DID YOU KNOW?
Matt Damon refused to appear in the recent Bourne Conspiracy game because he thought it was too violent. Not fussed by the violence in the films then, eh, Matt?
Ever wondered what happens to Leon’s cool leather jacket in Resident Evil 4? It inexplicably disappears after the scene in the village. Well, on the PS2 version, go through Ada’s side-quest and one of the Ganado villagers will be wearing it.
In the early stages of its development, Half-Life 2 featured a friendly alien that would follow Gordon Freeman around, feasting on the bodies of his fallen enemies. It was taken out when Valve discovered that the AI would be too difficult to convincingly program.
In 1986, Nintendo released a special Disk System peripheral for the NES in Japan. Among its features was a microphone in the controller, which certain games used, including an updated version of the original Zelda. You could only destroy a certain enemy by shouting into the mic.
The famously awful E.T. game for the Atari 2600 actually sold more than its most famous game, Space Invaders. E.T. sold 1.5 million, while Invaders only shifted a million.
A boss character called Binbag was removed from Rockstar’s Manhunt early in its development. He was a psychopath wrapped in black refuse sacks. Lovely.
In Pilotwings 64, the character Lark is actually the mascot for famous American games magazine Nintendo Power, Nester. His name was changed at the last minute, probably because PAL gamers wouldn’t know who he was.
In The Legend Of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, the advisor from the SNES version of Sim City, Dr Wright, appears in a house. He’s named after Will Wright, the creator of the Sim series.
There are currently over 100 million Game Boys in the world; both the original and the colour variant. 32 million of them are in Japan, and there are 44 million in America.
Online gaming isn’t as recent a development as you may think; in the ’90s, a modem peripheral called the Satellaview was released for the Super Nintendo. It let gamers download gaming news and specially-designed games. They were mostly remakes of retro classics.
Early iterations of Nintendo’s failed Virtual Boy console included a gun you’d set vertical on a flat surface that would project a 3D image into the air.
GoldenEye’s famously brilliant multiplayer mode originally contained three Bond actors as playable characters; Sean Connery, Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton. Their data was left on the cartridge, but you couldn’t select them without using a cheat device.
Namco developed a special PSone controller to be used with Ridge Racer Type 4. It was called the Jogcon and had a wheel in place of the analogue sticks.
The death screams of the bad guys in the original Golden Axe are digitized from screams used in the films First Blood and Conan The Barbarian.
The damsel-in-distress that Mario rescues in the original Donkey Kong is called Pauline. In the Japanese version she was known simply as ‘Lady’.
Mega Man is known as Rock Man in Japan. This was changed in America because ‘rock’ is well-known slang for crack cocaine, and the name stuck.
The Xbox was originally named DirectXbox, as it was initially designed to show how Microsoft’s Direct X graphics technology could benefit the console market.
The Texas Instruments TI-83 calculator has more graphics processing power than the Commodore 64. Amazingly, some basic C64 games can even be programmed into it.
The name Atari comes from the Chinese game Go. ‘Atari’ refers to a situation where a stone or a group of stones is in imminent danger of being taken by another player; a state Atari ironically found themselves in when the brand was bought by French company Infogrames.
In the NES era, Nintendo had strict licensing rules in an effort to maintain quality control (hence the gold Nintendo seal of quality badges on the cartridges). They only allowed third-party publishers to release 5 games a year for their systems.
Sixty percent of all Americans age six and older, or about 145 million people, play computer and video games. The average age of a gamer is 28 years old.
The first game to feature multiple endings depending on how you played the game was Castlevania 2: Simon’s Quest on the NES.
Sonic The Hedgehog has appeared in four TV series; Sonic The Hedgehog, Sonic Underground, The Adventures Of Sonic The Hedgehog and Sonic X. He’s also appeared in a comic book series. None of them are as good as the games.
The Nintendo N64 marked the first time that computer graphics workstation manufacturer Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI) developed game hardware technology.
The Nintendo GameCube’s proprietary disc can hold 1.5 gigabytes of data – 190 times more than what an N64 game cartridge can hold.
In the 1980s, a service called Gameline allowed users to download games to the Atari 2600 over regular phone lines. It was a commercial failure, but eventually formed part of the foundation for America Online, the world’s largest Internet service provider.
In its heyday, the Dragon Quest series was only ever released on weekends in Japan, because mid-week launches would see thousands of people pulling sickies to go and play it.
The Atari Jaguar proudly boasted that it was the first 64-bit console, but in reality it was two 32-bit chips stuck together – so not truly 64-bit. Those liars.
A game called Malice starring singer Gwen Stefani as the titular lead character was supposed to be a big-budget system-seller for Xbox. After years of delays it was finally released at a budget price on the console, and on PS2. Gwen Stefani’s recorded dialogue was never used, nor was the planned ‘No Doubt’ soundtrack.
If you cheated while playing the Sega 32x version of Doom, after the game ends you’re taken to a fake DOS prompt. You can’t quit out of it, and the only way to escape the screen is to reset the console. If you didn’t cheat, you get an extra cutscene.
Duke Nukem 3D was one of the first games to employ a real-time audio effect to its sounds. If you went underwater, a calculated reverb was applied to sounds being played to make gunfire sound muffled and gurgly.
Super Mario World for the SNES took 29,000 hours to program. Luckily, it went on to sell 17 million copies and was the best-selling game of its generation.
Sonic The Hedgehog 2 was one of the first ever games to have a simultaneous, worldwide release date. This was known amongst gamers as ‘Sonic2sday’, as it appeared in shops on a Tuesday. November 24, 1992 to be exact.
PC hit Grim Fandango was originally titled ‘Deeds Of The Dead’, but was changed because LucasArts didn’t want a reference to death in the title. In a game primarily about death, the afterlife and the grim reaper. Yes.
The Secret Of Monkey Island came with a code-wheel copy protection system, in which you had to mix and match pirate faces and assemble their names. It was taken out of future releases as it proved too annoying.