Video games these days are just as popular, if not more, as the money-saving Xfinity Internet Plans. Video games have come a long way since the days of Atari and NES. Yet many of the same titles like Metal Gear and Final Fantasy are still very much in production. There is a lot of concerted creative effort involved in video game development. That has been true since the first commercial video games in the 70s. It still holds just as true today, but the earliest games were the true pioneers.
You Would be Surprised!
With so many people working together on a project, there are bound to be a couple of anecdotes to remember. The lore of game development has a lot of juicy tidbits of surprising knowledge that many of us never knew. This brings us to the subject of this article. Here follow 5 jaw-dropping stories behind the creation of some of the most iconic games ever:
- The “Final” in Final Fantasy
- Why Metal Gear is a stealth game
- The first Easter egg ever
- GTA was a bug
- Wolfenstein was NOT the first ever first person shooter
Now that we have your undivided attention, let’s dive into these amazing stories right away.
The “Final” in Final Fantasy
The Final Fantasy saga has been around since our childhoods and will probably continue for the foreseeable future. The series has given us some of the most iconic characters known to millennials, including Vincent Vega, Cloud, and Sephiroth. Considering the massive popularity and success of the game, the information that follows is even more shocking. The saga’s creator Hironobu Sakaguchi was down on his luck. His game studio, Square, was just about bankrupt. This was because of a long string of unsuccessful games that bombed. Sakaguchi named the game “Final Fantasy” because he genuinely believed the studio would fold. He thought it would be his last game ever, hence the word “final”. Little did he know that Final Fantasy would be the lifeline his company needed. Needless to say, it went on to become one of the most popular franchises in video game history.
Why Metal Gear is a stealth game
Anyone who has played even one installment of the iconic Metal Gear franchise knows it’s not your typical game. The game involves a lot of patience, opportunism, stealth and strategizing. These have become some of the defining traits of a hugely successful video game saga. Yet most people are unaware of the real reason behind this. The first edition of the Metal Gear series was designed to run on a notoriously slow computer called MSX2. The MSX2 was in fact so slow, it could not support multiple enemies as in a traditional action game. It could only support a few characters or bullets at a time, otherwise, it would crash. Metal Gear was specially made keeping in mind these limitations. With the unexpected popularity upon its release, developers decided to make stealth a key feature in all that followed. That is the true reason why the Metal Gear series is known for sneaking around and avoiding detection.
The first Easter egg ever
Atari lays claim to the first Easter egg known in a video game. In fact, Atari coined the term “Easter egg”, as it is now known, which means a hidden meaning or treasure. That’s new information in itself, but the story behind it is even more surprising. On an Atari game called Adventure, the sole programmer Warren Robinett was convinced he wouldn’t get any credit. This disgruntled employee decided to create a secret room in the game and inscribed his name on the floor. By the time his actions were discovered, Adventure had already hit the shelves globally and could not be recalled. Atari reps decided to spin it off as a hidden feature of the game and called it an Easter egg. Hence, the term was born and led to a number of hidden features in games ever since.
GTA was a bug
Grand Theft Auto propelled Rockstar Games into fame and went on to become a wildly popular and successful franchise. While the game has evolved heavily over the years, one key feature remains the same. Mindless mayhem, followed by a police chase and in some cases getting “wasted”. This is the single most commonly shared experience among GTA fans. What most people don’t know is the police ramming and forcing players off the road was the result of a bug. That’s right! Long ago, Rockstar released a nondescript racing game called Race’n’Chase. Early testers discovered a bug that they found to be a lot of fun. The bug made police cars try to force players off the road and the testers loved it. People would spend more time messing around with the police than racing. And so GTA was born out of a bug in a forgotten racing game.
Wolfenstein was NOT the first ever first person shooter
This last one is like discovering Xfinity double play deals are not the best deals in the country. It’s unfathomable! But Wolfenstein was indeed not the first ever first-person-shooter game in history. 1993’s Wolfenstein is conclusively predated by the 1973 game Maze War. In fact, Maze War even predates the advent of the personal computer. It was essentially a maze-based game, with a proper minimap, cheats, level editor and multiplayer capability on a network. The only snag was, it ran only on Imlac PDS-1 computers. At the time, the only people with access to these computers were the employees at NASA. But the fact remains that Maze Wars is truly the first ever first-person-shooter in history.