The Top 7… videogame legends we never want to hear again


The story, one last time…

Back in the early 1990s, the 16-bit war was escalating as hardware companies raced to add CD-ROM technology to their machines. Sega had the Mega-CD, and if Nintendo were to stay in the game, the SNES would need its own way to play grainy interactive movies and music video remix toys.

Above: The future of videogaming, circa 1992 

Nintendo had been working in secret with Sony on producing such a device. On the eve of the machine’s official announcement, however, Nintendo took another look at the contract and realized it was far too generous to the Walkman purveyors. Lengthy legal shenanigans ensued, at the end of which Nintendo had no CD drive and Sony had no friends in the gaming industry. They proceeded to spruce up the tech they’d developed with Nintendo, free it from any reliance on SNES architecture and release it into the world to fend for itself. You may be familiar with the result:

We’re sick of it because…

Look, we love some Nintendo, okay? But its shunning, and subsequent humiliation at the hands of, one-time BFF Ken Kutaragi was the best thing that could have happened to the next decade of video games. From its industry-dominating perch in 1992, Nintendo stumbled over the next few years from botch to imbroglio even as Sony consolidated its potential.

Above: When you put it like that, who needs Gran Turismo? 

From the Virtual Boy to Mortal Kombat to the company’s painful separation from Squaresoft, the mid ‘90s are a well-documented litany of successive woes for Nintendo, the vast bulk of these being the results of its own dunderheaded decisions. Just think: if the Sony/Nintendo venture had gone ahead, here’s what you’d be doing with your time nowadays:

If someone starts telling this story, say…

“I don’t want to live in a world where I can’t avoid all contact with Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon.”


The story, one last time…

Three things that were pretty big in 1982:

• The Atari 2600.
• Reese’s Pieces-brand peanut butter candy.
• Steven Spielberg’s motion picture, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

While you may see three disparate elements, marketing geniuses see the potential for something called synergy. That’s why they’re geniuses! And so it was that a game for the Atari 2600 was commissioned in which ET (the Extra-Terrestrial) eats Reese’s Pieces to gain energy.

Above: It is not original or funny to proclaim this “the best part of the game” 

The game was rushed into production: the designer (singular) had less than six weeks to turn out the game, where contemporary games usually took around six months. Banking on healthy sales based on brand recognition, Atari was sorely disappointed to find that gamers had already learned that sometimes you should buy less of things if they are terrible. Thousands of copies of the game were ultimately buried in a New Mexico landfill, in what became a timeless symbol of developers’ thwarted hubris.

Above: We can’t make out any cartridges either 

We’re sick of it because…

In what has become a timeless symbol of gamers’ utter inability to let a joke die, people will never, ever shut up about E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and that goddamn landfill. Some have suggested that there may be tribes in isolated pockets of the Amazon Rainforest who have not yet been told this story.

This premise has been rejected by others, who maintain that in today’s information-saturated world, human beings are actually born with the capacity for language, an opinion on Radiohead’s OK Computer, an appreciation for Heath Ledger’s tragically implosive performance in The Dark Knight and an awareness of the irony that - in 1983 - Atari was forced to dump in a hole thousands of copies of a game that many found unplayable, largely due to sequences where the main character would become trapped in a hole.

Above: Rain on your wedding day, that is

If someone starts telling this story, say…

“For the love of God, shut up.”

Jun 15, 2009

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Top 7


  • noofer7 - July 30, 2009 12:30 p.m.

  • Madserj - June 17, 2009 10:53 a.m.

    On Super Mario World (SNES), there was a wrecked ship that came out of the water and the rumour was that if you got to the end (where you fall for ages then into the water)and dropped through a glitch at the bottom of the screen, there was a secret level. There wasn't. It was a lie. :(
  • GR_JustinTowell - June 17, 2009 8:26 a.m.

    Haha - I actually saw that Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle 3 'Congraturations' myself, back in the day. It's never left me :)
  • TheyrePacmanGhostsUsonofaBitch - June 17, 2009 3:09 a.m.

    Can't wait to hear about these, again, on the T-DAR!!! :)
  • NanoElite666 - June 17, 2009 12:41 a.m.

    Ha ha, pixelating something that's already pixelated... :P
  • FinalGamer - June 16, 2009 6:29 p.m.

    I actually did watch the BBC documentary on Tetris, hell it was the first thing they ever showed on their newest channel BBC Four, which was more pretentious and artsy. So when a documentary on Tetris came on I watched it all the way through. Damn fascinating so yeah nobody can tell me any better on the story of Tetris.
  • hud4567 - June 16, 2009 5:27 p.m.

    I actually have an original copy of the E.T game on 2600 , probably rotting in my basement of eternal torture. Thank the heavens I didn't play it.
  • Unoriginal - June 16, 2009 5:24 p.m.

    @Picachu2000 Look who's calling who whiners. I bet that in a few years Duke Nukem Forever will become one of these legends. Fun list.
  • evilguy69 - June 16, 2009 5 p.m.

    I didn't like any...except congraturations Instead of "Congratulations", it's "Congraturations" Haha! Cus they put an "r" instead of an "l"! Hah!
  • Vagrant - June 16, 2009 7:20 a.m.

    I hadn't heard of entries 7 and 6. And I still find the Mega Man box art hilarious. Also, I've pretty much forgotten the deal with ET, other than it's considered worse than Superman 64. Now there's a video game legend I'm SURE you'll want to hear...
  • gatornation1254 - June 16, 2009 2:08 a.m.

    Great article. ReCAPTCHA: CENTER crown
  • VyseTheTetrisdork - June 16, 2009 1:21 a.m.

    I remember that image of Duke cupping Lara's breasts! It was featured in an issue of NextGen and was supposed to be the cover for it before the censor police came round. Here's the first result of a Google Image Search for "next gen magazine lara croft duke"
  • curly_jefferson - June 16, 2009 12:26 a.m.

    wait wait wait, your telling me the Playstation began life as a cd attachment for the SNES. quick to the editing room i got a front page.
  • Sabtos - June 15, 2009 11:25 p.m.

    Excellent article.
  • Ravenbom - June 15, 2009 11:21 p.m.

    lol, nice Top 7
  • Hobojedi - June 15, 2009 10:45 p.m.

    I hate how people keep bringing up ET.. just let it die already, jeez.
  • yoreAtowel - June 15, 2009 9:52 p.m.

    Is the legends true? That the new mexican deseret holds thousands ifnot millions of copies of games from yester-year, just waiting to be dig up and played. Also i heard the alien design for the xbox 1080 and ps6 is their as well?
  • - June 15, 2009 9:46 p.m.

    Nintendo was an ass until they had a little humility shoved down their throats but so was Sony. I guess the games companies can't handle power....
  • Yar - June 15, 2009 9:40 p.m.

    I don't know about you guys, but I'm sick and tired of hearing about the SMB2/Doki Doki Panic controversy. I don't care any more!
  • GamesRadarBrettElston - June 15, 2009 9:25 p.m.

    Also! Don't forget Shane's:

Showing 1-20 of 47 comments

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