Once upon a time, the internet was not around to provide clues in deciphering puzzling secrets found in a person's sources of entertainment. The 80s and 90s represented a simpler time when games were sold completed (or irreversibly broken). Rather than relying on a joined effort by an online community to unearth every secret found in a title, users depended on their own skills to be rewarded. Alas, this isolation led to many Easter Eggs and unlockables remaining hidden in quite a number of playthroughs. Occasionally, a magazine may have published an issue containing a detailed walkthrough, but such a desirable treasure was out of reach of many fans.
The PlayStation 1 era brought forth a wild array of iconic projects designed to push forward the industry. Putting aside a generation or two of failure, '90s franchises like Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, and Tomb Raider still hold relevance in 2019. Sony's first console boasts an incredibly diverse and expansive library of games, with some being quite difficult to obtain in this day and age. While we could cite an obscure Japanese title's hidden character as an example of a rarely exposed secret, even the console's most popular entries boast a couple of easily missable surprises. In certain cases, earning a 100% completion rate does not automatically translate to a fully comprehensive understanding of the game's content. Occasionally, something slips through the cracks and these secrets are often very rewarding to discover.
Time to hunt down that extra 1%! Here are 30 things everyone completely missed in PlayStation 1 games!
30 Aerith & Cloud's Tactical Reunion
Otherwise known as one of the best Final Fantasy ever, Tactics hides a much sought after reunion between Final Fantasy VII's Cloud and Aerith. A tactical RPG with an expansive roster of unlockable characters, players can add Cloud to their team by purchasing a flower from a rather familiar girl in Zarghidas Trade City.
Once Cloud is brought over to Tactics' universe, the iconic hero shows up to protect Aerith from a group of hooligans. Cloud and Aerith's paths always intertwine.
29 Lara Croft's Secret Raid
Tomb Raider is a franchise entirely about a charming protagonist's inability to leave a stone unturned. Lara Croft craves information. She wants to reveal secrets. Consequently, Tomb Raider III's inclusion of a bonus level is totally in keeping with the property's spirit. Seemingly taking place in a Cathedral, All Hallows is admittedly among the more confusing areas in the game. The architecture tends to blend together, causing the level to be relatively difficult to traverse.
Find all 59 secrets in the normal levels to unlock All Hallows.
28 Symphony Of The Night's Optional Boss
Galamoth himself is rather impossible to miss, and that has nothing to do with his gigantic size! Awful jokes aside, Galamoth plays a role in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night's storyline; however, the boss is entirely optional. Yes, all those frustrating hours spent attempting to defeat this massive monster could have been avoided!
Defeating Galamoth rewards the Gas Cloud Relic, an item that has nothing to do with Dracula. The Floating Catacombs is a bonus level hiding in plain sight.
27 Mastered Skating? Let It Go To Your Head
Tony Hawk Pro Skater has a history of hiding secret characters and quirky modes out of public view. Only those truly passionate about skating are extended the privilege of seeing Hawk's sillier side.
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 is nothing short of a masterpiece! Packed to the brim with content, the game keeps on throwing out surprises even after dozens upon dozens of hours have been played. Big Head mode is unlocked once the single-player campaign is completed with nine different characters.
26 A Noob Joins Mortal Kombat
Mortal Kombat is credited with the fighting genre's first-ever secret character. Reptile holds that honor, although the green ninja is far from the only fighter to be hidden from the roster. Midway Games loves to imagine obscure methods of unlocking their characters, with some being downright inaccessible to anyone besides the absolutely most dedicated fans.
Along with sharing his name with the franchise's co-creators, Noob Saibot is the hellish version of the original Sub-Zero and makes his debut in Mortal Kombat II. Unlocking the character requires winning 50 matches in a row in multiplayer.
25 Abe's Bad Ending
Secret endings are an industry time-honored tradition, particularly in games that emphasize player agency. Abe's Oddysee tasks the eponymous Mudokon with rescuing 99 of his brethren from the dastardly Molluck and Big Face. Ideally, Abe saves the entire group, but a 50% success rate unlocks the good ending. Strangely fitting of Oddworld to recognize that rescuing everyone is quite unrealistic.
If Abe opts to actively eliminate all 99 Mudokon, the bad ending is played and the protagonist is granted access to infinite grenades. If you cannot beat them, might as well join them!
