Before and during the early days of the internet, rumors about secrets in video games would spread across the playground like wildfire. While some were believable, some were beyond ridiculous, yet in the end we still spent hours trying to see if they were true. Here is a list of some of the most popular ones:
Akuma in Resident Evil 2
EGM claimed that Akuma is unlocked by typing in "AKUMA" instead of "GUEST" on the laboratory console, allowing a new save file to be made in which he will be playable. To actually allow "AKUMA" to work, however, EGM claimed that the player would have to beat both sets of Resident Evil 2 scenarios a total of six times on the 'A' rank, and only using the handgun and a knife. Only by playing the game a seventh time would it work. Akuma is claimed to have be ability to fire Gohadokens instead of using guns, and can explore through the entire game without need for keys.
24th Cheat in Goldeneye 64
When you have unlocked all of the cheats (23 in total), it looks as if you are missing one cheats being they are arranged in 2 columns. This spawned the rumors of a 24th cheat (which was actually cut before the game was released). The most popular rumor was a cheat called "All Bonds" which would allow you to play as other James Bonds such as Sean Connery, Roger Moore, and Timothy Dalton. The only way to actually get all the Bonds is using a cheating device.
The actual removed cheat was "Line Mode" which turned your screen into a pen and ink display of the game.
Bigfoot in GTA: San Andreas
Players generally say that they have seen Bigfoot from far away, usually as a burly figure walking through the forest who would flee if the player gets too close. Rarer accounts say that Bigfoot attacks the player, or that the player could get close to him. Nevertheless, the majority of video or photo evidence that proves Bigfoot's existence are either fake or mods. The debate that Bigfoot exists in San Andreas is still active to this day. The existence of Bigfoot in GTA San Andreas has been the focal point of many internet-based rumors since the game was released in 2004. It is impossible to determine the start of these rumors.
In an official interview with Terry Donovan released in 2005, he stated, "There is no Bigfoot, just like in real life. But there is something in the woods." This statement spurred a large debate within the GTA community about what Donovan was referring to. Many people take Donovan's message as a hint, and are searching for Piggsy (a killer in a pig mask from the game Manhunt) and other similar creatures (such as the Chupacabra) in the San Andreas countryside.
Ermac in Mortal Kombat
In the first few arcade versions of Mortal Kombat, there was a listing in the audit menu for "ERMACS". In Revision 3.0, it was actually listed directly underneath "Reptile Battles" giving the appearance that they were grouped together. It was believed to reference a character the same way "Reptile Battles" does which led people to believe that Ermac was also a secret character. The Ermac listing is a shortening of the term "Error Macro". Electronic Gaming Monthly published a photo to accompany a letter from Tony Casey reporting an alleged encounter. However, Ermac did not appear in any version. There is also no naturally occurring default character palette that would provide a full palette swap for Ermac. The developers denied that he existed in Mortal Kombat II with one of the jumbled messages that appeared at the bottom of the screen after beating the game: CEAMR ODSE NTO EXITS (an anagram of "Ermac does not exist"), and the occasional appearance of the secret character Jade with the message "Ermac Who?" The numerous rumors of his existence led to his debut as an official character in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3.
Luigi in Super Mario 64
The garbled-looking symbols on the star statue in the courtyard fountain are actually a message reading 'L is Real 2401', and is a secret message from Nintendo on how to unlock Luigi as a playable character. This was actually started long ago on Nintendo's official website when Editor Dan Ownsen was asked a question about this, with this very speculation laid out. He repeatedly refused to answer it. After months of refusing to answer the question, he finally included it in his FAQ and admitted it meant nothing, but by then the myth had spread and is still believed.
