Game Ads A-Go-Go: Fighting Game Teaser Ads
['Game Ads A-Go-Go' was a bi-weekly column by Vintage Computing and Gaming's RedWolf that showcases good, bad, strange, funny, and interesting classic video game-related advertisements, most of which are taken from his massive game magazine collection.]
This column was started back in March as a noble experiment into seeing whether I could say dumb things about video game advertisements with any sort of regularity. I'm sorry to say that I have failed miserably, as my commentary was almost always thoughtful, enlightened, and filled with rare insight, while typically leading toward the factual-analytical end of the bullshit continuum. However, this time -- in my last Game Ads A-Go-Go Column -- I promise that I will not fail you.
Why no more Game Ads A-Go-Go? Because this is my 16th entry in this series and I feel that it's time to move on to something fresh. It's been tons of fun, and I've really enjoyed writing for you, so don't be surprised if you see another RedWolf column on GSW soon about something actually serious, like analyzing structural motifs in Shigeru Miyamoto's fibrous navel lint (scientists have recently found that there's a surprising amount of stuff in that weird Japanese hole). Or, perhaps, I was thinking of doing a Jason Scott fan column. But in the mean time -- if you miss me -- you can always find me over at Vintage Computing and Gaming.
For now, however, we'll be looking at fighting game teaser ads! Prepare Yourself.
Not Actually Evil, Just Bad
The moral of this ad is simple: you can't tease someone with something that no one wants. So don't be pretentious enough to try it with Double Dragon V -- quite possibly one of the worst games of all time.
I would write more, but Shredder here has got them evil googly eyes that always make me nervous, even if in a facetious space-filler-writing kind of way. Besides, the people at TradeWest could have learned a lot from the following company...
A Little Bit Better
Now this is a game that many, many people wanted to play, even if it was the 15th minimally-changed version of a title released only three years earlier. Not since the likes of Mega Man have we seen such a case of sequel diarrhea. Coming Next Year: Super Street Fighter II Turbo Hyper Fighting Byzantine Champion Edition 2 Mini Puzzle Pals III.
Despite Capcom's "Adam, Prince of Eternia"-like attempt to act tough here, this ad still pales in comparison to our next contender...
Kome Kloser to the Kloset
Prepare Yourself to Kave into Kravings for Kombat (or for Kellogg's Krusty Killer Kobs of Korn). Ahem...I mean, only one out of the six ads above was not kreated by Midway, the master of all Teaser ads. But they all have to do with one thing: Qombat. Mortal Qombat, that is, the greatest fighting game series of part-time.
So let's see...we've got Mortal Qombat, Mortal Qombat Trading Qards, Mortal Qombat CD, Mortal Qombat II, a Mortal Qombat II (and Super Sleet Fighter II) rip-off controller, and another Mortal Qombat II. It took me forever to scan these ads because they were literally about 8 feet long by 11 feet wide, and I had to enlist the help of an entire Gnome brigade to carry the scanner across the pages.
This just in: after some careful checking, it seems that my measurements in the last page-size estimate might have been slightly inaccurate, but nonetheless, scanning the ads was still quite a chore since I am only four inches tall. It took me about three days to finish the task, and in the middle of day two, the elves (gnomes...whatever) went on strike over low wages. After that, it was up to me and my well-trained miniature oxen team (dragging a plough-like makeshift scanning device constructed of bits of scrap aluminum) to finish the job. But thank God we did, or else this kolumn would not be possible.
So by now, you've probably guessed that I don't actually have much to say about these ads, except for the fact that three out of six of them involve an electrostatic atmospheric disturbance known as lightning. Four out of six involve a circular dragon logo that some have rumored to not actually be an ancient Chinese fertility symbol. But I definitely don't believe them, because I've had seven immaculately-conceived butt-kids since 1992 thanks to repeatedly playing this game series. And three out of six ads involve the declaration "Prepare Yourself," but I have always been confused about this, as two of the six clearly state that "Nothing, NOTHING, Can Prepare You." So to find the true meaning behind this apparent set of mixed messages, we have to combine the two into "Nothing, NOTHING, Can Prepare You Yourself," which -- I think -- was the slogan for Mortal Qombat 3. That's probably why it didn't sell as well as the first two.
So until we meet again, live long and prosper, my friends. Thanks for reading, and have a great day.
[RedWolf is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Vintage Computing and Gaming, a regularly updated "blogazine" that covers collecting, playing, and hacking vintage computing and gaming devices. He has been collecting vintage computers and game systems for over 13 years. Have you ever chewed so much bubble gum that it makes your whole jaw and neck hurt? Well, he just did.]