"The look and feel is something out of the 90s, but while the genre back then tried to tell mature storylines, those attempts almost always completely stumbled over themselves. Here, designer Joshua Nuernberger manages to succeed where numerous professional developers failed, making it seem like it's from an alternate history where adventuring gaming evolved artfully and didn't collapse in upon itself."
Sometimes media are produced in an intentionally old-fashioned style, designed with the intentional appearance of being decades older than is actually the case.
Whereas steampunk involves a setting that is faux-retro, this trope is entirely one of how the medium is painted— entirely stylistic, in other words. Sound is intentionally scratchy, marks of damaged reel, and faded appearance are common in Film or television. Some films go out of their ways to open with studio vanity plates pulled directly from the era that they depict (See Logo Joke for that).
Retraux may involve Deliberately Monochrome, Antiquated Linguistics, or Silence Is Golden. If it's a supposedly past speculation about The Future or Twenty Minutes into the Future (i.e., the present), it will inevitably invoke Zeerust or Raygun Gothic. The outdated nature of the presentation often overlaps with Stylistic Suck.
In video games, retraux is common in freeware and indie projects for practical reasons — pixelated sprites and chiptunes are a lot simpler to make than quality 3D assets and orchestral studio recordings. Another emerging artform is the Video Game Demake, in which a game is adapted for an earlier-generation platform.
Compare Genre Throwback, where a production is made evoking old-style works but with modern production values (in contrast, something that's Retraux can be mistaken for an actual old-style production). Can overlap with Newer Than They Think when done especially well. See also Retraux Flashback when this is combined with an Art Shift in an otherwise more modern looking work.
open/close all folders
A commercial for Stella Artois purports to be footage of the 1964 World Trade Fair. It's got a film grain aesthetic, jazzy Sixties music, period costumes, and as an added bonus, they invoke TONS of early-Sixties Zeerust.
Commercials for Dr. Pepper 10 include a mountain man character shot with blurry film stock and outdated music meant to evoke the old Grizzly Adams television show and similar nature-themed shows of the era.
Interestingly enough, according to Word of God, despite its 1970s-esque appearance, it was actually made in the 2090s, which means it's an example of this even in-story.
GaoGaiGar has an art style rather reminiscent of giant robot anime from the 1970s.
Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, especially the opening. Lampshaded in the episode about Detuning (doing less than your best): Among the examples for detuning is "Deliberately adding imperfections to give the impression of an old film." followed by a cue card saying "This show does it too".
The ADV Films trailer for Chrono Crusade has narration mimicking the style of voice-over used on old-fashioned newsreels. (However, the anime itself doesn't use many Retraux effects outside of a few scenes in the opening and the grainy episode title cards and eyecatches.)
In Lucky Star, Meito Anisawa and the other Animate store employees are drawn in a style reminiscent of anime (especially Super Robot anime) that's some decades older than Lucky Star. There's even a visual effect that makes their shaded areas be of non-uniform color tone and change their color tone slightly over time, simulating the look of cel animation.
That's because the Animate employees were around long before the Lucky Star manga was even created, plus they were designed by G Gundam character designer, Kazuhiko Shimamoto
Many of the Gundam works set in the Universal Century deliberately try to maintain an consistent art style reminiscent of the 1980s, right down to the '80s Hair. If you look closely, you'd notice that the characters of Gundam Unicorn wouldn't look out of place in Zeta Gundam.
The 2004 version of Tetsujin 28 deliberately captures the aesthetics and atmosphere of 1950s Japan, right down to the soundtrack.
In 2012, Bandai recreated and updated their Emotion division's first logo (an '80s logo, mind you) for modern audiences, complete with a recreation of the logo's jingle.
Kill la Kill's art style is evocative of older anime despite airing from late 2013 to early 2014.
It's not unknown for a flashback or 'never before told' story to be drawn in the style of a certain time period. An excellent example is The Age of the Sentry miniseries, whose titular hero was supposedly Marvel's SupermanExpy in the 1960s, but was forgotten by all of humanity until his "return" in 2000. The flashback scenes are drawn to resemble 1960s Jack Kirby and 1980s Frank Miller. The front cover even has a fake "Approved by the Cosmic Code Authority" logo.
Iron Man and Doctor Doom once travelled back in time to a New York City circa the Silver Age (thirty years earlier in real time, perhaps ten or twelve in terms of Earth-616 chronology). The art was drawn and colored to resemble the comic book art of that period.
Alan Moore's 1963 looks and reads like a classic Marvel comic (complete with Moore spouting fake Stan Lee style hyperbole and including fake '60s-style ads).
The 25th anniversary (1983) Legion of Super-Heroes story had multiple segments that took place in pastiches of different parts of the Legion's history, using the original logos, original artists, and plot elements based on stories of the time. A weaker version of this was done for the 30th anniversary in 1988.
The humorous one-shot Superman/Batman: World's Funnest featured the two magical imps Mr. Mxyzptlk and Bat-Mite accidentally destroying countless alternate universes, most of them drawn in the style of a certain artist—Curt Swan, Sheldon Mayer, C. C. Beck, Jack Kirby, Alex Ross, Bruce Timm and so on.
The Orson Randall one shot issues of Immortal Iron Fist are often drawn in the style of pulp era artists.
A mild example in Ultimate Spider-Man: Requiem where in a flashback, the art goes back to Bagley's style, rather than the current penciller for the series, Immonen.
A Stormwatch issue concentrating on the history of century-old Jenny Sparks depicts her in each decade as she would have appeared in the comics of the time, with the 80s flashback in particular being a clear homage to Watchmen.
Another one from Alan Moore, Supreme has flashbacks with an art style that corresponds with the time those flashbacks happened. This is justified in-story; from Supreme's perspective, his recollections of (for example) Golden Age events have such a simple, rough style to them because it was such a long time ago and everything seemed so simple back then.
Another flashback example, 2000 AD Prog 2010 features a Judge Dredd story that starts on Christmas Eve 2098 (the first published Judge Dredd story takes place in 2099), which is presented in the style of an early 2000AD strip complete with black and white art and yellowing pages. The second half of the story takes place in the "present day" of Christmas Eve 2131, and switches over to a modern style colour strip.
Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow? by Brian Files is about a boy who is a fan of the Comic Within A Comic Space Age Adventures featuring Captain Crater And The Cosmic Kid. Four different issues of the comic (spanning the 1930s to 1970s) are presented in the book, each printed on newsprint (as opposed to the thick glossy paper of the rest of the book) and drawn to resemble comics from the appropriate era including imitation poor colour registration and printing blemishes.
Alias by Brian Michael Bendis features a flashback to Jessica Jones attending the same school as Spider-Man, drawn in a style reminiscent of Steve Ditko era Spider-Man.
Also by Brian M. Bendis, the Golden AgeDaredevil features 3 periods of time : the 40s, the 60s and modern day, each drawn in styles reminiscent of what was found in comic books of respective eras. The Retraux is especially noticeable in the colours.
As Deadpool features a lot of both meta-commentary and time travel, this tends to come up in his book. The best example is when he gets set into the past to Amazing Spiderman #47, and infiltrates himself into the story, Forrest Gump style.note Deadpool #11 All the panels and dialogue are drawn in John Romita's style, and all the characters (except Deadpool and friends) talk like Stan Lee wrote them (indeed, enough panels are lifted from the original work that Romita and Lee are credited as co-authors.) Seeing the modern Meta Guy Deadpool interact with the comics-code Spiderman story is a Crowning Moment of Funny.
In case you're wondering why specifically Spider-Man, it's because Deadpool's costume bears no small resemblance to that of the ol' Webhead, meaning it was a snap to redraw Spidey as 'Pool.
Deadpool vol 4 #7 is supposedly an inventory story from 1979, crossing Deadpool (who, of course, didn't exist at the time to write inventory stories about) into the Iron Man "Demon in a Bottle" storyline, with 70s Spidey and the Power Pack also making appearances. The art and writing style both reflect this, and it even has oversaturated Bronze Age colouring.
John Byrne's untitled story from Batman Black And White: Volume Two'' is drawn in the style of a Golden AgeBatman comic and is written accordingly as well. Batman and Robin smiles throughout the story, deliver wisecracks and best the villains via a clever scheme.
Batman Black & White: Volume Three has the story "Urban Renewal"; it features some nostalgic flashbacks by characters to the "old days", and the flashbacks are drawn in the Golden Age style as opposed to the more realistic present-day scenes.
One sequence in The Incredible Hercules features Herc hallucinating that he's reliving previous adventures due to being poisoned. When action is presented from his view, the comic suddenly appears to shift to a seventies artstyle and coloring. They even pan from Black Widow's modern look to her look from when she was on the Defenders with Hercules to emphasize it.
Viz does this a lot, notably with the strip Jack Black, which is a parody of wartime comics and books such as The Famous Five series. The occasional one off strip drawn by the same artist will often involve surreal stories. Some 'news' articles are done in the same manner.
The Transformers: Robots In Disguise 2012 Annual issue has flashback segments of Nova Prime and his inner circle done up in the style of the old 80s Marvel Transformers comics, including pages that have been made to look yellow with age, and glorious, page-long infodumps where each character takes the time to explain who they are in great detail just as characters being introduced in the old comics had a tendency to do (to encourage their readers to go buy their toys.
One of the DVD bonus features is an "authorized adaptation" of a Mr. Incredible adventure, in the form of a cheaply-animated and simple-minded old kiddie cartoon with considerable "aged recording" noise. (The cartoon can also be viewed with Mr. Incredible and Frozone chiming in their comments, MST3K-style.)
The 1930s style song "The Spirit of Adventure" over Up's closing credits is in lo-fi monophonic sound.
The ending credits of The Tigger Movie run against sepia still images of scenes from the film redrawn in the style of E.H. Shepherd's line drawings from the books. Tigger in particular looks completely different from the Disney version.
