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Kamikuishiki-mura Monogatari
2
Upon its discovery by English-speaking audiences, Kamikuishiki-mura Monogatari was widely speculated to be a propaganda game by Aleph (formerly and more infamously known as Aum Shinrikyo), a Japanese apocalypse cult and terrorist organization most notorious for perpetrating the Tokyo subway sarin gas attack in 1995. The game sees the player control Aleph founder Shoko Asahara, who expands the cult's influence throughout the game before eventually carrying out the sarin attack. Successfully carrying out the attack results in the player winning the game, while repeated mismanagement of the cult triggers the apocalypse that Asahara prophesied. Various photographs, propaganda footage, and news coverage tied to Aleph is also featured throughout the game, most prominently on the title screen.

Despite these elements, the idea that the game was created to advertise Aleph was eventually disproven in a 2019 investigation by Vice. According to the article, the game was published shortly after the sarin attacks with the intent of mocking the cult instead of endorsing them. Developer HappySoft's advertising campaign emphasized their hatred of Aleph and highlighted the fact that players could sell Asahara's bodily fluids to "stupid believers." Additionally, the live-action footage featured in the game was picked specifically to demean the cult, as featured news coverage is negative in tone and shows Aleph spokespeople frantically trying to avoid reporters, while the propaganda footage consists of clips that were widely mocked in Japanese media following the sarin attacks. Vice attributed the misconceptions to a combination of language barriers and limited international knowledge about Aleph beyond the sarin attacks.
person VinchVolt calendar_month May 27, 2024
Yakuza: Like a Dragon
subdirectory_arrow_right Yakuza Online (Game)
1
In a 2020 interview with the YouTube channel Archipel, series producer Toshihiro Nagoshi claimed that the decision to change Yakuza: Like a Dragon from an action game to a turn-based RPG came from a 2019 April Fools' Day video for Yakuza Online showing turn-based combat which was received positively by fans. However, fans and news outlets seemed to take this statement seriously, and Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio's head Masayoshi Yokoyama later had to clarify that it was a joke. The decision to shift to turn-based combat was made before production on the game even began due to it being too drastic of a change to make late into development.
person Kirby Inhales Jotaro calendar_month April 12, 2024
The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie
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In 2012, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie was ported to the PlayStation 3's PlayStation Network under the PlayStation 2 Classics line. However, it was taken down shortly afterwards with no official explanation. Audiences quickly inferred that the port's withdrawal was due to the poor reception it drew thanks to various emulation issues involved with it, though it may have also been due to THQ going bankrupt and Activision acquiring the license to make games based on Nickelodeon properties around the same time. Among these emulation issues, the 16:9 display (which was the default option) stretched the game rather than properly re-rendering it at a higher aspect ratio, the audio for in-engine cutscenes frequently stuttered and fell behind by up to a second, certain textures were noticeably blurry due to the game being displayed at a higher resolution than what it was designed for, and gameplay suffered from prominent input lag compared to the original release.
person VinchVolt calendar_month March 25, 2024
Pokémon FireRed Version
subdirectory_arrow_right Pokémon LeafGreen Version (Game)
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Attachment Shortly after the game's release, a screenshot started circulating online depicting the Seagallop ferryman in Vermilion City telling the player: "By the way: if you like this game, buy it or die." Those who posted the screenshot claimed that it was a hidden message which was only triggered if the game detected that it was running a pirated copy. This claim appeared to be further corroborated by people claiming that they had encountered the message themselves when playing the game with unofficial Game Boy Advance emulators or when hacking legitimate cartridges with cheat devices, and attracted further popularity after being disseminated by various gaming YouTubers.

