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Missing Magazine - Dangerous Waters/GameShark Magazine


RetroDefense
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If you can provide any information about this magazine, please chime in so we can begin indexing and preserving issues here at RetroMags!
 

Dangerous Waters was InterAct's house organ newsletter designed to promote the Gameshark cheat device and related products.  It concentrated heavily on Gameshark code listings but became more diversified (game reviews, strategies, interviews, etc) as the page count increased.  With issue #24, the newsletter began evolving into GameShark Magazine, fully realized with issue #25.  The magazine ended with issue #32.  A Holiday 2001 special - with GameShark sampler disc - was produced in conjunction with IGN though there's some uncertainty as to how this issue was marketed and distributed.

 

Name: Dangerous Waters

Website: www.gameshark.com (defunct?)

Country of Origin: USA

Number of issues: 24 (1-24)

Gallery | Magazine | Publication | Downloads

 

Name: GameShark Magazine

Website: www.gameshark.com (defunct?)

Country of Origin: USA

Number of issues: 8 (25-32) (plus Holiday issue?)

Gallery | Magazine | Publication | Downloads
 
Like similar newsletters, I imagine issues of Dangerous Waters were largely (or only?) distributed to registered users of GameShark/Interact products via mail.  With no cover price they were likely provided free of charge although all newsletter installments I've seen offered back issues for $1.00 each.  The eventual graduation to magazine status may have also meant a switch to a pay-for business model - the magazine offered subscriptions - but with no cover price, UPC, and retaining the back cover mailer space from its newsletter days, GameShark Magazine probably stayed exclusively mail-order despite this article suggesting the contrary.
 
Every regular issue I've seen thus far - both newsletter and magazine - included an order form for direct purchasing of various Interact products.  These forms were usually included at the end of the issue and would sometimes clip content pages if removed.  Be warned if purchasing issues online.
 
Here's some additional info (gleaned from Wikipedia's Gameshark entry):

 

Almost as soon as the GameShark made its appearance on the store shelves, new codes began to appear in the gaming magazines of the day. In order to create more interest as well as a way to get the word out on their new products, InterAct created a newsletter called 'Dangerous Waters' (which was published eight times a year starting in 1996 and featured new codes), a phone number which players could call for the up-to-the-minute latest codes, and a website with exclusive codes that could only be accessed by those with a full Dangerous Waters membership.  GameShark.com also first appeared on the net around this time. Due to the increasing popularity of Dangerous Waters, it went from a black and white 8 page newsletter to full color bimonthly by 1999, and featured game reviews as well as tricks. Then, in June 2000, Dangerous Waters was transformed in to a full fledged magazine called GameShark Magazine and continued to be published bimonthly, reaching up to 20 pages long and containing much more codes. However, due to problems with Mad CatGameShark Magazine ceased publication with the Holiday 2001 issue. This last issue was a double issue, containing the last GameShark Magazine issue, as well as a special issue by IGN as it was their 2001 Buyer's Guide. It featured new games and systems that were available at the time. It also included a Game Shark CD Sampler disc which featured codes for the PlayStation 2, as well as a handful of game saves.

 
While Wikipedia suggests a fairly regular publication schedule of eight and then six issues per year, issue #17 of the newsletter suggests a hiatus between #16 and #17 to accommodate a redesign.  The final magazine issue cover dates are somewhat sporadic, a common symptom of dying 'zines.
 
Based on scans I've found, Dangerous Waters didn't print its month of publication anywhere in the issue, much less on the cover.  All of the later GameShark Magazine issues I've skimmed include the publication date internally with some also cover dated.
 
Here's a breakdown of issues.  The numbering format varied throughout the publication's history (such as Volume 1 Issue 7, #17, Issue 10, etc) so I've listed a simplified sequential numbering here for sake of clarity.  The firm print dates shown were either found internally or on the front cover.  Issues preserved via the Internet Archive - some clearly intended for RetroMags, by the way - are linked.
 
