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The Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro Unreleased "9/11 Version"

When art's imitation of life is suddenly too close for comfort

Terror attacks on the World Trade Centers created an interesting problem for media outlets. Radio stations stopped playing certain songs, movie projects were cancelled, and more. Video games were no different. Activision and Vicarious Visions feared that specific parts of the gameís content would hit too close to home for those families affected by the tragedy. The game was delayed for a month and change to allow the reprogramming of several areas. We will be covering the three most important changes.

Whatís important to note is that this was not the only video game to have its course altered by the events. Dreamcastís Propeller Arena was cancelled, and PlayStationís Syphon Filter 3 had its entire packaging changed. You can view that gameís article here.

While only one of the stage names and its level content can be truly considered 'wrong time / wrong place', the actual final level is kind of a toss up. There is no true defining shot of the Twin Towers against anything; to someone who had never been to New York, it looks like any two buildings standing next to each other.

What is interesting is how this addition of the bridge changes the dynamics of the fight. You no longer have this fear of falling off or getting zapped by Electro mid-swing. Now it's just a quick dash to get done what needs doing in order to finish off Electro. There has also been some talk of a missing Thor sequence between the two (hence the newspaper clip), but apparently this was dropped from production all together, as it does not appear in the original version either. 

  • The game disc, which technically is all that exists of the original version, is EXACTLY the same as its retail counterpart. In fact, the only way you can tell if you have a 9/11 version is to either toss it into a PC CD-Rom and check the main file's last date stamp, or by inputting the Stage Select code and checking the level names.
  • The two dates to look for are:
    • Original Version (Monday, August 13, 2001)
    • Retail Version (Thursday, September 27, 2001)

The Original Version - Level Names
The following shows the level name changes that took place. Ironically, the "Crash Flight" level isn't what you think it is. It's just a small personal plane heading towards the garage door of a hanger...rolling...towards it. At like...1 mile per hour.

The Altered Version - Level Names
You can access the level select code by going into CHEATS and typing in AUNTMAY as your password. Besides the previously mentioned file check, this is the quickest way to find out if you have a pre-9/11 version.


The Original Version - Cinema
The following clip presents the unedited original version of the final cinematic that leads to the final battle with Electro. Once he activates the suit, Electro knocks Spider-Man up through the sky light and back down, before heading off. Our hero recalls a previous comment (earlier in the game) that Electro said he'd be, "on top of the world." Using this clue, he heads off to find ol' lightning pants.

What's most important here is that though never specifically mentioned, the fly over and descriptive phrase are setting up the final battle on the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Note Spidey's arrival and commentary as he climbs onto the scene where Electro is waiting.


The Altered Version - Cinema
Here is the same clip, now in its released retail format. Everything is pretty much to the same until Spider-Man is knocked through the sky light. The entire clue reference to "...being on top of the world," is removed, making it look like Spider-Man took a lucky guess as to where Electro should be.

The entire fly over of the towers has been completely blanked out, forcing the fight to go directly to Electro's very wild introduction. This black out, and not removal, is the reason the segments are both the same length in time (1:28).

The Original Version - Last Level
Below you'll find 2 screenshots and a video comparison of the last level itself. Both give you a complete view of the new look of the building. 


The Altered Version - Last Level
Here's the retail version. They even changed the side texture of the building to give it a more industrial feel.


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