5 Beyond-Insane Video Games From Otherwise Normal Companies
Nintendo gave us Mario, Sega created Sonic, Bethesda is responsible for 27 vaguely different versions of Skyrim, etc. We know these game companies by their most iconic works, but some of the industry's biggest wigs have some seriously weird side projects buried in their closets. It's kind of like rummaging through your grandma's knitting projects, only to find that she once crafted a stunningly accurate recreation of Burt Reynolds' dong, using only yarn and a heavily dog-eared copy of Playgirl.
The Nintendo Game About Hitler, The KKK, And Jesus
Nintendo is so family friendly that they make Walt Disney look like Quentin Tarantino. But in 1991, they cut loose a little -- by which we mean they made a game wherein one level was the straight-up Holocaust. Allow us to present Time Twist: On The Outskirts Of History, which was thankfully never released outside of Japan.
It begins reasonably enough. Our hero takes a TV fortuneteller's advice and heads off to the Devil Museum (always a fun Sunday activity!), where he tries to use a magic spell to seduce a girl. Only he accidentally frees the Devil instead, because it turns out the fortuneteller was possessed. The lesson being: Don't trust the Devil. Apparently that needed teaching back in the '80s. Anyway, the Devil swaps bodies with you and travels back in time, forcing you to follow him and stop his evil schemes. You know, classic video game stuff.
First you go to 15th-century France. There, you learn that you can possess people, but can only leave their bodies when they're unconscious. So after hijacking a peasant named Pierre, you get him blackout drunk and go rescue Joan of Arc, casually altering human history forever.
Next you hop into the body of a prisoner trying to escape a Nazi concentration camp. This naturally leads to you battling Hitler (who is possessed by the Devil, mind you) in some sort of abstract hell dimension. Not only is Demon Hitler in a Nintendo game, but he's not even the final boss.
After a relatively normal trip to Ancient Greece, you head to the American Civil War and hop into the body of a slave boy named George ... who gets lynched by the KKK. Then you discover that George's master is plotting to kill Abraham Lincoln. But you're able to save the day by solving a variation on the old river-crossing puzzle that involves Lincoln, two slaves, and three coyotes. You're learning history!
The final chapter sees you hopping into a donkey owned by the original power couple, Joseph and Mary. You witness the birth of Jesus ... whom you then have to defeat, because the Devil has possessed him and is going to alter history to cause a nuclear apocalypse. Why yes, Baby Jesus does appear to summon the tortured souls of the damned during your encounter. How did you guess?
The whole game is like a rage resignation from a disgruntled Nintendo employee who wanted to break every rule the company had simultaneously. Shockingly, Nintendo refuses to acknowledge the game today. Which is a shame, because Lynched Child Slave George and Evil Devil Baby Jesus would really spice up the next Super Smash Bros.
The Makers Of Dead Or Alive Also Made "Strawberry Porno"
Koei Tecmo is the company behind Ninja Gaiden, Dynasty Warriors, and the fighting-turned-volleyball franchise built around a middle-school notion of how boobs work, Dead Or Alive. Koei also created a 1984 game called Do Dutch Wives Dream Of Electric Eels?, which, as you've no doubt already guessed, is a Philip K. Dick porn parody.
Yes, the title is a play on the book that inspired Blade Runner. "Dutch Wife" is slang for a sex doll, and an electric eel is ... a penis substitute? Don't worry about it, it's not the only thing about the game that doesn't make sense. The main character is a private investigator tasked with tracking down rogue sex dolls that are advanced enough to pass as real women. Naturally, the only way to tell a human from a sex replicant (sexlicant?) is to bone them.
And so you wander a Tokyo red light district, dropping into restaurants and sex shops, fighting cops and gangsters, and hitting on every woman with a pulse. In doing so, you'll routinely enter "Fuck Mode," in which you need to avoid prematurely ejaculating, or else you'll get robbed by the disappointed woman. One of the men who created this game is now worth $780 million.
That's just one entry in Koei's "Strawberry Porno" series, which also includes Night Life, which was marketed as a tool to help couples' intimacy via poorly rendered "sexy" pictures. The game asks you questions like "When did you fuck for the last time?" and "How bright is the place you want to fuck?" before recommending some positions that would allow for maximum fuckability.