Wreck-It Ralph pays homage to vintage video-game styles with its protagonist being the villain in an 8-bit style game modeled after "Donkey Kong". The closing credits play with this further, notably when Ralph and Vanellope help Ken demolish the car in the Street Fighter bonus level. The end also invokes this trope, after the "Wreck-it Ralph" game becomes more popular than ever with the inclusion of a "Q-Bert" bonus round.
Ralph: They say we're retro. I think that means 'old but cool'.
The director and cinematographers of the film Ed Wood went out of their way to exaggerate the dark, grainy, ill-lit look of low-budget 1940s-1950s films.
Woody Allen's Zelig is a Mockumentary about a "chameleon man" of the 1920s and '30s. The supposedly archived footage of the era was actually filmed using cameras and such of the period. This, in addition to Forrest Gump style editing (though this movie predated that one by over ten years), created a nearly impenetrable illusion.
Far From Heaven, set in The Fifties, imitates the look of movies produced back then, specifically Douglas Sirk's movies - the plot is almost lifted from All That Heaven Allows. The score is by Elmer Bernstein, who composed music for several famous films in the '50s.
The French musical 8 Women. The look of the film evokes the look of films made in the 1950s, and the songs are all performed in a 1950s style, despite some of them being from as late as the '80s.
Orson Welles used this trope in Citizen Kane with the newsreel in the beginning, going so far as to use sandpaper on the original print to make it look old and worn.
Mirage is a 1965 movie filmed in black and white and in the style of classic noir.
The Westlake Film Company has one silent movie comedy in their arsenal. To: Steve, From: The Devil was even shot with that kind of camera used long ago, along with the same good old improvised piano music, which makes Painting the Medium successful in this case.
The Turkish movie GORA has a brief flashback scene to the early 1900s, shot in the scratchy, silent, black-and-white footage of the first 'moving pictures'.
The Mexican (2001) had the flashbacks filmed in a hand-cranked camera to evoke this trope.
Down with Love is an Affectionate Parody of a certain subgenre of early-1960s romantic comedies, filmed with more than a few Retraux touches. It's particularly noticeable in the set design and background music.
The Mel Brooks film Silent Movie is filmed in color and includes a music track that's part of the film (rather than separate — but this was common in the last years of the silent era). Nonetheless, it was done in the style of...a silent movie, with actors "speaking" their lines, followed by a dialogue card: something that's partially parodied throughout the movie.
The Mel Brooks remake of To Be or Not to Be features a montage of World War II footage of Poland being attacked, in the style of the newsreels of the time. The montage ends with main characters appearing in the same gritty black and white style.
The Mel Gibson crime movie Payback is very stylized film-noir; colors are washed out, characters wear vintage clothing, even the cellular car phones are rotary dial.
The House Of The Devil is an homage to 1970s horror films, from the setting to the credits to the music. It's even being released on VHS.
Nearly all of Guy Maddin's films are made to replicate the look of films from the 30s and the silent era, with considerable success.
Iron Man 2 features the song "Make Way For Tomorrow Today" over the end credits, performed by the Stark Expo Singers. The theme song for Stark Expo '74, it sounds a lot like various songs from Disney movies and theme parks, most notably "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow," the theme to the Carousel of Progress attraction. This is no accident. The Stark Expo theme was written by Richard Sherman, who wrote that and many other memorable songs as a Disney employee. An expanded version of the song also appears in Captain America: The First Avenger (composed by Alan Silvestri instead of John Debney).
The Moulin Rouge! commentary track mentions how much trouble they went through to put imperfections in the film in order to evoke this.
The 1977 war film The Ascent is made up to look like a film from the 1940s, with its World War II setting, uses of Academy ratio (an aspect ratio long disused by then) and black and white cinematography.
The 1984 film Nothing Lasts Forever is filmed in the style of ancient black-and-white SF films. It looks so convincing that first that it takes the unmistakeable appearance of Dan Ackroyd to alert the audience to its true age.
Apollo 18, in keeping with its Blair Witch-esque premise, is entirely portrayed as found footage from a 1970s space mission, with all the accompanying film grain and video artifacts.
Black Dynamite is a movie from the late 2000s that's made to look like the cheaply made blaxplotation films of the 70s, with grainy quality, obviously bad effects, and choppy editing.
The Bloody Hilarious short film Forklift Driver Klaus was shot in 2000 but not only did it use costumes and props from the 1980s, it was also shot on VHS and looks like it had been copied several times before being digitized.
In The Great Race, the credits are rendered in the period-appropriate style of a Magic Lantern show.
"Ladies, kindly remove your hats."
In Godzilla (2014), scenes taking place in The Fifties are edited to look as if they were shot on film stock of the era. The cinematographer even used a camera lens not used since The Sixties.
In keeping with Peter Jackson's striving for an accurate portrayal of early 1950s Christchurch, New Zealand in Heavenly Creatures, the title cards are done in an early '50s style, with the actors' first names in Italics and last names in CAPITALS. The font is period as well.
Everything in X-Men: First Class, has very '60s/'70s sensibilities, from Emma Frost's Bond Girl costumes to the BBC science documentary-like credits sequence.
In X-Men: Days of Future Past, the 1973 Sentinels are clearly based on their Silver Age comic inspirations. In sharp contrast, however, the 2023 Sentinels look more alien than robot.
The WNUF Halloween Special is a Found Footage horror film painstakingly made to resemble an actual 1987 small town TV station news broadcast, including cheesy fake low budget commercials. To make it look authentic, the director even went as far as shooting the film digitally, transferring it into VHS and copying it to other tapes five times, in order to achieve the proper degradation that a 1987 recording would suffer.
Karel Zeman uses 19th-century artistic mediums and styles to eye-popping effect in his films.
In particular, one reviewer noted that Zeman's The Deadly Invention isn't just set in a charmingly Steam Punk 19th-century world; it looks and sounds as if it had actually been made within that world. Along the same lines, another reviewer said something to the effect that, while it's normally easy to guess what decade a film was made in, it's well nigh impossible to say even which century this one is from.
The Onion Presents: Our Dumb Century "reprinted" the front pages of dozens of issues of The Onion, going back to the early 1900s. (In reality, The Onion was founded in 1988.)
Literature/S. was deliberately planned to look and feel like a book written and printed in the 1950's. The cover has woodblock print letters and graphic, there's a library sticker on the spine as well as a library "borrowed/returned" stamp in the back (with numerous dates of having been "borrowed"), and all the pages have yellowing and foxing to them. The story itself is written in a faux-translated from German mystery, with decidedly dated word usage and structure.
Cold Case flashbacks are filmed to evoke the period they are from (e.g. black and white for times that predate colour film).
In addition, the flashback sequences often feature popular music that likely would have been featured in a TV show episode from whatever year the flashback would have taken place in.
Occasionally, Cold Case will feature original music with the style of the episode's time period. For instance, the song "Scarlet Rose" from Season 4's "Static" sounds exactly like a ballad from the late 1950's.
Same for Look Around You, which mimics 1980s educational TV despite being made in 2002 (for the first series) and 2005 (for the second).
And in turn, The Peter Serafinowicz Show, from the creator of Look Around You, has featured faux 1970s public information films (complete of course with authentic faded colour, grain and scratches).
One episode of Ashes to Ashes does this for the Show Within a Show, being shot on 1980s style video with very limited lighting and makeup, scratchy sound and cheesy backing music. (link - could arguably be a minor spoiler).
Speaking of which, its parent show Life on Mars revelled in this trope for advertising, even going as far as having a recreation of the BBC 1 Colour ident of the 70s precede broadcasting of the second series. The American version did the same with the ABC logo.
Harry Enfield did this a lot in his sketch shows, especially with the Cholmondley-Warner & Grayson sketches on Harry Enfield and Chums. His later series Harry and Paul featured Retraux versions of modern films, such as a 1930s melodramatic version of The Bourne Identity and a silent version of Brokeback Mountain starring Laurel and Hardy.
Star Trek loves to use the holodeck for this kind of thing. Jean-Luc Picard's noir adventures as detective Dixon Hill were a fan favourite (and won the show an Emmy for costume design), as were Tom Paris'sBuck Rogers-style Captain Proton stories, which were actually filmed in black and white; and Deep Space Nine's forays into fictional nightclub crooner Vic Fontaine's club.
Special mention must be given to the Deep Space Nine episode "Trials and Tribble-ations", which features time travel back to the era of TOS. In addition to inserting Deep Space Nine actors into existing footage, new scenes aboard the old Enterprise and the space station were filmed using 1960s-style lighting - they even used 1960s film stock because the colour saturation properties were different.
Jimmy McDonald's Canada was a parody of current events shows from The Sixties, filmed in black and white, and occasionally stopping to advertise cigarettes. Richard Waugh, who played Jimmy, somehow managed to convey "The Sixties" in his very speaking voice.
Mad Men on AMC is supposed to be set in the early 60s, and is filmed with a dark, slightly fuzzy/grainy look to it. This is in keeping with the show's obsessive focus on setting — the furniture is all vintage, along with the clothing. Even to the point of making the actors wear authentic undergarments that are never seen.
Firefly was deliberately filmed with old camera lenses to give it that authentic 70sWestern feel.
Yo Gabba Gabba has an 8-bit sounding opening, prominently features chiptunes during scene changes, and occasionally features episode filler scenes that pays homage to 80s video games, complete with blocky graphics.
We occasionally see clips of Larry's shows from the five years prior to the start of the series. Not a terribly long time compared to most examples of this trope, but the producers take care to make these clips look different from Larry's "current" shows.
Larry's talk show is, itself, rather Retraux. Like Johnny Carson, Larry does a lot of big, broad sketches where Larry and Hank wear elaborate and silly costumes. This style of comedy sketch became more or less extinct in late night after Carson's retirement, however. Characters occasionally remark In-Universe that none of the other talk shows do this sort of thing anymore.
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon's annual Video Game Week features opening credits with visuals and music straight out of 8-bit Nintendo games of The Eighties, including direct visual references to Mega Man 2 and Ninja Gaiden.
