Fun Facts About Video Games You Likely Didn't Know
You may have an encyclopedic knowledge of a game, but you likely don’t know all of the stories behind it – even if you complete every side quest in an RPG or prestige a dozen times in a multiplayer shooter. Some of these tales stretch into the realm of the weird, draw inspiration from the strangest of places, or can be oddly touching. Other stories don’t make a lick of sense. We rounded up 25 little tidbits that should give you a greater appreciation of some of video games’ biggest hits.
The Nintendo Comboy
South Korea put a ban on Japanese cultural imports following World War II, and it wasn’t lifted until 2004. That didn’t mean South Korean gamers didn’t get to know Mario. Hyundai Electronics distributed Nintendo’s product in South Korea. The NES was called the Hyundai Comboy, which was superseded by the Super Comboy and Comboy 64.
Batman: Arkham Asylum was almost rhythmic
During the early stages of development, Batman: Arkham Asylum was prototyped as a rhythmic action game. The second prototype focused on 2D fighting, which would pop up whenever enemies were engaged, and involved colored circles bashing into each other. Both of these failed attempts fueled the basis of the final combat system.
Super Mario and Nine Inch Nails
Many of the Koopalings from the Super Mario games are named after famous musicians. Most people can see the pattern in Ludwig, Iggy, and Lemmy’s names. What you may not know is Super Mario World’s fire-breathing triceratops is named Reznor, named after Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, who also created the soundtrack for Quake.
The lion that would eat itself
Scribblenauts almost launched with a strange bug, in which a lion would eat itself if bacon was glued to its back. The odd occurrence was found in the late stages of A.I. finalization.
The lunch bell nuke
The satisfying “ding” that rings out when a Fat Man nuke is launched in Fallout 3 is the lunch bell from Bethesda Softworks’ cafeteria. The Fat Man itself is modeled after an actual nuke launcher called the M-388 Davy Crockett Tactical Nuclear Recoilless Rifle, which was developed in the 1950s.
Master Chief is a radio DJ
The voice actor who has played Master Chief in every Halo game to date is more famously known as Steve Downes, a radio DJ dating back to the late 1970s. Downes was most recently on Chicago’s WDRV “The Drive.”
Lara Croft was originally Laura Cruz
Core Design animator Toby Gard wanted to make an interactive movie starring a male character looking for treasure in Egyptian pyramids. The character was deemed too close to Indiana Jones, and was quickly switched to a South American woman named Laura Cruz. Core ended up wanting a U.K. friendly name, so Core employees dove into a phone book and settled on the name “Croft.”
A famous game developer is named after Final Fantasy VII
Chinese video game creator Xinghan Chen’s name may not ring any bells, but you are likely familiar with his design work on the games Journey and Flower. Xinghan works under the name Jenova Chen. He was inspired by Final Fantasy VII, and took the name of the character Jenova when he started working in games.
The first video game in space
The Game Boy version of Tetris was the first game played in space. In 1993, Tetris traveled aboard a Soyuz TM-17 rocket to the MIR Space Station, where it was played by Russian cosmonaut Aleksandr A. Serebrov. The game was later sold at an auction for $1,220.
Prince of Persia: Assassin’s Creed
Ubisoft’s long-running and highly successful Assassin’s Creed series was originally going to be a Prince of Persia spinoff. The game was called Prince of Persia: Assassins, and it told the story of a female assassin tasked with protecting a prince in Jerusalem. After roughly a year of development, Ubisoft rejected the idea as it didn’t focus on the prince enough. The game was reworked to the Assassin’s Creed we know today.