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"This is Yamauchi. I want to speak with Mr. Ohga right away. I need to see him as soon as possible."
Hiroshi Yamauchi's fate-changing phone call to Sony.

An Alternate History work by RySenkari and Nivek on, Player Two Start is a pop culture timeline that focuses on the Console Wars with one significant change, a change that promises to not only impact the landscape of gaming, but all of pop culture and beyond.

As everyone well versed in the gaming world knows, Nintendo partnered with Sony to release a CD add-on for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, only to break off the deal after Nintendo discovered a clause in the contract that would have given Sony's 100% of the software royalties for every CD game sold. Sony would eventually launch the PlayStation, causing Nintendo to struggle to stay relevant in the console space, but would also contribute to Sega leaving the hardware market and becoming a third-party developer, and lead to the rise of Xbox. Now many have wondered what if Nintendo decided to continue working with Sony and made the Super Nintendo CD a reality?

In this timeline, Hiroshi Yamauchi, president of Nintendo, made the fateful decision that the technology offered by Sony was simply too good to pass up, and ultimately decides to renegotiate Nintendo's contract with Sony, using the on-going talks with Philips as a bargaining chip.

From there, countless things change.

As of February 2016, the timeline is finished, covering a timespan from June 1991 to May 2000. A sequel, Massively Multiplayer (covering May 2000 to October 2012), began in August 2016 and ended in December 2019. The second sequel, Battle Royale began in the same month and ended in November 2021.

A recap of all the changes to gaming, culture, and the broader world featured in the game can be found here.

This work contains examples of:

