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Special Christmas Features In Games?

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the ho-ho-ho dept.

Christmas Cheer 62

An anonymous reader writes "Some online and offline videogames make special changes for the holiday season. There's the Planetside Christmas decorations, where Sony has embedded the holidays into their futuristic online war, and also a Christmas mutator for Unreal Tournament 2003. What other holiday changes are people seeing in their gaming today?" Phantasy Star Online has also instituted some neat changes for Xmas.

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62 comments

You Don't Know Jack (4, Informative)

Myself (57572) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808371)

The YDKJ series includes special features for all sorts of holidays and anniversaries. It also checks the system clock, and will greet you with things like "weeeeelcome to the insomniac edition of you don't know jack!"

Re:You Don't Know Jack (1)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808692)

The YDKJ series are great!

Sims Online added stuff like christmas trees and snowmen. They also gave everyone a turkey (same as they did for Thanksgiving).

Re:You Don't Know Jack (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 10 years ago | (#7812140)

Black and White has that sort of thing for time-based stuff - iirc, your advisers pop up and tell you if there's a full moon, ask you if you're tired if you're playing late, etc.

Dungeon Keeper 2 has two that I remember - "Surely even Dungeon Keepers have a lair to retire to?" if you're playing late, and "It's the witching hour..." if you're playing at midnight.

Oh, and I was playing UT on some server or other a couple of days ago, and they had applied a mod that made each flag a Christmas tree, and showed snow falling over the score board, between maps, etc.

Nights and Heavy Gear II (4, Funny)

jvmatthe (116058) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808380)

Nights for the Sega Saturn had a special Xmas version that used the internal clock in the Saturn to release special items during Christmas. Sadly, it appears that GameFAQs doesn't have any information about it specifically, but you can read the FAQ by STowle on this page for Nights [gamefaqs.com] which has a description in an appendix.

Finally, Heavy Gear II apparently has little red-and-white Santa hats on the Gears on Christmas day. I don't know for sure if this works in all versions, but I know it did in the Linux one.

Everquest (4, Insightful)

Osmosis_Garett (712648) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808415)

Everquest used to give all players gnomish fireworks for Christmas, completely saturating the market there with these useless items. Of course, since they're useless, there really was no market for them in the first place. Christmas brought about the only time that Gnomes could really sell those items. I also remember a few oversized Trolls or Ogres handing out presents to newbies... to be honest, Everquest always seemed to have the most Christmas spirit in any of the MMO games I've played (and I've played most).

At this point, I dont see any reason why a massively multiplayer world wouldn't give their user base a christmas gift, unless the dev team is made up of Grinches.

I dont know if MMO games really qualify within this topic. I am sure that games like 'Animal Crossing' would have time sensitive items to unlock. I seem to remember Black and White having a Christmas 'easteregg', and possibly Warcraft2, but someone will have to verify those. Considering the small amount of code required to add features like these to games, the only thing that would keep the developers from adding them is the risk of 'feature creep'; IMHO it would be a better world if features like these were the norm.

Asheron's Call (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810089)

The good folks at Turbine never failed to fill Asheron's Call with all sorts of treats every holiday season. I remember one year every character in the game was given a little toy monster (a scaled down version of the more famous monsters in the game). I think there were something close to a dozen different types, and people traded to try and get full sets and what not. All the toys would go through cute little animations when placed on the ground, and all had delightful names... I still miss my little pet Tusker.

"Who wants a 'nanner? Tusker want a 'nanner?"

Re:Everquest (1)

cicatrix1 (123440) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810242)

In FFXI they decorated all of the trees in the home cities in christmas fasion, and there is 1 moogle standing (flying? hovering?) in a main area in each of the 3 major cities handing out fireworks. There is speculation about some holiday themed quest, but as far as I know nothing has been uncovered.

If you want to check out the decorations, check out the Vana'diel Live Cam [playonline.com] at the game's site, and you should see some in the background.

