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SimCity
2
Attachment In the original release of the game, the monster that the player could summon to attack the city was a thinly veiled parody of Godzilla, right down to using the character's iconic roar from the film series; the sound effect is even named "God" in the game's files, furthering the reference. The Godzilla parody is also depicted on the game's box art, gleefully waving at the viewer.

According to programmer Don Hopkins, who notably ported SimCity to numerous versions of Unix, Maxis ended up getting sued by Toho, the owners of the Godzilla franchise; additional details were recounted to him by Maxis CEO Jeff Braun:

"We never referred to the name Godzilla, our monster on the box cover was a T-Rex looking character, but... a few magazine reviews called the monster, Godzilla. That was all it took. Toho called it "confusion in the marketplace". We paid $50k for Godzilla to go away. In all honesty, Toho liked Maxis, they said $50k was the minimum they take for Godzilla infringement."

As a result of this suit, the monster was redesigned in the v1.2 release to resemble a giant orange salamander. The creature's roar is also changed and the game's box art is redesigned to replace the Godzilla parody with a tornado. In the v1.3 release, the salamander is given a slightly larger and more detailed sprite to fit the revised art style, but its roar (now internally renamed "Monster") is corrupted.
person VinchVolt calendar_month April 22, 2024
The Cutting Room Floor article:
https://tcrf.net/SimCity_(Mac_OS_Classic)#Godzilla_vs._Notzilla

Don Hopkins testimony in a Hacker News post:
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=40050799

MobyGames gallery showcasing the different box art designs:
https://www.mobygames.com/game/848/simcity/covers/
Freddy in Space 3: Chica in Space
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person Violett calendar_month April 21, 2024
Shipwrecked 64
1
Throughout development of Shipwrecked 64, Squeaks D'Corgeh would make references to a non-existent character in the game named "Duncan Dolphin". This even included a fake death animation for a character named "Drake Dulfin" (likely intended to be the Spoiler:Starling counterpart of Duncan) being shot in the face by Spoiler:Brandon Lester in his Bucky Beaver costume in what appeared to be a Wild West-esque setting. This continued after the game's release, where one of the patch notes for the Hotfix 2 update stated "Removed Duncan Dolphin", likely as a reference to the "Removed Herobrine" gag seen in updates to Minecraft.

However, on April 1st, 2024, an April Fools update was released that added Duncan to the game as a New Game+ bonus. If the game's True Ending has been reached, he will appear in The Theater at Midnight and ask Bucky for help activating his "New. Radical. Mechanism!!" due to losing the trinkets needed to make it work. This will take the player to a new area called "Garten of Duncan", a recreation of the Testing Sector from Garten of Banban made using assets from The Plaza. Clearing the map will take the player to a previously unused location called "Layer 4 Elevator", where an audio tape reveals that the player can input console commands to access other unused locations as part of the update. Entering the door will take the player to another new area, known simply as "Sample Area", but only a few seconds after entering the player will be kicked out to the encounter with the Spoiler:Studiogrounds Husk at the end of the game.

Notably, in the "Layer 4 Elevator" area, Chief Wulf can be seen on top of the tallest building in the area. If the player uses console commands to reach him, he can be spoken to, revealing that Spoiler:he has relived the same days over and over again, watched Stumbler O'Hare die over and over as part of that, and believes that he will be forgotten after his death.
person chocolatejr9 calendar_month April 11, 2024
BFDIA 5b
subdirectory_arrow_right Battle for Dream Island (Collection)
1
BFDIA 5b marks the second time in the Battle for Dream Island series where a copyrighted character is used in a way beyond simply being a recommended character (fan characters that are submitted to the production team by fans of the series to potentially appear in official content). Specifically, the 31st level in the game "Encounter" features Lego Brick, who first appeared as a recommended character in the Battle for Dream Island episode "Vomitaco" and is a reference to the LEGO toy brand. The first instance was in the episode "Reveal Novum", where Dora (a stick figure based on the titular character from the animated series "Dora the Explorer" who also first appeared in the episode "Vomitaco") was one of the recommended characters who had a chance to join the competition, but failed due to only having nine votes: she would, however, compete in the show's second season "Battle for Dream Island Again". Additionally, a copyrighted character appearing in a major role would not happen again until years after BFDIA 5b's release, with the release of the spinoff series "BFDI Mini Replicas". In that series, one of the contestants is Ender Rocky, a variant of the main series contestant Rocky who first appeared as a recommended character in the season one finale "Return of the Hang Glider" and is based on the Endermen from Minecraft.
person chocolatejr9 calendar_month March 29, 2024
BFDIA 5b Level 31:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAXojdBrAl4

