Video game history is full of some truly amazing facts and trivia. I mean, the likes of DidYouKnowGaming thrive on finding these things out, and I love learning about them myself. Some can be weird, others are downright amazing. It’s actually surprising what is hidden inside the games that we all love.
So, today, I wanted to look at 7 of my favourite bits of video game trivia. Whilst this isn’t a list of my only favourite bits of trivia, but they are pretty cool, in my opinion. So, let’s take a look, shall we?
Silent Hill 2 – A Mirrored Edge
When you are playing Silent Hill 2, right at the start, you begin the game in a public bathroom. Within that bathroom is a mirror which appears to be a dynamic mirror, with your reflection copying your movements perfectly. When you consider that a number of modern games still can’t do this, it makes you wonder how Team Silent did it back in the day.
Well, it’s actually a trick that is used in a number of different games. They create a mirrored version of the bathroom area, with a duplicate James as well. This version of James will copy everything that you make the “real” James do, but in reverse. That gives the impression of the mirror actually working, as it were. It’s a simple yet very clever trick that gives the perfect finished effect.
Jack and Daxter – A Quick Trip
Loading screens have long been a horrible thing that gamers get very annoyed at. As such, developers worked on ways to minimise the loading screens that we have to deal with. One of these was to make larger levels load as you are playing. However, this brought up another problem; if the player was going too fast, they could end up entering an area of the level that wasn’t loaded yet.
The developers of Jack and Daxter had an ingenious idea on how to solve this. Basically, when you are getting too close to an area that hasn’t loaded yet, Jack will actually trip, falling to the ground for a couple of seconds. This will give the game engine the time it needs to load that section, so you don’t actually see it loading.
Silent Hill – The Kindergarten Cop
Okay, so we have covered two developer tricks and now, we have a few easter egg style bits of trivia. The first of these comes from the first Silent Hill. If you have ever watched the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Kindergarten Cop, then you may feel somewhat nostalgic when you enter the school in Silent Hill.
This is because there are a number of little easter eggs, such as the medicine cabinet and some posters on the wall that are identical to those in the movie. So, in a way, you can count Silent Hill as a sequel to Kindergarten Cop, which somehow makes it even more freaky to me!
Diablo – A Demonic Warning
Did you know that Diablo, the evil demonic entity that you fight at the end of the first Diablo game (and the others, to be fair), actually cares about you and offers you some really invaluable advice? It doesn’t sound right, I know, but it is true! Even after you have killed all of his minions and made your way to him with the intent of killing him, he still tries to be nice to you.
Basically, when Diablo spawns, you’ll hear a very strange and demonic series of sounds. However, when you play them in reverse, you’ll find that he is actually telling you to “eat your vegetables and brush after every meal”. See? He really does care about you, and yet, you cut him down with no remorse!
Daggerfall – Size Does Matter
With the prominence in open world gaming, size has become a huge part of game development and public opinion. Everyone loved Grand Theft Auto 5 and Skyrim for the size of the world you get to explore (as well as the gameplay and storyline, obviously). There’s almost a competition between developers now to make the biggest worlds possible. Yet, all of the modern games have failed to do that.
In fact, to this day, The Elder Scrolls 2: Daggerfall still holds the record for the largest game world (where a single world is the setting for the game). The world of Daggerfall is an astounding 62,394 square miles, which is around 4,000 times bigger than Skyrim!
PS2 – The Atari’s Big Brother
For some people, the original design of the PlayStation 2 is beautiful. For others, it is ugly. Personally, I’m in the first camp. But whichever side of that debate you fall on, you can’t deny that the design has become somewhat iconic. But did you know that it is actually a reused design?
It was actually based on the Atari Falcon 030 micro box. When Atari went into bankruptcy, Sony purchased the license to the design, using it as the style for the original PlayStation 2. Therefore, in a way, the PS2 can be seen as the Atari’s big brother… In a way…
Goldeneye – A Delightful Afterthought
The final bit of trivia that we are going to look at today comes from the wonderful game that was Goldeneye for the Nintendo 64. We all know just how wonderful the multiplayer side of the game was, with many of us spending hours playing against friends (or losing friends when they chose Oddjob). But it may surprise you that the game very nearly didn’t have a multiplayer mode at all!
Towards the very end of the development schedule, the developers wanted to put in multiplayer, but they knew that they didn’t have time to seek approval. So, they just decided to put it in and ship the game without asking permission first. It was definitely the right thing to do!
And That’s All Folks
Those were 7 of my favourite bits of retro gaming trivia. Each of them, in my opinion, is really interesting and quite surprising if you’ve never heard it before. There are, obviously, hundreds of other bits of trivia that we can talk about, so I’m certain we will revisit this topic in the future.
But for now, what are your favourite bits of retro gaming trivia? Let me know in the comments below!