In this episode of Cheat Code Retrospective, we're taking a look at some of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater's awesome (and bizarre) cheat codes!
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Cheat Code Retrospective #2 - Tony Hawk's Pro Skater
Originally Released October 29, 2017
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater (1999) was a first of its kind. Released on Nintendo 64, PlayStation 1 (PSX), Dreamcast, Game Boy Color, and even N-Gage. Developed by Neversoft and published by Activision, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater has some rad cheat codes, but also some of the strangest in all gaming history.
Codes were entered in the pause menu through a series of button combos. If you had the Playstation or Dreamcast versions of the game, you could enter a single code to unlock all levels, all FMV sequences, all tapes, full stats, and the hidden character. But those with the Nintendo 64 version had to do it the hard way.
Sequels would become known for their hidden characters, including an appearance from Spider-Man and Darth Maul. But that tradition actually has its roots in this first title with the hidden character Officer Dick, a skateboarding police officer. Players could unlock Officer Dick by collecting every tape in the game with a single character.
To play as Private Carrera, the player must start a game as Officer Dick, then pause the game and enter a special code. The player then has to quit the level and Officer Dick will be replaced by Private Carrera on the character select screen.
Tony Hawk reportedly stated that Private Carrera was suggested by a Neversoft employee and named after the famous Porsche 911, clarifying she’s not based on an adult actress. However, all evidence points to the contrary. Private Carrera’s character screen is suggestive at best, with the pornography inspired age “barely legal” and a set of questionably named tricks, including the Well Hardflip and the Ho Ho Ho. In later games, she’s given a less than subtle biography that says she’s quote “always ready for action” and “If it’s hard, like skateboarding, she’s on it.”
More than likely, the character is a reference to 90’s adult actress Asia Carrera who also appeared in the 1998 film The Big Lebowski. She fits the height requirement and has even modeled wearing a similar outfit. While Asia Carrera retired from the industry in 2003, Private Carrera went on to appear in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 and 3. It’s a reasonable theory that one of the devs was a fan of the actress, or perhaps part of an inside joke. And this wouldn’t be the last time a porn star would appear in a Tony Hawk game. In Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4, Jenna Jameson provided her likeness and voice for the hidden character Daisy.
Private Carrera isn’t the only mystery woman in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. In possibly the strangest cheat codes in all of gaming history, players could enter a code that would cause a picture of an unknown woman to appear in the upper right corner of the screen. And that was it. No bonuses, no hidden levels, just a black and white photo of a random girl. Many fans have speculated that the mystery woman is actually Tony Hawk’s then wife Erin Lee. Whether or not this is true is up for debate, but the strangeness doesn’t end here. There was a second, less popular code that players could enter to unlock another mystery woman’s photograph. This time a young brunette who’s rumored to be the girlfriend of one of the developers. But the source of this rumor is unknown so it can’t be confirmed. But for the tinfoil hat enthusiasts, there are some possible clues in the game’s credits. Programmer Ryan McMahon gives a special thanks to a mysterious Linda T., with the message “I said I'd put you in a game somehow, so here you are!” While he’s most likely referring to the special thanks itself, perhaps it’s a hint at something more.
Superman instrumental cover by Karl Golden (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayuJlyFvm2E)
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