Remember the Ultra 64? Not
the N64- such a name doesn't capture the scope of the great things the
version of the system that never even existed was capable of. Nintendo
Power would print six pages of spreads of microscopic, fuzzy screen
captures vomited across some kind of cool photoshop effects background,
with a couple boxes of scanty, teasing text.
And do you remember how big the gap between
that and the actual games was? The blocky adventures of Dash Rendar
in a flat-textured part of Hoth; majestic pointysaurs wandering the
misty temples of Turok; and of course, Robotech: Crystal Dreams, the
anime-inspired mech simulator that begun with a crisp capture of a Valkyrie
fighter and was supplemented by worse and worse quality visuals until
the game vanished from the 'coming soon' list- all were part of Nintendo
Power's struggle to promote the next generation in expensive cartridge
based retina scarring.
Eventually, once we were desensitized
by their text (I think that happened to me after a few optimistic looks
at Rise of the Robots persuaded me to get the game) they resorted to
the tactic they employed with Donkey Kong Country: sending free promotional
videos out to subscribers. But where the DKC video was mostly a tour
of the RARE offices interspersed with cool wireframe gorillas and game
clips, the Star Fox 64 tape and its successors leaned towards b-movie
style insanity. With a combination like that, how could I NOT watch
We open, as all cinema classics do,
with an insidious plot by two bumbling morons to kidnap a Nintendo 'test
pilot.' (As established by studies conducted by Seanbaby and the
Reilly Insistitute, it hasn't been proven that jumpsuits have any effect
whatsoever on your ability to play Nintendo, though it's highly possible
that the addition of a loud vibrating motor combined with the phallic
middle prong of the N64 controller required additional protection.)
These thugs consist of a thin balding guy in a Sony short and a tubby
lummox with his gut hanging tantalizingly out of his Sega tee, tooling
around in a white van marked 'diaper service.' The test pilot, Peter,
himself looks like the offspring of Luke Skywalker and Captain N the
Game Master. He enters on a stock-footage parachute and lands rather
close to a solid building. Nintendo's quality control is apparently
more painstaking than the N64's EA-based lineup would have you play.
The goons employ that time honored anaesthetic method of a cloroform-soaked
rag, implying that the van ride to Abandoned Warehouse Sound Stage might
have involved sodomy.
He comes to, faced with rigorous questioning
by the larcenous chums. Their brutal interrogation methods consist of
asking a question, then moving on after a G-rated snappy comeback, or
childish mocking. Every line spoken by both parties is über-enunciated
and accompanied by mugging that would make the Great Shatner flinch.
SONY GUY: "We...
hear you got some new games coming out."
PETER: "Could ya be a bit more specific? We
got a lotta new games coming out."
SEGA GUY: "'Wee gutta lutta nyuu games cumingyauut.'
After a few dead-end common logic questions, they decide to kick it
up a notch by putting Mario's head in a vice. Now, while this isn't
actually a human being or anything, the combination of the Mario doll's
dead eyes skewing in the vice with the horrifyingly hammy screams from
Peter and the Sega/Sony guy's overdone villain laughter does make for
a chilling scene. Finally, the pilot spills his guts as much as he feels
like, and tells them that in order to find out the specifics of the
Rumble Pak, they'd have to ask Bob. And so they do so.
Once again showing off Nintendo's lax
security, the Goons deliver a pizza to Bob at the R&D department.
A pizza filled with sleeping gas! Whatever. Once we return to the Mads'
lair, we see Peter has gone completely to the dark side and is now lounging
comfortably with some of the laced pizza. Bob inadvertantly spills the
beans about... THE RUMBLE PAK, proving himself to be even less trustworthy
than Peter, and making his prior assertion that "Bob would kill
me!" seem downright weak. When Bob refuses to divulge the secrets,
Sony and Sega Guy torture Mario with jumper cables. During this second
'horrific' sequence, we watch the Mario doll doing a little seizure
dance while Bob screams "OH NO THEY GOT THE MARIO DOLL
HOOKED UP TO THE BATTERY CABLES AHRMPLHFGH!" I'm still
suprised that he could say it that clearly given his cracking an obvious
grin of sheer terror.
From here, the competitor's plot becomes
even more suspect than it already was. They cross the room to where
they have not only an N64 set up, but with a working copy of the yet-unreleased
Star Fox, and four controllers- with Rumble Paks. So, rather
than reverse-engineer the captured and probably yet-to-be-liscensed
goods, they instead to choose to capture one of Nintendo's skydiving
game testers and a man who seems to be more of a walking security risk
than a developer. GO SEGA, GO SONY. Sega guy dicks around Level One
and manages to die slamming into a rock, going on about how he can FEEL
the impacts. They then proceed to be UTTERLY WOWED by the four-player
mode. For those who skipped SF64, the four player arenas were tiny squares
with four identical structures in the middle. These could be archways,
or even floating rectangles!
Anyway, as should be expected, the Nintendo
guys cream their opponents, and evidentally win their freedom via some
agreement that must have been cut out from the final print. Bob&
Peter then trample upon the downtrodden goons by showing them footage
of upcoming awful games, including a very early build of Ocarina of
Time simply dubbed Zelda 64 (as was the tradition with all their previous
games.) As they walk out, with not only the precious Mario doll but
Sony Guy's megaphone, they taunt their captors with:
ya later... fellas!"
PETER(through megaphone): "Yeah, later-- BOYZZ!!!"
They then look at each other and proceed
to crack up completely. They also direct them to their homepage for
more information that could have been readily gleaned without resorting
to kidnapping. I suppose this sort of waste of money on subterfuge might
have lead to Sega's downfall as a console producer, but the Sony guy
must have passed the blame onto the guy who didn't speak English seeing
as how that company is still alive and well.
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