The Great Mysteries of Gaming – Scott The Woz

The Great Mysteries of Gaming – Scott The Woz

February 2, 2020 100 By Sebastian Fry


*thunder sounds* Hey all, Scott here. Quick, what’s the first thing you think of when you think, “mysterious?” Mysteries, right. There are so many questions in life that are left unanswered, like, “What’s the point?” “Why bother?” and “Who cares?” That’s why I’m scouring the closet for answers to gaming’s greatest mysteries, like, “Didn’t Luigi say ‘f*ck’ in Mario Golf?” All right, we have the answer to why the Xbox One cases are the way they are, …and oho hey! Check this out, it’s my first fan art of Madden! Okay and… oh… Yeah I got invited to a dinner party by Chet Shaft, …he used to be my manager when I worked at Games on a Shelf, and then I quit/ran the store out of business. I think I put this with all of the letters I don’t want to deal with. “You have been cordially invited to a dinner party celebrating us all making it this far in life.” I knew living would get me somewhere some day. I mean, me and Chet aren’t “friend-friends,” we’re more so “he-f*cking-hates-me-friends.” But, this dinner party seems to be an apology for lashing out at me. “You think you know how to run a business?!?” “I know a guy with an NASA shirt, okay? I EARNED THIS JOB!” I miss the lack of trauma. I should probably stop by for just a bit. Now, under normal circumstances, that means no stupid Nintendo game talk, I’m going to be a little too busy at the dinner party. BUT, I thought ahead! I pre-recorded myself talking about gaming mysteries. [Scott on tape player] Hey all, Scott here! Oh God, I sound like that? As a player of all things video games, I think it’s fair to say I deserve answers. Mysteries are what keeps humanity at the edge of their seats. It’s absolutely terrifying knowing that you don’t know something. Is the Loch Ness monster real, or was it just a fist? But with video games, these things can be so complex and have such lengthy histories to them, that either some things are just left unexplained, or theories and urban legends arise. These mysteries can range from, “Can you jump the flagpole in Super Mario Bros.”, to “Is Luigi f*cking dead?” One of the most notorious urban legends in video games was with Super Mario 64, and Luigi in that game. And it wasn’t whether he said “f*ck” or not, because this isn’t Mario Golf. He wasn’t even there. See, up until Mario 64, we’ve had a pretty good ratio of games with Luigi, to games without Luigi. He was playable in all the mainline Marios prior to 64… and then priority shifted and Luigi wasn’t playable. He didn’t appear in the game whatsoever, not even mentioned. So of course, speculation started to get a little wild, and I still have my picket sign from the protests. Why wasn’t Luigi in Mario 64? Was he just that well hidden in the game? Well ever since the game launched, the many fans noticed this sign in the courtyard of Peach’s Castle. Now, under normal circumstances, it’s gibberish, but when we slide the virgin gogs on, we can make out that it potentially says “L is real 2401”. Now, what does that mean? No sex for me, thanks! Many took this as a hint; proof that Luigi was real alright, and he was in Mario 64 after all. So let’s dissect this phrase. “L is real 2401”. Luigi is real, and the only thing in Mario 64 with a number that high, would be the number of coins in the entire game. After all, you get a star for collecting 100 coins in each level, That lends credibility to the fact there could be a reward for collecting every single coin in the whole game. And that reward would be related to the letter L. Problem is, there isn’t 2401 coins in Mario 64, so, that’s a problem. And as a bonus, collecting them all doesn’t do anything. However, we can look into this even harder. “L is real 2401” may just correlate to Paper Mario’s release on the Nintendo 64. Luigi was real in that game, I saw him! And 2401 was the release date in North America. And 2401 was the release date in North America.. And 2401 was the release date in North America… Kinda. See, It didn’t release on February 4th, 2001, It released on February 5th, 2001 Well, If this theory holds any truth and Nintendo knew what the general release date of Paper Mario was gonna be back when Super Mario 64 released, That terrifies me. Why were they planning that far ahead? What were their goals? So, why is L real 2401? I have no idea! And frankly, this plaque is so blurry that you could come up with various other phrases it may look like. It’s one of those things where since a lot of people were told it reads “L is real 2401”, that’s what a lot of people see. I don’t know what the “A ka room!” people’s deal is. Luigi was planned for Mario 64 in a potential multiplayer mode, but was pushed off to the side. He was playable in the remake Super Mario 64 DS, though! All of life’s problems are solved when a character is playable in Mario 64 DS. Now, a lot of mysteries within gaming can be classified under conspiracy theories. Like, was Link dead throughout the entirety of The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask? No. It was between this and the moon landing, I chose believing the less supported one. Majora’s