If you think about it, the great irony of this contest is that many entries will be overlooked because Rob doesn’t know about them. In effect, their obscurity prevents them from being judged as adequately obscure. How do you quantify obscurity exactly? If you don’t know what it is, how do you know how many others do. I’m curious as to your methodology, Bricken.
Me too. Hand Banana has raised an excellent point about my inability to judge this contest with any kind of accuracy, a point which was confirmed by my reading all 600 fucking entries this weekend. There’s a lot of obscure shit in there. What was I to do? This: Pick out what seemed to be the most obscure shit, and then pick randomly. Hopefully this won’t piss anyone off, but after The Great Other Story Debacle of 2010, at least you’re in sizable company; besides, I may not be the best judge of obscure nerd loves, but 1) I have been a professional nerd for 9 years, so I know a thing or two about a thing or two and 2) it’s my site, so whatever. First two special honorable mentions: one for Damask, and his ode to algebra, and one for RobP and his love for the second Punic War; they both wrote a lot on how they loved these exceedingly odd but not altogether unknown subjects, and it was very, very nerdy. Now, some super obscure shit and winners after the jump.
Here’s just some of the crazy stuff people love that I’ve never heard of (if you have and you’re not the entrant, my apologies).
? DCD for The Trash Bag Bunch toys ? Talanic for Chronicles of the Kencyrath books, written by her college professor ? Kay for a four-disc computer game based on Muppet Treasure Island ? The One Gerbil for The Golden Wombat of Destiny game ? Duchess Prozav for Llamatron game programmer Jeff Minter ? MacrossMaster, for his belligerent love of Spiral Zone ? ZeroCorpse for the Mail Order Monsters game ? Jon B. Knutson for Kenner’s Give-a-Show Projector ? RadishAttack for the Ex-Mutants comic book ? Canadian Scott for the Hard Rock Zombies movie ? Executor Elassus for his not totally obscure entry, but for admitting ”
kinda still in love with a cartoon dinosaur from a TV show nobody remembers,
after more than 20 years” ? Drew Blank for The War Next Door TV series (no, not The War at Home) ? Monty Prime for loving Emirate Xaaron whose only appearance was in a British Transformers comic ? Kenny Strife for the game show Throut and Neck ? kalvarn for The People Next Door (also different from The War Next Door) ? fishman2020 for the Savage Mondo Blitzers toys ? DameRuth for the Eye of Mongombo comic ? El Oso for Orchuban Ebishu, an anime even I’ve never heard of ? Lari, for his devotion to a videogame console made only in Germany in the ’70s ? l3rian for the animated movie Twice Upon a Time ? crooow for Jim Henson’s proto-muppet-filled ’50s coffee commercials ? Essi for Finnish Garfield magazines ? Courtney for an Are You Afraid of the Dark CD-rom game ? Tierney for ’20s comic character Leslie Vane ? capybara for the Magic Wand Reader ? Dr. for the Christopher Lambert/Ice-T
buddy cop movie Mean Guns
Again, that’s just some of the incredibly obscure shit you guys remember
and love. However, there did have to be two winners, which ended up
Douglas Crockford was the programmer in charge of porting Maniac Mansion from the Commodore 64 to the NES. Well, at the time, there were all sorts of self-censorship regulations that Nintendo of American put on Mr. Crockford and his programmers.
Nintendo of America wanted to censor all sorts of factors from the original game because they were afraid of the public backlash.
So, my obscure nerd love was the essay that Douglas Crockford wrote regarding his team’s difficulties with the port. The name of the essay is: ‘The Expurgation of Maniac Mansion for the Nintendo Entertainment System.’
I encourage everyone who has ever played (and liked) Maniac Mansion to give it a read. It’s a funny and fascinating look behind the scenes of one of my favorite NES titles I grew up with.
Paul Sebert said:
I recently discovered, much to my joy a very obscure 80s cartoon called Vytor The Starfire Champion that sadly didn’t past 4 episodes. Apparently it actually aired in some markets as a TV movie, and others as a mini-series. It has some very nice character designs and some pretty lovely animation by the standards of TV animation but alas the budge just wasn’t there.
Anyway to fully demonstrate how awesome this show could have been I present to you the opening credits which feature Peter Cullen the voice of Optimus Prime as the villain Myzor The Lord of War SINGING!
I’m glad Paul won, because now we all get to watch said video of Optimus Prime singing, which Paul so kindly provided.
Congrats to the winners, and thanks to everyone. If you guys have any ideas for future TR Contests, please feel free to let me know in the comments here.
Robert Bricken is one of the original co-founders of the site formerly known as Topless Robot, and its first editor-in-chief, serving from 2008-12. He brought the site to prominence with “nerd news, humor and self-loathing” as its motto, raising it from total internet obscurity to a readership in the millions, with help from his savage “FAQ” movie reviews and Fan Fiction Fridays. Under his tenure Topless Robot was covered by Gawker, Wired, Defamer, New York magazine, ABC News, and others, and his articles have been praised by Roger Ebert, Avengers actor Clark Gregg, comedian and The Daily Show correspondent John Hodgman, the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax, and others. He is currently the managing editor of io9.com. Despite decades as both an amateur and professional nerd, he continues to be completely unprepared for either the zombie apocalypse or the robot uprising.