Player Uncovers Decades-Old Tamagotchi Secret

An enthusiast of the popular '90s toy found a way to unlock new characters
By Gina Carey,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2024 8:30 AM CDT
Player Uncovers Decades-Old Tamagotchi Secret
A 1996 original Tamagotchi.   (Unsplash / COSMOH LOVE)

A discovery nearly 30 years in the making might inspire those who grew up in the '90s to break out their old Tamagotchi pals. 404 Media reports that an enthusiast of the virtual pets figured out how unlock two characters long thought to be unplayable. The Tamagotchi player, rhubarb_pie, wrote on Discord that they gained control of two background, non-playable characters (NPCs)—twin nurses named Moll and Lora whose role is to help revive sick Tamagotchi. (They are in the Mothra-themed version of the device, released as part of a movie promotion.) "After years of debate whether this was even possible, I have proven that, in fact, you can raise the Twin characters Moll & Lora," rhubarb_pie wrote.

The code-cracker said that when the game's read-only memory was released online, they studied the code and discovered how to unlock the characters. The "obscure" steps are described in detail on Discord, which include keeping their pet, Mothra Leo, at a weight between 70 and 79 and making no care mistakes for 80 waking hours. "Looking at it now, this looks like a bad schoolyard video game urban legend," they wrote. "But it is real." When the Mothra Leo dies, it lays an egg, which the twin playable characters hatch from. The ability to unlock characters for play has long been rumored in the lore of Tamagotchi, an innovative, faux pet game first released in 1996.

If you're not familiar with them, the egg-shaped pods were an innovation from Japanese toy company Bandai that became wildly popular worldwide. (Business Today says 82 million of them were sold by 2017.) Tamagotchi owners fed and cared for their virtual pets using three simple button controls. Rhubarb_pie described the process to unlock this mystery took them three weeks, and described it as "absolutely brutal," Kotaku writes. They claim they found another secret character in the source code, and time will tell if they unearth it as well. (A 13-year-old is the first person to "break" Tetris.)

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