The Four Greatest Rumours in Nintendo Gaming

Many games have rumours about them. They pop up all the time for major new titles like Super Smash Bros 4, and Mario Kart titles almost always have at least one fabled ‘secret’ character who turns out to be completely non existant.

But some rumours were more than that. Some quite literally defined the community, caused hundreds of fan sites to open discussing and debunking them and wasted the time of millions of Nintendo fans. Here are the top four greatest rumours in Nintendo game.

4. Additional Super Smash Bros Playable Characters

Super Smash Bros may really have quite a lot of playable characters as is, but what used to be really interesting were some of the rumoured ones. Back in the days prior to
reliable sources and people hacking the entire game open to find anything new, forums and cheat sites were filled with badly formatted comments talking of far more than just
Nintendo icons as being playable in Smash Bros 64 and Melee.

The most well known ones were the Sonic and Tails hoax, and the Toad in Melee hoax. The first was a joke propagated by EGM, the latter a hoax set up by some mysterious internet goer with photoshop access. Here’s the pictures that were used to promote them:

But that’s not all. If you ever really want to see exactly what it was like in those days, check absolutely any cheats website other than GameFAQs and look up any Super Smash Bros title. What you’ll find are the most over the top, ridiculous rumours about who’s supposedly hidden in the series on the entire internet.

These included:

  • Mew
  • Giga Bowser (no AR)
  • Toad
  • Ash (Pokemon anime)
  • Goku
  • Raichu

As well as others such as DC and Marvel comics characters (Batman and Superman were common choices for fake rosters), enemy characters (fighting Polygon/Wireframe teams as playable) and much, much more.

Whether it was because of the crazy crossover nature of the series or the things people found lacking in the character roster, Super Smash Bros had a whole ton of rumours of unlockable characters in the old days. But since it didn’t become quite as much of a big thing as certain other rumours, it only makes up it to number four on the list.

3. Catching Mew in Pokemon Red and Blue

The biggest, most well known rumour of the gen 1 Pokemon games, at one point nearly everyone had their own ways that you could supposedly capture Mew. Some were based on the infamous truck parked near the SS Anne for reasons unknown:

While yet others involved the usual criteria of ‘beat the elite four a certain number of times with certain Pokemon in your team’. Or talk to someone in game a certain number of times. Or that you’d be able to take the SS Anne to a new location or be able to venture into Bill’s ‘Garden’ (the small blank patch of space behind his house in Kanto).

But while Mew may have been the most famous rumoured Pokemon in gen 1, he certainly wasn’t the only one. Oh no, a whole class of rumours sprang up about supposed ‘Pokegods’, rare Pokemon obtainable through some ridiculous and long winged method that would supposedly be able to win any battle.

Some of these were rumoured new forms/evolutions of ones that came before (the amount of times people said Mewthree was ridiculous), others were all new things with ‘artwork’ likely taken from completely unrelated RPGs. Like these:

Or even Luigi from the Mario series, thanks to a rather annoying April Fool’s Day joke by Nintendo themselves.  Yoshi too, because what better choice for a Pokemon than a completely unrelated Mario character?

Why was this all so common? Well, probably because the original Pokemon games were so buggy and broken that it was difficult to distinguish between legitimate glitches and completely ridiculous rumours for some people. Perhaps also because like some other Nintendo games also mentioned on the list, the games were released at a time where the internet wasn’t so big and gamers weren’t too experienced with telling fact from fiction.

So with all the infamy and rumours, Mew as an unlockable character places number three on the list of greatest Nintendo rumours.  If you want to read more, check out this project about the Pokegods and rumours in Pokemon Red and Blue:

2. Luigi as a playable character in Super Mario 64

The second of the three most well known rumours in gaming history, people have looked for Luigi in Super Mario 64 for years.

