Some games get so popular that they become larger than themselves. A great game can inspire people to an extent that goes beyond the game itself and focuses more on the community of fans involved. We like to exaggerate things sometimes and when it comes to certain video games, plenty has been said. Rumors, hoaxes and stories all intertwine and become part of some sort of unconfirmed community lore that sometimes adds an extra layer of excitement to these games. But sadly, most of these are just plain old hoaxes and pursuing them often leads in disappointment.
Still, it’s interesting to see where these rumors come from or even what they promise in the first place. Games are supposed to be these large imaginative projects that wow us in every which way. The fact that so many of these hoaxes exist speaks to how expansive and inclusive the world of video games can be. Even something that sounds completely off kilter might be worth investigating because in the end, you’re still having fun with playing the game. All these hoaxes do is add a new sense of adventure to it all. Adventure that usually ends in extreme disappointment – but adventure nonetheless. So here are 15 video game hoaxes that you totally fell for. Enjoy.
15 Sonic Joins the Fight - Super Smash Bros. Melee
The Smash Bros. series feature a huge roster of unique characters and has become a marquee title for gatherings over the years. One thing the game doesn’t lack is choice and that’s been something that’s seen steady improvement over its lifespan. A bevy of popular characters are available for players to pit against each other and while its current iteration has just about most of what fans wanted to see in a Smash Bros. game, one character who was missing from the fray for a while was Sonic. SEGA’s speedster was Mario’s ultimate rival back in the 90s, so why not pit the two together in a good old fighting game. At one point, people thought he’d been made available for Melee as the rumor first started to spread thanks to an April Fool’s joke in EGM Magazine. People were reluctant to let it go but eventually got their wish years later.
14 Bigfoot in San Andreas - Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Rockstar has a knack for creating these vast open worlds that don’t just serve as a setting for their games story, but as an actual interactive environment that lives and breathes. Every Grand Theft Auto game has seen a good deal of improvement as the series got older. We’re yet to see a real drop in quality and that’s partially thanks to how inclusive the maps are. It feels like real people are wandering in there sometimes as the detail put into making every moment seem like a regular occurrence in daily life is astounding. One of the best examples of this is the Bigfoot rumor in San Andreas. Just like the real world version of this, this rumor was all a huge hoax, but that didn’t stop players from scouring the map high and low for the mythical beast.
13 Hidden Character in Mortal Kombat - Mortal Kombat
It’s hard to blame Mortal Kombat fans for this one because the games do tend to feature some hidden playable characters. It’s the obsession that comes with being a gamer. Some people love the idea of unlocking everything and there are others who can’t help but try their hand at finding every secret the developers may or may not have left in the game. Sometimes it pays off and other times it doesn’t. In this case, sadly, it did not. In the first game, fans thought that they would be able to unlock a secret character by the name of Ermac, a ninja who was supposedly a super fast version of Scorpion. Well that didn’t turn out to be true, the myth was so popular that Ermac did end up joining the roster later on.
12 Akuma in Resident Evil - Resident Evil 2
Horror games are all about playing with your mind. They toy with you and put you on edge throughout their woven narratives. So it would make sense that at least one of these frustrating hoaxes would revolve around a famous horror franchise. The point of the Resident Evil games is to survive without using too much of your supplies and to always stay on your toes for impending danger. But had this hoax turned out to be true, then you could’ve just thrown that out the window. Rumor had it that completing every scenario of the game multiple times using just a handgun would’ve done the trick and you'd get to use Akuma. Imagine how pissed off you’d be if you were the sucker that actually put that to the test?
11 Jump Over the Flag - Super Mario Bros.
It’s an old franchise and thus is bound to have some crazy rumors attached to it. But just as everything else you’ll see on this list, this Super Mario Bros. rumor is a complete and utter hoax. Getting through a level in Super Mario Bros. can be a challenge at times. Sometimes it’s downright maddening with the level of difficulty in certain stages. So that moment when you finally pull down that flag is one of the most satisfying in gaming. One hoax regarding this part in the game was that you could jump the flag at the end. Well, yes and no. For the majority of the levels this is impossible, with the exception of world 3-3, which is possible due to a glitch. But nothing special happens. Business as usual.
10 Herobrine - Minecraft
Minecraft is one of the great indie success stories in gaming. It’s popular among multiple age groups and has sold millions of copies. The game allows people to create whatever they can imagine and often prompts a more intellectual competition rather than what we’re used to with other multiplayer games. While a large portion of the game’s players are on the younger side, one story flying around might’ve been a little too frightening for kids. The rumor was the creator Notch’s deceased brother was actually somewhere in the game. The character would supposedly appear, cause a ton of havoc and then disappear without as much as a word. While its a fun creepypasta, that’s about all there is to it.
9 Find Luigi – Super Mario 64
Poor Luigi, always having to play second fiddle to his brother Mario. While Luigi has gotten his moments to shine every now and then, Nintendo lives off of Mario’s recognition and the success he brings to the table. Mario might be the mascot character but a lot of people sympathize with Luigi – especially fans of the games. Super Mario 64 is regarded as one of the best Mario games ever. Its memorable gameplay and presentation left a mark on a generation. But one thing some people thought it was lacking was a little bit of Luigi. In the courtyard there is a statue that reads “L is real 2401.” Obviously prompting some people to believe that Luigi could be unlocked if all the coins in the game – presumably 2401 of them – were collected. Well it wasn’t true and the message still remains a mystery to this day.
