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Ooooohh a turbo!
September 2, 2010 3:12 PM   Subscribe

A new cheat code for the GameCube's (internally developed) launch title Wave Race: Blue Storm has been discovered. What does it do? Make the race commentator a complete bastard.
posted by griphus (49 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
The good stuff starts around 1:25.
posted by griphus at 3:19 PM on September 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I love the idea that there are still undiscovered secrets like this in old games.
posted by roll truck roll at 3:26 PM on September 2, 2010 [10 favorites]


The funny thing is, it doesn't sound like it was really buried as deeply as it's been made out to be. It's basically the Konami Code entered on the audio settings screen, which isn't uncommon at all. The only particularly interesting part is mashing Z until the waveform rises vertically, but I'm really surprised this wasn't found until now.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 3:38 PM on September 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I just want to know if it was found by accident, because that would be fantastic! Playing some old game, pressing the buttons juuuust right, and all of a sudden, it's got some guy yelling at you!

Brilliant.
posted by quin at 3:41 PM on September 2, 2010


I always wondered how on earth people discovered these AABAAUpDownABDownDownSelect type codes anyway. At least with something like IDKFA I could mayyybe half way imagine someone trying out combos of the related acronyms, but even then, the whole list of codes seemed to circulate on usenet and such, and get published in magazines, so I assumed ultimately the developers quietly leaked the lists somehow. But when this pops up ten years later... is it really people 'discovering' them? By going through every combination of characters at every menu point, surely not? Inspecting the compiled code?
posted by Slyfen at 3:46 PM on September 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Huh, the video allowed me to find out that these "booey" things that I occasionally hear about when watching American TV shows are, in fact, buoys.

"Two nations separated by a common language" etc etc.
posted by afx237vi at 3:46 PM on September 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's basically the Konami Code

Oh. Well that explains this one, I guess. But for other, unfamous long-and-complicated cheats, my query stands...
posted by Slyfen at 3:47 PM on September 2, 2010


How do you pronounce it?
posted by graventy at 3:50 PM on September 2, 2010


"...so I assumed ultimately the developers quietly leaked the lists somehow."

Yep. Although it's not quietly. The devs slowly "leak" -- in quotes as its a marketing tactic -- these out (originally, to magazines, now to the internet) to prolong the lifespan of the games they develop and revitalize popularity when it starts waning. There's usually a bunch dropped a few weeks into the game's lifetime, and then a few more a while later, while the game is still relevant.

Codes like this were never supposed to be discovered, I don't think. Wave Race is an official Nintendo release, and the devs would have their asses in the fryer were this discovered earlier. I think this was a leak of the real sort.
posted by griphus at 3:50 PM on September 2, 2010 [6 favorites]


How do you pronounce it?

"Boy". I didn't know there was another way, which is why I never parsed "booey" even though it's obvious in hindsight.
posted by afx237vi at 3:53 PM on September 2, 2010


There's a pretty good chance you can just disassemble it. It's just a small PowerPC inside, so you look at the ROM, disassemble the executable portion, then look for certain patterns. i.e. the controller input was probably memory mapped, so you search for accesses to that memory. Or you run an emulator in debug mode -- it's not terribly difficult, just tedious and really time-consuming.
posted by spiderskull at 3:53 PM on September 2, 2010


One of the most memorable cheat codes I've encountered was the level-skip code for Bug!, a little-known launch title by Sega for their little-known Saturn console. The controller had A, B, C, X, Y, Z buttons, L and R triggers, and a directional pad that could be mapped to a compass rose (N, S, E, W). The code was BABY SEALS.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 3:58 PM on September 2, 2010 [8 favorites]


The devs slowly "leak" -- in quotes as its a marketing tactic -- these out (originally, to magazines, now to the internet)

But still "leak" in the sense that they'll post to usenet, or IRC, or maybe these days twitter or fb, from their personal accounts / pseudonyms / handles, rather than there being any ea.com/games/tonyhawk/cheats.html type of page you could ever point me to?

Codes like this were never supposed to be discovered, I don't think. Wave Race is an official Nintendo release, and the devs would have their asses in the fryer were this discovered earlier.

Really? It seemed fairly benign to me. No swearing or off-key language (e.g. "retard", "gay"). Nothing they'd be too horrified about? Although I think they are the most self-avowed 'family-friendly' console people, aren't they, so maybe...

