6 Brilliant Insults Hidden In Video Games As Easter Eggs
Working environments are stressful places filled with activities you don't like, people you can't stand, and drama you can't escape. A normal employee might remedy this by leaving a passive-aggressive note on the microwave or peeing on the manager's keyboard. But, if you work at a software company, your clever revenge against your coworkers might just get immortalized in a video game instead ...
Hideo Kojima's Bizarre Breakup With Konami
Hideo Kojima has been making Metal Gear games since the mid-'80s. Recently, he started butting heads with Konami, the game's publisher. The drama was made public when Konami removed his name from the Metal Gear Solid V box art. It'll be tough to help nongamers understand this, but ... imagine you're Guy Fieri. You wake up, brush your teeth with southwest nacho cheese, smell around a pile of fiery silk shirts for one clean enough to wear, and open your email. The meatball grease from your hands shorts out the keyboard, yet you manage to read the subject line: "We're taking your name off Guy Fieri's Bomb-Ass Chipotle Gangsta Sauce." That feeling? That's called betrayal. That's what this Hideo Kojima name thing was like for gamers.
But, if Hideo Kojima is known for one thing, it's for inserting an absurd number of details into his games. So, why not insert an absurd number of fuck yous to Konami instead? First, he inserted a side quest in Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, where the player is tasked with erasing logos from a map. Each logo is from a Metal Gear game he produced. It was meant to represent how Konami was erasing him from their history.
Did you expect actual subtlety from a guy who once named a vampire character "Vamp"?
You have to be a pretty entrenched fan of his work to catch all the winks, so Kojima sometimes stops the entire game to wink so hard his eyelashes shatter. In this case, after you erase all of the logos from Hideo's games, a message pops up to say that, despite removing Kojima's work from the world, his memory will never disappear. Then, a voice -- probably Kojima himself -- says, "You seem to be a fan of Hideo Kojima games ... thank you for all your support." Jesus, we either got it 30 minutes ago, or we don't care.
It makes you want to crawl inside a conveniently placed cardboard box until he goes away.
Without knowing any details, it's hard to feel too bad for Kojima. Every mission in Metal Gear Solid V begins and ends with credits that list him multiple times. During the game, you rescue him -- the actual Hideo Kojima -- twice, and it's not the first time he has done this. He puts himself into his work more often than a sex doll designer. If you've played Metal Gear Solid V for more than a minute, Hideo Kojima has told you he made it approximately 500 times.
Hideo Kojima's Hideo Kojima, created and directed by Hideo Kojima.
The Hidden Rants In Pachi Com
Pachinko games are Japanese gambling machines where a metal ball bounces randomly down pegs. You've probably seen them and categorized them next to sex tentacles and schoolgirl-kicking as something you'll never understand about Japan.
Above: Step 207 of Japan's election process.
Since gambling for money is illegal, pachinko machines pay out in pachinko balls, which can be traded for prizes, which can then be traded for money ... or extra running kicks against schoolgirls, depending on priorities. Pachinko is obviously a complicated, dynamic game, but it was compelling enough that, in 1985, someone made an NES version of it.
Instructions: Press A to drop ball. Press none to watch. The end.
Pachi Com had everything it needed to be the most forgettable Nintendo game of all time. Boring concept ... limited interactivity ... it was basically Slow March Toward Death: The Game. And one of the developers knew this going in. Inside Pachi Com, a designer calling himself "Y.S." left an angry, ranting message that took up 5% of the game's code.
Y.S. really gets some shit out. He starts by complaining about his boss, that goddamn Mr. Gouhara from planning. No one playing the game knew this, but hidden in the workings of this otherwise dull ball-falling simulator was this text:
"I'M SAYING WHAT I WANT FROM HERE ON IN !! Mr. GOUHARA from JPM planning does absolutely nothing but gives me all sorts of crap anyway. SHUT UP, YOU IDIOT!"
He then stormed into the Matrix, slammed the door, and played The Smiths while weeping uncontrollably.
