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Self Deprecation / Video Games

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  • When lecturing about summoning magic in Persona 3, Mr. Edogawa says "It's widely seen in books, movies, better video games, and so on..." Notice the "better", implying "better than this one".
  • The developers of Goat Simulator stated that "To be completely honest, it would be best if you’d spend your $10 on a hula hoop, a pile of bricks, or maybe a real-life goat."
  • Ace Combat: Assault Horizon: During the Dubai Mission, if you initiate DFM against an enemy fighter while over the ocean, there is a chance that it will lead you down and under the hotel's arch in the harbor. If you follow through, your wingman will exclaim "This isn't Ace Combat!" This references the numerous times in the previous games where you pulled stunts like flying under bridges or into tunnels, things that real air force pilots would not even dream of.
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  • The release of a trailer for Perfect World was criticised for, among other things, having too much lens flare. Their response? A new trailer... "Now with more lens flare."
  • Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People: "Say it with me now, The Cheat: licensed games are never good!" Guess what the game itself is. (thankfully, this game was actually well-recieved)
  • In Fable II, one can read any gravestone in the game. One reads "PDM, This is the best grave in history and will change the way people look at final resting places forever." It's a perfectly normal grave. Also, Peter Molyneux's middle name is Douglas.
  • Fable III has a side quest where you enter the world of a tabletop roleplaying game run by three gaming geeks/amateur wizards. The quest ends with you striking down the evil Baron with the Sword of Baron-Slaying, and one of the gamers complains "What kind of rubbish game lets you kill the villain in one hit?", no doubt a reference to the infamous anticlimactic confrontation with Lucien at the end of Fable II.
  • In the opening sequence of Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts 'N Bolts, Rareware pokes fun at its own reputation for "collect-a-thon" gameplay, thanks to its resident fourth-wall demolition man, the Lord of Games.
    "Now then. In line with Banjo Tradition, your challenge will consist of collecting as many pointless items as possible."
    • At one point, L.O.G. claims to have been laughing the whole time while designing the Canary Mary races in Banjo-Tooie.
    • In one of the press releases, Rare announced that after making the game, they'd probably go back to being rubbish again.
    • There's also the nods towards Grabbed by the Ghoulies's total failure and the Banjo series having much, much, MUCH fewer games than "That Italian gentleman".
    • "Bear put these on vehicle so float. If not enough, vehicle sink, like this game at market." — Mumbo
  • The two Discworld games starring Rincewind have him continually complaining about all the inane items, insane puzzles and fetch quests he was expected to collect, solve and achieve, respectively. The first game, near the end, contained a man who supposedly sold all those ridiculous puzzles and quests, and Rincewind had a very cathartic time shouting at him. He even tricks him into getting bashed over the head by the Librarian. Discworld 2 even has it look like a fetch quest is about to be put up, only for Rincewind to shout at the quest giver and then use Insane Troll Logic to get the item anyway.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics:
  • Final Fantasy V Advance has a nameless NPC mock Squaresoft's Mario Kart clone, Chocobo Racing and/or the tedious Luck-Based Mission minigame of Final Fantasy X:
    "Wouldn't chocobo racing be totally extreme?... No, I guess not."
  • Dmitri of Backyard Sports mocks the games' lack of good AI and their focus on the characters rather than gameplay.
  • In The Secret of Monkey Island, at the very end you have a choice of four Aesops for Guybrush to claim to have learned over the course of the game. One of the options is about the inadvisability of shelling out good money for a short video game.
  • Done several times in The Curse of Monkey Island. First, when Guybrush tells an actor that his Shakespeare rewrite sucks, the actor continues practicing for it, telling Guybrush that now he knows he's produced a work of unredeemable trash, he's guaranteed to get a lot of attention (which Guybrush finds strangely encouraging). Second, Guybrush is talking to a talent agent, who describes his job as "making his living off the hard work and talent of others". Guybrush says "You're a project leader on a computer game?". When examining a horror trilogy, Guybrush wonders why trashy media always comes in threes (Curse is the third game in the Monkey Island series). Guybrush also has the option to guess that the "Secret of Monkey Island" is that a sequel can never be as good as the original.
