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Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land
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Nightmare in Dream Land was the last game to credit Shinichi Shimomura, who co-directed the game with series creator Masahiro Sakurai, as a staff member. Shimomura previously served as a regular map designer for the Kirby series and directed Kirby's Dream Land 2, Kirby's Dream Land 3, and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. Exactly what became of Shimomura after Nightmare in Dream Land is unknown, with many fans speculating that he retired from the video game industry and/or passed away.
Contributed by game4brains
Developer: Gearbox Software
In 2009, Justin McElroy, reviews editor for the now-defunct gaming blog Joystiq, contacted Gearbox co-founder Randy Pitchford asking the story of how Gearbox got its name for a puff piece series about different companies' names. Pitchford proceeded to tell an extraordinary story about how he and Valve co-founder Gabe Newell mistakenly boarded a cruising river boat together in New Orleans instead of a crossing ferry, and ended up getting into a high stakes Texas Hold 'Em poker game.

The stakes in particular were over the name "Gearbox", which he claimed came about from him and Newell discussing potential names for their up-and-coming game studios, and "realizing that something cool for a video game studio would have something to do with engines and machinery." Pitchford thought that the name was "sticky and simple and gears are cool things that have both an art and a precision to them and it's generally a nice, short but really cool word." Whoever knocked the other player out of the game or ended up with the biggest stack would win the Gearbox name. The stakes were higher for Pitchford, because according to him the other co-founders would have ditched him and shuttered the game studio entirely if he lost.

After four or five hours of play, Pitchford, being an avid poker player while Newell was not, found the right opportunity to turn the odds in his favor, leading to him winning the match, and Gabe Newell had to settle with Valve. Pitchford assured McElroy there were no hard feelings between the two as Gearbox would later work with them on future expansions for Half-Life, and the article was published and further corroborated by fellow outlet Kotaku.

However, later that day, McElroy was contacted by a spokesperson from Valve, who informed him that Newell and Pitchford first met after Valve shipped Half-Life, making the story impossible. Upon this discovery, both outlets later contacted Gearbox, and a spokesperson confirmed to them that the story was fake. Pitchford then explained to a reporter at Kotaku that the intent of his "Tall Tale" was to entertain and not to mislead, and promoted the original articles on his Twitter account as such.

It's currently unknown how Gearbox actually got its name, or if the inspiration for the name featured in the story is true while the poker game surrounding it is fabricated.
Contributed by MehDeletingLater
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
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In a Japan-exclusive guidebook published by Nintendo and Ape Inc., there is artwork depicting Link praying before a Crucifix, contrasting the game's origin story of the three Golden Goddesses, but also fitting with the Japanese version of the game calling the Sanctuary a Church. The Church's name was changed to the Sanctuary outside of Japan, presumably due to Nintendo's international policy on religious imagery, although this artwork and the rest featured in this guidebook were never republished internationally as other publishers released their own guides instead.
Contributed by MehDeletingLater
Series: Pac-Man
In a 2020 interview with IGN, series creator Toru Iwatani revealed that the ghosts Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde, were inspired by the Japanese manga "Little Ghost Q-Taro" and the American cartoon character "Casper the Friendly Ghost". More interestingly, he revealed that the ghosts were conceived to always be ghosts, meaning that they never died to become ghosts, and are more akin to Yōkai in Japanese culture as "ethereal beings and concepts that reside among nature that were simply 'there' from the very beginning."
Contributed by MehDeletingLater
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3
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In the spawn area of the Zombies map "Der Eisendrache", there is a complicated Easter egg first discovered in 2019 that can be executed. When you spawn in, do not open any doors and allow the Zombies to break down the five barriers in the spawn area and enter the map. Once most or all of the Zombies are in the map, kill them for points. This should be done by the start of Round 2 and it is important to leave one or two Zombies alive and roaming the map so that you do not progress to Round 3. Once Round 2 starts, you need to go to every barrier and attach exactly two boards to each one, then go purchase the RK5 pistol. Next, you need to go back to every barrier and add two more boards to each for a total of four boards on each barrier, then go purchase the Shieva assault rifle, replacing the RK5. After that, you need to go back to every barrier one more time to attach one more board to each for a total of five boards on each barrier, then go and purchase the RK5 again replacing the Shieva. From the moment you purchase the RK5 again, you need to race to the fenced-off door to the east of where you first spawned in in under five seconds. If you get there in time, you can walk out onto the deck and find a heart-shaped arch spinning on a platform in mid-air. Inside that arch is a picture of developer Drew Marlowe and his family.
Contributed by MehDeletingLater
Live A Live
In a 1994 interview with the game's director Takashi Tokita published in Famicom Tsuushin magazine, he was asked what made him want to make the game? He responded that the idea for the World Select featuring the game's several smaller worlds was the biggest motivator for him, as Square had made many different games with grand stories, like the Final Fantasy and Hanjuku Hero series, that take dozens of hours to complete. Tokita figured that in that sense, they were all the same, so he thought that if he could change that formula, it could breathe some fresh air into the team's development process and possibly enlarge the scope of the gameplay.
Contributed by ProtoSnake
Pitting the Wrexham AFC against either the Liverpool or Stockport football clubs will trigger hidden commentary between actors Ryan Reynolds and Robb McElhenney, who in November 2020, bought the Wrexham football club for £2m ($2.5M) due to British comedian and writer Humphrey Ker explaining to the BBC how his lunch habits led to McElhenney having an interest in the sport:

