Urban legends are par for the course in any industry. Video games are no different. As soon as the gaming industry became mainstream, urban legends soon followed. The accessibility of the internet and social media only helped pour the proverbial fuel onto the raging wildlife that was the several video game urban legends that ranged from sinister to just downright plain weird.
To help celebrate Halloween this year, we've decided to round up some of the best (and by that, we mean creepiest and most disturbing) video game urban legends that have come up over the years.
Herobrine and Minecraft
Ask anyone who's played Minecraft before, and even kids who are playing it now, and they'll know who Herobrine is. What's funny is that Herobrine isn't real and that it's an urban legend that originated way back in 2010.
The original story goes that a copy of the default player character with no eyes appeared in the game out of nowhere that has since been "confirmed" by other players. The name "Herobrine" comes from the name of a user that the initial poster claims to have been contacted by. However, Notch, Minecraft's creator, has since denounced the ghost's existence. But, it hasn't stopped him from getting cheeky and adding a "-removed Herobrine" line in one of the game's patch notes.
The infamous Lavender Town Syndrome
Legend has it that kids in Japan started killing themselves after entering Lavender Town and hearing its music. What made this story so popular back in the days was that Lavender Town is a city in the original Pokemon games that featured ghost-type Pokemon with its Pokemon graveyard. Later versions of the legend even claim that GameFreak purposely did this for some reason so that kids would go on and commit suicide.
While Pokemon has been linked to causing people harm, such as when the "Electric Soldier Porygon" episode was taken down after causing seizures in children, we don't think that the developers would go as far as to make kids want to kill themselves.
The Madden Curse
Becoming a cover athlete is no easy feat. Only a handful of sports stars ever get to grace the covers of magazines and video games in their career. However, for Madden NFL, it appears that this kind of blessing comes with a price. According to the urban legend, whoever gets drafted to appear as the box art of that particular year's Madden NFL will have a disastrous season.
Whether or not Polybius is real isn't important here. What's evident is that people believe in it and it's quite an interesting urban legend.
As for what it is, the skinny is that some secretive government agency reportedly placed an arcade cabinet called Polybius in Portland, Oregon, back in 1981. It's said that anyone who ever played the game experienced negative symptoms and that men in black would occasionally gather data from the game's cabinet before eventually pulling it out as if it was never there in the first place.
PS2s as Weapons of Mass Destruction
Several years ago, the PS2 was considered ground-breaking technology. However, right around the same time, some rumors said that Sadam Hussein himself thought that he could repurpose the 32-bit CPUs inside Sony's best-selling console to create a weapon of mass destruction. No, seriously. This is a true rumor.
How anyone could believe that Hussein would spend so much money trying to acquire thousands of PS2 units to create a WMD is anyone's guess.
Mew Under the Truck
In the original Pokemon games, there's this single pick-up truck found on a secret ledge near the S.S Anne ship in Vermillion City. Normally, players wouldn't be able to get there. But, for those who found ways (which is possible), it's been said that the pick-up truck is hiding a tiny little secret under it - a Mew.
While Nintendo never really acknowledged the purpose of the truck, later Pokemon games did add a rare item underneath the same location as a reference to the urban legend.
As for whether or not there was a Mew there, well, there wasn't. Just don't tell that friend of yours who says that they have a cousin who knows someone who get there and caught themselves a Mew. They'll insist that it's true, no matter what.
Nude Lara Croft
As soon as 3D video games became the norm, rumors of hidden codes that would let gamers take the clothes off of female video game characters spread like wildfire. Perhaps the most infamous one is the Lara Croft Nude Code, which proliferated early message boards back in the late 90s. Of course, the code never existed, but it didn't stop people from talking and claiming that they knew a friend of a friend who saw Lara Croft in her birthday suit.
Spoiler alert - Aeris dies in Final Fantasy VII.
Back in the early days of gaming when the internet wasn't as big of a thing as it is these days, it was difficult to get spoiled with this kind of information. So, when gamers saw Sephiroth stabbing Aeris with his long-ass sword, most thought that there was a way to prevent this from happening. Alas, this event is final. However, it didn't stop gamers back then from trying out all sorts of things in hopes of making Aeris survive through the end of the game.
One of the more prevalent urban legends at the time was that you could get a chance to save Aeris if you do a bunch of weird and unrelated things in the game. Some even say that if you don't talk to Aeris at all or if you focus on Tifa more, she'll die instead of Aeris.
All Bonds Unlock
Goldeneye 007 is one of the best games based on a movie. Many gamers enjoyed the hell out of it back in the days, and some still play it today with their friends. We do not doubt that several of those who've played Goldeneye 007 spent dozens of hours trying to do impossible tasks in the game after hearing that they'd need to do certain things just to unlock the ability to play as Pierce Brosnan and Sean Connery, as well as other Bonds, in the multiplayer mode.
Ironically, Rare planned this. Unfortunately, the developers had to cut the content after spending hours working on digitizing the different actor's faces because the studio didn't have permission to use them in the game.