Glee'sShow Within a Show during the third season's Christmas Episode was deliberately filmed in black and white, and invoked the feel of holiday variety shows from the 50s to the 70s, albeit with a little tongue-in-cheek humor about the whole thing.
A Spitting Image sketch claimed to be celebrating the show's 100th anniversary, and showed a clip from the supposed first show in the 1880s. This was a black and white scene of two Punch and Judy style puppets, and silent movie captions reading "I say, Mr Gladstone! You're not very good!"
Hustle. An exposition scene explaining how an old-style con worked was done in the form of a black & white silent movie.
In both ''The Two Doctors'' and the show's 50th anniversary special, ''The Day of the Doctor'', the first few seconds were in black and white, with the latter also featuring the original title sequence from the mid '60s.
In "Time Crash" starring the Fifth and Tenth Doctors, the background music used in the Fifth Doctor's era is heavily featured throughout.
The "Day of the Daleks: Special Edition" DVD release has a brand-new version of the "only three Daleks" onslaught, new voices by Dalek aficionado Nicholas Briggs, and new CGI sequences. An unbelievable amount of care was taken to ensure that nothing would look out of place within the 1973 milieu: the Dalek voices were re-created with older, analog equipment (also, Briggs uses a slightly less-deranged voice set than he does on the New Series); the new film sequences were done with a period BBC film camera; and the CGI was made to look a little more like a model set.
Time magazine published a special Bicentennial "July 8, 1776" edition in 1976. The entire issue is written as if Time had actually existed in 1776, with all its usual sections (with a few obvious exceptions like Film and Television.) It apparently sold well, and was followed by a "1789" edition covering the first inauguration of George Washington.
More recently, Time has tried to revive its pre-1990s letterhead (the word "TIME" in bright red letters in a smaller font and dead in the center of the top third of the magazine). Really, the only difference now is that the letters aren't outlined in white or yellow.
Doctor Who Magazine's 50th aniversary issue included an insert which imagined what DWM would have looked like in 1964, celebrating a whole year of Doctor Who (DWM actually started in 1979). Highlights included "Galactic Guardian" (because it couldn't have been called Gallifrey Guardian before 1973) and a review of the first Novelization, Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks, which was incandescent about the fact They Changed It, Now It Sucks — while being somewhat vague as to what had actually happened in the TV story, because it was a year ago and there wasn't any way of seeing it again.
The prefix "neo-" (Neo-Classical, Neo-Romantic), denoting a modern attempt at previous idioms.
BECK released his 2012 "album" Song Reader as printed sheet music. So if you have a guitar or piano and you can read sheet music, go crazy. Or you can listen to other people perform the songs on YouTube.
The Foo Fighters' 2011 album "Wasting Light" was recorded entirely on analog tape in Dave Grohl's garage.
The whole "electroclash" genre of music, which mimics 1980s Synthpop.
Likewise "sleaze metal", which evokes 1980s Hair Metal.
Hundreds of Thrash Metal revival bands have sprung up ever since metal started making a comeback in the early 2000s.
As well as the Garage Rock revival (60s Nuggets-era garage), Power Pop (70s rock/pop), certain Alt Country bands... basically if you like old musical genres there's a niche for you.
Most of Brian Setzer's career, starting with the Stray Cats, has been in the vein of early-fifties Jazz and Rockabilly sounds.
German cover band The Baseballs has this as their schtick, playing modern songs as Rockabilly and even dressing up for the part.
This is the case with the British close harmony trio The Puppini Sisters, led by Italian singer Marcella Puppini. In fact, they aren't actually "sisters" in a biological sense, but was named as such as a Shout-Out to The Andrews Sisters, to which their style of covering modern pop songs are based on.
Whether or not this was a conscious effort on their part, The Hives had that sort of image (and sound) that you might date to the Sixties heyday of garage bands, circa Tyrannosaurus Hives.
The Mike Flowers Pops' cover of Oasis' "Wonderwall".
Heck, anything featured in thesetwo April Fool's episodes of the "Coverville" podcast.
For his first few albums, Lenny Kravitz prided himself on using pre-1970s recording equipment exclusively.
The Apples (In Stereo) have almost never used non-vintage recording equipment - about 99% of their recorded output has been mastered on eight-track reel-to-reel.
Same thing with The White Stripes, who sent promo copies of one of their album out on vinyl and said "If you can't play this you don't deserve to listen to it" (or something to that effect)
This is the selling point of Toerag Studios in London, which uses only old analogue recording equipment.
Blue Country Heart, a collection of '30s country and blues covers by former Jefferson Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukonen, features songs recorded in a single take on period instruments.
Monster Magnet's early material (the two EPs, Spine of God and Superjudge) is this kind of throwback to 1970s acid rock.
They Might Be Giants have them all beat—they recorded their song "I Can Hear You" on a wax cylinder, without using any electricity for the instruments or recording device. Appropriately, the lyrics are about places where poor sound quality is encountered.
They also recorded a version of their song "The Edison Museum," fittingly, as they recorded it at the Edison Labratories.
Australian artist C.W. Stoneking sounds and acts like a 1930s blues singer.
The entire psychobilly genre is based on combining 1950s Retraux Rockabilly music with lyrics about zombies and things.
A lot of the stuff Tom Waits records. "Buzz Fledderjohn" was recorded outside.
The XTC side project Dukes Of Stratosphear was meant to sound like 60s psychedelia; in fact they tried to pass off the first release as rare recordings by an obscure British band of the 60s. Aside from mimicking the style, they also recorded to 4-track and replicated mid-60s production techniques, including a good deal of Gratuitous Panning .
The Trip Hop movement in the 90s glorified everything analogue (possibly as a backlash against the sterile "digitalness" of 80s synthpop), resulting in many electronic musicians trying to emulate the beloved nostalgic atmosphere by using old equipment, sampling old records and even intentionally degrading the sound quality.
Boards of Canada base their entire aesthetic on the sound and feel of old educational films (their name is taken from the National Film Board of Canada). Wobbly vintage synth sounds and obscure voice samples are their trademark.
Daptone Records and the label's house band The Dap-Kings get their distinctive soul/R&B sound from their use of only analog recording equipment.
Sharon Jones' video for her song "100 Days, 100 Nights," recorded with the Dap-Kings, extended this all-analog ethic a step further. The cameras used to shoot the video were black-and-white, vacuum tube-powered machines built in the 1960s, imparting an authentic-feeling softness and haze to the picture.
The videos of the Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake songs Dick in a box, Motherlover, and 3-Way are all shot exactly as if they are from the early 80s, including the costumes, the music, and are even shot in Brooklyn, which you've seen a million times in 80s TV shows.
As part of the promotion for their 2009 album Incredibad, The Lonely Island put up twoyoutube videos that supposedly featured highlights from a 1988 appearance on MTV Spring Break. In reality, of course, they mixed some real late-eighties stock footage with new retraux material made to look like it was transferred off a well-worn VHS tape.
There's this musical movement called the "8-bit remix" in which music (eiher a popular song, a selection from a soundtrack, or even video game music from the 16-bit era onwards) is recreated (or remixed) using "chiptunes", which is computerized/electronic music similar in style to what you would hear on an NES, a Master System, or some other 8-bit system. One can find many different examples on sites such as YouTube.
The Squirrel Nut Zippers and their various spun-off and overlapping groups are famous for songwriting that meticulously recreates early- to mid-twentieth-century pop and jazz styles, but special mention goes to SNZ alumnus Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire, recording live-in-studio with a single microphone.
One track on the Space Channel 5 Part 2 soundtrack, "Mellow Medley", is a medley of Space Channel 5 songs done in the style of 16-bit game music.
Max Raabe & Palast Orchester are a faux 20s jazz orchestra from Berlin; they cover modern pop songs in this style as well.
As any Authentic Mississippi Delta Blues Aficionado ™ will testify, Robert Johnson is well-known as the great-great-great-great-great-grandfather of Authentic Mississippi Delta Blues Music ™. Johnson was well-known for his mastery on guitar, small back-catalogue of hard-to-find blues recordings, wild lifestyle, his untimely death at the age of 27, and for the mystique of having sold his soul to 'Ol Scratch down by the Crossroads in exchange for going from a marginal talent playing an out-of-tune guitar to inventor of the modern blues style in such a short period of time. Well, being a poor Southern black bluesman in 1938 meant you did your Authentic Blues Playing on a cheap old acoustic guitar. Fast-forward to the modern age, and you can purchase a Signature Edition Robert Johnson L-1 for $2,793 retail, probably way more money than Robert Johnson ever saw in his entire short life.
Lupe Fiasco's "1985" which was done in the style of rappers of that year.
Franz Ferdinand has an addiction to old equipment, especially if German or Soviet. Particularly notable is the ancient Soviet synthesizer they used for their third album (Tonight: Franz Ferdinand) which had been designed by Soviet engineers as an imitation of Western models without actually ever having seen the innards of a Western synthesizer.
They also had a thing for Soviet Constructivism (and El Lissiztky in particular) on the album art during the period of their first two albums.
The Spirit of Adventure is an affectionate parody of 1930s styles. It was a reward for stragglers through the credits for Up. Plus for the plot references since it's a narration of Charles Muntz's life.
The Swedish band Änglagård, who recorded two albums in the mid-1990s, offered a surprisingly authentic take on the 1970sProgressive Rock sound, complete with actual vintage instruments (Hammond organ, Mellotron) and production techniques. Many fans credit them for the resurgence of interest in the progressive rock genre in the 90s.
R. Kelly's song "When A Woman Loves." Aside from the obvious synthesizer use in the instruments, his singing is pretty much old-school 1950s Motown crooning.
Them Crooked Vultures wouldn't be out of place on classic rock radio. Upon hearing it, it's easy to think their debut album came out in 1975 instead of 2009. It helps that the bassist for the band is John Paul Jones. One review remarked that the song "Scumbag Blues" almost sounded like it belonged on Led Zeppelin II.
