Above: Donkey Propakonga Country from 1994
Then, from roughly 1997 to 2001, Nintendo operated kiosks inside of retail chains like Toys “R” Us. Each one came loaded with a video CD player (not DVD, mind) that contained dozens of 30 second previews, recent commercials and custom-made videos for N64 and Game Boy Color games, all accessed by a touchpad. So for example, if you pushed “Ocarina of Time” on the display, you would watch this:
They’re basically point-of-purchase videos designed to run in the background while people shop, perhaps enticing them to buy a game that happens to pop up on the screen. Most of the big-name titles, like say Mario, Zelda, Smash Bros and so on, received very straightforward voiceovers – no need to mix the message or get creative when the game itself is so strong. However, when faced with a weaker title, one that maybe needs some finesse, the voice actors had to get into character.