  • The '90s: The starting point for the timeline where Nintendo and Sony made their console together and bring forth a lot of changes to world politics and pop culture.
  • Actor Existence Limbo: In-Universe, After Nicole Sullivan dies on board American Airlines Flight 11, her character in Sam & Kira becomes permanently mute after getting into a car accident.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The Secret of Monkey Island is ported to the SNES-CD with additional puzzles, locations, and songs. invokedIt's considered to be more well-known than its original PC version, and the success of the port would inspire other computer game developers to port their software to the Super Nintendo CD, and inspired Naughty Dog to create Tales of the Seven Seas.
  • A Dick in Name: Abound in the 2002 Ultra Nintendo 3-D platformer game about a Hardboiled Detective and full of innuendo, where "Dick" is the video game's title, the name of the main character, the name of his profession, and the description of his overall personality.
  • Allohistorical Allusion:
    • Super Mario World 2 is similar to both New Super Mario Bros. Wii and New Super Mario Bros. U in terms of its plot. It starts at Princess Peach's castle with a party (like in Wii), but it's for her return. Bowser and the Koopalings then come in, seize the castle, and kick the Mario Bros. and Yoshi out (á la U).
    • In our history, Sega and Bandai considered merging. In this timeline, Sega buys up Bandai in 1998 when the latter is put up for sale.
    • Joe Quesada joked that he would have Peter Parker sell his soul to Mephisto in order to make him Spider-Man again.
    • Sega of America's president notes in an interview that the higher-ups in Japan wanted a May 1995 release of the Saturn to coincide with E3, which in his opinion would've led to a disastrous launch.
    • Avril Lavigne never becomes a pop singer, and instead becomes a professional skateboarder, even being featured in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2. In other words, "she was a Sk8er Girl, he said 'see you later, girl!'"
    • Warner Bros./DC and 20th Century Fox/Marvel are engaged in the "Superhero Wars" in movie theaters.
    • Scarlett Johansson portrays a red-haired Marvel character... who is not Black Widow. Instead, it's Mary Jane Watson. Likewise, Johansson's co-star Chris Evans played a Spider-Man character instead of Captain America.
    • A very dark one comes up with Christian Weston Chandler's mass murder spree. Many of the facets of the OTL Chandler's life, including an alternate version of Sonichu and the infamous "love quest", are reflected here — and take on much darker overtones in light of the fact that he killed 21 people at his high school. Furthermore, the real Chandler was notorious for using autism as an excuse in order to deflect criticism and responsibility for her own mistakes and misdeeds; here, it's concluded that Chandler wasn't autistic, but incorrect early reports that he was lead to a wave of stigmatization against people with autism in the early '00s (similar to OTL's anti-goth backlash post-Columbine).
    • When Steve Jobs hears that the Nintendo Reality will have VR capabilities, he takes it seriously because "in what reality would Nintendo ever willingly release a bad VR product?"
    • The COVID-19 Pandemic inspired an update about a computer virus known as the Corona virus, so named because it apparently originated from pirated copies of Corona del Sol.
    • In January 2019, when discussing the could-have-been merger between Disney and 20th Century Fox, an insider stated that "Fox couldn't imagine a world in which Disney and itself ever joined forces, according to one prominent executive in the company".
    • One of the epilogue scenes is President John F. Kennedy Jr. and Diana, former Princess of Wales talking in the Oval Office, talking about feeling like they're not supposed to be here, with Diana mentioning car chases and Elton's song "Candle in the Wind", and John talking about flying airplanes and his family curse.
  • Antagonist in Mourning: After Shigeru Miyamoto died, even Sega acknowledged the designer's contributions to gaming at their E3 2000 Press Conference.
  • Axes at School:
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • Reading the timeline chronologically up to February 1995 leads the reader to think that Nintendo and Sony are going to split. Then March 1995 comes along, revealing that Yamauchi accepted Sony's condition of backwards compatibility, meaning they're staying together for the fifth generation.
    • On a GameTV episode, Lyssa Fielding reads yet another request to show her boobs, and finally decides to do it. She goes over, points at fellow co-hosts Ted and Alex, and calls them both her boobs.
  • Banned Episode: In-Universe example. The Arthur episode "Attack of the Turbo Tibbles" got ire from parents due to the scene where Timmy Tibbles uses a swing and ends up hitting D.W, with blood and her wound clearly shown. Many parents criticized the scene and the episode ended up pulled from the broadcast rotation.
  • Bowdlerise: Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War was localized as Fire Emblem: The Holy War. Unfortunately, as any fan of the series knows, the game contains several plot-relevant incest subplots, which horrified Howard Lincoln and led to him delivering the memetic quote, "Goddamnit, it's full of incest!" The translators ultimately had to make several controversial changes to the story to remove the incest and make it palatable for Western audiences and the ESRB.
  • Bring It: At the turn of the new millennium, Tom Kalinske is replaced by Reggie Fils-Aime as head of Sega of America, after a pretty poor year on Sega's part. As the year changes, this is Reggie's thought.
    "From first mate on a luxury yacht to captain of the Titanic. Well, I'm about to kick that iceberg's ass."
  • Canon Welding: Star Fox, Super Squadron X, and Squad Four would be established to be taking place in the same galaxy. Super Squadron X: Critical Dawn for the SNES-CD would hint at a shared universe, but it wouldn't be until the '00s that the series officially cross over (in 2006's Star Fox: Heroic Universe).
  • Celebrity Casualty: Of the Death by Adaptation examples:
  • Celebrity Endorsement: Al Gore mentions in an interview that he saw the redeeming value of video games after trying out Secret of Mana, and hopes there would more games like it rather than Mortal Kombat.
  • Cliffhanger: The June 1999 update ends with a news report on the Olympic Pipeline explosion, with the fates of the members of Nirvana, whose tour bus was knocked to its side by the explosion, unknown. This was followed by the 1999 Pop Culture post, which begins with a follow-up news report that the band members only suffered minor bruising while the equipment crew had more serious injuries.
  • Compilation Rerelease:
    • Square decides to do remakes of the three NES Final Fantasy games for the SNES-CD. The collection gets localized as Final Fantasy Origins and is released before Final Fantasy VI, meaning that game is the first in the series to retain its original numbering. Later on the SNES-CD versions of the first six games will be put together on the Ultra as the Final Fantasy Collection in 1999.
    • Early 1996 will see Konami release a compilation of Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake for the SNES-CD.
    • Sonic Jam as in OTL, except it also includes Sonic CD, considering the wider audience of this timeline's Saturn vs the Sega CD.
    • Super Mario All-Stars is ported to the Game Boy Nova, also including Super Mario World.
  • Contested Sequel: invoked Seiken Densetsu 3, which gets localized in the US as Elements of Mana, is acclaimed as a very good game, but fans will argue over whether it or its predecessor, Secret of Mana, was better for years to come.
  • Continuity Reboot: The Valis series gets a reboot for the SNES-CD. Three games are made for that system before doing a Video Game 3D Leap with Ultra Valis: Knight Of Light for Nintendo's SNES-CD successor, the Ultra Nintendo. The success of the reboot series would establish its developer, Telenet Japan, as a second party for Nintendo.
  • invoked Creative Differences:
    • What almost splits the Nintendo/Sony alliance, due to Sony wanting to make the next Nintendo system backwards compatible. Yamauchi ends up accepting that condition as he figures Sony needs Nintendo more than Nintendo needs Sony, and backwards compatibility wasn't really that much of a concession.
    • Enix, feeling their games weren't given proper treatment by Nintendo, opted to develop for the Sega Saturn for the fifth generation.
    • Working Designs left Sega's camp for Nintendo's after the debacle surrounding the Mega Charger version of Lunar: The Silver Star.
  • invokedCreator Killer: The failure of Witchrider results in the closing of its dev studio.
    • The Son of Beast disaster kills 22 people, leading to the permanent closure of Kings Island, Cedar Fair going bankrupt from the ensuing lawsuits, and the sale of their other theme parks to Six Flags.
    • The Michael Vick dogfighting scandal being covered up by the Cleveland police leads to a major downward spiral that bankrupts the Cleveland Browns.
  • Curse: Defied with the Kennedy Curse: John F. Kennedy Jr. managed to barely survive an assassination attempt by Rafael Perez on November 22, 2019.
  • Death by Adaptation: Of fictional characters with different storylines:
  • invoked Demand Overload: The launch of the Ultra Nintendo in the US is the first console mentioned in this timeline to sell out at launch, even with 2 million consoles available on launch day. Nintendo had to apologize and explain that they weren't artificially limiting the number of available consoles on sale but they could only manufacture so many at a time. Just like the Wii in OTL, there is still considerable demand the following year.
  • Description Cut: After resigning from Sega, Tom Kalinske thinks about Sega and Nintendo's long skirmish in the console wars, thinks about Shigeru Miyamoto as a Worthy Opponent, and wonders what he's doing now. The next scene is Miyamoto, riding home on his bike after purchasing Dragon Quest VII and then suddenly being hit by a car.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • A Sega Venus owner remarks on how he kept changing batteries on his Sega Venus without thinking on how much they cost. He ended up using 40 of them in one sitting, causing his mom to take the handheld away and sell it.
    • Nickelodeon's 1998 revival of their Nick Arcade game show had a change to their bonus round: the Nick Arcade Colosseum, where the kids had to beat Gladiators to win the grand prize. Said Gladiators? Ted Crosley, Alex Stansfield and Brittany Saldita from MTV's GameTV (Viacom owned both Nickelodeon and MTV), avid gamers in their own right who've been playing video games longer than these kids have been alive. This resulted in the grand prize not being won in 49 out of 52 episodes of the first season, with Brittany (who was chosen by the kids to be the Gladiator opponent the most often on account of her being a girl) having a perfect 23-0 win record. The resulting ratings drop meant that the second season instead used other Gladiators who weren't as skilled, resulting in a much more reasonable win-loss spread.
      Brittany Saldita: (in an interview) “I cost kids more trips to Space Camp than the Challenger disaster.”
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation:
    • Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies from a stroke in August 2010, ten years before her actual death in OTL.
    • Philip Seymour Hoffman dies four years early.
  • Different World, Different Movies: With the Super Nintendo CD on the market, brand new franchises have come into being, as well as different sequels to existing games.
  • Divided We Fall: Sega is working on averting this, namely the conflict between their American and Japanese branches that contributed to their troubles in OTL. With the Sega CD not even being a niche success in the US, Sega of Japan is convinced not to push the 32X as a stopgap for the Saturn, and instead develop the Mega Charger as a cheap cartridge-based accessory for the Genesis. It also helps there's no true fifth-gen competitor for the Saturn to release against during 1995. To aid in mending their differences, a corporate retreat is held in April 1995.
  • Domestic Abuse: An alternate version of the OJ Simpson case, combined with Andre Rison accidentally killing Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes when a dispute crossed the line into a fistfight, leads to a much earlier controversy over off-the-field domestic violence among NFL players, twenty years before the Ray Rice scandal did the same in our world.
  • Doorstopper: Even if one were to cut out the sequels, the timeline is huge with over 171 individual chapters spanning the 1990s and 2000s. In fact, it's so extensive that the TV Tropes page of Player Two Start has its own Recap section to keep track of every major trend and change affected by Nintendo not reneging on the deal with Sony.
  • Double-Blind What-If: OTL is a pop culture timeline on TTL's version of
  • Dude, Not Funny!: The GameTV review of Tetris Attack involves the reviewers having a moment of silence for the victims of violence resulting from Tetris Attack matches. The show gets called out for being tasteless in the light of the 1996 Olympics Bombing.
  • Dueling Products: invoked
    • Mega Man X2 and Pulseman had North American launches in January 1995, so naturally, there were comparisons made due to their similarities.
    • During the 1993 holidays, Sega positioned Ultima Underworld II for the Sega CD against Secret of Mana for the SNES-CD, hedging their bets on Ultima being a recognizable name in the RPG world versus an unknown like Secret of Mana.
    • Midway had the confidence to launch Mortal Kombat 3 against Killer Instinct in the month of September 1995. Killer Instinct would outsell the former while Mortal Kombat 3 would not live up to the sales of the previous games.
    • Several role-playing games get released on the SNES-CD as part of Nintendo's "Year of the RPG" campaign of 1996. These games included Chrono Trigger, Tale Phantasia, Super Mario RPG, Fire Emblem: The Holy War, and Elements of Mana. Of these games, Chrono Trigger and Tale Phantasia are the highest acclaimed for the year, with Tale Phantasia being the best-selling game for the year and Chrono Trigger being second best. Tale outselling Chrono is significant as it was released in the summer while Chrono dropped in March, and Tale was from the lesser known Telenet Japan while Chrono was from Squaresoft. Arguably, Nintendo publishing Tale helped it in its favor.
    • Superhero movies become big about a decade earlier than in OTL, and as such, the DC and Marvel cinematic universes — and their respective film studios, Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox (News Corporation bought out Marvel after its bankruptcy ITTL) — become bitter rivals.
    • While Vintage Speed Series on the Saturn and Gran Turismo 2 on the Ultra Nintendo were conceived independently of one another, the circumstances — two racing sims exclusive to competing consoles — inevitably leads to comparisons.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Before the 2008 presidential debates begin, Jon Huntsman explicitly apologizes to his Jewish opponent Paul Wellstone for all the antisemitic attacks leveled against Wellstone from all over and condemns all the comments made as such, and then hugs Wellstone on stage.

