One of the best and one of the weirdest things piracy could ever create, Dendy brought joy to thousands of Russian kids and was the console that spawned the first generation of console gamers in Russia. At first, Dendy looks pretty much like your regular Nintendo Entertainment System clone, but to Russian gamers, it was so much more. It indeed had almost the same fate as NES, just on a less epic scale. Despite being completely unlicensed by Nintendo (although the short-lived publisher of the console, Steepler Ltd., imported Nintendo's consoles absolutely legally), it boasted a lot of achievements: millions of sold famiclones and peripherals, a really huge network with own brand shops, own magazine (say hello to Nintendo Power), TV show (say the same thing to Starcade and related shows) and millions of obsessed fans.
Russian counterpart to Nintendo Power began its life as Video-Ace: Dendy and, design-wise, was pretty bland. However, due to the fact that its publishers, Video-Ace, already had some experience (they published a few movie magazines and a PC-games magazine), the design was soon upgraded. Some of the articles were translated from Joystiq, again thanks to the publishers' connections. Unlike most of its contemporaries, Video-Ace; Dendy concentrated more on the movies, treated video games more like 'interactive entertainment', and didn't have annoying ads. Oh yeah. Later, however, when the Mega Drive first debuted, the Fun Club section rose in popularity and almost became a leitmotif of all generations of... The Great Dragon.
Steepler's bankruptcy caused the Dendy magazine to split into two publications. One became The Great D, while the second continued the line of Dendy: The New Reality, although sadly, was only four issues long... While its older brother underwent a 10-year evolution from inheriting the format of Video-Uss Dendy with some really reasonable add-ons to a magazine with loads of info on JRPGs, next-gen consoles and anime, which, however, still retained the stuff that was loved before (8-bit and 16-bit sections, mainly). And that all was until 2003, when the magazine got scrapped due to the lack of fundings. Of course, it's expected to be revived, but Development Hell still does its dirty job.
A documentary about the ramifications of the Dendy's bootleg nature on Russian gaming culture at the time.
Several bits of the TV show dedicated to this famiclone, Dendy: The New Reality, may be watched here, fully in English, or, in case if you are a complete kamikaze (or just was born in ex-USSR), you may watch it from the beginning till the end in its original language, starting from here.
The clone itself, as well as related hardware and cartridges, may be one of the examples of:
Brand Name Takeover: Now, every famiclone is nicknamed 'Dendy', no matter if it has this name or not.
Meanwhile in Poland, the imported famiclones were called Pegasus, after this particular model◊ which became.
If a multicart states to have 9999 games or more, then not only the cover will be misleading, but the menu, too. Plus, some of the games slapped on the sticker may not appear on the actual cartridge at all.
Dendy wasn't the first famiclone to pop up on the market, and that's not talking about that it's not the first to swag the Famicom's original design, either.
To make matters worse, the some of the models of Dendy had built-in gamepads, complete with no Select and Start buttons on the second gamepad, akin to the first models of Famicom.
To make matters even worse, Dendy itself has a clones of its' own, not manufactured by the now defunct Steepler. And even while those are being advertised as the consoles with more supreme graphics and sound, they weren't really different to the other famiclones (but yet it had completely nothing to do with the actual Steepler's clone).
What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: A lot of the cartridge labels are this, using artwork that is completely unrelated to the game and often just looks like a load of random images that have been cobbled together for no particular reason. Case in point, the ones presented in Dendy Chronicles 8.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Actually, nobody knows what led Steepler to disappearing, although the man behind this company is now listed as a vice-president of Tenzor company, who supposedly manufactured Dendies... or, at least, bits of it. Some people think it's because of the high price of imported Nintendo products. Some say that it's due to Lamport simply betraying their 'parents', but we may never know what happened exactly... Maybe all at the same time?
Author Appeal: Vladimir Borev, the headie of Video-Uss publishing. Quoting: Watching the game, playing the movie.
Department of Redundancy Department: Some games, even if they were reviewed hell long ago, get a kinda pointless, in this case, re-review. Instand example: when Great Dragon was a spinoff, Dendy: The New Reality magazine reviewed Doom for SNES. Later on, when Dendy magazine officially died... Doom was reviewed. Again. And yes, for SNES. And that's when the PlayStation debuted.
Development Hell: The Great D is expected to be revived... And it resulted in nothing else but updates on the official website.
Doing It for the Art: Video-Uss Dendy and its following installments definitely had some soul put in it. Despite some mistakes taken in as well.
For example, you need to write a one-page review for Battle City. What you could put here, considering it's a first-generation NES game? But, naturally, one fan's review was so well-written that it included a basic premise plot, description of landscape and the ingame tanks, as well as wishing good luck to the beginner players. Of course, this may sound funny, but yes, it ACTUALLY is well-written, so now whenever its needed to write a review on this game, the review follows a similar scheme.
Executive Meddling: Sadly, this is here as well, mainly in the latter era. The reason is that a Steepler wannabe, New Game, which is known for its Magistr famiclones and being the first ones to sell the initially freeSonic Megamix released a 'continuation' to The Cool Gamer, but it turned out to be nothing else than yet another 'Tips and Tricks for 9000 Games on Mega Drive' clone. Doesn't help that exactly the same descriptions, as well as tips and tricks can be read out on their official website.
The ratings to the games they've given also fits this trope to an F. Just for instance, how could Herzog Zwei get 4/10 while this, ehrm, thing got 6/10? And, moreover, how Ranger X would receive 4/10?!
And some stuff that didn't make it into Fun Club section or Art Gallery went as the tips 'n tricks pages' illustrations.
A bundle newspaper Dragon Plus which not only included several good (and not that good) outside-the-editorial articles, but also could be bought only from the editorial on rubble each. Why so? Basically, it was allowed and needed to be reselled by the loving readers who were dreaming about making money!
And, basically... how! In his 'alternate review' of Garfield: Caught in the Act, which was much better than its scrappy NES big brother, got Irated by him in all sorts, starting with how Nintendo Hard and annoying the game is, ending with cursing the franchise. Right, Cluster F-Bomb, only without swearing. He also reviewed a Ranma fighting game which not only was slightly better than Yie Ar Kung Fu gameplay-wise, but also got a bastardized US 'localization' named Street Combat. And guess what? No bad word for this game! With the detailed description of every character! Do we need to say more?
The Stoic: The walkthroughs for NES games were published since the Video-Uss Dendy was born and until the time when the magazine was about to collapse. Nuff said.
Mega Drive fits this trope in the second place, because the walkthroughs for its games were posted even with the fade of '8-bit' part, but the games for it appeared a bit later than the magazine was created.
Spell My Name with an S: If you go with direct transliteration, then the second. If you aim for accurate pronunciation or just don't see any sense in butchering the title thatmuch, then the first. In either case, this is likely to be a mispronounceation of what is otherwise supposed to be "Video-Ace" in the original Russian.
The Dendy: The New Reality show and its follow-ups are the examples of:
In both meanings of this trope. Straight and literal.
Video Full of VHS Clips: Sometimes, before showing a game based on a movie/cartoon, Suponev inserts a VHS tape with the thing the game was based off and showed a one- or two-minute fragment from it. With 'perestroika' kind of translation dub.