You know, I’ve really been feeling like an old gamer lately. While there are still plenty of great games coming out every year, I still can’t help but notice more and more of the conventions I grew up falling away in favor of increasing monetization. These days, I’m finding myself wondering whether or not proper DLC will be going away soon, but before that my concern was the survival of bonus content. You remember bonus content right? Those cool rewards we used to get just for beating the game? Yeah, I miss it, and here some of my favorites!
Top o’ the Castle / Yoshi – Super Mario 64
Since I can’t really remember seeing much in the way of bonus content in the last couple of generations, I’ve no choice but to go back to the games of my childhood. Of these, easily the most memorable for me is finding Yoshi after collecting 120 stars in Super Mario 64. I’d seen other (better) examples of bonus content before this. The extra worlds in Super Mario World and the Donkey Kong Country games in particular come to mind, but this one really felt like an accomplishment. I’d run, jumped and launched Mario through every challenge the game threw at me and emerged victorious on the other side. I didn’t care that Yoshi looked terrible and gave me a basically useless prize. I earned it, and I still love climbing up there and saying hi to that blocky green dinosaur every so often!
Insomniac Museum – Ratchet and Clank
Seeing as I’m a longtime Insomniac Games fan, I’ve probably talked about the Insomniac Museum at some point before. Finding my way into this virtual hall of half-finished ideas and testing environments was just so impressive. So much so in fact, that I’d use it as a gauge for other pieces of bonus content (back when bonus content was still a thing). The Insomniac Museum in Ratchet and Clank 2: Going Commando was my very first glimpse behind the curtain of game development, and I found it absolutely fascinating at the time. Here were all the things that, once upon a time, were going to be in one of my favorite games, and I get to see it! How crazy was that?! I loved finding this and would come to be disappointed when I never found anything else of a similar nature.
Fierce Deity Mask – The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
I suppose the Fierce Deity Mask is sort of a cheat since you don’t have to collect absolutely everything in order to get it. However, you do have to collect all the important things. You are only awarded the Fierce Deity Mask at the end of Majora’s Mask if you collect every single Happy Mask in the game. That means completing practically every side-quest and who know how many runs through the game’s three day cycle.
It’s absolutely worth it though, since (Twinmold aside) the Fierce Deity Mask is basically easy mode for the game’s bosses. All you have to do to win is stand in one spot and mash A. Is it cheap? Yes. Does it feel great after slogging through some of these fights a few times. Oh yeah! Is it awesome to just stomp Majora into the dust? You better believe it! As an added bonus, Link looks downright cool as the “Fierce Deity!” This is hands down the best bonus I’ve ever gotten, and it probably will never be topped either. Kind of a sad thought, but ah well.
What are your favorite pieces of bonus content in games? Are you just as sad as we are that it’s probably a gaming relic at this point?
Lede image from official Sony website