Oh, the difference 24 years makes

You probably haven’t scrolled through – much less read – the (still unfinished) list of games that was most memorable to me, but if you did, you’ll note that one of the oldest games I mentioned was 1987’s “Legend of Zelda” for NES. It was awesome and raised the bar in so many ways! But equally memorable, for all the wrong reasons, was the incredibly stupid ad that aired on TV for the game, which I saw while on summer holiday in Canada.

Like most incredibly stupid things, the ad is immortalized in all it’s glory on Youtube. If you like the Zelda series, you may not want to watch this, as you may never see the series quite the same way again:

Amazingly enough, I found a second ad that was equally bad; if you want more punishment, it’s here.

Video game ads – and advertising in general – have (thankfully) improved greatly over the years, to the point that if you gave a random person on the street a camcorder and $500, they’d come up with a better ad than the above. Still, game ads all tend to be about the same, though; show a few cutscenes, some in-game action footage, then cut to a title and release date.  So it was incredibly ironic that not more than 1-2 days after I wrote the disparaging comment about the original Zelda ad, I saw this awesome ad for the Nintendo 3DS remake of 1998’s “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” (widely considered to be the greatest game ever made):

At first, I thought it was just a funny ad, maybe based on a co-incidence in naming. A little Googling revealed that no, indeed, the claim in the text at 0:23 wasn’t a marketing ploy, and that Robin Williams is just more of a hardcore gamer than I am.  Or, for some reason, his wife didn’t auto-veto all gaming-derived name suggestions like my wife Valerie did!

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