Old Games Had Some Crazy Commercials

Today’s video game commercials are very straightforward. Generally they will depict some gameplay video, show some screenshots or other in-game assets, and then call it a day.

In ancient times though, during the age when a game featuring being able to move in 8 directions was an impressive feat, TV ads had to be a little more creative in order to catch your attention. I can only imagine the creativity and the work that went into these.

Let’s dive in head first by taking a look at this impressive dance routine.

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It’s got some seriously Micheal Jackson vibes to it, a whole crew of people dancing and cosplaying as SNES era Zelda characters, and yes, that Link is a girl, but when has he not been portrayed as a little feminine, am I right?

Next we’ll take a look at an ad for the game MOTHER, which you may know better as the first game in the Earthbound series.

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The commercial really tries it’s best to convey the game as a beautiful work of art, but given how it’s aged since the 1980’s it’s almost hard to tell if they were really taking it seriously or not. Cheesey effects aside, the orchestral background music is another noteworthy point, a whole chorus of people were singing this beautiful rendition of the theme “Eight Melodies” from the game as well. This actually very imaginative and impressive.

Next up, a Lolita wants to use her link cable to umm… Well I’ll let you use your imagination.

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Pokemon Red and Green came out in Japan in February of 1996, but even before the game was out, they knew that their target market would someday be raising strong and cute Pokemon as trading fodder to pick up girls at the park… that’s how it works, right?

Moving on, we have Captain Falcon being a complete badass as usual.

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I’ve gotta say, if I was the kid at the end there I’d be pooping myself. This is Captain Falcon in the flesh. Despite all the flashy edgy footage here F-Zero X places very little focus on the actual racers, and more on racing around at insane speeds. Still, Captain Falcon has a pretty big reputation these days, but I would hazard to guess that a lot of his fame is actually due to his appearance in the Super Smash Bros. series. Despite that this commercial doesn’t seem out of place with how we think of him today.

Are you a gigantic man-child? Then apparently, Kirby’s the game for you!

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I don’t know how I feel about what I just saw. That’s why I have to post it here. All I can say is KAIBY-CHAN, KAIBY-CHAN, KAIBY-CHAN~! I love Kirby’s Super Star, and it’s one of my favourite games of all time…. I just can’t say that this is a great commercial for it. It’s still quite entertaining though.

Finally, some nightmare fuel. Dr. Mario for Gameboy has one of the scariest commercials for a puzzle game of all time.

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I don’t think this commercial will ever be okay. That shrunken head, and Mario dancing in fire… why? It’s certainly attention grabbing though but I think that’s what they were going for. It feels strange that they went to all this trouble of creating witch doctor props, animating Mario, and all the edit work that went into the shrunken head just for a 30 second spot for Dr. Mario.

Mark Cuerden

Mark Cuerden

Hoy~! If you're reading this, wow! I'm impressed! I suppose you probably would like to know some details about me then? Fuufuufuu, I'll never tell. You'll never find out that I'm a 25 year old video game hobbyist, currently residing in London, Ontario. I'll also never tell you about my passion for video games, coffee, and sushi. Nope. Too bad for you.