Bowser's Castle as a retro track, the rumors briefly resurfaced, but most brought it up as a joke.
There were also unrelated rumours in nearly every other game in the series. Super Circuit had the rumour of Waluigi as playable, DS had the rumour of an unlockable Rainbow Cup (four retro Rainbow Roads in a row), Double Dash had the April Fools Day joke and rumour of Retro Cups, and Wii had a Maple Treeway glitch rumour which turned out to be a hoax.
Mario Kart 7 ALSO has a Maple Treeway glitch rumour/hoax. Different supposed 'trick', but it too ended up getting disproved by a fan made video...
Mario Kart Wii had rumors flying around that there was a Mii Outfit C as an unlockable purely because the spacing in the character roster was uneven and possible had space for another character. Naturally, this was disproved and the rumor starters never gave a clear answer on what the C outfit looked like.
It was possible that the rumor started after people looked into the game files and found some icons regarding to a 3rd Mii outfit, but there was no actual model in the game for reference.
Crash Team Racing held rumors that Nitrous Oxide was a secret playable character if you beat certain requirements. This was a persistent rumor for a good while since the game's release.
It didn't help that every single other boss is unlockable, and there was actually another super-secret character, Penta Penguin, who could only be unlocked through cheats. You get Tropy for beating all of his (easier) staff ghosts, so it stands to reason that you get Nitrous for beating all of his extremely difficult ghosts. Instead, you just get a shortcut to the scrapbook on the main menu (100% Completion is a much easier way to see the scrapbook).
There have been a lot of rumors for a new Crash Bandicoot game. The most common cites the game as a game called "Crash Bandicoot 3D: Uka Uka Resurrection".
During the heyday of Gran Turismo 2, there are rumors that the McLaren F1 is a hidden playable car by collecting 100 cars (the maximum allowed by the game) in black, as the US cover suggested such car.. The FIA GT1-spec race car made its debut in GT4, while the road car was added in GT5.
There have been many rumors surrounding the Dummied Out courses in the second installment of the game and why you can't get 100% completion in that game.
During the early days of 4, some websites suggested that, if the player has more than 2000 A-spec points, a paint shop would be supposedly unlocked. The feature did not exist; instead, GT5 added the ability to repaint cars and aftermarket rims from the GT Auto menu.
LEGO Racers had a supposed cheat, where if you named a character "TRUCK DRIVER" and beat Rocket Racer with it, you would get some sort of super secret car or something along the lines of that. It started to spread all over the Internet, until it was eventually confirmed false through several debunkings. Modding has further shown that there are no indicators of the cheat ever existing to begin with, or planned at any point in time.
A good example would be the rumored hidden levels of Marathon with wall-climbing invincible red Drinniols. People believed it because The Marathon Secrets Guide is who said it, and everybody trusts them.
There were false rumors of a true 3D Marathon game called "Dr'At'Er", and one website claimed to have screenshots of it. The pictures were actually dolled up Quake screenshots. BTW, Drater is "retard" backwards.
The oldest and first existence of this trope dates back to 1980: Atari's Battlezone and its vector graphic system became the stuff of legend when it was reported that one could actually drive to the edge of the "zone" and climb into the mountains, to the peak of the volcano. Reportedly, there was a castle at its peak, which could be explored, if only you drove far enough. Sadly, such an exploration was never possible; it was far beyond the capabilities of the era.
This set of rumors was prevalent enough that arcade owners were complaining about people hogging the Battlezone machines without actually playing the game. As such, the developers ended up adding a small bit of code in later variants that would make a missile instantly home in and kill a player if they failed to kill anything within a reasonable amount of time.
Electronic Gaming Monthly once had an April issue prank where they claimed that you could unlock all the other actors of the James Bond series in the N64 game GoldenEye 007. There was some minor truth in that the game did have the data for the other actors present, but it had been Dummied Out over not being able to secure the likenesses of the other actors for the game. ROM hacking has allowed the fandom to (a tad bit messily) add that back in, though.
Rare actually went so far as to lie about the above, and about another rumour that turned out to be true; a supposed secret level known as "Citadel." Via some serious hacking, Citadel turned out to exist; it's an engine test level.
A large amount of speculation, including about the mythical All Bonds cheat, centered on the missing entry at the end of the cheat menu. It turns out this is actually for a cut cheat called "Line Mode" which can be accessed only through a button press code and has no normal unlock method.
An unaccessible island in the very first level also provided a lot of rumor fuel, from being the result of leftover testing artifacts to housing secret items of unimaginable power. It was later revealed that it was indeed meant to be an integral part of the first mission but abandoned to allow for space in the hardware for local multiplayer and for being uninteresting, and what had been developed at that point was simply left in.
Rumours of a third secret level based on Goldfinger and/or A View to a Kill circulated due to the presence of the characters Oddjob and Mayday in the multiplayer character list. Oddjob is actually in the game because Rare mistook him for Scaramanga's assistant Nick-Nack from The Man with the Golden Gun (the real Oddjob was not in any way short), but it's not clear what Mayday is doing in the list.
Ourumov's briefcase and key were the subject of some speculation, often held to be part of some method to access the above and/or the island on Dam. They were actually part of an abandoned level idea that would have taken place between Silo and Frigate.
Some rumours talked about a secret weapon called the Skorpion or Spyder, believing it to be the weapon shown on the back of the box. In fact, the box image is the beta KF7 Soviet, while "Skorpion" and "Spyder" are both beta names for the Klobb - the former is its real world name, while the latter was what it had been going by until Rare learned there was another real gun by that name. Part of the confusion is that the manual refers to the Klobb as the Spyder, as the second name change came very late during development.
The infamous Yellow Banshee rumor from Halo, which was possibly referenced in Halo 2 with the heretic Banshee. In fact, each Halo game has rumors of a secret vehicle, the most prevalent being Drivable Scarabs and the Golden Warthog.
Halo 3: ODST's not-quite-Metroidvania style gameplay is ripe for this kind of rumormongering. Stories of hidden energy swords are pretty popular. Rumors of living Elites hidding somewhere in the city crop up from time to time as well. Don't even get started on all those strange markings that pop up in VISR mode.
A legend said that if you looked carefully through the Library level in Halo: Combat Evolved you would have found the mangled corpse of Marvin Mobuto, said in the game-inspired book to have made his way through a decent part of the Flood-infested library before getting overwhelmed by the monsters.
Back when Quake was in development, there was a rumour that another 3D shooter, Hexen, contained a hidden demo of the game that could be unlocked by performing a complicated sequence of actions in the first level. The instructions for it required very precisely timed moves, which of course helped keep the rumour going - if it didn't work, people just assumed they didn't do it quite right.
Quake found itself announced for the first time in the April issues of many popular games magazines, who found themselves receiving numerous letters telling them how "obviously fake" the idea of a full-3D FPS was.
As the Engineer Update was approaching, there were all sorts of rumors about what you had to do to get the Golden Wrench. Nerf NOW!!demonstrates.
The Passing in Left 4 Dead 2 spawned this immediately on the day it was released. It is said that you can use the defibrillator on Bill's body to bring him back to life but this rumor was extremely short lived as it was proven that the body is just a prop and not a dead bot since there is no red outline on the body when you hold out the defibrillator.
People also insist that you heal each other instead of yourself because it makes the AI Director "reward" this teamwork action with more first aid kits in the maps. There hasn't been any hard proof that supports this theory but people will still push you to heal them instead of yourself as if the theory were true. This is actually stated on the L4D wiki, so true or not, it's pretty widely believed.
There's also another myth passing around with the bots of the old survivors in The Passing. It is believed that giving Louis (or any of the other guys) pills or shots will make the bot have better aim and give players better items. The bots will only give certain items based on the situation; if the survivors are hurting, health items are more likely to be given. If the players are doing well, they will generally get bomb items. The bots can also toss down an M60 and a Chainsaw, but those are extremely rare. On top of this, the bots do not get any better in their shots since it is possible for the team to get wiped, even if you gave the other bots items beforehand.
The rumours about Church Guy then? Some believed that he could become a Tank or a Witch instead of the other Specials available. The truth is that Valve didn't intend it, but as demonstrated here, it isn't hard to make him one.
Many previews for the dino-hunting game Carnivores 2 said it would feature a secret, unlockable rocket launcher. Subsequent examination of the game's data files, and later its source code, have shown that there is no trace in the game of a rocket launcher, though one may have been planned early in development.
One persistent rumor among the Modern Warfare community is a program, snfg.exe - nicknamed "Sniper Frog", supposedly running in the background and doling out "luck" like headshots and better kill streak crates. Of course, there has never been a source for this beyond unnamed "hackers" and worst of all, the people spreading the rumors can't even agree who the program is supposed to be benefiting. Some claim that it favors low-level players to encourage newbies and others claim it supports high-level players to keep them interested and buying map packs as opposed to moving on to new games.
Kid Icarus: Uprising has an interesting legend that involves donating Hearts, the currency you gain from monsters. The game outright tells you there's no items rewarded for doing so, but bring the Goddess Palutena closer to the screen, but others believe this leads to a higher chance for weapon discounts in the shop.
There actually is a reward of sorts, however, it's just not items: donating enough hearts unlocks a few extra lines of dialog with Palutena or Viridi, depending on who you give them to. It's only one or two per chapter, and most players who even have given enough hearts might overlook it, especially if they do so for the first playthrough of a given chapter.
Shortly after the Columbine school shooting, it was discovered that both boys played Doom religiously, and that Dylan Klebold made his own custom WAD files. For a while the media loved to claim that he made a level based off of Columbine HS for "training"; ignoring the fact that this is impossiblenote Doom isn't sophisticated enough to do multiple floors on top of one another; it is possible to crudely fake it in later versions of the engine through source ports, but these came about long after the shooting, people found and tested out the "Klebold Levels"; all they were was mods to make the game Bloodier and Gorier, with nothing remotely resembling a school anywhere to be found.