  • Matt Hazard: Blood, Bath and Beyond is full of self-deprecating jokes related to itself and the previous game. At one point, the title character even claims that said previous game is "now available in bargain bins everywhere!"
  • Mass Effect:
    • Mass Effect has a moment where an NPC will note that Lady Benezia, an asari Matriarch, has gotten a lot of attention from the nearby male employees. If present, Ashley will give her opinion on the matter, which ends up targeting both the audience and the game itself:
      Ashley: Young men have funny ideas of what asari are like. I blame the extranet. And computer games.
    • Mass Effect 2:
      • The games salesman does this amidst his normal Take That! lines directed at Gamestop and Copy Protection; one line has him saying that he misses the old-school role-playing games where it took five hours of real-time to fly between locations and you had to remember to drink water, whereas RPGs now are all "big choices" and "visceral combat."
      • The weapons and upgrades are protected by 'Fabrication Rights Management'? Almost funny enough to make up for the Digital Rights Management protections on the PC version of ME1.
      • Conrad Verner. In the interim between the two games he's attempted (and failed) to take Shepard's place as the galaxy's saviour. Bioware uses the opportunity to take potshots at themselves:
        Shepard: So, you just wander the galaxy, righting wrongs?
      • Also, there is an argument by investors on how the attacks on human colonies will lead to a huge amount of business for the prefabricated building companies. The first Mass Effect used the same 2 or 3 prefabricated buildings for all content except the main story line.
      • There's also several shots at disliked missions or elements from the first game, such as a couple in a store arguing about gene therapy for their child and saying that maybe they should turn to a random stranger to solve their problems, or Tali getting annoyed when she's reminded about the elevators, or Mordin saying that, when he served in a military squad, at least he, "Didn't have to purchase own equipment." Plus there's Miranda's annoyance when stuck in an elevator during her loyalty mission, during which she whacks the control panel with her omni-tool and screams for it to hurry up, which causes the elevator to speed up and the obnoxious music to shut off.
      • The "Lair of the Shadow Broker" DLC contains several jabs at the previous game, from the poor handling of the Mako to the simplistic hacking.
        Shepard: Remember when you could just slap omni-gel on everything?
        Liara: That security upgrade made a lot of people unhappy.
    • Mass Effect 3:
      • The game takes shots at some of the most mocked lines from the second game, such as Garrus' "I'm in the middle of some calibrations" line when he doesn't have anything important to say:
        Primarch Victus: Garrus said he had to attend to the Normandy's weapon systems. Something about calibrations.
        Shepard: Sounds like Garrus.
      • Jack's "I will destroy you!" combat shout (itself a prod at enemies' lines in the first game) is mocked by her students.
      • Thermal clips were introduced in the second game as an ammo system, whereas the first game had unlimited ammunition. Conrad doesn't think the clips are a very good idea; as he puts it, "You might as well be going back to limited ammunition."
      • The Leviathan downloadable mission has EDI running references on "Basilisk" in her database. One of the entries she reads aloud describes a mid-level boss enemy in Galaxy of Fantasy that is infamous for "synched-animation instant kills" and commenting that the players regularly complain it is overpowered. Many of the actual game's Demonic Spiders are reviled by the fanbase for being able to use synched-animation instant kills on the player if they get too close.
      • Both the Mako's handling and the Hammerhead's fragility are mocked when Vega and Cortez get into an argument over which is better.
      • And then came the Citadel DLC, which included half a dozen ambient conversations with multiplayer classes griping about certain issues, ranging from early-release classes being jealous of the flashy moves and fancy equipment of more recently released ones, to an infiltrator with an extensive list of grievances about a pickup game with some noobish ex-Cerberus Vanguard with no clue what he was doing.
        "Shepard." "Grunt." "Shepard!" "Wrex." "Commander Shepard." "Shepard, Shepard, Shepard." "Wrex... Grunt..."
        "He said: I should go... Do I sound like that? How come nobody told me this before?!"
        (getting shot at) "Hey, that's cheating! We're on a ladder!"
        "I don't suppose you need anything... calibrated?"
  • Dragon Age II:
    • Flemeth does this occasionally, such as describing herself as "An old hag who talks too much."
