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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:43 pm 
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Today, with all the wikis out there, you can learn about the details of video game franchises pretty easily. But back in the 80s and 90s, that wasn't so easy.
So, I often assumed certain things about video games, especially their plots, that turned out to be completely false later on.

Some examples:


When "Pokémon Gold" and "Silver" came out, I wasn't aware of the concept of the silent protagonist. So, when you go to fight Red, his pre- and post-fight dialog simply consists of "..."
When I saw this, I said to my brother: "Man, Ash has become really arrogant."

For a long time, I was under the assumption that Princess Daisy is Mario's love interest.
The reason: I only knew the "Super Mario Land" Game Boy games and the "Super Mario Bros. Super Show". And Mario and Princess Toadstool never had any romantic feelings for each other in the show. But in "Super Mario Land", you see a heart floating up when Mario rescues Princess Daisy.
Funnily, this assumption wouldn't even have changed if I had known the NES games. Because you won't find any romance between Mario and Princess Toadstool there either. Only with "Super Mario World" and "Super Mario All-Stars" was this made obvious in-game.

I also thought that King Koopa from the TV show and Bowser were two separate characters. After all, that guy from the games that I've seen in the magazines has red hair and is overall more yellow than green.

In "Street Fighter II", I always thought that M. Bison was the winner of the previous year's tournament, with Sagat having lost to M. Bison in the final, and Vega being on place 3 and Balrog on place 4.
The idea that Ryu is the champion at the start of the game never came to my attention. I knew about Ryu having given Sagat his scar, but I thought that was some private out-of-torunament battle that happened long ago.
Even when I found out the story, I couldn't wrap my head around it: If Ryu is the champion, why is M. Bison the final opponent?
Only many years later did I find out that M. Bison is actually supposed to be the host of the tournament. I knew this concept from "Mortal Kombat" where Shang Tsung hosts the tournament and is therefore the final opponent, but I never figured that this applies to "Street Fighter II" as well.


Did you experience similar things as well? Let's hear them.


Oh yeah, and another one about Mario: When I finished "Yoshi's Island" and the stork delivers Mario to his parents into that Smurf-like mushroom village, I asked myself: "Do they have mushroom houses somewhere in Rome?"

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:20 pm 
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Oh, dear.

A lot of this stuff is nowadays called "headcanon" or "head-canon".

The Daisy/Peach/Toadstool and King Koopa / Bowser confusion is all understandable, due to different names and sometimes backstories between Japan and the West, not to mention made-up nonsense in instruction manuals for NES games.

The rest, I'll let other people add to.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:25 pm 
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I never cared much about the story in video games, only about the gameplay. I guess I probably had a lot of misconceptions about games, considering I didn't speak English at all at the time I began playing games. Game manuals were usually translated, but most of the games I played were either imported, or rented/borrowed without a manual. I had to come up with my own explanations for the events in Ghouls 'n Ghosts, Altered Beast, Shinobi, E-SWAT... I remember thinking that E-SWAT was more similar to RoboCop, where the cop was turned into a cyborg rather than it being just an armor.

I didn't give much importance to the stories I came up with though, and I didn't try to make it all fit with sequels and such, like so many people do. In the Sonic fandom for example there are people who live to tie together the storylines of ALL the games, classic, modern and even spin-offs, something that even the developers obviously didn't try to do. That's a huge waste of time IMO.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:56 pm 
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Not exactly misconceptions so much as stuff I didn't know:

-That the Atari 2600 was really called "VCS".

-How Nintendo games could be on Atari systems (of course that pre-dates Nintendo being a system maker, but even then the Atari 7800 versions of DK and DKjr were released post-NES).

-That the Atari 5200 ever existed until seeing it randomly at a garage sale (didn't buy it, don't care).

Oh right, this is a huge misconception:

-I once believed the SNES could play NES games if not for the cartridge slot. Needed some elementary lessons in computer architecture at that point...


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:58 pm 
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strat wrote:
-That the Atari 2600 was really called "VCS".

I guess they did market it differently through the years.

Quote:
-How Nintendo games could be on Atari systems (of course that pre-dates Nintendo being a system maker, but even then the Atari 7800 versions of DK and DKjr were released post-NES).

I still don't understand how the NES (well, the Famicom) got a licensed port of Altered Beast (Juuouki)!

Quote:
-That the Atari 5200 ever existed until seeing it randomly at a garage sale (didn't buy it, don't care).

Apparently my misconception is that the notion that Atari only ever made the 2600 was limited to countries where its other consoles were never officially released (like here in Brazil, where "Atari" = "Atari 2600" and few people know the "2600" part!), but apparently they're fairly obscure even where they were released!

