Myths and Urban legends have been around for a long time. These are tales which, in the vast majority of cases, aren’t true but for some reason just won’t go away. These get passed around until soon people begin to assume that they’ve heard the story so often it must be real.
They exist in all walks of life and the video games industry is no exception. Over the years a large number of gaming myths have sprung up, from those involving games directly to some surrounding gaming hardware.
Many video gaming myths discuss secrets supposedly embedded in your favorite games. Often there are discussions involving secret characters, rewards or levels. Many of these turn into an insistence that someone’s cousin has a best friend whose neighbor has just managed to unlock a fantastic reward. Others talk about the hidden messages or meanings in games or why games were made.
Often these myths are just that, myths, but occasionally they turn out to be much more complicated. Sometimes a truth gets confused with a myth and other times a myth becomes a truth. Other gaming urban legends have their roots in truth but have become confused or corrupted over time.
Here are 20 ridiculous video game myths and 10 which turned out to be true.
30 Myth: GTA: San Anderas Is Hiding Bigfoot
This myth says that the Back O Beyond area of San Andreas is hiding a secret. A large hairy one to be exact.
Back when the game was first released players began to discuss online seeing images of Bigfoot in the trees. No one has ever managed to screenshot the ellusive creature without using mods, but yet searches continued for years.
Rockstar has categorically denied any Bigfoot exists in the game but that hasn’t stopped rumors continuing, just like in real life.
29 Myth: Lara Croft Reveal Code
Way back when the first Tomb Raider game hit the original PlayStation there was a rumor that the internet held a secret code which would make Lara Croft appear naked in the game.
Obviously, this led to much frantic searching and the discovery of a huge number of fake codes. There was never any official code for this purpose and it remains that way to this day.
However, due to the internet being the internet and people’s desire for this I’m pretty sure there are now mods which achieve this purpose should you be so inclined.
28 True: Mew Is In Pokémon Red & Blue
This truth is also surrounded by a myth. The original tale is the Mew is hiding under a van in Pokemon Red and Blue. The legend is thought to have started due to the fact that the van seems to serve no purpose.
It isn’t true. There is no way of finding Mew under the van. There are however some other ways to capture the rare Pokémon in-game.
These involve several different glitches that can be exploited to force a spawn of Mew, who can then be captured. If you want to find out exactly how you can check out wikihow for details.
27 Myth: Sonic Is Playable In Super Smash Bros. 64
To this day I have no idea how this myth became so widespread but somehow it did. Across playgrounds everywhere kids would swear that they knew someone who knew someone who unlocked Sonic.
Back when Super Smash Bros. was released the relationship between Sega and Nintendo was very different. These days Sonic happily appears alongside Mario, but back then the Nintendo 64 had a rival in the Sega Dreamcast.
Needless to say, this rumor was fake. It would be almost 10 years before we would see Sonic take on Mario in the same game.
26 Myth: Street Fighter 2 Character Sheng Long
This myth was born from a bad translation. In the arcade game Ryu says “You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance” This led players to believe that Sheng Long was some kind of fighting master character to be discovered and defeated.
A long and complicated “trick” to unlock him soon began to circulate.
The reality was he didn’t exist. To keep fans happy in the face of disappointment Gouken was introduced in Street Fighter IV. He was the embodiment of everything players expected from the mythical Sheng Long.
25 True: Extra Bonds In GoldenEye 64
In GoldenEye 64 players control James Bond himself as he attempts to thwart an attack . The much-loved game was a huge hit at the time, especially in 4 player mode.
The rumors surrounding all the Bond characters being in the game began circulating and many people tried to unlock them.
This one is both true and false. It wasn’t possible to play as other versions of Bond, but the characters were originally going to be included in the game. Licensing issues were cited as the reason why these alternative Bonds remained as simply one image hidden deep in the game's code.
24 Myth: Minecraft Has A Character Called Herobrine
A more modern urban legend, Herobrine is said to be a creepy character who roams the pixelated hills of popular sandbox game Minecraft. It is rumored that he takes the form of the games primary character Steve, but with eerie white eyes.