Re:Everquest (2, Insightful)

defjesta (620657) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810264)

"At this point, I dont see any reason why a massively multiplayer world wouldn't give their user base a christmas gift, unless the dev team is made up of Grinches."

I couldnt beleive my eyes when I read this. Are you that close minded? or just stupidly insensitive? Not everyone celebrates your capitalist festival, and I for one, would never put any christmas features in a game.

Open you mind a bit and maybe dont be so quick to judge.

For the record, I am a christian and a westener.

Re:Everquest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810314)

The fuck off and leave others in peace.

Re:Everquest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7810925)

So in other words you're saying "open your mind" and in the same sentence are saying people should close themselves off to other ideas that you don't necessarily celebrate? F'ing nice, hypocrite.

Re:Everquest (1)

MemoryAid (675811) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810996)

...and I for one, would never put any christmas features in a game.

I think I read something recently about this attitude. Oh, yes, here it is:

At this point, I dont see any reason why a massively multiplayer world wouldn't give their user base a christmas gift, unless the dev team is made up of Grinches. (The latter emphasis is mine.)

Nothing like providing supporting evidence to the other side of the "insensitive" argument.

(I had a problem with my blockquotes, too, until I used the preview button to check it out.)

Re:Everquest (1)

Osmosis_Garett (712648) | more than 10 years ago | (#7814410)

You're right in part, and I would put to you that there is no reason why they couldnt put in a form of celebration for every religion.

Re:Everquest (1)

Stray7Xi (698337) | more than 10 years ago | (#7819368)

At this point, I dont see any reason why a massively multiplayer world wouldn't give their user base a christmas gift, unless the dev team is made up of Grinches.

Grinches hehe.. a book that tries to demonstrate that Christmas isn't just about giving gifts but is about good will. The book is against the consumerization of XMas, which is amazing considering the marketting gone into it recently (Jim Carrey movie, toys etc). The moral of the story is NOT generosity.

Scrooge would of been a lot better choice.

However you still seem to be under the assumption that the whole world subscribes to Christmas, the illegimate child of Christianity and Consumerism. There's plenty of things Devs can do to show they care, without getting the taint of Christmas on their game.

No thanks, I know how to be generous and kind without a social obligation, and my way works the other 364.2425 days a year.

Arr....Puzzle Pirates (4, Interesting)

Seraphim_72 (622457) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808423)

Snow on the isles and Poinsettias, gave me adrink of rum when I saws them ....garrrr...

Puzzle Pirates (1)

Apreche (239272) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808438)

Puzzle Pirates covered all the islands in snow and holiday decorations. It's not very impressive looking, but it obviously took a lot of work. Yarrrr

blizzard (3, Informative)

mraymer (516227) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808440)

Not exactly in game, but amusing none-the-less. Blizzard has a couple of MP3s with a Christmas theme. The 12 Days O Xmas [blizzard.com] features StarCraft units in a parody of the classic song. Nasty Diablo [blizzard.com] is a parody of Frosty the Snowman. Both are hilarious!

Re:blizzard (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 10 years ago | (#7812449)

> The 12 Days O Xmas features StarCraft units in a parody of the classic song.

Always good fun. "I hate all this singing..." "Why am I so jolly?"

Chris Mattern
"Who spiked the eggnog?"

ADOM (1)

Infinite93 (664963) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808460)

ADOM gives your character some bonus or the other. I think the game also started with "you follow a star to the valley..."

Dark Castle (2, Interesting)

heldlikesound (132717) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808475)

Dark Castle would display a Christmas tree in the corner of the room if the date was Dec. 25...

Beyond Dark Castle (2, Interesting)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 10 years ago | (#7809176)

Beyond Dark Castle had a christmas tree and stolkings around the fireplace when you went in the game on dec 25.

Star Wars Galaxies (2, Interesting)

genrader (563784) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808476)

Galaxies gave away "Wookie Life Day Orbs" for Wookie Life Day in City Halls (I'm mayor of Apollyon, Lok on Corbantis server) to give to citizens. Aside from that, we get a 7 day "buddy key" to let friends try Galaxies, and also everyoen got one or two free Jedi Holocrons.

