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Resident Evil 2
2
Attachment In the April 1998 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly's spin-off magazine EGM2, the issue's Trick of the Month was an alleged method to unlock Akuma from the Street Fighter series as a secret playable character in Resident Evil 2. In order to unlock him, the magazine instructed players to play through both story scenarios six times each using only the Knife and the H&K VP70 gun on hand at the start of the game, and achieve an A ranking in all scenarios. Once these specific conditions are met, the player would receive some kind of clue that would lead them to the security computer in the Laboratory on Level B5F. At this point in either scenario, players would type "AKUMA" instead of "GUEST" into the computer, and after entering it would be sent to the Save screen and given the option to make a new save file with Akuma's name. After starting this new file, the game would start with Akuma breaking out of a cryogenic tank in an unused area where Tyrants were originally planned to escape from, and make his way through the game without the use of keys, with his main attack being a red Gohadoken used just like a gun by holding the Action button and firing.

In reality, after going through these difficult unlock conditions, entering AKUMA into the computer will not unlock anything, because the trick was an elaborate April Fools' prank (with the exception of the unused Tyrant area, that was real). This prank was the work of EGM2 editor and art director Mike Vallas, who took assets from Street Fighter EX and heavily modified and photoshopped them into Resident Evil 2 gameplay screenshots. It was one of two proposed April Fools' pranks that were in consideration to appear in the main EGM magazine that month, being beaten out by a prank trick for GoldenEye 007 where you could play as previous James Bond actors. Unlike Akuma, they actually were planned to appear in that game, but can only be accessed with GameShark codes.
person MehDeletingLater calendar_month May 14, 2024
EGM2 Issue #46 - April 1998 (Page 20):
https://archive.org/details/egm-2-issue-46-april-1998/page/20/mode/1up

Game Sleuth video with Mike Vallas interview:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-xeOJKdnuQ

Radd's Basement - Episode 2: Mike Vallas interview:
http://podcast.radd.tv/2016/10/episode02.html?m=1
Team Fortress 2
1
Attachment In 2013, Valve and the tabletop game company WizKids collaborated to produce an exclusive chess set themed around Team Fortress 2 that was sold on Valve's website and on ThinkGeek. Each copy of the set came with a digital code for a hat called the Grandmaster, where the head piece would change as your killstreak increases. Aside from "Grandmaster" being one of the highest titles awarded to chess players by the International Chess Federation, the hat's item description references a pair of highly publicized chess matches in 1996 and 1997 between former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov, and IBM's chess-playing computer Deep Blue.
person RocTriva calendar_month May 3, 2024
MyPopgoes
1
The expanded version of myPOPGOES has a challenge named "Mini-P," which makes pizzas cook faster, but restore less hunger. This is a reference to one of Scott Cawthon's characters from the 2015 troll game FNaF World: Halloween Edition, also named Mini-P, which has the appearance of William Afton's "Purple Guy" sprite, just smaller and with red glowing eyes.
Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown
1
One of Kage's item win poses features him throwing a pan into the air and it landing on his head. This is a reference to a secret win pose he had in Virtua Fighter 3tb.
person DrakeVagabond calendar_month April 14, 2024
Shipwrecked 64
1
Throughout development of Shipwrecked 64, Squeaks D'Corgeh would make references to a non-existent character in the game named "Duncan Dolphin". This even included a fake death animation for a character named "Drake Dulfin" (likely intended to be the Spoiler:Starling counterpart of Duncan) being shot in the face by Spoiler:Brandon Lester in his Bucky Beaver costume in what appeared to be a Wild West-esque setting. This continued after the game's release, where one of the patch notes for the Hotfix 2 update stated "Removed Duncan Dolphin", likely as a reference to the "Removed Herobrine" gag seen in updates to Minecraft.

