Useless Information You Might Enjoy

Today, I thought I’d bombard you guys with some of my favourite pieces of useless gaming trivia. Hope you like it, chances are this stuff only appeals to me because I’m such a geek…

Developers Against Piracy

Playing a pirated copy of Alan Wake for the PC will result in a couple of changes demonstrating the developers’ distaste for piracy. It’s fairly common for games to provide hints and tips to keep the player occupied while staring at otherwise dull loading screens. If your copy of Alan Wake wasn’t the real deal, you were provided the very useful tip, “If you like this game, support Remedy by buying it.” Ouch. Even better is the addition of an eye patch for Alan, as a constant reminder that you support pirates and therefore you are a bad person.

Similarly, you were scolded in Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen for playing a pirated copy. Boarding the ferry in Vermilion City, the attendant utters the following message before letting you board the ship:

Damn… Don’t fuck with Game Freak. I think all games should have nasty messages waiting for those using illegal copies, not only to make them feel bad about themselves, but to give me more stuff to laugh about!

Naughty Cheaters!

Banjo-Kazooie took no crap when it came to serious cheating. If you resorted to cheat codes too many times, then you’d be threatened by Grunty that something bad would happen if you keep taking the easy way out. Well, the bitch wasn’t lying. If you push it too much, she just deletes your game.

Yes, you heard that correctly. The game can actually choose to delete your saved file. Harsh guys, harsh.

PlayStation Two Towers

You may well already know this, but I’m gonna tell you anyway. As the PlayStation 2 loads up, you may have noticed there’s a screen with lots of fog and some towers of varying sizes. This isn’t just randomly generated; each tower represents a game you have played. The height of the tower is determined by how many hours you have put into the game. So, if you load up the PS2 with a blank memory card, it’ll appear as a completely clean slate. How cool is that?

Just me…? Okay…

Politically Correct Pokemon

I absolutely love this one. In the European release of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl (excluding the English version), the sprite for Registeel was altered because in the original he appears to be performing a Nazi salute.

All he’s missing is a little tiny moustache… I’m sorry, but I think it’s brilliant. They should have just kept the first sprite! Sadly, they kept the alteration for all subsequent releases, including Black and White. No more Nazi Registeel.

Metal Gear Ghosts

Because tactical espionage action can get a bit much sometimes, the guys over at Konami HQ thought it’d be fun to give Snake an alternative top secret mission: Ghost Hunting. Using the camera, it’s possible to capture images of some ghostly figures scattered throughout the game. They seem really creepy at first, until some asshole like me tells you that they’re just pictures of the development team thrown in for a laugh. Sorry to ruin the tension!

If you want to get a snapshot of Snake with the main man Hideo Kojima, whip the camera out in Otacon’s lab right in front of the Policenauts poster. This is blatantly just Kojima advertising one of his previous titles, but it’s cool all the same.

 Final Fantasy

Final Fantasy got its name from the fact that its creator, Square co-founder Hironobu Sakaguchi, intended it to be his last video game, using up the remainder of Square’s money after a number of unsuccessful projects. Here we are, thirteen and a half games later, and it’s still not over… oh the irony.

That’s enough for volume one of this column, I think. I’ll dig up some more entirely useless information if you guys ever want to read some more!