However, while the screenshot was not photoshopped, the claim that it was an anti-piracy measure was not true. Rather, the text was added into the game's code by an anonymous individual who distributed a ROM of it online; the claim that it was an anti-piracy feature was most likely used by the individual to circumvent ROM distribution sites' restrictions on modified games. This explains why anecdotal reports of encountering the text were so much higher than what would be expected from a complete hoax, as well as why the text is absent when examining an unaltered ROM of the game in a hex editor.
person VinchVolt calendar_month March 21, 2024
DidYouKnowGaming video which mentions the rumor (before it was debunked):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HsxuGMWnXM

YouTube video by Tech Rules debunking the rumor:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XjHZ-V4ooA&t=604s
Hi-Fi Rush
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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
Resident Evil
subdirectory_arrow_right Disney's Goof Troop (Game)
2
Some gameplay ideas used in Resident Evil - such as an action-puzzle-action-puzzle structure, and a restricted inventory system - were first explored in the very tonally opposite SNES cartoon adaptation Disney's Goof Troop, which was designed by Resident Evil's director Shinji Mikami. One rumor, originally claimed online in a Kotaku article by Tim Rogers, who claimed to have been informed of the connection by an unspecified "tech genius" friend, suggests that Resident Evil is built off of Goof Troop's source code.
person Rocko & Heffer calendar_month January 19, 2024
Poptropica
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In December 2023, a Discord user posing as a representative of the developers of Poptropica stated on the server for the fan website Poptropica Help Blog that the game would be shutting down after December 29th. The account first appeared on the server in 2022, and while the blog did not do a complete screening to ensure the account was officially associated with the developers, it was eventually given the role of "Poptropica Creator" after they determined it was official based on its posting history. Many players initially believed the announcement was legitimate after Poptropica suddenly closed membership registrations earlier in the month. Shortly after the shut down announcement, the official Poptropica Twitter and Instagram accounts decried the Discord account as being unofficial, and assured players that the game would still be playable after December 29th, with all memberships up to the end of the year being available for free. The blog posted an apology for perpetuating the rumors the following day, but within the next year, the validity of the rumors being false would come into question.

On January 18, 2024, possibly in response to the rumors the prior month, Coolmath Games revealed that they had been in talks with the team behind Poptropica to host the game on their site exclusively, with the game remaining playable on Steam and mobile devices. This would later be confirmed by Poptropica themselves through a pop-up message on their website shortly afterwards. Notably, in a blog post expanding upon the news, Coolmath Games revealed that "the original Poptropica decided to wind down", something that had never been officially stated by Poptropica themselves. This would suggest that there was some degree of truth to the initial hoax as well as various rumors.
person chocolatejr9 calendar_month December 19, 2023
Poptropica Help Blog post about the shutdown claims:
https://poptropi.ca/2023/12/16/is-poptropica-shutting-down/

Official Poptropica statement regarding December shutdown rumors:
https://twitter.com/Poptropica/status/1735509964381372710

Coolmath Games announcement:
https://twitter.com/TheRealCoolmath/status/1748068741743555024

Poptropica Help Blog about the news:
https://poptropi.ca/2024/01/19/moving-coolmath/

Coolmath Games blog announcement:
https://www.coolmathgames.com/blog/poptropica-migration
War Thunder
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Starting in 2021, War Thunder's official forums became notorious for being the center point of multiple leaks of export-restricted or regionally classified military documents from around the world detailing how various weapons and transportation equipment like tanks and fighter jets are built. The leaks are attributed to the fact that the game strives to depict the minutiae of warfare as realistically as possible, leading to players with military connections, or access to resources that are publicly available in other regions, sharing the documents on the forums in order to prove points regarding what would or would not be accurate in-game. Despite the forum moderators quickly removing these posts and issuing multiple warnings about them breaching international law, the issue became so prominent and recurring that laypeople began spreading rumors that the United States military had to start filtering out War Thunder players during the recruitment process, which American weapons contractor RTX Corporation denied.
person VinchVolt calendar_month December 13, 2023
Mario Kart 64
subdirectory_arrow_right Mario Kart Wii (Game)
3
Attachment In Mario Kart 64's Bowser's Castle, there is what appears to be a green Thwomp locked up in a jail cell. This Thwomp is not actually green, but simply lit in a way that makes him appear as such.

