The lights are on
Video game cheat devices aren’t what they used to be. In the ‘90s, the GameShark allowed us to pretend like we were “hacking” our games. Now cheat codes of all kinds are on life support.
If you’re unfamiliar, a GameShark is a piece of hardware that attaches to a system and manipulates a game’s properties. The most common codes offer unlimited health or unlock weapons, but others push games further – sometimes to a breaking point.
The following are five beloved GameShark codes, in no particular order.
Warning: There are spoilers for Final Fantasy VII and Twisted Metal 2, which are both over 15 years old.
GoldenEye 007: Visit the Secret Island
Eagle-eyed gamers became obsessed with a mysterious island near the end of the first level of GoldenEye. Before Bond leaps off the dam, if you turn and look across the lake you can barely make out the island on the far side. Just pull out your sniper rifle, which you’ll still have, of course, because in GoldenEye you can carry enough weapons to supply an army.
The dam is a military facility, so it’s reasonable to wonder what could possibly be hidden on that tiny island. By using a “no clipping” code, you can traverse the water and check out the place for yourself.
By the way, the island sucks. There’s a gun turret and an empty watchtower – no secret gadgets, no hidden tunnels, and no reason to be there. Thanks, GameShark, for demystifying that last bit of childhood wonder.
Pokémon Yellow: Fight Professor Oak
After discovering that your mother is still single, Professor Oak sends you – a young child – on a lengthy, dangerous quest to catch every Pokémon. It’s OK to be upset with him.
In Pokémon Yellow, the professor has unused trainer data, implying that he was at one point meant to battle the player. His lineup features five Pokémon, including a Gyarados and a fully evolved starter Pokémon, all around level 70.
You can duel Oak using glitches, but initiating the battle with a GameShark is much easier. The fight is difficult, though if you have a GameShark, you’ve probably already eaten a mountain of rare candies.
Final Fantasy VII: Sephiroth Joins Your Party
Sephiroth burned down your hometown and killed your love interest. Naturally, you want to hang out with him.
Even with a GameShark, adding Sephiroth to your party is tricky business. Some of the codes substitute him in place of another character, and using his one-winged angel form begs your game to crash. Still, it’s worth it to finally wield the best-looking sword (and haircut) in Final Fantasy VII. Just don’t use the GameShark to bring Aeris back, too. That could get awkward.
Up next: Kart killers and ice cream from the sewers...