The fan-made/Capcom-backed Street Fighter X Mega Man debuted on PCs FOR FREE on Monday and someone’s already discovered a secret final boss. There’s something cool and inspiring to about the dedication of hardcore gamers. For some, it’s about competition. For others, it’s all about completion. It’s safe to say watching that video hit me with a wave of nostalgia. There was this sense of accomplishment in struggling-over and overcoming difficult games that’s lost today. On that note, here are some of my biggest gaming discoveries:
Metroid (NES) – Faux Secret Worlds
One day, while attempting a speed-run down to Mother Brain, I discovered Samus can reach normally inaccessible areas of the game by getting stuck in a door and "climbing" out. We now know this is mostly a side-effect of the game design, but for decades many dedicated gamers believed these restricted areas were intentional. Knowing the truth may be disappointing for some, but charting out those spaces and sharing my discoveries with other players was a great experience—a level of community rarely met in modern games. Oh yeah, and Samus was a girl!
Metal Gear Solid (PlayStation) - Beating Psycho Mantis
For the uninitiated, the Psycho Mantis fight was one for the books. The confrontation repeatedly breaks the fourth wall by hinting to the player that the answer to victory may lie outside traditional means. In game, the Psycho Mantis character can read Solid Snake’s mind, predicting his every move. The result plays out a lot like Morpheus trying to take on Agent Smith in The Matrix. Gonna be honest here: it was actually my friend who suggested switching controller ports. “That’s stupid!” I dismissed, but after another five minutes of getting furniture thrown at me, I gave in.
Monster Party (NES) – Everything!
I highly recommend this little gem to fans of classic 8-bit platformers and all things genre. That being said, read no further if you don’t want me to spoil this deliciously silly game. When I first witnessed the morbid transformation of the in-game world after passing that creepy Haniwa statue in the first level, I was reminded of the computer-animated TV show, ReBoot, after The User had left a big chunk of Mainframe in ashes. It kinda felt like Tim Burton took over: stylish, funny, and self-aware.
What are some of your notable gaming discoveries? And why hasn’t someone invented an app to block phones from googling walkthroughs in moments of weakness?