Not all games were created for all audiences. As someone who has grown up with a controller in his hand, I have played games of all sorts, for different demographics and target audiences. Much like feature films, the ratings supply audiences a system for gauging how appropriate or inappropriate a particular title might be. Most parents use the ESRB to purchase or prohibit games for their children. Playing games with a Mature-rating such as Grand Theft Auto, you know exactly what to expect.
Some of the more startling things come in the form of an Easter egg or a hidden extra for a game that is marketed as suitable for all ages. It is amazing the amount of material that developers get past the ESRB and other rating boards. Long hours developing a game might have roasted the minds of these well-mannered individuals. Either that, or they are just a bunch of nerds who want to sneak in surprise jokes to the masses without being discovered. Maybe it’s a little of both.
If you don’t believe me, take a look at this list. You might be surprised at the amount of filth that went unnoticed.
15. Rocky Johnson
Rare wasn’t very shy when it came to packing Banjo Tooie with enough innuendo to make a nun blush. Looking back on the game, with its tremendous amount of goofy jokes, it seemed even more amazing the developers at Rare actually acquired an E-rating from the ESRB. I think someone at the organization should have been fired for allowing this game to be for all ages. Clearly, the game was targeted towards teenagers and young adults. The most famous of these questionable things came in the form of a giant “Johnson” that was supposedly a rock formation in Terrydactland. Without a question, even a five-year-old child would recognize that in a heartbeat. I know I did.
14. Different Kind Of Pink
Pure and innocent, Kirby might be one of Nintendo’s more wholesome creations. Heck, the character barely could communicate with others because it only speaks in aggressively cute grunts — like a human baby. This adorable pink orb also passed his innocence to the games he starred in, as well. At least, this was what we thought. The developers for Kirby’s Dreamland 2 probably didn’t think that their little practical joke would ever be discovered. In the game’s secret stage, 5-5, several well-placed clouds and blocks successfully recreated a naughty figure. Of course, it would only be noticed if several of the screens were put together, as this unidentified gaming magazine in Japan eventually did.
13. Samus Is A Girl?
In the original Metroid, many gamers were surprised that finishing the game would actually reveal that the amazing Samus Aran was a woman all along. The faster Metroid is completed, the more revealing Samus’s ending outfit would be. The best ending can be achieved by beating the game in less than one hour, where the ending features Samus in her purple-colored bikini. What a stunning display of 8-bit pixels, huh? All subsequent Metroid games featuring Samus would reuse this incentive, including the rated-E for Everyone Super Metroid. Even her inclusion in the latest Smash Bros. title would feature her skin-tight outfits as her alternative skins.
12. Princess’s Unmentionables
People of royal lineage are supposed to conduct themselves with a sense of grace and impunity. So, what exactly is in Princess Peach’s secret box of unmentionables in Super Mario RPG? In the original Japanese version of the game, it is merely mentioned as Toadstool’s [censored]. You know, the title of a famous Vin Diesel’s film. As friendly as the Mario franchise was and currently is, it seemed unfathomable that something so cheeky could be included in a Mario-related title. Something so juicy should be the Princess’s personal secret. We can all imagine what exactly the contents are. Whatever is in there, it is none of anyone’s business, including us and Mario.
11. Naughty Indeed
Before Naughty Dog was creating unforgettable titles like Uncharted and The Last of Us, they had plenty of questionable projects including Way of the Warrior and Rings of Power. Rings of Power was a role-playing game created for the Sega Genesis in 1991 that featured gameplay like the Dungeon Master video game. Though the title was panned due to its difficulty, it netted Naughty Dog with enough income to start their following game, Way of the Warrior, the Mortal Kombat-clone that got them a contract to develop the Crash Bandicoot series. Rings of Power is forever known for its very titillating title screen, where a successful input of secret code would bring up a topless blonde on the Naughty Dog logo screen.
Should any content of the Grand Theft Auto series shock anyone anymore? Though not as controversial as the Hot Coffee mod in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, this next entry is still a little racy. In Grand Theft Auto III, there was a fair share of adult-related humor including several referring directly to men below-the-belt. The first one could be found around Liberty Campus, where the yellow notebooks carried by male students always feature drawings of it. Also, if you look closely at the crowd at the Staunton Island Football Stadium, the crowds spell out a slang for the private in question. The folks at Rockstar certainly knew how to push the envelope.
9. Only Human
Rampage was one of my favorite arcade games while I was a child, begging my dad for quarters at the local amusement center. One of the silliest features was that whenever your monster ran out of energy, it would revert back to its human form. Therefore, it would seem that their sequel, Rampage World Tour, would keep this aspect in the game. With graphical improvements, it also meant that the human beings would also be upgraded, except this time around they would be way less modest when they exited monster form. In essence, the characters didn’t hide their shame at all. You don’t even have to squint to see all of the dirty details. Shocking, indeed.
