Sunday, February 28, 2010

Fight Sheng Long

I feel a bit sorry for all the countless gamers who must have fallen for this hoax back in 1992: gaming magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly published above-pictured guide to unlock a secret character called Sheng Long in the game Street Fighter II This was based on a mistranslation in the English localization of the game on the Super NES where Ryu is quoted with "You must defy Sheng Long" instead of "You must defy the Rising Dragon Punch", his signature move, thereby creating the notion that there's a hidden character somewhere to be found.

EGM went the whole nine yards with their prank, including fake screen shots and pretty outrageous conditions to unlock the secret character: you'd have to make it to the final round without ever getting hit by the enemy, and then fight ten rounds against the final boss without you or him ever hitting each other. Of course, back then these ridiculously hard conditions where not unthinkable, if you think about how unbelievably hard some of the old-school games where and only the most dedicated gamers would beat them.

EGM even left a April Fool's warning on the same page, but the story pretty soon got out of control. Without (like today) the internets crying "fake!" on every other page, the story was being picked up all over the world by other magazines, and the result was gamers all over the world shoving quarters into the arcade game, trying to unlock the secret. Well, I guess if you want a good prank, you just have to find a clientèle that's ready to sacrifice a whole lot--gamers probably are perfect targets in that respect.

The Top 3 Video Game Pranks of All Time | ZUG

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