Film / Press Start

"This is no game. It's a movie!"

"Why'd you let him hit you?" - Zack
"It was his turn." - Sam

Press Start is an independent spoof comedy film produced by Dark Maze Studios.

It chronicles the adventures of Zack Nimbus, the 'Chosen One', Lin-Ku, an overly violent Ninja, and Sam, a woman warrior in a spacesuit. They set out to find the three ancient relics and battle The Empire ruled by the nefarious Count Nefarious Vile and they spoof more video games than you can count along the way. Featuring special appearances by game actors Daniel and Carlos Pesina (Mortal Kombat) and music by videogame composer Jake Kaufman (Contra 4). Made on a budget described as "spare change placed in a mayo jar," the film was well received by many video game websites. It even spawned an Animated Adaptation series which premiered on That Guy with the Glasses, and a sequel, Press Start 2 Continue was released in March 11 2011.

According to the production notes (available in PDF on the website), the original concept by Ed Glaser was Videogame: The Movie! - like the Scary Movie series, only funny. It was written by Kevin Folliard. The truly great thing is that everyone involved in the movie has either worked on games or is a hardcore fan, so naturally the movie is Troperiffic. Plus, most of them are accomplished martial artists that raised the level of fight scenes in the movie. The incredibly low budget was worked around thanks to the extremely committed and versatile team.

So sit back, relax, and get ready for some cheesy video game laughs. Just Press Start.

Synopsis here: Press Start

This film provides examples of:

