Spot On: <i>Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition</i>

The legendary book of records' compilation of game factoids is due out next month; GameSpot samples some of its interesting informational tidbits.

Every gamer worth his or her salt really needs to know which gaming icon was originally going to be an armadillo, who the severed heads in the Pit in Mortal Kombat resemble, and which game Swedish pop band The Cardigans' song "My Favourite Game" is about.

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These golden nuggets of gaming trivia are among many more revealed in the Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition, due for release on February 8 in the UK and March 11 in the US. The Gamer's Edition is the first of its kind, an offshoot from the Guinness World Records series, an annual compilation of facts and figures, including the fastest time to eat a 12-inch pizza, most sheep shorn in eight hours, and the location of the largest collection of aeroplane sick bags.

In keeping with Guinness tradition, the Gamer's Edition of its record book compiles similarly obscure (and often humorous) factoids. A semirandom sampling is listed below:

The Super Mario franchise is the best-selling game series of all time, having sold a total of 145 million units worldwide.

As of November 2007, 466 million Xbox 360 achievements had been unlocked since the service launched, putting the combined global gamerscore at 11 billion.

Shigeru Miyamoto was inspired to create the Zelda series after watching Legend, director Ridley Scott's 1985 fantasy movie about a young man's quest to prevent the Lord of Darkness from destroying daylight.

Bungie staff ate an estimated 20,000 pounds (in weight) worth of pizzas during their 36 months creating Halo 3.

Gamers playing The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion can expect to see 35,544 shrubs, 67,730 plants and mushrooms, 94,013 trees and logs, and 395,696 rocks.

The largest virtual beer festival takes place every year in World of Warcraft, when sworn enemies the Horde and Alliance get together for Brewfest, which lasts around a fortnight and features a huge selection of virtual beers for sale.

Sega considered an armadillo as its mascot, and Sonic the Hedgehog was originally called "Mr. Needlemouse."

Tecmo, the Japan-based publisher of Dead or Alive, was originally a supplier of cleaning equipment called Tehkan.

The severed heads seen in the Pit stage of Mortal Kombat are likenesses of developer Midway's staff, and include lookalikes of the creators of the game, Ed Boon and John Tobias.

There are an estimated 1,890 rooms to be discovered in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

Tomb Raider heroine Lara Croft's ample bosom was apparently the result of a design error by Toby Gard. He was playing with the dimensions of the character and accidentally increased her bust by 150 percent. Other members of the team said they liked the change, and the change was kept.

Alone in the Dark, released in 1992, is believed to be the first 3D survival horror game.

An early arcade prototype of Street Fighter had a novel control system with a punching pad rather than buttons. However, this model was soon declared unviable; gamers hit the pads so hard they damaged them.

The youngest pro gamer is known as Lil' Poison and was signed by the Major League Gaming recruiters when he was just 6 years old. He started gaming at the tender age of 2.

The highest-ever Space Invaders score was 55,160 points, achieved by Donald Hayes on June 7, 2003.

The least-violent first-person shooter is Deus Ex, which can be completed by killing just three enemies.

The original Sonic the Hedgehog game has a limit of 9,999,990 points, and 23 people have scored this on the Xbox Live scoreboards.

There are a total of 20,000 lines of spoken dialogue in BioWare's sci-fi role-playing game Mass Effect--the same as you could expect in about 20 movies.

The most number of games made in a single series belongs to Mega Man, which has a total of 46 games out there.

Twenty homing pigeons were spray-painted with the Virtua Tennis 2 logo and released during the Wimbledon tennis championships in 2003 to promote the game.

The most-popular location for extreme sports games is New York City, which has been the backdrop for games including BMX XXX, SSX Tricky, and four games in the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series.

The Cardigans' song "My Favourite Game" is actually about the game Gran Turismo, which the group liked to play on their tour bus.

The largest land-based game is The Elder Scrolls: Chapter II: Daggerfall, which has 163,492 square kilometers of space in which to jump around.

The biggest-ever funeral for a fictional object was a publicity stunt for Guitar Hero II that mourned the death of the air guitar. More than 80 people turned up for the event (including GameSpot UK's own Guy Cocker).

For more interesting trivia tidbits, pick up a copy of the Guinness World of Records Gamer's Edition when it hits bookshelves later this year.

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