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Strong Bad Email #94
watch army the bet
"One day technology will catch up with my advanced thinking."

Taylor R. wants to know what Strong Bad would be like in a video game. Strong Bad explains that it would depend on what system he was on.

Cast (in order of appearance): Strong Bad, Atari Strong Bad, Vector Strong Bad, 3-D Shield Guy, Rhino

Places: Computer Room

Computer: Compy 386

Date: January 12, 2004

Running Time: 3:00

Page Title: Compy 386!!

Contents

Transcript

STRONG BAD: Email is like a prison. A prison with no walls... and no toilet.

{reading}

{Strong Bad reads "AZ" as "Alcatraz."}

STRONG BAD: Whoa... Somebody on the inside. {shakes head} Get out soon, Taylor. {typing} What would I be like in a video game? Well, that all depends on what system we're talking about. Like, if it was on one of those really old machines—

{Cut to Atari 2600-style game, with an empty green rectangle imposed on a black screen.

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} ...the graphics would probably only look kinda like me. {A red square appears representing Strong Bad.} And I'd run all around a futuristic maze {The square starts moving around the screen and some green blocks and blue glowing barriers appear.} collecting things that look nothing like me!

{A yellow square the same size as Strong Bad's square appears in the centre of the maze.}

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} Man, that'd be pretty awesome! {The red square approaches the yellow square and touches it, thereby "collecting" it. The words "secret collect!" appear on the screen. Cut back to the Compy 386.}

STRONG BAD: {typing} Ooh! Ooh! I could also be in one of those 3-D vector games.

{Cut to screen of said game. A corridor ending with a wall is outlined in red. Some moving arrows appear on the walls on either side.}

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} And there'd be this awesome, huge, 3-D version of my head floatin' around.

{A vectorized version of Strong Bad's head appears on the screen}

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} Like, it looks so awesome, girls would probably try to make out with the screen

{Lipstick lips appear on the screen.}

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} and we'd have to program it to be like:

VECTOR STRONG BAD: BACK OFF BABY {As it speaks the words appear on the screen, then fall down and disappear.}

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} And in this one, the player wouldn't control me...

{Cut to Strong Bad at the Compy, shaking the camera}

STRONG BAD: 'CUZ YOU CAN'T CONTROL ME!!!

{Cut back to the vector game.}

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} Instead, you'd be some kinda 3-D shield guy with a shield...

{A generic-looking guy with a shield appears on the bottom of the screen.}'

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} Some kind of spikey-headed 3-D cyber-shield guy... with a cyber-shield.

{The appropriate changes are made so the shield guy is now spikey-headed and holding a striped "cyber-shield."}

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} And you'd have to block my perplexing geometric attacks, or face certain 3-D doom!

{Vector Strong Bad spits out a rhombus, which the cyber-shield guy blocks. Vector Strong Bad spits another rhombus, and this one hits the cyber-shield carrier in the face, causing it to explode.}

VECTOR STRONG BAD: YOUR HEAD A SPLODE {Again, the words appear on the screen.}

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} Naturally, there'd be some problems with bad translation.

{Cut back to Compy 386.}

STRONG BAD: {typing} On the other hand, it might be cool to be in one of those text-based adventures. You know, for those intellectual people with better imaginations.

{Cut to a black screen with a green arrow at the top.}

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} It'd be like...

{Strong Bad doesn't say the last sentence.}

And you'd be all like...

And it'd say,

And you'd just have to sit there and imagine why on Earth you can't get ye flask! Because the game's certainly not going to tell you.

{At this the screen adds "I'm certainly not gonna tell thou."}

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} And there's no precious graphics to help you out, either.

{At this the screen adds "Graphics, shmaphics..." and a few seconds later, "...for sooth!" Cut back to the computer.}

STRONG BAD: {typing} But oh, man. The best thing ever would be if I was in one of those brand new super-photorealistic games that take like tons of migs and megs of memories just to play it.

{Cut to a blue screen. A 16-bit version of Strong Bad appears.}

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} I'd look super-cool, runnin' around on some grass, maybe. {the background changes to a 16-bit field against a blue sky.} Or there'd be like, um... a rhino there, too.

{A rhino falls down from the sky and some music starts playing.}

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} A hungry rhino.

{A food bowl appears in front of the rhino and it starts whining, jumping and turning red. Strong Bad runs around.}

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} And I'd have to, I guess...feed him.

{A box labelled "FOOD" appears. Strong Bad brings it to the rhino's bowl and it calms down, eating the food.}

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} And, umm...snakes?

{Snakes pop up, wriggling up and down the screen. The rhino charges. Cut back to Compy 386.}

STRONG BAD: {typing} So hopefully one day technology will catch up with my advanced thinking, so all the ladies can start making out with their TV screens. {stops typing; he turns around as he continues talking} Until next time, Taylor, this one's for you, and all my peoples got sent up the river. {He pours his Cold One on the floor.}

{The Paper comes down. After about five seconds, the four games appear in their boxes.}

Easter Eggs

Fun Facts

Trivia

  • The label on the disk in the floppy disk container reads "bio menace".

Explanations

  • Strong Bad's statement about bad translation of StrongBadZone is a reference to the ubiquitous bad translation of Japanese-made NES-era games, the most infamous of which gave rise to the phrase, "All your base are belong to us," which was from the Sega Genesis game Zero Wing.
  • When Strong Bad says "migs and megs of memories," he's talking about megabytes of computer memory. A megabyte is 1,048,576 bytes.
  • When Strong Bad mistakes Arizona for Alcatraz and says "Whoa... Somebody on the inside," he is talking about the famous jail on Alcatraz Island (which actually hasn't been in use since 1963).
  • Secret Collect is for the Funmachine, while Rhino Feeder is for the Super Funmachine. The names of these systems are most likely references to the NES and Super NES, respectively.
    • However, the jump in graphics quality between the two games is more a reference to the graphics advances between the Atari 2600 and its successors, the Atari 5200 and 7800.