It was Eric Harris who was claimed to have made a mockup of his school; he was confirmed to be an avid Doom fan (his nickname was from Doom, and named his gun Arlene, after a character in the novelizations). Many tested out the Harris Levels, and found them to be quite crude, with an impossible amount of enemies to defeat, and graffiting phrases on the walls such as 'Looking for me?'. Dylan Klebold, while also a Doom fan, never posted his mods on websites. A friend claimed he attempted to recreate the school, but never finished.
Hack and Slash
The original Diablo game had a rumor of a "secret cow level" that the player could access by clicking on a certain cow in the town of Tristram. Although this rumor proved false, in Diablo 2 the developers put in an actual cow level in homage to the rumor; similarly, a secret Cow quest was added to the third-party expansion Hellfire, although it wasn't a genuine "Cow level". The phrase "There is no cow level" is also a Classic Cheat Code in Starcraft and a loading screen tutorial tip in World of Warcraft. (It's false; there is a cow level. Thunder Bluff is full of Tauren◊, 8 foot bipedal cows.)
The Diablo II instance of the secret Cow level was again referenced in one of their most recent April Fool's jokes: an advertisement for their new "Diablo 3 body pillow" featured a disclaimer at the bottom warning users "do not transmute the pillow with Wirt's Leg and a Tome of Town Portal."
Also, in the Battle.net chat interface in Diablo II, there is a gem that can be clicked on to toggle a lit/unlit state, but appears to do nothing functional. Occasionally when you click on it, it will give a message, such as "Perfect gem activated." Hundreds of rumors about the gem's actual, secret function have spawned. All Blizzard has said about it is that it is "Working as intended." It is possible, by clicking the gem a certain number of times, to trigger a message saying "Perfect Game Activated" (normally the message is "Gem Activated/Deactivated"), but the number of clicks required to do so is random and has no effect on anything else.
The official site for Diablo III, specifically, the home page, has its own chat gem. After a massive thread on the Battle.net forums discussing whether clicking the gem a certain number of times would unlock the playable version of the gameplay demo seen when the game was released (started by a forum troll and helped by various random people confirming it), the matter was laid to rest when someone looked in the source code of the site, decompiled the flash that operated the chat gem, and determined that its only purpose was to change colors, changing the gem from "on" to "off".
This was directly referenced in the Warcraft III world editor, where there is a gem that says "gem activated/deactivated". When clicked multiple times, one of the characters will taunt you. It is functional, however: It makes it so that the units you spawn will say their "Ready" quote, and will do their death animation when you delete them.
In early beta versions of Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach, there was a bug where using your "diplomacy" skill on a treasure chest caused it to give better loot. Although this bug was fixed well before the game went live, the rumor that using diplomacy on a chest gives better loot still remains, despite repeated debunkings by the game's developers on the official forums.
MMORPGs tend to develop a ton of rumors due to their fluid and ever-changing nature.
Final Fantasy XI is a magnet for this. The game has a ton of dead end caves, background details, and sealed off portions of the world, which were placed to give possible expansion areas. The latter, in particular, draws a lot of rumors. Sealed off portions (presumably abandoned due to most of them being in the "old world") include the Mithra-only part of Kazham, the ship port in Norg, the Galka-only part of Bastok Mines, and the roped-off stairway in Tenshodo headquarters.
There were also some rumors of classic ultimate weapons in the Final Fantasy series existing in Final Fantasy XI. For example, the Ultima Weapon, the Infinity+1 Sword of the series, existed in the database of sites like Allakazam. Many claim that the weapons do actually exist in the game database, they just haven't appeared in the game yet.
There's also the infamous Vulcan's and Jupiter's Ring, complete with "screenshots."
Countless crafters believe - for no other reason than because they heard it from another crafter - that crafting success can be influenced by facing in a certain direction depending on what kind of crystal is being used. Crafters who have a background in statistics, who have logged hundreds of crafting attempts and performed the appropriate analysis, and who have mathematically determined that theory to be complete bullshit, generally go ignored.
This is a huge drama in the FFXI world and has started long arguments, guides, images, and even a nuclear clock. The developers at Square Enix were asked about it at Vana Fest, but their answer was convoluted, and it seems nobody can even remember what they said. The only real reason to follow the directions is because crafting is so goddamn hard in the first place, people are willing to do nearly anything to sink just a little less time and money into it.
There's also Absolute Virtue. AV's difficulty, as well as the dev team's habit of changing the fight if someone beats him spawned numerous strange theories about how to bring him down.
World of Warcraft's Ashbringer. The developers left just enough (especially when they put in the corrupted Ashbringer and the 'special scene' it triggers in Scarlet Monastery) to make people believe they could actually get (or cleanse) the legendary sword. The problem is that they kept pushing the cleansing back; it was supposed to appear in the original game, but then was pushed back to The Burning Crusade, and then was finally pushed back to Wrath of the Lich King. The actual hints in the game are meaningless, such as the second son not being found in Outland like the 'quest' said he was supposed to, and Darion Mograine being located in Northrend as the leader of the playable Death Knights instead. Blizzard released a 4 issue miniseries that deals with the Ashbringer, giving it back story unrelated to the hints. This being said, there are some less than clear hints (if you took careful notes or just look it up on Wowpedia) that at one time Blizzard had begun laying the questline for Ashbringer (such as the actual sword having a database entry, and there being multiple inaccessible quest fragments), the quest originally had something to do with the legendary Warcraft fisherman Nat Pagle, and the bits of his guides on fishing that may or may not actually be part of some secret message to reveal Ashbringer's location. Blizzard was reportedly so impressed (odd, because Blizzard has a record of hating modders and private servers) with the detective work that they added in a rare dagger called Dustbringer that is a random drop aquired from fishing in Northrend. The Ashbringer rumors have also been fueled by the many strange things that happened in Pre-Burning Crusade WoW when you carried around the corrupted Ashbringer (things like triggering a hidden cinema, and the sword talking to you, sometimes delivering cryptic messages) and by Blizzard's habit of adding/removing/messing with very hard to find items in the game (see: Atiesh, greatstaff of the guardian).
The Corrupted Ashbringer was only added in the first place due to the reaction to the scattered references to the sword that existed at the time, some of which may or may not have even been related. Ironically, the overwhelming response to this sword caused Blizzard to Retcon most of what was established (including the player getting the corrupted version) so that they could make the sword extremely important to the plot.
There are also rumors about quests only attainable while in ghost form that nobody has found. This might be true because there are some quests that require you to be a ghost, and a GM has given a cryptic response that suggest that those are not the only quests of that type. There was also a rumor you could stay ghost form and revive anywhere else there was a restoration spirit. This, while true in the Beta Testing phase of the game, was taken out during official release.
There use to be a way to get to GM Island, a weird net wide rumor spread fast by younger players that if you reached GM Island you'd get crowned an in-game GM. The truth is if you get to GM Island you're most likely to get punished by being banned.
There were also rumors and even a forum dedicated to some of the most unusual things in World of Warcraft; the first being that you could get to certain areas that at the time didn't exist (or still do not) in game, the second was that you could find a secret merchant if you were able to go all the way out into the ocean in Seal Form as a druid not too far away from Duskwood, the third being you could swim to GM Island and if you managed to do so you would become a GM (instead you would be banned), and the final rumor was thanks to South Park, that the Sword of a Thousand Truths was an actual IN GAME item.
The Sword of a Thousand Truths WAS actually put in Wrath of the Lich King, though renamed to Slayer of the Lifeless. The description for the sword says "Foretold by Salzman", a reference to the South Park episode, and its name refers to the unnamed player killer in the same episode, who is described as having "no life", and is defeated with The Sword of a Thousand Truths. Another sword called Gladiator's Slicer in The Burning Crusade was originally going to be The Sword of a Thousand Truths in beta versions.
For April Fool's Day 2009, a quest involving an airship was implemented in zOMG!. Of course, this being the first of April, the airship never went anywhere, instead crashing the game if one tried to fly in it. And being the first of April, it was natural that users would come up with their own pranks. So it was only a matter of time before someone decided to come up with some insane method to get the airship to fly. When someone finally did, people ran with it, with dozens of people contributing "information" about the new area. Though very few, if any, players fell for it, the prank was popular enough to turn the Airshark into a minor meme.
The Airshark (which in itself was a parody of the infamous "Landshark" boss), was so popular with the staff that they actually added it into the game as a Random Event.
The Matrix Online has a long-running example of this trope in the form of "Hack the Ground Smash". The rumor stated that using a fake ability called "Hack the Ground Smash" at a certain location would cause the ground to break away, and you'd fall into "Morpheus' secret hideout" where Neo and/or Morpheus are waiting for you. The fake ability apparently has its roots in a very, very old video of the game during its pre-beta days which showed a player using a Hacker ability that involved smashing an energy-charged fist into the ground. This ability never made it into the live game.
The introduction of several boss characters in MapleStory was accompanied by rumors on how to get them to appear and/or weaken them. The best example would be several versions of the same "method" to get pushover boss Mano to appear, which involved either killing certain enemies, letting certain enemies spawn, or both at once. In truth, the boss spawns every hour from when it is killed.
Kingdom of Loathing has killing the hermit (a certain shopkeeper), with a multitude of ways (supposedly) abounding to defeat him.
This is lampshaded in multiple items these days, and amongst the veteran players, "killing the hermit" has come to refer to a different kind of Fan Wank...
Also can turn up due to certain players having access to certain NPC "character accounts" and using them in mail and chat rooms to create plot which may not match what the game developers have in mind at all.
The German-based MMORPG Tibia had a number of these for a number of years, with ways to get legendary items like the Sword of Fury (a converted spike sword that was readily available outside the beginning area) in the first levels, access to a GM island, and of course, a way to open up the Pits of Inferno or fight the Ruthless Seven.
The Pits were eventually opened and the Ruthless Seven became playable bosses.