Battle for Dream Island - "Vomitaco" (first appearance of Dora and Lego Brick):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pf9FHBM0SLQ

Battle for Dream Island - "Reveal Novum" (first major appearance of Dora):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4K1xKHwp0E

Battle for Dream Island - "Return of the Hang Glider" (first appearance of Ender Rocky):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ye_HKD_C5o0

BFDI Mini Replicas - "Cross the Gorge" (first major appearance of Ender Rocky):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRylw-JJqlo
Pokémon Black Version
subdirectory_arrow_right Pokémon White Version (Game), Pokémon Black Version 2 (Game), Pokémon White Version 2 (Game)
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Attachment When Pokémon Black 2 and Pokémon White 2 first released in Japan, fake leaks were posted on various websites claiming to be ROMs of the game, but in reality contained an FMV of a parody of the theme song to the Disney Channel series Cory in the House. The parody featured several of the games' characters and other memes at the time superimposed over the actors' heads, including talk show host Stephen Colbert, a caricature of the Pokémon fan website Serebii.net with a Trollface superimposed over it, and legacy Pokémon character Gary Oak. Before the title card of the show appears at the end, a barely visible screenshot of a post from the imageboard 4chan can be seen featuring the box art of the Nintendo DS game adaptation of the show, implying that the parody and fake ROMs originated from there. The video also features several scrolling text statements including:

• "Amber killed Gary" - supposedly referring to an incident on 4chan's dedicated Pokémon board /vp/ starting on August 26, 2010 where several posters using Gary Oak and Mewtwo as avatars tried to "revive" or "kill" the anime-only character Amber from The Uncut Story of Mewtwo's Origin by trying to predict their post numbers in advance.
• "SHE IS BLACK ?!?" - referring to Pokémon Black & White Gym Leader Lenora.
• "GIANT HAIR EVERYWHERE" - on the following shot with four Bouffalants superimposed over Mount Rushmore.
• "FINAL GYM LEADER (IT HAS BEEN SEREBII CONFIRMED)" - referring to Iris, the last Gym Leader in Pokémon White and seems to be referring to leaks from the first Pokémon Black and Pokémon White games.
• "THIS FLOATING TEXT IS UP IN YO' SCREEN DAWG"
• "AMERICA" - on a shot of Stephen Colbert.

An upload of the fake ROM's FMV on YouTube dates back to September 16, 2010, two days before Pokemon Black & White's release date in Japan, and features several comments mentioning 4chan and /vp/ on top of the references in the video, suggesting that the hoax actually dates back to the release of the first Pokémon Black and Pokémon White, although discussion of this FMV from that time does not appear to have been preserved. While this ROM is also not known to be preserved (though its contents are), as recently as 2018 there have been reports of ROM dumps of Pokémon White 2 being silently modified to include Cory in the House references, including NPCs with dialogue featuring the lyrics to the show's theme song.
person Rocko & Heffer calendar_month March 14, 2024
GBATemp forum thread from Pokémon Black & White 2's release discussing the Cory "leaks":
https://gbatemp.net/threads/pokemon-black-white-2-j-ot.325098/page-59

The Cory in the House FMV:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTcf2n7WODU

A documented Cory-related mod in Pokémon White 2:
https://www.realmeye.com/forum/t/pokemon-white-2-has-a-cory-in-the-house-reference/29349/6

