For a long time, the debate has raged on: Are video games art? Or are they simply toys. Well, if anyone had been paying attention to the old trailers for light gun games, this debate would have been ended a lot earlier. Not only are these #VideoGames art, they might be surrealist deconstructions of the entire idea of cinema.
'Time Crisis' Or: Where The Hell Is Serchia?
I mean, look at the trailer for #TimeCrisis. Everything about it is perfect, it's like a trailer for a 1980s action movie made by a man who'd been trapped in a dark room all his life and only had movies described to him. It's like a Ghanaian remake of Mortal Kombat. It's so beautiful I want to cry.
There's everything that technically should be in a good campy action trailer, but it's all just slightly off. The voice-overs sound like those old Italian pulp films where everyone's learned their English phonetically. The excited baritone announcer really wants to let you know what the plot is, but no one's actually explained the details to him. "Sometime, somewhere, someone is plotting a government overthrow," is a sentence that is simultaneously true, useless and grammatically bizarre.
Every time I watch it something new and wonderful pops up. The hero's first action scene after diving past an explosion involves him shooting a dude in the dick, like, 5 times. There's a ginger, blue-eyed guy with an american accent called Sherudo Garo. What the hell kind of republic is Serchia and where is it mean to be? Who is wild dog and how did he get a name that cool when he looks like a flasher?
'Time Crisis 2': The Battle Against Evil Steve Jobs
Things get a little more slick in the sequel, but they don't get much less bizarre. The very first thing you see is what appears to be evil Steve Jobs, who lectures you on his definitely-not-evil satellite while extremely rude men with the voices of 12 year old boys interrupt him with genius comebacks like, 'Hey, right?'. After that we learn evil Steve Jobs' real plan, which is to pay for 64 regular, profitable satellites in order to launch one nuclear satellite. He wants to do this for reasons.
Things only get better when we discover that our old nemesis, Wild Dog the flasher, is back. The very first thing he does of course, is rip off his creeper trench-coat and show us his big, hard... Chain-gun arm. How does a dude this lame get the name Wild Dog and a chain-gun arm.
By the way, he comes back again in the third game and reveals he has an identical twin called Wild Fang, which either means they coordinated their nicknames or their mother made some really bizarre naming choices.
'House Of The Dead': I Know That's You Wild Dog
Oh House of the Dead, though your movie adaptions are some of the worst things I've ever seen, I still love you so much. Compared to the Time Crisis intro movies, this is almost normal. Sure the two heroes look like an accountant and his friend— currently unemployed accountant who's let himself go. Sure the dialog all sounds like it was recorded inside of an old fridge by a speak-and-spell. But the spooky organ soundtrack's pretty awesome, and that final "THE HOUSE, OF THE DEAD" from the announcer is enough to get you pumped to splatter some zombies.
There is one thing that stands out though, that villainous scientist sure does look awfully familiar.
You can't fool me with that disguise, I know your real identity, Wild Dog!
'Virtua Cop', AKA David Lynch Directs A Cop Show
If Time Crisis looks like a movie trailer made by a man who's never seen a movie, then #VirtuaCop is what that man's apprentice would make. It's one more step removed from reality, to the point where everything starts to feel like a dream.
There's so many things I want to talk about that I honestly can't choose! Just to start, why is nobody actually firing bullets from their gun? What weird meta-universe are they living in where a copy of their own video game comes flying out of a crate when they smash it? Why would a man with the last name 'Cools' pick 'Smarty' as a nickname? Your name is already an excellent nickname!
Everything inexplicable in the intro is heightened by the utterly bizarre music. It sounds like the theme to a gritty 70s show about overweight detectives—there is no place for a saxophone in the cool cyber future, Virtua Cop. When the two cops find themselves spinning in a dark void with the unnamed bad-guy, things start to get downright surreal. Did someone forget to wind up the music box playing the theme? Because that's what it sounds like, it just gets slower and slower for no reason as three men spin in darkness.
'Virtua Cop 2': Everyone Hates Janet
Maybe it's because I'd just listened to the surreal noise art that was Virtua Cop 1's soundtrack, but #VirtuaCop2 actually has a pretty baller song in its intro video. The police chatter mixes into the beat seamlessly and almost distracts you long enough to make you not notice that there's a giant businessman on top of a building in the beginning of the video. Seriously, 21 seconds in, it looks like the dude from American Dad.
Virtua Cop 2 also introduces us to a third member of the VC team, a woman this time. Like the others, she's introduced in a cool action scene before her name and nickname flash up on the screen. So what's our femme fatale called? Obviously she has a name that can match up with Rage and Smarty (seriously dude, Cools and Rage would be so much better).
Janet. Her nickname is Janet, which means her name is Janet "Janet" Marshall. That's one step away from Mario "Mario" Mario. I can only assume that Rage and Smarty are super exclusionary dicks and refuse to give her a cool nickname and join their boys club. She probably spends Fridays home alone with a glass of red wine and her cat, only to find out on Monday morning that Rage and Smarty threw a sick house party and didn't bother to invite her.
It's a shame, as bizarre as these intros are, they're kind of making me nostalgic for the light-gun games of old. At least we have Nintendo around if we want more bizarre trailers though, like the one for Arms:
What's the most bizarre game intro you've ever seen? Let us know in the comments!