Sundry Sunday: Little Runmo

Gooseworx’s Little Runmo has 24 million views on Youtube, but it’s amazing how many things with a ton of views are still obscure to most people. Here it is in the likely event you missed it.

Little Runmo is a platforming character in a video game world who begins to question the metaphysics of his existence. Who benefits from him running through this deadly obstacle course? And what happens if he doesn’t just run to the right, but actually explores his world? The answers are funny and disturbing! But mostly funny!

Sundry Sunday: Super Brothers by Guitar Vader

Every song on the soundtrack of Jet Grind Radio (a.k.a. Jet Set Radio) is out of sight. One of the most memorable (they’re all memorable, but even among this group) is Super Brothers by Guitar Vader, a cheeky riff (in lyrics) on Super Mario Bros., in a Sega game.

That’s all. That’s enough.

Sundry Sunday: Chip Tanaka’s Hammerhead Shark Song

Hirokazu Tanaka, a.k.a. Chip Tanaka, who used to go by Hip Tanaka, has had quite the career. He composed music for many Famicom games, including Kid Icarus, Tetris, Mother, and Mother 2/Earthbound. Especially he composed the music of Metroid, which did a lot to establish the feel of that entire game. He currently serves as President of Creatures Inc., the company that produces Pokémon. He has a personal website.

And he’s still making music! His second album came out in 2020. The above video is a song from it, which has a music video made by Undertale creator Toby Fox, and sprites by Temmie Chang. Give it a listen, why not?

Chip Tanaka / Hammerhead Shark Song from 2nd album “Domingo” (Youtube, four minutes)

Sundry Sunday: Vs. Balloon Fight Soundtrack

For making it through another week of internet life in 2022, let’s reward ourselves with the notably changed soundtrack to the arcade version of a NES classic, Balloon Fight.

Balloon Fight is remembered for its catchy music, which you get to experience in length when you play its Balloon Trip endurance mode. The music is also heard during the bonus round. Well, the arcade version, called Vs. Balloon Fight in keeping with Nintendo’s branding efforts at the time, has a rather fancier version of that track! Whoever is playing those virtual drums is a real show-off.

Extra! There’s a lot of cool little touches that make the arcade versions stand out. Vs. Excitebike has a fun and simple little bonus stage that requires you to jump over trucks evidently owned by the Mr. Yuck Moving Company.

Sundry Sunday: CUBE

It makes pocket calculators look like the cotton gin

It’s coming….

It’s fifteen years old now, but I still love the old “funnymovieinternet” video CUBE, which is a promo video from an era of video games that never really existed. In our little circle of friends, PREPARE YOURSELF FOR CUBE is still a signifier and in-joke all to itself. The site it came from is long defunct, but fortunately it hasn’t been hit by a spurious Youtube takedown notice yet, which as time approaches infinity, appears to be the ultimate fate of all videos on that frog-forsaken website.

Sundry Sunday: Mario Twins

This one’s really going back a ways. The description on this 2012 video says it’s a Newgrounds classic, and I was not a habitué of that site then, I’m sure it goes back to at least 2005.

It is a type of meme video that long time internet layabouts will recognize the irreverent take on some property, in this case Super Mario Bros. done up in a whimsical yet somewhat profane way. The highlight of the audio, though, comes after the introduction, where performers Group X do a voiced rendition of playing Super Mario Bros., including music and sound effects, back by drum and cymbal (and, later, bass). Being a part of gamer culture from that that you can expect some coarseness (like a crude Flash animation of poop being tossed at a toilet). Some people like that kind of thing I hear, I can’t tell you why.

The attributes of early Flash animation are prominently on display, like copious use of tweens. Flash is still around as an animation tool, and I presume tweening is still available, but with the death of browser-based Flash (not counting Ruffle) recall of the unique crappiness of badly-made shape tweens is rapidly fading from internet memory.

Well, there it is. Hey, it’s Sunday, I’m not supposed to be stressing about posts made today!

Sundry Sunday: Pepsiman Cutscenes

The past two Sundays have been devoted to Playstation cutscenes. Here’s one more.

Pepsiman is an infamous Japan-only PS1 title, created by KID, who produced the NES games Low G Man and Recca. The Pepsiman character was a mascot for Pepsi in Japan. How he managed to swing a Playstation game I don’t know. I assume it was released as a cheap promotional thing, similar to how Sneak King for Xbox 360 was distributed for $4.99 at Burger King in the U.S., but truthfully I don’t know where I got that impression. It’s probably false.