And you know exactly what most of the rumours consist of. Stuff about the statue saying either ‘L is real’ or Eternal Star. About the sign saying not to run in the hallway, and various hidden things in Big Boo’s Haunt. It’s actually got big enough that people even bothered to fake videos showing Luigi as playable in the game:

Like the Mew and Pokegod rumours in the original Pokemon games, Luigi in Super Mario 64 DS was yet another rumour which defined the community. Everyone knew of them and every site posted them for hits. People faked screenshots and evidence and made up more and more ridiculous ways to unlock Luigi as a playable character.

Why did they do this? Because like many other games on this list, Super Mario 64 was filled with unfinished content and unsolved mysteries. What was that statue for? Why was there that meaningless sign on the second floor of the castle? How about the paintings that led nowhere and corresponded to no particular levels?

And hence people’s imaginations ran away with them. People believed Luigi had to be in the game, he was present in most other Mario games that had come before (and that would come after). Those mysteries had to have some answers, right?

But they were wrong. Luigi wasn’t in Super Mario 64. That’s all there was to it.

Until a few years later, when Super Mario 64 DS came out. This time Luigi was playable. Mysteries were answered and you’d think everyone would be happy. Right?

You must be joking. No, now that Luigi and Wario were playable, people wanted to know where the hell Waluigi was. And so the cycle began anew, with all these new rumours about Waluigi being unlocked in a hidden level.

The same applied though. He wasn’t in the game, and that’s all there was to it. But for all the fame and comments caused by Luigi in Mario 64 and Waluigi in the DS remake, these rumours are number 2 on the top five Greatest Rumours in Nintendo games list.

1. Obtaining the Triforce in the Legend of Zelda Ocarina of

Finally, you’ve got the one rumour everyone knows is false, the whole thing about being able to obtain the Triforce in the Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time.

But in the old days, this was something that practically defined the Zelda community. Every single forum and fansite on the internet was filled with posts and pages listing every possible way to get/see/interact with the Triforce.

The ways were nearly endless. Some involved a hidden Light Temple that the Triforce was supposedly found inside. Others stated it was in some sort of hidden grotto, causing die hard fans to basically try and bomb every single wall and random object in the whole game. And then there were the completely off the wall, stupid rumours that were as unbelievable as all get. Like this gem:

Go into a grotto to find that the cow is now purple. (What the hell?) It will let you fly on it. Fly around until you find the Sky Temple.

There was also at least one (which was a joke making fun of the outlandish nature of these rumours) that said you’d get it after finding a secret warp to the dark world and playing another 7 or so dungeons in a dark/mirror version of the main quest.

It also led to the most infamous Zelda related hoax of all time. No, not the valley of the flood, the famous ‘Ariana Triforce hoax’. This involved some mysterious e-mailer calling themselves Ariana to send a Zelda site named HTLOZ a bunch of screenshots showing Link standing before the Triforce and a place supposedly called the Temple of Light.

God that caused a massive uproar in the day. People were trying to find some hidden song to warp to a non existant temple, others were trying to figure out how the screens could have been faked with a PC to TV device and why Link’s sword was positioned on the wrong side of his back…

You can read the whole affair here:

Whatever the reason, Ocarina of Time caused an awful lot of Triforce related rumours to surface, to the point I’d say the Triforce in Ocarina of Time thing is the most well known, important rumour/set of rumours in all of gaming.

P.S. If you’ve got a very, very dull day ahead of you and want to read fifty million different ways to get the Triforce, click the link below:

Well, that’s the list. It’s not a comprehensive list of every rumour in Nintendo history, there are obviously way more than the above (and every Zelda and Pokemon game in history has at least one rumour about it). And in some cases, history even repeats itself (remember how identical shortcuts were faked on the Maple Treeway track in both Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 7?)

What rumours do you remember that you heard about video games? Are there any other major ones I missed?


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Zeke Zurita
Zeke Zurita
7 years ago

“There was also at least one (which was a joke making fun of the outlandish nature of these rumours) that said you’d get it after finding a secret warp to the dark world and playing another 7 or so dungeons in a dark/mirror version of the main quest.” If noticeable, this could be found as a joke in another way. Going to the Dark World? Playing 7 or so dungeons in the “dark/mirror” version of the main quest? Hmm, sounds alot like A Link To The Past.