  • Epic Fail: Discussed In-Universe, Bandai choosing to market the Pippin hardware after Apple decided to drop the whole Pippin initiative.
    They ended up making the same mistake that Phillips, Pioneer, Atari, and 3DO had made before them: the combined juggernaut of Nintendo, Sony, and Sega was just too tough of a nut to crack.

  • Faking the Dead: How Gary ultimately won the Celebrity Deathmatch GameTV special: when it was down to him, Ted, and Brittany, he pretended to hang himselfnote , waited until Ted killed Brittany, and then blew him away with a bad video game bazooka.
  • Fictionalized Death Account: Osama bin Laden dies in a gunfight with American and Pakistani forces 9 years before his OTL death.
  • Follow the Leader: In-Universe:
    • Not only is Secret of Mana more successful and more notable, it got the attention of one of Tom Kalinske's daughters. The Sega of America president, not wanting to buy a competitor's product for his daughter, gets Sonic! Software Planning to develop a similar game, MagiQuest, as a Saturn launch title. In the end, however, the game's critical reception isn't as good as Secret of Mana's.
    • Sonic gets an RPG spinoff entitled SoniQuest for the Saturn in 1997, presumably in response to Super Mario RPG.
  • Foregone Conclusion: At April 1995 in TTL, as the new MTV series GameTV is taking off, the hosts are introduced and described in an article from January 2015, which also says that one of them, Brittany Saldita, had passed away the previous September to ovarian cancer. Indeed, when TTL reaches 2014...
  • Freudian Excuse: The main reason why Rafael Perez attempted an assassination on Kennedy Jr. was that he witnessed an unspecified incident involving his father, Ramon Perez yelling at a government worker "you people have taken everything from me, just like that (expletive deleted) Castro did in Cuba!", among other incidents.
  • From Bad to Worse: Despite Sega promoting Sonic CD on its November 1993 release, the game fails to be a invokedKiller App for the Sega CD, selling to mostly existing Sega CD owners. A week later, Nintendo announces pre-Thanksgiving price cuts of the Super Nintendo CD and PlayStation combo set, killing whatever remaining interest anyone had in Sega's CD add-on.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Chris-Chan goes from one of OTL's biggest internet laughing-stocks to the culprit of TTL's Columbine equivalent.
  • Futureshadowing:
    • The timeline is scattered with interviews and comments made in the future by various people. Notably, one of them is from Bill Gates of Microsoft, who notes he considered suing to break up one of the major players like how Microsoft was sued, hinting that Microsoft was a bigger underdog when entering the console market.
    • Another future interview reveals that Mark Cerny is creative director at the Nintendo Treehouse by 2012.
  • Game Changer: With Shigeru Miyamoto's sudden death, Nintendo now founds themselves dealing with an unexpected challenge. It would eventually result in Nintendo's creative direction changing dramatically.
  • Game-Breaker: An In-Universe example with the First-Person Shooter game The Pact and its so-called "Rambo mode" (which pits one overpowered player against several others), which is so skewed in favour of the one-man-army that if a half-decent player is controlling him, it's impossible for him to lose no matter how good the other players are. To illustrate in his review, Alex Stansfield says he managed to get all nine GameTV hosts together in a 9 vs. 1 match against Brittany's husband Chris Hardwick, who is fair at FPS but not compared to his wife... and they could not beat him once. No wonder the game was a disappointment.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Bandai decides to go all in as a competitor to Nintendo/Sony and Sega, using the Pippin technology from Apple. The Bandai Solaris becomes a massive money sink for Bandai, ultimately failing in 1996, and would later lead to the company's liquidation.
  • Gunman with Three Names: TTL uses this to horrifying effect, turning a real-life person commonly known by their full name into a spree killer.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Dylan Klebold manages to see Eric Harris as what he truly is and cuts contact with him, and this significantly changes what happens on April 20, 1999.
    Polly Klaas: Did he say anything else to you?
    Caitlyn Higgins: Nothing. He's said...nothing to me since we broke up. When we pass in the halls, he doesn't even look at me. Is he still hanging out with Dylan?”
    Polly: No...I don't think they're friends anymore. Has Dylan told you anything?
    Caitlyn: Dylan doesn't even mention Eric anymore. Actually...the last time I did mention Eric to him, he looked kind of...scared.
    Polly: I know they used to be so close.
  • Historical Badass Upgrade: Certain companies in this timeline become more prevalent thanks to butterflies:
    • Acclaim Entertainment goes from licensing mediocre games before becoming defunct in 2004 to a massive multimedia corporation.
    • Apple goes from simply developing the iOS system to a full-fledged video game console maker thanks to the buyout of Sega in this timeline.
    • Downplayed with Digital Homicide. While their games are merely average ITTL, they are far from the asset-flipping company who sued Jim Sterling for criticism.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: This timeline's version of Dylan Klebold decides not to go through with the Columbine shooting.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: In our timeline, Chris Chandler is a controversial webcomic creator. This timeline's Christian Weston Chandler is a school shooter.
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: Valentine's Day 2001 has Christian Weston Chandler shooting 21 people dead at Manchester High School, then shooting himself.
  • Hysterical Woman: TMZ gets an exclusive video of Lyssa Fielding having an on-set meltdown. Considering that she was just told that her best friend Brittany Saldita had just passed away, her sorrow is perfectly understandable.
  • I Do Not Like Green Eggs and Ham: There is considerable skepticism to the trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Hero Eternal on account of it being transitioned to Urban Fantasy in the modern day, with former GameTV host Alex Stansfield as one of the skeptics. Then it comes out in 2004 and blows him and everyone away (not dissimilar to what The Wind Waker went through OTL). Alex's first impressions say it all:
    Oh god dammit, is that a fu- a skateboard? A skateboard in The Legend Of Zelda? ....I.... ugh. The Railboard, that's...that's a dumb name. All right, all right, you know what, fine. ....grrr.....ugh....ggggh.... ....heh. ....whoa, that's....okay, that's actually pretty cool. ....oh, oh man, this is actually...this is awesome! I...can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm skateboarding in a Legend Of Zelda game and this is awesome! This kicks ass! This game kicks ass! Oh man, I don't even care anymore, I'm having the time of my life! Hahahahaha.... YES!
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Howard Lincoln eventually bows down to this in the aftermath of Christian Weston Chandler's rampage, as he has to go to a Congressional hearing in regards to violent video games and the backlash over Chandler's video game habit.
  • In Memoriam: invoked Some In-Universe examples:
    • An episode of GameTV and the E3 2000 show had tributes to Shigeru Miyamoto, who died unexpectedly in early May 2000.
    • Summer 2014 brings the passing of someone foretold all the way back in April 1995 - the death of GameTV host and Gamer Chick icon Brittany Saldita to ovarian cancer. An outpouring of support follows from friends and celebrities alike.