It had a low budget, so they put in these cutscenes with an American actor sitting at home with what I can only describe as way too much Pepsi, drinking, congratulating the player (in English), and exhorting them to consume the caramel-colored, cloyingly-sweet beverage.

The effect is akin to having bubbles of carbon dioxide diffusing through your brain. Please spend time in a decompression chamber after viewing, to avoid coming down with the Pepsi Bends.

Sundry Sunday: Crash Bandicoot In Japan

It’s Sunday! Time to electrocute your brain with more game-related video weirdness. Electrodes at the ready!

In Japan, it seems, Crash Bandicoot has a completely different, and extremely earwormy, theme song. Well in the Japanese release of Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, if you hold Left, Circle, L1, and L2 when the Playstation logo appears, you get this entertainingly bizarre karaoke video showing off a long version of the theme, featuring Crash doing a signature dance move, cavorting with ladies in nightgowns and bikinis, and getting blown up by a jetpack, all right and proper activities to be had by an anthropomorphic marsupial.

The song also featured in commercials for the games in Japan. As an extra, here is a (very badly compressed) compilation:

There’s a more video weirdness concerning Japanese Crash Bandicoot, but let’s save that for later….

Sundry Sunday: The Adam West Cutscenes in the Golden Nugget PS1 Game

Its Sunday! Another week in the books! You made it. So, here’s a weird video something you may enjoy.

On the original Playstation there were a lot of games release, some good, some bad, and some rather strange. Since games were released on CD, there was a lot of space for full-motion video, and sometimes that allowed developers to build in some silly extras.

That’s what happened with the Golden Nugget game, a fairly standard gambling sim that was elevated to sublime levels of wackiness by its video clips. It’s a fairly standard shoehorned-in story, about a computer chip that allows one to win games of chance somehow, but then Adam West shows up, as “Mr Swayne,” starts Adam West-ing, and suddenly, you’re watching comedy gold.

There’s a lot of other-character-acting to wade through to get to Adam, so you’ll want to skip forward to 8:10 to see his first bit.

Sundry Sunday: Buggy Saints Row: The Musical

Oh this one goes way, way back. Since Saints Row is back in the news….

Back after the release of the first Saints Row game, long before the series went bonkers gonzo crazy-go-nuts and then got rebooted, it was really buggy. So buggy that longtime internet person Cabel Sasser (who helped make the Playdate and helped publish Untitled Goose Game) made a video about it with catchy music. Enjoy!

Sundry Sunday: Strong Bad Email 94, Video Games

It’s Sunday! You’ve crossed the finish line (which is not a Finnish line) of another week. You deserve a short and funny video something for your dogged persistence against entropy.

In making these posts, I’m aided by there being a nearly 20-year history of weird and fun video game related things on the internet. According to the excellent Homestar Runner Wiki, Strong Bad Email 94 originally went up on January 12, 2004, over 18 years ago. It immediately became iconic and soaked its way into the soul of the web. If you ever see someone on the internet say hat their HEAD A SPLODE, this is where that came from.

They even made playable versions of the games in the animation, although they don’t work without Flash (Ruffle may work, but its compatibility isn’t 100% yet): Rhino Feeder, Secret Collect, Strongbadzone, and the Thy Dungeonman trilogy, one, two and three.

Here it is on homestarrunner.com, in case you somehow have a way to watch Flash. (The alternative web player Ruffle is an up-and-coming solution! There are even browser extensions available that make its use almost seamless!)

Sundry Sunday: Commercial For Pitfall!

Welcome to a new week! You swam through tyrannical employers, terrible social media, and a generally-appalling political situation. To help make up for it, let’s watch an old commercial for the Atari VCS game Pitfall!, and if that kid at the front looks slightly familiar, that’s only because it’s Jack Black.

The other actors in this video are also pretty interesting. Video games were considered interesting to general audiences in the U.S. before the crash. We’re still not entirely sure what changed. A lot of people point to a glut of awful games for the Atari VCS/2600, but it affected arcades too, as well as the Intellivision and ColecoVision. Video games suddenly just seemed uncool to most demographics, for some reason. In Japan, Nintendo was known to be concerned that a similar kind of thing might have happened when the Super Nintendo Entertainment System hit the U.S. market. Thankfully it didn’t.