The world of games is full of interesting mysteries and funny curiosities. When playing a classic like GoldenEye 007 on the Nintendo 64, you can’t imagine that it was developed by an inexperienced team. Or when you see Devil May Cry, from PlayStation 2 (PS2), you hardly think that it originated from a project that started as a prototype of what would be Resident Evil 4. Few people know, but even an epidemic has happened in World of Warcraft (WoW). See, in the list below, 12 funny things and secrets about video games that you probably didn’t know.
1. Devil May Cry, a “Resident Evil that went wrong”
Currently a consolidated franchise with six games, the most recent being Devil May Cry 5 released for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 (PS4) and PC (Steam), Devil May Cry would initially be a part of Resident Evil. The game commanded by Hideki Kamiya would bring new airs to the survival horror franchise with a new “cool” and stylized action gameplay.
The protagonist of the story would be Tony, an invincible man with skills and intellect superior to that of ordinary human beings, thanks to the biotechnology implanted in his body. The game would have a Gothic look and a dynamic camera system to give more prominence to the protagonist.
But soon Shinji Mikami, creator of Resident Evil, realized how much it was out of tune with the survival horror style and convinced the developers to use the idea for a new project. Then, Kamiya rewrote history by exchanging the threat of the zombies created by the Umbrella Corporation for demons. The protagonist was also reworked and had his name changed from Tony to Dante. Then Devil May Cry was born.
2. Tetris was the first game to go into space
In 1993, a game came out of Earth’s orbit for the first time. That game was the Nintendo Game Boy Tetris, which was quite popular at the time and was carried by Russian cosmonaut Aleksandr A. Serebrov on board a Soyuz TM-17 to the MIR Space Station. The trip took 196 days and 17 hours and the game orbited the Earth more than three thousand times. In 2011, the traveler cartridge was sold at an auction for $ 1,220.
3. Hyundai Comboy, South Korea’s NES
Due to the conflicts of World War II, South Korea was banning the import of everything related to Japan, including products from Japanese companies like Nintendo and SEGA. The ban continued until 2004.
Therefore, Hyundai Electronics, which was responsible for distributing Nintendo products in South Korea at the time, created a loophole and launched the console in the country under the name Hyundai Comboy. It was very similar to the model launched in America, but it did not do well in sales. Still, the Hyundai Comboy had two successors, the Super Comboy and the Comboy 64, South Korean versions of the Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64, respectively.
4. Lara Croft was almost called Laura Cruz
Lara Croft, the most famous video game archeologist, almost had a very different name. When the first concepts of Tomb Raider were elaborated, the plan of the Core Design animator responsible for the title was to develop an interactive story in which a male character, similar to Indiana Jones, would go to the pyramids of Egypt to look for treasures. However, to differentiate themselves from the character in theaters, the team decided to turn the male character into a South American woman named Laura Cruz.
Subsequently, the Latin name was considered very difficult to pronounce among English speakers. So Laura became Lara, and after consulting a phone book, they found the surname Croft, which replaced Cruz.
5. Barack Obama campaigned in several games
During the 2008 presidential election, then-candidate Barack Obama decided to use games as a vehicle for his campaign. He bought advertising space in 18 titles to display his slogan “Vote for Change”. The ads were shown in 10 states in games more focused on the adult audience like Burnout Paradise, Skate, Madden and NASCAR.
6 .World of Warcraft went through a virtual pandemic
On September 13, 2005, Patch 1.7.0 of World of Warcraft was released featuring a new raid area called Zul’Gurub. In it, players faced the boss Hakkar the Soulflayer who had a debuff called Corrupted Blood. It drained the characters’ lives and spread to everyone nearby. The intention was that the effect would end at the end of the raid, but due to a programming error, the debuff left the raid and soon started to spread.
The lower level players started to die and the high level players needed to heal themselves constantly. The “disease” also affected NPCs, further increasing the rate of contagion. Quest hubs and common areas were deserted and players began to have to quarantine, avoiding places of high circulation. Blizzard needed to do a hard reset and patch the game to eliminate the plague.
The event was so remarkable that it caught the attention of doctors and scientists who used the case of Corrupted Blood as a study to combat diseases in the real world.
7. 007 GoldenEye was developed by an inexperienced team
007 GoldenEye, from Nintendo 64, is one of the most beloved games on the Nintendo platform. It was a title of great importance for the FPS genre, showing that they could do well on consoles as well, adopting a more realistic style than other games of the time. The game’s development team was very small, with only nine members. Of the nine, eight had never worked on a game before.
8. Master Chief is a radio DJ
Fans of the Halo franchise certainly recognize the voice of the protagonist Master Chief when they hear it. Who was immortalized as the voice of John-117 in all games in the franchise was Steve Downes, a radio DJ and voice actor since the late 1970s. Downes was discovered by composer Martin O’Donnell after voicing the character Gunnar in the game Septerra Core: Legacy of the Creator from 1999. When the composer started working on Halo, he called Steve to voice the character.
9. The blocks in Mushroom Kingdom are people
Thinking that Mario could be killing people by jumping on the blocks can be a scary idea. However, it can be true. In the Super Nintendo Bros. game manual, from Super Nintendo, it is reported that the evil Koopas transformed the inhabitants of Mushroom Kingdom into blocks, stones and plants.
10. Illegal trade in … bananas?
Censorship sometimes generates some unusual changes in games. A very curious case is that of Game Boy’s Final Fantasy Legend II. At a certain point in the game, a group of opium smugglers appears. Nintendo of America, always very strict with its titles, demanded that drug dealers become banana sellers before the title could reach the United States. If you played the American version, you certainly found so much secrecy in an innocent fruit sale.
11. A computer made with PlayStation 3
In 2010, the American Air Force created a powerful supercomputer capable of quickly analyzing high-resolution images called Condor Cluster. However, it drew a lot of attention from the gamer audience as it consisted of 1,760 PlayStation 3 consoles that worked in conjunction with graphics processing units and coordinating servers.
The project cost $ 2 million and, according to the Air Force Research Department, it was among the 35th or 36th fastest computer in the world. The researchers opted for consoles due to their lower cost. If the computer had conventional components, the project would be 20 times more expensive.
12. Gandhi, the great aggressor
When you think of Mahatma Gandhi, the image of a peaceful person certainly comes to mind – but not if you are a Civilization player. Since the first game in the franchise, he is well known for having a great predilection for the use of nuclear weapons. It all started thanks to a bug: the leaders of the game have an aggression rate, and Gandhi’s, as you would imagine, was the lowest with just one point. When a player opted for democracy, the leader’s aggression fell in two.
However, due to a code error, instead of Gandhi’s aggression dropping to negative numbers, it actually went to 255 – which made the character a highly aggressive leader. In later titles, this characteristic was maintained as a form of homage to the peculiarity of the first Gandhi.