You know how Snapple tastes like someone accidentally dropped a sack of sweetener into a barrel of water that used to have old fruit in it? And then also pissed in it? Well, here, in another composite article, our readers present some cool video game facts, which are more awesome [and more verified] than whatever you can find under a cap, and you don’t have to drink anything nasty if you don’t want to. Sound good? Enjoy then!
1. Sega Dreamcast – Epic Facts
‘Tis the reason why Sega never made another console, so you might suspect that it sucked wrinkly sacks, but actually, it was quite epic. December 1999 issue of Popular Science Magazine called Sega Dreamcast one of “the year’s greatest achievements in science and technology,” right next to a goddamn rocket engine.
It was the first 128-bit console (that’s a very good number of bits, we’re guessing), as well as the first console to offer online gaming through a phone line. That’s in addition to introducing a bunch of cool crap we consider innovations today, like voice commands, motion controls, controller screens, and Internet browsing and email, among others.
So why did it fail? Sega only asked $199 for it so costs, but also, it was one of the easiest consoles to pirate games on. A group called Echelon, mercilessly pirated the shit out of Dreamcast, until an actual Dreamcast game developer included instructions on better pirating right on a game disc. 🙁
2. E.T. (1982) – A Legend of Suck and Also Sales
E.T. (1982) is commonly referred to as ‘the worst game ever made‘ and is also one of the best selling Atari games of all time. That last part is the ‘holy shit’ part. The game apparently sold 1.5 million copies, which is more than Space Invaders ever did. You know what else? It sold that much on a single platform, which means that this game…
…sold more than BioShock did on PC; and more than Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas or The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind did on Xbox; and more than Red Dead: Redemption did on PS3, if Wiki got the numbers right. So there’s that.
3. Left 4 Dead (2008) – In The Woods
There is a 2012 Joss Whedon (Firefly creator and The Avengers director) movie, called The Cabin in the Woods. It’s either a horror or a comedy flick about a group of young people, who… something something and all eventually die somehow, which brings us to a scene with glass elevators holding various admittedly cool monsters. Some of the monsters look very familiar:
Those are, of course, Left 4 Dead’s ‘Special Infected’ and that’s, well, pretty cool. And apparently, Left 4 Dead was going to get Cabin in the Woods DLC, where you’d fight your way through the movie’s locations, like perhaps, a cabin and some woods.
4. Wii – Wee
While we’re talking movies, have you seen the one about magicians, called The Incredible Burt Wonderstone? Yes, it sucked and there is no good reason for me to bring it up, other than to mentally prepare you for the very grim fact that follows. Also, there was a scene where Jim Carrey held his pee, and as you’d expect, that has some relevance here.
In 2007, a Californian radio station held a contest titled “Hold Your Wee for a Wii”. It challenged contestants to keep drinking water and holding their pee, for a Nintendo Wii. Apparently, they underestimated the hype for the console because one woman freaking died trying to win. I’m dead serious here (no pun), and you know what else? She came second. How much fucking water did the first guy drink? Please, share if you know!
By the way, her family later sued the station and won $16 million. Not sure if they ever got a Wii.
5. Halo 2 (2004) – Nude Dudes
I’m pretty much a Halo fan and I had no idea, but apparently, Halo 2 had some odd naked dudes in it, and I’m not talking about your Xbox friends list. One of the dudes is known as the ‘Half-Naked Guy’, or ‘Lonely Soul’, or even ‘Ugly Naked Guy‘, which must sting a bit for a Bungie co-founder, Jason Jones, as that’s actually him:
You don’t even need to do anything special to find him, just pay attention to a cutscene in Legendary mode.
Another dude, or rather a dude’s ass, took a little more effort. Hidden in the game’s code is this:
This discovery was a shitstorm for Microsoft, causing a delay of the game and a whole bunch of damage control. The good new is that if your copy of Halo 2 has a sticker next to the ESRB rating, you got the ass copy. Congrats!
