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Live Blogs Let's Watch: Select Episodes of Cinematech (The Original Series)
BearyScary2014-01-09 18:07:50

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Trivial? Somewhere, Ken Jennings Is Laughing

Cinematech Episode 222: “Little Windows that Provide Trivial Information Episode

An ep that emulates VH-1's classic Pop Up Video series, along with factoids related to the games featured.

The factoids are quoted in the indented paragraphs below.

0:04: Mega Man | Released: December 1987

“Considered by many to be the worst box art ever”

Capcom later intentionally made kitschy box art for the later Retraux games Mega Man 9 and 10.

“The term ROBOT comes from the Czech word ROBOTA which means 'labor'”

0:55: Mega Man X7. This was one of the less popular Mega Man X games after its switch to 3D. It also had a boss that was mocked in particular named Tornado Tonion. Electronic Gaming Monthly had a field day with it, and made up names for vegetable-based bosses for the next MMX game.

“In his I, Robot series, Isaac Asimov created the Three Laws of Robotics:

1.A robot may not harm a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm

2.A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the first law

3.A robot must protect its own existence, as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law”

“Lt. Cmd. Data of Star Trek: The Next Generation adheres to Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics”

George Lucas has obviously never read these Three Laws”

(A side window pops up showing General Greivous from a Star Wars game)

This ep helped cement the idea of the Three Laws in my brain!

“One of the original titles considered for this game was RAINBOW MAN, because Mega Man changes color every time he changes weapons”

I've always really liked that about Mega Man. It was probably quite revolutionary for its time.

“Break Man, who first appears in Mega Man 3, is actually Mega Man's brother Proto-Man”

“This made Thanksgiving dinners at the Mega Household incredibly awkward and sometimes violent”

2:14: “Good morning, and welcome to the Black Mesa transit system.” Half-Life, released on October 31st, 1998.

“Half-Life's Lambda symbol is the actual scientific symbol used to say “half-life” in shorthand, referring to the amount of time a radioactive substance takes to decay so that only half is intact”

“The Half-Life for Radium 226 is 1,600 years”

“Uranium 238: 4.5 billion years”

Oh, come on! How do they even calculate something that unfathomably long?

“Bismuth 214: 20 minutes”

“Half-Life was ranked #1 in the 50 Best Games of All Time list published by PC Gamer in its April 2005 issue”


“The German version features robots as enemies, green blood, and prevents players from killing innocent bystanders”

Germany censors a lot of violent games in such ways.

“It is not known how many Germans actually enjoyed playing this version of the game”

“According to Valve's Gabe Newell, originally Half-Life was inspired by Stephen King's novel “The Mist”.”

3:34: Doom3, released on August 3rd, 2004. Almost 10 years ago now. Can you believe it? This game was the subject of so much techno lust due to its revolutionary graphics.

Before we get to the factoids, I just wanted to point out that the intro to D3 is kind of like the intro to the first Resident Evil movie, where the opening narration talks about the United Aerospace Corporation and how ubiquitous it is and how many different branches it has.

“A good number of concepts were scrapped from Doom III including:

The long-range firing railgun weapon was taken out because larger outdoor levels were scrapped due to engine considerations

More female personnel were supposed to be included on Phobos, including a topless dead woman on an autopsy table

The PDA was going to include a map feature like the original Doom”

“Players cannot use a gun and a flash light at the same time but mods were soon released that made it possible”

It was known as the “Duct Tape Mod”.

“The budget for Doom III was reportedly set at $15 million”

“Doom III was rated as one of the Top 10 Worst Violent Video Games of 2004 by the Interfaith Center of Corporate Responsibility”

“2 days before the official release, a pirated version of the Doom 3 [game] appeared on the internet and quickly became the fastest spreading pirated game ever”

Ooh! I wonder who leaked it. Was it someone at id Software, and if so, how quickly were they fired?

“One of the most famous pirates, Black Bart, captured hundreds of vessels and was known as a non-drinker with distinguished etiquette and immaculate couture”

“Modern piracy remains a significant problem in parts of the world and results in estimated worldwide losses of $13-$16 billion each year”

“If you try one of the old cheat codes from the other Doom games, you get the message 'your memory serves you well'”

“Doom III makes some references to real internet sites including: and

Which unlock special weapons in the game”

“The Doom movie starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is currently in production”

“Chris Vrenna, one of the founding members of Nine Inch Nails composed the music for the game”

“NIN frontman, Trent Reznor, the original composer, left partway through the game's development and no longer has any music or sounds in the game”

8:36: Street Fighter II, released in 1992.

“Ryu means 'dragon' in Japanese”

Ken doesn't mean anything in English or in any other language”

Hey, now! It could be short for “Kenneth”. I prefer Ken.

Apparently, the name "Ken" means "clear water" in Welsh and American culture. In Japanese, it means "strong or physically healthy". Debunked!

“When Chun-Li was five she saw a Bruce Lee movie and was inspired to practice martial arts”

“Zangief was originally named 'Vodka Gobalsky'”

Stereotypes, ho! If they had kept that name, Zangief's subsequent appearances would have been a little more Narmful.

“The Street Fighter series is one of the most successful game franchises ever, selling over 500,000 coin operated arcade units and over 24 million console games worldwide”

It is still one of Capcom's most successful games ever.

10:34: Resident Evil 4, first released for the Nintendo GameCube on January 11th, 2005.

“The series was originally entitled Biohazard, but had to be changed to Resident Evil in [the] US and European versions because of confusion with the American metal band Biohazard.”

In my insignificant opinion on this matter, Biohazard sounds cooler than Resident Evil.