Mask is one dark Zelda title! Most dads would not let their daughters date this game. It’s creepy, it’s depressing, and many have discovered how the story of the game correlates with death. What happens before and after death, dealing with death, and many have theorized that Link himself was DEAD, and the entire game is basically his afterlife. There are lots of theories like this in games, some of which have turned out to be true! Like how Super Mario Bros. 3 was supposed to be a play. You see how it opens up with a curtain rising, various platforms cast a shadow and have bolts on them, like they were constructed as part of a set. Whenever a level ends, it’s almost as if Mario was running off stage. This was a fan theory for the longest time, until it was actually confirmed by Shigeru Miyamoto. Now, if this was an actual play I could sit down and watch: Who wrote this?? Oh! Hey all, Scott Wozniak, dinner partier here! Jeb Jab, vegan! Terry Lesler, vegan-er! Officer Steel Wool. Justice supporter. Rex Mohs, school dance chaperone and historian. Wendy’s Employee, Wendy’s employee. Oh, so how do you all know Chet? He was a former vegan. Then he bought milk. That son of a BITCH! I pulled him over for money laundering. I’m chaperoning at his dinner party. He stole a Baconator! That son of a BITCH! I tanked the store he managed and he convinced me to quit one of the only jobs I ever had! Now I’m living off of unemployment checks in fear! Hi! Chet Shaft, Former Games on a Shelf manager, current doer of all things nothing. Welcome to the Shaft family estate’s first annual dinner party. My largest priority at the moment! Due to some prior obligations, I can’t be there with you tonight! But please, feel free to help yourself to an old Shaft family recipe. This is Jimmy John’s. But then we go from theories, to just the unexplained. Parts of games that were never understood, and remained elusive for so long. In Goldeneye 007, on the very first level, players noticed a building in the distance. You can just barely see it, and rumors floated around about being able to grab a boat and make your way over there, potentially getting some rewards. But no, this area is more or less placed there for show. While the developer’s original intent was exactly what fans speculated, it was scrapped and just kept there as a scene-setter. If that island didn’t exist, the immersion would crumble. Everybody has their happy place! They wouldn’t make the T-shirts if that wasn’t the case, and mine is Shiverburn Galaxy in Super Mario Galaxy 2. Such a fun level! There’s fire AND ice. Can’t ask for much more than this! Sometimes I like to hit “UP” to go into first-person view and look up at the mountains… … Everybody has their happy place, and mine is Fleet Glide Galaxy in Super Mario Galaxy 2. These ominous figures appear in Shiverburn Galaxy if you look up in first person. Three beings just looking at you throughout the entire level. It doesn’t matter where you are, as long as you can look up at the mountains, they’ll be there… watching you. Now in Super Mario 3D Land, at the end of World 4-4, if you wait around, someone or something will fade in and fade out. Shiverburn Galaxy, I can sorta see these guys as a weird little thing accidentally getting thrown into the game, yeah, no, they’re inkblot tests. In 3D Land? This was a completely deliberate addition where one of the developers said, “I wanna make some kids sh*t themselves.” The Shaft family would like to express their gratitude to all attendees of the dinner party tonight. Terry Lesler and Jeb, thank you for your strong acts of veganism. Carrots wouldn’t be the same without you. Rick Mohs, without you, I wouldn’t be an alcoholic. It’s Rex! Officer Steel Wool, thank you for your years of service. Wendy’s Employee, thank you for YOUR years of service. And Scott, without you, I wouldn’t have lost my job at Games on a Shelf. Thank you, everybody. Please, help yourself to a complimentary table knife and dig in. *GASP* He’s dead! Alright, listen, guys. I’m not one to leave the party early, but when people start getting murdered, that’s where I draw the line. Yeah, somebody’s been murdered. Yeah. Yeah, can you pick that up on the way home? No, okay, we can’t leave, okay? Chet said the party’s over at 9. He’s f*cking dead, we at least owe him this. I’ll stay, I’m free. Listen, we can get the murder stench out of here by listening to some good ol’ fashioned video game mysteries. [Scott on tape player] Now of course, let’s talk a series with just as many mysteries as it has dead civilians. SOMEBODY F*CKING DIED. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has a little bit of something for everybody. Gunplay, driving, not Bigfoot. The existence of Bigfoot in San Andreas has always been a huge rumor. Apparently, within the forest, you could find Bigfoot lurking around. This is also a game where ghost cars can chase after you. A developer on the game stated that Bigfoot was in there at one point, but he was told to take it out for the final release. However, there’s supposedly a 10% chance of seeing Bigfoot. There’s also no Bigfoot model in the game’s code, so I don’t know about this one. Alright, so we all hated Chet, right? [ALL] Yeah… [Rex] Eh. He’s a born-again carnivore, he’s led many to unemployment, he’s money laundered, he’s wronged all of us. Who’s to say one of us isn’t the killer? That’s right…If we can’t leave, we might as well find out who viciously murdered Chet. Ooh, I love puzzles! Guys, listen, one of us may be a murderer, but we’re all human at the end of the day. Let’s just listen to some gaming mysteries about Luigi and call it a night! Wasn’t that the guy who said “f*ck” in Mario Golf? Luigi’s Mansion! F*ckin scary, right? It’s my go-to box art to piss myself to! Well, there are a few parts of the game that have some sinister and chilling implications, like, that is what you call a dead baby! But there was one part in the third area of the game. After a bolt of lightning strikes we can see Luigi’s shadow is hanging in the air, implying that Luigi is hanging himself. Now, was this an intentionally chilling addition to the game, or was it a glitch due to the game’s camera being at an angle it’s not usually used to which accidentally pushed Luigi’s shadow higher up than usual? Huh. This is great. It’s like a murder mystery, with the murder and the mystery! You’re taking this pretty well, man. Who’s to say you’re not the killer? You’re acting pretty carefree now, for someone whose life’s at stake. It’s a murder, not a tax audit. We’ll be fine. Well, what about the Wendy’s employee? Nobody EVER suspects the Wendy’s employee. Well, what about Steel Wool? He has a gun. Jeb has a knife. Yeah, for FUN, not for murder! Guys, deep down, we can all be a murderer if we want. Let’s just get down to the bottom of this. By a show of hands, who here murdered Chet? Dammit. Some mysteries aren’t too sinister, and were just unknown aspects of games, like jumping the flagpole in Super Mario Bros. I mean, when I played this game, I would sometimes think, I’m gonna do it. And guess what? I’ve never been able to live that down. This game is engineered to make it hard to jump over the flagpole. I mean, it makes sense. What does anybody gain from that? Now, a famous level where you can do that is 3-3. With these platforms, it’s more than possible to waste an afternoon. But the one people were always wondering about was World 1-1, the very first level. Is it possible? Yes, it is. F*ck you, Nintendo. It’s all due to a glitch here. We’ve gotta stand on this block here, and wait for the Koopa Troopa to fall down the hole, jumping up here at the right moment will hit him! Then he’ll come back and we have to follow him to the end of the level while grabbing a Mushroom. Then we jump at the right moment to jump off of him to get over the flagpole. There are lots of glitches that have their own mystery behind them. Like with Pokémon Red & Blue with the Pokémon MissingNo., which stands for “Missing Number.” It’s a glitch where the game basically has no idea what Pokémon should appear, but it’s kind of taken on a life on its own. People refer to MissingNo. as if it’s an actual Pokémon when it’s just a jumble of code. Super Smash Bros. Melee’s Daisy trophy has a third eye on the back of her head. I mean, I wasn’t expecting that, but I’m not surprised. Listen, maybe the murderer isn’t one of us. Maybe the murderer’s hiding somewhere in the building! We should split up into groups. That way, we can’t all get murdered! I like it. Feelin’ lucky tonight. Okay, so if any of you die, you have to tell me, okay? Wait! Look! It looks like whoever the killer is, had dark hair. Good, that narrowed it down a bit. Final Fantasy VII features the death of Aerith, However, many rumors floated around about being able to stop that from happening and keep her in your party. You cannot. A lot of these mysteries are formed by what fans want to see, or what the game says and just never elaborates on. Street Fighter II, Ryu says the infamous phrase “You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance.” Now, I’m sure the localization team at the time said, “Oh yeah, people will like this. It really makes Ryu seem determined to win!” When in reality, everybody said, “Who the f*ck is Sheng Long?” It was a mistranslation of Ryu stating “If you cannot overcome the Shōryūken, you cannot win.” There was a lot of mystery surrounding who Sheng Long was for the longest time. with the magazine EGM just refusing to put out the flames. They were well known for the April Fools’ hoaxes, and one of them happened to be details on how to find Sheng Long and some background to the character. Capcom themselves have joked about the character, fake announcing him for Street Fighter IV. And similarly, the original Mortal Kombat featured some extra code, “Ermacs,” and many thought Ermac was a secret character. They added him eventually. All right. So now that we’re all alone, we’re all friends here. Who the f*ck are you? We’re just gonna cut to the chase: were you the murderer? The only thing I kill is not abstinence. So, it’s possible you killed him. That’s impossible. I hate murder. So do I, but you don’t see me bragging about it. Y’know, that’s it. I’ve had it. Good luck not murdering people, murderers! Tomb Raider was infamous for the rumor of the “nude code,” a secret cheat code that would make the character Lara