(Gaming isn't really my area, you may have realised)
posted by Slyfen at 4:01 PM on September 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


A cheat code of BABY SEALS should totally equip my character with a bat.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 4:02 PM on September 2, 2010 [14 favorites]


That race commentator is in the little league of talking like a bastard. I was expecting much harsher verbal abuse. He could learn something from 13 year old boys.
posted by Daddy-O at 4:05 PM on September 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Really? It seemed fairly benign to me

Depends on the dev culture. Some places, slipping in anything without approval is frowned upon / very bad. Other places don't really care if it's nothing serious. Nintendo is probably not a laid-back development environment (just based on outside knowledge, could be wrong).
posted by wildcrdj at 4:06 PM on September 2, 2010


How SECRET are these codes...I mean, really? Aren't they purposely leaked out from game designers and programmers? I also find they ruin the game, why play if you can just breeze on through. Occasionally, I can understand when you're in a particular level but to just jump to the last level...kind of a waste of a game.
posted by Fizz at 4:08 PM on September 2, 2010


I assumed ultimately the developers quietly leaked the lists somehow.

I like to think some developer had the master list of cheats from an old project, and one day decided to run through what was listed online vs what they had in their hands, only to realize that one oddity was left off.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:09 PM on September 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


It seems hard to believe that this easter egg ended up in Wave Race without authorization from Nintendo. After all, it involves a whole set of sounds being recorded and added to the game data, which have to go into an index somewhere that's accessible to the same code that plays the real sounds. I suspect it's something that was intended for a more timely release, as griphus suggests, and they either forgot to do it or had second thoughts.
posted by localroger at 4:09 PM on September 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sometimes secrets are just leftovers, and the secret codes are there to enable them instead of poking some code and recompiling. In my last project I coded in a shotgun of sorts, which was only triggered if you pressed 2 on a number pad, I guess I never got around to taking it out (Plus, it added some variety to the game, which was nice)

This strikes me as something the developers did for fun, probably at the end of the development cycle, to keep them from going insane(?). This happened in Douglas Coupland's (surprise!) JPod, where an entire game was programmed into the real game in secret. Real subversive. I'm guessing that's the same thing.
posted by hellojed at 4:23 PM on September 2, 2010


Also, the turbo becomes a little girl’s voice saying “meow meow”

I am going to look for every opportunity to drop this into casual conversation.

(And this American English speaker pronounces "buoy" as a homonym of "boy".)
posted by Zed at 4:24 PM on September 2, 2010


Ah, Wave Race. The relaxing way to have fun in the sun. Whuh-oh! Looks like this racer doesn't get the meaning of the phrase "Start! Your! Engines!" Maybe he's a little greeeeen around the gills? [hits tortoise] HEY buddy, that's not how you make turtle soup! Wave Race? More like... BLAM Race!
posted by Rhaomi at 4:26 PM on September 2, 2010 [16 favorites]


My guess is they really wanted the audio in but couldn't use it for some reason (legal, Nintendo certification, didn't have time to do an "announcer mood" option, etc), so they hid it. I worked on a game where a pet feature we really wanted got axed, but we were told we could keep it in as a cheat code. That way if it was hideously broken (they weren't going to let QA spend time on it), nobody could complain.
posted by Sibrax at 4:51 PM on September 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't remember GameCube games looking that good.
posted by smackfu at 4:59 PM on September 2, 2010


Although I'm sure this isn't how it happened, I love the thought that some guy somewhere spent the last 10 years putting every single conceivable combination of inputs in every single possible point in the game, and a decade later, his reward is his console yelling abuse at him.
posted by dudekiller at 5:00 PM on September 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


How SECRET are these codes...I mean, really? Aren't they purposely leaked out from game designers and programmers? I also find they ruin the game, why play if you can just breeze on through. Occasionally, I can understand when you're in a particular level but to just jump to the last level...kind of a waste of a game.

Eh, for some of us, the point of many games is to "experience" some that's overly expensive, dangerous, or physically impossible out here in reality. So, if I've bought a game to run around the rooftops of New York and fight with tanks, I don't consider it any disservice to myself to enable cheats and unlock the superjump early.

This strikes me as something the developers did for fun, probably at the end of the development cycle, to keep them from going insane(?). This happened in Douglas Coupland's (surprise!) JPod, where an entire game was programmed into the real game in secret. Real subversive. I'm guessing that's the same thing.

Nah, it was something inserted at the beginning of the dev cycle. Game audio invariably starts out like game graphics, with the programmers generating and inserting it themselves. These were probably the clips the audio hacker recorded at his desk just after he finished the play_sound_on_event() function.
posted by Netzapper at 5:00 PM on September 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


There was a rather infamous code for a PS1 game that once enabled "blue mode" which had the announcer swearing at you. I think it was connected to ranting about the publisher.

And devs sneak this stuff in all the time.