An Innocent Man by Billy Joel is an homage to the music of his youth, full of songs that sound like they could have been performed by James Brown or Motown bands.
Phil Collins released an album of 1960s covers called Going Back, which used computer plug-ins, analog equipment, vintage instruments and playing styles, and performances by surviving members of Motown's "Funk Brothers" to produce note-for-note, and sonically similar copies of songs Phil was influenced by. The album cover shows a 1960s-era picture of Phil, mop-topped and suited, sitting behind a drum kit. *
His 1982 cover of The Supremes' You Can't Hurry Love also counts.
The 2006 Special Edition of Klaus Schulze's Timewind had vinyl textured CD's, and the original liner notes for "Wahnfried 1883" were printed on the back cover.
Pepe Deluxe, a trip hop-turned-psychedelic pop duo, use a variety of recording equipment dating from 1980 to 1890. Some of their music videos, like the faded black-and-white "A Night and a Day", and the washed-out "Super Sonic Sound System", look like they were filmed on vintage cameras.
Joy Electric plays with this trope a lot by using analog synths, drum machines, and sequencers, even alongside the more recently-produced Minimoog Voyager.
Robyn, once a bubblegum teen pop singer, has undergone a Genre Shift to old-school electro/synthpop since her comeback around 2007.
Noise Rock group Steel Pole Bathtub designed their album The Miracle Of Sound In Motion to look like a hi-fi sound effects record from the early sixties, complete with hyperbole-filled liner notes on the back. They actually appropriated the cover image from an actual sound effects record called The Sound Of Sounds, crediting that album's cover artist, Sam Suliman, with the design. This was done for irony's sake, as the actual music was anything but retraux.
The music video for the Phoenix Foundation's "Bright Grey".
The famous Spike Jonze music video for The Beastie Boys' "Sabotage" is a parody of 70s cop shows, complete with 70s-style fonts, film quality, fashions, cars, and Porn Staches.
Shudder To Think's soundtrack to the film First Love, Last Rites has them enlisting various guest vocalists to mimic various musical styles that were popular in the 60's, from Garage Rock ("When I Was Born, I Was Bored") to soul ballads ("I Want Someone Badly") - probably the most retraux song is "Jelly On The Table", an early blues homage that sounds like it's being played on an extremely dusty and scratched record. Most of the music in the film was supposed to be Source Music from one of the main characters' collection of 45 singles, so rather than license actual pop music from that period, the filmmakers had one group write new songs that sounded like old ones.
This is Big Daddy's entire schtick. The liner notes for their first album claimed they got stranded on a desert island during a USO tour around 1960 and, upon finally being "rescued" (around 1980), were handed the sheet music for modern songs by their manager and told to make cover versions ... so they made them in the only styles they knew. Their cover of the Star Wars theme, for example, sounds like something the Ventures or Duane Eddy might have done.
The cover for their album "Cutting Their Own Groove" features a CD lying on an old-style portable record player.
Bluegrass folklore guitarist John Fahey used to record on shellac, put on a chewed-looking label attributing the music to "Blind Joe Death", and slip it into the bins of local record shops.
Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings' "100 Days, 100 Nights" was literally filmed using equipment that's straight from the 1960s. (The director bought two vintage TV cameras on eBay in working condition — for about $100 total.)
The packaging for the album from which the song comes (same title) is also deliberately retro. If you have the vinyl pressing, you might well pass it off to your friends as a soul album from 1967 or so.
Snoop Dogg did a music video ("Sensual Seduction") with camera filters and effects right out of a late-1970s/early-1980s MTV track, back when record companies and video directors still shot a lot of music videos on video instead of film.
In fact, almost any use of video (as opposed to film) footage in a modern music video falls into this:
The Strokes' video for their 2001 single "Last Nite"
Stone Temple Pilots' "Big Bang Baby", which was not only shot on video but even uses 1980s-era video effects.
silverchair's video for "Across The Night" was done entirely in the manner of early 20th-century black and white surrealistic film.
The Mindless Self Indulgence song 'Shut Me Up' has the framing device of a 50s Public Awareness Announcement, complete with grainy black-and-white clips taken from the movie Reefer Madness, a vaguely science-looking guy, and ending with an ominous warning that it (succumbing to Punk-Rock) could happen to YOU.
The video for Q-Tip's "Move" appears to be shot on VHS... right down to VCR blue-screen and on-screen displays at the beginning.
Muse's "Knights of Cydonia" (which actually has its own trope page), includes a fake copyright notice of 1981 at the end of the video. The song itself is also heavily based on the old 1960s instrumental piece "Telstar", of which Muse frontman's Matt Bellamy's father was part of The Tornados, the band that recorded it.
Aqua's video to "Back To The 1980s" have them dancing in 1980s rocker fashions, which fits this tropes with capital R.
The music videos for Franz Ferdinand's "Take Me Out" and "This Fire" feature lots of retraux in their art style. In fact, the band seems to love this trope, as their album arts (especially You Could Have It So Much Better) are built around this as well.
In addition to her musical style, many of LIGHTS's videos have a future-retro theme.
Los Amigos Invisibles' video for El Disco Anal is made in the style (and quality) of a '80sMenudo videoclip. And since the song itself does sound like something from that era (down to the "miniteca" announcer)...
Weezer's famous single "Buddy Holly"'s music video is designed as a Happy Days episode, complete with commercial break and an appearance by the Fonz himself.
WhizBang Pinball's Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons was made by cannibalizing parts from a 1957 electro-mechanical pinball, then using the components in an all-new playfield design with original art and modern imaging techniques. The result is a boutique pinball table that plays like it stepped out of The Fifties but with a modern look.
Capcom's Breakshot is a Shout-Out to '70s electro-mechanical pinball machines, with a single-level playfield and simpler rules. The score is even shown as a digital copy of old-fashioned scoring reels, and the game includes digitized musical chimes.
The short-lived Wrestling Society X was home to Matt Classic, a wrestler who had been in a coma since the '50s, and wrestled in the same style that won him the World Heavyweight Championship in 1952 — including such devastating moves as the head vice, the abdominal stretch, and the airplane spin. Matt Classic was portrayed by Colt Cabana, who was in his mid-20s at the time.
WWE decided to do an "old school" night on Raw in November of 2010. They threw up a classic looking WWF set and ramp, swapped out the barriers with old-fashioned rails, and even used a retro-styled WWE logo (though this has actually appeared on a few John Cena promotional items in the past). They even had Michael Cole dress up as an old-school Vince McMahon, since Vince was on commentary duty during the era the show was representing.
They did this again in 2013, with Michael Cole having to wear that horrible mustard-coloured jacket, although the WWF logo was notably absent, in favour of the block W.
The 2008 Royal Rumble was, to a lesser extent, also done in a retro style. Not only did it take place in Madison Square Garden (where professional wrestling in the U.S. actually began), but it was introduced by classic announcer Michael Buffer, was shot on slightly fast-stock photography, and used close-ups and multiple cameras sparingly - all to capture a pre-Hogan '80s look.
An alternate term for Retreaux in sports uniforms is "fauxback", in reference to throwback uniforms; if a design is meant to emulate a specific historical uniform, it's a "throwback", but if it's a new design meant to look old (particularly if the team itself isn't that old to begin with), it's a "fauxback".
The granddaddy of the fauxback is the set of uniforms worn by the Chicago White Sox from 1976 through 1981. Eccentric owner Bill Veeck wanted a retro look for his team, so he clad them in collared pullovers inspired by their earliest days (except the collars stopped at the shoulder seams). The cap, bearing the team's then-brand-new "SOX" wordmark, didn't quite fit the retro look, though.
Also in 1976, several MLB teams adopted the old-style "pillbox" caps to celebrate the centennial of the National League. Most teams reverted to the modern style after a single season, but the Pittsburgh Pirates kept the pillbox caps for ten years.
The National Hockey League created Retraux alternate jerseys, especially among teams too new to have large amounts of history to tap into. As of the 2011-2012 season, a third of the league have jerseys in this style. The Pittsburgh Penguins are the worst offender as they have worn actual vintage jerseys from the 70s in previous years but chose to switch to a made up Retraux design for the 2011-12 season, albeit based off their original 1967 design.
A trend in the NHL (and throughout North American hockey) is to include a color called either "vintage white" or "antique white", to approximate the natural discoloring of an eighty-year-old wool sweater. The first instance in the NHL was with the Minnesoat Wild's introduction of their third jersey, and the All-Star Game jerseys from that year (which they hosted), all in a fauxback style, though the off-white was part of Minnesota's official color scheme (called "Minnesota wheat" by the team). The NHL has since only used "antique white" on designs not of genuine NHL vintage, instead using them for mash-ups, original designs, and uniforms throwing back to, or inspired by, non-NHL teams (such as the Calgary Flames' Heritage Classic homage to the Calgary Tigers, or the Vancouver Canucks' Millionaires uniforms).
The Australian Football League's "heritage round" has teams wear old-style versions of their guernseys. Hawthorn fans seemed to particularly like their heritage strip, and there is a push for the team to change back to it permanently. Turned well and truly Up to Eleven in 1996 where the AFL turned the clock back a hundred years to when it began, bringing out vintage cars, styles of dress and radio to celebrate.
The throwback jerseys worn by the NBA's Golden State Warriors and Philadelphia 76ers were such a hit with fans that the two teams changed their logos permanently.
The Washington Wizards eventually changed to the classic red, white and blue striped uniforms and colors of the Washington Bullets... albeit while keeping the Wizards name and logo (in red, white and blue as well).
The Tampa Bay Rays, who entered MLB as the Devil Rays in 1998, introduced uniforms in 2012 that are meant to show how the team might have looked if they existed in 1978. They cribbed heavily from the San Diego Padres of that era with contrasting raglan sleeves, front cap panel, and even the way the team name is styled on the front of the jersey.