  • Interactive Movie: Having two major optical-disc consoles in the early '90s leads to a larger boom in the FMV industry. Unlike OTL, where "FMV" became a byword for shovelware, some of these games are actually pretty good, most notably Star Fox made as a collaboration between Nintendo and the Jim Henson Company that leads to further partnerships down the road (including a popular FMV Muppets game in 1995). The popularity of FMV also produces an entire genre of "detective games" that are known for their sharp writing and crafty puzzles, and which outlasts the medium of FMV, enjoying a renaissance in the '00s. The novelty wears off by the end of the Fourth Generation, with the 1996 detective game Dark City: A Death In The Family considered the last great FMV game as pre-rendered cutscenes took over, though it doesn't become invokedCondemned by History like it did in OTL. That said, there is still quite a bit of notorious crap; some games that only exist in TTL are bad enough to give the Nerd nightmares.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: invoked The general reaction to Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!, especially in comparison to the Saturn's brand-new Sonic 4.
  • Killer App: invoked
    • Super Mario Kart and Final Fantasy: New Generation are this for the SNES-CD at launch. Later killer apps for it include Super Mario World 2, Mortal Kombat, Star Fox, Secret of Mana, Squad Fournote , Donkey Kong Country and 2, Ballistic Limitnote , and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Dreams.
    • Sega doesn't have a killer app for the Sega CD, which plays second fiddle to the SNES-CD for its entire lifespan; they hoped that Sonic CD would be that game, but while it got rave reviews, it didn't sell many consoles. They did, however, have a big one for the Mega Charger: Sonic the Hedgehog 3. While it also released on the Genesis (where it became the first game in history to sell a million copies in one day), the Mega Charger version featured a massive amount of new levels and bosses and pushed more Mega Chargers than any other game. Later attempts at killer apps for it failed, however, as the ports of both Star Wars Arcade and Doom turned out to be fairly sloppy and rushed.
    • At launch, the Sega Saturn's killer apps are the so-called "Virtua Trio" of Virtua Fighter, Virtua Racing, and Virtua Cop, with the latter two games also helping to sell the Saturn's steering wheel and light-gun peripherals respectively. (A bundle of the Saturn, all three Virtua games, and both peripherals is a top seller around Christmas '95.) To a lesser extent, Ridge Racer is also a killer app, though its greatest legacy is in helping to build a working relationship between Sega and Bandai Namco Entertainment. But it wouldn't be until the April 1996 release of Resident Evil, combined with a price cut a month earlier, that the Saturn would begin to outsell the Genesis in North America and get closer to the SNES-CD in sales. Following that is the late August 1996 release of Virtua Fighter 2, where for the first time the Saturn beats the SNES-CD in weekly sales, and the release of Tomb Raider in October. Finally, Sonic the Hedgehog 4 is released in November, at which point the Saturn consistently outsells the SNES-CD on a monthly basis. Other killer apps include Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, Fighters Megamix, and Vintage Speed Series (a racing sim revolving around classic cars).
    • The Ring, a peripheral designed to boost the power of the Saturn to compete with the Ultra Nintendo, has Shenmue and the platformer Spare Parts as its killer apps at launch.
    • The Game Boy Color's killer app is a puzzle game called World of Color.
    • When the Ultra Nintendo is launched, its killer app is Super Mario Dimensions, TTL's version of Super Mario 64 that leaves a similar impact on gaming. Later killer apps include Final Fantasy VII, the Gran Turismo games, GoldenEye (released here in 1998 instead of '97), The Legend of Zelda: Temple of Time (TTL's version of Ocarina of Time), Squad Four: Rebellion, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Metroid: Darkness, and Velvet Dark (TTL's version of Perfect Dark).
    • The killer app for the Game Boy Nova is Pokémon Sun and Moon, TTL's version of Pokémon Gold and Silver.
    • The Nintendo Wave's killer applications are Killer Instinct 3, Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Ken Griffey: Hall of Fame, Thrillseekersnote , Beyond Good & Evil, Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec, Final Fantasy X (A substantially different game from OTL's Final Fantasy X), Squad Four: Upheaval, Metroid: Homecoming, Big Bad Heronote , Kingdom Hearts, The Legend of Zelda: Hero Eternal note , Metal Gear Solid II: Children of the Patriotsnote , Super Mario Shadesnote , Final Fantasy Onlinenote , Lash Outnote , Velvet Dark: Conspiracy, and Star Fox: Heroic Universe.
  • Kung-Fu Jesus: Divine Wrath 4 (think SMITE if it was a Fighting Game) has God (yes, that God) as a playable character, in all his old-man, Old Testament glory. Needless to say, the game series is controversial.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Although it's not clear if this was intentional or not, in the wake of several forum members assuming Nirvana were among the casualties of TTL's Olympic Pipeline explosion, the 1999 pop culture update opens with a continuation of the Wolf Blitzer report of the explosion (which ended the previous post)... where Blitzer repeatedly tells the viewers that "all three members of the band Nirvana are in good condition".
  • Legacy Character: Spider-Man was made into this, with Peter Parker retiring to focus on his marriage to Mary Jane and Ben Reilly taking over the role.
  • Millennium Bug: Tom Kalinske makes a joke about Y2K while watching the ball drop in Times Square on New Year's Eve 1999. Given that Sega, by that point, was a clear second to Nintendo, and that he was probably going to lose his job as a result, he quips to his wife that he was hoping the Y2K bug was real just so there would be something to slow Nintendo's momentum.
  • Mood Whiplash: The November 2017 update goes from a funny headline involving the legalization of marijuana and Snoop Dogg posting his reaction towards it to one of the most horrific terrorist attacks in Japanese history.
  • Moral Guardians:
    • Jerry Falwell's reaction to Shin Megami Tensei is to call it "the most insidiously devilish thing I've ever seen." Unfortunately, since it only sold 20,000 copies in North America, he couldn't whip up a good moral panic over it.
      • He tries again with Superman: Man of Tomorrow by attacking Magog's origins in the Book of Revelations and attacking the Man of Steel as a false messiah. It backfires spectacularly as a critical quip from Jerry Seinfeld inspires the meme "What Would Superman Do" to mock evangelical Christians and makes DC Comics even more money through merchandising.
    • Eric Rudolph, who bombed the Atlanta Olympics in both OTL and TTL, tries to bomb a Sonic the Hedgehog 4 launch party in Los Angeles due to the Saturn having Devil Summoner available on it. Afterwards, the Parents Television Council finds itself in hot water over comments seen as defending Rudolph, and winds up falling apart within a year due to the backlash.
    • Jack Thompson also enters the Moral Guardian arena in a shocking fashion, as he files a mega lawsuit against both Nintendo and Sega for violent video games in the wake of Christian Weston Chandler's school shooting rampage.
