Saturday, February 12, 2011

GTA: San Andreas Ghost Stories

Ok, everyone knows that all of Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto games are packed full of Easter Eggs, pop culture references, and just a ton of random jokes and strange occurences. It should come as no suprise then that there are a few creepy stories hidden in this game, though I'm not sure if they're glitches or purposely inserted by the programmers.

The first is known as "The Ghostly Glendale"

If you're wandering out in the area named "The Back O' Beyond" just past the 'dissappearing pool", a small pond that will cause anything left in it to vanish, there is a small hill. If you go near this hill at night a Glendale, one of the cars from the game, will mysteriously appear and will roll towards you until it stops at the bottom of the hill.
Some people even claim it always swerves towards the player.
Also of note, is the fact that the car always spawns in a "wrecked" condition, with dents and scratches that cannot be caused by driving it around and bumping into things.

The next story is about the "Suicidal Photographer"

This photographer can be one of many different NPC skins, so he or she will not always look the same. The photographer will spawn in the trailer park near the Los Santos Inlet and will take a few pictures, facing east, before standing and walking straight into the water, and drowning.

It seems photographers aren't the only suicidal inhabitants of San Andreas though, there is a back alley where you can watch people continually spawn and jump off of "Lemming Tower", which is named both for the people who jump off and because Rockstar used to be known for a game called "Lemmings". (However, lemmings are known for killing themselves because in the 1950's Disney did a documentary on animals and chased a large herd of lemmings over a cliff while filming.)
If you get any closer to the jumpers than the back alley, they will dissappear. Also, if you wait for one to jump and then go look for the body, nothing is there.

Then there's the "Ghost World", aka "Blue Hell"
Mostly, this is just a game glitch. You have to have GameShark or something similar, and enter a few cheat codes to get into the ghost world, and once there, there's not much to do. It's just San Andreas without any NPCs, cars, or missions and an eerie blue and grey tint.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Lavender Town Tone

Since I was already on the topic of Pokemon Red and Lavendar Town tonight, I thought I would go ahead and post this too. It's not really a ghost in a video game but it is a pretty cool story that has to do with video games, and it's an older story which makes it even better imo.

Let me just preface this post by saying "As the story goes..."

In February 1996 Pokemon Red and Pokemon Blue were released in Japan, oddly enough, as "Pocket Monsters: Red" and "Pocket Monsters: Green". (Don't ask me why green got changed to blue for the American versions.) In these first editions of the games the music for Lavender Town, an area in the game, had a high pitched tone in it that had to be edited almost immediately after the game's release due to the health issues that the games was causing young children. Most of the information on this topic was leaked by ex-employees of Game Freak Inc. including Ms. Satou Harue who released a confidential directory compiled by her company that had on it a list of symptoms, dates, and the name of a child who had shown the following systems after playing the game:

April 12 1996: Obstructive sleep apnea, severe migraines, otorrhagia (bleeding from the ears), tinnitus (ringing, buzzing in the ears).
May 23 1996: General irritability, insomnia, addiction to videogame, nosebleeds. Developed into violent streaks against others and eventually himself.
April 27 1996: Cluster headaches, irritability. Eventually took mixed painkillers.
March 4 1996: Migraines, sluggish and slow behaviour, unresponsiveness. Developed into deafness, and went missing. Body discovered beside road April 20 1996.

Pokemon Black

Just for effect, you can listen to the Lavender Town music while reading this if you like.

Before I get into what I wanted to post here, I'm going to give you a little of the backstory of Lavender Town from Pokemon Red, in case you've forgotten. Lavender Town is one of the smallest towns in the original games, other than your home of Pallet Town. It is known best for Pokemon Tower which resides to the Northeast. Pokemon Tower hosts memorial services and the graves of hundreds of dead pokemon. However, Pokemon Tower is now haunted by the ghosts of many pokemon, and as you walk through the tower you are vulnerable to attacks from ghosts and possessed psychics. Occasionally during this part of the game, you can see little flashes of movement on the floor inside the tower that I assume are supposed to be ghosts.
You cannot attack the ghosts until you steal back the Silph Scope from Team Rocket in Celedon City. Once you have the scope you can fight off the ghosts in Pokemon Tower which are actualy Ghastly's and Haunter's. When you near the top floor you will be able to fight the ghost that has caused the resurrection of the other ghost pokemon. It is a mother Marowak that died defending her baby Cubone from Team Rocket and once she is defeated and put to rest, the hauntings stop.

Also of note: In the original Pokemon Red/Blue, when you encounter your rival in Lavender Town he asks whether or not you know what it's like to have one of your Pokémon die. At this point in the game, he no longer has his Raticate that he used in previous battles.

The following account has been posted on a few different websites in the past couple years though no one has officially come forward as the original author. Most likely, the story was created for an imageboard like and was written by an anonymous poster as a hoax. However, here is the full, foremost article on the subject.

"I’m what you could call a collector of bootleg Pokémon games. Pokémon Diamond & Jade, Chaos Black, etc. It’s amazing the frequency with which you can find them at pawnshops, Goodwill, flea markets, and such. They’re generally fun; even if they are unplayable (which they often are), the mistranslations and poor quality make them unintentionally humorous. I’ve been able to find most of the ones that I’ve played online, but there’s one that I haven’t seen any mention of anywhere. I bought it at a flea market about five years ago.


Hint: clicking and reading the picture will help you understand this article.

According to the originators of the story, Herobrine is an old username from some older, Swedish online-gaming databases. Herobrine is the retired username of a dead brother of 'Notch', aka Markus Alexej Persson, who is the creator of the game 'Minecraft'. Herobrine (or 'HIM') is a wandering figure with the same basic skin as the default character in single player mode, but instead of the standard eyes, Herobrine's eyes are completely white with a slight glow. If you enter a world with Herobrine in it you will often find evidence of his existance like clay or sand pyramids, tunnels that are obviously man (or computer) made, instead of the randomly generated ones, tree without leaves on them, underground chambers with immobile zombies, or large patches of forrest set ablaze. Others claim that they have used Cartograph (a minecraft addon that shows all the randomly generated parts of your single player map) and found things that require user crafting to exist.


Another strange part of the story is that the moderator's of Minecraft Wiki frobid a Herobrine page to be posted on their site. All of the stories claim that Herobrine will not interact with users in any way, but will simply walk into the fog or out of your viewable area. In this video there are a few still shots of Herobrine though about half of them are clearly faked; Herobrine is obviously just photoshopped onto a wall or window. The X-Files music is a nice touch though.

The story of Herobrine has been called everything from "possible" to "ridiculous". Notch has said before on Twitter that the only brother he has ever had is a half-brother whom he does not see very often, but that doesn't stop people from posting youtube videos, creating obviously faked sightings, and talking about HIM on forums all over the web. It is possible that Notch programmed him into the game to spawn every one in a million times a new world is created, but unless someone finds something hidden in the code, I guess we'll never know.