Imagine you loved video games and devoted your life to learning how to create fantastic worlds of action and adventure. And then someone says, "Make the ball bounce down pegs. Sometimes it will go left, other times it will go right." You would be bitter, too. Y.S. also ranted at the sound designers for being idiots who have no idea what pachinko balls sound like. He typed, to no one really, "Do you WANT it to be this hard to hear the balls!?"
It wasn't just idle insults, though: Y.S. thoughtfully included hex code addresses to let future digital archaeologists know where to find the "decent" sounds. When the game was ported to the MSX game system, he still had more to say. In that version, his message began with "SCHLIK SCHLIK SPRAY SPRAY" which, loosely translated, means "Fap fap skeet skeet." He then went on to fill the code with song lyrics, followed by a final impotent demand, "Who do you think you are, Gouhara!?"
Reminder: He turned homicidally rabid over a game that was literally this and nothing else.
We may have lost the man's actual identity to history, but, generations from now, video game historians will still know that Gouhara, whoever he was, really, really sucked.
The Entire Plot Of Ultima VII Spits On The Publisher
Ultima is an RPG series set in the world of Britannia, ruled by a wizard king named Lord British, because nerds had a lower standard for lore back in the day. Lord British of Britannia is the "Name To Be Determined Later" of video game fiction. It's no wonder players worked so hard to kill him.
"Sir Embalm and Squire Undertaker will handle the rest."
Ultima's plot follows the same theme of "We'll come up with something lat- actually, this is fine." In Ultima VII, the game's hero is called The Avatar, and they need to save the world from The Guardian, who wants to take over the world so much that he manifests in front of you as a red face and tells you all about it.
This kind of thing normally only happens when you download the extra-viral porn.
It's easy to simply dismiss this as terrible writing. It's a face taking five minutes to explain a three-second plot. But, it's actually more than that. The Guardian is meant to represent Electronic Arts, the publishing company that acquired Origin (the developers of Ultima). Back in the '80s and early '90s, Origin faced a financial crisis and was eaten up by EA after a long, costly legal battle. One of EA's strategies was preventing competitors from doing business and then buying them. So, it's no wonder the people at Origin were a little bitter.
They took that bitterness and turned it into inspiration. EA became the source of all evil in the world of Britannia. During the adventure, the player meets two characters named Elizabeth and Abraham, twins who seem helpful at first but then betray The Avatar. Having their initials as E and A is about as subtle as the jabs get.
So, they actually give a woman real, effective armor, and then
attach her to a group of assholes? Awesome.
The Guardian is described as a "vain, greedy, egocentric, malevolent destroyer of worlds," in direct contrast to Origin's slogan of "We Create Worlds." Also, the world-destroying Guardian gets his power from three artifacts: the Cube, the Sphere and the Tetrahedron ...
... shapes that bore a striking resemblance to a certain company's logo.
It's honestly surprising they didn't turn the triangle into a giant dick.
NBA Jam Was Secretly Rigged Against The Bulls
NBA Jam was a two-on-two basketball game featuring actual NBA athletes, but not featuring actual physics or logic.
"Pippen now on the fast break ... he's 40 feet in the air ... literally on fire ...
shot is ... good for two points."
When the game was made in '93, the Chicago Bulls were the NBA's most unstoppable force. Most of this was because of Michael Jordan, who was so unfairly good at the game that he's still used as a baseline description for the greatest anything of anything. For instance, Bill Cosby is the Michael Jordan of unwanted penis.
Unfortunately, Jordan wasn't in the game due to a licensing complication. Depending on the version, Jordan was replaced with Horace Grant or B.J. Armstrong, though sometimes Scottie Pippen teamed up with the magical ninja, Sub-Zero. Some versions also let you play as Bill or Hillary Clinton, Prince Charles, or John Elway.
Point is, the game didn't take itself very seriously.
The NBA Jam Chicago Bulls didn't really need Jordan, since both Pippen and Grant could practically dunk from the three-point line. But, what NBA Jam Chicago Bulls couldn't do was beat the Pistons.
