Thursday, April 12, 2012

4 Video Game Memes in Weird Places

The existence of memes confuses and angers me much like deep fried ice cream.  A just God would not allow these to exist, never mind be more popular than "Doily Bonanza" on the Public Access Channel.  Memes are so out of control, "Come at me bro!" and "Don't tase me bro!" should just fuck already.  They can name their kid Taser Broseph III and he will truly give mankind an answer to it's most important question, can that cat finally have his damn cheezburger?

 Via Fotopedia

Other than cats for some insane reason probably having to do with an insane cat lady, many memes are based on video games.  But unlike most other memes, these memes show up in weird places, sometimes leaving the internet entirely.

1.  "Do a Barrel Roll" - Google

This meme is from Starfox 64 and refers to your wingman Peppy Hare (cause, he's a rabbit...) ordering you to "do a barrel roll" to avoid enemy turret fire.  It's a throwaway line early in the game as a tutorial, yet people remember it because people don't like taking orders from the MAN!  Or, man-rabbit in this case.  Manibbit?  Never mind.

However, a barrel roll is solid advice, but I think a fighter pilot would have learned how to do a barrel roll before being thrown out into combat.  I guess it's the most lasting advice Peppy ever learned in Lylat academy because it's the only thing I remember about him thanks to the meme.  It's unlike your other wingmen like Falco, who I remember as being a dick with Iceman like inadequacies, and Slippy, who I remember as a moron who shouldn't pilot a big wheel, never mind a fighter jet.

Google decided this meme was awesome, so they decided to literally spin their website like the Wheel of Fortune for one rotation every time somebody searches for "Do a barrel roll".  Actually, the website spins after typing "Do a" because it's the first search that pops up.  I imagine the spinning would be awfully annoying to anybody trying to search "Do a wheelbarrow" or "Do a yeast infection go away by itself."  Not sure why these are popular searches, but I assume a significant amount of the population is getting yeast infections after fucking wheelbarrows.

 Ah yeah baby.  Via Fotopedia.

2.  The Konami Code - Many Websites

Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A.  This code, sometimes referred to as the Contra code because it was the only thing that made that game less masochistic than wearing a badger as underwear, made it's first appearance in the game Gradius.  It was put into that game because one of the programmers needed help to play through it, but he forgot to remove the code before the game was finalized.  Actually, that says something about the games Konami makes when the creators of the games can't even play them without wanting to punch a starving child.  When a cheat code changes a game's difficulty from "slightly more enjoyable than passing a kidney stone" too "hard as brain surgery", then maybe the game should be made a little easier.  

Without the code, nobody would have seen this action packed ending

The Konami Code has had such an enduring legacy and is so well known that just short of every website on the Internet has a use for it.  There are a ton of sites where if you type in the code on your keyboard, the site gives you a little joke or game or broadcasts your nightmares.  This site lets you play a keyboard version of Guitar Hero that is harder than Brazilian Calculus.  This site turns itself onto it's side because it thinks Google's Barrel Roll was awesome, but should have only made 25% of the trip.  This dudes site lets you download his music for free, which is awesome except for the fact that his music is free without the code too.  This site tells you the code...doesn'  Um, my, mind.  Ow.  OWWWW.

3.  Leeroy Jenkins - Jeopardy and The Daily Show

Not all video game memes come from a game's programming.  I think when it comes to World of Warcraft's roughly 5 dozen memes, it's from a gamer doing something incredibly stupid.  And in the case of Leeroy Jenkins, it's charging headlong into battle before the rest of his party is ready to go like Conan the Barbarian on PCP.

He was hence forth known as Leeroy, the Empty-Headed

Also, I know the video from which the meme started is staged, but it doesn't seem too unlikely that something like this has probably happened in reality.  Hell, I've seen drunk people try to fist fight an entire bar before and that seemed less likely to succeed than Leeroy taking on a room full of Pterodactyls.  At least, I think they are pterodactyls since this video has the same quality as a snuff film shot on a Yamaha VHS camcorder.  

I think it's amazing that this meme got as big as it did since WoW memes usually don't escape their own enclave located in 6 million mothers basements.  Leeroy Jenkins, on the other hand, was an answer on fucking College Jeopardy.  

Of course it was College Jeopardy.  Regular Jeopardy's snotty contestants would probably think the answer has something to do with JRR Tolkien.  They would think Leeroy Jenkins was Frodo's birth name or something, and Azeroth was Sauron's roommate who never did the dishes.  

Leeroy Jenkins also made an appearance on The Daily Show on March 12th, 2012.  Unfortunately, I can't embed the video of it because Viacom really, really hates Youtube.  I'm talking, like, a Catholic hates condoms.  Nonetheless, you can watch Leeroy storm a digital Republican Convention here. 

4.  "All Your Base Are Belong to Us" - Pretty much everywhere but most embarrassingly on a Chicago Fox News Station.

For a meme as old as this one, (it's first known Internet posting was in the year 2000), it sure is strange that it came from such an obscure game.  How is it, that the first hugely popular video game meme came from Zero Wing, a game for the Sega Mega Drive that was never released in America?  Did the Internet think poor grammar was really funny right before the Internet decided intentionally writing poor grammar for teh Lulz was 3p!(?  Did the Internet confuse it for a Lolcat because the phrase was said by a villain named "Cats"?  Is it because of racism?  It's because of racism isn't it?

 Nope.  Not Racist. Via Atom Smasher

Other than being the grand-daddy to video game memes, this may have also started Engrish memes.  The entire game is so poorly translated, trained code breakers think it's actually revealing the location of the real US Constitution.  I wouldn't have been surprised if the plot of the game revolves around a war being started due to the poor translation.  The villains weren't actually trying to threaten anybody.  They were just trying to ask for permission to "use your base" because the starship that "belongs to us" is in desperate need of refueling.

Regardless of why this became a meme in the first place, it jumped from the Internet onto billboards, T-shirts, busses, airplane towed signs, and nightmarish techno songs about the need to rid the earth of the human parasite that threatens the great Gaia.  But to truly take the crown as king of memes, a Chicago Fox News Affiliate actually did a story about it.  I guess it was the slowest news day of all time.

They sound so defeated. 

I know soft news isn't technically news but come on, wasn't there an elderly lady who found Jesus in her SpongeBob Mac and Cheese or something?  These newscasters don't have the slightest idea what they are talking about and they sound like tools. Well, they probably are tools but that's beside the point.  They are doing a news story on an Internet meme that got dangerously out of hand.  That's like doing a news story on Rick Astley being a threat to national security, there is no story here.

I'm glad the "All your base are belong to us" meme has faded away but just like all of these video game memes, it will reappear when you least expect it.  Like on your parents Facebook wall with a comment about how kids don't know English these days.  Speaking of which, I should probably stop with the grammar references before I stop doing it good.

Disclaimer:  This article is satirical and I know the Konami code isn't really a meme in the traditional sense.  I left out any references to Pokemon video game memes because I can't tell which ones deal with the games and which ones deal with the TV show.  Also, Pokemon is stupid.

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