What a time being a gamer in the 90s and early 2000s was! Before the internet was as huge and invasive as it is now, video game rumors would spread quickly on playgrounds, in school halls, and on the bus.
Your bestie would whisper the trick to finding Mew to you at recess so no other kids would hear or your friend, who just started puberty, would swear his older brother knew the code to make Lara Croft nude in Tomb Raider.
A lot of these kinds of things have largely disappeared from society with how widespread the internet has become. It also does not help that most anything online is readily accessible and can be fact-checked.
It’s hard not to look back, however, and get all those nostalgic feels if you were a gamer of any age during that time. I have distinct memories of pouring over video game fan pages and websites like GameFAQs trying to figure out how to bring Aerith back from the dead or to obtain the Triforce in Ocarina of Time. There are, however, several rumors that are legendary still even today.
Here are the best video game rumors we wish had come true.
Mew in Pokemon Red and Blue
There is something that can be said about being a Pokemon fan during the very first generation: the newness of everything, the wonder of all these fantastical creatures with cool designs, and the rumors about how to obtain mythical and mystical Pokemon like Mewtwo and Mew.
While it ended up being very possible to obtain Mewtwo, Mew was another story. Rumors swirled in the 90s about ways to obtain Mew. In Vermilion City, near the ship S.S. Anne, there is a ledge that players could access by using Surf. On it is a single truck.
Due to the randomness of the truck’s placement, rumors spread that for whatever reason Mew resided underneath. Players could move it by using the HM Strength. That rumor proved false, but Nintendo gave Mew out at various real-life events. No truck moving was needed!
Resurrecting Aerith in Final Fantasy 7
While quite a spoiler then, players almost universally know of Aerith’s death now. The desire to stop or reverse that major plot point was something that fans of Final Fantasy 7 obsessed over. Over several years after the game’s initial release, fans became desperate to revive her.
A number of theories on how to bring her back spread. One involved being rude to Tifa and never using her in your party and making Tifa a sacrificial lamb at Aerith’s death scene.
Another way involved leveling the materia Cure up until it turned into one called Restore. Then you have to find the underwater materia so you can find her body where Cloud laid her to rest and revive it. Needless to say, none of those worked.
Luigi in Super Mario 64
It isn’t surprising that there were video game rumors that Luigi could be unlocked in Super Mario 64. After all, Luigi was playable in a number of previous games (including two Mario games that made our worst video games of all-time list).
What fueled this rumor was a fountain in the courtyard behind Peach’s Castle. At the fountain is a statue and underneath it is pixelated text. Many players thought this sign read “L is Real 2401.” Fans speculated that confirmed Luigi’s inclusion in the game and that maybe you needed to collect 2401 coins in-game to access him.
Sadly none of that was true. Years later, however, Luigi was found in the source code signifying he likely was going to be in the game at some point.
Nude Lara Croft in Tomb Raider
Tomb Raider was released during the beginning stages of the PlayStation and contributed to the success of Sony’s first console.
If you played the game as a kid and were in any way attracted to women, and a lot of puberty-stricken kiddos played it, you probably heard of the so-called secret cheat that would make Lara Croft flaunt it all.
Rumors involved making Lara step forward, backward, spin around and jump. I suppose by doing so, people just expected her clothes to come off. There was a cheat for similar steps, but they made Lara explode! Later, in the game’s sequel, the developers included a scene with Lara in a short robe getting ready to get into the shower.
She picks up her shotgun, looks at the camera, and says, “Don’t you think you’ve seen enough?” She then shoots the camera. It was very meta in the best way.
Getting the Triforce in Ocarina of Time
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is often regarded as one of the best video games of all time. It’s what truly made the series take off and continues to help reach new heights. With that popularity came a number of rumors. The most popular involved obtaining the Triforce.
I remember a rumor circulating in the 90s that involved throwing bombs into the center of the lava underneath Ganon’s Castle at the end of the game. Doing so would for some reason reveal the Triforce. Unfortunately, Link doesn’t have that good of a throwing arm and they don’t reach. But that didn’t stop me from trying.
There were also a number of rumors involving defeating Hyrule’s running man and getting a new Ocarina song from an owl and playing it at a certain place. There were also photos that were either manipulated or from the game’s previous build provided as proof with Link holding the illustrious Triforce.
I Choose You, Pikablu
Pokemon continues to be a giant, money-making machine and video game rumors often surround the games released for the franchise. One of the series first ventures into truly expanding their brand was with Pokemon: The First Movie.
The film follows Ash, Pikachu, Misty, and Brock, and before the film, a Pokemon-centric short played titled Pikachu’s vacation. It showcased a number of Pokemon, including a new, never-before-seen one. That Pokemon was Marill.
Since the short didn’t include the name, fans went wild with speculation going so far as to coin the Pokemon Pikablu. Rumors spread he was an alternate form of Pikachu and would be released in the next games, Gold and Silver, and would be an electric and water-type Pokemon. Obviously, none of this ever proved to be true. It was just silly kids being kids.
Getting Into Peach’s Castle in Mario Kart 64
Mario Kart 64 fueled arguments between siblings, parents, and friends in the height of its time, and to be honest if you pick it up today, it would likely do the same. What was even more frustrating than that, though, was trying to break into Peach’s Castle on the Royal Raceway track. The track features a side path that is not a shortcut but instead lets players drive right up a winding road and over a bridge to the castle.
With the inclusion of such a detailed area, players created an idea that it was with good reason. You must be able to get inside! You have not truly played Mario Kart 64 if you’ve delayed the finishing of a race to go bang your cart and character into Peach’s door. All while your friends yell at you to turn around and finish the damn race.
Can’t get enough of Mario Kart? Check out our massive list of every Mario Kart 8 track ranked from worst to best.
Sonic and Tales in Super Smash Bros. Melee
It’s not always easy to trace and find the source of a rumor, but this is one of those instances with documented proof. Before Super Smash Bros. included characters from various games and systems, there were a number of hopes and dreams across console partnerships.
In the early 2000s, Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine published a report as part of an April Fool’s Joke that alleged you could unlock Sonic and Tails in Melee. How? Merely defeat twenty enemies in the game’s Cruel Melee mode. This was no easy feat! But multiple people did it and were disappointed at the lack of results.
Video game rumors are not going to stop anytime soon but they just don’t pack the same punch they used to in the past. Which rumor in gaming history do you wish had come true but never did?