(???) = unknown
(*) = not confirmed via cover scan but listed in back issue list
(^) = assumed to exist

(&) = assumed date
(?) = guesstimate
(~) = no issue number present on cover
 
As Dangerous Waters:
 
01 (1996?)*
02 (???)*
03 (???)*
04 (???)*
05 (???)*
06 (???)*
07 (1997)
08 (1997)&*
09 (1997)
10 (1997)
11 (1997)
12 (???)
13 (1998)
14 (1998)&
15 (1998)
16 (1998)
17 (1999?)
18 (???)
19 (1999)
20 (1999)&
21 (1999)
22 (???)
23 (???)^
24 (???) (cover captioned "GameShark Magazine")
 
As GameShark Magazine:
 
25 (June 2000)~ (cover captioned "Formerly Dangerous Waters")
26 (August 2000) (cover captioned "Formerly Dangerous Waters")
27 (October 2000)
28 (January 2001)
29 (April 2001)
30 (June 2001)
31 (November 2001)
32 (March 2002)

 

Holiday 2001~ (aka "GameShark Magazine Holiday 2001/ign.com - The Magazine" Issue 1 Vol. 1 (Fall 2001)?)
 
The Holiday 2001 special - one part GameShark Magazine and one part IGN.COM The Magazine - is a flip double issue sporting two different covers.  The magazine is almost entirely an IGN effort - of the 106 total pages (including covers), only 11 are GameShark Magazine related and consist almost entirely of GameShark codes.  This issue was sold by IGN via their website and appears to have been freely distributed to GameShark Magazine subscribers as well.  It included a PS1/PS2 GameShark sampler disc.

 

A shoutout to RetroMag contributors Bablefish, keving and TheRon for the Gallery cover scans!
 
Dangerous Waters/GameShark Magazine is a fairly good candidate for preservation imo.  While released post-Internet and filled with lots of code listings, house organ publications like these usually offered corporate insight and content not found elsewhere.  Unfortunately, they may be rather rare - I didn't find any issues with a cursory eBay search.

 

---

 

7/19/16 edit - new Holiday 2001 info; revised numbering; GameShark Magazine mag dbase link

8/2/16 edit - added Dangerous Waters mag dbase link; assumed dates

Edited by RetroDefense
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Found some more scans via the Internet Archive. I've updated the OP with links and dates - managed to fill in lots of gaps - but the new info calls into question 1) Wikipedia's assertion the Holiday 2001 issue is the final issue and 2) my theory the IGN/Gameshark team-up issue has dual covers.

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  • Retromags Curator

I am pretty sure we had some of those on the site during the MegaUpload days. I'll check my files to see if I still have those releases.

EDIT: We did have those on the site. I have 23 of them, the first one being issue 7. Holiday 2001 was not the final issue, the last issue I have is from March 2002. The Holiday issue seems out of place though. November 2001 is labeled as #31 on the cover, and March 2002 is labeled as #32. So what is the Holiday 2001 issue?

All the ones you have linked to on archive.org were on this site before. So they were preserved here before. Pester Phillyman to make the database entries for this and I can upload those issues again.

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  • 4 weeks later...

EDIT: We did have those on the site. I have 23 of them, the first one being issue 7. Holiday 2001 was not the final issue, the last issue I have is from March 2002. The Holiday issue seems out of place though. November 2001 is labeled as #31 on the cover, and March 2002 is labeled as #32. So what is the Holiday 2001 issue?

I've been wondering the same.

 

Spent some time looking into it further.  The Holiday 2001 issue itself is atypical - only 10% or so is actual GameShark Magazine and what's there is very thin in regards to content.  It consists of a brief 1/2 page editorial and 9 1/2 pages of codes.  No reviews, interviews, etc, and none of the usual trappings like a product order form and mailing address section.  The IGN portion of the 'zine is a separate animal altogether with its own creative staff, numbering, a UPC code, etc.  Its only noticeable ties to GameShark - besides the cover caption - is the bundled sampler disc and advertising being almost 100% GameShark related.