RuneScape once had a player swear Bob the Cat had spoken to him about some recipe or something that no one else ever heard him say. Jagex was coy about it and implied it was a hint at a later event in game.
There is a rumor about Jagex hiding a secret item in the free version of the game and leaving an incredibly cryptic trail of clues in random junk items. Supposedly, anyone who found said item would get a free lifetime membership.
There was another pervasive myth, dating back to 2001, about an underground farm that could be accessed by using a sapphire on a particular tree. Later versions of the myth swapped the sapphire for a herring. The farm was generally rumored to contain fantastic new armor; the herring era whispered of a place where the then-rare rune armor could be found scattered on the ground. One early resurgence of the story can be found here. It's been said that this was the inspiration for the city of Zanaris.
Using a herring on a tree does have a unique effect... Monty Python references.
Lord of the Rings Online has an infamous item called "Erebrandir's Horseshoe". It's granted as an optional quest reward in Volume III of the Epic quest. The horseshoe is a "pocket item" which can be equipped, but it gives no stats. However, it displays a buff on the player with a horseshoe icon and tooltip text that reads "Some people believe that horseshoes bring good fortune." Rumours as to the horseshoe's function have proliferated over the years, mostly revolving around the ability to affect loot chances or other randomness-based effects. In an interesting twist, the Horseshoe definitely does do something, according to Word of God. Only two of the Horseshoe's functions have been explicitly revealed, with hints that more undiscovered functions still exist. However, most of the loot-based theories thrown out by the community have been explicitly Jossed, so those still qualify for the trope.
Jet Set Willy was plagued by rumors that it was possible to sail the ship ("The Bow" and "The Yacht") away to an island and continue exploring over there; the persistence of these rumors resulted in the feature's inclusion in Jet Set Willy II: The Final Frontier.
Banjo-Kazooie's Stop 'n' Swop. Oh God, Stop 'n' Swop. To get specific: Throughout the game there were certain odd areas and things that seemed suspicious, but didn't actually do anything — a sealed off door a small distance away from the sphinx in the desert level, a tiny spit of land nonetheless dubbed "Sharkfood Island" in the beachfront level, and, most suspiciously, a patently visible and patently unreachable Ice Key in one area of Freezeezy Peak. Mumbo Jumbo the shaman showed you pictures of these areas in the end cutscene, revealing that the desert door and Sharkfood Island held secret special eggs within them, and told you the eggs and key would be useful "in Banjo-Tooie" (the sequel). Tons of rumors circulated about the items, and eventually, a fan site released codes that would allow you to get the ice key, visit Sharkfood Island, and break open the door. More special eggs were since discovered in the following areas: an unbreakable barrel in one area of Mad Monster Mansion, on top of Loggo the toilet in a separate area of the mansion, the bed in the captain's cabin in Rusty Bucket Bay, and the table in Nabnut the squirrel's house in the winter portion of Click Clock Wood. This opened up a feature called Stop 'n' Swop, which showed you your collection of special items, but didn't seem to allow you to do anything with them. When Banjo-Tooie came along, there was no more mention of Stop 'n' Swop, and nothing came of it. After years of pestering on the part of fans, Rareware finally admitted that it had once had plans, but they were killed by the higher-ups for being incompatible with the Nintendo 64 hardware: specifically, as the name suggests, the idea was to change the game cartridges while the game was running, but later versions of the N64 dropped the amount of time the data would remain in RAM after removing the cart from 30 seconds to 3 or so. To make up for it, there were three secret areas in Banjo-Tooie that contained Banjo-Kazooie cartridges that, when cracked open, gave you the items Mumbo showed you in the previous game's ending. Nabnut's special egg was also in the game, though it is not obtained through breaking a Banjo-Kazooie cartridge. None of these items, however, required any interaction with the first game to get. The two ports of the original B-K games for Xbox Live Arcade have integrated Stop 'n' Swop into the games after all these years. Banjo-Kazooie will unlock extra vehicle parts in Nuts & Bolts, while Banjo-Tooie will unlock extra vehicles for Nuts & Bolts as well, provided that you've downloaded the L.O.G.'s Lost ChallengesExpansion Pack. As for Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie themselves, you will get the same bonuses as before, as well as a Gamer Pic of Banjo and Kazooie, and a Banjo-Kazooie Theme for your Xbox Dashboard, in addition to something else we'll bring up a couple of bullets in...
There were dozens of impossible ways to "unlock" the ice key and so on, to the point that everybody swore up and down that no, there was absolutely no way at all to possibly even get close to the mysterious eggs...and then, years later, it was revealed you really could. Bonus points for the fact that the legit unlock was almost as ridiculous as the rumors—you had to figure out, then noodle in phrases as long as "CHEAT AMIDST THE HAUNTED GLOOM A SECRET IN THE BATHROOM" one letter at a time on a gigantic alphabet grid.
here is a list of those codes, for anyone interested.
For a double example, one rumor (apparently trying to salvage previous ones from the reveal of the actual codes) claimed that, no, there were real ways to get all those items without the passwords, and using the passwords meant you couldn't get the rewards for getting the items. Dastardly.
Upon the release of Banjo-Tooie on XBLA, Rare manages to spring a new one on us: Stop 'n' Swop II. This one is more of a list of seven objectives to complete. In order to get them all, you must hatch all of the original Stop 'n' Swop eggs, find the new Bronze, Silver, and Gold Eggs, defeat all the bosses under a total time of 15 minutes, become every possible transformation in the game, and kill yourself during boss battles a number of times. These are said to be useful in another game, but for now, they're just Bragging Rights Rewards.
The Mega Man Zero series had a few of these. There was a rumor that you could play as X in Zero 2 and that X series recurring villain Vile would be an optional boss in Zero 4. Both turned out to be Photoshop hoaxes. There's also the legend of Ghost Sigma, who was supposedly a hidden boss. This rumor even resurfaced upon the release of Mega Man ZX. It didn't help that in Zero 3 you could have a rematch with Phantom, who died in the first game.
Also one of the bosses in Zero 2 used Vile-shaped projectiles for one of his attacks, adding fuel to those boss ideas.
In the original Metroid, finishing the game in under an hour will let you see Samus in a bikini (also, you get to play as Samus wearing only a leotard with certain codes, the most infamous of which is JUSTIN BAILEY). Naturally, some claim that beating it in under half an hour or some other humanly impossible time will let you see and/or play as her naked. This is not the case.
One site even discussed a myth that you could play as Kraid if you beat it fast enough.
Another Urban Legend Of Zelda is that "Justin Bailey" has an actual meaning. It doesn't. It's not a person's name and "bailey" is not a slang term for "swimsuit". It's just that the password system uses real letters and lots and lots and LOTS of different combinations work for it. "Justin Bailey" was just simply the first meaningful-looking combination found that resulted in Suitless Samus.
Interestingly enough, there actually IS a meaningful-looking code that's hard-wired into the game and not a result of the password calculations: "NARPAS SWORD" followed by blank spaces or zeroesnote No, there's no Narpas Sword in the game. Due to how password components are spaced this is just how the game formats what should be "NAR PASSWORD." "NAR", depending on who you ask, stands for either North American Release, Not AReal Password, or Tohru Narihito, who converted the game to cartridge format from the Famicom Disk System version, which used saves instead of passwords.
There's also a rare case of an inversion in the original Metroid. Many gaming mags and books back in the day referred to the statue room as a short-cut to Tourian, something akin to the Warp Zone in Super Mario Bros.. They always make some off-hand reference to "the long way" to Tourian, but never explain what it is. The thing is that the statue room is not only the legitimate way to get to Tourian, it's the ONLY way.
There's also the rumor that you can play as bikini-clad Samus in Super Metroid, which persisted even afterNintendo Power issued a post-interview statement just near the end of SNES days that it was categorically untrue. This desire to play as suitless Samus in Super Metroid has let to various fan-hacks. A similar myth is associated with Metroid Prime, where the scantily clad mode can supposedly be unlocked by a special button sequence.
Drawn to Life: After paying 10,000 coins in the Wishing Well, one is given access to the Developer's Room. One character in which asks if you found the secret flower in the Villain's Lair which brings the mayor back to life. He lies, this is fake.
Spyro the Dragon, the original PlayStation game, came with an instruction booklet that had somewhere in the last few pages, an illustration of what was presumably an older Spyro. There were quite a few rumors about ways to obtain this form of Spyro in the actual game. They were all false, of course.
Especially since that dragon that was put in there was rescuable as one of the first dragons in the game.
There was an unreachable island in the background of the Midnight Mountain home level in Spyro: Year of the Dragon. No matter what, it was impossible to glide or otherwise get to it, and you would lose lives in the process. Of course, rumors spread about what was on this island, such as another egg, or a secret level. Eventually, it was discovered through hacking that the island contained three life butterflies, and that was it. So much for wasting your childhood...
There were a number of very persistent rumours about the voice cast for Kid Icarus Uprising, most notably that Pit and Palutena would be played by Johnny Yong Bosch and Tara Strong. The rumour just would not die even after Johnny denied playing Pit at Otakon. Even after the anime shorts on Nintendo Video confirmed their true VAs (Antony Del Rio and Ali Hillis), some people continue to believe them and claimed that they were replaced for the shorts.
Up until 2009 with the release of A Crack in Time, an easy way for a troll to bait Ratchet & Clank fans was to say that he or she found an Insomniac Museum, a place with cut content and behind the scenes info, in a game that didn't have one. At that time, only two games had them, and benefit of the doubt was usually given since accessing them was based more on luck (using an otherwise inoperable teleporter late at night in a specific level). Typical instructions were usually to do something challenging like reaching the end of a bridge that gets destroyed in the first level you can never go back to. With A Crack in Time, the museum is unlocked more predictably (beating an extra boss, or even a pre-order bonus), and the claims mostly died out.
There are rumors going around that the name of the main character in the Donkey Kong games was supposed to be "Monkey Kong" and the unusual name was the result of a mistranslation. Shigeru Miyamoto himself stated this is not true and the character got this name because the word "donkey" described his stubbornness.
