Cosmic Smash Secret Characters Discovered After 16 Years

Cosmic Smash: simply the finest minimalist squash game where you get on a 'cosmic bus' and whack a glowing ball at neon cubes. No, I haven't been at the vodka again - that's just the best way to describe Sega's 2001 NAOMI and Dreamcast release. The game was only ever released in Japan and has become quite a sought-after title for the Dreamcast, and not least because of the unorthodox packaging - it being one of the only official Dreamcast games to be released in a DVD-style case.
We covered Cosmic Smash quite some time ago here at the Junkyard, and I also heaped praise on it when I wrote a Dreamcast-themed Minority Report for Retro Gamer Magazine a couple of years back (issue 146 if you're interested). One thing I certainly missed in all my time playing the game though, was the inclusion of several secret characters. Secret characters that until now have pretty much never been seen or even mentioned anywhere on the internet.

Enter fellow blogger Jeremy Hobbs, curator of Ribbon Black. As he explains in his excellent article, Jeremy inadvertently unlocked a secret playable character he had never seen before - one of the 'worker' characters seen in the intro sequences. Initially, Jeremy thought he had unlocked the new avatar because he'd followed a certain route through the game, but this wasn't the case.
After going down a rabbit hole to discover just how he did it, Jeremy then learnt (after much internet and forum digging) that there are several other secret characters locked away in that retro-futuristic neon subway system of nightmares. One of them is a bear holding a fish (see above), but I won't spoil the story any further. As someone who knows what it's like to stumble upon something and then become embroiled in trying to find the answers (remember the whole 'Dreamcast Barber' thing?), this topic really piqued my interest; that a game - albeit one as obscure as Cosmic Smash -  can withhold its secrets for almost 16 years is nothing short of staggering to me.

Head over to Ribbon Black here to read the whole fascinating story, and also how you too can unlock the wacky extra characters. Thanks to my Junkyard co-writer Aaron Foster for alerting me to this.

4 comments:

Jeremy Hobbs said...

Wow, thank you for the feature! To be fair, though, I can only take partial credit--they were known by at least one person back in 2006, so let's say they were re-discovered after only 10 or so years!

As mentioned over on my site the earliest English mention of the secret characters on the internet were by AJ 187 of the defunct(and thankfully archived)Cosmic Bus 777 site, who I believe found them by digging through the game code, or possibly translated from an even earlier Japanese site.

What's odd is that searching for any combination of "cosmic smash secret character" that I could think of yielded no results online, until I searched "we want cosmic smash", which was the tagline of AJ 187's site. Who knows how long they would've stayed buried otherwise, but I'm so glad I accidentally entered the code. Thanks again!

Tom Charnock said...

Love this so much. Thanks for your detective work. After reading your article I also searched for 'Cosmic Smash secret characters' and the other terms you looked for and was met with the same results. Lots of Smash Bros too haha!

hoogafanter said...

Cool find. Never even played this game yet... def going to get my bear on...

blondejon said...

Epic detective work and thanks Tom for bringing this to the attention on the junkyard