The Simpsons Hit and Run (1)

Dreadlord (671979) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808478)

The game usually starts with Homer taking a nap in the living room, on 12.25, he changes his cloths to something like Santa's, and there is an xmas tree in the room.
The gameplay is the same though, but I think it's a nice touch.

Re:The Simpsons Hit and Run (1)

balthan (130165) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810715)

He wears a pilgrim outfit on Thanksgiving, too. Don't know about any other holidays.

Re:The Simpsons Hit and Run (1)

reiggin (646111) | more than 10 years ago | (#7836644)

There are halloween decorations about on Oct. 31. That was my first catch of these surprises.

Re:The Simpsons Hit and Run (1)

damniel (662838) | more than 10 years ago | (#7812799)

I just saw this yesterday. Thought it was a neat touch. I don't remember many PS2 games ever doing this. Anyone name any others?

Sad sad sad... (-1, Troll)

KBV (732207) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808493)

This is actually pretty sad if you ask me, not enough that we have been reminded of christmas ever since october. But now this! Christmas has lost all form of meaning if you ask me.

Re:Sad sad sad... (1)

bugbread (599172) | more than 10 years ago | (#7809940)

Yeah, but it's not like the games are throwing Christmas decorations at you every day from Thanksgiving, just Christmassy orientation on Christmas day itself. If you find that sad, gotta say, that's a bit of the grinch.

Something similar... (0)

Lord Graga (696091) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808542)

In Dungeon Keeper, a message is displayed everytime some of the developers has birthday, and so on. Maybe it also happends when it's christmas, I haven't tried.

Spaceword Ho! (1)

yosemite (6592) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808604)

My favorite feature of Spaceword Ho! was on christmas all the planets turned into little santa heads..

Er, Animal Crossing (3, Interesting)

n0wak (631202) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808758)

Then again, seasonal events and holidays are the entire point of the game.

Speaking of which, that reminds me: maybe I should visit my town to see what I got for Christmas. Though the downside will be the fact that the damned bitchy rooster will call me out for not visiting for almost a year. Man, my neighbours are going to be pissed.

Re:Er, Animal Crossing (1)

Morgon (27979) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808901)

You and me both, I haven't turned it on since my birthday of last year (Which is in October).

I think what makes it even worse is that there will be a LOT of cleaning to do, ripping weeds up and what not.

Maybe my in-game gift will be a lawnmower.

The Incredible Machine (4, Informative)

denubis (105145) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808798)

The really old game The Incredible Machine (and the other expansion packs/versions) would give you holday themed objects.

AFAIK, they had a christmas tree, a halloween jack-o-lantern, and a thanksgiving turkey.

That was a great game.

X-mas Dust (1)

Moggie68 (614870) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808898)

Counter-Strike does not have any time sensitive features (far as I know), but there's a map called X-mas Dust floating around in the web (someone, please, give the credit where it's due, I don't know the origin of this map). It is the standard Dust map, but there are snowmen, xmas presents and santas scattered about in the map. Also, there are xmas lights that lit up when a character passes them.

Project-Entropia (0)

MTgeekMAN (700406) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808930)

A few days ago MindArk gave most of the Project-Entropia [project-entropia.com] players the option of a christmas tree or 100 fireworks.



neither object had any value though. just for looks

I don't know if this counts... (1)

xintegerx (557455) | more than 10 years ago | (#7809082)

But Natural Selection HL mod is supposed to go to version 3.0 sometime today!

That means the christmas feature is that alien and marine individuals can now duke it out in deathmatch instead of on teams!

More Christmas Features (1)

xintegerx (557455) | more than 10 years ago | (#7809091)

- Uniball (uniball-central.com) is down over the holidays, how great of a gift is that for your players! Also-Health Clubs are closed -- HOW THE HELL ARE WE GOING TO STAY AT 4% BODY FAT!!!!! ;)

FFXI (2, Interesting)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 10 years ago | (#7809151)

FFXI has had moogles giving out fireworks and trees decorated in towns ever since the patch on the 18th. They also have some performing NPCs breathing fire and juggling knives, but I'm not sure if that's holiday related.