Bulbapedia user article on /vp/ that seems to be the only archived text online explaining what "Amber killed Gary" even means:
https://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/User:The_Great_Butler//vp/#Notable_Creations
Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth
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Sujimon Sensei describes Hawaii as being "blessed by the sun and the moon." Considering that Sujimon Sensei and several other related elements introduced in Yakuza: Like a Dragon are parodies of the Pokémon series, this line is most likely a reference to Pokémon Sun & Moon, which takes place in a region inspired by Hawaii.
Pokémon Red Version
subdirectory_arrow_right Pokémon Blue Version (Game)
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In a 1997 interview with Famimaga 64, Satoshi Tajiri said that the Pokémon Porygon was made due to people saying that he should develop a 3D game instead of a sprite-based game on the Game Boy:

"I wanted to add something real into the world of Pokémon, and thought it’d be interesting if the game had an artificial Pokémon. I made that decision specifically because it’s on Game Boy. Everyone kept telling me 'Tajiri, you need to start making polygon games for next generation consoles.' But I was designing Pokémon for Game Boy, where it’s impossible to use polygonal 3D graphics. But people kept hounding me about it, so I thought it would be ironic to include a Pokémon called Porygon."
Pizza Tower
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The Noise was designed to be an obvious parody of the 1980s Domino's Pizza claymation anti-mascot "The Noid". The game's developer McPig has claimed that if The Noise wasn't based on The Noid, the boss would've had a parody of Vocaloid Hatsune Miku instead, in reference to Domino's App feat. Hatsune Miku, an app that became a niche YouTube Poop meme in the early 2010s.
Fate/Grand Order
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In Episode 45 of "More Learning With Manga! Fate/Grand Order", Gudao (The Male Master) contemplates whether he should use a Holy Grail to increase Astolfo's Level Cap, or save it for when he gets a Limited 5-Star Version, presumably as a Saber Class. The Fifth Christmas Event "Nightingale's Christmas Carol" would introduce exactly that: a new, Limited 5-Star Saber version of Astolfo.
person aa1205 calendar_month December 30, 2023
Episode From More Learning With Manga!:
https://fate-go.us/manga_fgo2/comic45.html

Information on "Nightingale's Christmas Carol"'s Summoning Banner:
https://fategrandorder.fandom.com/wiki/Christmas_2021_Event_(US)#Summoning_Campaign
Fate/Grand Order
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In Episode 1 of the satirical manga series "More Learning with Manga! Fate/Grand Order", Gudako (The Female Master) is depicted deleting and reinstalling the game Spoiler:in order to bring Olga Marie, who died during the Prologue of the game, back from the grave.
Coincidentally, near the end of Lostbelt 5 Part 2: "Olympus", Spoiler:Olga Marie is brought back as U. Olga Marie, the vessel of the Foreign God responsible for the destruction of Humanity and formation of the Lostbelts.
person aa1205 calendar_month December 30, 2023
More Learning With Manga! Comic:
https://fate-go.us/manga_fgo2/comic01.html

Corresponding Scene in Main Game:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYFyZfGMo0c#t=666
Final Fantasy V
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Attachment The translation group RPGe's 1998 English translation of Final Fantasy V is considered to be one of the most widely-played and influential fan translations in video game history. It gained this reputation because it released before Squaresoft's first official translation in Final Fantasy Anthology in late 1999, and despite RPGe primarily consisting of inexperienced teenagers, it was regarded as a better translation than the official one, leading many Western players to first experience the game through it.

The first translation attempts stemmed from widespread confusion over Squaresoft not releasing three FF games in the West: Final Fantasy II, Final Fantasy III, and FFV. Their decision to release Final Fantasy VII internationally under its original numbering after Final Fantasy VI was released in the West a few years earlier as the "third" game in the series also contributed to this.

