6 Video Game Urban Legends That Are Actually Hoaxes

#3. Naked Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)

Tomb Raider's heroine, Lara Croft, is an acrobatic, duel-wielding, tomb-raiding ass kicker. She also happens to be comically hot, with breasts so large that they look like they'd interfere with some pretty basic activities.

She'd have serious trouble tying her own shoes, driving and walking through doors sideways. Water slides would also be pretty touch and go.

If you're familiar with video game players or the Internet in general, you should not be surprised that it took about five seconds after this game was released before rumors spread of a "nude code" that could remove Lara's clothes. Even though the in-game graphics engine limited her to looking like this ...

... that was still something people needed to see naked.

How Gullible You'd Have to Be to Buy It

Pretty fucking gullible. By this time, people were getting used to the idea that the Internet was a cesspool of treachery. And when you consider the legal hell a publisher would catch for publishing pornography in a children's game, it becomes even less plausible. Finally, the fact that it plays so blatantly on a horny kid's deep need to see titties should have been another clue that it was gullibility bait.

Interestingly enough, some impossibly lonely hacker did eventually create a "nude patch" for the game, replacing the textures used to display Lara with naked textures. For the boob-hungry reader willing to download sketchy binaries from sketchy websites, their dream of seeing pointy, pixelated boobs was finally at hand:

Ricardo Liberato via Wikimedia Commons
Artistic interpretation.

#2. Clothed Luigi (Super Mario 64)

As you'd expect from its name, Super Mario 64 was a game that featured a character called Mario who was pretty goddamned super, and was the 64th entry in the Mario franchise. Nowhere in the name does it contain the word "Bros." or "And Friends" or, critically, "Luigi." Luigi is not in this game (not the Nintendo 64 version, anyways).

Do you think that stopped people from hunting for him until their thumbs bled? Have you been reading this article?

Wikimedia Commons
Also, the N64 controller making thumbs bleed isn't playful exaggeration.

Many people were convinced that Luigi existed within the game, and with absolutely no evidence to support that, they were forced to make up some of their own. One of the key points in the "Luigi exists" theory was a particular statue in the castle, which, as you can see, had a blurry inscription:

Now, if you're not having this website read to you by your great-grandchild, you'll probably figure out pretty quickly what's happened here. The artists decided that the statue they were making would look better with an inscription plate, even though the game's engine wouldn't be able to render a texture that printed anything legible. So they put in a gibberish texture. This decision, which probably took about 10 seconds to make, managed to waste countless days of countless idiots' lives. You see, for people who've suffered the unlikely but unfortunate fate of being brained by falling space debris, this illegible nonsense clearly read:

"L is real 2401"

Which was proof enough that Luigi could be found within the game, and that "2401" was an important number. They'd later decide that that was the number of coins in the game, because that sounded pretty smart, and that you needed to collect all of them to unlock Luigi, because that sounded like a kind of stupid thing to do.

How Gullible You'd Have to Be to Buy It

Almost impossibly gullible. That was complete gibberish, interpreted by madmen, advocating spending dozens more hours in a game you'd probably already beaten several times over from a company that has never been so dickish toward its players. When Nintendo wants you to drive the lanky Italian, they've always put him front and center.

Even when they probably shouldn't have.

#1. Aeris Lives (Final Fantasy VII)

Aeris was a major character in Final Fantasy VII, and one of the romantic interests for the disinterested, spiky-haired protagonist. About halfway through the game, during a confrontation with the main villain, she's killed (spoilers), a legitimately surprising turn of events for most players, and a shock to our spiky-haired protagonist, ultimately making him marginally less disinterested.

Fuck you, Cloud.

But it turns out that a game that involves butchering thousands of monsters isn't a very fun place to think about death, and players around the world freaked out, convinced that there was some way to save Aeris. Over the next few months and years, message boards and forums filled with ridiculously lengthy and complicated methods of getting Aeris back.

How Gullible You'd Have to Be to Buy It

All the way gullible. Keep in mind that we are talking about trying to restore a character whose death is completely central to every remaining plot point and character development in the game. (And Final Fantasy VII is a very linear game.) Aeris is as fundamentally and completely dead as the narrative can make her.


And when you consider the sheer effort required to investigate any of the 11 possible techniques cited here, almost all of which require either a dedicated playthrough to reach the halfway point of the game (20+ hours) or some ridiculous hunt for ultra rare items after the fact, you realize that we're dealing with epic levels of gullibility. Anyone who tried to do all of these things must have a pretty big gap on their resume. Explaining "Played Final Fantasy for Nine Months Because the Internet Tricked Me" to a potential employer isn't going to make you look very employable, and if you happen to find yourself in that circumstance, I'd suggest coming up with an alternate explanation.

"I ... was ... doing ... needle drugs? Yes. That's it. I was on the shit."

Chris Bucholz is a Cracked columnist and friend to animals. Join him on Facebook or Twitter and win big cash prizes.

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