Tetris The Grand Master 3's Shirase mode ends at level 1,300, assuming you've met the time requirements to be allowed to continue past levels 500 and 1,000. Allegedly, there exists levels beyond 1,300, but no one has been able to confirm this rumor. And the best part about this rumor? The source is none other than Ichiro Miharanote No, notthat one, the producer of the TGM series.
Myst was once rumored to have a fifth age called the "Thelastic Age", as well as a red button in the Selenetic Age maze, etc.
Of course the later realMyst remake (as well as the PSP release) did add a fifth age, Rime. Still no red button though.
realMyst is also rumored to have an as-yet-undiscovered Easter Egg which allows the player to carry a working gun around Myst Island. While there *is* an actual Easter Egg that gives the character a gun, it can't be fired.
For Antichamber, some cheat code sites say pressing ESC before capturing the black cube entity will allow you to retain the black gun. This is a cheap trick to get you sent back to the starting chamber when you're about to win. There is no known way to retain the black gun after the end of the game. You can turn your gun black this way, but it gives you no special abilities aside from leaving black cubes and when you restart the game your gun will be red again.
There's one of these in the making with Rock Band 2. The game contains a "Game Modifiers" menu that serves the same purpose of the newer Guitar Hero games' "Cheats" menu but without actually calling them cheats. One of the modifiers is called "Awesomeness Detection", its description is simply "Lets Harmonix know that you are awesome!", and it has no apparent effect on gameplay. Speculation as to its purpose runs rampant—especially since, almost a year after Rock Band 2's release, Harmonix is still being cryptic about its true purpose and has offered little advice beyond that if you're a high-level player, you should definitely be playing with Awesomeness Detection on. The staff was also fond of claiming that lots of things happen when they play with it on, implying that the players just aren't awesome enough.
One rumour is that Awesomeness Detection makes vocals different when you are online (warps the original singer's voice or something), but that's been proven false.
In a podcast by Harmonix, one of the game's senior designers announced that Awesomeness Detection does absolutely nothing.
Guitar Hero 5 included live DLC from the Rolling Stones. Rumors immediately started that it was the recording from their infamous concert at Altamont, CA. It was actually from an earlier show in New York.
Speaking of Guitar Hero, rumours were circulating that Guitar Hero 7 would be announced at E3 in 2012. However, no such announcement was made, confirming the rumours as false.
Much of The 7th Saga's popularity depended on one of these. According to the storyline, the other characters are actively searching for the Runes at the same time you are. It was commonly believed that, if you're too slow, it's possible for someone to beat you to one of the Runes...however this only happens twice, with the Star Rune and Sky Rune, and no matter how fast you are you can't stop a randomly-selected character from stealing the Rune. Nintendo Power even mentioned it was possible to get to the Sky Rune before it was stolen in their review.
Thanks largely to a misprint in a strategy guide, it was a rumor for years that you could beat Balio and Sunder from Breath of Fire III in their initial, Hopeless Boss Fight occurrence. This did not seem so far fetched, as the reward promised was unremarkable at best, but it was proven years later that it was, indeed, impossible.
This page was originally titled Schala Lives in reference to the uncertain fate of Schala in Chrono Trigger that led to constant insistence there was a relevant subquest in the game to find her again. The game's sequel Chrono Cross did eventually address this, albeit very strangely. The rumor is that the quest was, in the original game, unfinished at the time they had to start manufacturing the game, so it was left out completely... except for a couple of mistranslated lines which suggest that there is one last subquest to save her. This was eventually proved incorrect when early versions of the game were examined.
And like many games, Chrono Trigger is filled with doors that don't go anywhere or blocked by the dreaded Insurmountable Waist High Fence, but it's hard to tell a real explorable area from one that's just there for the heck of it. Spekkio's room in the End of Time in particular has a back gate that's purely decorative, but it hasn't stopped people from planting Epileptic Trees.
Chrono Cross has one of its own. Thanks to some erroneous text from a Brady Games guide, players were led to believe that the Wraith monster would sometimes drop the Ghetz' Shirt, an armor that increased several stats in exchange for giving the wearer several status ailments.
Legends abound about the mysterious locked door in Oaklore Keep. When a player tries to enter it, it simply says you must be Level 100 to enter. Of course, the level cap is only 50. Players who used hacks to achieve Level 100 have reported that, as expected, the door really doesn't open. This hasn't stopped new players from posting theory threads on the forums constantly, though, thinking they've discovered something new.
From The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind we have the "jvk1166z.esp"Fan Fic/rumor. It's your typical video game creepypasta about a spooky mod which you really shouldn't play. A supposedly legit copy of "jvk1166z.esp" turned up on the Bethesda mod forums and was uploaded to a modding site. It was very quickly debunked as a Fallout 3 hair mod (with multiplayer files from a Star Wars game), one of the "proof" screenshots of the Assassin was found to be from another (legit) mod, and further discussion proved that making the mod as it was described wasimpossible.
Due to the inscriptions of the lids on the bug jars you find in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, there's been tons of fan speculation. Some of the theories include the Thalmor plotting the end of the world, mass genocide in cites that created a summoning circle, summoning Talos (depending on the theorist this is unrelated to the last one); there's even debate on what language the inscriptions are in! (Of course, the Thalmor areplotting to end the world, but it has nothing to do with the bug jars.)
The makers of Fallout 2 specifically and maliciously started a rumor that made its way into several FAQs and countless forum discussions, by having some NPCs claim that you would have gotten 100% completion if you did action X once the game is over.
Also in Fallout 2, many rumors abounded regarding Sulik's sister and methods for actually finding her in game. Such was the frustration at not eventually rescuing her that some mods have placed her in the game. Van Buren had planned to tie up that dangling plot by including her with an explanatory backstory.
Numerous Fallout 2 walkthroughs stated that a street boy Cody from New Reno would show you the crashed alien ship location like in Fallout 1, and giving the Alien Blaster — a powerful beam weapon. With photoshopped screenshots. There is no such location, but Alien Blaster is available elsewhere. It is possible to talk to Cody and give him food, but he is very easy to scare off, making this rumor hard to disprove.
And the Fallout 3 'Barking Lasers' hoax, which was a patently labeled joke, took on a life of its own and spread netwide through fansites and Wikia. The origin was a two-frame animated gif which showed Dogmeat shooting lasers from his mouth, and this encouraged fans to expend hours of time and go to great lengths, up to and including killing Dogmeat, in an attempt to get him to use the Wazer Wifle.
For a time, there were also rumors that in Kingdom Hearts II, one could unlock King Mickey as a summon by finishing Jiminy's Journal, returning to Disney Castle, and entering a newly-created door/portal in the area. In there, the player would have to clear the entire room of Heartless alongside King Mickey before he gives Sora the King's Charm, which could summon him. According to the myth, the King's Charm costs "four bar of Guard"(?). Interestingly enough, one version of this myth requires the player to beat the Lingering Sentiment to obtain it.
In Legend of Mana there were rumors that after Sandra's death, if you gave specific answers to Inspector Boyd, took the right Jumi party member, made an item called "Sandra's Core" through a tedious tempering process of Emerald to produce Alexandrite, and fought to the inaccessible (it's only seen in cutscenes) deepest level of the underworld, Sandra would return and become a playable character (with incredible stats and Syncro effect, of course!).
Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals had a locked door in the final area rumored to be openable if all the Iris Treasures were obtained from the Ancient Cave. The woman who stores them for you hints that something may happen if they're all gathered, one of the Sinistrals is named Iris, and the Iris Treasures were extremely time-consuming to collect (one can only be obtained through a boss battle that's all but rigged, while the others are random drops in a 99-level dungeon). For years, gamers looked for an explanation beyond them just being Bragging Rights Rewards until the rumor was finally killed by Word of God...which didn't help, as realizing that one spent fifty hours of their life collecting useless artifacts for shits and giggles makes one want to climb a bell tower with a rifle.
Lunar: Eternal Blue for the Sega CD had a weapon in the game manual called The Dark Scimitar that was not included in the final release of the game. Many fan communities went wild trying to find out where The Dark Scimitar was located (believing that if it was in the manual, it had to be hidden in the game somewhere). With many people claiming to have found it and making up ridiculous ways to do so (none of which worked), communities exploded when a fan finally did find a way to not only get The Dark Scimitar but many other unusual items through a glitch that's created when characters, specifically Lemina (the glitch is called the Lemina Bug for that reason) leave your party.
The "Indoctrination Theory", one of the largest fan movements borne out of the Mass Effect 3 ending controversy, was this - a widespread belief that Commander Shepard had been indoctrinated by the Reapers at some point prior to the final encounter with the Illusive Man on the Citadel, and that the entire ending was a Reaper-led hallucination that Shepard could break out of, depending on the player's final choice. Various pieces of information and rumors were used to bolster this theory - datamining that showed a Shepard model present on the jungle homeworld seen in the final scene with Joker, extra images of locations that aren't present in the game, wisps of a black oil-like substance that appear at the corner of the screen during the TIM conversation, textures for ghostly trees that were apparently supposed to appear in the "Guardian's Garden" and more. Bioware officially denied any such theory and purged discussion of it from their main forum, but this hasn't stopped people from believing it will be resolved in a future DLC or game.
Might & Magic VI had its share of rumours, being the most successful of the series. There were rumours of a white goblin and an elaborate "flute quest" which originated from the fact that there was a flute quest item in the game, only it didn't do anything; probably a leftover from a removed quest.
The map for Might & Magic VII includes a frozen landmass to the northwest of the main continent named "Vori". Absolutely no mention of it is made in-game, and there is no way to travel there (which, of course, didn't stop some people from claiming that you could).
Back in the days before GameFAQs, YouTube, and others, there were NUMEROUS examples of these. Some were true, others weren't. One good example is the Mother trilogy, with numerous rumors that were both true and false. Two of them in particular surrounded the final boss of Mother 2 aka EarthBound, Giygas; if you had looked into the background at just the right time, you would see the image of a fetus in the black.
