Like the basement of the weirdo you met on OKCupid, most video games contain secrets not meant for your eyes. Due to the impossibly complex way games are made, it's usually easier to simply lock away unused features than try to delete them from the code entirely. This means that the average game is a gold mine of hidden rooms, levels, and other bits of insanity the developers never wanted you to see. But gamers are a persistent and technically savvy bunch, so it was only a matter of time until we found out ...
#5. Beyond: Two Souls Has Full Frontal Ellen Page Nudity, for No Apparent Reason
Gaming has one universal truth, and that's if a female character exists, there are fans who want to see her naked. It doesn't matter what kind of character it is, or if she's played by a real actress who isn't exactly known for doing titillating roles. Gaming is full of horny young males, and unfortunately some of them are the ones actually making the games.
That brings us to the scandal surrounding Beyond: Two Souls. The cinematic game stars a character modeled from and voiced by Ellen Page on an adventure in which she's connected to an otherworld entity via a hamburger phone. Now, even though Beyond is brought to us by a man already responsible for crimes against virtual sex, the game isn't too risque when it comes to Page. Sure, she walks around in her underwear a few times, and there's a totally gratuitous shower scene, but it's tastefully shot -- which it would have to be, as Ellen Page has a no-nudity clause in her contract. So the scene is there either as fairly tame fan service or to give gamers the raw next-gen gameplay thrills of pretending to clean themselves.
Press X to spend five minutes alternating between "freezing" and "scalding."
But then someone used the PlayStation 3's debug mode, something only developers and testers generally have access to, to view the scenes from other angles. And that's how they discovered that some proud developer went through the trouble of rendering Ellen Page's entire naked body, including nipples. Censorship boxes added by us:
They cover the uncensored boxes added by David Cage.
To be clear, they didn't scan and upload Ellen Page's actual naked body, so plan your disgust and/or masturbation accordingly. It's Page's head slapped on a 3D model lovingly drawn and colored by someone at the studio, for reasons unknown (although we can guess). Obviously most 3D models are about as sexual as a Barbie doll because, like that bear jousting arena we gave up on building, why go through the effort of making something you're never going to use? Unless, of course, the game makers had some other "use" for it.
There were rumors that Page considered suing, but apparently that was blown out of proportion. Sony initially sent out legal threats to the sites hosting the stills, but what would legal action have accomplished beyond generating headlines that would serve to notify millions of other gamers to go seek out the images? It's kind of a no-win situation, and the bigger question is simply What the fuck were they thinking?
Wasn't doing this to her face creepy enough?
Keep in mind, this "modeling genitals only for the pleasure of the programmers" thing is apparently something of a common practice in gaming. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion featured topless models for their female characters, even though you couldn't make the characters go topless in the game, and Final Fantasy XIII, aka Final Fantasy Oh God, They're Still Making These? featured a nude model of the annoying Australian valley girl character. But none of that is in the same league as taking a real actress and sticking her real face on a fake but extremely detailed naked body that one of the artists apparently had stored in his imagination. We don't know if it would be better or worse if it turns out Beyond also contains a secret rendering of Willem Defoe's flopping dick.
Note: If you're feeling left out, ladies, your best option comes from the punctuation-tastic WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$!, which features Nintendo's bad boy Wario in a biker mustache, clown nose, and nothing else.
You'll never again see a "W" without picturing this guy's ass.
#4. Mass Effect's Explicit Gay Sex Scenes
Anyone who's played a Mass Effect game knows that the SSV Normandy might as well have been called the Love Boat for all the hanky-panky that happens on board. But while Mass Effect 2 and 3 let you start a relationship with, like, half your crew, the original game limited male characters to pursuing one woman or one lady-alien. Female gamers could inspect their lieutenant's privates or shack up with the same alien, in a classic "technically not a lesbian romance because of some sci-fi gobbledygook about the alien having atypical reproductive organs, but yeah, they're basically still two women doin' it" love story.
It's just a total coincidence that this asexual alien looks like an attractive woman. Science!
Despite that technicality and, more importantly, the fact that the one brief sex scene in the game is about as erotic as mashing Barbie and Ken dolls together, the sort of people who like to get offended by this sort of thing got offended and used it as an excuse to lodge hilariously inaccurate complaints. The ridiculous controversy gave the developers headaches, and even got Mass Effect banned in Singapore, which makes us wonder what the reaction would have been had they gone with their original plan of including an actual explicit gay romance.
Unused audio found in the game shows that both human love interests were originally able to be seduced by their same-sex player character counterparts, which in 2007 would have been ground-breaking to see in such a high-profile title. With the kind of reaction their pseudo-lesbian love scene got, it's sadly no surprise that the other homosexual relationships were cut, although fans quickly modded the content back into the PC version of the game.
"The real mass effect was in you all along!"
Mass Effect 2 flirted with human-on-human same-sex romance before Mass Effect 3 blew open the floodgates for all sexualities, and also crossed the important human female/sole survivor of an ancient and terrifying insectoid warrior race barrier.
#3. GoldenEye 007's Pen and Ink Mode
GoldenEye 007 is no stranger to hidden content, or hordes of gamers obsessively trying to dig it up. We've told you about some of its secrets before, and it was also famous for having unlockable cheats like invisibility and big head mode, because games in the '90s knew how to have more fun.
Every shooter today just has Dick Head Mode (online play).
But as chock-full of hidden content as GoldenEye already was, intrepid fans discovered that the game was originally intended to have a "line mode" where the game appears to be made with pen and paper. Apart from being able to play GoldenEye in a whole new way, this would be the closest you could get to experiencing "Take on Me" as a first-person shooter and express a visceral new form of musical criticism.
If you watch the video, it's not hard to figure out why line mode was cut -- for large chunks of the level, it's impossible to tell what the hell's going on, making it closer to "polar bear in a snowstorm mode" than a fun artistic adventure.
Given Bond's unique combo of alcoholism and syphilis, this might accurately portray how he now sees the world.
Gamers would basically need to have the levels memorized if they had any hope of getting through minimalist versions of them, and as one of the developers points out, you also can't see your ammo and health. Still, it would have made a great challenge mode for obsessive fans, otherwise known as anyone who was 13 when GoldenEye came out.
"OK, now give us a mode where it looks like it was made by one of those elephants that paints."
And holy crap, can you imagine how much the already chaotic multiplayer could have been improved by this madness? It's the ultimate anti-screen watching mode, because there's little point in spying on your friends if it looks like someone just threw a bucket of white paint on the TV.
The developers found line mode useful for debugging, which is why you can still find it in the game if you use a GameShark, the accessory of choice for serious cheaters back when cheat codes were a thing. It was originally going to occupy the game's final cheat slot, whose perpetually taunting emptiness prompted many a crazy schoolyard rumor. And while we can't get mad at the developers of such an iconic game, we are a little sad that instead of perfecting the potentially awesome line mode they devoted their time to creating Oddjob, bullshit multiplayer character and destroyer of countless friendships.
We want to see an outline around him. A goddamn chalk outline.