  • Most Gamers Are Male: An attitude that's slowly butterflied away over the course of the story. With gaming's emergence in the mainstream happening roughly five years ahead of schedule, the mass influx of women and girls into gaming begins in the mid-'90s. As such, instead of the White Male Lead becoming the default video game protagonist and gaining the strength of inertia behind it, developers begin adding more prominent female characters into their games, initially as a case of The Smurfette Principle to appeal to girls but later evolving into a trend in its own right. One of the major themes of the story is that the aggressively masculine video game culture that took off in the late '90s and early '00s in OTL (or, as some readers have called it, the "dudebro-ification" of gaming), with all the associated problems concerning the general portrayal of women in video games, never takes root, and the idea of women as gamers is something that's seen as perfectly normal, having never been particularly unique or strange.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Lyssa Fielding, the sexy host of MTV's Singled Out, gets brought over to host GameTV in 1997 to serve as this. MTV executives wanted someone who could bring more male viewers into the show, as it was noticed that the show's lone female host up to that point, the fiery and opinionated Brittany Saldita, was more popular with the girls. It backfired, though, as Lyssa turned out to have a lot in common with Brittany in terms of being an actual gamer who knew her stuff. The moment when many fans felt that she invokedreally came into her own was with her impassioned defense of Syrielle, giving it a perfect score and getting into a fierce argument with Ted Crosley over its merits. Lyssa soon became close friends with her fellow hosts, who backed her up in her opposition to MTV's attempts to make her into this trope. That being said, she does occasionally enjoy doing sexy things on the show, such as allowing Brittany to blast her with a water gun while wearing a tight wetsuit during their Wave Race review, and wearing a French maid outfit during one of the skits.
  • Multiple Endings:
    • This timeline's version of Secret of Mana has three of them, depending if the player decides to side with humanity, the guardians of Mana, or seek a balance between the two.
    • Inspired by the above game and Elements of Mana, this timeline's version of Final Fantasy VII has three endings, dependent on Cloud's Relationship Values with Aeris, Tifa, and Barret. The character with the highest affinity to Cloud is the one who gets killed (with Aeris's death following the OTL storyline and is considered the canon path ITTL) which dictates how the threat of Meteor plays out in the ending.
  • Murder Simulators: The Senate hearings over video game violence still happen, three months earlier than OTL thanks to the uncensored release of Mortal Kombat on the SNES-CD. Resident Evil also attracts controversy of a sort that it never saw in OTL due to its status as one of the big invokedkiller apps on the Saturn, with Bob Dole criticizing it during a 1996 Presidential debate with Bill Clinton.
  • Murder-Suicide:
    • O.J. Simpson kills Nicole Brown before killing himself. Ron Goldman in this timeline would discover the bodies.
    • Later on in TTL, after shooting dead 21 people in the Valentine Day's Massacre, Christian Weston Chandler turns the gun upon himself.
    • Kensaka Haku, the culprit of the Kadokawa Massacre, takes his own life after being surrounded by police.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Higher ups at Nintendo felt conflicted after the Mortal Kombat controversy exploded and led to Congressional hearings, wondering if allowing an uncensored release was the right thing to do.
  • Mythology Gag: Everything about Christian Weston Chandler's rampage has references to the life of OTL's Chris Chandler, such as the fact that Chris won a contest tied to the Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon and the fact that Chris drew a story with Sonichu in a custom-made Nintendo Power issue. Chris is referred to here as "Christopher" here, which was indeed Chris-Chan's birth name.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Rafael Perez's assassination attempt on John F. Kennedy Jr. would wound up heavily increasing his approval ratings for the upcoming 2020 election.
  • Nintendo Hard: Well, it's a story whose Point of Divergence is in '90s gaming, so it was inevitable that this would come up.
    • Ninja Gaiden IV: Escape From the Forbidden City. The entire section describing it is about how ridiculously difficult it is, complete with a painful instance of Easy-Mode Mockery and a Harder Than Hard difficulty that unlocks a secret ending (which also requires beating the game without dying).
      Tomonobu Itagaki: "These dogs, they think they should be entitled to win a game simply because they bought it. I'll never make my games that way. Absolutely not."
    • Elements of Mana spawns an argument between Alex and Brittany on GameTV over whether its invokedDifficulty Spike towards the end was a legitimate challenge or just plain cheap.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: One of the bosses in Naughty Dog's Dog Dash was a evil game show host that was seen as a parody of Bob Barker. More specially, one of the main characters is a dog, and the boss is obsessed with having said dog neutered, referencing Bob Barker constantly telling the public to have their pets spayed or neutered. Needless to say, the real Bob Barker didn't find it funny.
  • Nostalgia Filter: invoked An in-universe retrospective review of Sonic 4 in 2010, while acknowledging the game's impact and recognizing that it's still a good game, makes the daring claim that this trope is the only reason why it's still considered a classic. He argues that it hadn't age well, especially in comparison to Super Mario Dimensions, and that it was too dependent on level designs and gameplay from past games in the series.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: invoked In spite of Call of Duty: Domination becoming notorious for its toxic and racist playerbase with the latter surged by the events of the Pakistani War, not being helped by Activision still getting hit with various lawsuits, it still manages to make insane profits.
  • Not So Invincible After All: Mitsuko Ariyama, introduced as one of the co-creators of blockchain ITTL, and the fourth-richest person on Earth, is gunned down by Nasim Aghdam, who ITTL, blames blockchain for ruining her life.
  • Oddball in the Series: Super Mario World 3, which has an Isometric Projection viewpoint and fewer total levels compared to its immediate prequels. invokedWhile still highly rated, it would immediately become a Contested Sequel upon release, with debates on whether it was better than previous Mario games or not. It would however serve as the stepping stone to the fully 3D Super Mario Dimensions.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted in the cases of the Saturn's NiGHTS into Dreams… and the Ultra Nintendo's 1998 RPG Fairytale, both of which have major characters named Claris.
  • invoked The Other Darrin:
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: The SNES-CD add on so thoroughly overshadows the original SNES that Nintendo eventually drops the requirement that publishers must release a SNES cartridge game for every SNES-CD game they plan to release, and eventually releases a stand-alone version in November 1995.
  • invoked Overshadowed by Controversy: Following the fallout from the Michael Vick dogfighting scandal, the Cleveland Browns are described as "mired in infamy".
  • invoked Player Punch: In the Dog Mode difficulty of Ninja Gaiden IV, Ryu only gets to fight the first stage of the Final Boss, which is followed by the villain beating Ryu into submission, and then killing Ryu's love Irene Lew right in front of him.
    Shogun Gatsu: You DOG! Did you truly think you were worthy of challenging me? You are pathetic! Ha ha ha ha!
  • Point of Divergence: There are many changes to the world's timeline over the simple deal made by Nintendo and Sony and the creation of the Super Nintendo CD. But the video game console itself changes several lives:
    • James Jordan, father of Michael Jordan, is spared his fatal mugging when the muggers that would've gone after him instead target a delivery truck full of game consoles.
    • Polly Klaas's kidnapping is foiled by her kidnapper tripping over her Super Nintendo CD console and knocking himself out.
    • Tonya Harding's sabotage of Nancy Kerrigan falls through when the attacker Harding's ex-husband hired to cripple Kerrigan forgets to carry it out, because he was too busy playing video games.