Somebody on DeviantART in fact could've been a Trope Namer had it not already been named, since he actually shows an image of when you can see the Fetus in Mother 2. He also confirms that when the game starts to become staticy near Giygas' defeat, you do NOT hear Giygas crying for help, as the SNES' sound technologies are unable to handle that. (even Tales of Phantasia and Star Ocean sound staticy and distorted). Part of why the story's survived for so long, other than the vagina/birth canal/whatever part of it corresponding with the biological background in the area where you fight Giygas, is that the final battle takes place in the past and Giygas's infancy and childhood are a big part of the first game's plot.
Mother 3 does not help this at all. Near the end of the game it's revealed that the world of EarthBound was destroyed, and you are living in a different world with all the survivors. Thus, another theory was created, claiming that since Giygas looked like a fetus, he was actually a baby then, and in defeating him as a baby, the heroes created a time paradox (since they wouldn't be in the past if they weren't fighting Giygas in the future) which destroyed the world. This theory completely ignores the fact that when he was an infant, Giygas was with Maria the whole time and didn't mutate into the Nightmare Fuel form until after he grew up. note There's an alternative theory which states that the time paradox was created by the heroes stopping Giygas's invasion in the future and thus never getting the Call to Adventure from Buzz Buzz, but that goes from Urban Legend of Zelda to Wild Mass Guessing territory.
Mystic Ark was long held up as an actual sequel to The 7th Saga, rather than a mere Spiritual Successor... until someone finally started work on translating the game and discovered right off the bat that their stories are entirely unrelated.
Planescape: Torment had a few persistent rumors about alternate ending animations (based on the unused evil/neutral ending songs on the soundtrack), a proper romantic subplot with Fall-From-Grace (originally intended but removed for budget/time constraints), the ability to read Fall-From-Grace's diary, and an opportunity to have sex with Annah if you keep her invisible "morale" stat at maximum level at all times.
She comes onto you at one point, describing...er, in good detail the things she plans on doing to you. Any further dialogue choices will result in her backing off and claming she wasn't serious.
In Secret of Mana, there was a rumor that both the Girl and the Sprite can receive another elemental since they only have seven each, and there are eight elemental slots (when you look at their magic descriptions). However this rumor can easily be dispelled by the fact that while each character only gets seven summons, there are eight total — only the Sprite gets dark magic, and only the girl gets Light. Naturally, the Girl has an empty space where dark magic would be; likewise the Sprite for light magic.
A popular claim on various cheat/FAQ sites is that in the first Shining Force, if you use an exploit to get outside the town of Guardiana (by forcing an NPC to move into the path of a guard blocking the exit from the town), continued on to the first battle at the Gate, and proceeded to clear it using only the player character/"Max", you would unlock something called "Shining Influence". It is never explained what this glitch would do, and some speculated that it would give an additional boost to the other party members for the rest of the game. It was later proven that no such item or glitch unlocked after completing the first battle solo - if anything, it's a major drawback because the player is subsequently unable to recruit the first four (normally mandatory) members who join you after speaking to the king for the first time.
Star Control II had an extremely persistent myth of a cloaking device for the main flagship. Despite Word of God that such a device was not in the final game, screenshots of it were actually printed on the back cover of the game, and it wasn't until the source was released that it was confirmed to be absent. Likewise for the secret code that made the Pkunk Fury ship immortal.
There was also the legendary Black Spathi Squadron, a splinter faction of the Spathi composed of brave warriors who fly Eluders painted jet black and fight bravely throughout the universe! They're not actually in the game, of course.
A new player asking where to find the Androsynth is always a source of humour on the Ur-Quan Masters forum. (You can't find them. Don't ask about the Androsynth. You make me *frumple*.)
There were many theories back in the day that there was a way to shoot the dog in Duck Hunt for the NES. One was that you had to get to Stage 99 to do it. Easily the most straightforward example of wish-fulfilment on this page, and a good chunk of Duck Hunt hacks let you do just that.
It's entirely possible in the arcade version, but only in the bonus round — if you accidentally shoot the dog, the bonus round immediately ends and the dog walks out in bandages and on crutches to admonish you to "SHOOT THE DUCKS, NOT ME!"
Older-than-NES example — Spy Hunter. There was an urban legend about there being a run-and-gun shooting level taking place in a graveyard. Completely bogus...although it may have led to the addition of the third-person shooter levels of the second PS2 game. There were also rumors of a flying level, which actually appeared in Super Spy Hunter, although that was a Dolled-Up Installment.
There are many (joking) rumors on how to unlock secret characters for Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, the most prevalent ones allowing you to unlock Flandre Scarlet and Cirno. This was not helped by fans making their sprites for M.U.G.E.N based on the SWR spriting style; many of them emulated the look incredibly well, going so far as to modify SFX from the game to fit the fanmade sprites. (The Cirno rumors were officially killed with her inclusion in Hisoutensoku, though Flandre fans are still left waiting.)
A slight bone was tossed to Flandre's fans — one of Remilia's alternate color schemes is essentially Flandre.
Every time a new Touhou game is announced, the fans will say that Mima will be in it. Even if it makes no sense.
Ditto Shinki...until ZUN trolled all the Shinki fans by giving Byakuren one of Shinki's most distinctive attacks.
The soundtrack to DodonPachi: Daifukkatsu BLACK Label has an extra song titled "Zatsuza", an even faster remix of Hibachi's theme, giving rise to rumors that there's a True True Final Boss after Hibachi if you beat the game with no deaths. They're true to an extent; you apparently have to beat the boss before Hibachi without dying using the Strong-style ship.
One of the all-time classics is the Mirage ship in Frontier: Elite II. They wound up chucking it into a secrets guide (complete with made-up specifications) and featured a Mirage II in the sequel First Encounters.
Creatures is a virtual life game series involving cute aliens, and has a ridiculously large amount of actual easter eggs. When a person asked a very off-topic question in the Creatures help community, they got an extremely sarcastic reply. The "Secret Adventure Mode" quickly became a fandom in-joke, confusing many newcomers to the games into thinking it actually exists.
The port of the first game as an expansion to the fourth game (conveniently titled Creatures 1 to Docking Station, or C12DS for short) added an actual Secret Adventure Mode to the game along with a plethora of other easter eggs.
The creators of Neopets have somewhat double-crossed this Trope, similar to the example above. There's a myth of a place called Jelly World where everything, even the people, is made of jelly. But it's not a myth — Jelly World is a real place, yet not on any official map. Denizens of the site, however, like to aggravate others by insisting it doesn't exist, even when most of them know it does, following in the footsteps of the creators of the site, who originally denied its existence. Of course, there isn't really a Jelly World.
However, If you're lucky enough to get the lab ray and zap your pets with it, you can actually turn them into Jelly Neopets. Like Jelly World itself, they are claimed to be non-existent by the creators of Neopets. Some will obsess over the non-existence of these pets, and will try to get them. In fact, one userhasgottensixteen of these pets.
In the original Neoquest game there exists a door that's locked and has no apparent means of opening it. For years people tried various means of unlocking the door or obtaining the key, to no avail. To make it worse, the staff hasn't revealed whether it's actually possible to open the door.
The Neopets Team has a somewhat haphazard approach to how they build new features on the site, which can lead to confusion and Wild Mass Guessing. The Discarded Magical Blue Grundo Plushie of Prosperity, for example, was a page with a discarded magical blue Grundo plushie and nothing else. The sticking part was the "prosperity" part, as it seemed to do absolutely nothing. Rumors abounded on how to make it pay off, from the standard blatant lies about achieving impossible conditions resulting in a reward of rare items to more placebo effect-driven claims that it increased the frequency of Random Events. The truth? TNT just hadn't had the chance to activate it yet. Years after it was programmed in, they added the option to talk to the plushie, which can result in various good or bad effects (which was just part of an overhaul of the world it resides in).
New players can get this from the veterans, as the Neopets world is rife with old, inactive features and locations left over from previous events.
There was also the infamous Bonju avatar (avatars being essentially the Neopets equivalent of "achievements", rewarding you with little icons for your user lookup/forum posts for completing specific tasks around the site), which had players puzzling for three years over how to unlock it, and was the subject of countless wild rumors. TNT finally caved in and revealed the ridiculously obtuse solution in one of their editorials. Mix a Blumaroo Steak, Gourmet Cooking for your Pet and Orange juice at the Mystery Island Cooking Pot - NOT Bonju's cooking pot. Oh, and you have to have the Mad About Orange avatar as your active at the time. Oh, and this only works during the month of August. Whew!
In Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life, there was a shed with a door that could never be opened. On one forum, a lot of rumors spread about how to open the door and what you would get. In actuality, it was just a piece of leftover code that was blocked off rather than removed.
The numerous rumors that sprung up about acquiring those bloody (not literally) animals that hung around the valley, which all wore neckerchiefs like the one that the player's dog wore.
All those rumors for Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town and its female counterpart about how you could get your dog to have puppies. This one's likely due to the fact that you could do so in Back To Nature, which Mineral Town is a remake of.
Likewise, in Rune Factory Frontier there's a popular rumour that Raguna can marry his depressed neighbor Kross.
One that runs throughout the series — in the games where you can marry the Harvest Goddess, your child will possess farm-improving magical powers.
Leaving your dog in your greenhouse in HM 64, Back To Nature or Mineral Town will keep it from being destroyed by storms. Persists even after people have posted video proof that it doesn't work.
Magical Melody has the "Rival marriage" system that was apparently left out of the international versions. The supposed "marriage pictures" are fanwork.