NFL teams are allowed to wear throwbacks twice a year. Of note were the Green Bay Packers 1929 throwbacks with brown helmets to stand in for leather.
Many American historical reenactors organize vintage base ball teams and play matches against each other. All of the equipment and uniforms are reproductions, and actual 19th century rules are used.
"Labyrinth Lord" is a Retraux as well — this time much closer to the original version of Dungeons & Dragons
As well as "Swords and Wizardry," which draws on Sword and Sorcery as opposed to Labyrinth Lord's High Fantasy and which also takes out the Thief, leaving us with the Fighting Man, the Magic User and the Cleric of original D&D.
There are a fair number of other retroclones out there, including OSRIC and Basic Fantasy for 1e. In addition, the makers of "Labyrinth Lord" also made "Mutant Future," which is a close-as-you-can-get-it remake of Gamma World using the Labyrinth Lord rules.
Also, Encounter Critical, deliberately designed to look like a mid-70s D&D-knockoff made by a pair of sci-fi fans.
Magic: The Gathering's Coldsnap set was designed in the style of the Ice Age and Alliances sets from a decade earlier, most blatantly the use of "slowtrips," the clunky, slow version of cantrips that hadn't been used since less than a year after Alliances.
And cumulative upkeep. Don't forget that.
The joke set Unhinged, the nostalgia set Time Spiral, and the online-only reprint sets all bring back retired frame designs to evoke this trope.
Goodman Games used the slogan "Third Edition Rules, First Edition Feel" for their Dungeons & Dragons 3E products. They intentionally copied the style of D&D 1E to appeal to fans of that game who never converted to 2E or 3E.
Necromancer Games has a similar design philosophy. Their best-known Sourcebook, Tome of Horrors, consists largely of 1E monsters that Wizards of the Coast wasn't using and let them publish. Complete with high-contrast pen-and-ink black and white illustrations.
The Broadway version of Little Shop of Horrors was composed in 1982 with a deliberately 1960s feel, in a nod to the original Roger Corman film. Same goes for the 1986 film remake.
The indie scene in general tends to resort to this trope out of necessity. Custom-made, animated 3D models are pretty resource-intensive to create, even if you're one of those lucky few who's good at digital art and writing code. You can go for stock assets licensed from someone else, but that also costs money and can restrict your creativity somewhat. 2D pixel art, on the other hand, can be made on just about any modern computer.
The poster boy for this trope, Mega Man 9 is done entirely as an NES-style game. That's right, a NES game on high-definition consoles (and WiiWare, where it makes a bit more sense). Up until the game's release, this was busily producing a Broken Base — fortunately, it turned out to be so good, it consolidated Mega Man fandom in enjoyment instead. Capcom produced some fake NES carts for the game and commissioned the ridiculous "box art" picture shown at the top of the article (an homage to the famously So Bad, It's GoodNorth American cover◊ of 1 through 3, which had mostly nothing to do with the character). The game even has an option that lets you relive the glory days of NES sprite limitations by enabling sprites flickering when too many are on the screen at one time.
And it continues on with 10, also in faux 8-bit sprites. Its faux box art has more-or-less the same style of Mega Man as 9's, with now-unlocked-from-the-start Proto Man joining the badly-drawn fun, and boasting "Dual FX Twin Engines" and a "Parallel Hyper-Bit Interface" much like how Mega Man 9 promised an "Ultrasound Graphics Synthesis" and an "8-Bit Fidelity Engine". The "lost" commercial for 10 comes complete with all the attitude of video game ads in the 80s and poor VCR tracking. (The commercial music, though, is an anachronism of sorts for what is supposedly the 80s.)
Similar to Mega Man 9 and Mega Man 10, Street Fighter X Mega Man is also created resembling the old NES Mega Man games, even including a password system resembling the one from Mega Man 2. Even the Street Fighter characters are drawn in NES graphics. (However, unlike MM9 and MM10, SFxMM merely mimics the NES look, as numerous sprites surpass the limits of NES graphics.)
Battle Kid: Fortress of Peril is a Metroidvania released in 2010 and it's completely with 8-bit graphics and music. Which makes sense, considering that it's a real NES game, cartridge and all.
Similarly, there is a GTA Vice City "fanpage" devoted to the Degenatron, a primitive parody of second generation video game consoles, complete with working "emulations" of its three "8-bit" games and a supposedly old scan of a Degenatron magazine ad. Done again in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which promotes an eXsorbeo "fansite" containing another "emulator" for one game from "1991" with monochrome and pixelated graphics not dissimilar to those of classic Game Boy games.
Minecraft has intentionally very low resolution textures to go with the gameplay of moving giant pixels around. Originally the intention was to update to more modern graphics but fans had already become attached to the faux-8-bit textures.
Much like Mega Man 9, Sega Racing Classic, an Updated Re-release of the classic racing title Daytona USA, uses graphics that look like they came out of 1994, the year the original game was released to international audiences. The only changes were to the draw distance and resolution. See it in all of its glory here. This is largely due to practicality more than anything else. Arcade operators (they still exist!) continued to place orders to Sega for Daytona USA machines and replacement parts. Unfortunately, Sega no longer produces the hardware and no longer had the Daytona license. The solution was Sega Racing Classic, which solves all three problems.
Stubbs the Zombie. Retro-future setting and they intentionally put a grainy "filter" of sorts to complete the ensemble.
Mass Effect has a similar film grain screen filter, in order to better emulate the 70s-80s science fiction movies that inspired it.
1942: Joint Strike is designed to look like a World War II movie, complete with film grain, sepia tones, and the projector winding up and down at the start and end of each level.
The Timeless River in Kingdom Hearts II, which is Disney Castle in the past (reached through time travel), based on 1920s Disney shorts. The audio for the world is even in mono and the two songs for it are deliberately left in low quality on the game's OST.
As well as everyone switching to their earlier/original designs, including Sora, who switches to a simple version of his original outfit.
It actually gets even more meta: he looks like a character straight out of an Astro Boy manga-era Osamu Tezuka work.
Mr. Game & Watch, a living, walking LCD character in the Super Smash Bros. series who just came out of a LCD game what with being essentially a 2D stickman, his very limited animation and the only sounds effects he produces consisting of beeps and boops.
Saints Row IV features a stage where the Boss has to fight their way through a retro-style 2D Beat 'em Up, replete with Stylistic Suck, from the stilted and heavily digitized voice-acting to models that are pixelated and choppily animated to resemble sprites.
The first, and more perplexing occurrence, is in the flashbackcutscene to the two Lt. Price sniper missions. These are shown in sepia tones and simulated film graininess... despite being set roughly a decade after the Chernobyl accident (1986).
The second is a cheat setting, unlocked through collecting items in-game, that changes the in-game rendering to mimic early Ragtime films, complete with all the sound being replaced with a piano tune.
Abobo's Big Adventure. When the developers describe it as "Every NES game ever made put into a blender", you know you have a winner.
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon revels in 80s-style retraux: scanlines, loading screens with a tracking bar ala VHS tapes, Mecha-Mooks that look more like people wearing motorcycle helmets and suits with Tron Lines, cutscenes that would be at home in an NES-era Ninja Gaiden game, and so on...
Test Drive: Eve of Destruction has a similar cheat, the description of which claims that it is "newly discovered racing footage from 1912".
God Hand has two minigame segments that play 8-bit styled music, as well as referencing Space Invaders in one of them with a randomly appearing UFO worth loads of points.
No More Heroes features a number of throwbacks to 8-bit games, including 8-bit music at some points, a pixellated tiger that serves as a timer for your special moves, a high score board that appears after each ranked battle, and even a top-down scrolling shooter minigame. The sequel turned the menial task side missions into 8-bit-style minigames as well.
La-Mulana is a 2005 indie PC game with a striking resemblence to MSX games, complete with limited boss animations, SSCC channel music, and flipbook-style scrolling, the latter of which many MSX platformers, such as Knightmare II: Maze of Galious and Vampire Killer, utilized due to the MSX's poor scrolling capabilities. The 2010 remake acts more like a 'lost' PSX game, with 32-bit graphics.
Similarly, GR3, developed by the same people who worked on La-Mulana, is designed to mimic the MSX Gradius games, complete with the graphics, HUD, two-option limit, and jerky scrolling.
Gradius ReBirth is a throwback to older titles in the series, with sound effects from the MSX Gradius arc, remixes of music from lesser-known titles (Gradius II for Famicom, Salamander 2, etc.) using instrument samples from the arcade version of Gradius III, and graphics that look like something out of Gradius II, III, and Nemesis '90 Kai.
Almost everything in the Fallout games is designed to basically be what The Fifties thought the future would be like. Fallout 2 strayed from it somewhat, but Fallout 3 brought it back and stuck to it like glue.
Ironically, that actually looks similar to Wasteland, the original game which inspired Fallout.
The Fallout 3 soundtrack album cover looks like an old vinyl record sleeve, and includes the text "45 RPM Extended Play" and "Distributed by Galaxy News Radio".
Wasteland 2 has a somewhat similar approach, except with the (late) Eighties as the basis for the vision of the future. Of course, the main reason for that is that it's a straight sequel (no spiritual business here) made over twenty years after the original game. The only choices was either Retraux or Retcon.
The 1st part of the opening sequence for Power Stone is made to look and sound like a faded film reel from the early 20th century is being run. This is appropriate since the game scenery and characters are throwbacks to that era.
Freeware Ninja Senki was made in 2011, yet it's graphics and soundtrack are pure early 90's. The gameplay is considerably more fast-paced, though.
Sega's Fantasy Zone Complete Collection in their Sega Ages line includes a reinterpetation of Fantasy Zone II if it had been developed by Sega's AM team on Sega's System 16 arcade board like the first game, instead of the vastly inferrior Sega Master System hardware and System E arcade board. For extra authenticity points, they developed this remake on the actual System 16 hardware. Fans of the series called itFantasy Zone II DX to destinguish it from the original Fantasy Zone II.
In Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, Opa-Opa's "voice" samples consists of sound effects ripped directly from Super Fantasy Zone. This is in contrast to fellow retro racers Alex Kidd (who's Suddenly Voiced) and the Bonanza Bros. (who have their "he-he", the only speech they ever had in the original game, resampled in multiple variants)
Pole's Big Adventure uses this trope to its fullest as it is a Parody of the 8-bit Platformer
Cave Story's graphics were made in a very low resolution with no anti-aliasing to mimic 8-bit era games. The music, similarly, uses a custom-written sound driver whose sound is not unlike that of the TurboGrafx 16.
Iji's graphics are done in low resolution to mimic games from the late eighties, and lots of solid colors as though there were a pallete. The animations however, are much more fluid than those of that era.
Retro Game Challenge is a collection of faux 8-bit games, presented in-story as having been sent back in time by the host of Game Center CX/Retro Game Master, the Japanese television show it's based on. One of the random events that can take place when you choose a game to play in Story Mode is the cartridge not working and Arino suggesting that you should blow on it. In the second game, you're given a choice to karate chop it instead when it happens and if you don't pick that option, Arino does it himself the next time it happens.
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts has a mini-game called "Hero Klungo Sssavesss teh World!" [sic], a parody of 8-bit games, right down to the strange (but awesome) promotional art that has nothing to do with the actual game.
Eversion is a very 8-bit-like game released in 2008. The cute, low-res graphics, however, are a facade for the game's much more sinister side.
The flashbacks in the Final Fantasy IV: The After Years (including a playable one in Porom's chapter) are deliberately done in the same style as the the original SNES version of Final Fantasy IV. The rest of the game looks more like Final Fantasy VI, which at first makes it appear as an example, but the game was originally made for cell phones incapable of the graphics of later Final Fantasy games.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night's Prologue uses the HUD from its predecessor, Rondo of Blood, which makes sense as it's a pseudo-flashback to Rondo and the game is a direct sequel to it. Richter and Maria modes also make use of this HUD.
The sixth level of PaRappa the Rapper 2 is done with graphics and music resembling old 8-bit video games, and gets progressively less detailed as your performance dips into the "bad" and "awful" levels.
Cortex Command is an in-development retraux game which is a 2D side-scroller with a look of the early 90s, though it wasn't even started until the year 2000.
The entire roguelike genre qualifies. Roguelikes, such as NetHack, ADOM and Angband (among others), use primarily ASCII graphics. This style, along with the gameplay, is a deliberate attempt to evoke the feel of the classic game Rogue.
The "Void Quest" dungeon in Persona 4 mimics 8-bit graphics and even, during the boss fight, old-style RPG menus - with a twist (you're the monsters being attacked, and the boss is the hero).
One of the many Tetris variants on Tetris Friends is Tetris 1989, designed to mimic the Game Boy version as close as possible. In terms of sound, only the Tetris theme is accurate, but who's complaining?
The Dark Spire is a close imitation of 1980s Wizardry games, and even has a mode which produces wireframe graphics like in the early 1980s, along with 8 bit style music.
The Bitlands in Super Paper Mario are a throwback to 8-bit games. The doors in Fort Francis even make retro sound effects when opened.
The Thousand Year Door has this too - in addition to the traditional ability to turn Mario into an 8-bit sprite (as seen in the other Paper Mario games and Super Mario RPG), you can do the same for Mario's various partners - they'll take on edited forms of the sprites of the basic enemy type they are generally, though some like Flurry and Ms. Mowz get totally new sprites due to not being based on any preexisting enemies.
The WiiWare game Bit Boy features six levels each based on a different generation of consoles and with graphics to match.
The flashback sequence, within a flashback sequence, in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials & Tribulations is presented in flickering sepia-tone with flickering black lines, suggesting the earliest days of silent film. Despite the fact that, according to the timeline of The Verse, it took place in 2003.
Apollo Justice does it as well for one sequence. When you play as Phoenix Wright in his final trial, all the graphics and music used are from the Phoenix Wright games instead of the new style used by Apollo Justice. Only Klavier, Trucy, Zak, Valant, and Drew Misham appear in a more modern look in graphics during this sequence.
Dual Destinies gets upgraded to stereoscopic 3D, but it imitates the limited sprite animation of the previous games. Characters fade in and out, and snap from pose to pose.
Left 4 Dead has a film grain, though you can disable it if you want. Additionally, the campaign title screens are made to look like movie posters and credits are played at the end of each, essentially making it a 90s Zombie Apocalypse movie in video game form.
Pokémon Heart Gold and Soul Silver, already Video Game Remakes themselves, feature the "GB Player", which allows you to replace the game's music with the chiptune music from the original Game Boy Color games. The towns and areas that received new songs have had all new 8-Bit remixes made.
Contra 4 is essentially a retraux sequel to the earlier Contra games, particularly Contra III: The Alien Wars, with several Shout Outs to the first three console games in the series. Even the game's manual is written in the same tongue-in-cheek tone as Konami's old localized manuals during the NES era (and unlike the NES games, this carried over to the game itself).
Released for Nintendo DSiWare and Steam is Dark Void Zero, which is basically Dark Void reworked as an 8-bit action side-scrolling platformer. It was even marketed with a fictional development history, saying that it was originally developed for the PlayChoice-10, taking advantage of the technology available. It also supposedly featured "System Zero", a chipset that increased the limitations of the NES. Capcom found the promotional materials for the game and began tracking down a surviving copy of it, and found that a promotional prototype copy of a home version was given away to a young Jimmy Fallon. It was this version of the game that the DSiWare version was supposedly based on. More details are here.Part 2 describes the attempts to get the supposed ROM working.
Independent PC game 8-bit Killer, is a First-Person Shooter with NES-style graphics, sound effects and music.
Samurai Gunn is designed to at least have the look of this, with pixel art graphics for its visual design. Subverted in terms of the sound design which uses occasional speech samples for death sequences.
In Super Robot Wars Z, the older super robots such as Baldios, God Sigma and Getter Robo G get some very awesome retro-looking animations in their finisher attacks, complete with choppt animation and trippy retro "laser backgrounds" and pastel-frame explosions! This is a first for the franchise and was the key to grabbing the attention of many people who weren't very excited about the game initially and also demonstrates the degree of love the designers have for the older shows, preserving them in all their glory. Needless to say, many mech-anime fan tears of joy were shed.
Darwinia has pseudo-retro style graphics with very little textures and many of the characters are 2D sprites. In addition, game intros provide homage to the older times. One is a ZX Spectrum loading screen. Another is a deliberate recreation of Amiga Cracktros which tells how it's been cracked by DMA Crew. The Steam release got delayed by an hour because it was thought to be authentic.
Sonic the Hedgehog 4 for Xbox Live and PSN is a return to the gameplay from the first three Sonic games, though the graphics are not retraux 16-bit but rather 2D sprites built out of pre-rendered 3D models (ala Donkey Kong Country). The Broken Base is still as bad as ever, though.
Game Land Zone from Sonic Colors. The layout of the levels are basic replicas of the levels from the classic Sonic games, and the music played in the levels are a 8-bit chiptune-styled remix of the music from the main game.
In Ōkami: The song during the narrator's closing words. If you actually sit and wait after the music pauses, an 8-bit remix of the song "Ida Race" starts to play.
There were also official renditions of some of the game's areas as NES RPG style maps.
Evil Genius has a very 60s style to it, meant to evoke the campy spy movies it's based on.
Anygames by SpiderwebSoftware are about ten years behind normal games in both their style and their engines, although they advance at the same rate as the rest of the industry. There is a very good reason for this: they have a development team of three people, and if they tried to make modern-style games they wouldn't be able to finish them at a reasonable pace.
During Act 4 of Metal Gear Solid 4, Old Snake starts dreaming on the way to Shadow Moses Island (the setting to Metal Gear Solid). The game scales back to PS1 standards. Original music, graphics, Guard stupidity, and even the Game Over screen is retraux. As Snake wakes up, his head is still PS1-style for a split second. This also unlocks facial camoflage that allows you to keep the PS1-Snake head (which makes him look like the eraser sitting on the top of a pencil in comparison to the rest of his body).
Also, in the boss fight against Liquid Ocelot, the appropriate music and health gauges regress back through the series for each stage of the fight, including changing the combatant's names and replacing Psyche with Hunger/Stamina or O2 (for chokeholds).
Eggy, a game made using Game Maker, in which you take control of a sixteen-by-sixteen-pixel egg trying to defeat an apparently French chef.
The opening credits of Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s features an Atari-era Activision logo, and a retro Harmonix logo.
A Chinese developer known as Waixing, known for its notorious RPG conversions, actually remade the original Resident Evil for famiclones.
Disgaea 4 allows you to use either detailed high definition sprites or the standard definition sprites utilized by the past three games.
The logos for Aperture Laboratories in "The Fall" in Portal 2. In the earliest section built in the 1950s, it's called "Aperture Science Innovators" with a symbol for an atom. For the 1970s, it's a very typical 70s yellow logo. The items in each test are also designed to look like older versions of the main testing rooms and equipment from Portal and the first part of Portal 2.
The Nintendo 3DS's Virtual Console allows you to play Game Boy and Game Boy Color games, and added a few Retraux touches to enhance the experience: for example, on original Game Boy games it's possible to swap between a grayscale screen and a green screen that emulates the look of the original Game Boy, even including a motion blur similar to that in the old system. This is done by holding both the L and R buttons and then pressing Y to swap between them. It's also possible to view the games in their original resolution, with a border representing the original system surrounding the screen- the 3DS's 3D effect is used to give the appearance of the screen being set back from the border, and they even emulated the battery light dimming as the 3DS's battery runs low. The 3DS XL makes the border a little more pronounced as well such as the Game Boy's "DOT MATRIX WITH STEREO SOUND" label on the front. This is achieved by holding START and SELECT while selecting a title (software has to be closed first).