Croft completely nude for players 13 and up. Yeah, that just… that just doesn’t work! Lara Croft was a sex symbol in gaming, and the idea of a PlayStation 1 character naked, well, who doesn’t like that? The developers always teased fans about the code, making it obvious that it was very unlikely it actually existed, but never fully denying its existence either, obviously to keep people desperately wondering. It was later confirmed that a nude code… …never existed. Yeah, I know I might get murdered tonight, but I don’t care. Who the f*ck ever thought this was real? [Jeb] I died! Lung cancer. The murderer not only killed Chet, but peer pressured Jeb into death! He was like that when I got here. [Scott on tape player] Sonic CD features a sound test option after inputting a code. When we’re at the sound test, we can listen to all the sounds and music in the game, and if we select these specific options and hit Start, *creepy, ominous music* I just wanted to listen to music! This screen is infamous and incredibly bizarre. We have 24 Sonics with a human face, somebody wanted this. Now of course, with the mustache, it’s obvious this was supposed to be Sonic fused with Mario, the Japanese text translates to “Fun is Infinite, Sega Enterprises, image by Madjin” Now, “Majin” apparently means “the devil.” I knew something was up with this game. In actuality, “Madjin” refers to Masato Nishimura, as “Madjin” was his childhood nickname. So it’s fine. This screen is fine. I mean, it’s not like this screen is gonna kill me at a dinner party or anything, so it’s fine! It’s a common saying! The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, the biggest mystery for many people was the existence of the Chris Houlihan room. A room named after the winner of a Nintendo Power contest. You can get to it in a few different ways, and it’s just filled with rupees. Yeah, that’s cool or whatever, I want to see him in Smash Bros. as much as the next guy, but what about a secret that’s not only in a Zelda game, but numerous other Nintendo games as well? Totaka’s Song is a little ditty normally hidden in games composed by Kazumi Totaka, Luigi’s Mansion, Mario Paint, Link’s Awakening, Yoshi’s Story, Mario Land 2, they did it in so many games. But there are a few games Totaka has worked on where it still hasn’t been found. Many have thought that the sound of the tennis ball hitting the racket in Wii Sports WAS Totaka’s Song. If you play each hit together, it may sound like it, but that may be due to your brain telling you to THINK it’s playing Totaka’s Song. Weirdly enough, a game he straight-up directed, Wii Music, apparently doesn’t have Totaka’s Song in there at all. I mean it may be hiding in there, but I think we know everything Wii Music ever had to say; it has nothing to hide. *elevator ding* Pretty cool, right? Ahh, sh*t, Terry’s dead. Great. Now there’s only four people listening. Now there’s only one thing more addictive than reading actual mysteries about video games. Nicotine? Reading FAKE mysteries about video games! The creepypasta is big here on the Internet. It’s all about using one of THESE to scare the f### out of some kids! These are Internet scary stories, and lots of them have to do with video games. They almost always have to do with some kid buying a used copy of a game, and it’s haunted! There’s disturbing imagery and weird things happening while playing the game. What the hell are these ghosts’ priorities? Alright, we should just call the police already. We should just draw from a hat. Figure out who’s the murderer. Yeah, I’m getting real tired of trying to figure out who the murderer is. Somebody just wants to step up and be the murderer so we can all go home, I’m all for it. Alright. Scott, Steel Wool, Rex, you’re dead. But while creepypastas are fake mysteries about video games, how about real-life mysteries about video games? In 2007, Madden 08 released to the masses, but weirdly enough, it got prequels each year prior. Madden 1999 released and was the first one to do so without Uncle Madden on the cover. No, no no no, this one featured an athlete and it’s been a tradition for almost every athlete who made the Madden cover to soon after get injured. This is the Madden curse, and if we’re not careful enough, it’ll get us too! Who would’ve thought Madden on your chest could lead to injuries? Maybe there’s a gas leak or something; maybe that’s why everybody’s dying. Thanks, I was talking. Oh sh*t, it was YOU! Take off your mask, who are you? F*ck, I never would’ve guessed! It’s time to meet your end. Getting murdered is the least of my concerns right now! Why did you do it? Chet deserved it. He laundered. I was too shy to mention that I was the one that killed him, so I thought it’d be easier to kill everyone. Really? Five homicides and that’s your reason? Make that six. You ever hear of the Madden Curse!? Oww, my foot. I did it. I solved the mystery. I have seen a lot of murders in my day, and all six of them were today. The guys are all getting treated for murder at the hospital, they should all be fine. I’m pretty happy nothing happened to me, though. I have jury duty tomorrow, which means I can’t die. If I don’t show up, I’ll go to prison!