#2. Overworked Programmer Turns Helicopter Game into Gay Celebration
Before the wildly popular SimCity game series transitioned into the even more wildly popular The Sims, their creators at Maxis tried out about a dozen other "Sim + some other word" combinations to see if they caught on. They did not.
SimFarm failed because it lacked the option to annoy your family and friends with invitations.
The best known of that bunch is SimCopter, but not for the reasons Maxis intended. The game, released in 1996, allowed you to fly through pixelated cities of your own design with a helicopter, doing things like rescuing people trapped on rooftops, putting out fires, stopping riots ... or watching muscular half-naked men with fluorescent nipples making out with each other.
We're not sure who that dude in the gray hoodie is, but we'd bet money he's taken a human life.
This last part wasn't fully intentional, it turns out. After completing a mission, the game was supposed to show you a group of scantily clad bimbos (as the programmers called them) dancing around for no reason. One programmer, Jacques Servin, decided to bring some gender equality into the Sims world by secretly replacing the bimbos with men in Speedos, recoding the game so that "should you encounter one of these youths, you must kiss him" (which would play out with cute lip-smacking noises). He also threw in some dancing cops for good measure, and thickened the legs of some girls to turn them into drag queens.
Which explains the mysterious bulge in the girl on the right.
Servin programmed the characters to come out only on certain dates, but an error in the code made them show up more often and in greater numbers, causing spontaneous gay pride parades to form around the helicopter. The Easter egg was discovered a few days after the game's release, but by that time, 50,000 copies had already been shipped. Servin was soon fired "due to the insertion of unauthorized content."
Looks pretty consensual to us.
Though Servin himself is gay, he says he did it mainly because the working conditions at Maxis were "inhumane" -- he often worked 60-hour weeks, went a year without any vacation time and was refused a week off. At this point he stumbled upon RTMark, the same activist group behind the hack of the educational game above. RTMark later paid Servin $5,000 for his stunt, and he went on to enjoy a far more satisfying career as a founding member of The Yes Men.
Meanwhile, Maxis eventually admitted he might have been on to something there.
#1. Horny, Pissed-Off Programmers Sneak Rants into Nintendo Games
Are you one of those people who long for the days when cursing and sex in video games was practically unheard of? When you could pick any console game from the store and trust it to be as clean as a Disney movie? We're here to tell you that those games were just as profane and just as perverted as the contemporary trash you despise -- it was all just hidden where you couldn't see it.
Take Pachi Com, for example, a seemingly innocent game for Famicom (the Japanese name for the first Nintendo console) involving harmless pinball and slot machine mini-games ... and a long, angry rant hidden in the code, which actually takes up 5 percent of the game's space.
It's the most entertaining 5 percent.
In the hidden rant, a programmer identified only as Y.S. calls his bosses "retards," among other things, and reveals that "there's another message in the MSX Pachi Com," but it's only for perverts. Indeed, there's a shorter and more enigmatic text hidden in the code of the MSX version of Pachi Com, which eloquently states: "SHLICK SHLICK SPRAY SPRAY" (an early precursor of "fap fap fap").
As painstakingly descriptive as it is nauseating.
This sort of shenanigans happened all the time during the Famicom days, apparently: On the surface, Erika to Satoru no Yumeboken was a cutesy Famicom game by the company who created Pac-Man -- however, it contained an even longer (and even nastier) secret message that was actually visible through the game itself by getting to the end, waiting an hour and a half and pressing a combination of buttons on both controllers. If you do that correctly, this shows up:
It looks like just another sequence in the game, but it's actually an anonymous programmer dishing out details of his female co-worker's sex life:
"First off, Kaoru Ogura, who ran off with some guy in the middle of the project. Yes, you, you bastard. Don't show up at the office without showering after having sex six times the previous night."
That's actually Level 3.
Other programmers preferred to use the games as their own depraved personal ads. Like in Ganso Saiyuuki: Super Monkey Daibouken, an action game not nearly as awesome as the name suggests, in which a programmer hid his full name, age, contact info and this delightful little rhyme: "I wanna lick your pussy! I want a perverted miss. I like vagina and the clitoris!"
He's still knee-deep in it, we're betting.
But perhaps the most epic video game rant of all time belongs to David Pridie, a programmer on The New Tetris for Nintendo 64. At over 2,000 words and featuring seven ASCII illustrations, it is the War and Peace of pissed-off video game developers. It can be summed up with the following quote, though: "This game suuuuuucks."
"Remember New Coke? Let's make a video game like that."
For more Easter eggs that'll knock your socks off, check out 7 Creepy Video Game Easter Eggs You'll Wish Were Never Found and 10 Mind-Blowing Easter Eggs Hidden in Famous Albums.
And stop by LinkSTORM to discover which columnist has an Easter tattooed on their ass.
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