The advent of the internet gave gaming fans across the world the ability to communicate with each other regardless of country. Players could send tips, hints, hacks, cracks, and secrets that developers had previously thought were buried deep within the game’s code. In fact, mere hours after a title hits the market, it’s not uncommon for message boards to light up with hidden information. However, not all video game secrets are uncovered right away.
From Super Mario 64’s impossible-to-reach coins to the clandestine metagames within Goldeneye 007, the following is a list of secrets that took years for video game fans to discover. Programmers for each title should be lauded for their ability to keep something tucked away for so long. Likewise, intrepid enthusiasts should be congratulated for their astounding dedication and relentless love of the medium.
Video Game Secrets: Master Hand in Super Smash Bros. Melee
As fans can probably recall, it wasn’t too uncommon to hear rumors floating around about cheats giving players the ability to play as some of a title’s bosses. In the case of Super Smash Bros. Melee, the rumors surrounding the ability to play as Master Hand were outright dismissed as untrue. A weird glitch in the game uncovered 10 years after its launch, however, does actually give fans this luxury.
In order to play as Master Hand, players had to trick the game into thinking that no character was selected. The boss can’t be defeated, seeing as it has no knockback characteristics, which is pretty neat if you’re going up some unsuspecting friends. Be warned that gaining access to the fighter should be done with extreme caution, as doing so may lead to corrupted game files and glitches.
Video Game Secrets: Super Mario 64‘s Impossible Coin
Super Mario 64 continues to be a popular game to play by enthusiasts today. First released in 1996, levels were so enormous and featured a ton of secrets and glitches to exploit. One such secret was what the community called the “Impossible Coin.” This trinket spawned just under the ground of Tiny-Huge Island and can only be viewed by manipulating the camera in a specific way. Its location deemed it impossible to reach, and most people didn’t even try to grab it.
YouTube user Pannenkoek2012, however, was the first to obtain the coin; a full 18 years after the game officially launched. Though the user used a tool-assisted hack to collect it, they argued that the coin could still be picked up through practice and precise timing. As a result of their feat, Pannenkoek2012 has become something akin to a legend in the Super Mario 64 community.
Video Game Secrets: GoldenEye 007‘s Metagames
GoldenEye 007 was one of the first games to prove that first-person shooters could actually work on consoles. It was rife with secrets to discover upon release, though one was so well-hidden that it took fans 15 years to find.
The developer behind the game, Rare, had apparently organized a team to find out some means of emulating titles from the British ZX Spectrum system, which was the country’s version of the Commodore 64. A fully functional emulator came packed with 10 games to play in addition to GoldenEye. It appears as though Rare decided to patch over the emulator instead of removing it entirely. Though the studio may have thought it covered its tracks, it appears that the magic of today’s technology has come back to haunt them.
Video Game Secrets – Donkey Kong‘s Developer Initials
Atari’s famed video game programmer Landon Dyer in 1983 to port Donkey Kong over to the Atari 400 and 800 consoles. After writing more than 25,000 lines of code, the man managed to succeed in his task, but not without hiding his initials deep within the title. Engineer Don Hodges managed to discover the secret a whopping 26 years later in 2009.
To find Dyer’s initials, players must set a new high score between 33,000 and 33,900 points. They then must kill off all their remaining lives, but save their last life to be killed off by falling off one of the game’s high girders. After this, they have to press the option command three times to change the difficulty to four. Last but not least, players would have to check the game’s credits to find the letters LMD scribbled on the top spot. It’s a lot of work, but worth it to die-hard Donkey Kong enthusiasts out there, especially considering how long this secret has eluded the gaming world.
Video Game Secrets: Final Fantasy IX‘s Final Sidequest
It didn’t take long for fans to discover what they thought were all of Final Fantasy IX’s secrets. Released back in 2000, no one had thought that one more side quest awaited them this whole time. Discovered 13 years later by YouTube user GarlandTheGreat, fans had to track down all three Nero Brothers in order to teach Zidane how to gamble. It was all found on the fourth disc of the title. The sidequest’s reward didn’t yield much (a measly Protect Ring), but finding out about it was a reward in and of itself.
Video Game Secrets: Animal Crossing‘s ROM Emulator
Fans of the original Animal Crossing on the Nintendo GameCube may recall that the title included a NES for purchase that had a couple of games on it. A security expert named James Chambers discovered nearly 20 years after the game’s release that the developer had bigger plans in mind for the digital device. He supposes that the NES was originally meant to play any ROM players may have wanted.
The man evidences how the game actually reads players’ memory cards for compatible ROM files when they use the item. Some debugging can actually trigger the game to load up pretty much any ROM file it detects. Nintendo may have intended to sell memory cards with preloaded ROMs on them, though it’s anyways guess what the real reason was. It’s a shame that the idea never came to fruition, as that would have made Animal Crossing even more awesome.
What are some of your favorite video game secrets? Let us know in comments below!