Urban Legends have always been part of human society, but the Internet has allowed stories to be spread much more swiftly and efficiently than ever before. In particular, video game rumors have become especially popular source material, as players try to find secret items or unlock hidden rooms. Inevitably, video game urban legends run unchecked.
While some of the urban gaming legends that fill forums online turn out to be accurate, countless others are completely and utterly fictional. Gamers instantly debunk some, but others can fool vast swathes of the community. Sometimes, they become so ingrained in the public consciousness that they are accepted as the truth – even when there is no evidence to support them.
Every kid who grew up in the late 80s or early 90s knew that the best way to get a game cartridge to work correctly was to blow on it. This would remove any dirt or dust and make the title work correctly again – even if it took a few tries. Well, blowing into the cartridges did not help at all, also though almost everybody did it.
The truth is that most times when a game did not load up, it was because the pins were not connected correctly. Removing the cartridge to blow into it before reinserting it just gave the pins another chance to line up correctly. Blowing into the games was harmful, damaging the nails and causing them to destroy.
Pokemon Red & Blue became one of the most important phenomena in gaming when it originally released, selling millions of copies worldwide and inspiring countless spin-offs and other media products. This led to an abundance of rumors and urban legends spreading about the game, the most infamous being that you could catch the rare Pokémon Mew by pushing a truck. The claim came from the fact the car was in a strange place and didn’t seem to serve any other function, but it had no way of awarding a player with Mew.
When Tomb Raider released on the PlayStation 1 back in 2001, the game became a huge hit. Its protagonist, Lara Croft, also became something of a sex symbol. Regarding how a considerable portion of the audience for the game was teenage boys, it should come as no surprise that rumors immediately began to spread that there was a cheat code that would make the buxom character appear naked.
This urban legend spread quickly via word of mouth, and before long almost everyone playing the game was looking for the code. The only problem was that it simply did not exist. The entire idea of a nude cheat had been an invention.
"Herobrine" is the name of an urban legend which has captured the imaginations of millions of Minecraft players. According to the tale, the character is a hidden model that is responsible for secretly destroying the player’s work and building his structures.
He looks exactly like the default character, but with pale white eyes. He's meant to be a ghost or demon, possibly even the in-game manifestation of the creator’s dead brother. However, Herobrine does not exist in the game in any form, with analysis of the source code proving that no such entity would be able to survive in a regular version of the game. It's theorized that the character is the result of mods.
Considering the popularity of the Grand Theft Auto series, it makes sense that the franchise has inspired its fair share of urban legends. The most famous of these concerns a hidden Bigfoot (or Sasquatch, if you're nasty) who can allegedly be found in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
Even though the developer has consistently said there is no Bigfoot in the game and no definitive proof has ever surfaced to confirm its existence, many people still hunt for the elusive creature in groups online.
Not long after Diablo was released, rumors began to circulate that it was possible to reach a deep level filled with cattle. All the player had to do was click on a lone cow in the town of Tristram a certain number of times.
The myth spread quickly and became an incredibly popular subject within the community of the game. While there was no secret cow level hidden within Diablo, Blizzard did include such standards in the sequels in response to the urban legend.
The Pokémon franchise has no shortage of creepy urban legends. One such myth was centered around claims that the music from a particular location in the game caused several young children in Japan to commit suicide.
The legend stated that the soundtrack in Lavender Town was so depressing it was driving people to kill themselves. This was possibly linked to the fact that the in-game town effectively acted as a cemetery for deceased Pokémon, planting the idea of death into the minds of players. However, the theme song didn’t cause suicidal thoughts. Because of course, it didn't - it's just a game.
The legend of Polybius is so prominent that it was even featured in an episode of The Simpsons. According to stories, the arcade game was frequently visited by government officials who would record data from the machine.
The game itself was capable of inducing a variety of side effects, including insomnia, stress, night terrors, and amnesia. However, there is no actual evidence that the game even existed in the first place. Most experts believe the legend sprang from tales of the FBI raiding machines that were tampered with for gambling.
The hoax that introduced the world to the character of Sheng Long originally came about due to an April Fool’s joke in Electronic Gaming Monthly. The prank used a mistranslation error to suggest there was a secret character called Sheng Long within Street Fighter II. The story was quickly picked up by other outlets who republished the material, leading to the urban legend spreading across the world.
Players quickly began trying to unlock Sheng Long using the method described in the magazine without success, as the character was not present in the game.
A creepypasta that circulates about The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask posits that there was a "haunted" copy of the game. It's a saved game on the cartridge called "Ben." According to the urban legend, the saved game couldn’t be deleted, and the content of the game was changed so that NPCs all referred to Link as Ben, music would play backward, and actions would not work as intended.
The story states that the spooky copy of the game does not have any promotional art and has the word “Majora” written on the front in black marker pen. While the videos show that the game exists in some form, it is likely the work of hackers who have altered the game’s code rather than supernatural spirits.
The Triforce is the most powerful item in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Effectively, it gives the wielder unlimited power and abilities. However, it is not an available item within the game, even though there is an apparent space for it in the inventory screen.
This led many to believe the Triforce may be hidden within the title. In 1999, one gamer claimed they had found the Triforce. After posting vague hints about where to find it, the player eventually handed over screenshots that showed Link learning a new song and going to a new area before finally getting his hands on the secret item. Eagle-eyed fans were able to spot errors within the screenshots, though, and proved that they were fake.
According to multiple sources, there are hidden radio messages in Fallout 3 that predict the future. The urban legend claims that a character known as Three Dog will read out numbers in a rather depressing voice and then play a series of Morse code messages over the airwaves.
These relate to dates in the real world and predict things like the death of the Queen and the BP oil disaster. While many believed the cryptic messages did exist, Bethesda has since stated they are not part of the game, and the theory is not correct.
In 2000, various reports began to circulate that the dictator Saddam Hussein was stockpiling PlayStation 2 consoles. The machines, which had only been available for a few months, were being used to circumvent an arms embargo placed on Iraq and were to be used in various weapon systems. The reports claimed that the processors and CPU inside the consoles were powerful enough to work like a supercomputer if they were joined together to work in conjunction.
Even though it was widely believed thanks to sensationalist news reports, the story was entirely fictitious. While the chips inside the PlayStation 2 could be linked up to form a more powerful machine, it would have taken much more time to develop specialist software to allow this to happen.
The urban legend of Killswitch revolves around a 1989 game that was allegedly only released in minimal numbers and would delete itself and all content associated with it upon completion. This apparent survival-horror adventure game had players choose between two characters as they attempted to finish the game for the first and only time.
The only problem is, there is no evidence that this game ever existed. There is no record of the developer or any auctions of the title, and the fact that it would be able to delete itself without any of the community finding a technical solution to prevent that is entirely implausible.
Stop right there criminal scum!
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