Quote:
-I once believed the SNES could play NES games if not for the cartridge slot.

That's in fact the case with the Genesis and the Master System.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:51 pm 
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strat wrote:
Not exactly misconceptions so much as stuff I didn't know:
-I once believed the SNES could play NES games if not for the cartridge slot.

This is fair though, as this is the case for the Sega Mega Drive, which is hardware compatible with the SMS, if not for the cartridge slot. (They probably just wanted to grab more money by selling the slot converter. Also, the Mark III could also run SG-1000 games, though without the need of a converter.) Together with the fact that Most of Nintendo's handheld systems could play games of at least one generation before (like GB games on the GBC, GB(C) games on the GBA, GBA games on the NDS, etc., at least for the initial versions), it's convincing enough that the SFC could run FC games, as there is only a "Super" sticked onto the name. This was supposed to be true also, that the SFC was initially designed to run also FC games (as depicted in say, early magazine articles), but the idea was probably scraped early in development, for the better IMO, so the designers are more free to do more alternations and enhancements to the system without the need to care for backward compatibility. Otherwise there weren't much justified reasons to use a 65816 as the SFC's CPU. I'm not saying the 65816 is bad compared to other CPUs such as the 68000 (as many people here will prove otherwise), but the 65816 was so obscure at the time that it was only used by a few obscure systems (neither of which popular in Japan), which led to programmers inexperience with it to produce not-as-well-coded games in the system's early days, unless alienating the programmers was intentional in their plans(such as, sometimes it was said they used 6502 in the original FC intentionally to make programmers suffer as that CPU wasn't popular in Japan).

Oh... right! Back to misconceptions.
  1. Back in the days, some magazine posted some articles (clearly written by noobs) about Nintendo designing the 16-bit descendant of the Famicom (before even the PCE and MD came out), citing the use of the 16-bit 65816 would be like being able to work on stuff with both hands instead of just one(I think this is true to some degree) and that you can do twice the stuff with the same amount of memory! As I always trusted word for word from these magazines I believed this kind of BS for a while.
  2. There used to be some practice in some gaming magazines to post intentionally incorrect information, so that they'd know when some other rival magazines had copied their stuff verbatim (this practice is common in map makers too, as they would introduce fake cities, streets, etc. in their maps to avoid others copying them). I think some magazines had some prizes for readers spotting the errors in each issue too. Again, as I trusted them that much (they had (mock-up) screenshots for proof!) I tried and tried repeatedly with some of the tricks, which never worked, thinking it's my fault in missing something. Two frustrating examples are, a) in Double Dragon (1), if you do some sequence involving the VS mode, you can actually have 2-P coop in the main game! and the player 2 is Kunio, not Jimmy!, and b) if you boot Bio Miracle Upa from side B, you can actually play a hidden Salamander game, with Upa himself as your ship! (Ironically this was made sorta possible in some of the Parodius games later.)
  3. There was a time (probably late 90's to early 00's when PCE emulation started to become a thing), where there were numerous rumours spreading around online, that the PCE used two 8-bit CPUs, each clocking at ~3.5MHz. That's why it was advertised as a 16-bit system with "total" clock speed ~7MHz. Because parallel computing wasn't easy at the time, many games ended up using only one CPU core so these games could never drive the system to its full potential (similar things actually happened in the Sega Saturn), so Mega Drive games were much better! This is of course BS. The PCE has one single CPU derived from the 8-bit 65C02, clocked at full 7+ MHz (unless you set it to low speed mode to access save RAM).
  4. The above are mostly caused by misinformation provided from materials in various media, but for a real "self-made" misconception: When the PCE and MD were out, I thought the MD games looked much better as the graphics looked cleaner and brighter and more colourful, whereas PCE games tended to use over-heavily shading, that made them look dark and unpleasant, possibly done deliberately to hide the fact that the PCE was only a 8-bit system, and that it even lacked parallax scrolling so it was worthless! Also, FM synthesis sounded much more high tech than the Waveform Memory technique (whatever they called it BiTD) used in the PCE so the sound in PCE sucked! After a few years I ended up liking PCE games more and eventually got the system, never bothering the the MD anymore. Then a few more years had passed and I was toying around the Genecyst emulator, opening up some of the windows, which shocked me heavily when I discovered the MD only had 4 sub-palettes, backgrounds and sprites combined. Then I realised that the reason there rarely was heavy shading in MD games was that it could hardly handle that (unless you sacrifice colours).