Before they became famous for Crash Bandicoot and Jax & Daxter, Naughty Dog developed an obscure Sega Genesis game called Rings of Power. If you put in this code by holding down these buttons while powering up your Genesis.... during the opening splash sequence, before you turn on you Genesis hold down A + B + C + Down-Right + Start on the second controller, then turn your power on, and you were rewarded with a pixilated naked woman.
posted by ShawnStruck at 5:13 PM on September 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Nah, it was something inserted at the beginning of the dev cycle

Yep, this. This is the guy who wrote the audio code talking into the mic at his workstation to "rough in" sounds for all of the game's audio triggers.
posted by killdevil at 5:20 PM on September 2, 2010


You learn something new every day.
posted by hellojed at 5:22 PM on September 2, 2010


That was a great game. It looked fucking awsome, and when it rained it was seriously atmospheric. Amazing graphics for its day.
posted by fire&wings at 5:29 PM on September 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Porntipsguzzardo, anyone?
posted by ofthestrait at 5:45 PM on September 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


I always like to imagine the dev team spending hours trying to work out why the game takes 45 seconds longer to load than they expected.
posted by doublehappy at 5:53 PM on September 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Actually, I just realized, I've done this. So, yeah, I'm redoubling my vote for programmer stand-in audio.
posted by Netzapper at 6:00 PM on September 2, 2010


Definitely my favorite game for that console, and I really wish someone would release a modern sequel.
posted by nightchrome at 6:24 PM on September 2, 2010


Now this is a properly illicit easter egg.
posted by jcruelty at 6:57 PM on September 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


It'd be better if the announcer was yelling snippets from the Mel Gibson phone calls at him. But that would mean they'd need a cheat code for time travel too.
posted by Saxon Kane at 7:05 PM on September 2, 2010


I don't remember GameCube games looking that good.
This is actually a really ugly GameCube game. For good GameCube graphics, see Resident Evil and Resident Evil 0.
posted by Dreamcast at 7:29 PM on September 2, 2010


It seems hard to believe that this easter egg ended up in Wave Race without authorization from Nintendo.

Having worked at Nintendo and seeing totally benign (like really benign) stuff cut out of games, I would lay good money down that it got the OK stamp before it was sent out. I'd even assume some tester(s) probably tested most of their way through it like that.
posted by P.o.B. at 7:39 PM on September 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


I actually really liked this came and am totally bummed I sold it and my GameCube.

Though I'm not sure this qualifies totally as bastard behavior. When I was in college, my non-gaming boyfriend and our less-gaming friends used to spend many Friday nights doing color commentary for the rest of the group's Mario Kart races. Besides having long "NBC Olympic style "tragic back stories for all the characters, if you happened to be having an off race, they were brutal. And this was to people they loved. Good Great times.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:08 PM on September 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's a lot funnier if you imagine the insults in Sue Sylvester's voice...
posted by schmod at 9:03 PM on September 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Maybe not so secret? I remember my nephews turning this on on the original game. And yes it was a beautiful game, as was the original Wave Race for the N64. Some great, ahead of their time physics in that game.
posted by puny human at 9:25 PM on September 2, 2010


I don't remember GameCube games looking that good.

It's running through an emulator that can enhance the textures and upscale the resolution.
posted by EmGeeJay at 9:29 PM on September 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Damn my job for scheduling me to close tonight! I was totally going to make the same joke that Rhaomi did. (Though my implementation would have been far less interesting.)
posted by clorox at 9:50 PM on September 2, 2010


Wave Race is an official Nintendo release, and the devs would have their asses in the fryer were this discovered earlier. I think this was a leak of the real sort.

"...The code, posted to the NeoGAF message board by user “Raoul Duke,”..."

"Raoul Duke" is an angram of AckLoudRe, which in hex is 56FE2, which when converted to binary, multipled by itself, and converted back to ascii is "Assange".

Coincidence? I think not!
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 12:23 AM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't remember GameCube games looking that good.

Early in the Cube's life, Nintendo discovered they were really really good at water. Mario Sunshine's water is even prettier.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:58 AM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


and converted back to ascii is "Assange"

You Fucker! Is this true?! I've been messing around with various converters like all kinds of silly billies for ages now.. Is It Fucking True?!
posted by Philby at 2:14 AM on September 3, 2010


Tangentially, Rings of Power looks like a game that was way ahead of its time... warning, annoying guy doing a let's play.
posted by codacorolla at 8:22 AM on September 3, 2010


...warning, annoying guy doing a let's play.

Redundancy alert.
posted by griphus at 8:44 AM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


'raoul duke' was hunter s thompsons pseudonym, fyi
posted by pucklermuskau at 1:23 PM on September 3, 2010


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