This Thwomp would inspire urban legends claiming that players could bail him out through varying elaborate tricks, after which he would be playable under the name "Marty" (likely chosen for the ease of editing hoaxed images with the names Mario, Toad, and Yoshi)

When N64 Bowser's Castle returned in Mario Kart Wii, "Marty" would be made the color of the rest of the Thwomps, suggesting that his green complexion was simply an error and not an intentional design choice.
Bug!
1
A well-known claim relating to Bug! is that legendary film director Steven Spielberg endorsed the game as "the character that is going to do it for [the Sega] Saturn." This claim is somewhat dubious however, as both the 2009 IGN article the quote was popularized by and the internal pitch video for the game's sequel that the quote originated from cite the origin as being from his visit to the 1995 Consumer Electronics Show, which was in January, 5 months before Bug! would be revealed to the public at E3. Bug! creator David Warhol has stated that he was not there to actually see Spielberg approve of the game, but did know that he approved of the game.
person Rocko & Heffer calendar_month December 9, 2023
Twitter thread researching quote history:
https://twitter.com/PandaMoniumGR/status/1637489008950362117

IGN article the quote originated from:
https://www.ign.com/articles/2009/02/02/what-hath-sonic-wrought-vol-10

GameFan magazine Volume #3, Issue #7 (Page 52):
https://retrocdn.net/images/d/db/GameFan_US_0307.pdf
Collection: Shantae
1
Attachment On April 16, 2015, WayForward's official Twitter account claimed that the title character of the series is approximately 16 years old in response to a fan's inquiry on the topic. This generated controversy from audiences due to the series' heavy emphasis on fanservice, including provocative depictions of Shantae herself, drawing concerns that the series was sexualizing a minor.

Following the 2015 tweet, a user on the Shantae subreddit claimed that they contacted WayForward staffer James Montagna about the controversy. According to the user, Montagna stated that the tweet on the official account was made by an intern without the approval of higher-ups, that the staff at WayForward did not work on the series under the pretense of Shantae being a 16-year-old, and that they seek to avoid doing anything with her that would make people feel uncomfortable. The Reddit post included a link to a screencap of the conversation with Montagna; both the post and image have since been deleted. Commenters on the post additionally speculated that the tweet was referring to the age of the series rather than the age of the character. Corroborating these claims, series creator Matt Bozon stated in a June 2015 tweet that although "I write her as a 16 year old," Shantae doesn't have an official age.

The controversy over Shantae's age would finally be settled in a 2020 AMA on Limited Run Games' Discord server. In response to another question about Shantae's age, Bozon clarified his remarks from five years prior, stating that he and the other developers consider Shantae an adult of ambiguous age throughout the series.
person VinchVolt calendar_month December 8, 2023
Kingdom Hearts III
subdirectory_arrow_right Kingdom Hearts Union χ[Cross] (Game), Kingdom Hearts (Franchise)
1
Attachment In 2013, a Kingdom Hearts online mobile game was in development that never saw the light of day. It was to be called "Kingdom Hearts: Fragmented Keys". The game was rumored to feature customizable avatar characters (like Union Cross). It would also have been in 3D instead of Union cross' 2D art style. Most interesting and exciting of all though (gathered from concept art no less) was the Disney world list as the game would feature returning worlds like: Agrabah, Wonderland, a Lilo & Stitch Hawaii world, Space Paranoids/The Grid, London/Neverland, and Dwarf Woodlands. It also included worlds that didn't appear in the series yet but would appear in later games like Union Cross and Kingdom Hearts III, such as: Arendell (Frozen), Kingdom of Corona (Tangled), and Niceland/Game Central Station (Wreck-It Ralph). Finally, and most shockingly, a world based on the Star Wars franchise, although this world's chronology is unknown as concept art show different conflicting eras, such as an image of characters Anakin, Obi-wan, Padme, and Master Yoda in their exact looks from Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie and series in a separatist gunship's hanger as well as a planet that looks similar to Tatooine and an anachronistic Death Star power station room. It is unknown why this game was cancelled.
person PirateGoofy calendar_month November 28, 2023
Company: Atari SA
subdirectory_arrow_right Infogrames Entertainment SA (Company)
4
Attachment In 2001, Infogrames Entertainment SA produced a corporate anthem entitled "Infogrames Rocks My World", which was used at industry events starting with E3 2001 as part of a heavy marketing push to promote their slate of IPs after a series of acquisitions throughout the 1990s. According to YouTuber Larry Bundy Jr. during a video researching the development and release controversies surrounding the game Driv3r, Infogrames' public relations division reportedly spent $50,000 creating the song, but due to the song being relentlessly mocked following its reveal, everyone involved with the song's production was reportedly fired. While Bundy also claimed that the song was first leaked to the Internet by a disgruntled Driv3r developer in 2004, the song was actually distributed by Infogrames to other gaming news outlets as part of digital press kits. The earliest known upload of the song appears to be by software developer Phil Bak to his personal website sometime during or immediately after E3 2001 in May, and the earliest known surviving upload is through a 2001 IGN article covering Infogrames' Gamers' Day press event in August. The song was later uploaded to ZDNET in 2002 on a special article ranking it at #9 on a list of their Top 20 Corporate IT Anthems.
person MehDeletingLater calendar_month November 21, 2023
Infogrames Entertainment SA's PR department - "Infogrames Rocks My World":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxEQOv2g0JA#t=1041