    • In the Legacy DLC, apparently some of your party has taken to noting the similarity of various locations features into a Drinking Game.
      Varric: We passed a broken pillar, you know what that means.
      Isabela: Everyone take a drink!
      Aveline: The last time you played this game, didn't Isabela tried to "get Orlesian" with a lyrium vein?
      Varric: Yep!
      Aveline: Carry on, then.
    • The DLC Mark of the Assassin gives us a nice bit of dialogue mocking the game's lack of locations outside Kirkwall and its much-maligned recycling of levels.
      Merril: It's so exciting to be out of Kirkwall. It seems like we haven't left there in ages.
      Hawke: We do seem to spend a ridiculous amount of time in the city.
      Merril: Ah I needed this break. I was starting to think every part of Kirkwall looked alike.
    • In both Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age: Origins, there's a joke at the expense of the Towers of Hanoi puzzle, which Bioware used in Knights of the Old Republic. DA:O also has a joke at the expense of Mass Effect, with a random comment in the Deep Roads about an extremely slow elevator ride and a dwarf called Shepard who won't shut up. Basically, Bioware loves making fun of its own work.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition has a running gag where other characters go after Varric for things in the last game.
    Iron Bull: Hey Varric, I was reading your stuff. Where do your bad guys come from?
    Varric: Well, some of them come from Tevinter, and some are Ben-Hassrath spies, but I like the stories where the villain was the man beside you all the time. The best villains don't see themselves as evil — they're fighting for a good cause, willing to get their hands dirty.
    Bull: All right... that's really deep and all, but I meant "where do the bad guys come from, literally?" The way you write it, it's like they just fall from the sky and land on top of the hero.
    Varric: I like to leave some things to the reader's imagination.
  • Alan Wake:
    • In the midst of a long-winded rant by Smug Snake Dr. Hartman, Hartman mentions that one of the mental patients is in the production of video games. In a very derogatory tone of voice, he says it's "utter trash, but it does require small amounts of creativity." Whether or not this fully qualifies as Self-Deprecation is unclear, however, because Hartman is clearly someone whose opinion shouldn't matter much to players.
    • In Alan Wake's American Nightmare. One of the complaints of the first game was the small enemy variety, and a manuscript page in American Nightmare states that the Dark Presence in the first game lacked imagination.
    • One trailer has Mr. Scratch mocking the ending of the first game. According to that same trailer, Remedy's writing staff consists of Sam Lake and a potted plant.
  • A trailer for Duke Nukem Forever is filled with jokes related to the insane amount of time it took to make this game.
    Random Woman: What about the game, Duke ? Was it any good ?
    Duke: Yeah, but after 12 *bleep* years, it should be !
  • Metal Gear:
  • The marketing slogan for EarthBound was "This Game Stinks!" And it came with scented stickers with unusual smells. Also a case of taking it too far: EarthBound actually didn't sell as well as it could have (and was long-since Vindicated by History) and one such reason was buyers assuming the game was mindless toilet humor rather than a clever, fun, and upbeat game with a weird sense of humor and only some toilet humor.
  • Neptunia, due to the games having No Fourth Wall, has this in spades:
  • A common complaint about Saints Row: The Third was over the several points in the game that the player would be given two options that, outside of the game's final act, would give different bonuses and achievements/trophies but wouldn't impact anything else. The prologue of Saints Row IV riffs on this by asking the player to make several decisions that have no impact on anything.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • The HD versions of Sonic Unleashed feature Eggman Robots that can be spoken to as civilians, when visiting Eggmanland after completing the game. Three of said robots are named, "EF-MD1991"note , "EF-DC1998" and "EF-XB2006". Talking to EF-XB2006 prompts the robot into saying how he is the youngest of the fighters and therefore lacks experience. He's also apparently clumsy and is rubbish at doing anything right... it seems Sonic Team themselves didn't find THAT particular Sonic game any good. Also, once you complete Crisis City in Sonic Generations and release Blaze, she laments the fact that she was captured to begin with with a line that's rather... open for interpretation:
      Blaze: Sonic, I hope we can keep this slip up of mine just between the two of us, all right?
