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EGM Dec. '99 - Pitching a No-Hitter!
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on May 19, 2006   |   Episode 8 (Show Archive)  


DECEMBER 1999: Is this a video game or a Velvet Underground album?
The look, logo, staff, and consoles may have changed, but there's one thing that has remained the same since the very first issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly nearly 17 years ago. And that is Quartermann, the man you call on when you want rumors, gossip, and speculation. Although his write up has gone under a number of different titles, a rumor section has appeared in every one of EGM's almost 200 issues. But what if I were to tell you that this rumor monger's facts were spotty, at best? What if I were to tell you that the rumors, while juicy, are often incorrect? Well ... that's precisely what I'm about to tell you, and to prove it we're prepared to look at his rumors one magazine at a time.

Here's what you need to know: In each episode we are going to take a different issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly and go through every single rumor the Q-Mann talked brought up. I'm going to write them up EXACTLY as they are in the magazine, and then explain the truth ... knowing what we know all these years later. We're not here to pull any punches, we're just curious to see how well the magazine holds up over the years. In our eighth episode we decided to look at EGM issue 125, December 1999.

Rumor #1 - EA Batting for the Dreamcast?
"Rumor - EA will be producing games for the Dreamcast within six month. Truth - This one came out of nowhere as the Q's spies were hunting around, but it comes from a very credible source. Apparently the powers that be are very impressed with Dreamcast and how it has performed since launch. Rather than just hitting big on day one and then fizzling out the system has managed to sustain some impressive growth. This was what EA wanted to see ... and that's why they're looking into porting a number of major franchises across from the PC. Nothing has been

Madden has been on just about every game system ever made ... but not the Dreamcast!
confirmed as we go to press, but it seems likely that we'll see Need for Speed (probably High States), FIFA and maybe NBA Live 2000. Announcements are expected to be made at the end of November with release dates hitting in early 2000. Once this batch is out, expect to see a full lineup of the EA Sports 2001 games in late 2000. Madden on the Dreamcast at last? Let's hope so."
Reality: In case you haven't noticed it yet, this era of Electronic Gaming Monthly changed Quartermann's gossip column around a bit. After ten years of long paragraphs of rumors EGM decided to change the format and add a rumor headline and the truth behind the rumor. Unfortunately EGM is using the word "truth" very loosely, I think you will find that just about everything that comes out of the Q's mouth is false information. It just goes to show, you can change the format but the content remains the same.

We don't have to look very far to find that Quartermann's "news" is mostly made up predictions (that rarely come true). This first rumor suggests that Electronic Arts was about to announce a bunch of games for Sega's Dreamcast. These days EA is more than willing to port every game they make to every console under the sun (even the Gizmondo), but that wasn't the case seven years ago, EA was not interested in supporting the Dreamcast.

Unfortunately, Electronic Arts never changed their mind and the Dreamcast suffered a premature death. Quartermann suggests that it was only a matter of time before EA caves, but time was one thing Sega did not have a lot of. Although it fuels a heated debate, whether or not EA could have saved the Dreamcast is inconsequential. Electronic Arts didn't support the Dreamcast and it's just another reason long-time gamers hate the biggest video game company in the world!
Conclusion: Electronic Arts should have supported the Dreamcast, as far as I'm concerned that was a critical mistake on their part. But then again, everything the Quartermann says is wrong, none of those EA games ever showed up and the Dreamcast barely made it to battle the Xbox and GameCube. EA may be wrong, but at least they weren't pulling stuff out of their butts and calling it "gossip."

Rumor #2 - Konami Readying a New Metal Gear?
"Rumor - Metal Gear Solid will hit Dreamcast within the next year. Truth - Another big shock, but again, this is from one of the Q's more reliable sources. It's widely known that Microsoft is working with Konami on a PC version of the game -- and it's now believed that part of the deal was to release the game (running under Direct X and Windows CE) for the Dreamcast. It would certainly

It's good to remember Metal Gear Solid back when it wasn't so depressing!
make a lot of sense ... the PC version can be ported quickly and easily, Microsoft is keen to push the Windows side of Dreamcast (regardless of its own X-Box plans) and Konami is already established as a Sega supporter. There's no "exclusive" arrangement with Sony that we're aware of so the odds seem stacked in favor of this one."
Reality: This is the December 1999 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly, an issue that was written around the time the Dreamcast was selling out. Excuse Mr. Q for being wrapped up with Sega's final console, the whole world was under the Dreamcast's spell. This is yet another Dreamcast-related rumor and like the last this one is full of hot air.

Metal Gear Solid on the Dreamcast? Where do I sign up?? Actually, you don't. Despite releasing a few games on the Dreamcast, Konami never brought the Metal Gear Solid franchise to Sega's console. What they did bring, however, was a decidedly different class of games. We're talking about Woody Woodpecker Racing, The Grinch, The Mummy, Dance Dance Revolution, and a whole bunch of Pop 'N Music games. They did end up releasing Metal Gear Solid 2 on the Xbox, but nothing on the Dreamcast.

