The lights are on
Nintendo is no stranger to quirkiness. Its most popular character and brand exists in a world of super-power granting mushrooms and green sewage pipes that allow for quick transportation. Games like Rhythm Heaven and WarioWare offer some of the strangest video game experiences ever created (see Game & Wario Test Chamber below). That’s an impressive feat in an industry where competing products feature an octopus wearing a suit pretending to be a human and game where you play as a goat with a sticky tongue.
Despite Nintendo’s history and penchant for the strange, its recent special Nintendo Direct presentation for its upcoming sim game, Tomodachi Life, might be the weirdest thing it has ever created.
If you haven’t seen the bizarre video, you can check it out here, but if you just want breakouts of the video’s strangest moments, check out the list below. Part of the reason the video is so strange, is the way it showcases and lampoons Nintendo’s executive staff. These people are hugely important to the future of Nintendo, and it is absolutely bizarre to see them appearing in the video.
Nintendo President and CEO Satoru Iwata playing with a cat, dressing up as a dinosaur, playing and singing in the bath, and generally ignoring his responsibilities
Iwata is the president and CEO of Nintendo, and the usual host of Nintendo’s Direct conferences. He makes all the important decisions, and takes the blame when things go poorly for Nintendo. He’s a hard working, important man, but in this presentation he’s too busy playing with cats, playing dress up, and singing in the bath to host the video.
Nintendo producer, director, designer, and general manager of Nintendo EAD Shigeru Miyamoto dressed as Mario chasing and flirting with Princess Peach on the beach
Miyamoto is the creator of many of Nintendo’s most important franchises, inclusing Mario. He has been known to embrace his creations, wearing Mario-themed t-shirts, or holding Link’s shield for a press conference, but to my knowledge he has never dressed up in head-to-toe Mario cosplay and chased Princess Peach on a beach.
An inexplicable rock and roll break featuring a Virtual Boy worshipping session, Nintendo director and product marketing manager Bill Trinen’s eyes leaving his head and floating over the Earth, and president and COO of Nintendo America Reggie Fils-Aime losing his mind
Just about everything about this video comes from left field, but that doesn’t make a sudden rock ‘n roll break any less surprising. Miis rock out with guitars and drums, as a group prances around a Virtual Boy with the caption, “All hail the Virtual Boy!” After that, Trinen’s eyes eject from his head while conversing with Fils-Aime.
As if that weren’t enough, Fil-Aime begins to lose his mind during an on-the-street interview where he just starts repeatedly shouting Tomodachi Life over and over.
Bill Trinen suddenly appearing in person as a newscaster, rolling around on the floor, and racing Reggie Fils-Amie as a slug
At the half-way point in the video, Trinen’s Mii is replaced by the real Trinen at a news desk where he begins to explain the game’s mechanics in some detail. He presents two strange items casually and without further explanation: a quick shot of Trinen’s Mii rolling around on the floor, and he and Fils-Aime, as slugs, racing in a race track. All Trinen offers is that Mii’s can have strange dreams.
Again, presented without much explanation, Tomodachi Life will apparently have an pixelated RPG game where you can fight cheeseburgers. It goes by so fast that it’s very easy to miss.
A four-way love square dream between Satoru Iwata, Reggie Fils-Aime, Bill Trinen, and Samus Aran
Trinen begins to daydream in the middle of his news broadcast, and begins to think about his love for Samus Aran. After singing her a song with the lyrics, "I found a heart-shaped treasure map inside a bottle washed ashore. And when I followed the dotted line, it led me to you forevermore," he asks her to be his girlfriend. Before she can answer, however, an excessively muscular, shirtless Reggie Fils-Aime appears in the distance, and runs up to ask Samus for her heart. Again, though, before she can answer, Iwata (who is finally done playing with cats, playing dress-up, and singing in the bathtub) appears in scuba gear from the ocean, and asks Samus to pick among them. And then it all culminates in a song and dance number.
Reggie Fils-Aime’s gigantic head floating out of the ocean
After the dance number concludes, the video briefly cuts to a sleeping Trinen, and then quickly cuts back to his dream world – where a giant Fils-Aime head ascends from the ocean calling for Trinen to wake up.
These seven moments are the weirdest moments in Nintendo’s Tomodachi Life Presentation, but they weren’t the only weird moments. I skipped Trinen hanging out with dinosaurs, and Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma asking Princess Zelda to be his girlfriend, before Miyamoto blocked his proposition. It’s a bizarre trailer – easily the strangest Nintendo has ever created – but I think I want to play Tomodachi Life, so it must have been effective.
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