    • At the Sonic Boom festival, Sega released a trailer for the then-upcoming re-release of Sonic Adventure 2 declaring themselves "The masters of secrecy"... before showing all the web pages that revealed the existence of games like Sonic the Hedgehog 4 and Sonic Generations and declaring that the game would be "leaking onto consoles" that Fall.
    • The Tumblr page announcing Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice states in its tags that it was going to be a lot better than the last one. Which, considering Fire & Ice is a sequel to the Nintendo 3DS Sonic Boom game, and Fire & Ice is also for the 3DS, this turns Rise of Lyric into Canon Discontinuity.
    • In LEGO Dimensions, if Sonic is paired up with the Lumpy Space Princess, he'll start to remember Princess Elise... only to wave it off, claiming he doesn't remember it much.
    • On the 10th anniversary of '06, the official Sonic twitter feed celebrated the company's biggest Never Live It Down moment once again.
    • On July 22nd 2016, Sega ran an anniversary live stream featuring upcoming games Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces, which went poorly thanks in no small part to a loud buzzing sound that made it hard to hear anything else. In Mania itself, after defeating the Studiopolis boss, a "technical difficulties" screen appears accompanied by that same noise.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, there is a Bonus Dungeon whose reward is the Ice Arrows. In Desert Colossus, close to the entrance to the Spirit Temple, there's a Gossip Statue that tells Link that the Ice Arrows aren't a worthy reward for beating that dungeon, thus referring to the potential little use of that item in the game.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, one of the corpses in the Temple of the Ocean King laments that he was unable to use the pad controls instead of the touch screen. The latter is how the game is controlled, as it's a Nintendo DS game.
  • Postal:
    • Many gamers were unhappy about being unable to drive the cars present, particularly after the Grand Theft Auto series became popular. It became possible to ride on Segways in the third game... but your weapons' options were massively limited. The Postal Dude doesn't let this pass unsnarked:
      Postal Dude: Right, Postal has vehicles now. Very funny, assholes!
    • If one reads the tombstones in the graveyard during the "Piss on Dad" section of the game, they'll get this gem.
      Postal 2 plot, brutally murdered April, 13 2003
  • Blizzard Entertainment and Valve regularly do this, making fun of their release schedule. Blizzard even went as far as to both trademark "Soon" and explain how Soon works.
    "Now"——-"Very Soon"———"Soon"———"Soonish"——-"The End of Time"
  • In StarCraft: Brood War repeatedly poking the various units and characters will get a series of distinctive dialogs (Blizzard Entertainment is fond of this Easter Egg mechanic). When clicking on character Artanis, the following dialog lines (among others) ensue: "This is not Warcraft in Space. It's much more sophisticated. I know It's not 3-D".
  • There is a Jak and Daxter trilogy DVD, written by the games' original staff, in which Daxter narrates and summarizes what happened in the first three games. His hour-and-a-half-long spiel occasionally jabs at moments lots of players reported to be frustrating. Him talking about the ending of Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy and the bright, shiny light behind the door takes the cake.
    And then we found it! After working our butts off in this adventure, after collecting every stinkin' power cell in this entire crazy world, clawing my paws to the bone, we got—that's right, drumroll, please—ab-so-lu-tely nothin'. Zippo, nada. Hello?! That sucked. That SUCKED. I'll send you my therapy bill and a receipt for the broken game controller.
  • Borderlands 2:
    • The intro of Borderlands 2 mentions that at the end of their journey, the Vault Hunters only found tentacles and disappointment... Which is basically how many players reacted to the ending of the first game.
    • When Axton throws down his turret, sometimes he'll say "Hey stand in front of this." taking a shot at how in the first one the turret could only shoot if an enemy was in front of it.
    • There's also an In-Universe example near the end of the game, when Claptrap is attempting to hack some defense turrets so they'll attack enemies rather than the player, his reaction to his success is this:
      Claptrap: HOLY *** THAT ACTUALLY WORKED!!! The turrets are fighting for us now! I actually did something!
  • Punch-Out!!:
    • Next Level Games, a Canadian game studio, made fun of their own nationality in the Wii version (which was developed by them) with the character Bear Hugger. While they didn't create the character, they went out of their way to pick him as one of the only two returning characters from Super Punch Out (the other being Aran Ryan).