To be fair, you could play the original PlayStation version of Metal Gear Solid thanks to Bleemcast. This is nothing more than an emulation of the 32-bit game, it is certainly not the product that Quartermann gossips about in this issue.
Conclusion: Purists may point to the Bleemcast, but when it comes to a Konami-made Metal Gear Solid the Dreamcast came up short. Quartermann is wrong yet again, but it's a nice rumor that could have been. Who knows, perhaps if the Dreamcast had lived a little longer we could have seen Solid Snake show up. Am I the only one that kind of wants to see this alternate reality play out?

Rumor #3 - Sega Wants Half-Life!
"Rumor - The DC version of Half Life will include the PC mission pack too. Truth - It seems that Valve, Sierra and Havas Interactive were as surprised as the rest of us when Sega announced it would be using Half Life to launch the

How much longer will it be before Uwe Boll turns Half-Life into an unwatchable motion picture?
online Dreamcast network. It's no secret that a "work in progress" build of the game has been kicking around Sierra for a while ... but nothing has been formally announced or committed to. Even now. The Q's spies have done some digging and it seems that yes, the game will be released, but it will be a seriously enhanced package with better graphics and lots of features skewed toward multiplayer gaming. Let's hope that Valve also decides to work on Team Fortress 2."
Reality: Oh look, it's another Dreamcast rumor ... it's as if Quartermann never tires of making stuff up about Sega's final console. We could spend all of our time talking about the merits of the rumor (extra levels, online play, etc.), but considering the game was never officially released it would seem kind of pointless. It's no secret that Half-Life was developed for the Dreamcast, but the game never found its way to store shelves. A first generation Dreamcast version of Half-Life would have been yet another killer app for Sega's system, but it just wasn't meant to be. Crafty Dreamcast owners have found ways of downloading and getting the game to play, but sadly this rumor is debunked simply because of the game's lack of release.
Conclusion: Just imagine how cool it would have been if Half-Life really was the Dreamcast's first online title, instead of was ChuChu Rocket. Sigh. Quartermann isn't all wrong on this Half-Life rumor, but considering the game was never released, he's far from being all right.

Rumor #4 - No Die Hard Games on the Dreamcast!
"Rumor - Die Hard Trilogy 2 is also coming to Dreamcast. Truth - We're not pulling all of these DC rumors on purpose ... it just seems to be the hot ticket at the moment. Our spies have learned from people at Fox that they would like to capitalize on the extremely high sales and demand for

"Yippie-kay-ya, motherfucker!"
the Dreamcast gun that has stemmed from the popularity of HOD2. One of the Q's spies even heard someone from Fox say, "They [Sega] need another gun game for that system, this could be one of them."
Reality: After four Dreamcast rumors in a row even the Quartermann is ready to acknowledge that this one-sided gossip is getting out of control. Here we have him suggesting another Dreamcast game, Die Hard Trilogy. The problem is, none of the Die Hard Trilogy games were released on the Dreamcast ... in fact, no Die Hard games were released on the Dreamcast. Perhaps the Fox execs were impressed by the system's popularity, as the Quartermann suggests, but that wasn't enough to bring John McClane to the Dreamcast.

The other problem I have with this rumor is the obviously fake quote at the end, "They [Sega] need another gun game for that system, this could be one of them." Who talks like this?? There is no doubt in my mind that this quote is completely made up, just like the idea that Die Hard Trilogy 2 was coming to the Dreamcast. Sega needs another gun game? Oh come on, the way it works in most companies is that the person who suggests a stupid idea like that usually gets fired.
Conclusion: Quartermann's spies haven't been real good this issue, here is another Dreamcast game that was never announced and never released. File this gossip under the "wishful thinking" category.

Rumor #5 - No Really, the Dolphin WILL be Late!
"Rumor - Dolphin is going to be L-A-T-E. Truth - Doubtful. The Internet is rife with rumors that the machine won't make a 2000 released based almost entirely on the fact that Nintendo isn't planning on showing the thing until Space World 2000 in Tokyo next August. It now seems likely that we'll see a Japanese launch before the end of next year. The much-rumored 'global

For Xtina the GameCube is more of an exercise tool!
release date' seems highly unlikely. How many times have we been told that a system will release everywhere on the same day, only to find that there's a six-month gap between territories?"
Reality: Oh goodness, we're finally off of Dreamcast rumors (for now). This gossip is clean and simple to debunk, the Q-mann says that the Dolphin (or, as it's known now, the GameCube) would be released in Japan before the end of 2000. But that's not what happened. The GameCube didn't show up until late 2001 in the U.S. and Japan. European (and Australian) gamers had to wait even longer as the GameCube didn't ship until May of 2002! The Quatermann was off by a year, which seems odd with his golden track record of getting stuff right this issue.

There is one confusing bit to this rumor. While the Quartermann ended up being wrong the rumor itself was right. This rumor initially started as people speculating that the GameCube wouldn't ship until 2001 (at earliest), but the Q-mann wasn't going to have any of that. His rumor was wrong while the real rumor was right. Only Electronic Gaming Monthly could make a simple rumor so darn confusing.
Conclusion: The Quartermann changes the system but still manages to get it wrong. Nintendo's GameCube in 2000? Forget about it. Perhaps the Q-mann was confusing it with Sony's PlayStation 2.