 

To be honest, the GameShark Magazine portion of this issue comes across as a glorified advertisement - like a big corp supplement thrown in.  I'm speculating but it looks as if IGN cut a deal with GameShark and their magazine division and this issue is the result.  Perhaps IGN created their own portion of the 'zine internally and GameShark Magazine - having the infrastructure already in place - sponsored it and handled the actual publishing.

 

This would help explain what looks to have been a dual distribution.  I know the issue was only sold by IGN directly through their website - both as a premium subscriber incentive and separately - but it looks to have also been freely distributed by GameShark Magazine as well.  A number of sources seem to back this up - Wikipedia, the Internet Archive, RetroMags' own Gallery, the Holiday 2001 editorial, and a Nintendo Age post.  And going a step further, perhaps this issue was actually distributed to GameShark Magazine's mailing list as the last and final issue sometime following their March 2002 issue?  Maybe they had some overstock or whatever and thought this would appease their subscriber base?  Hopefully, a former GameShark Magazine subscriber is reading this and can clarify the details.   :)

 

The issue definitely is a flip book, btw.  (Sorry for that.)  The cbr doesn't really reflect this as both sections are oriented right-side up.  Not exactly an accurate preservation but now we don't have to flip our tablets over while reading.   ;)

 

If it turns out this issue was never distributed by GameShark Magazine, I'd be hard pressed to categorize it as such.  As mentioned before, it feels more like a supplement than full-fledged issue.  It'd be better categorized by its IGN roots - with a GameShark Magazine reference in the publication dbase & issue index for clarity - unless RetroMags allows for double entries to accommodate flip issues.

 

If it was distributed by GameShark Magazine, it should probably be considered a special issue outside the usual publication schedule.

 

I made some updates to the OP with Holiday 2001 details and also added GameShark Magazine to the magazine dbase.  We'll need a download section and a publication dbase entry eventually.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

I dunno anything about Gameshark magazine, but is there something about the holiday issue that makes it "special"? A lot of mags have holiday issues that are basically just a 13th yearly issue no different from the rest. We usually include them with the regular magazine numbering. Were the regular mags numbered but this one wasn't? Again, just curious.

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I dunno anything about Gameshark magazine, but is there something about the holiday issue that makes it "special"? A lot of mags have holiday issues that are basically just a 13th yearly issue no different from the rest. We usually include them with the regular magazine numbering. Were the regular mags numbered but this one wasn't? Again, just curious.

 

This one is definitely an oddball.  I'm not entirely sure it should be considered an issue of GameShark Magazine, frankly, special or otherwise.  The GameShark portion of the magazine feels like a glorified advertising supplement tacked onto an IGN one-shot.  But scuttle on the 'net implies this was distributed by Interact in addition to regular GSM issues.  Would love to confirm this.

 

It also doesn't fit well within the publication schedule, isn't numbered like a regular issue, etc.  I know many publishers regularly produced holiday issues but I wouldn't consider this to be typical.

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  • 3 months later...

I still have all of my "Dangerous Waters" newsletters (#'s 9-21).  Yeh you had to get them through the mail.  Remember being kind of disappointed when I got the first few because they were so cheap looking.. just codes on green paper.  It wasn't until a few newsletters later where they started printing them in color on nice glossy paper.

 

I remember the whole reason I begged my Mom for a Gameshark was because at the time Resident Evil 2 hadn't come out yet.  But if you had RE Directors Cut that came with the RE2 demo disc, you could use the Gameshark to get farther in the demo than you were supposed to..  gave you some keys to open a few more doors until finally the game would crash or something.. but yeh after that I was sold on getting more codes for other games so I begged my Mom for Dangerous Waters..

 

I see #14 is missing from the list above and I have it.  I'll be happy to scan and upload it here.. just been kinda looking around the site trying to figure out the rules/process first..  and I know nothing about creating .cbr or .cbz   :P

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