    • Nintendo is the publisher of the series, but to prove no nationality is spared from funny stereotypes, they conceived Piston Hondo as a Japanese boxer who looks like a stereotypical samurai fighter and who, despite his over-the-top training regiment, can't do any better than the lowest rank of the major league (and is beaten out by Bear Hugger, whose training regiment basically consists of drinking maple syrup and playing hockey with a bear).
  • BioShock Infinite:
    • Near the tail-end, Booker and Elizabeth find themselves warped into the Underwater City of Rapture from the first two games. Booker's reaction?
      Booker: A city at the bottom of the ocean? Ridiculous.
    • When Booker and Elizabeth go to the Hall of Heroes Gift Shop, they find some Duke and Dimwit machines, Elizabeth remarks about the third one made; "It's the newest in the series, I heard it was delayed three times!", This is a reference to the delays that 2K and Irrational Games made to BioShock Infinite.
  • If Valve's memory served them right, then down bellow is how their conversation with a member of the community went while making the Robotic Boogaloo for Team Fortress 2 went...
    VALVE: Help, we forgot how to do our jobs! Please make a new update or else the giant iguana posing as Gabe Newell will fire us and have us escorted out by security in that order!
    MODEST COMMUNITY MEMBER: Fear not, incompetent Valve employees, the community is here to save the day once again. We have but one stipulation: we will not make robot hats under any circumstances and that's final. Unless you pay us lots of money.
    • Elsewhere, in other supplemental material, they depict themselves as hat-obsessed slackers who otherwise don't work on any (non-hat-related) projects).
  • Mega Man Xtreme 2, the big bad sets up a "game" by placing eight Mavericks for the heroes to defeat before he challenges them himself. X replies that the game is pointless.
  • Every fan of Mega Man X knows that Sigma is behind everything ever, and by the fourth time in a row when a maverick pops up to fight and X demands to know who ordered him to, he snarks that X really should already know:
    Split Mushroom: Are you X? I'm under orders to terminate you.
    X: What?! Who's orders?
    Split Mushroom: Take a wild guess.
  • Rune Factory 4's manual references North American translator and publisher XSEED Games having mistranslated the Sechs Empire as the Zzyzx Empire in their earlier work on Rune Factory Frontier, suggesting that the empire briefly changed its name due to a practical joke or illness-induced delirium.
  • The Byteria franchise is produced by a one-man studio with Game Makers and whatever stock graphics they include. A fourth wall isn't affordable, either, so the characters frequently ridicule them.
  • Flower, Sun and Rain does this to extremes with a child in chapter 7 who slams the game he's in for many things, including: "Are polygon faces look totally different from our 2D art!", "The music is all just rip-off's", as well as questioning the believability of the plot point of terrorists targeting such a small island, how "Catherine", the game's all purpose puzzle solving tool even works, and why the main, Mondo, wears a black-suit all the time. The goal then becomes trying to stop the kid from destroying the game by smashing the fourth wall to pieces.
  • Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag: As the game opens, you are playing a researcher for the newly formed (fictional) company Abstergo Entertainment, which collaborated with the In-Universe version of Ubisoft note ... to present the story of Aveline de Grandpré, a fallen Assassin who rediscovered the light with the help of the Templar Order, and is collaborating with them again on Devils of the Caribbean, a severely modified pseudo-history of one Edward Kenway. The internal marketing and external promotional material that you can reveal throughout the game are masterpieces of Stylistic Suck, with the voiceovers horribly mispronouncing the characters' names and blatantly ignoring the historical context of their actions. In the end, they release a Michael Bay-esque trailer advertising the "wine, women, and adventure" of the era, utterly in contrast with the more genuine story that you actually experience in the game. While this reflects Abstergo's attempt to sell Templar propaganda to the masses, it is also an obvious knock at the real life industry of which Ubisoft is a part.
    • One of the sea shanties your crew can sing, "Derby Ram", has a Jackdaw crewmember sing about all the preposterous things he's seen or done as the verses, to which the rest of the crew responds that that's a lie as the chorus. When the first crewmember sings that the Jackdaw is manned by some of the handsomest, strongest, bravest sailors in the world, you can hear other men snickering before they respond that that's a lie.