However, on April 1st, 2024, an April Fools update was released that added Duncan to the game as a New Game+ bonus. If the game's True Ending has been reached, he will appear in The Theater at Midnight and ask Bucky for help activating his "New. Radical. Mechanism!!" due to losing the trinkets needed to make it work. This will take the player to a new area called "Garten of Duncan", a recreation of the Testing Sector from Garten of Banban made using assets from The Plaza. Clearing the map will take the player to a previously unused location called "Layer 4 Elevator", where an audio tape reveals that the player can input console commands to access other unused locations as part of the update. Entering the door will take the player to another new area, known simply as "Sample Area", but only a few seconds after entering the player will be kicked out to the encounter with the Spoiler:Studiogrounds Husk at the end of the game.

Notably, in the "Layer 4 Elevator" area, Chief Wulf can be seen on top of the tallest building in the area. If the player uses console commands to reach him, he can be spoken to, revealing that Spoiler:he has relived the same days over and over again, watched Stumbler O'Hare die over and over as part of that, and believes that he will be forgotten after his death.
person chocolatejr9 calendar_month April 11, 2024
Star Fox 64 3D
1
Attachment Star Fox 64 3D features an entirely new battle multiplayer mode unique from the battle mode found in the original Star Fox 64, where up to 4 players can play a local multiplayer match via Download Play (or alternatively, battle against CPU opponents). However, the game did not support online play.

Nintendo's Yusuke Amano explained in an interview in 2011 that the game's battle mode did not support online play due to both cost and time constraints, with the developers deciding to prioritize the 3D visuals, as the point of the project was to use Star Fox to provide users with a game that showed the capabilities of the Nintendo 3DS as quickly as possible:

"Personally, I play a lot of online FPS games," began Amano. "This leads me to think that just making multiplayer parts of existing games playable online isn't enough to create a satisfying experience for users. The popular online games work in lots of things, so they play well online - and if we wanted to satisfy everyone who bought the game, the costs required for including online support would be vast.

For this project what we needed to do was use Star Fox to provide users with a game that shows the appeal of Nintendo 3DS as quickly as possible. We put a lot of effort into the graphics, and if we had included online support then we couldn't have reached this level in the time allowed."
Sonic Dash
1
Attachment In 2021, as part of a collaboration with the children's yogurt brand Danimals, Sonic Dash added brand mascot Bongo to the game as a playable character, unlocked by scanning a QR code on the back of Sonic Dash-branded Danimals products to download the game. This method could also be used to unlock the "Pirate Sonic" and "Captain Shadow" character variants, which could be earned by collecting all four birthday-themed items on the track, including a Danimals smoothie pack.
Persona 3 Reload
2
According to producer Kazuhisa Wada, the addition of the female protagonist from Persona 3 Portable was considered during development of Persona 3 Reload, but was ultimately deemed "too time-consuming and expensive" compared to remaking "The Answer", the epilogue chapter from Persona 3 FES.
Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana
1
The PlayStation 4 version of Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana only had a few DLC costumes, which included the Silver Armour for Adol, the Eternian Scholar for Laxia, and the optional colour changes that Alison would prepare for the characters at a certain chapter in the game. The costumes themselves are references. Adol's Silver Armour is a reference to the default look he has had, most notably in the first and second Ys games and Ys: The Oath in Felghana, while Laxia's Eternian Scholar is directly based on the Eternians from Ys VIII itself.

For the Nintendo Switch port, more costumes were added for the 6 playable characters. All characters received the "Deserted Pirate" costumes, which follow on the theme of Pirates that were often mentioned up until the fight against Captain Reed in Ys VIII, while Adol, Laxia, Ricotta and Dana all receive "Tropical Swimwear" attire, which gives them swimsuits of various designs.
person Sergeantmajormario SMM calendar_month March 8, 2024
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
1
Sephiroth's inclusion as a DLC fighter was apparently so top secret that even certain members of Square Enix had not known that the villain was going to be included in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate until the corresponding show-stealing announcement at The Game Awards 2020 was made. Even Square Enix employee and Final Fantasy VII Rebirth director Naoki Hamaguchi was quite shocked and stated:

"[...] it was actually extremely confidential that he was even going to be in it, [...] So, none of the dev team knew, including myself. So it was more like when the whole world knew it, and that's when we knew it like, 'Oh, I had no idea!'"
Neopets Browser
1
When the Grey Faerie's Neopedia article was released, a "Bottled Grey Faerie" item was found in the game's servers. Neopian Times Editorial #90 would later imply that a plotline involving the Grey Faeries was on the way, however nothing has been heard about this since, likely meaning that whatever plotline was planned was either cancelled or delayed indefinitely.
person chocolatejr9 calendar_month February 26, 2024
Shipwrecked 64
1
An unused cutscene in the game has the character Stumbler O'Hare openly mock Harley Mullins (the wife of Mark Mullins) and her situation. This was scrapped both for being "WAY too on the nose", and because Stumbler's personality was altered during development. The cutscene would be replaced with a YouTube video titled "How to say Goodbye", in which Stumbler, despite knowing about Mark's crimes, tries to help him grieve over the loss of Harley. Despite the cutscene's removal, Stumbler's statue in The Dam still has him wearing a nurse's cap like in the cutscene.
person chocolatejr9 calendar_month February 9, 2024
Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth
subdirectory_arrow_right Ryuu ga Gotoku Kenzan! (Game), Like a Dragon: Ishin! (Game)
1
Two of Kiryu’s Bucket List memories in Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth with the shared title "Dreams of a Past Life" have Kiryu reminisce on dreams he had where he was the historical figures Miyamoto Musashi and Sakamoto Ryoma. This references two games thought to be non-canonical spin-offs: Ryuu ga Gotoku Kenzan! and Like a Dragon: Ishin!, and suggests them to have actually been Kiryu’s dreams the whole time. This is also notable as Ryuu ga Gotoku Kenzan! has yet to receive an English release.
Hi-Fi Rush
2
Attachment The January 2024 update celebrating Hi-Fi Rush's one year anniversary includes new t-shirts that players can wear in-game. Some of these t-shirts are exclusive to their own platform (Xbox, Steam, and Epic Game Store):

• Xbox owners get a green shirt saying “shadow dropped”, a reference to the game’s surprise release.
• Epic Games Store owners get a shirt saying “this is simply unreal epic”, obviously a reference to Epic Games and the Unreal engine and series.
• Steam owners get a shirt saying “Be Positive (Overwhelmingly)”, an obvious reference to Steam’s user review system.

However, two more additional exclusive shirts have recently been discovered through datamining that seem to curiously pertain to the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 5, two competitor platforms to Xbox.

• The red shirt seemingly for Switch says "rock out anywhere", obviously referencing the Switch's portable nature.
• The blue shirt seemingly for PS5 says "I'm here baby", possibly a reference to the game finally arriving on PS5 after a year of being exclusive to Xbox platforms.

In early 2024, Hi-Fi Rush was the subject of various rumors claiming that Microsoft planned on porting it and possibly other first party Xbox titles to its competitor platforms, those specifically being PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch. In response to these rumors, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer announced in an Xbox Business Update on February 16, 2024 that four of their previously Xbox exclusive titles were being brought over to rival platforms. On February 21, 2024, it was announced that Hi-Fi Rush, along with Rare's Sea of Thieves and Obsidian's Grounded and Pentiment, were all being released on PlayStation 5 (and Nintendo Switch as well as PlayStation 4 for the latter two games), fully confirming the rumors.
person Dinoman96 calendar_month February 4, 2024
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy
subdirectory_arrow_right The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles (Game), Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy (Game), Ace Attorney (Franchise)
1
A running gag throughout the Ace Attorney series involves the protagonist and his assistant having a conversation about the difference between a ladder and a stepladder. First occurring in "Turnabout Samurai", the third case of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, a stepladder has appeared in at least one location in each game to date (with the exception of The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures) for the sole purpose of continuing the tradition. The conversation generally goes as follows: after examination, the protagonist and one of their partner characters engage in a debate about the usage of the words "ladder" and "stepladder", and the difference between the two. Usually, one will accuse the other of being too absorbed in the details instead of looking at the big picture to realize that they both serve roughly the same function, to which the latter's response will often vary. Additionally, similar gags in regards to other items in the series have also been used, particularly in The Great Ace Attorney games, which primarily use a variant of the debate involving the difference between a shovel and a spade instead.