24 Sony Barely Scratched The Surface Of This Gimmick's Potential
Seeking to outdo Nintendo in the silly gimmicks department, Sony turned to the art of Scratch and Sniff to find an edge. Certain games shipped with a disc bearing a fragrance associated with its parent title, although only two projects benefited from this particular gimmick. Fifa 2001 and Gran Turismo 2's discs can be scratched and sniffed accordingly; that being said, we would not recommend unleashing a cat on the CDs.
Gran Turismo 2's disc smells like a pit lane. Does that sound like a pleasant scent? If the answer is yes, then you clearly have never been in a pit lane. Honestly, the aroma is mostly reminiscent of burned rubber.
23 Rayman 2's Origins
Once upon a time, Rayman 2 was set to stick to the formula and remain a 2D platformer. After all, its predecessor is considered a minor classic of the genre, therefore, it made sense to not deviate too far from the beaten path. This 2D bonus level is the only portion of the original prototype made public. Rayman 2: The Great Escape elected to tackle 3D platforming, resulting in one of the greatest games of the fifth generation.
The PlayStation version includes the 2D level as a reward for amassing 720 lums. Once collected, the player can slip into an alternate reality where Rayman 2 remained a 2D platformer.
22 Mega Man Pays Tribute To Street Fighter
Capcom created both Street Fighter and Mega Man. Are you aware of this fact? Just in case a publisher's history is not your cup of tea, Mega Man X includes a little tribute to Street Fighter in the form of Ryu's Hadouken. As Ryu tends to be hailed one of the most accessible fighters of the series, if not the entire genre, it makes sense that Rock manages to learn the character's special move. Everyone can pull off a Hadouken!
Located in the Armored Armadillo Stage, the upgrade becomes available by jumping off a cliff a couple of times. Mega Man must be at full health to copy Ryu's move in battle.
21 Final Fantasy IX's Dormant Side Quest
Overlooked for more than a decade, Final Fantasy IX's Nero Brothers quest essentially became a Japanese exclusive, as the mission remained undetected in the West. Unlocked during the campaign's end game, the quest requires the player to leave the final dungeon and travel back to Lindblum. Once there, speak to the Nero Brothers to activate a relatively expansive side quest revolving around reuniting the siblings with their family. It is primarily a fetch quest and not a particularly interesting one at that, but the mission can only be found if someone knows about its existence.
A standard quest turned into a secret as a result of poor planning.
20 Random Treasure
Suikoden II is nothing short of a masterpiece. The gameplay is engaging and tactical, while the story builds momentum expertly towards a fascinating conclusion. The protagonist can recruit 108 characters, allowing for a great deal of variety and exploration. With such an expansive roster, one may assume the "secret" to be a super powerful albeit expertly hidden character; however, that is not the case.
Fast travel is handled by Viki, who sends you all across the map using a teleporter. Occasionally, she gets the coordinates wrong and the protagonist ends up in a Hidden Room packed with special items. As this event's activation is based on random chance, patience is required.
19 Claire's Bizarre Adventure
Published by Capcom in 1998, Resident Evil 2 is the bigger and arguably better sequel to 1996's genre-defining horror classic. Featuring two central characters and a creepy police station to explore, Resident Evil 2 serves as an example of a perfectly executed successor to a – for the time – unexpectedly popular game.
Capcom also included a reference to JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, which automatically earns Resident Evil 2 a few extra points. Towards the end of 1998, Capcom published a video game adaptation of Hirohiko Araki's manga, so this reference is a byproduct of aggressive marketing.
18 Star Ocean's Tenacious Queen
JRPGs elevated super bosses to an art form. Finally survived a battle against Digital Devil Saga: Avatar Turner's final boss, Harihara? Well, here is Demi-fiend to ensure any sense of superiority is short-lived. Kingdom Hearts' Sephiroth also ranks among the more memorable and unbelievably challenging secret bosses.
Star Ocean: The Second Story's Iseria Queen deserves a special mention for being one of the earliest and best examples of a confidence-shattering super boss. Found in most entries of the series, the Queen's stats tower over her contemporaries, with only Gabriel Unlimited surviving as a challenger.
17 Spyro Goes The Extra Mile
Spyro the Dragon holds a special place in PlayStation's history. Along with the Crash Bandicoot trilogy, Insomniac Games' projects defined platformers on Sony's console during the '90s. Sadly, both IPs suffered a notorious dip after the end of the fifth generation, although Spyro the Dragon fared worse than Naughty Dog's series.