Sheng Long in Street Fighter II
The name Sheng Long comes from a mistranslated portion of Ryu's Shoryuken; "shō ryū" (昇 龍, "rising dragon") from Shōryūken (昇龍拳, "Rising Dragon Fist"), Ryu's flying uppercut, is "shēng lóng" in Chinese pinyin. This was carried into one of Ryu's quotes to defeated opponents in the English localization of the 1991 arcade game Street Fighter II, changing the Japanese quote, "If you cannot overcome the Rising Dragon Fist, you cannot win!"(昇龍拳を破らぬ限り、おまえに勝ち目はない, Shōryūken wo yaburanu kagiri, omae ni kachime wa nai!) to "You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance." As a result players were given the impression that Ryu was referring to an actual person instead of the physical attack itself.
EGM first started the Sheng Long rumor with a hoax article, revealing the rumored method to access him. He is described to have over-the-top powers, with fireballs faster than Sagat's and kicks deadlier than Chun-Li's, also with the special attack of each fighter and "mega-damage" attack. He was also said to possess an air throw and have a Shoryuken engulfed in flames. The method described was as follows: playing only as Ryu, the player cannot take a single hit until M. Bison's stage. Then, the player must not hit M. Bison or allow him to land a hit for ten rounds straight. Afterword, Sheng Long would appear to throw Bison off the stage and face Ryu. When facing Sheng Long, the timer will freeze at 99, leaving a full "fight to the death".
Shoot the Duck Hunt Dog
You know him, you hate him, and you would love to shoot him. That smug dog who laughed at you whenever you were unable to shoot a duck got on everyone's nerves, and I bet you did shoot at him when he laughed at you. But what if you could actually shoot him, and that's where the rumor started. This lead to people making ROM Hacks where you could shoot him or where you hunted the dogs with a mini gun, but there was no way to shoot him in the official NES version.
Mew and the Mystery Truck
In Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow, as well as their remakes FireRed and LeafGreen, a truck was placed in the S.S. Anne's port, which seems to serve no evident purpose except as scenery. With scenery being very sparse in the Generation I games, and this being one of the few sprites with no other purpose than to exist in one spot, fans began speculating that another purpose existed for this truck. The truck cannot be accessed without Surf, which the player would not normally have or be able to use before the S.S. Anne departs (The ship will not set sail if the player challenges a Trainer after obtaining the move Cut and loses the battle. The player will be returned to the last Pokémon Center visited, and the ship will not leave the dock, making it accessible later in the game when the player had obtained Strength and Surf). Rumor claimed that the truck could be moved with Strength, and Mew could be found underneath it.
In FireRed and LeafGreen, the truck is still present; however, there is actually something of a point to get to it this time around. On its pier, if the player walks down a bit, they can find a Lava Cookie, normally unavailable until later in the game. This could possibly have been put into the game as a reference to the old rumors. In the ROM Hack version "Twitch Plays Pokemon" you can actually move the truck using Strength to get Mew.
By the time you get to the end of the first disc of Final Fantasy VII, you have already gotten all the team members and most likely have started having a team combination you enjoy. Aerith was probably on your team as your healer. Then it happens, the cut scene and scream heard around the world from fans. Sephiroth drops down and plunges his sword through Aerith. No big deal though, you have some Phoenix Downs so you will just revive her and continue your journey, but you can't. She is actually dead and there is no bringing her back... or is there? Numerous rumors floated around online and through schoolyards about ways to revive her but alas none were true. It sucked losing her in the game but if you could bring her back, that kind of ruins and messes up the story.
When Tomb Raider came out it took the gaming world by storm. You played as a female with guns and went around exploring a 3D world. Well, when you combine horny teenage guys and anything involving a female it normally results in one things. This time it was the infamous "Nude Raider" code. Rumor had it that you would type in a code and Lara Croft would be naked. It wasn't true but that didn't stop the rumor from spreading like a plague on school buses, playground, and GeoCities websites. When Tomb Raider 2 was released, the developers included a code to make Lara explode. People used this new code as a prank by telling people it was the nude code for Tomb Raider 2 and watched in delight as the person entered the code Lara exploded.