The co-creator of RPGe, named Shadow, was inspired by an incomplete FFII fan translation by users Demi and Som2freak (the latter having later lent Shadow tools to work on FFV), and started translating FFV by making flashcards for which hex code corresponded to each Japanese and English character in the game's data. He promoted his efforts online using photoshopped FFV images and recruited other users to create RPGe, including translator David Timko, and a computer engineering major named Hooie who also asked Japanese instructors at his university to help translate some enemy names. RPGe's plan was to directly edit their English script into the text files of a ROM of the Japanese version, but their work was slow and tedious due to them having little experience with fan translations and being out of touch with fledgling emulation communities. This led to technical issues with their text and sprite editing software, and English characters being poorly displayed under conditions that were originally designed for larger Japanese characters. The group also suffered from internal factionalism, and since Shadow promoted himself as the public face of the project, he found that he could not handle the attention and controversy that came from how seriously he took the project and RPGe itself, seeing the translation effort as a vital service to the Squaresoft fan community. After Demi published a lengthy post parodying Shadow, he "snapped" and left RPGe. The other founders of RPGe would also eventually step down, but other users would take over and start their own work.

A user named Myria, who had argued against RPGe's hex editing approach to no avail, split off from their efforts beforehand to work on a separate translation. Sharing similar setbacks to them, she gradually parsed through the code used to handle the text files, and edited it so it could recognize English characters of different sizes and fit more in a dialogue box. Som2freak helped translate the script for a time, but then left the project after bringing on a new editor, named harmony7, who started heavily revising Som2freak's translations to his chagrin despite seeing several issues with it.

One of the most controversial aspects of the translation was the main character's name. Squaresoft's later English translation named him "Bartz", but RPGe's translation named him "Butz", which many joked sounds like "butts". Myria claimed that Butz was the most accurate translation based on documents and official merchandise using it "the way we'd written it" (for reference, the Romanized version of the Japanese name "バッツ" comes out as "Battsu"). However, Butz is used in real life as an actual German surname with a different pronunciation, the vowel being an "oe" sound like in the English words "put" and "good". Therefore, Bartz would make more sense to match up with the vowels in the Japanese name than Butz, and also fits better as a German first name since Bartz is a pet name for Bartholomäus (Bartholomew).

The bulk of Myria's technical work ended in October 1997, with harmony7 still working to revise the entire script until something unexpected happened. An early version of the fan translation mysteriously appeared on a Geocities website with others taking credit for it. This prompted RPGe to release their work up to that point as "v0.96" on October 17, 1997, with the final patch eventually being released in June 1998. The translation patch received acclaim for its technical aspects and near-professional writing quality, and influenced other players to become translators, including Clyde Mandelin who would later create the English fan translation for Mother 3. Squaresoft never contacted RPGe about the translation, and while their 1999 translation of the game was seen as inferior to RPGe's, Myria would later opine that Square Enix's 2006 translation in Final Fantasy V: Advance was better than theirs. Myria continued hacking and reverse-engineering games and eventually earned a job at an undisclosed major video game company.
person MehDeletingLater calendar_month December 24, 2023
The Simpsons: Bart vs. The Space Mutants
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Attachment The Genesis version of Bart vs. The Space Mutants has two revisions. The second revision primarily fixes up graphics that were drawn in a realistic art style instead of that of Matt Groening, as well as some strange coloring errors such as a red-dressed Marge and an Itchy & Scratchy that appear to be in the colors of the characters they're intended to parody, Tom and Jerry.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
2
In 2023, the Japanese noodle brand Cup Noodle used footage from the beginning of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain with Konami's permission to advertise their premium seafood cup noodles. The commercial features a scene where Big Boss Spoiler:(actually Venom Snake in disguise) wakes up from a coma and a doctor tells him how long he was out, with the dialogue changed to have the doctor inform Big Boss that while the seafood flavored cup noodles feature no shrimp, the new premium sea food flavor does have shrimp. This scene in general is a meme in the Japanese-speaking Internet, hence why it was used.
3
Attachment On March 17, 2019, in response to a post on the Sonic the Hedgehog Twitter account celebrating St. Patrick's Day, YouTuber Jacksepticeye jokingly asked if he could voice "Irish the Hedgehog", to which the Sonic the Hedgehog Twitter account responded:

"Absolutely.

