“A lie is a lie. Just because they write it down and call it history, doesn’t make it the truth”. Truer words were never spoken. OK, that’s a line from the trailer for Black Ops, but the point still stands. The world of gaming is just as murky and conspiracy-ridden as the world of politics; but also, as it turns out, equally full of insane bullshit.
#1: Zelda is a Nazi
If games are truly a form of escapism, it’s not hard to see why The Legend Of Zelda series has proven so insanely popular. After all, where can you live the life of a suspiciously-feminine sounding boy tasked with shooting and stabbing oddly-shaped lumps of polygons in all manners of forests and caves? Frankly, if playing this game even reminds you a tiny bit of your real life, you’re clinically insane.
Looking at it, it’s hard to imagine anything like Zelda becoming embroiled in a conspiracy theory. The child-friendly storyline and near-florescent colour scheme don’t actually scream devious deeds; even the most die-hard members of the Illuminati would get laughed at if they suggested inserting subliminal messages inside a game with graphics so sickly sweet, you’re at risk of dropping dead from diabetes by the end of the first level.
Or at that’s what they want you to think. In the first game, released in 1986, the player needs to explore several dungeons, all of which are laid-out so that when you view them from above, they resemble an animal (albeit, one as seen through 1980’s-era graphics).
Here’s a Lion…
Yes, that is what appears to be a Swastika, the universal symbol for the worst evil that the planet has ever seen. To the surprise of absolutely no-one, hundreds of parents soon decried the game for trying to get their kids hooked on Hitler and called for it to be removed from shelves all across the world. Obviously, this campaign worked, and Nintendo was never heard from again.
Shockingly, a company that’s been around for over a century wouldn’t just decide to throw all that away for a cheeky bit of Nazi hugging. Also, and this is a minor point, that isn’t a goddamn Swastika.
That’s the Swastika on the right. The game map is actually shaped like the Manji, a symbol used by Buddhists to offer good fortune to others. Also, to be fair, they were using the symbol first; when he was trying to brand the Nazi party, Hitler saw the Manji, rotated it, and jackbooted it into the history books.
#2: Saddam Hussein <3s PS2
Before Gangnam Style, YOLO, and this economic shit-fit we’re in, there was a machine called the Playstation 2. You might have heard of it. If not, it was a wonderful device, full of brilliant and innovative games that laid the foundation for gaming today, although not that you’d care living under your rock. However, back in 2000 when it was first launched, supplies were biblically low and, as a result, many people didn’t get one for Christmas that year.
But, why was this? Sony would have known that the console would be more popular than Jesus and so would have made millions of them in anticipation. So it wasn’t their fault, surely. With no clear culprit revealing themselves, everyone then did what we’d all been trained to do in times of crisis: blame Saddam Hussein. That bastard!
According to a report compiled by the FBI, the shortage was the result of the Iraqi government buying and exporting 4,000 of the machines to Iraq, either for use in military weapons or the biggest GTA3 multiplayer session that the world has ever known (hint: only one of these is true). The computing power provided by combing 12-15 of the machines would have apparently been powerful enough to control a UAV drone, which could then be used to dump chemical weapons all over the world.
Other uses suggested by the report include using the consoles to create 3D models of military designs, assist in the targeting systems of long-range missiles or, more ominously, calculate the power of nuclear bombs. Jesus, at this rate, we wouldn’t be shocked if that list also contained the phrase ‘time machine’.
Sorry, wannabe domestic terrorists, but eBay hasn’t been selling components for a doomsday device for the last few years. As it turns out, the PS2 simply isn’t powerful enough to get up to evil tricks with. It’s only with the creation of the PS3 that console-powered supercomputers have taken off, namely on account of the fact that it’s CPU (the bit that ‘creates’ the computing power) is nearly 1100% more powerful than that of the PS2. Hell, I even wrote about how the U.S. military have started using consoles as replacements for supercomputers here for this exact same reason.
