(Topic ID: 197655)

Source of Polybius game myth discovered?


By ForceFlow

2 years ago



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  • 34 posts
  • 20 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by Spitfiren8
  • Topic is favorited by 5 Pinsiders

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11
#1 2 years ago

A long investigative video on the Polybius game myth may have revealed the possible source of the story. The first 20 minutes of the video is basically much of the background information surrounding the myth and some of the various hoaxes and fan-made creations. The rest of the video includes the investigative work where the author of the video attempted to trace back the source of the myth starting from today and working backwards.

The video is over an hour long, and I didn't think I would have the patience to sit through it, but it was actually well done and interesting. If you want to speed up the video a bit, use youtube's playback speed feature under the settings icon in the lower right corner, or the hotkey SHIFT + >

(Spoilers below if you want to watch the video first)

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Back-tracing Polyibus to the first online mention seems to lead to the coinop.org website in February 2000, where the entry was added by the site owner, Kurt Koller. The author seems to conclude that Kurt may be the original creator of the Polybius myth.

The author's research is detailed starting after about 20 minutes into the video.

Shortly following the addition of the entry on coinop.org, the the author of the video found a post on usenet RGVAC group posted in April 2000, which mentioned the listing on coinop.org asking if anyone had ever heard of the game.

In the video, it showed that the first published mention in print media was in the GamePro game magazine in 2003, listing video game myths and legends. The author of the article was contacted and said the "tip" about the Polybius game came from Kurt Koller. Mention of the game then appeared to have been posted on slashdot.org shortly after the article was published, and exposure of the myth basically snowballed from that point forward.

No other mentions of the game appeared anywhere in the usenet archives or in over the 3,000 issues of game magazines that the author of the video searched between 1980 and 2000. (However, I am curious if coin operator magazines were searched, or just video game enthusiast magazines).

The author of the video proposes several possible sources of various aspects of the myth that may have been used as inspiration for creating it.

So if everything in the video is true, the it looks like we may have a reasonably solid answer to the source of the Polybius video game myth.

#2 2 years ago

............................................huh? o_o

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polybius_(video_game)

Oh.

#3 2 years ago

Yeah, it's known more around video game collector circles. It's still interesting to see someone dig into it and try to get to the bottom of it.

#4 2 years ago

Interesting. I'll have to watch the video. I think it'd be hilarious if it was all fake. I've read lots of "first hand" stories of people getting sick after playing it and have even seen a couple cabs in the background of some of Todd Tuckey's videos, namely the one where the Cinemassacre guys went through his shop.

Would be kind of cool to do a Polybius MAME cabinet, though.

#5 2 years ago

I remember this urban legend,m; I always came away thinking "isn't this part of a movie, or a book I read?" Last starfighter I guess, but it also vaguely reminds me of that Emilio Estevez movie where he's in an arcade and it comes to life (or something like that)

#6 2 years ago

Just a myth ?
Seen it played it.

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#7 2 years ago

That's a retro creation as aRESULT of the myth

#9 2 years ago
Quoted from ForceFlow:

Yep, there are a handful of examples created by enthusiasts. I'm seeing at least a dozen distinctly different custom cabinets:
https://www.google.com/search?q=polybius+custom+game

Post hoc ergo propter hoc

#10 2 years ago

Thank you for this Flow...I always got a kick out of the story...looking forward to watching..............Joey

#11 2 years ago

The one I've played is created by the programmer of the elusive game. Also it has an Oregon tax stamp on it if that helps.
His is #4 and #6 in the pics you show above. Same machine.

#12 2 years ago

hassellcastle - if the game is real, have him dump the rom online or have him meet with the maker of that documentary. I'm sure he'd love to talk to him, if he hasn't already.

Although, after watching that documentary, which was fantastic BTW, my guess is he's not one of the people this guy tracked down as the source of the myth and the game on there is one of the fan made creations shown in the documentary, given the screenshot of the graphics. A fantastic fake, but fake nonetheless.

#13 2 years ago

Love the myth......let's leave it at that. The fan fakes are great. The truth is out there.....Scully and Mulder should be all over this.

#14 2 years ago

Just finished watching it. Excellent research and well documented. Thank you for recommending it!

