In the 80s, video games were still new to the public and the game companies were still trying to figure out how to ease us into the technology. From their early ads, it appears they decided the best way was via batshit insanity.
6Nintendo Australia/New Zealand Ad
When Nintendo brought the NES to the US they rolled out about the most run of the mill ad ever: just a kid, the games and an announcer announcing how awesome it all was.
But when it came time to bring the NES to Austrailia and New Zealand, they unleashed an ad that crawls inside your head and kicks your brain in the balls.
After a great deal of market research, apparently all Nintendo came up with was "Well, those Australians seem to drink a lot and are boastful by nature, so let's threaten their well-being and take shots at their self-esteem." Their plot to make you feel horribly inadequate is carried out by some of Nintendo's classic villains, like Poor-Man's Max Headroom in a Dress Shirt and of course, That Dog from Duck Hunt.
Welcome to the end.
Wait, what? The fucking dog from Duck Hunt? Was he really even a villain? He's got a creepy voice, sure, but he's a mild nuisance at worst and a jackass at best.
"Ha ha! You'll never satisfy a woman!"
Our blocky league of evil goes on to tell us that they are Knee-Ten-Do, which we can only assume is an elite terrorist organization of some sort. The only kids they show playing games are doing so in an empty dark room, as though they've been abducted and forced to play games, constantly being reminded that their opponents are invincible (even if they have zapper and robot companion). However, given that the zapper doesn't actually cast bolts of lightning and the only thing the robot does well is spin tops, we'll go ahead and agree that we cannot beat you.
As the commercial draws to a close, we do manage to encounter an actual villain in Bowser, King of the Koopas, who makes the ad's worst transition from blocky thing on screen to three dimensional blocky thing on screen.
The whole thing ends with the Legion of Doom challenging all players and, again, letting you know they are unbeatable, and that they'll be turning up in your nightmares later. Yeah, we'll head right to the store and give you fuckers $250.
5Dr. Mario (Gameboy and NES)
After his initial success as a plumber/adventurer, Mario started to pick up various other occupations, presumably because super mushrooms show up on drug tests and get you fired pretty quickly.
During his ongoing adventures of unemployment he became a doctor, which is actually pretty disgusting when you remember his day job is unclogging your toilet. To advertise the release of the Dr. Mario puzzle game on the Game Boy, Nintedo ran this ad in the states:
The young antagonist, Johny Greenshirt, has a problem. He's made it readily apparent that he has a problem because he informs us he told the witch doctor something and, in exchange, got some advice. He never really elaborates on the what his problem is, so we'll take the high road and assume it's herpes.
Rather than going to a clinic like a rational human being, this teenager makes his way across the very heart of Africa to get the sage medical opinion of this guy:
Nintendo Presents "Super Stereotypes."
The witch doctor tells Johny Greenshirt the cure to his herpes is to play Dr. Mario. When you take into consideration that over the course of this trip Greenshirt's probably contracted malaria, this is a really shitty prescription. But our hero isn't a medical genius and gleefully accepts. Fortunately for him the witch doctor has two copies of Dr. Mario, two Game Boys, eight AA batteries and a link cable so he won't have to head back home with his shameful disease.
The two have it out and the witch doctor loses, so we assume Greenshirt is cured. The witch doctor loses his cool and casts some sort of Voodoo spell in a scene that contains what is quite possibly the creepiest Mario animation of all time.
The whole thing ends with Greenshirt's head being shrunk. Whatever his problem was, he would have been better off with it and a normal sized head.
You know... we're thinking for once we wound up with an ad more fucked up than the Japanese version. Though it's close.