Re:FFXI (1)

cicatrix1 (123440) | more than 10 years ago | (#7811656)

They also have some performing NPCs breathing fire and juggling knives, but I'm not sure if that's holiday related.

That's not holiday related. Whichever of the three nations is ahead in conquest points (through higher level missions and general killing the most monsters in the area) has that traveling band of performers in their town.

Sidekick (2, Informative)

RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) | more than 10 years ago | (#7809158)

On the Danger Hiptop (T-Mobile Sidekick), there is an easter egg game called "snowbored". Inside this game is a meta easter egg - the trees turn into Christmas trees in the month of December.

Hey Mr,Informative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7812096)

Is it worth owning one of these devices? Sorry about the offtopic, but I'm trying to decide if it's worth getting one to replace my crappy cell phone.

Re:Hey Mr,Informative? (1)

RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) | more than 10 years ago | (#7833354)

Yes. With software 1.1, there is an application called "terminal monkey", which is a surprisingly capable SSH implementation. Also, the web browser is reasonably fast and comes in handy when you need directions. The keyboard is the best of any portable device; I can actually type at 30WPM which makes responding to Slashdot articles or replying to email easy. The best part is that all of your info gets synchronized to their backend servers so you can access it on your desktop - and if you have to change phones, you keep all of your preferences/contacts/etc.

Upsides:
- Good color screen
- Very nice keyboard
- Not too bulky
- Easy navigation
- Good interface
- Full multitasking
- Nice email client
- Nice web browser
- Continuous sync
- Always connected
- Excellent Java development environment
- Usable SSH client

Downsides:
- Not too many 3rd party apps, require devkit to install
- No MP3 playback
- No Outlook sync
- Some quality control problems
- Battery life only 1-2 days
- 600ms latency makes SSH somewhat painful (line entry helps)
- Can have signal strength issues (depends on your locale)

It's not an easter egg... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7809209)

But a few people running Team Fortress servers have set up christmas versions of the 2fort map.

One will randomly turn grenades into christmas presents.

The other is freaky with a sky that looks like pollen scanned with an electron microscope, and the levels are dotted with what appears to be survey equipment, christmas trees, and costumes that you can put on like Santa, a Snowman, one of the aliens form Half Life, and Homer Simpson. And the costumes say freaky things or play music. Oh and each fort has a "One Ring" which you can touch to turn invisible.

Subspace Cheer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7809228)

Many of the zones in Subspace [subspace.net] are sporting all kinds of various graphical holiday cheer. Alpha zone ships are launching snowballs instead of bombs (beware the yellow snowballs) and Chaos zone was spotted with deadly ornaments flying everywhere and delivery cheerful gifts of doom.

Animal Crossing (0, Redundant)

gearheadsmp (569823) | more than 10 years ago | (#7809338)

Animal Crossing has some sort of Christmas event. In fact it has an event for quite a few holidays - Halloween, Thanksgiving? New years, etc.

Re:Animal Crossing (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7809576)

Animal Crossing has some sort of Christmas event. In fact it has an event for quite a few holidays - Halloween, Thanksgiving? New years, etc.

You're retarded. Pointing out that Animal Crossing has special holiday-based content is like mentioning that in Grand Theft Auto you can steal cars. Ass.

Ultima Online... (4, Interesting)

jermyjerm (705338) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810120)

Aside from free gifts, UO had the best holiday bonus ever in the form of a Christmas PvP server. The entire game world in that server was covered in snow and all trees were decorated with "lights," etc, but the best part was that characters spawned looking like either Santa or an Elf. Everyone had max stats to even the playing field, and only basic weapons and bandages to use.

It was basically a massive deathmatch... pure hilarious pandemonium.