6. Malice (2004) – Planned Big Xbox Exclusive
While we’re talking Microsoft, let’s include this one. Do you enjoy a weird game development story? Even if it is about a very unremarkable game called Malice? Not that Malice, the other one? I doubt that you even remember the game (you’ll soon realize what I did there) as it was a rather mediocre platformer, but you might find this interesting:
Early on, someone thought it was a great idea to turn project Malice into a big Xbox launch title. That certain someone got Gwen Stefani, of all people, to voice the main character…
… and her band, No Doubt, was to do music and some additional voice work, as well. Eventually, sense prevailed, and the game was cancelled. Then it was revived, redone, and released on PS2, erm… without No Doubt. Right after, its’ developer, the guys who had worked on Star Fox and Star Fox 2 (cancelled), Argonaut Games, closed their doors for good. The end. And now you possess what’s possibly the most pointless piece of video game knowledge.
7. Dead Space (2008) – Some Visceral Stuff
Don’t you just love Visceral Games? Well, I do. Their Godfather games are pretty damn decent, Dante’s Inferno is awesome fun, and Dead Space is just what daddy like, particularly the first one. After just a bit of research, it’s becoming clear why that is. Them guys are just a little too committed to their craft:
If I understood “menu screen” right, then what you are looking at up there is some footage of an actual decomposing goat. Apparently, the staff “bought” the thing and filmed it getting gross, to have some background for their menu screen, as opposed to picking a color ‘n shit. In the meanwhile, they apparently studied countless photos of car crash victims and “war scenes” to make sure things look as Dead Space-y as possible.
While some developers boast about creating a new alphabet for their games, Visceral apparently went fucking dark. And they also created a new alphabet for Dead Space.
8. The Simpsons Arcade Game (1991) – Truth About Marge
You may or may not know that Marge Simpson is a freak. Literally. She has a disturbing deformity, if certain people are to be believed, like the show’s creators, for instance.
John Ortved’s The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History has this little tidbit from people behind the show, as quoted here: “…we were going to do an episode where Marge finally lets her hair down, and Matt’s idea was that once she let it down the audience finds out she has rabbit ears…” Like so:
Those are sprites from Konami’s 1991 Simpsons arcade game, titled… The Simpsons Arcade Game. Apparently, the whole ear story behind all this wasn’t even known at the time or for a long while after, so people thought Konami was just being weird with this. Well, now we know.
9. NASA – Gaming
So, there’s been a bunch of big deal made about Pluto, the planet. NASA shot a camera at it and confirmed that it’s really freaking far, and they also got some pics. That apparently cost over $700 million to do. Well, BioWare achieved the exact same thing in Mass Effect a lot cheaper. Sure, it’s not exactly the same but if you’re wondering how close they got, here you go:
We probably always knew that it was red and round, so it’s not as amazing, as it is just interesting. What is amazing is that the aforementioned multi-million dollar NASA space camera used a Playstation CPU to “fire thrusters, monitor sensors, and transmit data.” Shit. I would have given them a PS2 CPU for only $100 mil.
On another space-related note, GameBoy was the first console to be played in space (the space guy was Russian so he played Tetris), and also, NASA has sent StarCraft, the game, into space, aboard the 1999 shuttle mission STS-99. Now, is that really such a good idea?
10. Berzerk (1980) – First Game to Kill People
Here’s the first weird factoid: we just recently, mentioned this game right here, on AlienLion.com, for the fact that it was one of the first video games to feature voice-overs. Here’s another weird factoid: in 1980, voice compression cost US$1,000 per word and this game had a 30-word vocabulary.
Here’s yet another weird factoid: those expensive sound bites from the game were used in an episode of Futurama, titled ‘Fear of a Bot Planet‘. Also, the lines from the game are uttered in a Simpsons episode, ‘Homer Goes to College‘.
The weirdest factoid of them all: Berzerk is the first known game to be linked to a death of, not one, but two real people. Wiki: “Jeff Dailey made the Berzerk top-ten list after posting a high score of 16,660 points and suddenly died of a heart attack at age 19 a few seconds after the game was over… One year later in October 1982, Peter Burkowski made the Berzerk top-ten list twice in fifteen minutes, just a few seconds before dying of a heart attack at age 18.”
Do not get a high score in this game, you guys.