The game's lead designer, Mark Turmell, was a huge Pistons fan and, in the early '90s, there was a savage rivalry between his team and the Bulls. The Pistons coaching staff even created a special defense to shut Michael Jordan down called "The Jordan Rules." Mark Turmell did something similar when making NBA Jam -- he secretly programmed the game to cause Chicago players to miss shots in any close game against the Pistons.
It's like when the Knicks play a close game against anyone in real life.
So, if you grew up wondering why Chicago could never beat Detroit in NBA Jam, it had nothing to do with the supernatural. It was the result of something even more impossible: a Detroit Pistons fan.
Postal 2 Throws A Fit About Their Own Publisher
In the Postal 2 expansion pack Apocalypse Weekend, you are called by Vince Desi, the real-life CEO of the game's developer, Running With Scissors. Vince wants you to retrieve an item called the Gold Master, a CD containing material stolen by an evil game publisher. To get it back, you have to invade BullFish Interactive and face its CEO, Phraud Hogslop.
"Phraud Hogslop" makes even "Lord British" sound like a good character name.
Phraud Hogslop is based on the real-life CEO of Whiptail Interactive, Fred Heslop (the guy who published this game). And it is not a lighthearted prank -- it's an almost-humorless attack on their own publisher. His desk displayed a gallon tub of masturbation lube and, in the game's files, the BullFish map is named "Gayfish." That isn't exactly a creative burn, but what about the Postal series would cause you to assume anything otherwise?
"Interactive? More like Interasstive! ... Yeah."
Why would a game developer call their publisher a bunch of evil, greedy, game-stealing bastards? Well, after the controversial success of the first Postal, Running With Scissors was looking for someone to handle the business side of things. That included dealing with the political fallout from their juvenile game about poop, dongs, and murder. They didn't. Postal 2 was quietly ignored, calmly panned, or angrily banned. Whiptail seemed to do a whole lot of nothing on the PR front and just left Postal 2 to reap what it sowed. Which the developers apparently weren't prepared to do, so they threw a little passive-aggressive tantrum and called the authority figures gay, like a rebellious fifth-grader. Which, again, should surprise no one, given the content of the game.
In Space Quest 3, You Save The Game's Creators From Its Publisher
In Space Quest III: The Pirates Of Pestulon, the protagonist, Roger Wilco, has to rescue two alien game-programming slaves from the evil company ScumSoft Inc. These two programmers are Scott Murphy and Mark Crowe, the two actual people who made the game. After being rescued, Roger drops them off on a planet with their boss, Ken Williams.
"Does your planet have a word for this type of unfunny narcissism? We sure don't on Earth!"
Most gamers suspected ScumSoft was a reference to rival adventure game company LucasArts and their well-known SCUMM engine. And it would be a cute jab, but it was totally unintended. ScumSoft was actually based on their feelings about their own company, Sierra. They depicted the ScumSoft offices like they pictured Sierra -- a labyrinth of tiny cubicles with whip-cracking bosses.
One of which, most disturbingly, enjoys short shorts way too much.
In an interview 25 years after the game was made, Scott Murphy said ScumSoft had nothing to do with LucasArts. It was simply a name he came up with years before. But, the whip-cracking bosses in the game were absolutely his real bosses, Ken Williams and Rick Cavin. You would think they might be offended, but it had the opposite effect. They would often brag about how cool it was that they were in a video game. So, the moral of the story is: If you're going to put your jerk boss into a game, don't be cute about it. Anything short of them getting kidnapped by a star slug for the Galaxy's Tiniest Penis Museum, and they're going to just like the attention.
Unsurprisingly, pop culture is a favored method of ripping into people you don't like. Like how Shrek pretty much called a Disney exec a fuckwad. Or how Rowling modeled Severus Snape after a former teacher of hers. See those and more in 6 Famous Works Of Art You Didn't Know Were Vicious Insults and 5 Villains That Were Thinly-Veiled Versions Of Real People.
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