#15 2 years ago
Quoted from Miguel351:

hassellcastle - if the game is real, have him dump the rom online or have him meet with the maker of that documentary. I'm sure he'd love to talk to him, if he hasn't already.
Although, after watching that documentary, which was fantastic BTW, my guess is he's not one of the people this guy tracked down as the source of the myth and the game on there is one of the fan made creations shown in the documentary, given the screenshot of the graphics. A fantastic fake, but fake nonetheless.

Fake screen shot?
Nooo....that's him playing the game when I snapped the pic. I have a brief video of him playing it too. The game is freaky I'll say that. There are subliminal messages throughout it. A very clever, unique game to say the least.

#16 2 years ago

Not the greatest clip. But this is all I have of Polybius on my phone. Next time I go to his house I'll try to get more footage.

#17 2 years ago

I never said that the screenshot was fake. I called the game a fake. After watching your video of it, its most definitely one of those tribute games that have sprung up over the years. I recognize the hexagon with the circles on its points in the center of it.

Here's 11 minutes of gameplay of that fan made game rom. Obviously a different level than the one in your video, but the center enemy, the ship, the sounds, the background "music", all identical.

#18 2 years ago

My son shared this video with me the other night and I thought it was a really fascinating tale! Definitely an interesting video to watch!

2 weeks later
#19 2 years ago

It may be fun to watch or talk about, but I just don't get why someone would make a documentary about something that is widely known to be made up/urban legend. Any game out there with that title is made up to mimic the story.

#20 2 years ago
Quoted from Joey_N:

It may be fun to watch or talk about, but I just don't get why someone would make a documentary about something that is widely known to be made up/urban legend. Any game out there with that title is made up to mimic the story.

It was an investigative dive into the legend to figure out where it originated from. Before this, nothing I read indicated that anyone knew anything about its actual origins.

2 months later
#21 1 year ago

Anyone listen to the podcast called the Polybius conspiracy?

#22 1 year ago

Not yet, I just heard about it on the radio this morning. Seven episodes, about 30 minutes each. Planning on listening to this (via Spotify) during the commute to and from work next week.

#23 1 year ago

It is a cool myth likened to the super rare Wonderbread He-Man brown hair figure, nobody knows where it came from either but there are original examples of this out there.

Personally I'm over Polybius its been played out to death lol, I do look forward to one day actually playing a Bouncer Arcade!

#24 1 year ago

TNT Amusements did a fun video with this and had video arcade nerd in the video. I read the wiki on it. Fun stuff indeed. Mulder and Scully return on the 3rd January you never know.....

#25 1 year ago
Quoted from klr650:

Not yet, I just heard about it on the radio this morning. Seven episodes, about 30 minutes each. Planning on listening to this (via Spotify) during the commute to and from work next week.

I listened to the whole thing this morning. It is a drama masquerading as an investigative report. I think everything it, people, places and events are fictional....

#26 1 year ago

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#27 1 year ago

Oooooooo! Stern should make a polybius pin! One where owners/players go insane! Oh wait, they could make it any game, release it with beta code, and not update it.

#28 1 year ago

How about this version?

#29 1 year ago

I’ve never heard of Polybius, interesting stuff.

#30 1 year ago

Have not seen that version.

#31 1 year ago
Quoted from toddtuckey:

How about this version? » YouTube video

That version is the best!

1 week later
#32 1 year ago
Quoted from tamoore:

I listened to the whole thing this morning. It is a drama masquerading as an investigative report. I think everything it, people, places and events are fictional....

Yeah, pretty hard to believe that any of those main characters exist. Oh well, at least (as a Podcast) it was good for the imagination.

#33 1 year ago
Quoted from klr650:

Yeah, pretty hard to believe that any of those main characters exist. Oh well, at least (as a Podcast) it was good for the imagination.

Clay is a real guy.. probably some of the other background people are real. I'm sure that the arcade they talk about from the past and the two or three other main characters are completely fictional.

#34 1 year ago

Funny, i had some old episodes of this season of the Goldbergs on my dvr. I started to burn through them and there it was on the haloween episode. A Polybius machine in the backround of the convienience store scene. Barry didnt play it but you got a good look at the machine for a solid 30 sec. I got a pretty good laugh...only one unfortunately cuz i cant stand that show anymore

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