  • Fallout:
    • Fallout 3 had a much-maligned ending which didn't make an awful lot of sense and had several characters behaving... very strangely, given the context. The expansion pack Broken Steel retcons the previous ending, including a new bit with the super-mutant Fawkes lampshading his own previous actions and pointing out there would be absolutely no reason for him to react that way.
    • A subtle one in Fallout: New Vegas: A few characters, when told that roboticist Mr. House has a secret weapon hidden under a hill, presume it to be a giant robot. When it turns out it's not that, Yes-Man offers the consolation, "And if you had, you know, a huge killer robot at your command, yeah, that would just clutter things up. And a lesser person might want that kind of overwhelming force on their side, but you know - where's the challenge in that?" In the later missions of Fallout 3, the Lone Wanderer is indeed accompanied by a giant robot, and said missions are usually described in guides as "follow Liberty Prime around as he finishes the level for you."
  • Animal Crossing: New Leaf:
    • When a normal-type villager visits your house, they may tell you about a video game they've been playing where "you run your own town but also have to keep all these needy animals happy."
    • When you play hide-and-seek on the island, Tortimer will introduce it by saying that hide-and-seek "is good, wholesome fun—unlike those newfangled space-age vidya games you kids play."
  • Romancing Walker includes the FLARE Bat, a recurring monster and the author's avatar which the protagonist cannot stand at all and always trash talks it upon an encounter.
  • Everything Cranky Kong says in the Donkey Kong Country series and manuals is this trope up to eleven. It's all about how much better games were in the arcade days, how the stories are complete crap, how the features in the manuals such as the "notes" section are pointless and the characters are idiots. He even makes a common criticism about the N64 controller in the Donkey Kong 64 manual!
    Cranky Kong: Arrgh! What is that thing? Which way do I hold it? There are too many buttons... and this wobbly stick-thing feels like it's broken! I can't believe players use this silly controller contraption to play games! A good solid joystick and one button is all I'd need!
  • In the Space Quest V: The Next Mutation manual, a behind-the-scenes exclusive look shows how the creative team came up with their original plot ideas, by reading the Star Trek Compendium and a Star Wars guide book, while an Alien facehugger model sits on their desk.
  • Every single RPG Super Mario Bros. spinoff has a number of jokes that mock aspects of the main series. Mainly the silliness of Peach constantly getting kidnapped. Heck, even the main series makes fun of that plot point from time-to-time.
  • The DLC for Dead Rising 3 pokes fun at Capcom Sequel Stagnation with its name: Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX Plus Alpha (SUDR3ARHEEXPA).
  • The Elder Scrolls series has M'aiq the Lair, a recurring Easter Egg Legacy Character who has appeared in every game since Morrowind. M'aiq is a known a Fourth-Wall Observer (and Leaner and Breaker) who voices the opinions of the series' creators and developers, largely in the form of Take Thats, to both the audience and isn't above above Self Deprecation in the form of taking some shots at Bethesda itself. For example, some of his comments from Skyrim regarding design choices, game mechanics, and dialogue in Oblivion:
    "Nords are so serious about beards. So many beards. M'aiq thinks they wish they had glorious manes like Khajiit." note 
    "M'aiq carries two weapons, to be safe. What if one breaks? That would be most unlucky." note 
    "M'aiq is very practical. He has no need for Mysticism." note 
    "It does not matter to M'aiq how strong or smart one is. It only matters what one can do." note 
    "M'aiq loves the people of Skyrim. Many interesting things they say to each other." note 
    "M'aiq saw a mudcrab the other day. Filthy things." note 
  • MadWorld has Howard and Kreese, the game's Combat Commentators, absolutely rip apart all the game's design team in a way only they can. Some sample commentaries:
    Howard: How can you tell which one is the lead programmer?
    Kreese: He's the one not getting laid more than the other programmers.

    Howard: (To the Lead Character Designer) Hey, that guy was in my "how to draw for slow learners" class.
    Howard: Animators are the ones who bring the action to life.
    Kreese: I think you mean the ones that get no action their whole life.