Within the various re-releases of the Ace Attorney games, an achievement is added that can be unlocked for engaging in every "ladder vs. stepladder" debate within the games featured in that collection. In the case of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, a second achievement for engaging in every "shovel vs. spade" debate within the two games is also included.
person chocolatejr9 calendar_month February 4, 2024
Fandom article about the gag (includes a full list of every instance of the gag in the series, as well as similar debates):
https://aceattorney.fandom.com/wiki/Ladder_vs._stepladder

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy achievement list:
https://steamcommunity.com/stats/787480/achievements

Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy achievement list:
https://steamcommunity.com/stats/2187220/achievements

The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles achievement list:
https://steamcommunity.com/stats/1158850/achievements
Five Nights at Freddy's AR: Special Delivery
1
Attachment On February 1, 2024, Illumix made a Reddit post announcing that the game would be delisted from app stores by the end of the following day, and that the game would be sunsetted on March 14. For the final six weeks that the game would be online, Illumix started an event called "Final Delivery," which would give every user the chance to do anything the game provided for free by translating all the purchasable items into Faz-Coins, including the game's DLC, "Dark Circus: Encore!". The event rewards would provide large amounts of parts, Faz-Coins, Remnants, and other items for the player to use freely.
Donkey Konga 2
subdirectory_arrow_right Donkey Konga 2 (Game)
2
Attachment Donkey Konga 2 features a set of unlockable badges based on not only Donkey Kong Country characters (specifically DK, Diddy Kong, Dixie Kong, and Cranky Kong), but also other Nintendo IPs such as Mario, The Legend of Zelda and Pikmin. The Japanese version of the game also features badges of generic humans.

The international release of Donkey Konga 2 would remove the aforementioned human badges (as well as the Boo badge) and replace them with six extra Donkey Kong Country badges (Funky Kong, Kiddy Kong, Swanky Kong, Wrinkly Kong, Banana Bird, and King K. Rool). Five badges from Star Fox: Assault, another Namco developed game, were also included, featuring the Star Fox team as depicted in that game (Fox, Falco, Krystal, and Slippy) and also strangely enough, Andrew Oikonny; it's possible that this is meant to be a reference to both the Donkey Kong and Star Fox series heavily featuring ape/monkey characters.
Final Fantasy XIV Online
subdirectory_arrow_right Final Fantasy XIV Online (Game), Final Fantasy XVI (Game)
1
According to Final Fantasy XVI's creative director/scenario writer Kazutoyo Maehiro and the game's producer Naoki Yoshida in a 2023 IGN article, in the Japanese version of the game, Chocobos are referred to as "uma" (馬), which is the Japanese word for "horse". Initially, neither Maehiro or director Hiroshi Takai considered using Chocobos in the game at all, because according to Maehiro, "when thinking about the story, the worldview, and a feeling of reality, a horse just looked better as a silhouette when straddled." Yoshida elaborated that horses fit better when building a world based on European medieval gothic fantasy:

"In reality, horses are animals that can build strong partnerships with humans. We share a long history with them. Weapons involving horses also appear more realistic. Especially with the improvement in graphics being so remarkable, there is a chance that it becomes difficult to lie or deceive viewers, in a good way, and as a result, may impair the sense of immersion. Chocobos are based on birds, which first of all means they don’t stand on four legs, and that makes them more difficult to mount. When compared with a horse it might not feel as stable to ride a Chocobo, and their wings aren’t big and strong enough to take you to the sky, either."