8. Total Carnage!
Total Carnage was a little-known spiritual sequel to the very popular arcade game, Smash TV, which essentially recycled the dual-joystick gameplay of Robotron 2084. The hardest thing about all of these games was the aspect of staying alive, especially when the entire screen was flooded with enemies that could kill merely by touching your character. The objective of the game was to navigate two Contra-like soldiers across a hostile country, save as many innocents as possible, and assassin the evil dictator named General Akhboob. Seems simple enough. The original arcade release of the game actually featured a final boss fight in the form of gigantic heads of Akhboob, The Red Skull, and A.H. Of course, the console port of the game omitted the evil man for the sake of political correctness.
The keenest of gamers might have noticed that the titles of Ratchet & Clank sequels are pretty much just dirty puns. In Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando, one of the most ridiculous Easter eggs comes in the form of an unnamed alien woman having her chest grow several sizes larger. By flipping around for several minutes or so, it would cause their size to increase. The longer you jump around, the larger they become, almost to a comical degree. If you thought Insomniac would take this feature out of their E for Everyone-rated game for the HD rerelease, you would be very wrong. It’s still there, now in high definition.
6. Makes No Sense
Shadow Warrior was a very strange first-person shooter done by the folks who developed Duke Nukem. Not only was the game rather excessive, but it also featured an inexplicable Easter egg that doesn’t just happen once or even twice. Known as the Bathing Girl, it is a pixelated anime girl taking a bath that seems to be placed in the oddest locations. Luckily, she is covering herself so things are too blue. Doesn’t really make any sense why these Bathing Girls are in the game, other than making gamers rather uncomfortable. I wouldn’t expect anything less from the twisted minds of the makers of the Duke Nukem series. These pixelated ladies would be featured in the subsequent sequels of the game.
5. Fatal Flaw
Every electronics company appeared to release a console in the 90s, including Philips with their CD-i console. One of the games from their short-lived console was a 2D platformer called The Apprentice. The main character was a wizard’s apprentice would have to complete missions that his master have planned out for him. Though the game wasn’t extremely memorable, one of the hidden Easter eggs in it was extremely shocking. The Game Over screens would pay homage to the various finishers featured in Mortal Kombat including Fatalities and Animalities. The most shocking one was a play on words that featured women primarily and definitely took things too far.
4. Unintended Consequences
This unintentional case of nudity almost landed Sony in trouble. Beyond: Two Souls was an exciting interactive action-adventure game that featured Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe, who supplied their likenesses and voices to the game. The scene in question features a nude Jodie, played by Page, in two separate shower sequences. Through a camera hack, the entire unclothed model of Jodie could be seen. Though Page did not supply her bare body for the motion-capture, the developers decided to create the full body model for Jodie, anyway. This attention to detail nearly landed the developers in hot water. Despite it not being her body, Page almost decided to sue Sony because of the leak.
3. Worse Than Poison
If you thought that Poison from Final Fight made Capcom USA localization specialists nervous, then you probably never heard of Vendetta, known in Japan as Crime Fighters 2. Developed by Konami, it was the company’s interpretation of the very popular side-scrolling beat-em-up arcade game in the late 80s and early 90s. Though these games are loaded with animated violence, they are usually suitable for all ages. The character that forced heavy censorship is an enemy that dresses up in full adult gear who attacks by dry-[censored] and licking the hero character. That moment alone might be one of the most inappropriatesituationsn in gaming history. I still cringe just looking at it.
2. Ghastly AH
Wolfenstein 3D didn’t pull any punches when they came up with an idea to have the title character take on the entire Nazi army from bottom to top. Sure, there are plenty of hidden symbols around the various levels of Wolfenstein 3D, but nothing had gamers more excited, as well as shocked when the final boss was none other than A.H. — in a mech suit. As per modern German laws, anything featuring the wicked symbol, including the monster who started WWII, is banned for retail sale. One of the silliest and unknown Easter eggs comes in the form of ‘him’ as a Ghost. Then who the heck is the guy you fight at the end?
1. Link Is A Creep
In The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, it is apparent that one of Link’s awakenings is of a physical nature. Though censored in the English version, the Japanese copy of the game had Link go underwater to be able to to peek at a topless mermaid who just lost her bikini top. Doing so will have the mermaid call him names and swim away in disgust. Instead of finding a bikini top in order to get the mermaid’s scale, Link finds a much more wholesome and kid-friendly necklace in the localized version. Still, it must appear that this particular Link was going through puberty much like the people who were playing this game at the time. Hey, he was just curious.