Collectathon platformers are all about, well, collecting a ton of stuff. Obviously, bonus content should involve collecting even more stuff! Once the 100% is achieved in Spyro the Dragon, a secret level called Gnasty's Loot becomes available to keep the collectathon train rolling for a touch longer.
16 SaGa Frontier Swaps Protagonists
When it comes to player freedom, SaGa Frontier puts to shame so many other JRPGs. Final Fantasy Legends are actually rebranded SaGa games, although they do not quite compare to 1997's SaGa Frontier. Offering the possibility of selecting out of seven different main characters, each with their own storylines, before unleashing them on a mostly open world; SaGa Frontier shows little interest in leading players down corridors.
Blue's storyline sees the protagonist facing off against Rogue, who is also a playable character in some of the other quests. If Blue loses the battle, Rogue absorbs the hero. Rather than a game over, Rogue then becomes playable instead of Blue.
15 Marvel Super Heroes Vs. Street Secret Fighter
With information readily available at the click of a button, in this day and age, there is no chance an exclusive character might slip through the cracks. Predating the Marvel vs. Capcom series, Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter is a respectable attempt by Capcom to spread the Street Fighter formula to other IPs. The Japanese version's roster includes Norimaro, a joke character based on a comedian called Noritake Kinashi.
As the personality means little to Western audiences, Norimaro was removed from the international version of the fighting game. Putting aside ROM hacks, a Japanese edition of Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter is necessary to throw kitchen utensils at Captain America using Norimaro.
14 Tekken's Prehistoric Fighter
While they have slightly fallen out of fashion, hidden characters used to be almost mandatory in fighting games. Mortal Kombat popularized the trope, but other series quickly jumped on board. One of the weirder examples is found in Tekken 3, which is also known as the GREATEST fighting game on the PlayStation 1.
A small dinosaur with boxing gloves, Gon is unlocked by beating the character in a game of Tekken Ball. Sounds simple enough, right? Not so fast! Tekken Ball only becomes available after the arcade mode is completed with all the standard characters.
13 A New Vagrant Story
Once a campaign is completed, games occasionally offer the possibility of starting a New Game +. RPGs are particularly fond of this feature and often allow any collected equipment or XP to be carried over. While always a welcome inclusion, many titles are happy to merely boost the enemies' stats and call it a day.
Vagrant Story serves as an example of the best way to execute a New Game +. Although the story remains the same, the second playthrough opens new dungeons and bosses. Launching New Game + requires reloading the save file of the completed campaign.
12 (Making Of) Medal Of Honor
Medal of Honor cultivates a suitably grounded and realistic tone for its campaign. The Saving Private Ryan influence is unmistakable. That being said, the unlockables are rather absurd! For example, William Shakespeare and Winston Churchill are included as hidden multiplayer characters.
A particular cool unlockable is a series of "making of..." movies for the individual levels. By entering a specific code into the Enigma machine, the current level's respective history lesson is added to the Gallery mode. Medal of Honor; entertaining and educational!
11 Bad Vibrations
Metal Gear Solid loves to break the fourth wall. The story's absurdity seems to be tailor-made chiefly to facilitate for those moments when the game decides to speak directly to the audience. Mantis moving the controller with his mind remains one of the medium's most unforgettable experiences.
One of the easier to miss interactive moments occurs while Snake is under the (harsh) care of Revolver Ocelot. During these scenes, Snake has the option to speak to Naomi, who instructs the player to hold the DualShock controller to their arm. The device vibrates to simulate Snake's current predicament.
10 Bushido Blade 2's Hundred Slashes Mode
The fighting genre needs a spiritual successor to Bushido Blade. Focusing on weapon-based combat, Bushido Blade removes any HP bars and emphasizes precision over mashing an easy combo. Even if a character has been on the receiving end of a beatdown for the majority of an encounter, a perfectly executed attack may result in a victory. Its a fighting game grounded in a semblance of reality.
Characters are unlocked by completing the various modes without losing or under a set amount of time. Once the campaign is defeated using all the regular characters, Hundred Slashes Mode becomes accessible.
9 Crash Cheat Racing
Serving as Crash Team Racing's ultimate baddie, Nitrous Oxide drives around in a hovercraft and puts up a mighty fierce challenge. While all the other bosses and N. Trophy are unlockable, the same does not extend to N. Oxide. Naughty Dog planned to include the alien but opted against the idea because the character's racing style does not suit the majority of the tracks.
Luckily, a Gameshark code can be used to unlock Nitrous Oxide. Playing as the boss may break the game, but the option is there. Alternatively, pick up the decent Crash Team Racing: Nitro Kart.
