10 Secret Origins Behind Iconic Video Game Features

Sometimes, the best stories lie behind the scene.

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If video games do anything incredibly well, it’s immersing us in game worlds. Video games’ exhilarating gameplay, mesmerising fictional lands, and captivating stories can be so hypnotising to the point that we forget—even for a moment—the tedious nature of the real world.

As such, excellent games are built by putting a tremendous amount of effort into making sure that every element is pertinent. In those games, there is a reason for every character, level design, and feature. In some cases, those details are based on awe-inspiring materials such as literary masterpieces or well-thought-out lore. In other instances, however, the origins behind video game features can be as bizarre as they are unlikely.

From glitches to pop music, inspirations behind well-known features in video games apparently come from all sort of places and may affect the games in the strangest ways. Sometimes, they add elements of uniqueness to the game and layers of dynamic to the gameplay. But even when they don't, their weird natures are, in themselves, interesting stories.

10. Sonic Can't Swim Because The Creator Thought Real Life Hedgehogs Can't Too

Dark Souls seven samurai bonfire

It's an understatement to say the underwater level, Labyrinth Zone, in Sonic the Hedgehog is difficult. Sonic can’t swim, so players are forced to venture the ominous level while the usually lightning-fast character is reduced to walking pace. The worst part, however, is that he can only survive for a short time before dying with a realistic animation.

Apparently, the reason behind the creation of this level was designer Yuji Naka’s lack of understanding regarding the animal world. Naka assumed that hedgehogs would be terrible around water because they can’t swim.

It was long after the franchise gained its fame and success that Naka realised his mistake. During a trip to Germany, he saw a picture of a hedgehog swimming and realised that contrary to his assumption, hedgehogs can actually swim although they often find difficulties climbing out of water.

In his defence though, if I were a hedgehog trapped in an underwater ruin carrying a lot of metallic rings, my ability to swim wouldn’t help much.

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