    Kreese: There was only one guy working in the blood effects department? He must've been working twenty-four seven!
    • And for a little in-universe self-deprecation
    Kreese: Frame designers?! These guys couldn't frame Howard for sex crimes!
    Howard: Wow, they must really suck!
  • It wasn't actually licensed by Harmonix themselves, but they still allowed the album "Ziltoid the Omniscient" to be used the in their games series Rock Band, with Ziltoid himself constantly reminding the player how stupid s/he looks playing around with fake instruments and doing what the game tells him to do, but you have 43 minutes (the length of the album) to change his mind. It doesn't work; he still thinks it's for nerds.
  • A developer case in Far Cry 4. Turns out Willis really didn't like Far Cry 3's protagonist, Jason Brody, in the slightest.
  • Far Cry 5 pokes fun at 4's system of climbing and liberating radio towers in order to reveal sections of the map when, during a similar mission early on, a friendly NPC assures the player that they will not be spending the entire game doing that.
  • In 2013, Jick, creator of Kingdom of Loathing, announced an update that added a few new features to Monster Manuel. One of those features was that Manuel's Monster Compendium would now report an enemy's initiative stat. The announcement ended with the following sentence:
    Jick: Also, the way this game handles initiative is idiotic. Who wrote this crap.
  • In the ending of Putty, when the robot identifies Dazzledaze, a list of actions pops up on Robo Cam. Though "terminate target" is the selected action, the alternatives include "avoid graphics as a living."
  • Firebird Software once released a ZX Spectrum game compilation titled Don't Buy This, containing some of the worst games sent to them for evaluation. If contemporary reviews are to be believed, the title was entirely justified.
  • On the review section for the Steam listing of Undertale, while the scores are perfect, the quotes themselves are anything but.
    “The puzzles aren't particularly impressive.” 10/10 – Destructoid
    “I have a couple of issues with the user interface.” 10/10 – PC Invasion
    “If there’s a criticism to be had, it’s that sometimes Toby Fox doesn’t know when to let a joke go.” 10/10 – Jimquisition
  • Grand Theft Auto:
    • Grand Theft Auto V has a mission where you have to use a motorbike to jump on top of a moving train, get to the conductor's room, and hijack the train. One of the bonus objectives is "Better than CJ", which is a jab against CJ from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas where he had to ride alongside a moving train on a motobike and have Big Smoke kill some enemies riding on top of the train. Said mission is infamously known for the "All we had to do was follow the damn train, CJ!" line whenever you failed, which happened quite frequently. Both games were made by Rockstar Games.
    • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas also has the San Fierro bridge facts.
    • Grand Theft Auto IV has the T-Rex. It's hard to read, but it says: "This big bastard took a few days to knock up because it had to be done by the sole hand of a prop artist. But alas, and feast your eyes on this 21000 poly maniac. Trex right up your arse. How do you like them apples?" A nearby Triceratops has the same text describing it.
  • In King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow, the shelves of the pawn shop contain items that would have solved some of the most infamous puzzles from past King's Quest games, like a bridge repair kit, a tongue-climbing kit, and self-adhesive emeralds.
  • The creators of Thimbleweed Park, despite having a lot of jabs at Sierra Online, worked some in at themselves. Most notable is the option that literally lets you turn off "annoying in-jokes".
  • South Park mocked Guitar Hero in the episode "Guitar Queer-o." Less than two weeks later, former Guitar Hero developer Harmonix released the first Rock Band, which contained a South Park song on-disc. A few years later Lady Gaga's Poker Face, as well as Cartman's version were added as DLC. It's every bit as hilarious as you'd expect.
  • Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory did away with the three alerts and your mission fails rule and was not subtle about how needlessly arbitrary and "video gamey" it was. The way it's pointed out Lampshades its status as a rule that no one liked and only existed to inhibit the player:
    Lambert: Fisher, we just pulled up Celestina's last dry-dock report for the Maria Narcissa. They have a newly-installed central alarm system.
    Fisher: Don't tell me. Three alarms and the mission is over?
    Lambert: Of course not! This is no video game, Fisher. But you don't want the whole place alerted to your presence. Keep it under control.
