How you USED TO BE ABLE TO cheat your way to unlocking everything
(EDIT: THIS APPARENTLY NO LONGER WORKS BECAUSE THE GAME HAS BEEN UPDATED TO USE A NEW SAVE SYSTEM)
So I finished Hotline Miami today, and it was a pretty great game, but then you get the the end, and it wants you to have a password to do a certain thing, and your character doesn't have the password, and you're sad but you move on and see the end or whatever.
Then I pressed escape and noticed there was a "puzzle" menu option. When you go to it, it has a row of squares and asks you to fill them in with letters. I only had one letter, a "T". Turns out, these are hidden on tiny, like, 3x3 purple squares with a white pixel in the middle throughout the levels. If you have the owl mask equipped, they hover in the air like weapons. I must've picked one up at some point on accident.
But I was really not in the mood for replaying the whole game again, especially if it meant I'd have to equip a different mask than good ol' Don Juan... so I started poking around with the saves.dat file, and noticing what changes in it when you pick up letters.
I'm only posting the following because a.) it's not too hard to figure out, and b.) if you've had your fill of the game by the time you finished it and still want to see all it has to offer without going back through and scouring each level for the little hidden secrets. If that's not for you, turn back now!
TO UNLOCK EVERY LETTER:
Replace the fourth line of saves.dat with 1111111111111111
Then you have to figure out the correct order of the letters. When you load up the PUZZLE screen, it places them randomly, and, sometimes, with logic I don't quite fully understand, sometimes the letters will "stick" when you place them in the correct spot, but then other times they won't.
So after a ton of randomly dragging the letters around until they randomly stuck, I found out the password.
THE PASSWORD IS:
Or, if you're super duper lazy and still have saves.dat open:
TO MAKE THE GAME THINK YOU SOLVED THE PUZZLE CORRECTLY WITHOUT ACTUALLY SOLVING IT:
Change the last line of saves.dat from a 0 to a 1
This changes the way the final final chapter of the game plays out, but only slightly, and, honestly, kind of disappointingly. I'm pretty glad that I just cheated and did this, because man, if I'd've gone back through and done all the legwork to find all those secret square thingies and not wearing the Don Juan ♥♥♥♥ Your ♥♥♥♥ I'm Going To Kill You With Door Almost Exclusively mask in the process... I'd be pretty frustrated.
Oh, and here's a bonus cheat:
TO UNLOCK EVERY MASK:
Replace the first line of saves.dat with 11111111111111111111111111
So yeah, great game, tons of fun, amazing sense of style and all that... now I'm just going to go back to chilling out to the title screen music while trying to figure out how much of the game was a coma-dream, whether the dude in glasses was ever real or not and who he was supposed to represent, who the masked guys were, whether or not the stuff past the first set of credits is supposed to be, like, an alternate timeline, or if it's all somehow connected, and, most importantly, when these guys are going to put out another game so I can throw their money at them.