If you’re a gamer, you probably enjoy finding out small tidbits about your favorite series. Whether it’s video game-related Easter Eggs on popular websites or the endless trivia that games seem to produce, there’s never a shortage of content to entertain you. However, if you’ve been looking to take a new angle and explore the backstage of video games, these websites will give you all sorts of insider information.
In the process of making a video game, a lot of content gets modified or even thrown out completely. The Cutting Room Floor exists to research and amass all sorts of unused bits from video games. For example, did you know that Crash Bandicoot contains an entirely playable level called Stormy Ascent that was removed because the developers thought it was too hard?
Unused levels are only the start of the scrapped content you can explore. Leftover bits of audio can often reveal hidden content, like these voiceovers from Call of Duty: World At War. Evidently, there was supposed to be a fourth killstreak in the game’s multiplayer mode.
Some games have alternate animations or completely unused characters in their code.
One of the most interesting types of content you can find on this site is the Regional Differences. Often, when games are released in multiple countries some parts have to be changed. This is usually done to reflect cultural differences, which can be quite interesting to see.
Similar to Regional Differences are Revision Differences: when a game is re-released or ported to a different system, the developers have a chance to correct typos and fix frustrating sections of the game.
NinDB, the self-proclaimed “Unofficial Nintendo Archive,” gathers various information on every title that has been published or developed by the Big N. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been updated in almost a year, but the existing content will still satisfy your search for knowledge.
One of the coolest pages on the site is the guide on Totaka’s Song. Kazumi Totaka, a music composer for Nintendo, seems to hide this tune in every game he works on. Some of the most famous instances of it are found in Animal Crossing and Mario Paint.
NinDB has gathered every known version of the song, and are always looking for others. If you’re feeling adventurous, try to discover it in a new game! You can check out some of their leads at the bottom of the guide.
NinDB’s other prominent feature is its cameo listing. Look up any game in the database, and you can see a list of references to other Nintendo games. Some are obvious, but a few may surprise you! The list for Animal Crossing is huge, since the game is open and has lots of Nintendo-related items that take a bit of searching to find.
If you’re a Mario fanatic, The Mushroom Kingdom is your one-stop destination for everything you could ever want to learn about Nintendo’s mustachioed plumber. The site contains info on every Mario game in existence, whether popular or obscure. If it’s your first visit, they even have a guide to help you get started.
A wealth of information is available for the main Mario games, including guides, full game credits, and even complete text versions of the manuals! If you’re a perfectionist, you’ll enjoy reading about typos and inconsistency in the manuals. Some guides even contain tiny details, such as the amount of coins in each level of Super Mario 64.
If you don’t want to read about the games themselves, The Mushroom Kingdom also contains info on Mario’s various spin-offs. From anime to books to merchandise, if it was ever available for purchase, you can read about it here. Downloads are also available, including some sound effects and music, as well as game art and animated GIFs of NES and SNES sprites.
Rounding out the site’s information are miscellaneous fan films, sheet music, and quotes about Mario. Perhaps most interesting of all are the discussions on some debated topics, such as Birdo’s gender and whether Cranky Kong is the original Donkey Kong from the arcade game. If you have any interest in Mario, you’ll surely find something new and intriguing on The Mushroom Kingdom.
Good and bad, video game commercials have been around for nearly as long as the games themselves. Do you get excited when an advertisement for a video game comes on TV? You should; your hobby is being broadcasted to thousands of people!
Gamepressure.com has gathered a huge selection of video game spots (16,289 at the time of writing) for your viewing enjoyment. Check out some old-time ads, or see if your favorite series has been represented well on TV. Or just laugh out loud.
Commercials can certainly take you behind the scenes. A commercial for a game could have been released well before the game came out, resulting in cut content being shown in the ad.
For instance, this promotional videotape for Banjo-Kazooie contained a few previews of upcoming games at the end (around 9:00). One of these was the ill-fated Twelve Tales: Conker 64, which was completely changed and became Conker’s Bad Fur Day.
Only a few glimpses of chaste Conker are caught, but it’s neat to see the game that never came to life.
And don’t worry, there are some genuinely awesome game spots to see, too.
Learning about video games should be fun, and sites that give you a glimpse of gaming’s back stories allow you to enhance your knowledge in a new way. With these websites, you’ll be well on your way to being the most knowledgeable among your peers.
If you’re looking for even more sites, we’ve covered essential sites for game collectors in the past.
Have you checked out any of these before? Are there any places you would add to this list? Got any interesting gaming facts? Tell us in the comments!