There are some things in life that people just know, whether they actively seek that knowledge or not. Everyone knows that Bruce Willis is a ghost, that Paul McCartney sings "Yesterday," and that Darth Vader is Luke's father. These things are all a given. But what about video games? What kinds of legends, facts, myths, and elements from our favorite games are so insanely popular that even those outside the gaming community are well aware of them?
I asked one hundred people of various gaming experience, from none to expert, questions about video game history, music, lore, and gameplay. The following are the top 10 most common things that people alluded or made reference to. It's time to play Video Game Feud!
10. The Pokemon Lavender Town Suicides
This was a surprising one, considering it is more of a Pokémon urban legend than a true story. If you aren't familiar with it, the tale usually goes something like this:
In Japan 1996, after the launch of Pokémon Red and Green (but before the Red and Blue launch in NTSC and PAL regions), an eerie phenomena began to take place. A record high spike in children committing suicide was recorded, and allegedly, the cause of most of these suicides was Lavender Town, the ghost town in the very first Pokémon game. Researchers discovered that a combination of the town's eerie purpose (a place to bury dead - not fainted - Pokémon) and its background music were the driving factor in the suicides. The music is said to contain harmful frequencies and tones that young ears were especially sensitive to. These frequencies led to children feeling sick, nauseated, and depressed. Prior to the worldwide release, this music had to be altered accordingly.
It's true that the music was changed after the Japanese release, and it is understandable that some people may have negative feelings towards the song. Having listened to the unaltered Japanese music track myself, while it is slightly unsettling and perhaps a little hard on the ears, I'm still here. But, like all urban legends, perhaps the sick and twisted Pokémon trainer inside of each of us want it to be just a little bit true.
9. The Laugh
Cringe. Mute. Skip. Just kidding, you can't skip this cutscene, because it's Final Fantasy X! And why on earth would Square Enix allow you to skip a cutscene?
Now, before we dive into the scene, it has to be said that FFX is an amazing game and an absolute classic. The battle system is top notch, the visuals (especially for the time) are gorgeous, and the story is incredible and emotional. If you watch that final scene and don't get at least a single tear in your eye, then you're at heartless as an enemy from Kingdom Hearts. FFX is also the first Final Fantasy to feature spoken dialogue, and while that was a huge step for the series, the script and voice acting are, well, let's just call them "Sin"ful. At no point in the game is the terrible dialogue and awkward delivery more apparent than in this classically awful scene. In attempt to cheer up a depressed Tidus, Yuna urges the protagonist to laugh out loud, even if he doesn't feel like it. This will apparently make him feel better, but all it does is make me feel uncomfortable.
However, if you manage to get through this scene and pay attention to the feel of the game rather than the awful voice acting, you can really appreciate FFX for the gem that it is.