Super Mario 64's mysterious "L is real 2401" message explained

I can remember browsing the internet in the early days, hunting down every bit of speculation I could for the very image above. I wanted to know what the sign said and really meant. Most fans know the message as "L is real 2401". For years now, it seems like there was never a definitive answer as to what the sign meant. Turns out someone got the answer back in 1998 from a Nintendo game counselor.

Long story short, it means absolutely nothing and wasn't a tease of anything. It was just put in place to drive fans nuts. I'd say 20 years of speculation certainly proves their goal was achieved.

More footage of the cancelled Rayman SNES game

I would really, REALLY love to have a chance to play this. I always find this kind of thing interesting. I am quite a big fan of the original Rayman, so getting a chance to play this version that predates it would be so exciting!

Pokemon devs share in-depth details on the creation of Red/Blue

The following information comes from a Retro Gamer interview with Game Freak’s Junichi Masuda and Ken Sugimori...

Masuda on the creative process for Pokemon Red/Blue

“From the inception of the idea to the completion of Red & Blue took a total of about six years, so a long time! We started by creating loads of different Pokemon designs, then we reduced that down to the favorite 150. That took a lot of effort. After that, once we were happy with our designs, we started working on the moves they could each use. This process probably accounted for around three of those six years. It was quite the task! There wasn’t an initial plan of which Pokémon would get which moves – we designed the Pokémon then designed the moves, then decided which would fit well together as a gradual process.”

Masuda on how the Game Boy's limited power impacted development decisions

“It was difficult. The thing we wanted to focus on at the start was communication and trading but it was difficult to do that as we could only transfer small amounts of data between two consoles. Communication itself was a big challenge – the technology just wasn’t there but we really wanted to do it, so we fought to get it in there. That was an overriding theme – it was a fight against capacity, a fight against what we could fit onto the cartridge. We had designed these 150-odd Pokémon to get in as well. But then we had the problem of movement, so we came up with the idea of the map tiles being the things that moved while the character was animated in place. With these ideas, we found ways to squeeze as much in as we possibly could. I like the Game Boy as a machine but trying to work with all these challenges and make a game that anyone could get into and enjoy was difficult.”

How the Pokemon Red/Blue names were chosen

“Originally, it was kind of based on how people feel about and view different colors. The clearest split for us was between red and green but when we started thinking about abroad, it was clear that wasn’t the case. In America in particular, it’s red and blue that are considered ‘opposites’, if you will.”

Struggles with making the English versions of the games

“With the capacity problems mentioned earlier, one thing that we found is that English takes up more space on the cart than Japanese. We had no room! Everything was so full on that cartridge and there was little space to implement English at the time we created it. So we had a lot of memory problems to solve – things like changing Pokémon names and even the name entry screen, which was all designed in Japanese. To change that to accommodate English was really difficult and something we hadn’t considered when first designing the game. We really had to spend a lot of time working on all of this.”

“Another example is the Pokédex. In the original Japanese versions, you just had one screen and everything was displayed there whereas in the US and European versions, it had to be changed to have two screens with the names and details of the Pokémon. Doing all these great changes took a long time, so that was what contributed to the delay. We never expected things to be so popular abroad, either – we had no idea this would be such a phenomenon so that was really amazing. But yes, it took a long time to make all the changes needed to get the game into different markets.”

Masuda on how the worlds of Pokemon video games, TCG and anime all work together

“We do have various staff involved in different things and we always think about these when developing a game. We really want to think about how we can develop beyond the game and widen things once it’s finished. For the card game in particular, we’ve got Creatures Inc. working on the game itself and we discuss with them how best we can expand on the game there and how the new Pokémon we’re creating might fit in with their plans. As we develop the game, we get the TV, TCG and animation teams in to play it so that they have a better idea of what the world, the characters and the Pokémon are like. We’re all creating the characters and the settings together so that they’re consistent across movies, games and trading cards.”

Sugimori on why Game Freak limits the number of new Pokemon in each game

“The reason why there are about 100 Pokémon added per game is not that we can’t come up with the ideas, especially when we have new staff – everyone can come up with unique ideas. The number is set by the duration of the project. Plus, if you added like 300 or so new monsters, that’d just be too many – we have to think of the balance of battles.”

Sugimori on the restrictions of adding new types

“By adding even one more type, it definitely makes the gameplay more complicated so when we did that, we had to really look into the battle balance. With new moves, there’s an infinite combination. If we can solve that problem, we can always add more types – it’s not impossible.”

GoNintendo Podcast Webisode 591

You can tell it's an exciting time for Nintendo fans because there's so much news to cover! The podcast has been really firing on all cylinders lately, with tons of topics to cover and plenty of weirdness from the podcast crew. Had an absolute blast doing this show. I hope that fun comes through for you!

Download the show here!

North America - Picross e7 hitting 3DS eShop on Dec. 15th

An eShop listing has confirmed that Picross e7 is finally coming stateside. The title is due out in the states on Dec. 15th, and it's priced at $6. No word on Europe at this time.

Japan - eShop sales for Dec. 10th, 2016

Osomatsu-san Matsumatsuri! Early Purchase Campaign (7 December - 18 January)

– Osomatsu-san Matsumatsuri! (¥5,184 → ¥4,666) 3DS

ONE PIECE Game Festival Winter Sale (16 December - 11 January)

– One Piece: Super Grand Battle! X (¥6,145 → ¥3,700) 3DS
– One Piece: Dai Kaizoku Colosseum (¥6,156 → ¥5,200) 3DS

Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns 20% OFF Campaign (14 December - 11 January)

– Bokujou Monogatari: Mitsu no Sato no Taisetsu na Tomodachi (¥5,378 → ¥4,302) 3DS

Cross Function New Year Sale (14 December - 11 January)

– Chariot (¥1,499 → ¥749) Wii U
– Runbow (¥1,619 → ¥971) Wii U
– Master Reboot (¥1,619 → ¥971) Wii U

Cosen Winter Sale * (14 - 28 December)

– FreezeME (¥1,500 → ¥??) Wii U
– Puddle (¥900 → ¥??) Wii U
– Wooden Sen'Sey (¥1,000 → ¥??) Wii U
– 99 Seconds (¥300 → ¥??) Wii U
– Super Toy Cars (¥900 → ¥??) Wii U
– Rock ‘N Racing Off Road (¥800 → ¥??) Wii U
– Kung Fu Rabbit (¥600 → ¥??) Wii U
– Abyss (¥300 → ¥??) Wii U

Digimon Universe: Appli Monsters Early Purchase Campaign (16 November - 28 December)

– Digimon Universe: Appli Monsters (¥6,156 → ¥5,540) 3DS

Kemco 2nd Super Sale (7 - 21 December)

– D.M.L.C.: Death Match Love Comi (¥1,080 → ¥500) Wii U
– Asdivine Hearts (¥1,080 → ¥500) Wii U

Detective Conan TV Anime 20th Anniversary Campaign (30 November - 14 December)

– Detective Conan: Marionette Symphony (¥5,637 → ¥3,400) 3DS
– Detective Conan: Phantom Rhapsody (¥6,156 → ¥4,000) 3DS