8 biggest urban legends in games

Searching, reading and spreading hoaxes has been a favorite human pastime since the creation of the world 6,000 years ago, and games have not escaped this fashion. Some conspiracies paid for the classic “urban legends”, which no one really believes in, but still people continue to reproduce them, others got much deeper under the skin and there are myths that actively hurt the rumors of the games. Let’s take a look at the most interesting ones.

8. The curse of Madden

Let’s start lightly. Many game series have enjoyed reputable brand reputations (for example, in the 1990s there was talk of a Star Trek game curse), but only the “Madden Curse” retained its popularity for two decades.

Its principle is simple: EA Sports has been selecting real American football players for the covers of the Madden series since the last millennium. The point is that almost every one of them has suffered devastating injuries since 1998, which often eliminated him from the entire season. It was almost as if a demonic curse lay around the location on Madden’s box!

The first in the series was Garrison Hearst, the face of Madden NFL 99, who broke his ankle, for example, Ron Gronkowski, the face of Madden 17. By 2017, only three lucky ones escaped from 20 players, since then the situation has improved. Maybe because you can find the indestructible Tom Brady on the latest cover, who shares it with Patrick Mahomes. Perhaps even possible injuries will be only half as serious!

7. Monsters in GTA worlds

He is not an urban legend like an urban legend, and while in the case of the Madden curse one can still speak of a certain statistical logic and good old superstition, in the case of the Grand Theft Auto monster hunt it is purely a matter of fabrications – at least initially.

Because they were the first truly popular sandbox digital worlds, games from the GTA series from GTA III to San Andreas have been the subject of much speculation that inhuman monsters (or aliens and similar strange scenes) are hiding inside cities and forests.

It would not be such a surprising element, the monster placed in a special place is, after all, an easter egg, which was demonstrated before GTA III by many games, including Fallout 2. However, due to the popularity of GTA, the hoax was heard much more than ever before. These myths became most famous when the bigfoot in San Andreas was searched for whole stacks of theories and procedures were createdhow to deal with local virtual cryptozoology.

The funny thing is that none of these monsters have been implemented in San Andreas yet. Only later in GTA V Rockstar completely accepted the idea of ​​this game of cat and mouse and monsters actually added.

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6. Naked Lara Croft

The hoax, which promises a naked action heroine, also finally found its way to realization through various modifications, fanfiction and amateur videos. Well, I heard that from a friend. At the beginning of the series, in the wood year 1996 after the release of the first Tomb Raider, however, players could imagine Lara Croft without the clothes in her dreams. Nevertheless, (or precisely because of this) they tried to find out what is true about the fact that the “secret code” can be activated directly in the original game, which reveals Lara with 540 polygons in Venus’ robe.

It was, of course, a catch, and the naked myth of Lary Croft was probably one of the first examples of trolling during the embryonic phase of the online gaming community. Because the game held a T rating for teenagers, a similar “joke” could have come at a high price for Core Design.

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5. Blowing into cartridges

There is practically nothing harmful on most game hoaxes, and a good half of people devote themselves to them anyway, fully aware of the fiction of the superstition. However, the same cannot be said of blowing into Nintendo cartridges – although virtually every manual has opposed this “do-it-yourself” solution, millions of gamers around the world have seen it as the only solution to quickly fix up hardware.

Again, this was nothing more than a superstition. Blowing through the placebo effect calmed the frustrated players, but otherwise it was never possible to prove that it would have any positive effect on the console’s function. On the contrary, some experts think that blowing hardware over time has damaged through the accumulated moisture in the human breath. contributing to corrosion.

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4. Ermacs, the hidden character of Mortal Kombat

Like the bigfoot in San Andreas, the Ermacs also began as a myth, but that did not prevent its gradual materialization within the Mortal Kombat series. Going back in time, its roots date back to the original 1992 game, where a debugging macro code called ERMACS – for ERror MACro (s) was sometimes displayed in the menu.

After later modifications added the hidden character Reptile to the game, the players “ERMACSe” immediately noticed and began to speculate if it is not another character and how to actually unlock it. Studio Midway macro later removed, but the cult of ERMACS, a secret hero hidden from the world, persisted and began to live its own life. Testimonies of the people who unlocked ERMACS appeared, and EGM magazine even issued a “confirmation” from Chief Programmer Ed Boon that ERMACS was a real figure. Of course, none of this was true, but hysteria doesn’t ask.

It wasn’t until 1995 that Midway decided to jump into this set going to Madness Station and added a real character named Ermacs to the Mortal Kombat 3 expansion, as you may know her to this day.

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3. Lavender “hysteria”

Although the hysteria around Lavender tends to be a clever example of creepypast-based Internet horror stories, quite a few people considered this myth to be true in the context of its time – again partly due to its origins in Internet antiquity.

The story takes place in 1998, when, following the release of Pokémon Red and Green, there was reportedly a sharp increase in suicides among its child players in Japan. According to the hoax, nothing could be less than a tragedy visit to the game town Lavender. And why? The somewhat horror music here was said to be purposefully programmed to provoke suicidal depression.

The fact is that Lavender had a really horrible musical accompaniment, but the whole superstition is, of course, utter nonsense. On the other hand, it is easy to guess why she seemed quite authentic for some time. Pokémon Red and Green was released in 1998, but in December of the previous year there was an infamous wave of flickering eye attacks in the (now banned) episode of television Pokémon, which became infamous around the world. Lavender is thus just such an extension of a real event into the realm of superstition.

2. Killswitch

The last two legends apply to nonsense from the realm of nonsense, and I probably don’t have to explain it to domestic players, especially in the first example. Hoax named Killswitch refers (apart from the average shooter from 2003) to the alleged Soviet game hit of the same name from 1989, which was supposed to be created by the typically Russian-sounding company “Karvina Corporation” …

Legend has it that the title was a kind of more depressing, survival copy of Mega Man – the player could play for a little girl or a demon, the whole venue was a dirty coal mine and the spirit of the game was similar Eastern promises. In the end, however, the game had to erase itself on your disk, which sounds like something suspiciously appropriate for an unproven legend.

The extremely limited number of self-destructing copies of Killswitch was to reach the United States, which was associated with superstitions about people who bought Killswitch dearly and had only eyes to cry after deletion. The legend still has some understandable roots – Killswitch, as an idea of ​​a crazier variation on the addictiveness of Tetris, was invented in her collection of short stories Melancholy of Mechagirl by writer Catherynne M. Valente. The fictional title obviously attracted even those who had never read anything from it.


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1. Polybius

The mysterious arcade was to be a practically identical idea, only on the other side of the barricade Polybius. As a secret government project, it was supposed to cause hallucinations and other psychoactive effects, while the collected data from the effects of the psychoarcade on people were then collected by Men in Black. Of course, no existing version has ever been confirmed by official sources (but maybe that’s what they want us to think!). However, with roots in 1981, this is probably the first similar gaming myth ever.

According to skeptic Brian Dunning, the myth of Polybia probably originated as a hyperbola of the original version of the Tempest arcade, which, due to its miserable treatment, actually caused nausea, dizziness, or even an epileptic seizure. Along with the then FBI raids on some of the arcade games due to fears of gambling, the two events merged into one. Polybius then lived his own life and as a pop culture joke he even got into the animator Wreck-It Ralph.

Today, most of us probably laugh at such ideas as much as possible. However, back in the 1980s, when game culture in America seemed foreign and obscure to most older people, a similar myth did not improve the reputation of the first mass-popular games. Well, even as we learned as a civilization and threw hoaxes behind our heads!

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Source: Games by games.tiscali.cz.

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