"I'm laying claim to the fact (Rob's) interest in football derives from several years of teasing me for watching football during our lunch breaks at work. Until eventually, just by pure osmosis, I got him interested in the game to the degree that he decides to buy a football team. Where with a lot of people the journey would have ended with he and I exchanging text messages and me saying 'Ha ha, sounds great, I'd always said I'd do that if I won the lottery, but then within a month's time we had Ryan on board, we had found a football brokerage team in New York and we were in the process of trying to find a football club."
Contributed by Tuli0hWut
Minecraft
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The End Poem that is displayed when entering the Exit Portal after defeating the Ender Dragon was written by Julian Gough, the singer and lyricist for the Irish alternative rock band Toasted Heretic, at the invitation of creator Markus Persson. In 2022, 11 years after the game's official release, Gough revealed that he had never formally signed a contract with Microsoft or Mojang when he wrote the poem, allowing him to retain copyright over it. In the same announcement, he released the poem into the public domain, encouraging fans to make their own derivative works based on it.
Contributed by game4brains
In the Seraphic Gate, there is an optional boss fight with Spoiler:Brahms featuring a fourth-wall breaking message from an unknown developer on the game before the fight when talking to him:

"...While this game was being developed, I gleefully told another person on the team that once this game was finished, I was going to join another company that had made me an offer. I could tell my words stung him deeply in his heart.

The reason I am here today is to show my gratitude and regret to that good man.

