Why Tiger Woods' golf ball is a grenade, and other amazing videogame trivia

Tiger Woods catching a golf ball.
(Image credit: Sam Greenwood via Getty Images)
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This weekend a tweet from the Super Pod Saga podcast (opens in new tab) went viral, asking simply (opens in new tab): "What is the most useless piece of video game knowledge you know?"

It turns out that people have remembered a lot of bizarre, funny and in some cases amazing pieces of trivia, the kind of knowledge that you're very unlikely to stumble across outside of a thread like this. We open with this absolute stunner from Jan Bart van Beek, the studio director and art director at Guerrilla Games.

This does need one caveat. Tiger Woods' last game as the face of EA's PGA Tour was in 2013, after which the series would take a year's hiatus before returning with the first entry on the Frostbite Engine: Rory McIlroy's PGA Tour (in 2015), which doesn't feature Woods as his ranking had plummeted so badly. Of course, that doesn't mean the Woods avatar wouldn't have been used in development.

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The tweet really took off and has replies and quote tweets in the tens of thousands. I didn't read through everything but, of what I did, here are some of the text highlights, with the video ones to follow.

Furry_Wall: (opens in new tab) "Runescape cows cannot be poisoned because their 'moo' prioritizes on the in-game timer over the damage."

Iron_Jugulis: (opens in new tab) "using spore’s official dr pepper robot parts, it is entirely possible to make a creature that has no social stats whatsoever. trying to socialize one of these creatures will result in the game crashing."

Berds_n_arts: (opens in new tab) "Angry Birds has 39 discontinued games and 19 cancelled games." (Backed up by the Angry Birds wiki. (opens in new tab))

Thatbluecatboy: (opens in new tab) "In Age of Empires, while playing on an i486 PC, if you queued up a unit that would break the max unit limit at the perfect time while hitting the turbo button to scale your CPU from 133hz to 100hz, every unit on the map would be reassigned to a random player in the game."

This one's been known about for a while but I still love being reminded of it. Take it away Gavinatorize2 (opens in new tab): "After Snake loses his eye in Snake Eater he can only see the left portion of the screen in first person, and in the 3DS version the 3D slider no longer functions."

Altis69: (opens in new tab) "In Halo CE bloom doesn't increase from firing the weapon but instead from holding the trigger. That means if you hold the trigger while reloading/overheating the weapon will start firing at full bloom."

GeeVipah: (opens in new tab) "In Art of Fighting 3 if the Neo Geo's internal system clock aligns with a character's birthday that character will be significantly buffed for that day."

Christina Tasty: (opens in new tab) "Marlon Brando's last performance was possibly an easter egg in The Godfather game. He required an Oxygen mask in old age but he still recorded some lines. Naturally they were unusable, so when Don Corleone is in hospital you can track back and hear his recorded lines."

GothieCollie: (opens in new tab) "The original Xbox port of Half-Life 2 has an exclusive glitch where you can kill Alyx in Red Letter Day by placing a barrel behind her by the vending machine. Unlike later Alyx deaths the cutscene continues on for a bit with awkward pauses where Alyx should be before crashing."

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Try to imagine some Amiga hacker getting into the files of Mad Professor Mariarti and being greeted by "hello hacker fucker (opens in new tab)." Hard not to imagine that in Shodan's voice.

DrakennierPT: (opens in new tab) "There's a fully modeled 3D file of Neo from Matrix in Drakengard's database."

KabscOrner: (opens in new tab) "Because Monster Hunter doesn’t have any voice acting, and because English isn’t a language with a pronunciation guide, the first time 'Rathalos' is ever spoken out loud is in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker."

Naturally there's some great Bethesda stuff, showcasing both the studio's ingenuity and tendency towards jank.

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Some absolute mysteries, like this mug destined to float in a void forever in Portal 2.

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Or this test map for Half-Life 2 found in the pre-release leak.

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A bizarre Daytona 2 curio:

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Spore has one too:

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And a special element in some versions of Plants vs Zombies.

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Another couple of Valve-related ones, oldies but goodies:

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DMC5 contains a newspaper from when Osama bin Laden was killed:

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Awesome comparison shot of toys and Doom weapons:

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Every time I try to finish this article, I come across another that just has to be in, like this from Josheola: (opens in new tab) "The creator of NBA Jam is such a huge Detroit Pistons fan that he rigged the game so they would have a better shot at beating the Chicago Bulls. In a close game, if a player on the Bulls takes a last-second shot, they will always miss."

Unbeatable in the truest sense. I will end by sharing one of my own favourite pieces of videogame trivia, which is quite simple: Remember Croc (opens in new tab)? That began as a pitch to Nintendo for a 3D Yoshi game. You have to say the big N made the right call.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."