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.
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◊.
- Covers Always Lie: No, really. Always. Sonic the Hedgehog slapped on the cartridge cover of Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers? Chip 'n Dale with its actual cover but renamed to Grand Combat? Serious Sam from The Second Encounter on the cart of Super Contra 7? And those are only three of the examples out of thousands!
- 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.
- Perfectly lampshaded by Kinaman in The Curse of The Gray Elephant, as well as Dendy Chronicles 7.
- Follow the Leader and Shoddy Knockoff Product: Not only to the actual Famicom, but to many other famiclones, not to mention the licensed consoles of the latter generations.
- 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?
The Video-Uss Dendy and its Spiritual Successor, The Great Dragon are the examples of:
- Adorkable: Lord Hanta may have glasses, but they just make him cooler.
- Ascended Fanboy: Just see the Dendy: The New Reality entry below.
- 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.
- Pirate Name Takeover: Ho Sung Pak.
- 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 free Sonic 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?!
- Here's their website. Don't yell if you will get a trojan on your attempt to save a page though.
- Fanwork Ban: Averted, for several reasons.
- First of ALL, there is a 'Fun Club' section (it was even explained why it shouldn't be spelled as Fan Club) which accepted a huge load of fan work: art, game story concepts, humorous psychological tests, fiction (no, not this one), comic strips and more 'n more!
- 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!
- Some even made it to the editorial!
- Otaku: Believe it or not, loads.
- Lord Hanta.
- 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?
- On a side note... he likes Duke Nukem.
- Wren also seems to be one.
- Several fans who got into anime themselves or not without the help of Lord Hanta.
- The magazine even had a small part for reviewing anime to keep the fans on their toes!
- And even written discussions on which animation is better: American or Japanese. Think Console Wars.
- Sdrawkcab Name: Navi Kihcto.
- 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.
- With Fun Club being par with Mega Drive section.
- Title Drop: Inverted. The spin-off, which later became a separate magazine had the name of one of the authors. Ten seconds to guess his alias.
- Wild Mass Guessing: Yes, the magazine even had this, on who Great Dragon really is.
- What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Video-Uss or Video-Ass?
- 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 that much, 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:
- The Ace: The Dennis and Alex duo, The All-Knowing Videogame Experts.
- All Game Developers Know Assembler: Suponev's, perhaps, most weird opinion on video games. Simpler version: All game developers are programmers.
- Ascended Fanboy: Appeared in one episode. ...Wren.
- Author Existence Failure: Sergei Suponev, who coincidentally got into the same death trap as Viktor Tsoi... car crash.
- Bootstrapped Themes: ...which actually come from Sonic CD and Subterrania and used during both seasons.
- Blatant Lies: Megahuge Game Boy shown in season two! Although you may already guess it's a prod with a TV screen showing Super Game Boy add-on in action.
- The Cameo: Suponev appeared only once in the Replacement Scrappy So Okay, It's Average show World of Dendy, hosting the tournament for Killer Instinct.
- Catch Phrase: 'We invite you to the world of New Reality, the world of computer games!'
- Oh, and the phrase from the music theme at the start!
- Gag Dub: Done by Suponev himself on Jurassic Park II (SNES) intro.
- Still, the redub retains the original idea, it just adds a parody grain of 'perestroika dubbers'.
- Grammar Nazi: Suponev, on the others' knowledge of English and in extremly mild doses.
- Sequel Hook: End of first season.
Suponev: But something tells me we'll see each other again!
- The Man Behind the Man: In episode 9 of the first season, where Super Nintendo debuted, Suponev tells us about the fact that Mario was made by Nintendo.
- The Problem with Licensed Games is nonexistent for this show.
- 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.