8 Silent Hill's Out Of This World Ending
Psychological horror is tough to knock out of the park, and Silent Hill serves as a convenient example of the subgenre's best and worst offerings. Ignoring the divisive later sequels, the original Silent Hill was and remains an incredibly intense adventure. Even if Silent Hill 2 improves upon the original, 1999's classic deserves credit for accomplishing so much on quite a limited piece of hardware.
The franchise is known for occasionally throwing out a joke ending. Silent Hill 2 reveals a dog to be behind the mayhem, however, aliens are often involved in some form or another. Silent Hill's UFO ending is reached by using the Channeling Stone in five specific locations.
7 Mega Man Legends' Secret Scene
While not without their issues, Mega Man Legends is a sight better than the majority of Capcom's attempts at spin-offs. If nothing else, the 3D action-adventure trilogy genuinely tries to differentiate itself from its popular parent series. More importantly, the games possess a sense of humor that would not seem out of place in Dragon Ball.
In both games, Rock can unintentionally catch Roll in a precarious state, before being greeted with a swift dismissal. These scenes are both optional. Mega Man Legends requires all of Roll's items to be purchased or this exchange does not take place.
6 Street Fighter Rewards Dedication
Seeking to outdo Mortal Kombat's hidden characters, Street Fighter Alpha 3 elects to go down a slightly different route. An entirely new introductory video is rewarded to those select few players willing to truly immerse themselves in the fighting game. 48 hours of game time must be clocked for the video to be made available.
Casual players may see the mandated amount of time as near impossible to attain in a fighting game, but the hours fly by for those seeking to master the mechanics. 48 hours is nothing.
5 Smoke Joins Mortal Kombat
While fightable in Mortal Kombat II, Smoke had to wait until the subsequent entry (and a robotic makeover) to earn his full debut. Opting for a different method than random accomplishments, Mortal Kombat 3's secret character can be unlocked by completing the single-player mode and entering a 10 digit code called the Ultimate Kombat Kode.
Smoke is Mortal Kombat III's sole secret playable character, replacing Jade and Noob Saibot from the previous game. That being said, a secret code can be entered in VS mode to fight the latter.
4 Parasite Fantasy
Square developed Parasite Eve. Are you aware of any other beloved franchises published by the studio? Exactly! Square is responsible for SaGa, Chrono Cross/Trigger, and helped published Bushido Blade. Basically, the Japanese studio is this article's MVP. Oh, Square also created Final Fantasy.
Parasite Eve blends Resident Evil and RPG elements to forge a minor classic that is only held back from true greatness by underwhelming combat and borderline awful dialogue. As a nod to the studio's other popular RPG series, a Chocobo statue temporarily makes an appearance in Parasite Eve. Those animals really are everywhere.
3 Chrono Cross' Familiar Reunion
Serving as a nice call back to the influential Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross brings back the three main characters as Ghost Children. They appear multiple times throughout the playthrough, usually to scold or encouraging Serge during his reality jumping quest to stop Yamaneko.
The Astral Amulet must be used to speak directly to Chrono Trigger's characters on Opassa Beach. While they do not have anything of particular note to say, this reunion is still more than welcome. Chrono Cross is overshadowed by its predecessor, but the sequel is often quite brilliant.
2 Chrono Trigger's Developer Ending
Chrono Cross is more than fine, but something would be amiss if its predecessor failed to earn an honorary mention. Chrono Trigger is a quintessential JRPG and, consequently, features (or originates) many genre tropes. Depending on the player's actions, one of four endings can be obtained. Out of all of them, the Dream Project ending is the hardest to unlock and realistically can only be obtained in New Game +.
Once the campaign is completed, there is the option to start over while retaining the cast's current XP and items. Consequently, it becomes feasible to defeat Lavos during the first battle against the boss, although the encounter is far from a pushover. If accomplished, the developers show up to congratulate the player.
1 Xenogears' Unique Secret Costume
Last but definitely not least, Xenogears rewards seeking out a passive solution with a neat costume. At one point, Dan is fought during the Bledavik tournament. As overwhelming everything placed in front of you has worked splendidly so far, the natural inclination is to take an all-out approach and attempt to defeat Dan.
Alternatively, Fei Fong Wong can elect to continuously defend. Dan gradually grows frustrated by this strategy and leaves the arena. Subsequently, Dan gives his sister's wedding dress to the player, which can be worn by any of the party members.