Herobrine is said to be a ghost who is responsible for destroying players buildings and taking their animals.
Analysis of the Minecraft code shows that he is nothing more than a myth although some theories suggest the character could potentially exist in a mod.
23 Myth: Sonic 3 Soundtrack Composed By Michael Jackson
This myth has been around since Sonic 3 was released. The story goes that Michael Jackson composed the music for the Cap and Carnival Night Zones. He is also said to have been involved with the end credits.
This is where the rumors get complicated.
Some suggest Jackson was unhappy with the end product and asked for his name to be removed from all credits. Others suggest Sega pulled the plug on naming the king of pop due to the negative press surrounding him at the time.
Despite previously working with Jackson on Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker game, Sega have continuously denied his involvement in Sonic 3.
22 True: Mortal Kombat Has Secret Bosses
Mortal Kombat is a truly iconic game series. Aside from the crazy finishing moves it has become known for its secret unlockable characters. However back in the days of the first game, when internet access was less prevalent, finding them was a challenge. This led many to believe they were a myth.
They are however very real and date back as far as the franchise itself, with secret boss reptile. This mysterious green ninja popped up during fights, offering just enough clues to help you find him.
21 Myth: Madden Covers Are A Curse
Back in the early 2000’s Electronic Arts began featuring NFL stars on the covers of Madden games. At first, stars were desperate to get on that cover. A rise of your profile, a game with your face on, what’s not to love?
The curse that’s what. Over the next few years, every player featured on the game was injured the next season. Many will call this a coincidence but often NFL players are notoriously superstitious so they themselves were likely the first to call curse.
20 Myth: In Final Fantasy VII You Can Save Aerith
It’s actually devastating that this one isn’t true.
Final Fantasy VII was a phenomenal game. It was leaps ahead of its predecessors in both technical andgameplayy aspects. The use of cut scenes especially really brought you into the game. It also broke our hearts when Aerith, mistranslated as Aeris in English versions of the game, was skewered by Sephiroth.
Rumors persisted that you could save her.
Max out your characters levels, use the cloud sword and other hacks and cheats were all said to be the key to success. Sadly none of them work and Aerith remains lost to us.
19 True: There Is A Creepy Secret Hidden Game in Microsoft Office 95
This sounds like a crazy rumor but is actually true. Inside Excel 95 there is a game called “The Hall Of Tortured Souls”
It is far less sinister than you’d imagine, being just a couple of basic rooms. However, there is a secret door which you can open to reveal a bridge. Crossing this takes you to a room with photos of the development team on the walls.
Hiding games inside programs is in fact very common for Microsoft and you can find a 3D flight simulator in Excel 97 and a racing game in Excel 2000. This one is definitely the creepiest though!
18 Myth: Majora’s Mask “Ben Save”
This myth involves a story about a blank N64 cartridge which had Majora’s Mask scrawled on it in pen. When the finder opened the game, there was a save file named Ben.
He began a new game but noticed all characters referring to him as Ben, despite him not touching the save. He erased the mysterious Ben save to try and fix this but then apparently the whole thing just got weird. The legend has it that the music played backwards, and other creepy things happened, including the restoration of the Ben save.
This creepy urban legend has legs and is still around today.
17 Myth: Fallout 3 Can Predict The Future
This myth states that Bethesda’s Fallout 3 actually predicted the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster within the game.
As you play Fallout 3 the in-game radio picks up pop songs, mission briefs and more. It also occasionally broadcasts what are said to be a series of numbers, in the guise of morse code, through the pip boy. The rumor was that it was this code which predicted the day and hour of the disaster.
Unsurprisingly, there is no secret code.
16 True: Super Mario Bros. 3 Is A Stage Play
This myth is both inspired and awesome. It started as a fan theory and was later confirmed by Mario’s creator, Shigeru Miyamoto.
The theory was that the set to the game looks like a stage play.
