ByMarcus O'Shea, writer at Creators.co
Resident RPG nerd and SoulsBorne fanatic. Can be spotted by their floofy hair.
Marcus O'Shea

Ah, the Nintendo GameCube. Sure, it lagged behind the Xbox and PlayStation 2 in terms of sales and it used those weird little awkward discs (which at least tasted better than Switch cartridges), but it was still a console that I'll remember fondly. It was a powerful, tiny little box of fun packed with some of the best games that ever released—plus a handle.

Though it wasn't just games the held in its little mystery box. The console had secrets, too. Dark secrets. Okay maybe not actually that dark, but pretty cool nonetheless.

The Hidden Secrets Of The GameCube: Fun Facts & Trivia About Nintendo's Beloved Console

This microscopic image was emblazoned onto a tiny chip a fifth the size of your finger [Credit: Nintendo]
This microscopic image was emblazoned onto a tiny chip a fifth the size of your finger [Credit: Nintendo]

Before the GameCube was released, it had a secret codename that some of you might have heard if you were around at the time. The console was originally dubbed 'The Dolphin', and it's clear from a few Easter eggs in the console and its launch lineup that the name change occurred very late in the process.

If you were to pop open your trusty game cube and grab your detective's magnifying glass, you might spot a secret image that's a lot more hidden than The Switch's. Printed almost too small to see on one of the computer chips inside the console is an image of a leaping dolphin over the Nintendo logo. The GPU chip of the GameCube also still bears the nickname of 'Flipper' emblazoned on its front.

It's not just in the hardware, either. Much of Nintendo's launch line-up references the previous name of the console by including dolphins in the game. Much of Super Mario Sunshine takes place on a dolphin shaped island called Isle Delfino, or Dolphin Island, Wave Race: Blue Storm has pods of dolphins join you as you race around the sea and even the rocket ship in is named the Dolphin!

You may know about that codename already, but you might not know that even further back Nintendo had a different alias for the console. As a follow-up to the , the console was originally called the N2000. In this early stage, the console was actually closer to a prototype of what the Wii would become. It included early patents for motion controllers that were sophisticated enough that developer Factor 5 wanted to use them for their Star Wars game.

The Secret GameCube Theme Song

Remember the old GameCube intro sound? That cheery tinkle of music as the logo unfolded itself before your eyes, promising a world of fun? Well there wasn't just one version of it. Turns out you could trigger two alternate versions of the intro theme with a little trickery

The first alternate version was accessed by holding the Z button on a single controller as the intro animation played. If timed right, the music would be spiced up by a bunch of bizarre sound effects, including a child's laugh and a baby's rattle. A bit creepy if you ask me.

Until the Switch, the GameCube was the only Nintendo console to launch without a Mario game, it was up to Luigi to pick up the slack. [Credit: Nintendo]
Until the Switch, the GameCube was the only Nintendo console to launch without a Mario game, it was up to Luigi to pick up the slack. [Credit: Nintendo]

The second hidden intro theme was a bit more difficult to pull off. To do it, you had to plug in four GameCube controllers at once and simultaneously hold in the Z button on all four while the intro animation started. For your efforts you'd be rewarded with a quite lovely rendition of the intro theme in the style of traditional Japanese music. Beautiful!

By the way, that shiny GameCube logo? It's actually the exact same shiny texture used on every single shiny object in Nintendo GameCube games, and even in a few N64 games.

And A Hidden Blast From The Past

From humble beginnings, the Famicom disk theme song was cleverly hidden as an ambient track [Credit: Nintendo]
From humble beginnings, the Famicom disk theme song was cleverly hidden as an ambient track [Credit: Nintendo]

Speaking of intro themes, there's a nifty little Easter Egg in the menu that pops up when the GameCube is turned on with no disk inside. The game will display a floating, gently bobbing shiny cube with menu options and in the background a relaxing, dreamy ambient track plays.

Excepts that's not any track, it's actually one that gamers who've studied their obscure video game history might know quite well. If you speed up the dreamy track by about 16 times, you'll hear the jaunty little tune that the original Japanese Famicom disk system used when it started up. It's pretty catchy once it's sped up.

So there you have it, the strange little hidden secrets that the GameCube holds. I wonder what kind of secrets we'll find on the Switch?

Do you know any console secrets you'd like to share? Let us know in the comments!

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