Larry Bundy Jr. video on Driv3r development and release controversies:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxEQOv2g0JA

3000 AD forum post of the Phil Bak link to the song days after E3 2001:
https://www.3000ad.com/forum/topic/7001147-infogrames-e3-theme-song/

2001 IGN article and embedded link to the song:
https://www.ign.com/articles/2001/08/08/infogrames-state-of-the-union-at-gamers-day
https://pcmedia.ign.com/media/news/sound/infogrames.mp3

2002 ZDNET Top 20 IT Anthems archived article:
https://web.archive.org/web/20021004141104/http://www.zdnet.co.uk/specials/2002/it-anthems/
Super Mario 64 DS
1
Attachment During the height of Super Mario 64 DS' popularity, a popular rumor was that Waluigi was hidden as an unlockable character - this rumor was inspired both by the presence of Wario and Luigi without their combined counterpart, and a set of coincidences within the game and its supplementary material:

• The character switching room having 4 doors, one for Mario; one for Luigi; and one for Wario, along with a final, empty room (this room actually contained a Power Star).
• 4 bunnies existing in the game: a yellow bunny who appears when playing as Yoshi, a pink bunny who appears when playing as Mario, a green bunny who appears when playing as Luigi, and an orange bunny who appears when playing as Wario. The manual's page on the mini-games that bunnies are used to unlock shows a purple bunny that doesn't appear in the game.
• The title screen and floor of the Rec Room having a colour scheme based on yellow (Wario's color), green (Luigi and Yoshi's color), red (Mario's color), and purple (Waluigi's color).
• The image of Peach's Castle on the file select screen having what appears to be an open window that does not exist in the game, which many assume is where Waluigi would be hiding.

The popularity of these theories would birth an infamous hoax known as "Purple Prizes", a graphic created by Andrew Brown of Nintendo World Report in an attempt to rebirth the mystery he felt as a child from trying to find Luigi in the original Super Mario 64 for the younger Nintendo DS generation, and posted it to DeviantArt and a set of gaming forums under the false pretense of being a scan from an unnamed magazine. Although he clarified that the picture was fake a mere 2 days later, the image still spread online like wildfire, and was misreported as originating from Nintendo Power or IGN. Brown noted that some attempts to debunk flaws in the image were not based on the actual and plentiful flaws he acknowledged the image as having, but rather misconceptions such as Waluigi's yellow gamma being a C or accusing certain images of being based on the original Nintendo 64 game instead of the DS remake.
person Rocko & Heffer calendar_month November 18, 2023
Power Punch II
subdirectory_arrow_right Mike Tyson's Intergalactic Power Punch (Game), Mike Tyson (Franchise), Punch-Out!! (Franchise)
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Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa
1
Attachment In four separate 1989 issues of Video Games & Computer Entertainment, the mail-in game order service Play It Again put up an advertisement featuring a list of games customers could order. Among these is a mysterious title, Yeah Yeah Beebiss 1, which is not the name of any one game - this title would reappear in a separate advert for FuncoLand, under the name "Yeah Beebiss 1". To add further mystery to this game, it was placed between W and X games alphabetically instead of with Y games. There are multiple theories on the status of Beebiss:

•Some believe that Beebiss is a baby-themed game like Baby Boomer, Rai Rai Kyonshis: Baby Kyonshi no Amida Daibouken, or Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa, given that "baby" sounds like "Beebiss" - with Rai Rai Kyonshis being considered the most likely candidate of the 3 for "Rai Rai"'s (A Japanese onomatopoeia associated with China) similarity to "Yeah Yeah", the game's release in 1989, and the presence of other import games on the listing. Rai Rai Kyonshis is generally the most accepted identity of the game.
•One theory proposes that the game was made as a copyright trap to catch which retailers are stealing game lists, something one of the founders of Play It Again confessed to doing, albeit without confirming if Beebiss was among those games.
•A rather strange theory proposes that the game was somehow related to exploring, possibly being Atlantis no Nazo's cancelled US release Super Pitfall II, named for Charles William Beebe, a famous explorer and naturalist
•Another theory suggests that the title was simply a bizarre, elaborate in-joke that both Play It Again and FuncoLand employees were in on.