Rumor #6 - Ready 2 Rumble? Really??
"Rumor - Ready 2 Rumble isn't just a game, it's a philosophy, man. Truth - It seems Midway has found its niche and is going to exploit it with some considerable fervor. "Arcade" sports titles are the way ahead for the company, with everything coming along in the spirit of Blitz, R2R and ShowTime. Titles to watch for ... the inevitable

For a lot of you this is the first time you've seen a picture of Ready 2 Rumble since we switched over to the 21st century!
Ready 2 Rumble, a Ready 2 Rumble Wrestling games which looks to be quite exciting (imagine a wrestling game that's even more extreme), a golf game as well as a soccer and baseball title."
Reality: Ready 2 Rumble is a philosophy? Considering that it's been five years since anybody has even uttered the name Ready 2 Rumble, I'm not sure how successful it is as a philosophy. Looking back on it now it's hard to understand the excitement over this silly boxing game; you would have thought it was a Star Wars boxing game or something. Ready 2 Rumble is a guilty pleasure at best, certainly not something that should spawn a whole sports line.

The good news is that Ready 2 Rumble didn't spawn a big sports line; actually, it didn't even spawn a second sequel. The wrestling game the Quartermann talks about never happened and so far Midway hasn't released any soccer titles. And even if they did branch out and do a soccer title wouldn't that be a rip off of the popular Blitz series? What does golf, soccer, and baseball have to do with Ready 2 Rumble? I give the Blitz series credit for MLB Slug-Fest, not Ready 2 Rumble.
Conclusion: Quartermann did the shotgun approach to gossiping; he just fired a bunch of sports and hoped that some would connect. Let's see how he did. Wrestling? No. Golf? No. Soccer? No. Baseball? Yes! Well, I guess one out of four isn't that bad ... not enough for this rumor to be considered correct. Looks like we're still batting a shutout.

Rumor #7 - San Francisco Rush 1978
"Rumor - The next San Francisco Rush game is going to be set in the '70s. Truth - From what the Q's spies have dug up, it seems that the original idea behind Rush was to produce something with more

It's not too late Midway, ditch that crappy PSP Rush game and give us a real sequel set in the 1970s!
in common with '70s cop show car chases than with a racing game. Unfortunately that never worked out, so the team is going back to its original design notes and looking into doing something in the spirit of classic car-chase movies like Bullitt. Cool."
Reality: By December of 1999 arcade goers had already experienced three different Rush titles, including one set in a far off future San Francisco and one that had you escaping Alcatraz. When Quartermann wrote this rumor it probably made sense, the series seemed red-hot and they had been dabbling with the time machine; with all of the movies and TV shows based in San Francisco a 1970s Rush only made sense. But this fourth Rush game just wasn't going to happen.

After releasing the console versions of San Francisco Rush 2049 Midway's popular racer took a break ... for five years. When the fourth Rush installment finally hit the market it didn't resemble the classic arcade racers in any way. L.A. Rush was a Midnight Club-inspired racing game that emphasized exploration over balls-to-the-wall action. In some ways it felt more like the classic car-chase movies the Quartermann is talking about, but it was not set in the 1970s and not as he described. I'll be the first (or, in this case second) to talk up the idea of a Rush game in the 1970s, that sounds like a perfectly good idea to me.
Conclusion: After San Francisco Rush 2049 Midway planned on releasing a game called Hot Rod Rebels, but this game wasn't set in the 1970s and was never completed. Quartermann is wrong yet again.

Rumor #8 - Lara After a Breast Reduction!
"Rumor - Tomb Raider the movie is set for release next year. Truth - There's still no "star" attached to the project, although Liz Hurley is still the number one choice for just about everyone. The story apparently

Sexy as hell? Sure ... but Liz Hurley simply doesn't have the figure needed to play Lara Croft!
takes place after Tomb 3 and sees Lara pursuing the 'Achilles Shield' through Antarctica and Asia. Directed by Stephen Herek (Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Critters, 101 Dalmatians) we should see it in theaters by the fall. Assuming they find a girl to play Lara."
Reality: Let's start with the one thing the Quartermann got right, there was a Tomb Raider movie and it did star a famous actress. Sadly that is the end of what the Q-mann got right, it's straight downhill from here on out. For example, Tomb Raider didn't come out until 2001, just before the GameCube was released. It was directed by Simon West, the director of Con Air. It featured Angelina Jolie, not Liz Hurley. Liz Hurley?? Seriously, are her breasts large enough?? Lara Croft is over-the-top busty, not waif thin. Q, what were you thinking??
Conclusion: With the wrong year, wrong actress, and wrong director the Quartermann proves that he does not know his Hollywood trivia. It also means that December 1999's Electronic Gaming Monthly featured eight rumors that were all false. We pitched a no-hitter; this is one issue that should go into some sort of hall of fame. Ladies and gentlemen, you just witnessed history! Wake the kids up, bring them over to the TV, this is going to be something they will remember for the rest of their lives! My oh my!!



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