Hi everyone, it is James, Andrew’s eldest son. For those who do not know or do not remember me, please read my sit-down interview.
I am very excited: my father has finally allowed me to write an article for his blog. I cannot believe this is going to be our own blog!
As my first article, I chose to talk about the top ten video game urban legends. It was not that difficult to compile such a list: I got most of the material by listening to my father’s and his friends’ Retro Stories throughout the years. There are also some facts as a result of my gaming experience, anyway.
Dad told me to write naturally and for myself, without trying to please anyone. He promised me that he would not change anything apart from any grammar or spelling mistakes.
Oh, the cousin I mentioned in the title is not my cousin, actually. It is more of a universal one, or better said, it is the cousin of all those who contribute to keeping urban legends alive. The thing is, when someone tells me unlikely things and I ask for the source, they usually reply: “My cousin told me!”
Such cousin obviously lives far away and cannot be reached in any way, shape or form.
My father says these were common excuses even when he was younger. For this reason he would like to take the opportunity to say a big hello to every Retro Cousin in the world! LOL
Okay, let us start, I hope everything will be fine.
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10. WWF SuperStars (1989 Arcade Game) – bodyslamming a giant
Legend has it that the only way to beat Ted Dibiase and Andre the giant (the tag team world champions in the game) is to bodyslam the latter three times in a row. Upon the third slam, a gaping hole would open up in the ring, thus swallowing the giant. This would determine the tag team champions’ defeat by forfeit or count-out (sources vary).
I can safely say that this is not true. I have tried it myself for good measure and the ring does not break. The above mentioned tag team is hard to beat, but with a little patience and a lot of kicks and punches – keeping safe distance – you can make it.
My father often recalls a time, when a guy he knew insisted on saying the legend was true. He was basically proven wrong in real time and ridiculed by the whole arcade. This is not the only case anyway, more on that later (Spoiler: the number 7 on this list).
9. Hyper Sports (1984 Arcade Game) – landing head first
Another rule-of-3 urban legend. This beautiful olympic-themed sports game consists of 7 events, but on this list, we are going to focus on the third one, that is the vault (once known as vaulting horse).
This legend has a basis in truth, namely making your player land head first and bounce several times. This bizarre landing will drop a chandelier to the ground and earn you 10,000 points, but you had better do that once you have qualified for the next event.
The legend circulating in the ’80s went beyond and said that repeating the head-first landing three times in a row would unlock some new events, among them the marathon. If you are passionate about this game, just play it naturally, I assure you there are no hidden events.
Actually, landing head first x3 will result in your player getting low scores, thus being eliminated from any Olympic events. In other words: game over!
8. Tekken 3 (PlayStation Classic 1998) – Lei’s secret weapon
It is not the same episode, but it is the first PlayStation game my father ever played. It was hard to leave it out.
To be honest, Tekken is featured on this list also because its urban legends are countless. Among them, Lei’s story definitely stands out.
According to this legend, the Chinese policeman would hide his service weapon in one of his trouser pockets and performing a mysterious button combo would allow him to pull it out and use it.
Needless to say, Lei would defeat any of his opponents with a single gunshot. To be sure to not give false information, I beat the game with Lei by carrying out hundreds of different button combos, but his gun is nowhere to be found.
He must have left it in another pair of trousers…
Here is a funny quote from one of my father’s friends:
“I thought this legend’s popularity was limited to our town… I was utterly wrong! Years after Tekken 3 was released, I was having dinner out with a group of college mates – 1000 km far from home – when we started talking about video games.
Suddenly my roommate mentioned Tekken 3 and a guy I barely knew said that his favorite character was Lei. My roommate asked him why and he replied: “Because he can use a gun to kill his opponents. I do that all the time!” I laughed for about half an hour non-stop before belying his tall story. ”
7. Kick and Run (aka Mexico ’86) – keepers’ goals count double
My father has already talked about Kick and Run/Angry Soccer – as he familiarly calls it – but only because it is one of his favorite retro soccer games. Today, I am going to tell you about its personal urban legend.
You have to know that in this retro game, goalkeepers can come out of the box with the ball glued to their feet, move forward and even score goals.
It is far from being a piece of cake though, and that definitely fueled up rumors, back then.
According to the most “credible” story, keepers’ coast-to-coast goals counted double.
My dad – who was and still is unbeatable at Kick and Run – did not buy into that one bit and immediately changed his attacking strategy. For a few days, his trusted US team became more of a one-man army. All he did was pass the ball to his keeper and dribbling his way to goal.
It was not long before his goalie turned into a goal scoring machine and it just so happened that he scored a hat trick before one of the guys who started the rumor.
A keeper’s goal counted as one single goal, no extra prize, apart from the pleasure dad derived by embarrassing that liar.
For the record, the guy
tried to awkwardly justify himself only made a fool of himself and ended up getting kicked out of the arcade to the cries of “Big fail”.
6. Paperboy (Arcade Game 1985) – the perfect delivery gift
This one does crack me up, even though it must have been a huge disappointment to all the kids from the 80s who fell for it (a lot and a lot according to my dad and his friends).
According to this cruel urban legend, if you had managed to perfectly deliver newspapers to subscribers for a whole week – Monday through Sunday – on hard-way mode, you would have got a special ending. Right after beating the game, an Atari customer service phone number would have popped up on the screen. If you had called that number, Atari would have shipped you a brand-new BMX!
Fast forward to the present, it would have been like winning the most expensive hoverboard in the world!
Neither my father nor his friends have ever been particularly good at Paperboy, but they witnessed one of their then acquaintances getting a hard-way perfect run. When they realized it was just a hoax, the poor guy was about to faint down.
Unfortunately, I am not that good either (I only beat the game on middle-road mode) so, in order to see the hard-way mode ending, I had to resort to YouTube. How can I describe it? Nothing that I had not seen on middle-road lol.
End of part 1 – part 2 will be even better
And this is all for the gaming urban legends ranked from 10 to 6. I am currently writing the second part and I reckon I will be able to publish it next week.
I would like to tell you all that I had so much fun writing this article. I hope it will be as pleasant for you to read it.
See you soon for the second and last part, bye for now!