In Rune Factory 2 (a Harvest MoonSpin-Off series), there are two: One where there are methods to find the rumored ghost that haunts the clinic at night - never mind that Jake specifically tells you that he started that rumor as a joke. The other is a way to unlock a so-called "third generation", presumably with the child of Aaron/Aria and his/her "betrothed". Mentioning this on an HM forum is a good way to start a chain of mocking replies regarding the ridiculous things that will "unlock" the third generation (i.e. feeding Herman every recipe, even the stuff he hates or fighting Douglas, Gordon and/or Jake in a duel)
In Animal Crossing, there tends to be a rumor (or an accusation) made that a certain male townsperson (specifically, a cat named Bob) wears a dress. According to some, this is a programming error — he's supposed to have normal "guy" clothing. However, this is false — Bob wears the same type of sacklike clothing both male and female cats wear. His "default" shirt pattern has flowers on it, but it's a flower shirt that is available to all characters (players included) and is worn indiscriminately regardless of gender.
Brutus is apparently a purple version of one of the dog townspeople in the game who will move in if you neglect your game for too long and has a house full of nothing fish that crashes after entering it. Everyone who claims to have seen him has either misplaced their cameras or had him...mysteriously disappear as they were getting ready to snap a photo.
And then there were the numerous other rumors of what Resetti does to you if you continue to reset long after he nearly has a stroke trying to hammer in "RESET THE GAME NOT!" into your head. Without going into the more gory or "colorful" outcomes that are blatantly false, one particular (and common) variant to this rumor is that if you reset over 60 times, Resetti will finally get fed up and dig like crazy underground, migrating all the neighbor's homes up a hill from below and causing all the neighbors to be mad at you for a week. The reality is, after a certain number of resets, the game simply recycles the last six conversations.
There was one rumor floating around for the GameCube version that if you opened your file everyday and talked to the same neighbor (again, everyday) for a straight year, you'd have the option to marry that neighbor. But alas...
The Sims 2 has many of these, including several alleged methods of getting twins and another cheat that supposedly will get Bella Goth back.
The forcetwins code does give you twins, and Bella Goth is an NPC in Strangetown. You can ask her to move in with you, make her move into another lot, put that lot into the bin, and finally send it over to Pleasantview if you really want her to reunite with Mortimer and his family. She won't have the related memories or be a relative to them, though.
But she's not the same Bella. The Bella hidden away in the coding for Pleasantview has a different appearance than the one in Strangetown, which can be seen if she's hacked back into your family. She doesn't have any memories, either, though she's related to the others. This can be fixed by hacking her memories using Sim PE.
It's also potential bad for the long-term health of the game to move Sims between neighborhoods (the developers really should have disabled that feature). Additionally, the forcetwins cheat (and the cheesecake) was only added later in the franchise, probably in response to all the fake rumors of how to get twins (which ranged from fake cheat codes to eating spaghetti or cookies at particular times of the pregnancy). The food part is easy to prove as false, given that number of children is determined upon conception, as a measure to prevent 8+ family sizes.
A pregnant sim who eats cheesecake will deliver twins; this is the result of a typo in the coding. It was only supposed to increase the chance of twins.
A small rumor claims that the urn of Vita Alto, a premade of Sims 3, can be found in a basement in Pleasantview in Sims 2, and she can therefore be revived. Of course, this was proven untrue both by the fact that none of the houses in Pleasantview even has basements, and because she cannot be found in Sim PE, which a deceased character would be able to be
In Monster Rancher 2, anything concerning ??? monster, especialy the Enemy monsters. To put it simply, the enemy monsters are a Boss monster that is unable to be unlocked for yourself, with the exception of Japanese game only White Mocchi. Doesn't stop thousands of rumors about them though.
There has been rumors of dead animals in Zoo Tycoon 2 turning into ghosts as an Easter egg. There are glitches that cause animals to turn transparent. However, people who believe the rumor claim that the glitch ghosts are not the same as the "real ghosts". Blue Fang has stated that any "ghosts" in the game are just glitches, although the rumor still continues.
New players to the X-Universe games are often enjoined to go look for the UFO base, a station that's supposedly the source of the flying saucers you occasionally see flying around and sells every item and ship in the game dirt cheap. This started as an Urban Legend of Zelda, but at this point it's basically a Running Gag in the fanbase.
In the arcade versions of Punch-Out!!, rumors abounded that, should you build up a string of repeated victories over the final champ, you would be challenged by audience member Donkey Kong. If defeated, he would be knocked back into the audience. Maybe that has something to do with why he's in the Wii game.
NBA Jam had a myriad of rumors about additional secret characters with souped-up abilities. The most popular of these were Michael Jordan (who could dunk from the three-point line), Superman (who could dunk from halfcourt), Shaquille O'Neal (who couldn't be knocked down), and select characters from Mortal Kombat (which was planned for the console release but dropped). The next-gen remake has restarted the cycle.
WWF Smackdown 2 has Ken Shamrock and Big Show's names as part of screenshots on the back of the case. They were dummied out but still (very rarely) can appear randomly as 'Unknown' in a Royal Rumble or Slobberknocker match. Rumors persisted that you could unlock them, but it wasn't possible without a cheating device, and even then they lacked entrances (you have to turn entrances off to prevent the game from crashing when playing as them). What's more, most of their parts and moves can be unlocked to create them except for their heads.
Rumors of secret weapons and characters for multiple completions of Metal Gear Solid were widespread. Claims such as completing the game 50 times with Otacon and 50 with Meryl would garner you Raven's Vulcan Cannon were even mentioned in magazines such as Powerstation.
Even more widespread were rumors of the possibility of replacing Raiden with Solid Snake during the Big Shell in Metal Gear Solid 2.
This one became partially true with the release of Substance, where you can play as Snake on the Big Shell in a series of non-canonical scenarios (or go skateboarding on it). There's still no way to control Snake during the actual Big Shell Incident, however.
Also rumours of a FAMAS being available on the Tanker chapter; these were based on early trailers, and the weapon itself never showed up in the final game.
Further fueled by the flashback footage showing Snake using the FAMAS against the guards on the Tanker.
Hard-working perverts have confirmed neither Johnny Sasaki in the first game or Raiden in the second game have any junk in their texture sets for any hypothetical action to uncover.
In Thief: The Dark Project, there's an underground graveyard level called the Bonehoard. You have a rough map of this place, which insinuates the existence of an area called "The Alarus Extension", which players tried for years to find. Not only is the extension sealed off, but it doesn't even exist in the level! Additionally, Thief players love to spread the falsehood to newbies that within this non-existent area exists a Bow Upgrade, along with complicated instructions on how to get into the extension. It often takes the gullible neophytes hours, if not days, to realize they've been duped.
Many of the numerous fanmissions for the series like to make reference to one or the other, as well, either because the author thought it was funny or because s/he was deliberately messing with peoples' heads.
In yet another case of Electronic Gaming Monthly's seemingly endless April Fools jokes, the April 1998 issue of EGM2 contained a method claiming to unlock Street Fighter boss Akuma in Resident Evil 2 as a secret character by finishing the game 12 times with an A rank using only the knife and the pistol, and entering the username as "AKUMA" on the computer terminal in William Birkin's lab. Images depicted a full 3D Akuma (probably ripped from the Street Fighter EX games) throwing Hadokens at Zombies.
Around March or April 1999, Play magazine were very excited over the discovery of a hidden gate in Resident Evil 2, opposite the police station. Speculation was that after going up to it you could find some way to go through it, find Rebecca Chambers fighting zombies, then play as her. Rebecca was likely a result of using a cheat cartridge or PC skin, you could find the gate but there was no way to go through it.
A rumor spread for a while of Resident Evil 6 getting a special edition subtitled Final Hope which would have added a campaign for Claire Redfield and a port for the Wii U.
Many have claimed that the first Silent Hill game has an "Ambulance Ending" in which Harry rampages through the town in an ambulance; a common piece of joke fanart is the so-called "lost" UFO ending for Silent Hill 4 (which doesn't have one).
They mean this, a budget Japanese video game called Zombies vs. Ambulances.
In the first Silent Hill you could allegedly "commit suicide" by nonstop running — running until Harry dies from a heart attack. Which is odd, considering James is the heavy wheezer.
This rumor often revolves around the bottle of distilled water in the alternate school. Supposedly, you can somehow use it build a bomb of some kind, which will allow you to blow open the traffic gate in front of the Alchemilla hospital.
Long ago, the Red Herring items in Midwich Elementary such as distilled water and glucose were also the source of rumors that Cybil Bennett was originally supposed to be a playable character in an alternate scenario, and that the items were for her to use.
There's an engine in the Shell station. Rumors say it can be installed in one of the cars.
The boat cabin wheel is also a subject of discussion; it doesn't do anything in-game, but Harry has dialog for it. Current opinion holds that it was part of a cut ending involving boat travel a la Silent Hill 2.
Rumor persists of Silent Hill 3's mysterious 'secret' level inside the hospital (which is impossible to get to because even with hacking, there is just a big empty building with no textures) on the PC version. There are mods out there that can 'make' the hospital but there is no official way.
Another rumor was Silent Hill Origins (Aka ZERO) where you can use the otherworld mirror trick to bypass the apartment level and head straight into the hotel. There is no normal way to do this even using the described trick because the apartment is necessary to trigger the events in the hotel.
In Clock Tower: The First Fear, the game features multiple endings, many of which are determined by whether or not each of Jennifer's friends are killed off during the game, bar a few exceptions, some varying on what Jennifer does in the last few screens, while others are determined by acts unrelated to the girls. Out of those endings, many players had speculated what would happen if Lotte survives, Anne and Laura survive, or all three girls live alongside Jennifer. Due to a mass number of glitches, it actually was possible to achieve these, (or in the former's case, technically count this by chalking it up to "if I don't see it, it didn't happen"), but unlike the rumors which implied that all the girls can potentially be saved to earn the best ending possible, the designers had partially anticipated this enough to automatically lead to ending F normally, ending F, which involves Jennifer being killed in the elevator, is triggered if she had, at the very least, not witnessed either of Lotte's deaths. Note that it is also legally impossible without exploiting unpredictableglitches to have both Anne and Laura survive.