The myth of Beebiss would inspire the game Yeah Yeah Beebiss II, developed by popular retro gaming YouTuber John Riggs and based on the aesthetic of Rai Rai Kyonshis.
Duck Hunt
2
There exists a myth that claims that the giggling scent hound from Duck Hunt's real name is "Mr. Peepers", also the name of a 1950s sitcom. This name is not mentioned in any official Nintendo material, but has been brought up as the dog's name on the internet as far back as at least 2006, and would be cited by many legitimate sources as the dog's name up until the release of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, which named the character simply "Duck Hunt" or "Dog". To this day, it remains unknown where the idea of the dog being named "Mr. Peepers" originated and how it spread to be such a popular title for the character.
Mortal Kombat 3
3
Contrary to popular belief, Johnny Cage wasn't cut from MK3 because his motion capture actor, Daniel Pesina, had to be fired from Midway after advertising a game called BloodStorm (developed by a different company) while dressed as his character.

In a 2020 podcast interview, Mr. Pesina stated that he wasn't fired, but rather that he left Midway because they refused to pay their actors on time. He also stated that series' co-creators Ed Boon and John Tobias assisted him with negotiating for the BloodStorm promo and what he wore in that ad was approved by Ed Boon, directly debunking the rumor.

A year later, John Tobias confirmed in a Twitter thread that the reason why Johnny Cage didn't show up in MK3 was because he was one of the least popular/played characters in the previous game, so they decided to remove him entirely, with the in-universe reason being that he died. He was later brought back for Mortal Kombat Trilogy, this time being potrayed by Chris Alexander.
person ZpaceJ0ck0 calendar_month November 10, 2023
Star Fox 64
subdirectory_arrow_right Star Fox 64 3D (Game)
2
Attachment One of the more enigmatic characters in Star Fox 64 is the tanuki or raccoon dog that only appears in its training mode. On the official Japanese Star Fox 64 website, Slippy reveals that his name is ヤル・デ・ポン (Yaru De Pon), and that he is the president of Space Dynamics, the manufacturers of the Arwing and other vehicles the Star Fox team utilizes in their missions.

His surname seems to reference the du Pont family (ポン spells both "Pon" and "Pont"), a wealthy American family who made their fortune selling gunpowder, and later chemicals and motor vehicles. A popular rumor is that Henry A. du Pont secretly sold gunpowder to the Confederacy during the Civil War; fittingly enough, Slippy implies that Yaru de Pon is involved in "shady weapon deals", suggesting that he might be supplying Andross' forces as well.

Yaru de Pon is also notably the only character in the original Star Fox 64 to not have any voice acting. This was addressed in its 3DS remake, Star Fox 64 3D, where he is now properly voiced by Jay Ward (who also voices Wolf O'Donnell in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, as well as the Nintendo Switch version of Starlink: Battle for Atlas) in the English version, and Kunpei Sakamoto in the Japanese version.
person Dinoman96 calendar_month November 1, 2023
Polybius
1
The earliest known mention of the mythical video game Polybius was an article on the otherwise legitimate arcade gaming fan site Coinop.org posted on August 3, 1998.

The article was edited on May 16, 2009, after the "game" had achieved viral popularity, to inform readers that the site hosts had received new information about the game and were flying to Kyiv, Ukraine to investigate the title, which they would update the page on when they found out. No news has been recorded on Polybius since, but the website would have new games added to its database up to 2021.

Kurt Koller, the webmaster for coinop.org, would later claim in 2021 that he planned to go to Kyiv in 2009 to see Chernobyl, but his friend from Ukraine refused because he was expecting a child, meaning that the "Polybius update" may have just been an in-joke related to this visit.
person Rocko & Heffer calendar_month October 24, 2023
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