  • Affectionate Parody - And how.
  • Alliterative Name - Princess Passionfruit and Plumber Pete.
  • Animated Adaptation - Press Start Adventures.
  • Beleaguered Assistant - Johnson.
  • Beware the Silly Ones - Vile. genre-blind buffoon he may be, but he's a very tough final boss.
  • Brick Joke: Subverted - Zack's refusal to participate in the the Jackomo card game Side Quest is itself a Running Gag, but when Zack & Lin-Ku reach Vile & promise to defeat him, Vile asks if they have several powerful weapons & pieces of armour. Zack then asks how they could get that stuff, and Vile responds with "You have to do very the Jackamo card tournament."
  • Butt-Monkey - Johnson gets turned into a turtle. A turtle.
  • Captain Ersatz - Essentially every character. Carries over into Adventures. See Shout-Out.
  • Card-Carrying Villain - Vile.
  • Character Level - Zack seems to be leveling up quite quickly in the beginning of the film. (He's a level 4 Swordsman!)
    • It seems to be abandoned not long after his 4th level...
      • In one of the later web-toons, his bedroom has a certificate mounted on the wall, congratulating him for making it to level 99.
  • Chekhov's Gun - The Virtual Visor.
  • Creator Cameo - Ed Glaser plays "Justin Bailey", Vile's employee, as well as the voice of the lair's self-destruct mechanism. Writer Kevin Folliard, in addition to voicing Lin-Ku, also has a brief appearance as "Jungle Jerry".
  • Department of Redundancy Department - Did you know the ancient prophecy was made by an ancient prophet?
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies - The abandoned research facility was hit with a "zombie virus".
  • Exposition Fairy - Zippy, bringing you a big healthy dose of Annoying Video Game Helper.
  • Face Palm - Sam does quite a few of these.
  • Fangs Are Evil - Vile.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend - After Zack kills one ever mentions him, or the incident. Again. Ever. In any way. Even Sam, who actually liked Zippy, and ends up dating Zack, never brings it up. You'd think you'd care if your significant other killed your pet...
    • Actually, Vile had changed the channel on his viewscreen at that time, so Sam never saw Zack kill Zippy. Still doesn't explain why she hasn't questioned what happened to him.
    • He later shows up in hell.
  • Final Boss, New Dimension - For the climactic battle, Vile teleports them all to a dark, featureless place because "property damage is only funny if it's someone else's."
  • Guide Dang It! - The final battle would have been MUCH easier on the heroes if only they'd done the Jackamo card game sidequest.
  • Hammerspace - How Press Start explains Kirby's Zippy's ability to eat things and then shoot them out of his mouth as an energy blast.
  • Hand Wave - When Zack tries to bring up the point that killing the current ruler of most of the world (evil or not) might send the world into a socioeconomic turmoil leaving it vulnerable to a dictator of equal or greater power, Sam and Lin-ku pretty much do this.
    • "I think they'll be okay."
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath - Lin-Ku's cast page in the animated episode "Speed Run" calls him "ethically challenged".
  • Hyperactive Metabolism - Zack eats a turkey leg Lin-ku finds on the floor to regain health. Revisited when he attempts to eat a medkit.
    • It doesn't taste good.
    • Lin-Ku also does this to regain health by eating Captain Psychodrive's heart.
  • In a World... - The trailer. Word for word.
  • Intimate Healing - The 'Life Lady', taken right out of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.
  • Izchak's Wrath - Lin-Ku axes the shopkeeper to see if he had NPC Invulnerability, and he later shows up as the third guardian.
  • Large Ham - Count Vile. Totally Count Vile.
  • La Résistance - As straight as it could possibly be played.
  • Laughably Evil - Again, Count Vile.
  • Ledge Bats - The opening narration of Press Start Adventures references them as part of how the villain conquered the world.
  • MacGuffin - The Ancient Relics.
  • Mistaken for Gay - Zack, unaware of Sam being female, mistakes her early affection for this. Later, when Zack and Lin-Ku wait outside the third dungeon and Zack shares this, Lin-Ku ends up mistaking Zack as gay.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast - Nefarious Vile. Seriously. Also, Captain Psychodrive.
  • Nobody Poops - averted when Sam locates some zombies in the men's room... as they're taking a piss. She shoots them.
  • Only Sane Man - Johnson. Carries over to the Animated Adaptation.
  • Power Makes Your Hair Grow - Zack.
  • Power Trio
  • Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits - How the creator describes the Resistance.
  • Rule of Fun - Apparently, how the movie was made on such a low budget.
  • Running Gag - Lin-ku's ninja stars, Zack thinking Sam is a boy, the Shopkeeper, and Jackamo cards. Oh boy those Jackamo cards.
    • The Virtual Visor. It causes headaches.
  • Samus Is a Girl - Not to the audience, but to Zack Nimbus thinking Sam is a boy. Of course, the movie was specifically trying to parody the Trope Namer with this...
  • Shout-Out - Arguably half the fun of the movie. Too many games are referenced to name.
  • Take That! - The CrazyFeline game controller is called "a third party piece of crap". The Visual Visor to the Virtual Boy.
  • The Chosen One - Played straight. Zack Nimbus is chosen by a prophecy from an ancient prophet.
  • The Unintelligible - Zippy.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch! - "Game over, you son of a bitch."
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself - Subverted and played straight. Lin-ku pulls this when fighting Captain Psychodri- I mean G. Foreman. However, Zack and Sam have no problem letting the murderous ninja do the fighting for him. Played straight when Zack tries to intervene in the fight, but Sam stops him.
  • Took a Shortcut - The Shopkeeper continually shows up wherever the heroes go. Including a secret passage Sam discovers by blowing up a wall. It gets lampshaded.
  • Unfortunate Names - Johnson Johnson.
  • Warp Zone - Zack and Lin-ku would've had to go through some terrible places to get to Vile's Lair. Instead, they opt out for one of these.
    Vile: Come, Johnson! We'll take the Warp Zone! * SMASH*
    Johnson: Sir, that was your Berry Blast Sports Drink.
  • When Trees Attack - Voiced by Egoraptor even!
  • Video Game Settings - Naturally. The Animated Adaptation features several specific ones, which are listed by name below.

The Animated Adaptation provides examples of

Press Start 2 provides examples of