  • In the Half-Life 1 Fan Remake Black Mesa, a scientist argues that repeating an old experiment that inspired his career in science is perfectly worthwhile to show how far the science has progressed with technological advancement, while two others point out that he won't get any recognition for a reproduction and should do something new.
  • BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle has a Meta example: If Ruby and Weiss are on a team, one possible victory quote has Weiss refer to them "Team RW" in an embarrassed tone of voice. That name was coined by fans upset over Arc System Works' announcement that Blake and Yang, the other half of Team RWBY (and thus the other main characters of the show), would be DLC rather than part of the game's starting rosternote .
  • Bayonetta: The Prologue opens up with credits represented as names on graves. The grave of the developer, Hideki Kamiya, is seen getting pissed on by resident Butt-Monkey Enzo.
  • One of the secret heroes in The Wonderful 101 is the director of the game, who also doubles as the biggest Joke Character: he can't run, his Unite Morph is a weak version of Luka's/Wonder-Goggles', and any damage kills him instantly if he's the team leader.
  • The Binding of Isaac: Self-inserts of the creators Edmund McMillen and Florian Himsl appear, but as minibosses that you usually have to kill (unless you die or can teleport away from the encounter). Their inserts are collectively called "Ultra Pride," admitting that inserting yourself in your own game can be seen as a rather prideful thing to do.
  • The indie developer of Shady's Poopong seems to realize his games' lack of quality, spending the entire game's budget on hiring Michael McConnohie to insult the game and its crew.
  • Level-5 has a notorious reputation for Late Export for You, their games often coming out two or three years after their Japanese release (if they come out at all). They acknowledged and mocked this on their official Twitter account for The Snack World, with the game's characters calling out the late localization.
  • Creature Crunch, a 1996 computer game featuring voice acting by Martin Short and Eugene Levy, features this exchange when Wesley and Brian enter the kitchen through a mousehole.
    Brian: That's cute. You gotta have your own video game!
    Wesley: With some over-the-hill, sawed-off Canadian movie star doing my voice?! Uh-uh! No thanks!
  • In Destiny 2, Bungie seemingly has a quick joke at their own expense when Cayde stumbles in pronouncing the name of a Cabal warship. Another character corrects him, commenting on "Cabal and their weird ship names." This is a possible reference to Bungie's previous franchise Halo, where ships tended to have names that ranged from the poetically lyrical ("In Amber Clad") to the straight-up nonsensical ("Unyielding Hierophant", "Indulgence of Conviction") and was often mocked by the fanbase.
  • In Kingdom Hearts II, DiZ / Ansem The Wise calls Xehanort the "foolish apprentice of a foolish man" in one of the ending scenes. To be fair, this is after Xemnas claims that "only a fool would be [his] apprentice".
  • Advertising for Bubsy post-90's makes fun of the title character's reputation as a failed Mascot with Attitude.
  • The Expansion Pass for Pokémon Sword and Shield, namely the Isle of Armor, has Honey complain that selling Rotomi separately from its software is a conniving business practice. Note that this reflects some people's views on DLC and that the Isle of Armor is DLC.
  • In Luigi's Mansion 3, E. Gadd once again gives a communication device based on a real-life Nintendo console to Luigi... in this case, the Virtual Boo, a clear reference to the Virtual Boy, one of Nintendo's most infamous flops. E. Gadd even talks about how it will fly off the shelves, completely unaware of the irony.
  • Summertime Saga:
    • If you get on the player's PC, he has a copy of Summertime Saga on his desktop which you can run. The first time you click after trying to start a new game, however, it generates a Ren'Py uncaught exception error screen and crashes, prompting the player to complain that the game is always full of bugs.
    • Josephine tells the MC that her favorite streamer is Darkcookie, "some dorky Somalian guy" who does daily streams of his artwork.
    • One of Jenny's fans as a camslut is a guy who calls himself Sam9, who is always trying to get her to do even weirder things on camera. The game's credits reveal this to be the nickname of the Summertime Saga website moderator.
  • In Vagrant Story, you can retry any of the game's numerous Block Puzzles to see how fast you can complete them. You get graded on your performance, with the lowest possible rank being "Video Game Programmer".


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