101 game facts that will rock your world

Fact: We love facts. And the world of gaming is absolutely littered with astonishing/pointless/obscure trivia to cram into your brain. So, not-so-hot on the trail of last year's tepidly received 101 things you didn't know about games, we bring you another staggering list of game-related info detritus for your consuming pleasure. Memorize both gargantuan lists and become the ultimate know-it-all gamer.

01. Sonic The Hedgehog isn't only the name of Sega's speedy mascot, but also a gene on chromosome 7 of the human genome. Well, it was until recently when the science community decided to ditch all of its 'comedy' names for genes. Party poopers.

02. Matt Damon refused to appear in the recent Bourne Conspiracy game because he thought it was too violent. Not fussed by the violence in the films then, eh, Matt?

03. Ever wondered what happens to Leon's cool leather jacket in Resident Evil 4? It inexplicably disappears after the scene in the village. Well, on the PS2 version, go through Ada's side-quest and one of the Ganado villagers will be wearing it.

04. In the early stages of its development, Half-Life 2 featured a friendly alien that would follow Gordon Freeman around, feasting on the bodies of his fallen enemies. It was taken out when Valve discovered that the AI would be too difficult to convincingly program.

05. In 1986, Nintendo released a special Disk System peripheral for the NES in Japan. Among its features was a microphone in the controller, which certain games used, including an updated version of the original Zelda. You could only destroy a certain enemy by shouting into the mic.

06. The famously awful E.T. game for the Atari 2600 actually sold more than its most famous game, Space Invaders. E.T. sold 1.5 million, while Invaders only shifted a million.

07. A boss character called Binbag was removed from Rockstar's Manhunt early in its development. He was a psychopath wrapped in black refuse sacks. Lovely.

08. Rockstar also removed a character from Grand Theft Auto 3, although this time it was said to be because of the terrorist attacks on September 11th. He was called Darkel, a homeless guy who'd get you to rig buildings with explosives.

09. In the video game sequel to John Carpenter's seminal sci-fi horror film The Thing, the legendary director made a cameo appearance as a character called Doctor Faraday. He also oversaw the production of the game to make sure it was faithful to his original vision.

10. In Pilotwings 64, the character Lark is actually the mascot for famous American games magazine Nintendo Power, Nester. His name was changed at the last minute, probably because PAL gamers wouldn't know who he was.

11. Oscar-winning actor Marlon Brando recorded dialogue for EA's Godfather game shortly before he died, but it was deemed unusable due to the bloated thesp's ageing, mumbly voice. Instead, they hired in a sound-alike. What a waste of money, eh?

12. Vivendi's underrated Scarface game also featured a sound-alike, but this one was personally chosen by Al Pacino himself, hence the spot-on likeness. His name is Andre Sogliuzzo and he's a veteran video game voice actor.

13. DJ Atomica, the (some would say) annoying announcer in Burnout Paradise, is the same guy who provided the commentary for SSX 3. In Paradise, he makes reference to SSX several times, suggesting it's supposed to be the same character.

14. The Little Sisters from BioShock didn't start their life as little girls at all, but rather tiny mole-like creatures who scuttled around Rapture collecting Adam. Early concept art also shows them as retro '50s-style robots, too. We think they made the right choice.

15. UK Radio One DJ, Chris Moyles, was an enemy in the game spin-off of hit TV show 24. He played an Eastern European terrorist, who Jack Bauer found himself fighting at the end of an early level. It was only his face however; the voice was provided by another actor.

16. Another unlikely celebrity cameo is UK chat show host Jonathan Ross, who 'starred' in Halo 3. He supplies the voice of one of the marines who helps Master Chief, although it's very rare that one of his lines comes up -it's a totally random, and rare, occurrence.

17. In The Legend Of Zelda: Link's Awakening, the advisor from the SNES version of Sim City, Dr Wright, appears in a house. He's named after Will Wright, the creator of the Sim series.

18. In Fallout 2, there's a hidden room in Junktown, in the Cafe Of Broken Dreams, where you can find Dogmeat, the Vault Dweller from the first game's faithful hound.

19. In the original Super Smash Brothers Melee, the Princess Daisy trophy had a mysterious third eye on the back of its head. Unfortunate glitch? Or something more sinister?

20. Sony's beautiful monster-toppling adventure game Shadow Of The Colossus was originally going to feature groups of characters on horseback working to take down the colossi cooperatively. This proved too taxing for the PS2's hardware, sadly.