Both the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo DSi have this in their sound app when playing music from an SD card, either the "Radio" filter that simulates an old AM radio, complete with graininess and pops and the "8-bit" filter but that tends to sound really bad on many songs.
In Zettai Hero Project, the main character had just taken over the mantle of the Unlosing Ranger; since no one believes in him, he has no sponsors. So for the first few times he goes up against Dark Death Evil Man, it's set to an 8-bit RPG system akin to Dragon Quest or Final Fantasy. It progressively improves to 16-bit before settling on visuals more akin to Valkyrie Profile.
The whole Etrian Odyssey series more or less came about because a certain game designer really wanted there to be Dungeon Master for the DS. Every aspect is lovingly oldschool, even down to the music, which was actually entirely composed on a PC-88.
Every game in the Super Smash Bros. series has at least one stage made in the fashion of Nintendo games of the old: the original had Mushroom Kingdom (complete with the 8-bit Mario theme); Melee had a different version of Mushroom Kingdom as well as Mushroom Kingdom II (inspired by Super Mario Bros. 2, and with the music from this game); Brawl had Mario Bros. (from the eponymous arcade where Luigi debuted) and 75m (from Donkey Kong); and the 3DS iteration had stages based on Balloon Fight, Kirby's Dream Land, and the original F-Zero. There is original period-appropriate music available for these stages. In addition are the Flat Zones in Melee and Brawl, which are essentially set in Game & Watches running composite games as you fight (though both have original music).
Marvel Ultimate Alliance allowed you to play Pitfall with your active hero after the boss fight with Phoenix. While the hero still appears in 3D, the rest of the stage (save for the end point) is entirely made like in the Atari 2600.
Dwarf Fortress is a very detailed civilization building and exploration simulator set in a High Fantasy world... that happens to be illustrated entirely in ASCII. It's a great example of the "doing it for practical reasons" variant of this trope as well; the sheer complexity of what's being simulated in-game would be nigh-impossible to represent visually so the developer decided "less is more" and let the player's imagination fill in the blanks.
Donators can ask for "ASCII Art" that depicts part of a story in Dwarf Fortress style Ascii. Donators who continue to donate get to continue this story.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World looks, sounds, and feels like a beat-em-up game from the 1990s— quite fittingly for a game based on a graphic novel that was heavily inspired by video games of the '90s. Indeed, Ubisoft specifically hired rock band Anamanaguchi and graphic artist Paul Robertson for the game because of their previous Retraux work!
Soulcaster and Soulcaster II have 8-bit-style graphics.
The Nintendo 3DS game Mutant Mudds has graphics somewhere between an NES and SNES in fidelity (the game advertises itself as "12-bit") and authentic NES chiptunes for music. Taken even further, there are hidden levels that mimic some iconic color schemes of older hardware; the pea-green grayscale of the Game Boy ("G-Land"), the red-and-black monochrome of the Virtual Boy ("V-Land") and the cyan/fuchsia/white/black of early IBM Personal Computers ("CGA-Land").
The Indie Game Wretcher is an attempt to mimic old horror adventure games, and uses a 16-bit style remniscent of the Clock Tower games.
Everything made by Zeboyd Games is a tribute to (and parody of) 8-bit and 16-bit Role Playing Games.
The text-based adventure sequence in the Sam & Max Season 1 episode "Reality 2.0".
BLOODCRUSHER II looks and plays like a mid-90s shooter in the style of Doom and Quake, complete with low resolution textures, blocky character models, and pixely effects.
70's Robot Anime - Geppy X - The Super Booster Armor is purely what could have been if the early Getter Robo anime would be interactive. Starting with a lot of FMV cutscenes done a-la the intended time period (all of which occupy four discs!), going on with the slightly cheesy vocal themes, title cards before every stage loads up... God, it even includes fake commercial breaks inbetween the "episodes"!
McPixel is done in the style of late 70's / early 80's pixel point-and-click games.
The Adventure Time videogame for DS/3DS, "Hey Ice King! Why'd you steal our garbage!?" is essentially a love letter to old school videogames, uses NES style graphics (except for the character portraits) and chiptune music. Even the overworld map you can't deny it wasn't inspired by Zelda II.
Space Quest IV revolves around time travel. Though it was produced in the 256-color VGA era, you can travel back to Space Quest I (and Space Quest III in an Easter Egg)... complete with lo-res 16-color EGA graphics.
In Robopon, the GBA games' music sometimes uses sounds from the GBC games.
In Mother 3, the theme for the fight against the Porky bots is a 8-bit remix of one of the first battle themes in the game.
Much of Rumblesushi3D's games, particularly their racing ones, heavily resemble arcade racing games of the 90s, what with their low-poly graphics and pixellated textures, as well as exaggerated physics.
In episode 35 of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, a Clip Show, Yami asks Kaiba if he remembers the time the two of them first met, which is shown as 'a time when the video quality wasn't very good, and the audio was all muffled and scratchy'. Clips from the first episode are used in black and white, with a fake moustache and monicle painted onto Kaiba, and a 'silent movie' motif with old-style dialogue printed on the screen and an upbeat piano theme.
Kaiba: "Your brash nature offends me, Mr. Moto! I shall soon put an end to your impertinence!"
Yami: "You have assembled several creatures! Surely this is a violation?"
The Laugh-Out-Loud Cats is a webcomic based on LO Lcats made to look like it's from the early 1900s.
The back cover of the first The Order of the Stick prequel book describes the deliberate choice of greyscale as "Past-O-Vision". The use of crayons to illustrate the "dawn of time" backstories also invokes this trope.
In commemoration to Geocities shutting down... Behold! xkcd redesigned as a classic 90sGeocities site! Complete with broken html, pointless marquees, and flashing background graphics.
The Jet Dream comics (and sister titles It's Cookie! and My Jet Dream Romance) are presented as if they were actual comic books published in the late '60s and early '70s by an obscure publisher obsessed with male-to-female sex changes.
Evidence in Jet Dream letter columns and other material suggests that the publisher believed in mass-scale wholesome crossdressing by boys to prepare for humanity's future as a One-Gender Race. The wholesome, hoped-to-be Code approved Jet Dream comics were only one of his business ventures aimed at cashing in on a "Fem Is In!" movement that... never quite developed.
Unicorn Jelly looks like something drawn in an 8-bit MS-DOS paint program, and with good reason: it was drawn in an 8-bit MS-DOS paint program.
"Ask That Guy VIOLATES Ma-Ti is done in the style of a silent film, complete with the text screens after the dialogue and black-and-white footage. The illusion is broken at the end after Ma-Ti takes down Ask That Guy and reprimands the viewer for being sick enough to want to watch the titular act depicted.
This fake trailer depicts what Zelda would have been like as a John Hughes-esque Eighties teen movie. Bonus points for including period music, an Orion Pictures logo and VHS artifacts; if you ignore the obvious parody bits, you could easily mistake it for an actual '80s trailer from an old videocassette.
One of the more unnerving "photos" of Slender Man is designed◊ to look like it was taken in the early Nineties. Details of note include a date watermark and added graininess, the latter of which is more pronounced due to the camera distortions that always pop up when Slendy is around.
The Onion published a book called "Our Dumb Century" featuring fake front pages of the paper throughout the 20th century starting in 1900.
For April Fools' Day 2011, YouTube added a button that would turn the video you're watching into sepia tones, add jittering and scan lines, and replace the audio with jazz music. Its featured video that day was of a few of its most famous videos redone in this style.
Even more brilliantly: if you were watching a video that used YouTube's subtitle functionality, the text would appear as intertitles as in a silent film.
Red vs. Blue does this when Church is sent back in time. They use an earlier Bungie game, Marathon, in place of the more modern Halo engine for all the footage in that time period.
Also, there's the dramatic lens flare that show up in CGI episodes in Season 9.
The internet once claimed that Orson Welles had made a movie adaptation of Batman; although it was revealed to be an April Fool's joke perpetrated by Ain't It Cool News and Comics Should Be Good, but that didn't stop someone from making a rather believable two part trailerof the non-existent movie.
YouTube chanell My Life in Gaming offers occasional "How to Beat" videos for contemporary video games done in the style of old game tips VHS tapes. In addition to using dated video effects and deliberately making the image look like VHS video (complete with tracking errors), the narration will frequently invoke Critical Research Failure in incidents both minor (such as mispronouncing in-game terms) and major (as seen in their Super Mario 3D World video that claims the game to be a set in SubCon).
The Venture Bros.. The creators admit a genuine love of fake-aging footage and such, and went through great lengths to get the Season 2 DVD to appear to be (but not actually be) worn and decades old, as if it had been in the trunk of somebody's car for 30 years. And the menu screens are done in the style of an old, old slide-show presentation of what people in The Sixties thought the future would be like. The third season was all shot in high definition in order to make the footage quirkier and grainier, not sharper or more vector-ey.
And the third-season DVD is presented in the style of an Atari 2600 game, down to the packaging and Pitfall-style menu screens.
Bart Simpson's dream in the "How I Wet Your Mother" episode of The Simpsons is animated in the same style as the Simpsons shorts from the Tracey Ullman Show of the late 80s.
In fitting with the Animaniacs' backstory as characters locked away since the early days of animation, occasionally a "lost Warner Bros. short" was aired that was done deliberately in the style of WB's original Bosko and Honey cartoons.
Additionally, one episode featured clips of the Warners guest-starring on such old cartoons as Calhoon Capybara, Oohooroo, Where Are You, and Obese Orson. For the clips, the producers carefully made sure the animators replicated the low-budget feel of the cartoons parodized.
There were a couple of Scooby-Doo made-for-video movies in 2002-2003, Scooby-Doo and the Legend of the Vampire and Scooby-Doo and the Monster of Mexico, that were deliberately done in a retro 1970s-esque style to resemble the old Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! cartoon series (something that What's New, Scooby-Doo? and the other made-for-video movies generally avoided), even going as far as bringing back the original voice actresses for Daphne and Velma (as Frank Welker was already Fred and Scooby-Doo's main voice actor, and Casey Kasem was still available to voice Shaggy any time he was needed), using synth/keyboard remakes of the classic Scooby-Doo background music, featuring many of the old Hanna-Barbera sound effects and even putting the gang in their classic 1970s outfits and designing them in the same manner.
In Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase, the gang is sucked into a video game about their adventures. In the final level they meet themselves (or rather, their video game doubles), who are drawn in the older style.
In the episode "The Mystery Solvers Club State Finals", the Dream Sequence uses the original Hanna-Barbera designs, a sharp contrast to the new series' modern drawing style.
A short on one of the VeggieTales videos is silent and done in black and white... even though it still uses computer animation.
The Tinpo shorts on CBS' Kewlopolis block (which can also be seen online) use 8-bit style music (although one can also hear actual modern electric guitars on the soundtracks as well).
The music, incidentally, is by a band named Anamanaguchi, whose members actually write music using an NES music tracker and play the resulting code on an actual NES, with electric guitars to accompany it. It's awesome stuff.
An episode of The Fairly Oddparents had Timmy and his grandfather entering an old black-and-white cartoon, drawn to look as such.
In an episode of Futurama, the crew watches a Harold Zoid silent hologram in black-and-white.
Futurama packaging and merchandise also often evokes Zeerust aesthetics (like some things in the show - Bender himself is an example).
The episode "Reincarnation" has three different segments each done in a different retro style: an early 1930s black and white cartoon, a 1980s 8-bit video game, and a 1970s anime.
This inane little romp into the imagination of Raymond Persi and Matthew Nastuk was made for the 1999 Vancouver Animation Festival. It was done 100% using nothing but what was available for animation in the early 30's, right down to the painted backgrounds and the grooving.
The 2013 Mickey Mouse short Get a Horse (playing before Frozen in theatres) was painstakingly created to look and sound like a late 1920s/early 1930s cartoon, including film scratches, cel mistakes, and poor quality soundtrack - even going as far to include archived clips of Walt Disney as Mickey's voice. That is, before the cinema screen is ripped open, hand-drawn and CG animation come together and the fourth wall is not just broken, but shattered into a billion pieces.
The Gravity Falls episode "Fight Fighters" features Rumble McSkirmish, a video game character from the eponymous fighting game, appearing in the real world. Rumble is styled after Ken and Ryu from Street Fighter II and rendered completely in 16-bit style graphics (by Paul Robertson, of course), complete with badly translated dialogue ("WINNERS DON'T LOSE!" "YOU CAN HIDE BUT YOU CANNOT HIDE!") and even physical limitations such as not being able to look up or stand still.
In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Pinkie Pie's rap song in "Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3" is clearly styled after a rap music video from the late-80s or early-90s, complete with looking like it was ripped from a VHS recording (fake scan lines, semi-blurry image quality, and the scene is presented in a 4:3 aspect ratio instead of the show's usual 16:9 widescreen). Crosses into Stylistic Suck as the song itself feels more like a parody of cartoons from that era that liked to include rap music in an attempt to be Totally Radical.
The Mater's Tall Tales short "Time Travel Mater", has various old-time to represent the different periods where Mater and Lightning travel to. The film is sepia-toned when Mater meets Stanley, black-and-white when they go to when Stanley met Lizzie and then to two-strip Technicolor when they see Stanley and Lizzie get married.
Many attractions at various Disney Theme Parks are painstakingly worked on to appear genuinely ancient or old. Like the Tower of Terror.
Pretty much the entire point of theme park Silver Dollar City (near Branson, MO) is that it's supposed to be a mining town in the 1880-1900 time frame. One which happens to be paved almost entirely in asphalt, mind you, but the buildings are designed to appear rustic, weathered, and slapped together from available materials. In the shops and restaurants, they've even gone to the extent of building enclosures to hide the modern electronic cash registers, with only the electronic readout showing from the customer-facing side.
Consumer-level video editing programs such as iMovie and Windows Movie Maker have their share of effects that make things look brown ("Sepia"), old (old reel marks), or even very old (choppy action and faded borders). Of course, these are abused by amateur video makers.
Effects like those are even built into some camcorders; Sony's Digital-8 decks are a good example, as are some flash and DVD-based cameras. Needless to say, people who do serious video work tend to recommend not using them under any circumstances and doing all that sort of thing in postproduction.
"Vintage" T-shirts for sale at retail stores. Brand new shirts deliberately faded and cracked to look like they're 30 years old. Pre-ripped jeans also count.
Certain slot machines (mainly those manufactured by IGT) are still being made with mechanical reels and levers to pull, even though they're all run by computers now and these are no longer required. Many people prefer these for a more authentic experience. Even in Minnesota, where mechanical reels are not allowed, the video versions of these same games are still built with levers. Sadly, machines that dispense payout in coins/tokens (instead of tickets) are much rarer, if not extinct.
Computers and laptops built with false-wooden frames, buttons and similar accessories are fairly popular among various groups, particularly steampunk.
Along those lines is a remake of the Commodore 64. It has the same shell but with modern hardware and operating system. But it also includes a Commodore 64 emulator for the full experience.
Various architectural styles like Neoclassicism or Gothic Revival. Amusingly, the latter was a reaction to the former: Neoclassicism was seen as "Enlightenment" and "liberal" (in the old sense), so Romantics and (old-sense) conservatives invented their own revival to counter it, drawing Romanticism Versus Enlightenment into the field of architecture in the ugliest (except for the buildings, pretty much all of which were beautiful) possible way. The debate didn't end until the Bauhaus-educated German Modernists, driven from Nazi Germany for being "degenerate" (or worse, Jewish) came out of nowhere to destroy them both. (The Soviet Vkhutemas was doing much the same thing, but since they were Dirty Communists they were ignored in the West).
Many alleys of Budapest's Inner City were redesigned to look 19th century, complete with lamp posts that look like gas lanterns.
The goal of the Margaret Bridge's reconstruction was explicitly to restore the bridge to its 1936 design.
Reliced musical instruments. Fender is particularly guilty of releasing guitars and basses that are purposely beaten and aged in the factory that look like they have 50 years worth of abuse on them. This is also the entire business model of Nash guitars, which are really beat up Fender copies for about twice the price of new Fenders. Needless to say there is quite a bit of contention amongst guitarists as to whether this is an affordable alternative to vintage instruments that can run up to $70,000 a piece or if they are bought by posers who want their guitars to look worn without actually putting the work into having a guitar get that beat up through touring and playing constantly.
There's also another aspect to this. From the 50s to the 70s all instruments used nitrocellulose lacquer, but as it was rather hazardous, polyurethane is the standard finish today. Nitro is very "fragile" and easily comes off and ages very nicely (fading, yellowing and so on). This is why real vintage guitars have a special sort of relic to them. Polyester on the other hand is very hard and thick, has no real aging and hardly ever comes off, which makes getting a played in feeling with many modern guitars is close to impossible. It's thick and goopy and dampens the sound, but protects the instrument and offers a wider selection of colors. Polyurethane is somewhere between nitro and polyester — only a little bit thicker than nitro so it doesn't kill your harmonics, but with durability and color choices comparable to polyester. It still doesn't age quite the same, and opinions vary as to whether that's good or bad. Still, it's generally considered an acceptable compromise.
On the subject of musical instruments, there's also been a movement in classical music called "historical performance practice" which is exactly what it sounds like - to use certain styles of instruments and vocal techniques to perform early music works as they would have sounded at the time of their premieres. When instrumentalists aren't playing on actual older instruments (like those of the various Cremona violin makers in the 17th century), they build new ones with the style and sound of older ones.
Some people have cell phone ringtones that sound exactly like old-fashioned bell telephones.
Doritos re-released three chip flavors (Taco, Sour Cream & Onion, and Salsa Rio) that they discontinued in the 1970s or 80s in 2012, and put them in bags made to look like the bag design from that era as well.
The car industry has many examples of faux-retro models.
Fiat New 500
VW New Beetle
Citroen C3 (although this one is not an upmarket design model).
Chrysler PT Cruiser
Though more subtle than most, there has traditionally been a lot of demand for "film look" coming from digital video cameras, to the point of making things like 24p frame rates standard even on relatively low-end camcorders. The adoption of DSLR cameras like the Canon 5DmkII specifically aimed to duplicate the depth-of-field effects film cameras traditionally give by using standard interchangeable lenses and large image sensors; the jury is still out as to whether "film look" has been truly achieved for The Rest of Us, or if its proponents have created a new, unique DSLR look.
Pepsi and Mountain Dew Throwback use cane sugar instead of the high-fructose corn syrup found in modern soft drinks (in countries where the latter has replaced sugar). They also feature vintage brand logos on the packaging.
The Seattle Space Needle celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 2012. As part of the celebration, the whole thing was painted the "only in the 60's" shade of "Galaxy Gold" paint that it was during the 1962 World's Fair.
In the 1990s, McDonald's built several locations in the style of their earliest restaurants. Many of these had only walk-up service, just like the earliest ones.
Verbatim produces blank "Vinyl" CD's, that look like CD-sized vinyl records. The packaging encourages customers to put their old music on the CD's for a classic feel.
A few years ago a bunch of breakfast cereals, such as Frosted Flakes and Lucky Charms, went retro by selling them in their much older box designs.
It's fairly common in Indonesian to intentionally write using the spelling pre-EYD to give an old, Dutch-occupation era feel (even though the EYD was released in 1972, more than 20 years after the Dutch surrendered). For example, the Dutch restaurant specializing in Indonesian cuisine called "Tempo Doeloe" (roughly translated to "past" or "the good old days") — the proper spelling is actually "Tempo Dulu".
There seem to be literally dozens of applications for adding a rotary phone dial to a smartphone.
8mm is a app that simulates Super 8 8mm analog home movie effects for use on iPhone camera videos. Celebrities such as Hilary Duff and Selena Gomez have (according to Word of God) used it for effect on Instagram videos.