A curtain opens at the beginning and the level ends with a silhouetted screen. In between the various aspects of the levels appear suspended from a ceiling or screwed into the blue background. This led players to speculate that it was all just a performance.
In 2015, after years of rumors, Miyamoto confirmed to Nintendo UK that this legend was in fact completely true.
15 Myth: Collect The Triforce In Zelda Ocarina Of Time
Within The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time the Triforce is the most powerful item imaginable. It brings unlimited power and abilities to anyone who holds it. Therefore, it’s understandable that players would want to pursue it.
The myth that it was obtainable appears to have begun from speculation that the inventory screen has a place for it.
There was an instance of a player claiming to lay their hands on it, but the screenshots they produced were quickly dismissed as fakes. The Triforce remains unobtainable.
14 Myth: The Thief Bow Upgrade
This myth states that Thief: The Dark Project contains a secret area in the Bonehoard area, known as the Alarus family crypt.
The rumor sounds plausible, because there is a section in this area blocked off by cave-ins. The story goes that you have to reach a ledge then squeeze through a very specific path to find your way to this great treasure.
It appears that the tale of the bow upgrade is used as a hazing ritual, being told to new players who then, of course, go to find this upgrade, which doesn’t exist. Harsh.
13 True: Diablo II Has A Secret Cow Level
Ah, the secret cow level. This is actually both true and false. The rumor started back when the first Diablo game was launched.
The myth said that if you clicked the cows in game repeatedly you would end up in a secret cow level.
There has never been a secret cow level in the original Diablo game. However, Blizzard thought this idea was so funny that in Diablo 2 they introduced the concept.
You can now access the quite profitable and incredibly insane cow level via a random ritual which you can complete once you have completed the game.
12 Myth: The Killswitch Game
This one isn’t about the 2003 PlayStation 2 game, but rather a mysterious horror survival game supposedly released in 1989.
The legend says that you play as a young girl called Porto or a Ghast and navigate through a haunted mine. The reason no one has seen this game is said to be because once you get ended or complete the game it erases itself completely.
Not surprisingly no one has ever found evidence of Killswitch even existing, but yet this gaming urban legend persists to this day.
11 Myth: Polybius Arcade Game
Another well-known urban legend, the story of Polybius surrounds a limited release arcade game in the early 80s. It was only launched in a very limited area around Portland, Oregon.
The most official line is that the game’s strobe effects were dangerous and caused epileptic seizures, so it was swiftly removed from circulation.
The myth states that this was all a secret experiment to test the effects of the game.
Another rumor suggests scores were collected by mysterious men in black each week.
This one is so famous it’s even made its way into pop culture, being referenced in several shows including The Simpsons.
10 True: Atari Buried Games In The Desert
This bizarre myth told a story of how in 1983 Atari buried thousands of unsold or returned copies of E.T and Pac-Man in a New Mexico landfill. Both games were panned by critics and overproduction meant Atari was left with thousands of unsold copies.
It was said to be a combination of overconfidence and underperformance.
For years the rumors flew, but it wasn’t until 2014 that they were proved to be true when several companies including Fuel Industries and Microsoft came together to excavate the site and recovered around 1300 cartridges as part of documentary Atari: Game Over.
9 Myth: Fix CD Scratches With Bananas And Toothpaste
There are a huge number of fantastic myths about how to repair scratched CDS. In fact, I’ve heard so many over the years that I’ve lost count. Smearing toothpaste onto the disc, cleaning it with perfume or wiping a banana on it have all been hailed as cures for those annoying damaged discs. I’ve also heard peanut butter can solve your problems.
Why we believed any of this I’ve no idea, but obviously, none of them worked. You just ended up with sticky, smelly, minty fresh discs; still covered in scratches.
8 Myth: Running 2 CDs At Once Lets You Play A Hybrid Game
When you were younger did you ever hear the myth about being able to play 2 games at once? I know I did. The rumour was that if you placed 2 CDs in your disc drive at the same time then you'd be able to play a weird hybrid game that combined the two.
