Article The Dorklyst: The 6 Cruelest Hoaxes & Urban Legends in Videogame History

By Andrew Bridgman / May 30, 2012
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In the days before the internet, urban legends and straight-up hoaxes spread like wildfire, thanks to an overeager willingness to believe anything and nothing to keep the rumors in check. There was no one to deny the existence of wild claims like bringing dead characters back to life, with the exception of a few gaming magazines (such as EGM, which – as you'll see – often perpetuated the hoaxes themselves). And when they turned out to be untrue lies, the harsh reality of our crushed dreams stung. But you know what stung more? TRYING TO BEAT MORTAL KOMBAT 100 TIMES IN A ROW WITHOUT SUFFERING ANY DAMAGE IN ORDER TO UNLOCK THE SONYA BLADE NUDE CODE. Ahem. These are the 7 cruelest hoaxes and urban legends in videogame history.

6. Luigi is in Mario 64

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Mario and Luigi go together like spaghetti and meatballs, like donuts and coffee, like mushrooms and fire flowers – so it wasn't unreasonable to assume Luigi would be a playable character in Mario's first foray into the 3rd dimension. Sure, Nintendo had specifically said it was a single-player affair, but that didn't mean whoever was playing couldn't choose between Mario and Luigi, right? Why would Nintendo leave its 2nd most recognizable plumber out of the game entirely, when even Yoshi makes an appearance?

That was the attitude the internet seized upon at the release of Super Mario 64 (note it wasn't "Super Mario Brothers 64"). Luigi had to be there somewhere. Why would Mario leave his taller, weirder brother behind? The first "clue" the internet found was "L IS REAL 2041" (or something like that) illegibly scrawled on a statue: somehow, this meant Luigi was real and in the game (other theories included promotion for Paper Mario). Coming in with the assist were numerous texture hacks, photoshopped screenshots, and tales of playing as the green plumber flooding the internet.

Shockingly, he was not in the game. But then Nintendo released the Super Mario 64 remake for the DS and he was included – along with Yoshi and Wario. It'd be nice if every rumor was eventually validated with a handheld remake.

Filed Under   the dorklyst   dorklyst   urban legends

Article The Dorklyst: The 5 Biggest Mistakes Ever Made By Nintendo

By Andrew Bridgman / May 24, 2012
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Nintendo is an incredible company – they essentially invented the modern videogame market, are responsible for the most recognizable figures in gaming, and have always pushed innovation when they could simply rest on their laurels. However, they've also made several huge mistakes, and it's sort've a miracle they're still a company, let alone a successful one. Here are the five biggest mistakes Nintendo ever made.

5. Virtual Boy

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The year was 1995 – the Super Nintendo Entertainment Systems (SNES) was already 5 years old, and the Nintendo 64 wouldn't be released for another year. Gamers wanted something new – something they hadn't experienced before: they wanted to jam their faces into a piece of plastic held up by a thin legs and play games with ugly graphics in nothing but red and black colors. Or, at least, that's what Nintendo thought was the case.

It's hard to tell what Nintendo's intention was with the Virtual Boy at all – it couldn't have been to replace the Game Boy, because it wasn't easily portable at all, and required a hard, flat surface for use. It definitely wasn't their idea of a "next gen" console, since it was developed concurrently with the Nintendo 64 (which was released a year later). It was the ugly red-headed (literally) stepchild. And, at some point, Nintendo realized that too. They rushed it to release so they could move all development resources to the upcoming Nintendo 64. The result? Nintendo's first major failure.

How bad did it do? It was only out for a year, and only 22 games were released (and less than 15 were released in North America). After that, it was gone for good. Papa told me he took it to a farm upstate, the same one he took our dog to when he got too old and sick. I bet Rex is jamming his face in it right now.

Fun Fact: The game largely thought to be the worst one for the Virtual Boy was Water World. And when you consider Virtual Boy is Nintendo's worst system – that may make Water World for Virtual Boy the worst game in history. Good news, ET for Atari.

Article The Dorklyst: The 7 Greatest Spaceships in Videogame History

By Mark Filipowich / May 8, 2012
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With NASA's space shuttle program retired, our hopes of getting full-fledged spaceships are diminishing quickly. Will we ever be able to traverse the vast expanses of the universe? Will we ever travel from one corner of the galaxy to the other in an instant? Will we ever make the Kessel Run to see if that Han Solo was lying about being able to make it in under 12 parsecs? Right now, it's not looking promising.

So until we have lightspeed-capable spaceships in real life, we'll have to live out our dreams in videogames. Here are the 7 greatest spaceships in videogame history.

