Ready Player One - Back to the Future

New Ready Player One Trailer Brings The Retro!

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, was a book that celebrated its love of retro pop culture. Perhaps it went beyond celebration and into proudly flaunting it. So many references to 80s films, TV shows, and video games are in the mix. It should come as no surprise that I fell in love with it upon picking it up. And now we have a live action film set to debut in 2018. Ready Player One is directed by Steven Spielberg who knows a thing or two about 80s movies, right?

[Via] Warner Bros. Pictures

Ready Player One received a quite lengthy teaser earlier this year. Even then it was giving retro fans a glimpse at what was in store. Quick shots of everything from The Iron Giant, Joust, The Road Warrior, and many more. All of these elements are the digital representations of those people living in the online world of the OASIS. As you saw in the trailer it is basically the ultimate virtual reality simulator. Furthermore it is mixed with an advanced version of the internet. Certainly the dystopian aspects of the Ready Player One universe make it clear why people would spend all their time in the OASIS.
Ready Player One - The Stacks

Earlier today the full trailer for Ready Player One dropped. It too -like the teaser is full of Easter eggs. So I decided to point out a few of the worthy tips of the hat to some of the pop culture goodness. However…as a matter of fact we are going to start with a mystery. While the symbol on Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) backpack certainly looks familiar. I am afraid I can’t place it. How about you?
Ready Player One - backpack

Ready Player One - Backpack Symbol

Here is a better look

Far easier to spot in the Ready Player One trailer is the ’66 Batmobile. Which is located in the bottom as well as the Speed Racer‘s Mach 5. Of course we shouldn’t forget the fact that Ryu is walking past the legendary vehicle!
Ready Player One - Mach 5

The digital avatar of Wade Watts or Parzival as he is known in the OASIS – is decked out in some awesome retro gear. It was in fact Owen Treolo on the I Grew Up Star Wars Facebook page that pointed this out. Parzival is sporting the holster from none other than Han Solo of Star Wars fame. In addition his belt buckle is sporting the Thundercats insignia. To say nothing that he has wisely chosen Doc Brown’s DeLorean from Back to the Future as his ride. Wade obviously has good taste in pop culture!
Ready Player One - Thundercats

In this digital night club scene, we have none other than Lara Croft from Tomb Raider. I wonder if she is working there or just getting herself some digital liquid refreshment?
Ready Player One - Lara Croft

And while this motorcycle scene is exciting it also features the monster truck known as Bigfoot. As well as an almost hidden reference to 1987’s Robocop. You can see the Delta City billboard in the background!
Ready Player One - Bigfoot

Obviously around the same scene, it appears that King Kong is making his presence known. I can’t help but wonder if the mighty ape won’t try to stop the racers as they attempt to win the copper key?
Ready Player One - King Kong

In this scene we have a mighty charge of characters. I was certainly surprised to see who was leading the rush into battle. We have 1991’s Battletoads. Behind them appears to be one of the ostrich riding knights from Joust!
Ready Player One - Battletoads

Not to be outdone in the call to battle of course. We have Tracer from Overwatch who appears to be backed up by Chun-Li from Street Fighter.
Ready Player One - Tracer

While The Iron Giant makes an appearance in this full trailer. It looks like he is joined by someone piloting a Gundam. While I am not positive I assume this is a reference from 1979 Mobile Suit Gundam series?
Ready Player One - Gundam

So there you have it, friends. Just a few of the pop culture nods that made me excited. I’m very much looking forward to Ready Player One when it hits theaters next March. While I’ve drunk deeply of the Kool-Aid, it’s safe to say that there are many who are less than impressed. Which is understandable. Naturally. In fact the Retroist wrote a fantastic article about it all.
Ready Player One - Poster

Did I mention that in the new Ready Player One trailer – Chucky from Child’s Play shows up?


Who knew that Chucky had such mad ninja skills?!

Update: I totally missed a glaringly obvious nod to the 1992 Mortal Kombat series. When in the trailer we are told of the hidden Easter Eggs we see what certainly appears to be a shrine to the gaming series. Including in the shot are statues of Raiden as well as Scoprion and Sub-Zero. This I should add is all courtesy of Bloody Disgusting and I obviously feel like a fool for not catching it!
Ready Player One - Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat: Hospitality?

After beating your opponent to a within an inch of their life in Mortal Kombat, talented players could press a combination of buttons and joystick moves that would launch a “fatality”. These pre-programmed finishing maneuvers were considered to be so violent at the time that, after much moral outrage, a Congressional hearing was held. Mortal Kombat’s fatalities are considered to be the reason ESRB game ratings were developed.

Over the years, different variations of fatalities were introducted into the series, including “Animalities” (turning your opponent into an animal), “Babalities” (turning your opponent into a tiny baby), and a “Friendship” (in which the opponent’s life is spared). The Mortal Kombat series contained lots and lots of hidden finishing moves, but here’s one I never saw: Hospitality?

hospitality

I hope Sub-Zero uses his best manners at their little gathering, otherwise Raiden is liable to zap his head off — poor etiquette, by almost anyone’s definition.

Primal Rage (1994)

Back in my early adulthood I was fascinated by the fighting arcade hit, Mortal Kombat. I wasn’t any good at it mind you but I thought it was at least an interesting game. Then came Mortal Kombat II in 1993 and after playing my first game as Kung Lao I was hooked, and I can tell you that hook is still deep in me today.

There was another fighting game during that time, a year later actually that sunk it’s claws into me just as deeply. I played it for the first time at a gas station in my neck of the woods and with it’s stop motion characters it captivated me but like Mortal Kombat I never became very good at it. That was Atari’s Primal Rage.


Now when I say I became captivated by it…let me point out that I picked up the comic book series and even the Novel to the game by John Vornholt. I…I had a lot of time on my hands.

Primal Rage: The Avatars supposedly came about when Atari decided to cancel Primal Rage II and wanted to keep the interest in the property going. Do you remember the toys from the game?

Thanks as always to the Arcade Flyer Archive for the wonderful scanned Flyers and to track666 for uploading the toy commercial on YouTube.

Mortal Kombat: Freddy Krueger DLC Announcement


Yesterday in the comments on Joshua Caleb’s excellent post on Retro Remakes, our own Retroist made mention of a bit of news some of you might have missed. It is true that Frederick Charles Krueger will indeed be available for download on August 9th as a DLC fighter in the new Mortal Kombat game.

Now that the doors have been opened with Freddy Krueger how long will we have to wait until Jason Voorhees or possibly the greatest protector against demons that mankind has ever known, Ashley J. Williams, can be made available as DLC fighters as well? Probably quite some time as Freddy is owned by Warner Bros. the same company that owns the rights to Mortal Kombat and Jason and Ash are not. It would be great though to have all three characters to choose from!

Thanks to IGN for posting the video over on YouTube and Joystiq for the pic up top!