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Secret Item from a Video Game

A special item packaged along with an epic video game
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For some big, epic game (Zelda, Final Fantasy, even maybe Harvest Moon because of its similarity to the "live a whole life" thing), have an option to buy a "deluxe" version of the game. It would come with a little box with a lock on it. Beat the game, and you get a code to open the box and find an item of special significance from the game... I really like the small musical instrument idea because you could easily pack one in with a video game, and then if you wanted to, you could actually get good at it. It'd have to be of good enough quality to have it be worth getting good at, of course.

I'm pretty sure that something like this would have an audience. (see link)

Qinopio, Jan 07 2003

Zelda Ocarina http://songbirdocarina.com/zelda.html
Small wind instrument from the Zelda games [Qinopio, Oct 17 2004]

Secret Item from a Book http://nooga.com/treasure.html
This was a puzzle contest, worth $500,000 and a gold horse. [Amos Kito, Oct 17 2004, last modified Feb 16 2005]

[link]






       I got the idea when I was watching that episode of Star Trek:TNG where Picard encounters a satellite and it makes him live an entire life, while his body sleeps, as a member the now-destroyed civilization that the satellite came from. During this life, he learns to play a little flute, among other things. When he finishes and wakes up, they take the satellite aboard the Enterprise, open it, and find that very flute inside of it. Picard plays a beautiful, sad solo as the episode ends.
Qinopio, Jan 07 2003
  

       That was an amazing episode. One of the all time great Star Treks. I thought of it also as I was reading your idea. Bun for you. I would give a hoot.
bungston, Jan 07 2003
  

       Yay! It also encourages people to play the more difficult problem solving games to the end. (no cheating web sites – all codes different)
Shz, Jan 07 2003
  

       I'd love to see this done. I wonder how cheaply you can make a little box with a combination lock.
egnor, Jan 07 2003
  

       [egnor], I’m not suggesting that using different codes makes it unbreakable. You and I (and others here) may know how that is done. I’m just quelling the vision of my kids at school telling everyone “Oh, you want to see what’s in the box. – The combination is 123456”. That ruins the reward aspect of this idea.
Shz, Jan 07 2003
  

       Many games along with the concept of good vs bad reinforce honour as a virtue. Use this in the game to guilt people into not opening the box dishonestly.   

       Alternatively or in addition, give the box a USB cable so you can plug it into the computer. It can be automatically opened by a signal sent when the game is completed.
madradish, Jan 08 2003
  

       I like this idea. You could even have a mini collectable figure or model inside or a memory card of some sort with rewarding items on, e.g. ultimate weapons.
talen, Jan 08 2003
  

       I'm all for it, just as long as it has nothing to do with the Pokemon / Digimon / Yu Gi Oh business model of instant addiction to an endless game filled with upgrade packs.
RayfordSteele, Jan 08 2003
  

       Slightly different from a video game, but in 1979 Mayflower Books started republishing Dennis Wheatley's 1930's murder mysteries, which included "Who Killed Robert Prentice" , "Murder Off Miami", "The Malinsay Massacre", and "Herewith the Clues". What set these books apart from your average detective fiction was that they purported to be actual detective dossiers, including crime scene photos, handwritten notes, actual cigarette butts, hair strands, tatters of fabric, theatre ticket stubs, whole pages from local newspapers, etc. They were, for all intents and purposes to the reader, real 3D investigation files, replete with investigator reports, suspect photographs, and pertinent clues ( as well as a few red herrings). The solutions to the mysteries were sealed in a special envelope at the conclusion of the book so you couldn't just breezily peek ahead.

I always thought these were far more superior to any current day murder mysteries, and the physical clues were a terrific bonus. Hugely amusing, and collectible.
jurist, Jan 08 2003
  

       [Shz] The idea about the different codes is good it's just like when your waiting to see a new movie and then someone whose just seen it tells you the plot twist.
talen, Jan 08 2003
  

       I recall a number of 80's games which offered cash prizes for being the first to successfully complete them. The trick usually involved deciphering a phone number or code word.   

       As such, it might be easier (and cheaper) to do something similar. Maybe base the cypher on the game's CD serial number so each code is unique. Break the code/finish the game and you get instructions on how to get the prize or your PC connects to a specific (hidden) URL.
phoenix, Jan 08 2003
  

       Yeah, why not just include a postage-paid card stamped with the games ID number.   

       On game completion (or before if save game status is available) one would have to enter the number. The game would then give you a matching code to write in a little box on that card. You could then post it off and receive your instrument within 28 days.   

       The cost of a slightly fancy non-copyable card and postage might be cheaper than the cost of all those sturdy locking boxes. Plus, you wouldn't have to give instruments to people who hadn't completed the game.   

       Of course, the game ID could be integrated into the game as a series of objects. You'd need to have the card to play the game, as occasionally you'd need to refer to it. A sort of extension of that code in Metal Gear Solid you had to read off the back of the box.   

       This might also work well as a piracy prevention method, since you could refuse to ship prizes to anyone using the same ID, and instead publish their names on a hall of shame..
Loris, Jan 08 2003
  

       Generate a different part of the final code at different random stages of the game, making it almost impossible to hack. you could even include part of the code in the graphics or via an online game to make it even harder to crack.
CasaLoco, Jan 08 2003
  

       I'm not sure if this has been mentioned already in different words, but...   

       When you beat the game, it asks you for your game's serial number, which is stamped in the inside front cover of the manual. The game does some mathematical gymnastics, and gives you a different number. Put this on a postcard with your game's serial number and mail it to the game company, perhaps with S&H. The company undoes those gymnastics, and finds out if the two number match up. They mark your game's serial number off the list, and send you your prize.   

       It wouldn't be too hard to burn it into the game ROM or CD-ROM, either; arcade games and some games for the SNES have done this, I know.   

       Didn't Atari do this with their patches before?
Almafeta, May 31 2003
  

       Brilliant! Anything to see people trying to complete their games rather than cheat as soon as they get them and waste their money! The box idea is very cool, but I'm sure people would just break their boxes open to get at what's inside! Getting the item in the post seems more plausable, and less open to cheating. I'd love to see this come into effect.
adr, Jun 01 2003
  

       I know some humans over here who would love this idea. +
sartep, Jul 17 2003
  
      
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