“A-ha!”, some of you might be shouting to your screens now. “What about the PS2-powered supercomputer that the US National Center for Supercomputing Applications completed in 2003?” Well, suspiciously-informed hypothetical reader, that’s true; the US did build a supercomputer made of PS2’s. However, it took them- the guys whose sole job is to build supercomputers- over two years to perform such a miraculous feat. The idea that a group of scientists in Iraq, a country which doesn’t exactly have a reputation for being a hotbed of technological research, could achieve the same is pretty laughable.
#3: Fallout 3 Predicts The Future
Fallout 3- or, as it’s also known, Grand Theft Auto: Apocalypse- sees you tasked with exploring the nuclear wastelands of future Washington D.C in order to find your missing father. Aside from your faithful dog and portable nuclear-grenade launcher, your character is equipped with a radio because vital pieces of information about the in-game world are often broadcasted on the airwaves. And also because, hey, what’s a post-apocalyptic wasteland without a bit of Bon Jovi?
However, numerous players have reported that one of the stations can occasionally be heard to transmit a strange sequence of numbers and morse code. Of course, that’s not the scary thing because this sort of stuff happens in real-life as well. No, the weird thing is that the numbers are times and dates, whilst the translated morse code messages spell out sentences which, to put it lightly, don’t make a lot of sense until you combine them with the preceding time and date.
For instance, one complete message reads “one-two-five-five-two-eight-two-zero-one-zero. What you talking about? You’ll be missed”.
That first sentence sound familiar? Almost like a catchphrase?
Enter Gary Coleman, star of Diff’rent Stokes, whose catchphrase was “What you talking about?”. The person who died at 12.05 (one-two-five) on May 28th (five-two-eight) 2010 (two-zero-one-zero).
And the game doesn’t just apparently predict the deaths of ex-child actors either. Oh no, it gets much worse. One message seemingly correctly predicted the explosion at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico at 9.45 on April 20th 2010 with “nine-four-five [9.45] four-two-zero [April 20th] two-zero-one-zero . Accident in the gulf, several dead. Oil spill apparently averted”.
By the way, if you’re making rude gestures and gloating at your computer because there was actually an oil spill, it’s worth remembering that immediately after the explosion (which appears to be the time at when this message was apparently ‘sent’), both BP and the US Coastguard said that an oil spill was unlikely to ever occur at the Deepwater site. So, yeah, correct again.
So far, these are the only two messages out of the four that have come true. But, if these are anything to go by, Queen Elizabeth II is due to die at 4.02 on 19th March 2014 (“four-zero-two-one-nine-two-zero-one-four. The Queen has died today. The world mourns as on days like these we are all Brits”), and the world has become so tediously boring by 2023 that the most important message they could think to send back was “two-one-three-three-two-seven-two-two-zero-two-three. I can’t believe Britney’s won an Oscar!”
Despite the massive significance of a video game predicting the goddamn future, not one person has ever managed to record the transmissions whilst they’re taking place. And, in theory, they must have had to; after all, the shortest message is made up of nine completely random digits and a sentence worthy of Dr Seuss. It’s doubtful that your average joe gamer could remember such a sequence for a long enough time to write down. And then there’s the ridiculous number of steps you have to go through to listen to the damn things: it’d be much less trouble to actually build and detonate a nuclear bomb yourself and play a real-life version.
The fever over this conspiracy even got to the extent where the makers of the game, Bestheda, had to release a press statement flat-out denying this was even a thing, presumably just to stop every idiot in the world from calling them and asking for lottery numbers.
And this statement would have been the final nail in the coffin of this admittedly-awesome theory if the moderators over at FalloutWiki hadn’t then begun implementing every bad idea from ‘Denying a Conspiracy 101’; they shut down all discussion of the phenomena, banned every member who wrote or even saw the posts discussing it, and then installed a hefty filter to prevent this from ever being talked about again.
Subtle, guys; that’ll stop people talking about a cover-up for sure.