    • The creator of the SNES-CD game Frederico, Carlos Delgado, calls his friend Chris Perez about a Side Bet they had on Frederico's success, meaning that Chris is awake when his wife Selena tries to go to her fateful meeting with Yolanda Saldivar. He tags along for her safety and is able to stop Yolanda from shooting Selena.
  • Polished Port: invoked The Director's Cut version of Resident Evil released for the Ultra Nintendo, which has new music, graphics vastly improved over the original Saturn version, and an epilogue chapter leading into Resident Evil 2 that details the beginnings of the Raccoon City outbreak. (The Saturn also got the Director's Cut, which contained a demo for RE2, but lacked the visual improvements, the new music, and the bonus chapter.)
  • Porting Disaster: invoked
    • The SNES-CD port of Alone in the Dark (1992). Ads for the Sega Saturn show footage of the SNES-CD version of Alone in the Dark side-by-side with the gorgeous Saturn exclusive Resident Evil in order to highlight the SNES-CD's perceived lack of power.
    • The Mega Charger version of Lunar: The Silver Star, which leads to a falling out between Sega and Working Designs.
    • The SNES-CD port of Phantasmagoria. Porting a game that spanned seven CDs on PC over to the SNES-CD (where, up to that point, there had been only three games that spanned even two discs) proved to be an impossible task without making huge changes. While the plot was kept fully intact, the FMV cutscenes were replaced with in-game rendered graphics that really didn't have the same impact, and the game became one of the SNES-CD's biggest disappointments. The Saturn port, on the other hand, survived intact, as players there had more patience for the six discs the game used.
  • Precision F-Strike: Used twice, both by the President of Sega of America and just the singular word.
    • Tom Kalinske does one in 1993 when Nintendo undecut the Sega CD by a Thanksgiving price cut and killed any remaining interest in the device, throwing a piece of paper in his office at the wall in response.
    • Later, Reggie Fils-Aime (who replaced Kalinske as President) does this also when he realized that Christian Weston Chandler was a superfan of Sega, played Arbiter of Sin 2 and purchased the aforementioned game before he committed the Manchester High School shooting.
  • Puppy Love: In Final Fantasy VI, Relm and Gau declare their love for each other in the World of Ruin.
  • Renamed to Avoid Association: In-Universe.
    • This is the reason why Rebecca Chambers in Resident Evil is renamed Abigail (or Abby) — Squad Four already featured a popular character named Rebecca.
    • This is also the reason for the renaming of Ash Ketchum in Pokémon: The Series, named Satoshi 'Sato' Ketchum in ITTL, to prevent confusion with the Ballistic Limitnote  protagonist, Ash Beckland.
  • Richard Nixon, the Used Car Salesman: A number of figures from OTL go on different career paths.
    • Voice actress Jennifer Stigile wins the first season of American Idol instead of Kelly Clarkson.
    • Alex Hirsch, instead of going into animation, becomes an indie game developer — together with his twin sister Ariel. Gravity Falls is a video game ITTL, as is The Owl House (titled The Boiling Isles ITTL)
    • Al Gore and Joe Lieberman are elected President and Vice President in 2000. Gore also wins a second term over John Kasich.
    • Avril Lavigne becomes a professional skateboarder instead of a pop star... in other words, a Sk8er Girl.
    • invokedChris Chandler, creator of the infamously bad webcomic Sonichu in OTL, here becomes a spree killer, responsible for TTL's equivalent of Columbine (the actual Columbine massacre wound up fizzling out ITTL).
    • Christina Grimmie is mentioned in passing as being one of the hosts of the relaunched GameTV in 2017.
    • Later on we have Nevada senator Penn Jillette and Georgia congressman Jonathan Smith.
    • Sonny Bono becomes Vice President to President Jon Huntsman Jr. in 2008.
    • Tommy Wiseau is an author who wrote several bad novels, including The Room, which is a novel ITTL.
    • George W. Bush is the commissioner of Major League Baseball in 2015.
    • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a journalist for the political website Cressida Lane.
  • The Scrappy: invokedSteve Horton, a new host added to the GameTV lineup in 1999, comes to be fairly unpopular with the show's fans. While he was just as passionate a gamer as the other hosts, his crass, party-hard demeanor was seen as a clash with the show's style and emblematic of the "new MTV" of the late '90s and early '00s.
  • Self-Deprecation: During a review of Mortal Kombat: Wrath, IGN ponders about the invoked Troubled Production of that game and various others gaming companies have endured throughout the late 10s, and wonders if gamers would protest against those companies or read their review and rush out to buy the new game.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: In-Universe, the fandom of the hit Cartoon Network show Spy School note  has rabid shipping wars between fans of pairs involving the 6 main characters in different combinations.
  • Short Run in Peru: invoked ITTL's version of Bayonetta 3 has its released delayed in Japan due to "The Day Anime Died" and as a result, releases early in North America and Europe.
  • Sleeper Hit: invoked
    • Tales of the Seven Seas, a Pirate game by Naughty Dog released in 1995 for the SNES-CD, gets such a great word-of-mouth reception that it manages to outsell the home version of Killer Instinct in the long run (despite that game's better first-day sales) and eventually becomes a Cash-Cow Franchise. And it was originally a side project while they attempted to come up with what would become Crash Bandicoot (1996).
    • invoked Road Storm, a motorcycle racing game on the SNES-CD, has only moderate sales but soon becomes a Cult Classic thanks to the twelve characters you can play as, each of whom has their own strange, quirky personality. It does well enough to get a sequel on the Ultra Nintendo and Saturn, as well as an animated series and a comic book.
    • The 1997 sequel to Sam & Max Hit the Road, Sam and Max: Freelance Police, for the SNES-CD. The port of Hit the Road did underwhelming numbers in comparison to the Monkey Island SNES-CD ports. And yet Freelance Police which was originally developed exclusively for the SNES-CD, gets more than double the sales of Hit the Road. This would lead to a PC version in 1998 and a third installment in 2001.
  • So My Kids Can Watch: invoked The reason why Sega of America CEO Tom Kalinske commissions MagiQuest as a Killer App for the Saturn. His daughter wanted an SNES-CD so that she could play Secret of Mana, but her father, what with his job, couldn't have any Nintendo products in the house. To make it up for her, he promised her that the Saturn would have an RPG even better than Mana. The result? Kalinske's eldest daughter appreciated the gesture, but she still preferred Secret of Mana.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • Fictional character examples:
      • Valis: Rebirth, the SNES-CD retelling of the first Valis game, had Reiko, friend of the game's protagonist Yuko, survive at the end. Reiko would become a playable character in the sequel to Rebirth.
      • Schala can actually be rescued in an optional sidequest in this timeline's version of Chrono Trigger, which includes being the game's 8th playable character.
      • TTL's version of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has Remus and Tonks survive.
    • Non-fictional examples:
      • Chris Farley, Tupac Shakur, Jonathan Brandis, Kurt Cobain, Owen Hart, Robin Williams, Princess Diana, Miyu Matsuki, John F. Kennedy Jr, and George Floyd avoid their historical deaths.
      • The biggest example of this trope in Player Two Start would have to be Polly Klaas. She is never kidnapped by Richard Allen Davis since he tripped over her SNES-CD console, giving her father enough time to catch and subdue him until police arrive. Her survival in this timeline has massive implications for a certain infamous mass shooting (see Heel–Face Turn above).