7. SR-1 and SR-2 SSV Normandy (Mass Effect series)

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The Normandy is a marvel of engineering, being the only ship in the galaxy capable of stealth flight in space. The Normandy is also a symbol of galactic co-operation, having been jointly designed by once bitter enemies, the humans and turians. But more than any of that, what makes the Normandy is its personality. From the no frills SR-1 in the first game, the sleek and shiny SR-2 in the second to its final iteration in the third as half-gutted, half-upgraded masterpiece, the Normandy mirrors the progress of Shepard and company.

What makes the Normandy so special, though, is not its design, or even its narrative function, what makes the Normandy especially memorable is that, in all three games, the Normandy is Shepard's home. More than a base of operations or a weapon-system, it's home to all the colorful personalities Shepard encounters in the galaxy. It's the one constant in a galaxy quickly spiralling out of control. It isn't just a nifty vehicle or a minor setting; right from the beginning the player knows that that this is their ship and, often, it's all they have.

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Article The Dorklyst: The 8 Worst TV Shows Inspired By Videogames In Television History

By John Spiers and Rachel Rubin / May 1, 2012
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Sometimes, TV adaptations manage to take famous characters and give the public a brand new way to enjoy them. Other times, particularly when those shows are adapted from videogames, producers shove a money-shaped funnel into something beloved and suck the joy out of its lifeless husk. This Dorklyst explores the 8 worst TV shows that came from amazing videogames.

8. Sonic Underground

It might be difficult to recall after a decade of Sonic turning into a werewolf, starring in Arthurian RPGs, and ritually disemboweling your childhood, but there was a time when Sonic was a generally well-regarded franchise. The year was 1999, and the addition of a true 3D platformer to the series' winning formula was keeping hedgehogs lodged firmly in the public eye. DiC Entertainment had made two Sonic cartoons before, and wanted a fresh one for the Dreamcast generation. The new show would have all the classic aspects that Sonic fans had come to love about the series: royal siblings, a lizard priest, and enchanted shape-shifting instrument-weapons.

DiC carved out their own little Sonic universe where Sonic was a prince with a royal brother and sister. Together they formed an illegal rock group called "The Sonic Underground." And since everyone knows absolute monarchy beats despotism, the plot revolved around finding their mother, the Queen, so their family could overthrow Robotnik. Notably, they also had amulets that became instruments. Jamming together in 'harmony' would weaponize their songs.

To top everything off, veteran Sonic actor Jaleel White portrayed all three protagonists. For most of the show, it's just Steve Urkel with a microphone, pretending to be three musical hedgehogs of mixed gender. Inexplicably, reception was chilly, and Sonic lent his incredible speed to the rate at which the show was canceled: after one season.

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Article The Dorklyst: The 10 Greatest Modes of Transportation in Videogame History

By Andrew Bridgman / April 27, 2012
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Getting around in games can be a hassle. Just like in real life, it's nice to have a faster option so that you don't always have to trudge through Mt. Moon one step at a time, fending off Zubats. Unlike real life, you don't have to settle for a used '96 Toyota Corolla. Here are the 10 greatest modes of transportation in videogame history.

10. Rush (Mega Man series)

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The only thing better than a loyal dog companion is a loyal dog companion that can turn into a jet, a submarine, a springboard, and about 20 other things (depending on which game you happen to be playing). Rush, the robot dog of Mega Man, was a blessing when he first appeared – now you had the option of flying across the pits of spikes instead of trying to make perilous and risky jumps. Of course, you could only use Rush for short bursts of time, just like a regular dog who caught on that you were out of Beggin' Strips.

Filed Under   final fantasy   mario   pokemon   dorklyst   toejam and earl

Article The Dorklyst: 7 World-Ruining Moments In Videogames

By Andy Grossman / April 17, 2012
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You want video games to trick you, to make you feel immersed in the pixelated world you've found yourself in. With as much skill and work and thought goes into playing a game, you want to feel like you're participating in a real world with real consequences. Sub-Zero's fatality is a lot more fun when it's murder and not a non-interactive, real-time cutscene.

At the same time, whether by necessity or greed, developers tend to ruin the world of their games again and again by showing how the sausage is made. Here are 7 world-ruining moments in videogames.

7) "Saved the village? Let everyone know on Facebook & Twitter!"

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Great job killing the Demon Lord Angel Slayer! The world is now a safer place. Children can once again dream of a world free from fear and death and lava-filled castles! Now…why not let your Mom know on Facebook?

Social media integration takes game accomplishments and turns them into an ad for a game you already bought. But, on the plus side, all that work is now ruined by logos for websites that could never exist in a fantasy universe.