You’re going to find some crazy stuff out there on the internet. Hell, conspiracy theories have been around long before the web, it just gave theorists a wider platform to analyze and discuss certain theories. Video games have been around long enough to get dragged down into the dearth. This one’s just plain creepy however, and could’ve probably sold well as a Steven King novel or something similar. Polybius was a supposed to be a rare arcade machine that only showed up in several arcades around America. The story goes that kids would get addicted to the game while Men in Black would routinely collect data from the terminal. Those same kids would then go on to suffer from night terrors, insomnia and even cases of suicide. No one can confirm the existence of the game itself, but then again no one can deny it either. Though the complete lack of evidence makes swinging that stick waaaaay easier.
7 Unlock Sheng Long - Street Fighter II
This one is regarded as some as one of the greatest video game hoaxes in history. We’ve seen a Mortal Kombat hoax debunked, so how about we go on to Street Fighter? The Street Fighter games are just as popular and influential in the fighting game community as the Mortal Kombat games. But in terms of hoaxes, they’ve got them beat. At least Ermac actually joined the roster at one point. Capcom would be much crueler with their fans. The way in which to unlock Sheng Long isn’t all too clear, but as is the case with most of these it was long, complicated and ultimately an utter lack of time. He would be teased to fans for years after, but alas would still not make it in.
6 Find the Triforce - The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Whenever you think of a Zelda title there are a few things that spring to your mind. A green caped hero, a legendary sword and, of course, the Triforce. Zelda games provide players with a good deal of challenge while not making it so difficult as to become frustrating. Ocarina of Tine did this perfectly as it was challenging enough to warrant a good deal of effort, but still kept the player wanting to push through their failures. While it’s usually a prevalent feature in most of the other titles, Ocarina excluded the Triforce from the game. Fans who thought this was strange theorized that it could actually be acquired some time earlier in the game – making the entire experience that much easier. But alas, no luck with this one either.
5 Unlock Every James Bond - GoldenEye 007
The Nintendo 64’s GoldenEye remains one of the most memorable titles on the console and one that’s had a lasting impact with fans. The multiplayer is legendary and still holds its own today. Back when the game was released there were some 23 cheats available for the game. Cheats don’t always have to be used to make the game easier or less competitive. In fact they’re often used to add an extra level of fun to the game. There was a theory that unlocking all 23 cheats in GoldenEye would lead to the player unlocking a 24th cheat – every James Bond incarnation. There was some evidence behind this as an empty slot in the cheat columns prompted people to believe this could actually be a legitimate theory. Sadly it was just unused space for a cheat that they didn't finish in time.
4 Survivor 2299 - Fallout Series
The wait for Fallout 4 was incredibly long. Not just to fans, but those in the gaming community eager to see what the next installation in the series would offer. Well, the game ended up being okay. Whether or not it was worth the wait is up for debate. But a particularly cruel internet hoax mislead fans to believe that the game was coming out sooner rather than later. A few years back, there was a website called Survivor 2299, which had a countdown to December, 11th. Lots of people jumped the gun and thought it’d be a Fallout 4 announcement. They were wrong of course. In the end it was just a fan examining clues, messing with fans hearts and painting a big red target on his back.
3 Mew's Under the Truck - Pokémon Red/Blue
Pokémon Red and Blue set up the massive wave of popularity for the Pokémon franchise that would continue successfully to this day. The games also had their fair share of interesting theories and hoaxes attached to them. They ranged from the creepy and disturbing to the utterly dumbfounding and irritatingly hopeful. The whole point of the games of course is that you’ve gotta catch ‘em all. That includes hard to find Pokémon. The rarest of them all, at the time, was Mew. Mew was normally obtainable through a series of live events, meaning if you missed it, you’d be left in the dust. One rumor stated that Mew was under a truck near the SS Anne. The catch was that you had to figure out how to move it. Countless children spent hours upon hours trying to move that truck ultimately to no avail.
2 Nude Raider - Tomb Raider
We’re kind of used to these kinds of things now with mods, but back in the PS1 days, hearing about something as trivial as removing a character's clothing was exciting. Tomb Raider featured one of gaming’s most prominent female characters and many gamers were smitten with her at the time. Lara Croft was a badass when she first popped up in the late 90s. Everyone was obsessed with her and some people took it a little too far. Eventually rumors started spreading around that a secret nude code existed for removing Lara’s clothing. Of course, everyone started to claim that they knew the code but the problem was that it didn’t exist. Ever. C’mon guys, look at her. She’s an accumulation of blocks for crying out loud.
1 Save Aeris - Final Fantasy VII
It’s one of the most heart wrenching deaths in video game history. Final Fantasy VII is widely regarded as one of the best RPGs ever made. But the death of Aeris is so gut wrenching that it’s still discussed today – and with the remake coming, fans are hopeful to bypass the event. But back when the original came out, fans were shocked to see a fan favorite character killed right in front of their eyes. It came completely out of left field. The death was so impactful that some fans went into a deep denial and started floating theories out there that she could be brought back. But search all you like, because it ain’t happening. Her death was a key factor in advancing the plot of the story and without it occurring, the story would alter greatly. Though you’ve got to think that Cloud could’ve just brought her back with a Phoenix Down, but hey, that’s on the writers.