For everything we know about videogames, there is so much more that we may never know. Okay, that’s not true… but there’s still plenty of mystery floating around our favourite digital worlds.
When you’re as passionate and invested as the majority of gamers usually are, it can be great fun when something unexplained or unexpected occurs in a videogame – here are eight of the weirdest cases I could track down.
The Mt Chilliad Mystery
Ah, the mystery of Mt Chilliad. Perhaps the greatest conundrum in modern gaming (and given a few years, probably one of the biggest of all time).
For those who aren’t aware, the Mount Chiliad mystery is an insanely involved and convoluted set of cryptic clues and vague symbols throughout GTA, all based on a peculiar wall marking, which you can see above.
A dedicated group of players has been working to try and crack this case, with many believing that the symbols are somehow connected across the open world, and will lead to a UFO/jetpack/alternate reality.
Personally, I reckon Rockstar are just having a grand old time fucking with us on this one, but I’d love to be proven wrong.
Super Mario Galaxy 2’s Shadowy Figures
Here’s a rather unsettling one for you – especially by the usual bright, warm, and colourful standards of a Super Mario adventure.
There’s one world in the excellent Super Mario Galaxy 2 that hides a particularly disturbing secret. By shifting the camera to first person and looking around, you can spot the shadowy figures (above) watching Mario.
They seem to be part of the background, and follow wherever Mario goes in the level. There’s nothing else like it in the rest of the game, and no mention is ever made of these creepy fiends.
Digging around in the game’s files reveal that these creatures are referred to as ‘hell valley sky trees’, which again is unlike anything in the rest of the game. I didn’t need to sleep tonight anyway.
Pokemon’s Truck Full Of Mew
One of modern gaming’s oldest and most popular mysteries regards the original Pokemon adventures for Gameboy. It is, of course, the rumour that Mew could be found under a random truck.
In Vermillion City (where you board the S.S Anne), a truck can be found tucked away in the corner, completely on its own, and only accessible via Surf.
Of course, players immediately assumed that this vehicle must do something – after all, it was the only truck/car in Kanto, so surely it had to have some significance?
In truth, the truck never did a thing. Mew was never supposed to be hiding underneath, and to this day nobody seems sure why the truck was put there in the first place.
The only concession to the truck mystery from The Pokemon Company was the inclusion of a lava cookie hidden underneath it in the Fire Red/Leaf Green GBA remakes.
Banjo Kazooie’s Locked Chest
There is a treasure chest in the bedroom of Mad Monster Mansion, in Rare’s excellent N64 platformer Banjo Kazooie that can never be opened. It drives me (and I’m sure others) insane.
Despite tantalising indications that this chest could be opened, nothing ever came of it. Was it ever meant to be opened? If it was, what was supposed to be inside? These questions still keep me up some nights.
Similarly, there’s a set of doors towards the end of the game that will never open, despite the fact that the old strategy guide dropped several hints that there was something behind them.
To be fair, that one’s more on whoever wrote the strategy guide.
Halo’s Multiplayer Ghosts
Those familiar with Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo: Reach may well have experienced a ghost sighting: AI and/or players that appear out of nowhere during multiplayer games.
These spectres don’t carry gamertags, or show up on the scoreboard, and their movements are unpredictable and a little disturbing.
On certain occasions, ghosts have been known to refuse to die, and can alternate between passive and aggressive behaviour – It’s fucking weird, basically.
Nobody seems 100 percent sure on the matter, but most agree that ghosts are caused by severe network lag and stress on the game’s engine. Spooky.
If you haven’t played the fantastic RPG Undertale, you need to go and do that. It’s a weird game that actually picks up on and uses file manipulation and changes to certain values as part of the experience.
You need to understand that, to understand why there are fans of Undertale who are still convinced of the existence of a secret boss called W.D Gaster – this is genuinely one of the creepiest and involved mysteries in videogame history.
Look, there’s a hell of a lot to take in regarding this particular theory, so I’ll give you the footnotes and you can read up on the rest here if you’re interested.
Gaster is referenced a handful of times throughout Undertale, but never seen or properly mentioned if you attempt a straightforward run through of the game.
However, fucking around with the game’s files in numerous ways lead to encountering a number of sprites that could be Gaster, as well as altered versions of other sprites which are widely believed to be his minions.
By all accounts, many believe Gaster is hiding in Undertale somewhere… we just haven’t found him yet.
Fallout’s Nuclear War
There’s a lot we know regarding the war that caused the nuclear holocaust, leading to the world depicted in the Fallout games.
We know that the war started (and ended) on October 23, 2077 when nuclear weapons were launched by multiple countries (including the US, China, and the USSR).
We also know that the whole thing escalated from disputes regarding an energy crisis and scarce resources – but what we don’t know, is who fired that first fateful shot, and exactly why they did it.
It’s perhaps better for the general intrigue of the Fallout universe that that particular question is never answered, however, there’s one particularly chilling moment that stands out.
During a conversation with ACE (the Brotherhood of Steel computer) in Fallout 2, the self aware AI suggests that some of its predecessors may well have caused the war out of ‘boredom’. Most people just stick Netflix on, but whatever.
Alien: Isolation’s Missing Queen
Alien: Isolation is a fantastic game. It’s a tense, horrifying roller-coaster ride through the darkness of space, with a murderous alien monstrosity stalking your every move.
However, what’s never explained, is where the Queen is hiding. See, the alien we see in the game is a drone, but there are quite clearly eggs on the ship that only a Queen could have hatched, so… where is it?
This is something that has been hotly debated by fans of the game (and wider Alien franchise) for a while now. Most people put it down to a simple plot hole, while others use their own knowledge of the world to come up with their own answers.
Whatever the case (and it’s probably just plot hole) a fan’s ability to get so invested in the minor details – be it a missing queen, a hidden boss, locked door, or anything – should be celebrated, not scoffed at. There can be a lot more to gaming than just playing the games if you want there to be, and that’s awesome.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.