Gaming Urban Legends - Monsters of San Andreas and Reviving Gaming’s Favorite Girl

Posted May 25, 2012 - By Alex Rubens

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We’ve talked about gaming’s urban legends before here on G4, but there’s plenty left to explore. That still baffle gamers today and leave them wondering whether they could change their most influential childhood gaming moment -- when Aeris died. Or that time that their friend swore they saw Bigfoot in the woods of San Andreas. We’ve got you covered.


Finding Bigfoot in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

With a vast terrain, Rockstar had plenty of space to leave in some tasty secrets for gamers to dig up while exploring their worlds. There’s been a few in every Rockstar game, but almost all of them have been found and proven -- except for one. There’s talk of monsters roaming the hills of San Andreas, but not just any monsters: Bigfoot and Leatherface specifically.

This is probably one of the biggest urban legends in gaming, that a creature could roam around a world map that players can dissect, yet it somehow manages to escape capture for proof, just like in real life. It’s a bit silly to think that this could happen, but at the time, the proof was somewhat convincing. The legend was originally propagated through blurry photos showing up on message boards. These showed distorted glimpses of the beasts.

However, it should be noted that the PS2-era wasn’t HD by any means and it was fairly easy to manipulate a photo to look like the somewhat blocky-shaped characters. It wouldn’t have been hard to fake, especially with the low textures that the characters had at the time.

As the legend goes, players would drive into the wooded areas of ‘Back o Beyond’ and Mount Chiliad as the in-game clock hit midnight and the daylight was replaced with spooky fog. If they were lucky, or unlucky rather, they might have a chance to stumble upon Bigfoot. He was a supposed one-hit kill, so some players thought they might prove his existence by standing in the middle of the forest and leaving the game running, in hopes that they would awake outside the hospital the next day. It didn’t happen.

With only muddy photos as proof, there wasn’t much evidence to support this claim though. Videos began surfacing showing the beast caught on film. It was a bit weird that all of a sudden, multiple players are catching him on film. It turned out that this wasn’t real and was actually created using mods on the PC version of the game. Fans of the legend saw this as the final nail in the its coffin and a sign to give up.

Further proof that it was a hoax was provided when Terry Donovan, Former CEO of Rockstar, told EGM in issue #187 that “there is no Bigfoot, just like in real life.” They even went as far as to put a sasquatch hunting mission in Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare that, when you kill a sasquatch, awards you with an achievement titled “Six Years In The Making” in reference to the release of San Andreas. I’d say it’s pretty safe to call this one a hoax.

The situation is pretty similar for Leatherface. There wasn’t much proof to go on, other than random forum posts claiming to have seem him the woods. (There’s a trend going on here...) As the legend goes, players that visited the lumbermill that is directly in the center of the map would get a little surprise at exactly midnight. That surprise being the rumbling of Leatherface’s chainsaw.. right before he killed them. Only this wasn’t how things went down at all, there wasn’t any murderer in the forest, just a lumbermill. It was all a ruse, a very clever one, but a ruse none the less. Like Bigfoot, Leatherface did make an appearance in the PC version of the game via the addition of mods, but was nowhere to be found in the original, unmodified game.

Final Fantasy VII

Reviving Aeris

Looking back fondly on their memories of playing through Final Fantasy VII, some might call Aeris gaming’s White Swan, which might explain why so many followed this urban legend so closely.

After the release of Final Fantasy VII in Japan, gamers were notably upset over the death of Aeris. Rumors began to circulate that there was something different about the US version of the game, that there was something hidden. It turned out to be additional content on the disc. They believed that this addition would allow players to bring her back to life. While most dismissed it as nothing more than here-say, hardcore fans were undeterred, claiming that a new item and cutscene were on the disc.

They used this additional content as a basis for their claim that this item was used to revive Aeris and the FMV cutscene would show the whole thing go down. Unfortunately for them, the new item “Underwater Materia” was simply a random item that was used against Emerald Weapon, which was shown in this new FMV sequence. That’s it -- a pretty big let down for these die-hard fans.

There is a way to bring her back to your party through the use of a Gameshark, a cheat code device used in the PS1/N64-era, but it didn’t net players much. There were no character specific interactions that played out any differently to suggest that there was a way to revive her through normal gameplay. She interacted as her character would, but only through the general character quotes, nothing special.

It was unfortunate for players that this didn’t work. But then again, it’s a Final Fantasy game, characters die. That’s how things work and you shouldn’t be able to change that. There’s a narrative reason that she was killed off and Square would have changed that if they felt that it didn’t better the player’s bond with the characters.

Are we totally off base? Have you seen Bigfoot (in-game or in real life)? Let us know in the comments what you think about these and what some of your favorite urban legends are. There’s dozens more out there, you just have to find them.

Gaming Urban Legends - Monsters of San Andreas and Reviving Gaming’s Favorite Girl


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