Forget everything. Try and fight me! Yessss!!"
Contributed by MehDeletingLater
Although naturally each and every Special Move in the series mirrors itself and its hitboxes, an odd exception is made for Cloud's Cross Slash. When Cloud does the move, he draws the Kanji "凶" ("Kyo"), which means misfortune, bad luck, evil, and other negative things, and because this is a kanji it must be written a certain way regardless of orientation. It cannot simply be flipped like other moves, meaning that the move's hitboxes change depending on where Cloud is facing. From the right side and facing left, Cross Slash will actually hit lower, making it better at hitting smaller characters. However, from the left side facing right, Cross Slash will hit higher up, making it a better anti-air attack. This also occurs with the Limit Break version of the move. These differences makes Cloud mirror matches uniquely imbalanced and not as 50/50 as they would be for other fighters.
Contributed by PirateGoofy
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
In order to hide the twist of Spoiler:Snake being a decoy protagonist and Raiden being the true main character, director Hideo Kojima personally put together the game's trailers himself. The footage for the E3 2000 trailer was recorded from Spoiler:the Tanker segment at the start of the game, when Snake is the playable character, and in the E3 2001 trailer, Spoiler:several scenes that focus on Raiden in the actual game were edited to swap him out with Snake.
Contributed by game4brains
Tomba!
In a 2011 interview with the game's composer Harumi Fujita published in issue #2 of STG Gameside magazine, she stated that at the time when she heard about Tokuro Fujiwara starting his own company named Whoopee Camp, she went to him and asked him to “Please use me somehow!”. Both of them had been working together on Famicom games since they worked at Capcom.
Contributed by ProtoSnake
Series: Tomba!
In a March 2000 interview with the game's art director Tokuro Fujiwara published in the Tomba! The Wild Adventure manga, he was asked how the original Tomba!'s development began. Fujiwara stated that when he was making the characters, the first picture that came to his head was of an "energetic, spirited guy." Powerful, mischievous, and full of pep, all put into one character. When he looked back to his first rough sketches, he was struck by Tomba's half-human and half-animal appearance, and that creating him as a half-naked feral child was a very smooth, natural process.
Contributed by ProtoSnake
On May 23, 1999, wrestler Owen Hart passed away due to an equipment malfunction during his entrance into the wrestling ring, dropping him to his death. In light of this, the game was delayed from its original June 3, 1999 release date to August 5th that year, and they dedicated it to Hart in the Nintendo 64 and PlayStation versions.

The Dreamcast version, however, completely omits the dedication due to a wrongful death lawsuit brought against the WWE (then known as the WWF) from the Hart family. However, he is still a playable character in the game.
Contributed by GamerBen144
Pokémon Sword & Shield
In early 2021, a man from Nagoya, Japan was arrested after hacking and modifying Pokémon in his copy of the game and selling them to people. The Japanese police and The Pokémon Company felt this was in violation of the country's "Unfair Competition Prevention Act (UCPA)" and therefore illegal. The man was first brought to the police's attention after selling a modified Sobble for ¥4,400 (US$42), but he was eventually able to make ¥1.15 million (US$11,000) from various transactions before being arrested. It's suspected that the reason for trading these hacked Pokémon was due to the potential ability changes that hacking allowed which could provide easy advantages in the competitive scene without going through the time to catch them in-game.
Contributed by PirateGoofy
Street Fighter III
In a 2003 interview with the game's producer Noritaka Funamizu published in the 15th Anniversary Street Fighter limited edition DVD set, Funamizu stated that at the time he had been pushing Yoshiki Okamoto to include Chun-Li in the game, and Okamoto agreed to it, if 3rd Strike were to be developed. At the time, the team thought of making a big roster for 3rd Strike, and Okamoto was more insistent. He also stated that if Chun-Li wasn't included in the game, she wouldn't have gained the same impact as before. Okamoto thought of Chun-Li as the mascot of Capcom.

Funamizu also stated that Chun-Li's absence was the team's number one complaint they received from players for not including her in the previous Street Fighter III games. However, he stated that the team did wanted to include her in the games.
Contributed by ProtoSnake
Hardware limitations of the original PlayStation caused the development team to cut the frame rate in half and have only a handful of enemies appear on the screen at a time, among other technical restraints.
Contributed by GamerBen144
Console: Genesis
"Blast processing" is a marketing term coined by Sega of America to promote the Sega Genesis as the cooler and more powerful console compared to the SNES. It was such an effective campaign that it caused Nintendo to spend millions of dollars to ramp up their own smear campaign to rebut the claims, helping to create the textbook example of a "console war" between two rivaling video game companies through aggressive marketing and advertising. It is true that Blast processing as presented in advertisements at the time does not exist in any released Genesis game, but its creation was based on a real feature that ultimately went unused by developers: a low-level processing method that was progressive for its time.