      • Christina Grimmie is another, averting her early death IOTL and instead going onto being one of the hosts of the revived GameTV, and eventually plays the part of Saria in Ang Lee's adaptation of The Legend of Zelda.
      • Stanley Kubrick survives the heart attack that killed him in OTL, following up Eyes Wide Shut with AI. 2005 marks the release of Kubrick's biopic on Napoléon Bonaparte.
    • Franchise examples: video game franchises such as F-Zero, Legacy of Kain, Perfect Dark, True Crime, and Beyond Good & Evil are far more active ITTL than they are IOTL, managing to avoid cancellation due to low sales, bad reception, or both.
  • invoked Spiritual Adaptation:
  • Take That!: In-Universe. After Gary won the Celebrity Deathmatch GameTV special, here's what Johnny and Nick had to say about it:
    Nick: But... now that all the good hosts are dead, what are people gonna watch on this network?
    Johnny: Well... us, of course.
    Nick: Oh, right! (laughs)
  • Taking the Bullet: In this timeline's version of Final Fantasy VII, if Tifa goes on a date with Cloud on the Golden Saucer, she will sacrifice her life by jumping in front of Aeris, protecting her from Sephiroth at the cost of her life.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Averted in regards to SEGA during the Nineties. IOTL, one of SEGA's undoings in the console market was that their American and Japanese branches were incapable of getting along, and in some cases, did their own things entirely without telling one another, such as developing hardware and making deals with third parties. ITTL, SEGA instead decides to take substantial steps to avert this after the SNES-CD's success, such as having a corporate retreat in order to iron out both sides' differences. As a result, they end up staying in the console business ITTL.
  • invoked That One Achievement: Getting the Secret Ending in Ninja Gaiden IV involves beating the game's unlockable Harder Than Hard difficulty while losing no lives.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: "Mr. Hiller" from Commander Keen: Mars' Most Wanted is a thinly-veiled parody of Adolf Hitler.
  • Trilogy Creep: The fifth Zelda game, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Dreams for the SNES-CD, would be the direct sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, forming what would be called the Link to the Past Trilogy. Not only that, Link's Awakening serves to setup the events of Ocarina of Dreams, in contrast to OTL's Link's Awakening where it was a filler story within the series' mythology.
  • Tuckerization: The protagonists of MagiQuest are named after Tom Kalinske's daughters.
  • Unexpected Character: In-Universe example, although its more like Unexpected Localization, as in this timeline, Konami actually chooses to bring over the first Tokimeki Memorial game to North America (under its subtitle Forever With You) on December 1995.
  • Updated Re-release:
    • Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy V get released for SNES-CD with improved graphics and sounds In the case of IV, it also has multiple difficulties (the original difficulty, the Easy Type version, and a new harder difficulty), the ability to switch party members for the endgame (introduced in OTL's Game Boy Advance version), and for the West, a new localization from Ted Woolsey (while retaining "Spoony Bard").
    • Super Punch-Out!! gets an update for the SNES-CD that includes an additional four opponents (with Donkey Kong as the final boss much like Punch-Out for the Wii), a bit more voice acting, and a split screen two player mode. However, it isn't exactly a compelling purchase to those who already own the SNES version, so Nintendo had a $30 rebate towards Super Punch-Out!! CD for those who provide proof of purchase of the SNES title.
    • Phantasy Star IV updated to include Mega Charger additions, including a bonus ending that hinted at Phantasy Star V for the Saturn. This version would be the basis for the North American localization in 1995.
    • Sonic Jam happens, but several levels Dummied Out of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (including Hidden Palace and Wood Zone) are completed and reinserted into the game with all-new bosses as part of an unlockable Directors Cut. This updated version of the game is also given an extremely limited Genesis release as the final Mega Charger game.
  • Valentine's Day Violence: The Valentine's Day Massacre in Massively Multiplayer, the timeline's equivalent to Columbine, has 21 people shot dead at school as part of a Murder-Suicide.
  • Villainous Crush: Eric Harris had one on Polly Klaas, with some of his actions driven by his crush on her.
  • Wham Episode:
    • The May 2000 update ends with a major gaming figure dying early. Shigeru Miyamoto was riding his bike home after picking up a copy of Dragon Quest VII, when a speeding car suddenly struck him.
    • Christian Weston Chandler's killing spree, and especially the stigma against autistic people that emerged from it, wound up hitting very close to home for a large number of readers, many of whom were themselves on the autism spectrum and were children or teenagers around the time that this incident happens ITTL. A frequent point raised was that their childhoods likely would've been destroyed overnight if they lived in this world, their lives turning out for the worse. To quote one reader:
    "...well, something had to balance out how much I wanted to live in this world, and I guess that's it."
    • The Spring 2006 update features the Son of Beast roller coaster at Paramount King's Island crashing due to a catastrophic structural failure, killing 22 people and injuring a further 6, due to shoddy, negligent maintenance. King's Island is closed down after the incident, with Cedar Fair going bankrupt from the resultant lawsuits and selling its remaining parks to Six Flags.
    • The November 2017 update. Also known as "The Day Anime Died", this event features Kensaka Haku being disillusioned by the state of anime, particularly those associated with Kadokawa, and as a result, instigated a massacre that would take the lives of 215 people, most notably Hayao Miyazaki, Nobunaga Shimazaki, Risa Taneda, Kenji Nojima, Kenichi Suzumura, Maaya Sakamoto, Yuu Kobayashi, Takuma Terashima, and Tite Kubo. The aftermath would see multiple anime and manga delayed or cancelled and saw the complete downfall of Japan's youth movement, with the Japanese Prime Minister Akira Nagatsuma losing popularity and nearly losing the position of Prime Minister and the conservative side landsliding through Japanese Politics.
    • The year 2020 ends with a bang: Bombs going off at midnight on New Year's Eve in Times Square and in New Delhi. And not just bombs; Dirty Bombs. When it's discovered that Pakistani terrorists are responsible, and the Pakistani government refuses to hand them over immediately, things escalate into the Pakistan War, with tactical nukes used on both sides (though none by the US).
  • Wham Line:
    • During September 17, 1993 we get this line:
      The next day, Bill's boss would be hearing all about what he'd seen his son and his friends having so much fun playing together. Bill's boss? Senator Joseph Lieberman.
    • August 24 1997 has this line:
      I have a feeling it's all going to depend on Donkey Kong, said Arakawa, forcing himself to smile. Just like it did 13 years ago.
    • From a clip of the 1995 Kids' Choice Awards, we get an... interesting announcement:
      Announcer: Coming up next, the award for Favorite Male Athlete of the year! And remember to stick around after the Kids Choice Awards for a special preview episode of our newest Nicktoon, Phineas and Ferb!
    • A look at the Central Texas Tornado Outbreak of 1997 reveals an interesting casualty to the list:
      "Burnie, help me get this mattress over us!" screamed Michael's friend over the rapidly loudening roaring of the tornado.
    • Behold. The most ominous ending to date:
      Across town, Eric Harris was sitting in his room, flipping through a magazine. He saw an ad for next month's Doom: Inferno for the Ultra Nintendo, and his eyes lit up.