Then there's Housewife Temptation, in which you play as a door-to-door salesman trying to bang every woman in an apartment complex while also fighting off gangsters and, uh, ghosts. Finally, there was My Lolita which ... oh, christ. It's a "medical simulator" where you have to take a patient's temperature, draw a blood sample from them, etc. The patient just happens to be a little girl. Whom you strip naked.
We never thought we'd say this, but holy shit, Koei, please continue to show the subtlety and restraint on display in the Dead Or Alive series.
Sega Made A Strangely Whimsical Game About Groping
Sega is the video game version of your sad uncle who endlessly reminisces about his high school glory days, even though he's now wildly out of shape and traded his Trans-Am for a used Windstar. Also like your uncle, Sega has a strange sense of how romance works. Enter Feel The Magic: XY/XX for the Nintendo DS, also known in Europe by the somehow even more off-putting name Project Rub.
Feel The Magic is about a young man trying to win the affections of a beautiful girl by playing silly minigames to get her attention. Oh, and he's assisted by a group of men wearing bunny ears, making this the first Furry Pick-Up Artist Training Manual Simulator.
Everything in the game is accomplished by rubbing the DS touchscreen, which soon takes on unfortunate implications. At one point, your sweetheart gets dirty, and it's up to you to, uh ... rub her until she's clean, all while she blushes and moans.
After one date, which features everything from unicycles to antlions, you finally get to unbutton her dress. According to walkthroughs, this is "the most erotic love scene of Feel The Magic: XY/XX." According to us, it's simply the scene most likely to get you judgmental stares while playing in public.
In the game's finale, you save your love interest's life by performing mouth-to-mouth, which is accomplished by breathing into the DS microphone, in case you weren't already breathing heavily. Or perhaps "wheezing lustily" would be more apt.
The craziest part? Somehow it was successful enough to spawn another game, The Rub Rabbits, which mocks you for playing it.
Enix Made An Erotic Catgirl Adventure
Before merging Voltron-style with Square into a multi-billion-dollar megacorporation, the Enix part of Square Enix made El Dorado Denki, an epic yarn full of adventure and romance in mystical lands. As the name implies, you must find El Dorado, a fantastical place which happens to contain childlike catgirls who enjoy splashing around in the nude.
Your ultimate goal is to find a golden statue, the whereabouts of which are obviously coded into tattoos on the chests and butts of the "Amazonekos." It's the most contrived and ridiculous cryptography method this side of a Dan Brown novel.
Depending on your taste, you'll either be relieved or disappointed to learn that you don't sleep with any of the catgirls. But they do get stripped down and tied up on a regular basis, while you solve boring puzzles and contend with the 1985 game's ancient and tedious interface to witness it. One day, when future civilizations have mastered VR sex, this game will undoubtedly be part of a museum exhibit on how perverts from the distant past spent their lonely nights.
Activision Made A Surreal, Terrible Fighting Game Called Tongue Of The Fatman
Back before they became one of gaming's supervillains, Activision created classics like Pitfall. They also created games based entirely on the visions employees experienced while staring into a dumpster dosed up on acid. We're talking, of course, about Tongue Of The Fatman.
In this game, you must do combat for the enjoyment of Mondu, master of an intergalactic fighting pit and an obese tongue owner. You begin by choosing from a variety of equally exotic characters, like a walking shark, a furry potato, Red Square Man, a grumpy swollen testicle, or a black woman. But don't stress about your choice too much, because in Mondu's world, there is no glory -- only death.
The gameplay is simple, because nothing works. The hit detection is broken, the health system is inscrutable, the physics obey no known laws of nature or God, only Mondu, and every character plays more or less the same, which is to say they control like a dying animal. If you have literally nothing better to do with your life than throw yourself into a virtual meat grinder over and over again, you may get to fight the Fatman and discover the secret of his tongue.
Activision created the virtual equivalent of a Buddhist hell, wherein you endure endless, futile, and pointless pain until you finally learn that your greatest mistake was an attachment to the struggle to begin with. The company is now worth $17.4 billion.
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