The basic idea is that the hardware's video processor is "blasted" continuously, with the Genesis' 68000 processor working flat-out to change the color of every individual pixel during an active scan, a process where the "guns" on a CRT screen move from left to right and then down to the next line and so on. It was believed at the time that this function could be used to increase the Genesis' somewhat constrained color palette to showcase 256 color static images if timed right (this number would be exceeded by other developers like Jon Burton from Traveller's Tales who later discovered the trick).

Sega of America Senior Producer Scott Bayless claimed that Sega technical director Marty Franz first discovered the trick by "hooking the scan line interrupt and firing off a DMA [direct memory access] at just the right time", as firing it off at the wrong time would result in the scan lines appearing out of phase. This timing/synchronization issue, on top of the more pressing issue of the feature using all of the 68000's CPU time (meaning that while you could run the feature, you couldn't actually play the games that use it), effectively made it useless for cartridge games, and no shipped Genesis games ever used the feature. It’s speculated that it could have been used for Sega CD games, as the add-on had its own CPU that could run the feature, but this also did not come to pass.

The people responsible for the name "Blast processing" are Bayless and Sega of America's PR team. They interviewed him about the specs of the console, and he described to them how the feature could "blast data into the DAC's [digital-to-audio converters]". When talking about how the name came about, he assumed the PR team just liked the word "blast" without understanding what Bayless was explaining, and Blast processing was invented by them to more easily and vaguely sum up the technical capabilities of the Genesis when marketing it. Bayless later expressed reservations about the phrase, calling it "ghastly".

It should also be noted that this feature was not exclusive to the Genesis. In 2020, former Sculptured Software programmer Jeff Peters claimed that they discovered a similar technical trick on the SNES before Sega started using the phrase, but it was focused on audio rather than graphics. He claims that when porting Mortal Kombat to the SNES, Sculptured Software encountered an issue where the amount of graphics data being put onto the cartridge meant that sound had to be cut back drastically. To overcome this problem, Peters and his team used a homegrown system which allowed them to read sounds from the cartridge one at a time and blast them directly to a buffer in the sound memory. While the two tricks were achieving different things, it's interesting to note that both were possible on either console, despite Sega's insistence that only the Genesis could achieve Blast processing.
Contributed by MehDeletingLater
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In the initial release of "The Ancient Gods - Part One" DLC on October 20, 2020, pressing the dedicated Chainsaw button four times while on the Runes tab of the Dossier would bring up an altered logo for the game reading "Doog Eternal". This is a reference to Inugami Korone, a Japanese Virtual YouTuber who livestreamed Doom 64 and Doom (2016) in the past. She enjoyed using the Chainsaw weapon and she was nicknamed by her community as "Doog Slayer" (a play on the fact that her model is a humanoid dog).

Three days later, the Easter egg was removed from the game in the Version 3.1 update. The patch notes acknowledged the discovery, but the reason why it was removed remains unknown:

"The DOOG easter egg has been removed, but will live on in infamy… We were wondering how long it would take for someone to notice, and as always, we're impressed with the community's speed!"
Contributed by MehDeletingLater
No More Heroes III
In a 2022 interview with the game's director and writer Goichi “Suda 51” Suda published on the Gematsu website, he talked about the long wait time between numbered entries in the series being broken with No More Heroes III and how they tried to cater to their audience after years of fan demand:

“Yeah, 11 years is a long time; like longer than the usual lifespan of a platform itself. The game we had developed on the Wii ended up jumping generations and landing on the Switch, and it was, hm, how do I put it… It actually felt like we were able to come back to the world of No More Heroes pretty smoothly. But even within our studio, first, we needed to ensure that people knew about No More Heroes 1 and 2. What sort of games they are, and how much the fans loved them… I feel like that was our actual starting point.”

“So obviously, we had our own image of what kind of III we wanted to create, but there’s also the III that the fans wanted to see; the III they were imagining. So in development we tried to make sure that those visions of III overlapped as much as possible.”
Contributed by ProtoSnake
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