      "That looks fucking sweet," he thought, eyeing the advertisement which was filled with detailed screenshots from the game and emblazoned with artwork of the game's demonic monsters.

      Then his eyes glanced at the release date, and he let out a long sigh.

      "Too bad I'll never get to play it."

      The game's release date? April 20, 1999.
    • Exactly how bad was Woodstock 1999 ITTL? It convinced Kurt Cobain to retire from music. Kurt charged from the stage to prevent a gang rape, and got his nose broken by one of the would-be rapists as a result.
      "I'm fuckin' done with music after that bullshit."
      -Kurt Cobain, to Dave Grohl, backstage at Woodstock 1999 while being treated for a broken nose
    • The end of the October 1999 update as the Sega execs discuss who to target as Tom Kalinske's replacement as head of Sega of America:
      "There is a man working with one of Nintendo's software companies, Rareware. He has acute business sense and is very talented at promoting games and may be just what we need to get people excited about the Katana. Under his leadership, Rareware's games have been extremely profitable."

      "Do you think this man would leave Rare and Nintendo to come and work for Sega?" asked Nakayama.

      "The position of chairman at Sega of America is far more lucrative than what he's making at Rare," said Irimajiri. "A generous offer would easily prompt him to jump ship."

      "His contract with Rare doesn't expire until the end of March 2000," said Nakayama.

      "Which is only a few weeks before we'll be unveiling the Katana to North America at the E3 trade show."

      The other executives seemed open to Irimajiri's suggestion, and Nakayama agreed to consider it. Irimajiri handed him a folder with information about the man who he hoped would soon be succeeding Tom Kalinske.

      "Reggie Fils-Aime."
    • The Manticore update ends on this:
      "Not really a big Manticore fan but I think I speak for every Xbox owner here when I say fuck Konami."

      -from the topic “Why Is Konami So Pissed About A Mediocre Sandbox Game?” posted by user JimSterling to the Xbox Central Forum, on July 24, 2004.
    • The May 2020 update provides a surprising inclusion to the timeline.
      Anderson Cooper: And now out of Minnesota, an incredible story of heroism as an alert truck driver helped to save the life of a kidnapped woman. Here's ABC's Donnie Williams with the story.

      *A stock video of an 18-wheeler going down the road is seen as a snippet from a 911 call is played.*

      Operator: 911, what's your emergency?

      Man: Hello, yes, 911? I'm driving down Interstate 35, at the... just past exit 76, and um, I saw a red... Chevy, Chevy Malibu, and there was a woman sticking her head out of the trunk.

      Operator: A woman in the trunk?

      Man: There was tape all on her face, I think she's being kidnapped. I'm still following the car, she's just... I can see her head inside the trunk, she looked real scared.

      Operator: And what's your name, sir?

      Man: George Floyd, ma'am.
    • August 2020 has one of the most shocking ones in the entire trilogy.
      BREAKING: Hideo Kojima dead at 56

    Tropes impacted by the Timeline