Despite this explanation, Yoshida still instructed the development team to include Chocobos in the game in an effort to stay faithful to the series' long-standing elements. The Japanese version also still refers to them as Chocobos and horses interchangeably. Maehiro stated that he tried to tie the Chocobos into the history of Valisthea through partnerships with its people, in an effort to create something culturally familiar. He justified this by stating that in Japanese, they "sometimes refer to a car as 'legs', or not having a car as 'having no legs'; and in the same way, the people of Valisthea refer to Chocobos as 'horses'." He subsequently implied that actual horses may exist in other regions in the game's world, but that in Valisthea, Chocobos function as their regional equivalent to actual horses. Localization director Michael-Christopher Koji Fox also stated that he decided not to refer to Chocobos as horses in the game's English translation:

"I remember seeing it in the script and remarking, 'You're saying 'horse' here. You're sure that's OK?' But Maehiro said, 'Yes, this is what we wanted to do.' In English, we never really wanted to use the word horse, because Chocobos and horses are entirely different. It just sounded weird to us in that sense. But we do use words like 'steed'; and I think 'courser' [a medieval word for a warhorse,] as well."

The terminology in the decision to refer to Chocobos as horses resulted in confused or joking reactions from Japanese players online, since this is not the first time Chocobos were referred to as horses in the series. In the original 2010 release of Final Fantasy XIV Online, the kanji characters for horse and bird (鳥 , "tori") were used together as "horsebird" (馬鳥) in the Japanese script in place of the standard katakana for Chocobo (チョコボ). At release, several other katakana terms were replaced with kanji symbols, with some terms existing in-game as written in Chinese rather than Japanese. Square Enix offered several conflicting explanations for the changes, including the need to "build atmosphere", and to consolidate terminology with the then-upcoming Chinese-language release, but these did not help as the change caused an uproar among Japanese players, resulting in Chocobo being reincorporated into the Japanese version's script in a future update. The controversy would later be referenced in the 2013 reboot of Final Fantasy XIV Online through a piece of dialogue spoken by Golden Uma Doshin, a Quest NPC found in Central Shroud as part of the limited time quest "Turn Around, Beautiful":

"Chocobo... chocobo... chocobo... Nothing but horsebirds in this stable. A sight to disturb Eastern eyes, to be sure."
person ProtoSnake calendar_month January 29, 2024
IGN: Chocobos are Called 'Horses' in the Japanese Version of Final Fantasy XVI:
https://www.ign.com/articles/chocobos-are-called-horses-in-final-fantasy-xvi-japanese-version

Censored Gaming: In The Japanese Version Of Final Fantasy XVI, Chocobos Are Called "Horses":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AT-QpAwkqQ

Destructoid: Final Fantasy XIV text issue turns Chocobos to Horsebirds:
https://www.destructoid.com/final-fantasy-xiv-text-issue-turns-chocobos-to-horsebirds/

Final Fantasy XIV Online wiki articles:
https://ffxiv.consolegameswiki.com/wiki/Golden_Uma_Doshin
https://ffxiv.consolegameswiki.com/wiki/Turn_Around,_Beautiful
Super Smash Bros. Melee
2
Attachment In a March 2002 Nintendo Dream questionnaire with Mitsuaki Hagishima (the general manager of Nintendo's Planning Department), it was revealed that Banjo & Kazooie were planned to be included in Super Smash Bros. Melee as trophies. However, time constraints and the complexity of the approval process (as Rare, the developers of the Banjo-Kazooie IP, were situated in the UK) led to this being dropped, as well as other Rare associated characters (such as Joanna Dark from Perfect Dark) not appearing in the final game. This was brought up again in a September 2009 issue of Rare's Scribes, where it was mentioned that a lot of Rare character trophies were planned to be included in Melee, but it never happened.
person Dinoman96 calendar_month January 24, 2024
Ninja Gaiden
2
In the first level of Ninja Gaiden Black, if the player dies 3 times, the game will ask if they wish to "abandon the way of the Ninja?" After double verifying "Yes", a scene of Ayane coming to Ryu's collapsed body will play, unlocking Ninja Dog Mode, an easier difficulty setting. From then on she will provide additional messages throughout the game that won't be seen in a regular playthrough, with healing items and artifacts that make the game easier. Once per chapter, if the player (or an allied NPC) dies in this mode, the game will provide additional healing items. In addition, all Results scores will say "Ninja Dog", and the title screen will feature an image of Ayane instead of Ryu.
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