Team17 are notorious for this. They mentioned in passing to magazine PC Zone that a mission pack was coming out for a Worms game (Worms 2) that would make worms babies and set missions at night. Then, of course, their most infamous claim, made on April 1st, was the **spaceman** cheat, which would supposedly summon a UFO in Worms 2. Many people tried it before the official announcement at Noon that day that it was an April Fools joke.
Team17 had a bit of fun with this when they made an announcement regarding Worms 4: Mayhem on April 1, claiming that in this game you would be able to use the ninja rope to pull crate drops closer towards you. This turned out to be absolutely true.
There was a Final Fantasy Tactics rumor that gained a bit of momentum but died with the internet - that evidently, you could recruit Olan into your party. Part of the reason this had momentum was because hackers discovered he actually didn't glitch the game out, implying that he might have been intended to join or return as a guest.
Super Robot Wars has the extremely persistent "Two Year Rule", the belief that developer Banpresto won't include an anime in their installments until two years after its conclusion, for various reasons (the most commonly cited being an attempt to avoid spoilers). However, this can be disproven simply by checking the release dates: Macross Frontier: The False Songstress will be in Super Robot Wars Z2: Hakai-hen just over a year after it hit theaters, while Gundam F91 was in the original Super Robot Wars just over a month after its theatrical release. The truth is, if it takes a while for a series to appear, it's usually because the licensing rights aren't available for a couple of years.
Also previously, there has been an Urban Legend that Banpresto was sued by Winkysoft which caused the Masou Kishin characters in Super Robot Wars Alpha only appearing up to Alpha Gaiden, and only Masaki Andoh, Lune Zoldark and Shu Shirakawa appears in the OG series for the Masou Kishin representative, and that there will not be any other Masou Kishin coverage for that... the last part was debunked when the Masou Kishin saga was included in the SRW OG Saga mini-series, and Banpresto revealed that Winkysoft never sued them but they just want a break from Masou Kishin. As of the inclusion of the rest of the Masou Kishin that appeared in the Classic Timeline during Super Robot Wars EX... while they haven't appeared officially, Banpresto already said that they CAN appear if the timing is right.
In Tactics Ogre, you were apparently able to recruit Lans Tartare, Balzepho, and Volac. However, battle data for Volac does not exist in the game, and as it turns out you can't make the three join you unless you hack them in, or any of the Dark Knights for that matter. Not to mention, saying those three are recruitable carries an implication that Balzepho would actually join forces with Haborym - which, given their history together, would end in disaster.
However, the remake actually does make one of the Dark Knights recruitable - Instead of one of those three, it's Ozma, who has become an Ascended Extra.
Yume Miru Kusuri features a Not Blood Siblings sister character who has a reasonable amount of romantic tension and interaction built up with the PC. This, coupled with a character in-game who talks about how these gamesloveto have secret characters whose routes can only be unlocked after meeting some arbitrary goals in previous playthroughs, has a lot of players firmly convinced that a hidden route for said sister character must exist somewhere in the game. The more-believable rumor is that it was supposed to, but got cut during development
Gyakuten Kenji Investigations was born from an April's Fool preview by Capcom. They teased screenshots of Phoenix Wright freely walking through crime scenes to investigate. The joke was taken seriously by fans, specially in Court Records, as the date this was published wasn't on April First, but rather in the week surrounding it. Due to the positive reaction of fans around it, Capcom actually made it for real.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas had two recurring rumors. One was that there existed a Sasquatch (Bigfoot) character somewhere on the map, and the second that there were "ghost cars" that would spawn in some precise locations and drive around without a driver. The first rumor was "proven" by some people with photoshopped images. They both turned out false — there's no Bigfoot in the game code, and "ghost cars" were just abandoned, wrecked cars that the game spawned in hilly areas. Since new cars don't spawn with their parking brakes on, they'd sometimes just roll down the hills. Then there were the rumors about zombies being in the game, fueled by a rather mysterious corporate building in San Fiero. Many similar rumors abound, such as the existence of Jaws, the Loch Ness Monster, Leatherface, etc. Most of these have been officially refuted.
Grand Theft Auto IV has Lola the prostitute, who was featured on the PS3 box and has a page on the police archives (accessible if you use the computer in the police vehicles), so there's rumors that she's in the game.
One piece of fan rumor turned out to be correct. In IV, you receive an achievement called "Impossible Trinity" after completing a mission in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. After it was revealed that Johnny (who appears in that mission) was the playable character for the first Expansion Pack, players seized upon the achievement name and correctly predicted that Luis (who also appears) would star in his own DLC.
There is also the "Ratman", which is similar to the San Andreas rumors about Bigfoot. Supposedly, there is a human-like creature that lives in the subways that attacks other NPC's and the player. It's faster than other NPC's and attacks by swiping at Niko, chewing on his corpse when it kills him. Extensive searches in-game and through the game's code have dismissed this claim, and any "proof" of the Ratman has been proven to be hoaxed.
San Andreas had a single mission where you fly to Liberty City and have a shootout in the Italian restaurant which features prominently in 3. There were an enormous number of rumors suggesting that there was a way to unlock all of Liberty City. Hackers figured out how to get there, either getting outside the mission area or returning later; a surprisingly large part of the city is actually present (about 70% of Portland), hovering in the air miles above northeast Los Santos, but is useless because the ground isn't solid except in the area used in the establishing shot.
Another common rumor that there are aliens, UFOs, and other extraterrestial in the game, which are partly true, sort of. Two of the Truth's missions have some interesting content that may or may not be caused by aliens One of them has you stealing some green goo from a heavily armored train, and another on a plane the enemies call you "carbon based life form". A glitch in the game can cause the lights of planes to spawn, but not the plane itself, creating what technically is an unidentifiable flying objects in the sky.
Vice City wasn't immune to this, either; claims that there were ways to make the military submarine submerged off the North coast of the East island surface were made, up to and including talk of a secret ending where you could nuke the city.
And let's not forget the achievement you get for doing so - "Six Years In The Making". Undead Nightmare was released six years after San Andreas, to the day.
The manual for Elite made reference to rock hermits who lived on asteroids, enormous ships called Dredgers, generation ships, and the hidden planet Raxxla. These were added by the developers just for flavour text, but many players swore they had seen a Dredger just as they left hyperspace. One of these, hermit asteroids, were added to later versions of the game.
Minecraft has Herobrine, the supposed dead brother of the game's creator, known for creating strange objects and being elusive. Word of God has jossed the rumor, but the creators like to poke fun at it: almost every update has a line that says "removed Herobrine" or something similar. On top of this, in a multiplayer server, if a player is killed by an arrow shot from a dispenser, the message that displays the cause of death is said to be from Herobrine. Sometimes you may look into a mod of a game, or even a game itslf, and will find the log referencing to a Herobrine of sorts.
Which makes one realize that no matter what the Dev Team does, Herobrine keeps coming back.
Herobrine exists... as part of many of the over nine thousand mods made by the community.
Rendering spasms gives the impression that Herobrine's face appeared on the screen. It is awfully uncomfortable to witness that happen.
On 9 March 2012 at the GDC, Notch mentioned that "there is one [recipe] people haven't found yet.", this happening about a week after two unused textures for hieroglyphic-covered blocks mysteriously appeared in the texture file. This has sparked a huge number of rumours and speculation.
Blockland has "The Golden Brick" which supposedly exists in the Slate map, and, upon clicking it, you apparently unlock Blockland Adventure Mode. It's untrue, but it's still thought to be such a cool idea that many players pretend that it's real just for fun.
There's also the Renderman, an apparition not unlike Herobrine from Minecraft. It's supposed to appear when you take a screenshot on a dark map, and in DOF screenshots(basically screenshots taken while your character shakes violently, to produce a very blurry image) he appears very close to the player. Many pictures have been provided of him to 'prove' his existence. He was revived in the Halloween Update, where a 'new form' of Renderman appeared: Preppers. Flashing red ASCII Terror Faces which randomly appeared on dark maps. Combined with the usual presence of Nothing Is Scarier in dark maps, many did not want to load these maps for fear of encountering HIM.
Prototype seems to be becoming a fairly recent example of this. Even before the game's release, the developers touted information that you could unlock a new character and secret mission if you had met certain criteria and found a hidden severed leg. A few weeks after the game's release, a member of the GameFAQs community found the leg, and was disappointed to find that nothing happens. The developers even acknowledged that people had found the severed leg, but they refused to give further information. Rumors now focus on things such as all the crazy things you have to do to get the leg to work, and some believe that there's another leg out there and that this leg is just a red herring.
The operator's manual for Star Trek: The Next Generation refers to a "secret video mode", which is believed to be a version of Breakout. The exact requirement for invoking it is unknown, however, and it's unclear if it was disabled in the final release. Even so, many pinball players keep spreading rumors of the exact sequence of actions needed to activate it.
Supposedly, Konami and Upper Deck Entertainment has created several Yu-Gi-Oh! cards that have never been released to the public, only allowing them to be played by R&D employees at Upper Deck in specialized "Duel the Master" matches at tournaments. These include the Seal of Orichalcos, Power Balance, and alternate versions of the Egyptian God Cards. Since the only "proof" of these cards existing are proxies, there's no way of knowing if this is actually true.
The anime gave this a nod very early on, establishing that Pegasus' Toon monsters were one-of-a-kind cards that were never released to the public due to them being "too powerful". During the last parts of the KC Grand Prix arc, it's revealed that Pegasus' company routinely gives away copies of unsanctioned cards as prizes (a habit that the actual card game recently took up).
Slifer the Sky Dragon has now gained a tournament-legal release, which has prompted the creation of the long time anime-only The Creator God of Light, Horakhty as an actual card. It even has its own type, "Creator God". The Seal of Orichalcos too has been released legally. No word on Power Balance though.
Prior to the official release of Primal Origin, there were sources depicting "Starduston" as a fake "Duston" version of "Stardust Dragon". It also had a effect highly reminiscent of "Stardust Dragon": During either player's turn, when a card or effect is activated that would destroy a card(s) on the field: You can Tribute this card; negate the activation, and if you do, destroy it. You can only control 1 face-up "Starduston".
