Crazy Things Hackers Found In Game Code
Video games are full of weird, disturbing, and downright rude Easter eggs. But the whole point of an Easter egg is to be found, no matter how well-hidden it is. That's not the case for secrets in the game's code. There you'll find uncompleted levels, discarded designs, and a bunch of other stuff that was never meant for players to see. But wouldn't you know it? It turns out that some gamers are programmers as well. (No!) And they've dug up some pretty strange things the developers sure hoped would stay buried ...
Ubisoft Downgraded Watch Dogs' Graphics, Left The Better Ones In The Code
When the first footage of Watch Dogs debuted in 2012, gamers were blown away by its incredible graphics. The game's visuals were stunning and ridiculously detailed. Its version of Chicago almost looked better than the real deal ... which isn't that hard, but still!
And yet when players finally got their hands on the finished game, things didn't look quite as good as they did in previews. Sometimes that's down to your rig, but not in this case. PC gamers quickly figured out that the game's appearance had been deliberately watered down. This was proven when modders discovered that the prettier game they'd been promised all along was still there, just hidden in the code.
After a user going by "TheWorse" created a mod that allowed players to restore the great-looking original version of Watch Dogs, people were outraged that Ubisoft had sold them an inferior version in the first place. The developers tried to explain that they had misjudged how powerful graphics hardware would be by the time of its release, and that their high-res version would've caused too many performance issues for the consoles. But that doesn't explain why the graphical downgrade was also present on the PC version. Unless, of course, Ubisoft deliberately handicapped it so as not to make the console versions look like dog barf by comparison.
But that would be silly! It's not as if Ubisoft has a reputation for using false hype to get people to buy technically inferior products on launch day. Nope, not at all.
Fallout: New Vegas Hid A Crazy Giant Murder Gecko
Fallout: New Vegas is full of gigantic wasps, super mutants, and giant robot scorpions that made most players hit VATS just so they could have a quiet moment to pee their pants in peace. But for some reason, developer Obsidian kept their biggest, baddest, most overpowered enemy in the code. Probably because, despite being the size of a house, it looked kinda dorky.
That is Gojira (which is actually how you pronounce "Godzilla" in Japanese). And it makes a whole lot of sense that a game about a nuclear post-apocalypse would have its own a giant radioactive lizard. The monster was a callback to earlier Fallout games, with the difference being that those games featured relatively crude graphics that could not render a gecko's goofy walk in such high-definition glory:
Gojira is a bit of a contradiction. On the one hand, he's a silly, bug-eyed gecko who is, for some reason, made out of rat meat. On the other hand, he's a fire-breathing maniac who'll never stop killing, and has such ridiculous stats that you couldn't take him down with all of the nuclear warheads in the game combined.
While the developers may have hid him out of shame, modders found him and immediately brought him up to the surface. Hopefully they were soon stomped to death and learned to regret their own hubris, thus completing the moral arc of every Godzilla movie.
Counter-Strike Players Were Secretly Used As Bitcoin Miners
At the birth of e-sports, the ESEA League was one of the biggest PC gaming software companies in town, providing matchmaking software for top U.S. Counter-Strike players to compete in high-skill, cheat-free matches. But ironically, the anti-cheating company didn't think there was enough profit in walking the straight and narrow, so they turned to another burgeoning industry: bitcoin slavery.
CS players were not at all pleased when they discovered ESEA had been hiding malicious code in their software, which had recruited 14,000 computers as unwilling bitcoin miners. Not only that, but the code also allowed ESEA them to monitor a player's every online activity. All of that was more than enough ammo for a class-action lawsuit, which ended with the company's native state, New Jersey, fining them a million bucks.
ESEA's overlords used two different defenses, which is always a trustworthy move. One said it was just an "experiment," while the other tried to pin everything on a "rogue employee," despite overwhelming evidence that multiple people, including co-founder Eric Thunberg, were in on the scam. For an anti-cheating company, they should've known that cheaters never prosper. Or most bitcoin owners, for that matter.
The Messed-Up Things Hidden In Kid Games
It makes sense that developers of family-friendly games have some repressed filth stewing up inside of them. There are only so many dancing bunnies one can render before you start drawing dicks on them. So gamers have dug up a host of naughty stuff hidden inside otherwise bright and fuzzy properties. Sonic The Hedgehog 2 featured an unfinished "lost level" called Genocide City Zone, which in honor of its bleak name saw Sonic and his bestie Tails plummeting to their deaths over and over again.
That's some top-quality level design right there.
Then there's this picture hidden deep inside the code of Mario Kart Arcade GP. That's a rather infamous photo of the Beslan Massacre in Russia, during which at least 334 people (including many children) were killed by terrorists. The picture was one of several image "tests" that were supposedly used to calibrate the game's player portrait feature. Y'know, in case young gamers wanted to use photos of human tragedy as their avatars. You gotta be ready for that.
Resident Evil 2 Contains A Whole Other Hidden Game In Its Code
Resident Evil 2 was so popular that a new version is set to be released in 2019, but what many fans don't know is that the game they played in 1998 was already a reboot. The first version of Resident Evil 2 was hot garbage, and scrapped by Capcom at the last moment. But the game was around 70 percent done by the time they realized it sucked -- the company had already shown demos and advertisements running up to an imminent release date. The original version, also set in Raccoon City during a zombie outbreak, featured a bunch of weird design choices, like zombie baboons that appeared out of nowhere, weird spider-humans, and a boss with the face of the first game's villain on its butt.
Capcom was clearly under some pressure, what with having to remake an entire game at the last minute, so they didn't put much effort into scrubbing the old one out of the code. And when people figured out that most of the old game was still on the disc, a team of 15 fans formed with a single mission: Complete and release Resident Evil 1.5.
At last, you too can enjoy the game critics called "a severe artistic and financial misstep."
Using code recovered from the new game, an old showroom demo, and some wild imagination, Team IGAS managed to recreate "90-95 percent" of the original version. But that was the easy part. Rebuilding the game also required them to rebuild the original engine, and custom programming tools to work with it -- all of it in Japanese, a language most of the team didn't speak. But luckily, they weren't the only ones eager to see past mistakes relived in all of their glory. Resident Evil 2 director Hideki Kamiya starting giving them advice on social media.
After years of hard work, a completely playable (and free) version of the game was released by Team IGAS in 2013. So now anyone can enjoy Resident Evil 2 in the way it was always meant to be played: full of murderous baboons.
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