pro tip

Pro tip: Skate or Die 2, unlimited lives

The story mode in Skate or Die 2 is nigh impossible. But there's another mode you can play to pass some time. It's you with three minutes and three boards (a.k.a. lives) to score as many points as you can.

But, pulling off tricks is pretty tough, and if you fail, you'll probably break your board... or worse, usually in a comically tragic fashion.

And, since it's so easy to fail, you're probably going to have a real hard time making it for the full three minutes the first couple of hundred times you play it.

So, what do you do?

Start a new game, move your guy to the top of the ramp, wait until he scratches his head, press Start, Start, Select. Done right you'll hear this sound.

Once you hear that, you'll have unlimited boards and be able to crash all you want. Though you'll still have that pesky 3 minute timer to deal with. Not a whole lot we can do about that.

Pro tip: Exploding Critters

In Warcraft III, during all the warring hubbub you might notice the occasional random animal running around the landscape. You can ignore them or attack them. They don't drop any treasure or put up much of a fight, so there's no real point in doing either. Unless you just want to test how sharp your swords are.

But, if you get particularly bored, you can try clicking on them... which doesn't do a whole lot. Click it about four dozen more times and...

Ka-freaking-boom. The critter explodes with a mushroom cloud, flying giblets, and ground deformation. It's pretty intense. Kinda makes me wonder what the creatures of Azeroth eat.

Unfortunately, while the explosion is pretty awesome, it doesn't actually damage anything. Anything other than the critter that self-destructs, that is. So you can't use it as some kind of stealth bomb thing.

Pro tip: Alternate uses for a ketchup jellybean

In A Boy and his Blob you take control of a guy with a pet blob.


He has to use the blob to do pretty much anything, and he does that by giving the blob (Blobert) jellybeans. Each flavor jellybean will make the blob turn into something different and occasionally useful. Except the ketchup flavor. I'm not even sure where you'd get ketchup flavor jellybeans, Jelly Belly doesn't make them. Though I can't imagine they'd be any worse than those Buttered Popcorn beans.

But, I've gone off on a secant.

Anyway, the ketchup bean is used if you lose your blob somehow and he can't get back to you. Throw the bean and he'll 'catch up' to where you are.

Very clever.

But, if you throw a honey flavor bean at your blob and before he finishes transforming throw a ketchup bean at him, he'll turn into a brick wall.

What does the wall do? Does it block enemy projectile chocolate kisses? Does it hold up a slowly closing door while you race to the other side to hit some control switch? Does it just look cool?

Unfortunately, the answer to all those questions is 'no'. The wall doesn't do anything other than waste a couple of jellybeans. But the masonry looks kind of nice, so it's got that going for it.

Pro tip: Don't believe everything you read, the Konami Code edition

Just about everyone knows about the ol' 'Konami Code'. It's even got its own Wikipedia entry. But for those that are too lazy to click the link, the gist is this: Starting with Gradius, a sequence of button presses (Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A) gave (in that game) lots of armaments. Since then it's found its way (sometimes with slight variations) into lots more games, most by Konami, with varying effects.

Somewhere along the line, though, the ubiquity of the code became something of a legend and it started popping up in other games. Wikipedia has a long list of such games, one of which caught my eye.

* 3-D World Runner (DOG, NES) - Pausing the game and entering Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A will cause a message to come up saying "I AM NOT KONANI".

I have the game, so I decided to give it a shot. I started a new game, paused it, entered the code and was greeted with this:

I thought that I might be having some problems with entering the code properly. Even though the NES Advantage is the best controller ever made, I sometimes have trouble hitting left or right without also hitting up or down, so I swapped out the Advantage for a smaller standard NES controller.

Started a new game, paused, entered the code and got this:

I was starting to feel a little frustrated, so I searched the Internet, looking for a picture that would corroborate this story and I found... Absolutely nothing! In fact, the only references I found to the code working in this game either just referenced the Wikipedia article or copied the info from it verbatim.

So, the lesson is: if something doesn't sound right, go out and test it! It may not be.

Pro tip: Uncollectable money bag in Castlevania

The original Castlevania game had lots of hidden bags of treasure that would only appear if you squatted down on a certain block or stood still in a certain place for long enough. However, there's one treasure sack that can't be collected by any means. Why's it there? No idea.

First, make your way to what the game calls 'Stage 9', but what is actually the end boss of the third area. Find this block:

Now, just press Left for a few seconds and viola! A money bag that pops up in a completely inaccessible location.

Ultimately, this is kind of pointless, but you might be able to use it to win a bet or something.

Pro tip: Your PS2 and Xbox 360 has more buttons than you might think

At first glance, it might appear that the Xbox 360 and Playstation 2 consoles have quite enough buttons, over 11 at last count (which is more digits that most people have on all of their hands combined). But, what you may not know is that the two control sticks are also buttons. Simply apply pressure to each of the sticks like you were pressing a button and, presto! You're rewarded with the clicking sound of a button freshly pressed.

Of course, what this will accomplish will be determined on the game and whether or not the developer actually knew that these were buttons that could have functions assigned to them. So give it a try and see what happens!

Pro tip: Secret of Mana's End Boss is a pushover

Spoilers galore in today's protip, so if you don't want a 15 year old game spoiled, don't click on this link.

Pro tip: Super Mario Bros. All the Powerups

Since we're talking about the original Super Mario Bros. lately, I've prepared a short video showing you where all the powerups are. Make sure you take real good notes because I kind of left out pesky things like 'context'.

Yeah, I know the sound gets out of wonk in a couple of places, but I'm too lazy to change it back, so you'll just have to consider those parts to be 'easter eggs'.

Pro tip: Super Mario Bros. - Hold A and press Start to continue

It might not seem like it now since so many of us have played it to death, but the original Super Mario Bros. is a tough game until you have the whole thing memorized, so if you're new to the game you're going to see this a lot:

But all is not lost! Once the title screen pops back up, hold down the A Button and press Start to start back up at the beginning of the world where you bought the farm.

Of course, as you get better, you probably won't need this any more. At least, that's the goal.

Protip: Shoot the Cyberdemon until it dies

Let's start at the beginning, so we all know where we come from.

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