(We just need to create him first.)"

A year later, they made good on this promise, releasing a video titled "Irish the Hedgehog" on the official Sonic the Hedgehog YouTube channel. According to Sega, the character was designed by artist Mark Hughes, and the video included a "folksy" remix of the song "Escape from the City" from Sonic Adventure 2 made by Hyper Potions and Jun Senoue.

A few years afterwards, Jacksepticeye would return to the Sonic franchise to voice another character: the appropriately-named Jack from the "Sonic Prime" episode "It Takes One to No Place".
person chocolatejr9 calendar_month November 27, 2023
Franchise: Metal Gear
1
On December 23, 2022, Cam Clarke, the voice actor for Liquid Snake in the English language version of Metal Gear Solid, uploaded a video entitled “Cam Clarke & David Hayter "Liquid Grinch" Parody - Metal Gear Solid”. In the video, he and David Hayter, the English language voice of Solid Snake, sing a parody of the Christmas song “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” by Thurl Ravenscroft in the personas of their respective characters from the Metal Gear series.
Pizza Tower
2
Attachment During development of Pizza Tower, multiple demo builds were released - among these was a build known as the "Peter Griffin Experience", built off of the 2018 "early test build". This demo replaced every single sprite of Peppino with a highly compressed edit of a stock image of Peter Griffin from Family Guy made to resemble Peppino, and replaced one of the game's musical tracks with a fan-made Family Guy remix.

After this build, the Peter Griffin "arms resting" pose would appear in some builds as a taunt, albeit as an actual sprite and not an edit, and a video would be posted by developer McPig showcasing the taunt, accompanied by the first note of the Family Guy theme song, under the name "family", likely referencing a a meme video that plays the first note and ends. This taunt was removed for unknown reasons in the final game.
person Rocko & Heffer calendar_month November 20, 2023
Alex Kidd in Shinobi World
2
Attachment Kabuto, the first boss of Alex Kidd in Shinobi World, is a parody of Ken-O, a recurring first boss in the Shinobi series - in prerelease screenshots, he is shown to be a composite parody of both Ken-O and Nintendo's Mario, known as Mari-Oh. While his appearance would lose its Mario-esque qualities in the final game, two elements of this parody would remain: Kabuto shooting fireballs, and Kabuto becoming small on his final hit point.
Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Don't Dry
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The game's title is not known to be a parody of an existing title: while many assume it's a parody of the 2014 adventure game D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die, this has not been confirmed by the devs, who stated on the game's Steam Community page that "There might [be] quite a list of interpretation[s,] but for us it is just a matching title for a new Larry adventure ;-)". Series creator Al Lowe (who was not involved in the title) stated prior to release that he was unimpressed by the title.
person chocolatejr9 calendar_month November 10, 2023
Cooking Mama: Mama Kills Animals
subdirectory_arrow_right Cooking Mama: World Kitchen (Game), Majesco (Company), Cooking Mama (Collection)
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When PETA released Cooking Mama Kills Animals, a satirical flash game parodying the Cooking Mama franchise, Mama series publisher Majesco responded with a press release condemning the game and stating that Mama, while not a vegetarian, supports humane treatment of animals:

"Mama wants people to know that World Kitchen includes 51 recipes from around the world, ranging from vegetarian fare like miso soup and rice cakes to international delicacies like ginger pork and octopus dumplings. "I would never put rat in my Ratatouille," said a feisty Mama while beating some eggs. "Like any accomplished cook, I create my recipes to appeal to a broad range of tastes and preferences. My only goal is to ensure you leave the table well fed." Cooking Mama World Kitchen includes more than 25 vegetarian-friendly recipes including delicious breakfast, dinner, dessert and snack options. And, while Mama is not a vegetarian, she fully supports the humane treatment of animals, particularly for her canine protege Max who makes his doggie debut in World Kitchen."