I am determined to run the Weird Video series into the ground with all of these Nintendo adverts. Only this week, the gimmick is Japan! This time on the marketing-go-round, it’s the TV advert for the Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past on the Super Famicom.
Link is played by a badass woman here! Couple that with Thriller-esque dance moves, a rap lifted straight out of House of Pain’s “Jump Around”, and a menacing Ganon puppet, and you’ve got yourself an advert for the ages. A legend, even.
Meanwhile, in the USA…
Listen out for that “wicky wicky wig” at the end. Vocal impersonations of record scratching sounds ensure street cred in this advert for the ages. A legend, even?
There’s tons and speculation, it’s wild, and everyone wants to know: what is NX? Seriously, what is it? Well, I’m going to tell you. Consider it a leak. NX is… Fred Willard. It’s just him. He is the NX.
The funny thing is, the evidence has been out there all along. It was on the original Wii’s Nintendo Channel. But no one actually used the Nintendo Channel, so that’s why no one realised until now. Thankfully some brave soul ripped some videos off of there which offer proof.
Just think about it. Here, in this advert, Fred Willard is the star. The DS barely features, even though they reference it several times. But the DS was extremely popular at the time, it overshadowed Willard. So, as with many of Nintendo’s internal experiments, Nintendo kept the core idea (Fred Willard) in hibernation for years with the intention of re-packaging and selling it at a later date. Nothing goes to waste at Nintendo, and we have a great many examples of this, from Mario 128, the tech demo that became Pikmin, to Stage Debut, the tech demo that became Miis. And now it’s Fred Willard’s turn, and he’s bringing the whole gang along for the NX release: Paul, Richard, Robbie, the butcher, and last but not least the vegetarian and not-vegetarian, spicy and not-spicy chili con carne!
OK so let’s be real for a minute. I have been itching to post this video since I discovered it last week. It’s so insipid, so low-key, so mundane… it should be boring, right? Then why is it so utterly compelling? Who are all these non-Fred Willards in the video? Are we supposed to know who they are? Because the advert seems to think we already do! Honestly, even though this video doesn’t inspire the same kind of cheesy nostalgia as last week’s featured Star Fox 64 advert, I think this is just as good, maybe better. And if you think so too then you’re in luck because there’s more.
Specifically, there’s a remix (something the kids are calling Youtube Poop?), and an extremely well-done one at that. This short film, which is considerably longer than the original video, completely flips the original on its head thanks to the inspired decision to incorporate footage from the Wizard of Oz film. Yes yes yes! I urge everyone to see this, so do check out both part one and part two. (Part two is where things get really weird.) Then, drop a comment letting me know what you think. Am I crazy for thinking both of these videos, the original and the remix, are genius?
Hello reader. Hilarious and weird are the themes of the day, although this is the internet and that’s pretty much the average temperature round these parts.
In the hilarious category today, for your pleasure we have an absurdly funny and at times mind bending video of Charlie Brooker, the host of several TV shows in recent years, notably Gameswipe and How Videogames Changed the World, attempting to teach a stubborn Jon Snow to play videogames. It’s a long video but I urge you to watch the entire thing. Charlie Brooker is so earnest here, you can’t help but sympathise. This candid video reveals Jon Snow to be a true news reader – conservative and stubborn to the core, he appears to genuinely believe the rubbish he spews everyday on the news. Someone switch his news anchor switch to off! After this interview you can imagine them heading to a nearby restaurant, only for Snow to start up his horse-meat-in-ready-meals diatribe again, while everyone sighs until Snow leaves. He then hops in his private jet home because he heard that you’re more likely to die crossing the road than in a plane crash.
It’s pretty remarkable to find a grown man react to exploding Lego on-screen with “it’s violent and horrid”, “you think a child doesn’t think those are real people?”, “I’m told that people can watch these things for five hours a day!”, “they’re going through the psychological experience of killing people”. All the stereotypes are out in force then! That includes obligatory snide remarks about the number of men who play videogames in proportion to women. And Snow’s constant cynical interruptions are breathtakingly redundant: “I don’t watch videogames.” “So it’s a technological intrigue.” “You think I’ve had a sad and bereft life by not having dabbled in this stuff?” “I thought this was supposed to be state-of-the-art”. Brooker has the patience of a saint.
Elsewhere on TV…
This koala does the adverts for some toilet paper junk, and he manages to make cleaning your bum cute and fun, which is no small feat. The advert below starring our dear koala bear here absolutely proves Brooker’s thesis that videogames have in fact changed the world. Videogames have changed how people wipe their bums forever! I yell “SOFT COMBO” every time I swipe now.
Thanks Cushelle and Charlie Brooker, and most of all videogames – you all get a big thumbs up!
What are the lessons here then other than Cushelle’s advocacy of basic hygiene? Brooker once called the news “the world’s longest running soap opera”. Great quote, but what does it mean? Well, for one, it means this video of Jon Snow is not about the launch of the Playstation 4 at all. The Playstation 4 is a rather clunky plot device, while the meat of the drama is the character study of one man, Snow, as he descends into madness and his job utterly consumes him. How can we trust the news with this unreliable narrator at the helm? We cannot. Now, everyone go out and buy Cushelle.* In conclusion, news = bad, advertising = good.*Sentence sponsored by Cushelle.
Well well. Pretty much all game companies were guilty of this in the mid-90s – let’s look at some SHAMELESS NSFW targeted advertising from Sega.
But first, I can’t resist this Neo-Geo ad. The man’s pose in this photo is just too funny. This advert has a rather tragic subtext however. Judging by the man’s…vigorous playing style, and the unfortunate image on the TV screen (night after night, he returns to that same boss fight over and over), the Neo-Geo/Cyber-Lip combo has apparently turned this straight man gay, and it’s only now dawning on his wife/mistress/pretty young thing that she’s just become his beard.
Onto Sega now and more highly suspect material:
Shameless! Immoral! Corrupting! ‘SO WHAT!’ screeches the advert: ‘There’s no time for distractions when you’re deep into Sega Saturn‘. Oh my god. Penetrative sex with a…games console?? Alongside utter moral bankruptcy and some highly suspicious implications for a man’s hardware, at times this advert is just plain rude/patronising: ‘Sega Saturn games offer more than just great looks. Like three 32-bit processors (that’s two more than Playstation, if you’re scoring at home – or even if you’re alone)‘. Seriously, what? Why do Sega care if I’m alone? Are Sega saying single people can’t count? Oh, no, I see, never mind, the subtext of the ad is simply that the Saturn is the only sex doll a single person could conceivably convince their parents to get them for Christmas.
Not an advert for the Sega Saturn itself but for the excellent Panzer Dragoon Zwei. Although you wouldn’t know it. A touch more subtle than the previous two ads (really we’re talking only a matter of degrees here given this is ‘a game with balls’), the black and white photography gives the whole affair a bizarre and mysterious atmosphere. But of course Sega know what they’re doing with their adverts, and are much too smart to show screenshots of a graphically fantastic game. Far better to show this cock-contemplator hard at work.
Finally, to round off, here are some older Sega adverts for the Megadrive/Genesis and the Game Gear. Any comments on the following would simply add to their numerous injuries. These adverts are from Viz magazine, a still-going British comic magazine. Representative joke: ‘Don’t invite drug addicts to your house on Boxing Day. They may find the offer of cold turkey embarrassing or offensive’. Ba-doom-tish. Let’s get on with these heinous ads. Fair warning, this last crop are definitely NSFW. Continue reading