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6 Nintendo urban legends from your playground days

We recently talked about gaming myths and urban legends on SQUADcast, and it left us wondering about the Nintendo urban legends that used to circulate in the past. You know, those stories your best friend’s sibling heard from a friend down the street that allegedly found a Mew on the S.S Anne while playing Pokemon Red/Blue.

Today we go back in time before the Internet as we know it, and revisit some of the most iconic Nintendo urban legends you may or may not remember from your playground days.

Our Favourite Gaming Myths

Unlocking Sonic is Super Smash Bros N64

It’s a moot point now with Sonic’s inclusion in Super Smash Bros games since 2007, but there was a time when players were adamant that they could unlock the Sonic the Hedgehog on N64.

At the time, Super Smash Bros on the N64 was the most ambitious crossover event in history. People thought it was so ambitious in fact, that they convinced themselves that Nintendo would somehow get the rights to Sega posterboy, Sonic the Hedgehog, to join Super Smash Bros. It’s possible that kids lived in a fantasy world not considering the politics of Sega and Nintendo’s major rivalry in the 80’s and 90’s. The fact this Nintendo myth gained any traction was surprising considering Sega’s status back then.

sonic super smash bros urban legend

Lavender Town Syndrome

This myth was honestly sad, as people wrongfully correlated the Lavender Town theme in the original Pokemon games with a spike in suicides and illnesses in children between the ages of 7-12 in Japan. For those who aren’t familiar with the game, Lavender Town was one of the few towns in Pokemon Red & Blue or Green that didn’t have a gym, and served as a graveyard for Pokemon that have passed away.

The high pitch theme was super creepy, and it didn’t help that players had just emerged from the Rock Tunnel between Cerulean City and Lavender Town. Because of the backlash emerging from the urban myth, GameFreak decided to lower the pitch in some parts of the theme. The dissonance was a little hard to stomach when giving it a solid listen through.

Evolution of Lavender Town Theme

Mew on the S.S Anne

This Pokemon urban legend is on the more innocent side. Many Pokemon players were convinced that the random truck on the S.S Anne contained the mythic Pokemon, Mew. The story goes that if you use Strength HM on the truck, it would roll away revealing Mew. Pokemon Red and Blue were a simpler time.

It’s far from controversial and a little silly, but it turns out that Mew had been buried in the code of the game, prompting sightings by players if certain glitches and events happened. It’s not like Sonic in Super Smash Bros, where he just didn’t exist. Mew was an actual thing buried in the game. Chances are that the Mew you might have traded for as a kid probably came from somebody who owned Gameshark.

Magikarp can one-shot any Pokemon

Lets triple down on Pokemon. Splash as a move does nothing. Goldeen and Magikarp cannot one-shot any Pokemon by using Splash. There’s not even a minimal chance of it doing anything, other than its 100% chance of doing absolutely nothing. Just do what everybody else did with Magikarp and slap an EXP. Share (or “All” depending on how old you are) until it evolves into a Gyrados.

The person who came up with this rumor deserves respect, though. Imagine how many stupid kids sat down for battles on a hope and a dream that their Magikarp would one-shot a Dragonite or Alakazam. Comedy gold.

L is real 2401

The story started because of an inscription on Super Mario 64‘s Eternal Star statue saying “L is real 2401”. It’s a meaningless phrase to the grand majority of players, but it held such weight to the tinfoil hat wearers in the playerbase. It was long speculated that it meant Luigi is hiding somewhere, but he was nowhere to be found.

L was real. L is real. This is peak of the Nintendo urban legends, and the story wasn’t entirely full of crap. Luigi was buried in code for Super Mario 64, and could’ve been a playable character. It was mentioned in Japanese interviews with the developers that had never been translated into English, saying Luigi was cut from the game. It took until a leak 24 yeara later to unveil the buried polygons, audio files, and additional map layouts.

Blowing on the cartridge

Nintendo wasn’t bluffing; blowing on the game cartridge would break it. The issue was never dust on your games, but the pins on the cartridge getting somewhat disjointed or jostled around from the aggressive insertion of the game. Basically, you treat your game like crap, it’s not gonna work.

Also, blowing on the game cartridge is disgusting. Think of all the bacteria that’ll build up and grow on the game. Before you know it, it’ll turn into a 4-player co-op game with yourself, Osmosis Jones, Flubber, and The Indigestible Wad.

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Aja Jones

Writer from Toronto, Canada. Can taste the difference between Coke and Pepsi. Learned how to play drums through Rock Band. Named after a Steely Dan album.
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