In the early days of Magic: The Gathering, when cardlists were not available and the first big expansion set (Legends) was coming out, a rumor was started among the then-nascent Internet about the card "Throat Wolf", a creature which supposedly had "firstest strike". It also was rumored to have the ability to attack on your opponent's turn. Usually guides on how to get the super rare card mentioned other non-existent cards, like the Clockwork Doppelganger.
Of course, spoofed in the parody set Unhinged, which actually has a secret card that only exists in foil and is not listed in most spoilers. It's "Super Secret Tech", and its collector number is 141 out of 140.
Older Than the NES: Numerous rumours surrounded the works of Ultimate Play the Game, later known as Rare. Most famously, the cover of Lunar Jetman featured a moon buggy towing a trailer. The game featured the buggy, but not the trailer. Or did it? Rumours abounded about what the player had to do to unlock access to the trailer. Crash magazine published a screenshot sent in by a reader showing that he had achieved this feat, but the screenshot was a fake — the trailer never existed.
There's a rumor in the Lucky Star fandom that in a manga omake, Word of God confirmed that Kagami had a one-sided crush on Konata (which of course is prime fuel for the shippers). Except...that this omake doesn't exist, but of course the shippers love to propagate the rumor without ever checking for a source. (The lack of scans online beyond the beginning of Volume 2 contributes to this.)
A prank on Tumblr has started a rumor that the snake Harry Potter frees in the zoo is Nagini, Voldemort's pet snake. From the looks of things, thousands of gullible fans have reblogged the quote.
There's also a very highly reblogged post that appeared around the time the last movie premiered about the child actor playing AlbusSeverus was the same one who played baby Harry in the first movie, despite the fact that a quick IMDB check shows that the first baby Harry was actually played by a set of triplets. Also, bonus points for using a picture of baby Harry from Deathly Hallows instead of the baby Harry from Sorcerer's Stone.
There are a few stories going around about bits and pieces of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. When online fans in the pre-DVD days bragged that their theater's print of the film had the UK-exclusive song "Super Heroes" intact, one fan attempted to top them by claiming that his theater had an otherwise lost scene in which Riff and Brad engaged in anal sex. This became a long (LONG) running in-joke among the Rocky community, with two fans actually writing and filming an intentionally blurry version of the scene for the 2001 'Frankie Goes To Hollywood' convention. Currently, the scene circulates in a fan-created 'extended edition' in the film, strictly for the sake of keeping the legend alive, though it should never be considered canon.
Prince Uranus refers to a fan-created rumor (from the long-defunct fan site "Save our Sailors") that was stated to have come from an unnamed Japanese magazine's article interviewing Naoko Takeuchi, who supposedly explained that Sailor Neptune's and Sailor Uranus's lesbian relationship was in fact that of Sailor Neptune and Prince Uranus, who had died and was reborn a girl (as his sister's powers had passed on to him, causing him to be reborn as her). Needless to say, Sailor Moon fans were not amused, and the site that the rumor came from later quietly removed it.
Game Informer does an annual part of their April magazine called Game Infarcer, where they parody their own writing in honor of April Fools Day. In 2006, the first edition of Game Infarcer, they wrote many fake articles about such new game tools as the Wii Balls, world events such as Game Designers Inciting World War III, interviews with the CEO of Sony, who also happened to be a cyborg, and a review on downloadable content for Madden '08, where people would have to purchase such elementary things as air for the ball. Put bluntly, there are actually people who didn't notice the word "PARODY" written at the bottom of the page and sent angry letters to GI about their info or in one notable case, went to the local Gamestop to preorder the Wii Balls in either the flesh colored sack or the blue one.
A popular rumor was started that the finale of Captain Tsubasa ended with Tsubasa on the hospital waking up with no legs. As it turned out, he was run over by the truck seen in the first episode and the whole series was All Just a Dream. Many people have stated that they "saw" the episode, but no rips appear on the internet, other than a picture of Tsubasa in a hospital bed.
A doujinshi was created out of this theory by Toyble, which just made things worse as the art was really good, and resembled Toriyama's. Fans believed it to be official.
The Daizenshu website also played with this theory, which again, just made things worse.
And now, there's Dragon Ball Hoshi, which just like AF doesn't exist. Yet trailers exist around the net, mostly scenes from Dragon Ball videogame openings, and movies unreleased outside Japan.
There is a number of these surrounding Transformers figures. Such as the rumor that there was that there was a "giant-sized" Optimus Prime figure released during the original G1 run (which was actually a Korean bootleg) and that a G1 figure or prototype was made for Unicron (which was sort of an odd combination of a misinterpretation of an Orson Welles quote and jealous children pretending to have a toy bigger than a rival's Metroplex).
The "missing sixth episode" of "The Daemons", set off by an April Fool's prank in a fanzine. The somewhat abrupt and ill-explained ending of the story, combined with its unusual length of five episodes, led to a fan rumour that it was made as a six-part story and then had the last two episodes roughly combined into one. This had happened a couple of times earlier in the show, with "Planet of Giants", and "The Dominators", but "The Daemons" was written as broadcast.
1960s Doctor Who in colour. Various rumours have circulated about parts or all of episodes of Hartnell and Troughton stories being made in colour as unbroadcast technical experiments. This never happened. The probable source of the rumour lies with unofficial colour films of location shooting for a couple of sixties stories, which were made by crew members or fans.
But the most notorious urban legends in Doctor Who fandom surround Missing Episodes, with wild tales of evil collectors or secret circles of Big Name Fans who own copies of missing episodes and are refusing to release them to the wider public.
In November 2013, tabloids the Daily Mail and the Mirror reported as news that a copy of the seven episodes of Marco Polo, the earliest missing serial (and one of only three to have no existing footage whatsoever) had been found, recorded by a handheld video camera pointed at the TV screen. This was presumably a Chinese whisper based on the fact that many brief clips of footage have survived via this method—but certainly not any full episodes.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2: Special Edition is essentially a parody of this whole phenomenon. Supposedly it was an un Updated Re-release of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 which never got past beta testing, with a Let's Play by Docfuture as the only surviving evidence of its existence. In reality, Docfuture made up the game specifically for the LP, building it from an anachronistic mishmash of ROM hacks and complete nonsense. He cited the real rumors surrounding Sonic 2 as the inspiration for Sonic 2: Special Edition. Furthermore, in a fictitious TV ad for Sonic 2: Special Edition, one of the game's developers says they "added a shitload of secrets into this thing".
Similarly, UltraJMan made an LP of the "Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Beta Edition", featuring such things as Sonic riding a motorcycle, a boss fight with the Tails Doll, and an implied homosexual relationship between Sonic and Tails. The game was, of course, fanmade, but JMan spent the whole LP pretending that it was an official release.
In Wreck-It Ralph, there's an in-universe example. At the end of the movie, there's the fourth-wall breaking character in Hero's Duty, King Candy in Sugar Rush, the secret bonus level in Fix-It Felix, the Turbo glitch in Road Blasters, and possibly more, if Turbo messed with any other games before he came to Sugar Rush.
Dungeons & Dragons is subject to a famous urban legend to the effect that the final episode (often reportedly never broadcast, although some people have claimed to have seen it on TV) revealed that the characters were actually killed in a roller-coaster accident and that the setting was Hell. The writer of the actual unmade Grand Finale, Michael Reeves, has denied this and placed his script for the episode online to prove it. (His script ends with the kids considering after being offered a choice whether to go back to Earth or continue fighting evil in the D&D world.)
The Bible: Discussed TropeIn-Universe. Rumors were flying all over the place about Jesus' true identity, and only Peter (via divine intervention) gets it right; in the Gospel of John the author dismisses a rumor that "the disciple Jesus loved" wouldn't die—no, Jesus only said "if I wanted him to live until I came, what's that to you?"
Ed, Edd n Eddy has one involving a Missing Episode known as "Special Ed," formed by an apparent hack on the creator's own website and editing an interview to add it. To this date there is still no more information known about this episode other than its title and it being removed for being "too real," and it still isn't fully confirmed nor denied if that was a hack or Danny Antonucci's actual words.
There is a persistent rumor that the final strip of Calvin and Hobbes has Calvin being on medication and no longer wanting to play with Hobbes, who turns back into a soft toy. The strip widely circulated online is a parody created by someone to make an anti-medication point, though the actual artist is unknown. The actual final strip adopted an And the Adventure Continues perspective.
There are a lot of people who claim that King Kong vs. Godzilla had two different endings for the American and Japanese releases, one where King Kong wins and one where Godzilla wins respectively. While there are differences between the two versions, the endings are the same and Word of God says that King Kong was always the intended victor. The rumor may have started because the Japanese version has King Kong's and Godzilla's roars played at the end, while the American version only had Kong's.
There is also a common rumor about the German release of Godzilla vs. Megalon, namely that the dub claimed that Jet Jaguar was King Kong wearing a robot suit — likely started by James Rolfe's Godzillathon movie reviews. While it is true that some European releases of these movies had very wacky names, and in Germany, Jet Jaguar was really called King Kong, it was just a case of Dub Name Change, and the character was never stated to be anything other than a human-built robot. For the record, Mechagodzilla was also renamed to King Kong in Germany, and this was, again, a simple name-change.
For a while, there were a couple of people spreading news of a Transformers Prime movie called "Powerful Alliances" that was to come out in '15, creating a Wikipedia article and IMDb entry for it, and spreading bogus rumors on other sites. It was basically a bunch of fans trying to pass off their "dream TF movie" as real. Although everything about it screamed fake, especially the amazingly fanwank-y cast list, not to mention that the supposed voice actors themselves said they haven't heard of such a project, the rumor became very persistent. After the Wiki and IMDb pages have been deleted, another rumor started, claiming that it's been canceled, instead of not being real in the first place.
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