Rescue - Colecovision
Smurf's Rescue in Gargamel's Castle?
The 7th best cheat code ever? Yeah,
just wait; the news actually gets worse.
It's technically not even a cheat code.
It's a secret. But it's one of the ballsiest
secrets ever programmed into a videogame;
especially when you consider we're talking
about a Smurf's game.
I get to the actual secret, did you
know that Smurf's Rescue in Gargamel's
Castle (Colecovision) was the very first
side-scrolling action game. If you don't
believe me, feel free to investigate
it yourself. We're on the interweb;
anything is possible. Except getting
rid of SPAM, popups, Active X and so
on and so forth.
to the secret. At the very end of the
game, when Smurf reached the final chamber
where Smurfette was being held by the
evil Gargamel, if the player moved Smurf
toward Smurfette and then turned and
headed in the opposite direction, some
game programmer with a perverted sense
of humor coded innocent little Smurfette
dropping her dress in an effort to entice
you to rescue her. We sure hope his
boss had a wicked sense of humor.....
reason for giving this dinosaur game
some free exposure? You've got to admire
a secret that threatens to destroy the
innocence of childhood in one fell swoop.
I'm not saying I personally admire it;
but I'm sure some of you do. Oddly enough
I found a few posts out there in cyberspace
from people who were desperate to find
a ROM of the game so they could see
this for themselves because "Smurfette
was hot!". And I thought people
who desired the Lara Croft Nude Code
By the way, quite a few years ago yours
truly created an April Fool's joke that
took on a life of its own. It was created
to coincide with the frenzy surrounding
the Lara Croft Nude code. We received
hundreds of emails over the years from
CCC visitors pretending to be adults,
begging us to send them the game. You
can read all about Lara
Croft's Naked Trampoline Party for the
PC right here.
2 - Sega Genesis
today's Sega games are primarily cheat
code free, it was quite a different
story back in the Genesis days. While
Sonic's first appearance was released
without anything much in the way of
secrets or codes, Sonic 2 made up for
it in spades.
Team crammed in a ton of wild and crazy
cheat codes, hints and secrets into
the sequel and managed to do it in a
very inventive way - through the games
Music and Sound Test. Even more surprisingly,
the codes themselves were Easter Eggs!
If you played the following selections:
19,65,09,17 you would activate the level
select. Yuji Naka, the lead designer
behind Sonic, Shenmue etc just happens
to have been born on Sept 17, 1965.
Can you spot the injoke?
2 also featured a debug mode that was
a blast to experiment with. If you used
the sound test located within the Level
Select and played 1, 9, 9, 2, 1, 1,
2, 4 - you would activate the debug
mode. Once again, that code was also
an easter egg as the game was released
on November 24, 1992 - Sonic 2uesday.
debug mode was wild! It allowed gamers
to turn Sonic into various objects found
in the environments such as rings, TV's,
platforms, bumpers etc. Once you had
the object you liked, you could "clone"
it and place it anywhere on the screen.
Then you would change back to Sonic
and take advantage of all of the cool
goodies you planted.
the goodies didn't stop there. Gamers
who managed to collect all of the 7
chaos emeralds were rewarded with the
special appearance of Super Sonic who
was invincible and could run at full
speed without stopping and could run
up walls. Super Sonic needed rings to
survive (they would deplete over time)
and if the rings went below 50, he would
change back into regular Sonic. Of course
the developers also programmed in a
cheat code so that gamers who weren't
as dedicated could play the game as
2 gets a coveted spot on our list because
it did manage to influence further Sega
games (Sonic 3 continued the debug tradition
as well as Super characters) and because
it not only excited a generation of
16 bit gamers, but we bet also made
an impression on future game programmers
who were blown away by the cool extras
2 quite possibly contained the best
cheat codes/secrets of the 16 bit era
due to the innovative activation method,
the easter egg(s) within the meaning
of the code entries (Naka's birthday
and US launch date), extra characters
(Super Sonic) available by completing
the game properly (for purists) and
via cheats (for non-purists), level
select, and the very cool debug mode
which allowed gamers to experiment with
various objects in the game, ramping
up replay value a thousandfold.
Gunpei Yokoi's Metroid (also the creator
of Game Boy and Virtual Boy) side-scrolling
+ vertical scrolling action shooter
wasn't innovative enough, the secrets
hidden within the games password system
would captivate gamers imaginations
for years and effect many games that
came after it.
was a sci fi action shooter starring
Samus Aran who could only be desribed
as a spiritual ancestor of Halo's Master
Chief. Gamers couldn't get enough of
Metroid's maze like settings, cool weapons,
boss battles and the hours of exploration
in a non-linear game environment.
Yokoi had a little surprise up his sleeve
though. Once gamers had beaten the game,
he was certain they would return for
more to see how fast they could beat
it again. Those who beat the game in
less than an hour were shocked to discover
that Samus Aran was.....a girl! Today
that's common knowledge - but back in
the 80's, NES fanatics were totally
blown away by the revelation that this
kick ass warrior was a female. What
a great day for women's equality. We
salute Yokoi and Nintendo for their
was released before batteries were used
in cartridges to save games, so a password
system was used. Early on, the name
"Justin Bailey" became synonymous
with Metroid and cheat codes in general.
It was thought for years that Justin
Bailey was the ONLY code for Metroid
- it allowed gamers to start the game
with some weapon upgrades. However,
findings from The Metroid Database prove
otherwise. They have said that if one
experiments with the password system,
there are numerous names that will work
just as well. In fact, one password
000000 000020 000000 000020, allows
you to play the game as Samus without
her armor, no powerups and starting
Metroid Database also discovered one
password that was actually coded into
the game - NARPAS SWORD0 000000 000000
- this provides Samus with infinite
health and missiles, making the game
a cakewalk. The deciphering of the password
probably translates to NAR (North
American Release) Password 00000
etc, which in itself is an easter egg
as it pertains to the game.
the mid 80's when Metroid was released,
the only places to get cheat codes were
word of mouth or via some of the videogame
magazines available at the time. Back
then these secrets and extras took on
a life of their own as they were passed
around from schoolyard to schoolyard,
from son to father or mother, from business
colleague to business colleague....
Gaming magazines such as Electronic
Gaming Monthly can directly attribute
their early success to the pages they
dedicated to the latest cheat codes.
Of course, the internet eventually made
cheats in magazines and magazines dedicated
completely to codes completely obsolete
(some of them are still hanging on though)
but in the early days, they were the
only game in town.
earns our 5th place spot, because it
further advanced the culture of cheating.
For the code to survive it had to be
passed on (correctly!) from person to
person, therefore building excitement
for the game (and games in general)
and cheats simultaneously.
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