Remarks

  • When Strong Bad says "YOU CAN'T CONTROL ME!" and the computer bounces around, you can still change the contrast.
  • The StrongBadZone game contains the "BACK OFF BABY!" sequence, though it's only accessible with a seek bar.
  • Although this email was supposed to be about if Strong Bad was in a video game, Thy Dungeonman has nothing to do with him at all.
  • Strong Bad mispronounces the word "ye" in "You can't get ye flask!" When "ye" is used as an article, it is properly pronounced as "the."
  • Strong Bad mentions that you can't control him, yet you play as him in Rhino Feeder and in Secret Collect. You also get to play as him in the Egg Throwing Game and Strong Bad's Treat Snatcha.

Goofs

  • When Strong Bad pours the drink out for Taylor, you can see all of the dust left over from the last email, though it was not visible in the rest of the email.

Real-World References

  • Strong Bad's intro is a reference to Pete Rose's book, "My Prison Without Bars," which was released about the same time as this email.
  • The graphics in StrongBadZone closely resemble Virtual Boy games that used vector graphics, such as Red Alarm. The Virtual Boy used only black, and three shades of red.
  • When Strong Bad pours the Cold One on the carpet at the end, it is a reference to the modern gangsta practice of pouring out a 40-ounce beer "for my dead homies."

Fast Forward

  • StrongBadZone is featured in Main Page 21, the vector graphics page, which resembles the arcade game BattleZone.

DVD Version

  • You obviously can't play any of the four games. As well, the game boxes don't automatically come up. Instead, you must access them via the hidden Strong Bad Icon on the Compy 386 screen.
    • For the DVD, the Easter egg consists of samples of music from each game in turn.
  • The DVD version features hidden creators' commentary. To access it, switch your DVD player's audio language selection while watching.

Commentary Transcript

(Commentary by: Matt Chapman, Mike Chapman)

MATT: So this is an email we've been getting since probably the first week that we did Strong Bad Emails.

MIKE: Yeah, and—

MATT: {simultaneously} Remember when we—

MIKE: For whatever reason, we always shied away from it.

MATT: Yeah.

MIKE: And then, for whatever reason, we just came up with the idea.

MATT: This was like the Japanese cartoon one, we got that a lot.

MIKE: Yeah. Sometimes it just clicks when you read it and some, you just think of a good idea and sometimes you think of bad ideas, like maybe we'll get a really good idea for how to answer the "How do you type with boxing gloves?" email. Dark... dark night.

MATT: Umm—

MIKE: So our friend, uhhh, and, uhh—

MATT: Collaborator.

MIKE: Compat-compatriot. {laughs}

MATT: Contemporary.

MIKE: {laughs} Jonathan Howe, we, uhh, I don't know—he threw all these together in, like, three or four days, maybe.

MATT: Less than that, probably, yeah, we told him—

MIKE: Hey, we had done it early in the—

MATT: {simultaneously} —when we were doing this e-mail.

MIKE: I mean like midweek, probably. Tuesday or Wednesday, we, uhh—

MATT: Yeah. Those are really good-looking kissy lips.

MIKE: Thanks, man.

MATT: I like that.

MIKE: {laughs} Jiggles the camera.

MATT: Yeah, he gets really close up to it.

MIKE: Umm, so this is, y'know, like a vector game, like Tempest—

MATT: Battlezone.

MIKE: Battlezone... yeah.

MATT: The original Star Wars game.

MIKE: Yeah.

MATT: Ohh... there you go.

MIKE: He said, "Your head a splode".

MATT: I think we were gonna make it ori—if you, when you killed him, he said, "My head splow up". {Mike laughs} That was the other thing he was going to say. Umm, so yeah, we figured if we were going to do the, uh, this is all sort of—comes from Mike and I if we ever to make a video game—

MIKE: Don't tell 'em.

MATT: Never mind.

MIKE: {laughs} Nu-huh—

MATT: {slightly more insistently} Never mind.

MIKE: {laughs} We're not going to tell you.

MATT: {simultaneously} I'm gonna need you all to sign a non-disclosure agreement before I reveal this. Umm, so this is sort of, uhh... I remember... what was it called? Vampire, I think, was one of the text games I played earlier on, and that's what had parapets in it. Was the first thing that—

MIKE: Oh yeah, I remember parapets, yeah.

MATT: {simultaneously} And I had no idea what para-I remember, like, getting the dictionary out and, because, I thought that would, like, when I'd fin-found out what parapets meant—

MIKE: That was how you won the game.

MATT: Yeah, then—

MIKE: {simultaneously} That was like— {laughs}

MATT: I would like, it was like the key to it, and I'm just like, "What? It's just like a wall, tower in a castle?" Umm... {long pause} That rhino looks great, too, Mike.

MIKE: Thanks, Matt.

MATT: I think that noise, the noise the rhino makes {Mike laughs} is just that string on a key—on the synthesizer. There's like, it's supposed to sound like strings of a guitar, like when you're sliding your fingers down, yeah, so are the snakes, and they're just really slow ones and really fast ones. Fret—fret noises, that's what I'm—

MIKE: Fret magic.

MATT: Fret magic, really, magazine. Bio Menace, that was a Psygnosis game.

MIKE: Yeah, with, uh, what was the other one?

MATT: {menacingly} Blood Money.

MIKE: Blood Money.

Fun Facts

  • Tempest and Battlezone are arcade games from 1980. They were famous for their colored vector graphics, which were very innovative for their time. "The original Star Wars game" probably refers to Star Wars, the arcade game from 1983, which also features color vector graphics.

External Links

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