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Article Dorklyst: 8 of the Most Awful Paid DLC in Videogame History

By Andrew Bridgman / April 11, 2012
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DLC (Downloadable Content) is, at its core, actually a really great idea: after completion of the full game, the developers can add content to extend the playability, while gamers pay to get the content. It's win-win. Except it never works out that way, and usually the content is worthless, overpriced, or something that should have been a feature to begin with. These are 8 of the most awful paid DLC in videogame history.

8) Battlefield 3 – Ultimate Shortcut Bundle

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DLC has somehow found a way to get more degrading and insulting over the years, and here's the latest evidence: The Ultimate Shortcut Bundle for Battlefield 3. What it does, essentially, is give you pretty much everything you would earn in the game, had you, ya know, actually played it for a while. But who has time to play a game? "When I buy a game, I want to pay extra money so I don't have to play it much!" thought everyone who paid for this.

The problem is two-fold: the people who actually legitimately spent a great deal of time to get all of the upgrades and weapons felt their achievements had been cheapened by the feature, and the people who paid for it a) are actual human beings who spent actual money they probably worked for at actual jobs to get this, and b) supported the idea that this is something that should be the norm. I can't wait for the day I'm able to buy a game, pay an extra $10, and skip right to the credits immediately.

7) The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion – Horse Armor

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Oblivion was an enormous game filled to the brim with great content – but something was missing that would make the experience truly complete: horse armor. Before, your poor horses were naked. Naked! Can you believe that? Who ever heard of a naked horse?

The answer, of course, was "everyone, are you insane?" No one cared – or probably even considered – that their horses were nude and defenseless. Because they're horses. The inclusion of horse armor is fine in and of itself, but the idea of actually having to pay extra money for such a simple, useless item is horrible, although at least there'll be less fodder for the Tamriel glue merchant.

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Article Dorklyst: The 6 Worst Endings In Video Game History

By Sophie Prell / April 5, 2012
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If you've been anywhere on or near the internet in the past few weeks, you may have heard that a few people (everyone) are a little less than pleased (foaming at the mouth with rage) with the ending to Mass Effect 3. But there are worse endings than Mass Effect 3 out there. Endings that are more indefensible, awful, controller-shatteringly frustrating, or all of the above. Now, let's go over the six worst endings in videogame history…

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6) Knights of the Old Republic II

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Before we talk about the story in KOTOR II, let's bring up the minor point that the gameplay was laggy and full of stuttering, with piss-poor quality video and tons of content cut from the final product. Good, we have that out of the way.

But that all pales in comparison to the absolute what-the-hell nonsense of the game's plot and ending. You awake one somber Jedi night (see what I did there?) to find yourself on the Ebon Hawk, famed ship of Dark Jedi Revan. You don't know how you got there, or why there's an unconscious old woman named Kreia with you. To make a long, pointless story short: you never find out why, Kreia turns out to be an evil Sith (to absolutely no one's surprise), and using a gravity-based superweapon, you destroy an evil planet. Which was great, because… um… it was bad? And apparently a threat?

Really, the thing that made KOTOR II's ending so bad was that nothing really led up to it. Throughout the entire game, the plot is scattered and unfocused, without any real consequence on the table, because the game feels entirely disconnected from the original Knights of the Old Republic. Can you believe they allowed a beloved Star Wars property to have a wildly unfulfilling follow-up? Oh, you can? Really easily? Nevermind then.

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Article The Top 25 SNES Games Of All Time

By Staff / July 8, 2011

Last week, we began our search for the greatest Super Nintendo game of all time by asking you to choose your favorites in a series of one on one match-ups. After receiving over 800,000 votes, WE HAVE OUR VICTORS! They're a great mix of commercial blockbusters, critical darlings, and hardcore-gamer favorites. Without further adieu, here are the 25 best SNES games as chosen by gamers.


Contrary to popular belief, a flashy sequel doesn't equal a bad sequel all the time. In a bold move, Contra III fast-forwarded the action to the distant future and improved not only the aesthetics, but the scope and storyline of the game, all while maintaining the "run and gun" appeal of the original. Though there have been plenty of knockoffs since, none have had a weapon as universally appealing as the Spread Gun. None.


Earthbound broke a lot of traditional rules established by previous SNES RPGs with its innovative, unique gameplay. To outsiders, Earthbound seemed like a cutesy kid's game. Any well-informed gamer will tell you otherwise. The characters had names like "Buzz Buzz" and "Poo," but it boasted a layered story with complicated characters and one of the most deeply unsettling final bosses in the history of gaming. While it hit the United States before the heyday of Japanese RPGs, it's held onto an incredibly dedicated cult following.

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