How retro games celebrated Christmas with timed events and more!

While there's Christmas themes to some games in 2020, there was a time where a game would suddenly change to Christmas trees and snow when the console system clock would hit the 25th December.

It's a feature that's long-missed; before the internet and DLC was a thing, there would be textures and events that would be on the game, and once Christmas day would hit, certain parts would be transformed into themes of Christmas.

There's plenty of games that have been forgotten that had timed-content in the late-nineties.

With that, here's a few games that changed for Christmas.


Released in 2011, with its final expansion brought out in October of this year, it's a game where you gather resources, collect items, build a base against enemies and so much more. It's a game where, once you start, it's very difficult to stop playing.

Between the 15th and 31st of December, Christmas is activated across the whole game, where a Santa Claus NPC spawns, and presents can be dropped by any enemy. There's also candy canes instead of 'Hearts', and sugar plums instead of 'Mana Stars'.

Suffice to say, there's plenty of replayability in Terraria, and that's only super-charged by Christmas, or even the Santa Claus NPC alone.

READ MORE: Best SEGA Consoles throughout history.

Christmas NIGHTS

A little-known fact; this is the first appearance of Sonic the Hedgehog in full 3D form, before Sonic Adventure and Sonic Jam. Christmas NIGHTS is a spin-off that was created by just one developer at Sonic Team, as this Polygon interview states.

In two months, Takao Miyoshi was able to create this short spin-off, which was meant to only be a pack-in to magazines and with new purchases to a SEGA Saturn, but it ends up being very memorable.

The whole game revolves around Elliot and Claris find NIGHTS to retrieve a Christmas Star, which the player needs to find. Once complete, they can play different versions of this mission, with one mini-game involving Sonic fighting against Robotnik, with a music track taken from Sonic CD.

While this mini-game was removed from the PS2 version and Steam, the game is available on Steam here regardless.

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Sonic Adventure

This has the strange fortune of appearing only once, but thanks to someone having a particular demo disk, the Christmas DLC was recovered in 2018, and can now be used on any Sonic Adventure version.

Back in 1999, players could download a 'Christmas Party' DLC for the game which would place Christmas Trees and festive messages across the 'Station Square' hub, alongside music from 'Christmas NIGHTS' featuring.

As it was only available for one year, it was thought to be lost to time, when someone found it on a demo disk.

The below video goes into detail, but it's an amazing story that's only been solved in the last two years.

While available on Steam, the Christmas DLC is not available officially, but there are, ways to put that Christmas Tree back in.

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Back in 2000, Shenmue was, and is still seen as a landmark game, with its huge interactive world and being able to play arcade games of SEGA's past.

However, on Christmas day, certain attributes would change to reflect the Christmas season, such as:

  • Santa Claus
  • Snowmen
  • Snow
  • Decorations
  • Christmas Music
  • Dialogue referencing the season

Fortunately, this isn't restricted to the Dreamcast port, as you will be able to access the content on the remastered versions on PS4, Xbox and PC.

READ MORE: Underrated Retro Consoles.

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