Gaming, like everything else, has its mysteries, rumours and tales that range from the dark side to ridiculous. With the advent of the Internet all manner of these things have been dragged into the piercing light of day. But, of course, there is a catch: you cannot believe everything that you read online. It is a well documented truth that very often some of the biggest “hidden” elements of games are not there at all, and were rather just a hoax dreamed up in the pre-internet world. What Culture has run an article debunking a few of these in the past.
I will not be touching on the items covered by my colleague, instead I will open this up to areas such as “Creepypasta” origins, old gaming practices and random character appearances. Most video games now have hidden easter eggs in them, and a lot of modern day games are huge expansive worlds like that of Skyrim. These two elements have combined to encourage the appearance of Urban Legends attached to games, such as the Headless Horseman in Skyrim – which is of course an actual bona-fide gaming Urban Legend.
As we’re about to see, these range from the plausible and confirmed, like the example above, to the downright silly. Polybius, one of the most popular game myths of all time, is an example of a fine mix of the two. This mix of a half truth and a good story has formed the basis of the first entry on our list…
8. Pokemon Creepy Black
This was rumoured to be something sinister, indeed… Legend had it there was a specially modded version of Pokemon Red/Blue, called Pokemon Black, and it should be avoided at all costs. The game begins very much as Red/Blue did, with one exception – in addition to your chosen starter Pokémon, you have another Pokemon, called “Ghost” – and you cannot remove it from your party. It’s represented by the unidentified Ghost sprite you see before obtaining the Silph Scope, and it knows one move, called “Curse”, a move that kills Pokemon. And when you use Curse on wild Pokemon, the screen will simply go to black and you would hear a low-pitched cry. When used against a trainer’s Pokemon, they would be left with one less Pokeball. If you used Curse once all the trainer’s Pokemon were gone, the overworld trainer sprite would be gone, replaced with a tombstone.
Super freaky stuff!
Eventually, the game flashes forward to decades in the future, when Ghost reappears and curses you. The story is very detailed and very creepy to the extent that it has spawned countless tales and variations on the original, and you begin to suspect that there may be something to this.
It is still possible to find copies of what is claimed is Pokemon Creepy Black floating around on eBay, but these are never a true version of the game, although there are apparently ROMs out there which are. The story may be a hoax but the growth of this story and the existence of the ROMs make this a semi-confirmed one.
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This article was first posted on June 22, 2013