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GTA Hot Coffee scandal: modder retells his discovery of Rockstar's minigame

GTA: San Andreas is notorious for many things for good or ill, but none so publicly scrutinised as its infamous 'Hot Coffee' mini-game. The feature was chopped from the game's full release, but an intrepid modder - along with his friends - stumbled across traces of it within the game's PS2 source code, and eventually made a PC mod public. That man is Patrick Wildenborg, and he has revealed all in a new interview.

Speaking with Eurogamer, Wildenborg recalled his group's discovery of strange files with titles like 'SEX', 'KISSING', 'SNM' and 'BLOWJOBZ' within the game's PS2 source code in 2005, “Our assumption at that time was that they were unused animations which were abandoned in the early development of the game,” says Wildenborg.

“There were, however, some references to these animations in the script files. As I was mainly focused on figuring out the scripts I decided to figure out what those references were and if there might be some abandoned code indicating how they might have been used.

"This particular section of code is complex so it took quite some effort and time to grasp what it did. As I dug deeper it became clear that the code that referenced the animation was not just some abandoned content, but that it was fully working, just configured to be inaccessible.

“Around March 2005 I felt certain this code could be fully functional if we were able to overrule the flag preventing it from executing. But we had no option to try it out on the PS2, so we would never know. That is, unless Rockstar left everything in the PC version due for release in June."

When the PC version of San Andreas launched in the states on June 7th 2005 wildenborg could finally enact his plan to get the mini-game working as intended.

He recalled, “I had one of my fellow modders in the USA send me his copy of the script file. I edited it with a hex editor, to flip the infamous toggle which I believed would unlock the content. I sent it back to him. 15 minutes later he sent me a video."

It was at this point I decided to release the patch to the public. I tossed the name 'Hot Coffee' on the file, based on the fact that the girlfriends would ask CJ in for some 'coffee' as a euphemism for sex. Hot Coffee was the first modification for San Andreas.”

The rest is history, but Eurogamer's expose goes much deeper into Rockstar's attempts to push boundaries with the sex mini-game, and recalls emails between Dan Houser and Leslie Benzies in trying to push the game through censors without cutting out the sexual content.

It's well worth a read. Check it out here.

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