I also seem to remember killer reindeer running around, but I'm kinda groggy from holiday face-stuffing, so I could be wrong.

Was anyone else a part of this insane experience?

Planetside (1)

Drakino (10965) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810983)

Planetside players have been running around with santa hats in the days leading up to Christmas.

Simpsons Hit & run (0, Redundant)

IIRCAFAIKIANAL (572786) | more than 10 years ago | (#7810999)

The game intro screen changes (homer as santa, tree in the corner)

mods on crack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7814491)

If there was a post before this one that mentioned the Simpsons Hit & Run (and there is, I checked) why not MOD IT UP YOU RETARDS?!? [slashdot.org]

Now we have to posts below the +2 threshold that most of us will miss and there's a good chance a third person will come along and post about the same damn thing...

Oh look, SOMEONE DID!!! [slashdot.org]

Tyrian/Tyrian 2000, Black and White (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7811097)

In Tyrian, On christmas day, you get a prompt about whether you want christmas mode - it's just another funky mode, this time you get christmas decorations. (Look up the other modes on cheating sites).

Also, in black and white, if I remember right (it may have been another day, I'm not sure), your creature's footprints become smiley faces.

Re:Tyrian/Tyrian 2000, Black and White (1)

Echnin (607099) | more than 10 years ago | (#7812174)

Not only on Christmas Day -- also on other days around Christmas. "Little Christmas Eve", what we call the 23rd in Norway, has always been something of a Tyrian day for me, strangely, ever since my brother and I played the Tyrian shareware version over and over and over and over again on that day in '96 or '97 (or '95?).

X-Wing CD (1)

mrseigen (518390) | more than 10 years ago | (#7811157)

I remember getting this for Christmas and seeing a Santa in the hangar waving like mad. Pretty cool. ;)

Oh, and the new Simpsons Road Rage game supposedly changes the menu screen, or so I've heard.

Ready 2 Rumble II (1)

Flack405 (634566) | more than 10 years ago | (#7811286)

In Ready 2 Rumble II (Dreamcast, PS2), if your console's date is set to 12/25, you will have additional characters/outfits to choose from, including Snowman and Elf.

Many of Sega's first-party titles... (1)

PedroP35 (37119) | more than 10 years ago | (#7812170)

...had (have?) Christmas content. The one I remember the most was Christmas of '99, in Sonic Adventure, where the main town square was snow-covered, with a Christmas tree in the middle, IIRC. I'm not sure if they are still doing this, but I'd imagine the GC re-release of Sonic Adventure DX would have it, too.

Re:Many of Sega's first-party titles... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7813891)

That was a separate download you had to get from the Sonic Adventure website. As long as it was on your memory card, the XMAS stuff would be there.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (new version) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7812325)

In dec 25 all the turtles have santa hats.. is one of the few games in which the character actually changes its looks. =)

ot:they also have the award to: best way to screw up a modern videogame fast!
*Limited lives and continues.
*You ALWAYS have to start from the beginning when you reset the console (you cant save)
*The game can be played by tapping a single button about 1 billion times.

Road Rage, The Colony, Mac startup (1)

tricorn (199664) | more than 10 years ago | (#7824828)

There was an old, old startup program for the original Macs that gave a greeting based on the date and/or time ("Welcome to Macintosh, but you should be in bed"). It was fully customizable with a text file, and used MacInTalk (or whatever the text-to-speech software was). I still have an old MacPlus startup diskette with a cool startup screen, plays a bit of Money For Nothing, then runs the greeting program.

There was also a game called "The Colony" which had a standard decoration throughout of old dried-up sticks in tubs. On Christmas, they turned into Christmas trees. That was a great game, by the way, I'd love to see it on something other than a MacPlus (even running on a Mac II the enemies ran too fast, no real-time based motion). There was supposed to be a color version coming out, I sent in my $5, but never heard of it again.

Someone already mentione Hit & Run, but Simpson's Road Rage also gives you a special car/driver - got it for Christmas, and there's a Christmas Apu. Probably other dates, but haven't checked.

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