Luckily, I didn’t try this one out personally, but many people did.
It doesn’t work of course. Instead of being able to play some kind of cool 2 game mash-up you instead get left with scratched CDs and a sad face. Not recommended.
7 True: Dr. Robotnik Was Supposed To Be A Hero
Rumors that Dr. Robotnik was supposed to be a hero may sound far-fetched, but they are actually completely true.
Back when Sega were creating the now iconic Sonic The Hedgehog they also designed several other characters in their quest for a hero. Dr. Robotnik was one of these.
Many of the team grew to love him and when Sonic was chosen they didn’t want to just scrap the Dr. Robotnik design. It was instead reworked to produce an amazing arch-nemesis for our hedgehog hero.
6 Myth: Blowing On Nintendo Cartridges "Fixes" Them
Anyone who was gaming in the 90’s will have likely heard of and probably done this. The idea was that if the game didn’t come on first time you blew dust out of the cartridge and put it back in to make it work.
Basically, it was the console equivalent of turning it off and on again.
In reality, blowing did nothing to help, you were actually just giving the cartridge another chance to line the pins up correctly. Blowing into game cartridges could actually cause damage to the pins and there is, in fact, a warning against doing this on the back of many of them. Who knew?
5 Myth: Run PC Games As Administrator To Unlock God Powers
My favorite PC gaming myth is the legend of running games as administrator. Back in the days when PCs looked like bricks, and no one really understood them, there was a rumor about that amazing sounding administrator mode they had.
The legend was that if you could get your game to “run as administrator”, rather than the boring “normal account” you had been set up with on the family PC, then you would unlock God-like powers in your game.
Needless to say, the only God powers I acquired while PC gaming were given to me when I played Zeus: Master Of Olympus or SimCity games.
4 True: Yoshi Will Meet You On The Roof In Super Mario 64
There are actually 2 myths about this game. The first is that Luigi became playable if you collected all 2041 coins in the game. This came about due to a statue in the game being engraved with L is real 2041. This story was total fabrication, although it didn’t stop gamers trying.
The Super Mario 64 myth that is in fact true is that if you collect all 120 stars in the game then Yoshi will greet you on the roof. Many people doubted this for years but the glorious screenshot above proves the existence of this Easter Egg.
3 Myth: Sega Blast Processing
If you played console games in the 90s you may be familiar with the term “blast processing” which Sega used heavily in their Western advertising campaign for the Genesis.
It was originally coined to refer to a trick which intermittently allowed you to get more power from the hardware. It wasn’t easy, simple or even reliable, but when a producer tried to describe the process in an interview the phrase “blast processing” was born and Sega rolled with it.
The reality was the Genesis was technically superior to rivals, but it wasn’t this quirky trick that made it so, blast processing was all marketing spin.
2 Myth: Alt And F4 Is The Shortcut For Everything
This one is more of a troll than a myth but it’s legend enough that I feel justified including it.
Back in the days when online multiplayer PC gaming was new Alt and F4 trolling was at its peak. If you ever asked a question in chat you could expect someone to offer this suggestion.
Hitting those magic keys will solve your problem.
Can’t bring up the map? Alt and F4. Don’t know how to swap your weapon? Alt and F4. Need to drink a potion? Alt and F4. Most people would ignore the requests, but every so often you’d see those words everyone longed for: XoNewbplayeroX quit.
1 True: Resident Evil 2 Has A Hidden Secret Involving Rebecca Chambers
As with so many others, this truth also has a myth surrounding it. The original story is that the youngest member of the S.T.A.R.S. team, Rebecca Chambers, is a playable character. This is a total fabrication as Rebecca did not become playable until Resident Evil Zero, 4 years later. What is true, however, is that she does appear in a random easter egg in the game.
Players trying to unlock the mini-game in which she was playable discovered a secret. If you search Albert Wesker’s desk a massive 50 times then you find a photo of Rebecca in a Racoon City PD basketball uniform.