Last edited by Gilbert on Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:56 pm 
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ccovell wrote:
The Daisy/Peach/Toadstool and King Koopa / Bowser confusion

Yeah, those are actual company-based errors. I was talking more about things that people made up in their own heads, but that they actually concluded to be the canon thing.

strat wrote:
-That the Atari 2600 was really called "VCS".
-How Nintendo games could be on Atari systems
-That the Atari 5200 ever existed until seeing it randomly at a garage sale (didn't buy it, don't care).
-I once believed the SNES could play NES games if not for the cartridge slot. Needed some elementary lessons in computer architecture at that point...

That's pretty technical stuff. My intention was directed more towards stuff that you see in the games: Characters, backstories or the meanings of certain gameplay details.

Stuff like "I always assumed Mario beats Yoshi when he uses his tongue" certainly belongs to this. But things like "I thought the NES should be able to display all colors that a VHS player can display because both use the same TV as output" doesn't.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:04 am 
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-My first encounter with Batman was Batman for the NES. I never saw the movie it was based on until maybe a decade later and never read any of the comics, so i assumed batman walked around gotham streets shooting petty thieves with a gun for the longest time, only learning very late on that it's a signature that batman has rejected killing and shooting.

-I thought the 'igor's of castlevania III (my first experience in the franchise) were weird hopping birds with human faces.

-In the same game, i mistook Sypha's portrait for a robed skull. I assumed she was sort of living dead after being cursed/trapped in that statue.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:51 am 
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About misleading games with comic franchise, as western comics are never big here (though Superman, Spiderman and Batman had some recognition, they're not extremely popular), after playing this game I thought that Dr Doom was an arch-nemesis of either Spiderman or Captain America. The truth is, he is neither. Dr Doom is more associated with Fantastic 4 than the other Marvel franchises (though of course, since we're talking about western comics, he could and would appear in any of the Marvel series).


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:59 am 
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DRW wrote:
My intention was directed more towards stuff that you see in the games: Characters, backstories or the meanings of certain gameplay details.


Well, I did used to think Mario smashes bricks with his head. Then later noticed he's punching them. Much like the thing with Yoshi's tongue...


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:07 am 
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FrankenGraphics wrote:
-My first encounter with Batman was Batman for the NES. I never saw the movie it was based on until maybe a decade later and never read any of the comics, so i assumed batman walked around gotham streets shooting petty thieves with a gun for the longest time, only learning very late on that it's a signature that batman has rejected killing and shooting.

Except, ironically, in the movie the game is based on, and its sequel.

strat wrote:
Well, I did used to think Mario smashes bricks with his head. Then later noticed he's punching them. Much like the thing with Yoshi's tongue...

There actually is a way to make him smash bricks with his head: Do it while he's carrying a Koopa shell.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:13 am 
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Right - he does kill the joker in the end, doesn't he? Just looked at the end fight on youtube, and first he's punching the joker off the tower (attempted murder?). When the joker is making his escape, he anchors him to a gargoyle with the grapple hook, inevitably dooming him.

But who did he shoot, except a garage door?

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:23 am 
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tokumaru wrote:
where "Atari" = "Atari 2600" and few people know the "2600" part!), but apparently they're fairly obscure even where they were released!


Yeah, I've rarely met anyone who says they played "Atari VCS," it's always just "Atari".


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:24 am 
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Not shooting with a gun specifically, but he kills a lot more than just the Joker:
He shoots rockets from his Batwing at people.
He throws the strong guy in the Cathedral down the hole.
He sends the Batmobile to Axis Chemical Factory to blow it up, including all people who are in the factory at the moment.
He puts dynamite in a hole to blow up one of the circus gang in "Batman Returns" and puts another one on fire.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:42 am 
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Gilbert wrote:
There used to be some practice in some gaming magazines to post intentionally incorrect information, so that they'd know when some other rival magazines had copied their stuff verbatim (this practice is common in map makers too, as they would introduce fake cities, streets, etc. in their maps to avoid others copying them).

I seem to remember this picked up in April issues, as more of an April Fools' Day thing than a trap street thing.

Gilbert wrote:
Because parallel computing wasn't easy at the time, many games ended up using only one CPU core so these games could never drive the system to its full potential (similar things actually happened in the Sega Saturn)

Most Saturn games ended up running game logic on one CPU and using the other to run vertex shaders. The Nintendo 64 had the same setup, with a MIPS R4300 CPU for game logic and a Reality Signal Processor CPU for vertex shading. It's also analogous to one of the two organizations of a Jaguar game, with the game running on the 68K and vertex shading on Tom.[1] Since the Saturn, the only major stationary consoles without programmable shaders have been the original PlayStation, GameCube, and Wii.


[1] The other runs almost everything on Tom and uses the 68K as an I/O processor.


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