15 Nostalgic Facts You Definitely Didn't Know About Gaming
You think you know gaming? We have some interesting facts that we believe you've never heard of. Why? Because they surprised us, too.
Check them out below.
1. Crash Bandicoot Was Going To Be A Wombat Instead
For you bandicoot fans out there, this one was a close call. Early concepts for the main character of Naughty Dog's hit game originally had him named Willie the Wombat. Yes, he might have been a different type of animal, but he didn't look very different. Even then, there's no way I would have bought this game if it had that stupid name.
2. Dr. Robotnik Was Created In Mario's Likeness
Responsible for creating a primary antagonist for the series, Sonic the Hedgehog artist Naoto Ohshima decided to take Mario, give him a bunch of belly fat and a large moustache, and call it a day. This concept was approved and he's been featured in almost every game to this day. That isn't to say he's a cool character, though. Seriously, who likes Dr. Robotnik?
3. Final Fantasy VII Was Originally A SNES Game
In the early 90's Squaresoft found itself working on Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VII at the same time. During this period of concept, apparently Cloud Strife had brunette, slicked back hair and even a big magnet on his back to keep the Buster Sword upright. The team eventually devoted its resources to Chrono Trigger and put Final Fantasy VII on the backburner until later. The early workings of the game were later used for Parasite Eve and Xenogears, which were other games that nobody will stop talking about.
4. GoldenEye 007's Multiplayer Was Made In One Month By One Guy
With the single-player campaign completed and just a few weeks to go until shipping the product, GoldenEye 007 lead programmer Steve Ellis decided to create a multiplayer mode for the game. Within weeks he had it working, and Rare/Nintendo had no choice but to approve of it despite nobody telling them that such a mode was on the roadmap. Good thing, because how else would we have entertained ourselves in the late 90's?
5. Half-Life's Headcrabs Were Way Creepier Than You Realized
I think we all can agree that having an alien jump on your face and take control of your brain is a terrifying concept. But it's even worse than that. When you play back the howls of infested people backwards you can hear the cries of pure torture. Killing them was putting them out of their misery, that's for sure.
6. Lara Croft's Name Used To Be Laura Cruz
After core design animator Toby Gard realized that using a male character for his upcoming action-adventure game would make him too much like Indiana Jones, the character was changed to a South American woman by the name of Laura Cruz. The name was later changed to Lara Croft to be more friendly to U.K. and U.S. customers. As if it mattered.
7. Metal Gear Solid's Levels Were Designed Using LEGOs
In the mid-90's developing 3D games was still a new concept. To help wrap their heads around it, the development team, led by Hideo Kojima, brought a massive number of LEGOs into the office to shape level patterns that it would then design within the game. But let's be real, they were probably just playing with LEGOs to kill time at work. I'm not complaining.
8. Mortal Kombat Didn't Have A Name For Most Of Development
The team behind Mortal Kombat had a lot of difficulty thinking of a name for its Jean Claude Van Damme inspired fighter. In-fact, for more than half of its development the team couldn't agree on a name, with ideas such as "Dragon Attack", "Death Blow", "Kumite", and "Fatality" being shot down. It later found the idea of using a K instead of a C in its name a great idea.
9. Pac-Man Was Invented By A Japanese Guy Eating A Pizza
Pac-Man creator Toru Iwatani once said: “While thinking about the word ‘eat’ when taking a slice of pizza, I saw that the rest of pizza looked like a character, and that’s how Pac-Man’s iconic shape was created. I realized that although keywords such as ‘fashion’ and ‘love’ would appeal more to women, my opinion is that the word ‘eat’ is universally appealing and would attract their attention as well. That’s why I went with this idea.” What a delicious story.
10. PlayStation Murdered SEGA With Just One Number
At E3 1995 Sega was proud to announce that its upcoming Saturn console would be $399. Moments later, Sony's Steve Race walked up on stage and simply said "299", indicating the price of its upcoming PlayStation. The crowd erupted in cheer and Sega was left speechless. In the coming years the Saturn would manage to sell only 9.5 million units while the PlayStation sold 102 million. Rekt.
11. Robin Williams Named His Daughter After Princess Zelda
Robin Williams was well known as being a one-of-a-kind actor, but few knew about his love for gaming. It was such an important hobby to him that he named his only daughter "Zelda", after the character in The Legend of Zelda.
12. Tetris Is A Portmanteau Of The Words "Four" And "Tennis"
The first part of the name comes from the Greek word "tetra", meaning four. The second half is from tennis, which was the creator's favorite sport. Yup, it makes absolutely no sense, but neither does the concept of the game.
13. The "id" in id Software Stands For "in demand"
If you've played the classic Wolfenstein or DOOM games, you're undoubtedly familiar with the id Software name. While most people are busy trying to figure out how to pronounce it correctly (it's id as in "kid" or "did"), what they forgot to ask is what the hell it stands for. Well, it just means "in demand". Pretty boring if you ask me.
14. The Blocks In Super Mario Are People
The original instruction booklet for Super Mario Bros. explains that when the Koopas first invaded Mushroom Kingdom they turned its people into blocks. You can't make this stuff up. Be sure to remember this next time you destroy a bunch of blocks in Mario.
15. World Of Warcraft By The Numbers
At launch the game had 5.5 million lines of code, 30 thousand items, 1,400 locations, 7,600 missions, and 5,300 NPCs. It took 150 developers four years to create the original build. You'll be hard-pressed to find a bigger game than that in 2004.