Making a commercial for a video game shouldn't require any more thought than making a movie trailer - just show us some footage from the game and tell us what console it's for and when it's coming out. "Body horror and/or implied sexual violence" shouldn't be included, unless those are key elements of the game, we suppose. However, if the purpose of a video game commercial is to deeply terrify your young fan base so profoundly that they wouldn't dare forget your product, the creators of the following doses of nightmare elixir succeeded brilliantly.
#6. New Super Luigi U - Luigi Is a Rapist
After many years of languishing in the slightly overweight shadow of his brother, Mario, Luigi finally got his own platforming adventure game, New Super Luigi U, on the Wii U, because Nintendo is terrible at naming both games and systems. So what better way to give the Elwood Blues of the Super Mario universe his own spotlight than to announce it with the rapiest video game commercial ever produced?
Thus, we get this bizarre ad featuring Princess Peach in a minimalist nightmare chamber, tremblingly calling Mario's name.
Setting a level inside the fetid dreams of a Chain Chomp might have been a little too artistically ambitious.
Her cries of terror reach a disturbing crescendo just as tears spill out of her face and the camera zooms in to reveal Luigi's leering reflection in her horror-soaked pupil.
It's safe to assume those coveralls don't cover all.
It is truly impossible to determine what Nintendo was trying to convey with this ad beyond raw, primal fear. If the idea here was to make it look like Peach was in trouble and Luigi was coming to her rescue, there was a catastrophic miscommunication somewhere along the way. Also, note that Peach's voice catches on the last "Mario" just as Luigi reaches her: Clearly, those were her last living words.
It's inexplicable that the princess should be so utterly frightened of someone that, until now, we always assumed was one of the good guys, unless we've seriously misinterpreted what was going on in the Mario games all these years and Luigi was sinisterly blending in with the heroes like Topher Grace in Predators.
There's a reason Birdo always looked so concerned.
#5. Kirby: Canvas Curse - Kirby Hangs Out With a Giant Walking Dick
The gameplay for Kirby: Canvas Curse revolves around using your finger on the Nintendo DS touchscreen to solve puzzles and overcome obstacles. You could stun Kirby's enemies with your finger, make rainbow paths for Kirby with your finger, and leave opaque Dorito streaks on your game screen with your finger. So naturally, when it came time to film the Kirby: Canvas Curse commercial, Nintendo decided to show Kirby hanging out with a giant finger.
And yes, when anthropomorphized by a flesh-colored costume, the finger looks like a 6-foot penis aiming itself at Kirby's open mouth.
Like most men his age, Kirby wakes up in bed with a giant boner, only his boner is wearing sandals. Kirby then takes his dick to the park, in a sequence that must have brutally confused anyone happening by the set that day.
"Weird, all the parents keep clearing their kids out of the park as soon as we show up."
His penis also lies dutifully down on top of a gaping manhole and allows Kirby to stomp painfully across it, despite the fact that there is a sidewalk 2 feet to the left.
This is the visual definition of "subliminal message."
And then, as if the "Kirby loves his giant severed bone rod" message of this ad hadn't already been made clear enough, the commercial ends with a shot of a phallus and a tiny swollen pink orb skipping down a rainbow into the sunset.
This is like a motivational poster for survivors of testicular cancer.
#4. Yoshi's Island - A Fat Guy Detonates Watery Entrails All Over a Restaurant
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island is a game about a green dinosaur named Yoshi trying to keep Baby Mario safe from unspeakably powerful forces that are inexplicably out to destroy him. The game is more or less meant for children, and is even designed to look like drawings in a storybook brought to mesmerizing life by arcane magic.
Apparently arcane magic has a really primitive color palette.
Nintendo decided that the best way to convey the charming, kid-friendly innocence of their new game was to stage the gluttony murder from Se7en.
The commercial opens with what appears to be a 32-year-old bowling instructor stuffing his face at a restaurant, with the tenuous excuse that Yoshi's Island is "crammed" full of exciting content. So playing it is exactly like shamelessly, self-destructively overeating in public. We guess.
They could have at least given the guy a red hat and a mustache.
After literally eating every type of food imaginable, the man finally says "No more, " but the narrator tempts him by asking, "Sure you don't have room for another little bonus level?" The bonus level takes the form of a curdled glob of whipped cream on the end of his finger, so he shrugs and eats that last little bit, which causes him to swell and explode, showering his fellow diners with chunky brown liquid.
From zero to Gallagher in two seconds.
Some of you might recognize the ad as an homage to the Mr. Creosote sketch from Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. That may seem cool to comedy nerds, but the target audience for Yoshi's Island was latchkey children in 1995. How many Super Nintendo owners in the mid-'90s were aware of a five-minute scene from a 1983 R-rated movie by a British comedy troupe? Without that frame of reference, this commercial is just randomly grotesque. With that frame of reference, the commercial still manages to make absolutely no sense and have nothing at all to do with the adventures of a dinosaur and his pet human child in a world of Technicolor imagination.