Serious Sam was released in 2001, but just because 14 years have passed since its debut, that doesn't mean it's not still holding secrets.
One very determined player (by way of Kotaku) finally cracked the code when it comes to a hidden level that's been a secret for quite some time now deep in the bowels of Serious Sam. It's called Sacred Yards, and to get to the end of it, you've got to kill off several hundreds of baddies who want nothing more than to see you dead. That's par for the course for this series, but bypassing a group of monsters would still be useful.
It's frustrating, but not entirely required. Discy89, a dedicated fan, found a way to skip past a few different areas in the level itself by using specific items and shooting things in the correct order. This method was long regarded as a bug, and thus one eagle-eyed gamer named SolasYosei last year discovered how to recreate the effect by using a certain sequence. By doing so, a special door would open. And that seemed like the end of the secret content.
But SolasYosei himself ended up landing a job at Croteam, where he works as a designer, giving him the opportunity to speak to the CEO of the company, Roman Ribaric. Being the curious gamer that he was (great for being a designer) he asked Roman pointedly if there was anything to be found within Sacred Yards that players still hadn't deciphered yet.
Surprisingly enough, there was more to be found, as Roman Ribaric himself was one of the design leads on the original Serious Sam game. He was charged with changing up the level as it stood:
“Davor Hunski and Davor Tomicic, who were level designers at that time, handed me that level, so I can figure out what is to be done, where to go and to create gameplay. They did warn me that with its simplistic layout, they were not 100% confident it was good enough to have it in the final game. I did a quick look and, yes, layout was pretty basic, a T-shaped level with no specific areas or landmarks. But I told them I don’t like throwing things out and I would see what I can do to—at least have it as a secret level.”
Sacred Yards' secrets remained hidden for quite some time -- years, as we know now. But the reason it stayed hidden for so long in the first place is because it was never listed as a secret, so no one realized there was anything to look for. SolasYosei eventually pieced together the clues and found the secret out.
It's absolutely an impressive effort on part of everyone involved, and a testament to video game secrets. What have you discovered in your favorite game lately? Do you think there are more lurking within subsequent Serious Sam games?