MegaMaster Musings

Cheat Codes
March 1, 2007

I recently received a number of e-mails all with the same theme: each was regurgitating wild and ridiculous claims made by some of the “cheat” sites out there. (You know, like the ones that claim if you do some absurd button-press combination in some X series game, Proto Man will suddenly appear and kill the final boss for you. Stuff like that.)

Hidden secrets have been a staple in video games for a very long time. However, for whatever reason, I have noticed that many sites out there post completely inaccurate “cheats.” (These are usually the sites that allow for open and unrestricted user submission of cheats without any verification process.) I don’t know why people take the time to make up stuff and post them to such sites, but whatever the reasoning, I have seen quite a few wild claims through the years. And—because I don’t tend to go actively looking for them—I know there are a lot more out there than just the ones that I happen to stumble across.

How do you recognize a false cheat? First rule of thumb: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Use your common sense and ask yourself, is this even likely? The more far-out the cheat sounds, the more likely it is to be untrue. For example, in the X series it’s common to find codes that give X the Ultimate Armor, or hidden capsules that give X various Street Fighter moves. However, it’s not common for characters from another series to suddenly appear in an X series game as a result of a code. And so forth. Just look at the patterns and you can generally weed out the ones that are preposterous.

But even so, every once in a while you’ll encounter a cheat code or other secret that really doesn’t sound true, yet it works. Bumping into Cut Man in Mega Man X8 is one such example. This is one of those things that sounds ridiculous on paper but is actually true.

So how can you really recognize a false cheat? There is only one surefire way, and that’s to simply try it out and see for yourself. (Or to reverse-engineer the code, which is usually out of the realm of possibility for most players.)

This is the reason why I rarely post cheats that I have not myself personally verified. If I do end up posting something that I have not—for whatever reason—been able to test myself, I make sure to mark it as “unverified” so that players have due warning that the trick might or might not actually work as advertised.

It’s not that I don’t trust the visitors who mail me. The problem is that anyone could mail me claiming anything, and there is no real way for me to verify except to simply see it with my own eyes.

So don’t take offense. But at the same time, please don’t bother sending me cheats obtained off another website, unless you’ve verified for yourself that they work first. I’ll do the same when I get them, since I do my best not to post false cheats to MMHP, no matter how cool they sound.

- The MegaMaster