“All the weapons used by Leon in the game are based on real weapons”

“The standard handgun looks similar to a Baretta 92 with nickel plating, which the original gun wouldn't have”

“The shotgun is a Remington M870”

“The Punisher handgun looks somewhat like the H & K VP70”

“The rocket launcher is a Russian RPG-7”

“Important things to remember about zombies:”

“Zombism is contagious. Once you've been bitten, you're screwed”

Not if you're Frank West!

“Zombification is a process developed by Voodoo priests in countries like Haiti”

“Haiti's constitution has a law forbidding the creation of zombies by its citizens”

“The producers of Cinematech strongly advise its viewers against creating zombies”

“Just play the Resident Evil games — it's a lot safer”

More or less...

13:40: One of the most famous games of all time: Goldeneye007, released for the Nintendo 64 on August 25th, 1997. Is it safe to say that this game eclipsed the influence of the film it was based upon, despite it being the first to feature Pierce Brosnan as James Bond?

“One of the best selling video games for the Nintendo 64 with over a million copies sold”

“There have been 20 (and 2 unofficial) Bond films and 5 different actors who have played the role of 007”

Roger Moore is the only English actor to have played Bond in the official film series.”

Before Daniel Craig took over the role in 2006's Casino Royale, one of my favorite movies. Eee~

Sean Connery is Scottish

George Lazenby is Australian

Timothy Dalton is Welsh

Pierce Brosnan is Irish”

Side note: Dalton was utterly delightful in Hot Fuzz. It seemed like he was having a great deal of fun in the movie himself.

“The Klobb gun is based after Nintendo's Ken Lobb”

And was one of the weakest guns in the game! Poor Lobb.

“'''Goldeneye was banned in Germany for 'extreme violence'”


“The game was a huge seller in the US due to its 'extreme violence'”

“The most famous Bond Girls are Pussy Galore, Plenty O'Toole, Octopussy and Xenia Onatopp”

The latter played by the particularly fetching Famke Janssen. Of all of those characters' names, I think Pussy Galore's is the most audacious.

Casino Royale was the first Bond novel by Ian Fleming and it was released in 1953”

15:46: Katamari Damacy, released in the US on September 22nd, 2004. This was the strange PS2 game that was about the Prince of All Cosmos collecting all sorts of Earth junk on a round, sticky ball to bring it back to his father, the King of All Cosmos, so he could fuse the planets of the Solar System back together. Really.

“The title roughly translates to 'Clump of Souls' in English”

“Takahashi wanted to create something totally unique because he felt that 'current games suffer from a distinct lack of originality'”

“Takahashi said that the idea of a sticky, large rolling ball 'just came to me'”

“Development time took a year and a half with a full-time development staff of 25 people”

“13 controllers were broken by the development team while making the game”

“Takahashi only asked the 'coolest' people in Namco to join his team for development of one of the 'coolest' games in recent years”

17:27: Clips from Final Fantasy VII played to the game's Final Boss theme, “One Winged Angel”. The game was originally released to huge hype and success on August 31st, 1997. This was one of the games that really cemented the PS1's success worldwide. Intriguingly, the clips chosen tell an abridged version of the story featuring Sephiroth's Sanity Slippage from meeting his “true” mother, his slaying of Aerith, and his ultimate confrontation with Cloud.

“Some names were changed for the North American version prior to its release”

“Aeris was originally Aerith in Japan”

Now, they call her “Aerith”, which really messes me up after a childhood of calling her “Aeris”. /pedantic

“Bugenhagen was originally Buugen Hagen”

“Mako was originally Makou”

“Producer Hironobu Sakaguchi allowed Aeris to die as an expression of grief after his mother died during the production of Final Fantasy III

Their other choice of who to kill off among Cloud's group of friends was Barret Wallace, his friend in AVALANCHE.

“Sephiroth's name derives from the Kabbalah, a religious lore that has its origins in Jewish mysticism. They represent the ten Divine enumerations”

Final Fantasy VII was voted #10 in the Top 100 Games of All Time poll published by Game Informer magazine (Issue 100, August 2001)”

18:48: A montage of Super Mario games, including Super Mario Bros., first released on the NES in October, 1985, as well as Super Mario World, which they mistakenly identified as being on the NES when it was a launch title for the Super NES. Whoops! They also showed Super Mario 64.

Super Mario Bros. was available on the same cartridge as Duck Hunt

“Mario was originally named for Mario Segali, the Italian landlord of Nintendo's office in New York”

“Other famous Italian-Americans:

Tommy Tallarico”

“Mario has starred in over 60 titles to date”

“Mario first appeared in Donkey Kong and was called Jumpman”

“The first public appearance of Super Mario Bros..3 was in the Fred Savage film The Wizard

As far as I know, no other video game has made its debut in a major motion picture since. One other cool thing about TW? “Send Me an Angel”.

“According to The Guinness Book of Records, SMB is the best-selling video game of all time, with a total of over 40.23 million units sold worldwide”

This ep was basically “Did You Know Gaming” before “DYKG” even existed. Shame they didn't do more eps like this one. In fact...

Recommended Viewing

Did You Know Gaming's videos on Resident Evil: Part One and Part Two

DYKG's videos on Final Fantasy: Part One and Two

Recommended Reading

The Cutting Room Floor's pages on Goldeneye 007, FFVII, and RE4

Final Fantasy VII: The Sevening: Deviantart link to this hilarious webcomic. I kind of wish that it could be released in collected format, but licensing issues and all that will probably prevent that from happening. :(


Jan 9th 2014 at 7:32:10 PM
Fun fact: the Doom movie turned out to be a somewhat-average action-filled popcorn flick, even though it tried its damnedest to have a good plot. I was lucky to have a mother who got pre-screening tickets via a friend, and I hadn't seen the movie again since.