This Vintage Commodore 64 Ad Is Scaring The Crap Out Of Me

This Vintage Commodore 64 Ad Is Scaring The Crap Out Of Me
Image: Kotaku
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In 1987, Domark released a new edition of its popular Trivial Pursuit computer game adaptation: Trivial Pursuit – Young Player Edition. As was the done thing at the time, it promoted the Commodore version in Zzap!64 magazine… and I’ve never been able to shake the image.

I beseech you to run your eyes over the advert below. Now explain to me what the fuck is going on:

Sidenote: Ever notice how the dads in 1980s game adverts always wore the same red sweater/white shirt combo? What's that all about? (Image: Kotaku)

“The best selling Computer Game is now available for the Next Generation,” the tagline crows. “Don’t Get Mad – Get Even!”

This is accompanied by what appears to be two grieving parents, their smug gaming daughter… and the apparition of their deceased son.

There is no explanation for the son’s ghostly appearance. Why is he transparent? Why is everyone ignoring him? Is he supposed to be jumping with glee or levitating whilst screaming?

I like to think there was a high concept behind this advert that was lost in the translation to print. Perhaps the parents murdered their son during a heated board game rally, and his sister is avenging his ghost by besting them at their favourite game?

Or maybe there was an error in the photography that nobody noticed. Either way, it’s a batshit crazy ad and I hope everyone at Domark went straight to hell without collecting $200.

Incidentally, the same magazine also contained this advert for the Commodore 64 game Future Knight:

Image: Kotaku

That robot horse is clearly firing lasers out of his anus.

Image: Kotaku

Video games, eh?

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  • Pretty sure the family in the top ad have a younger son who has gone back in time with a local scientist and disrupted the events that led to his parents falling in love. My guess is he hasn’t fixed the timeline yet.

  • If you look closely his feet are solid so I suspect the daughter has made a deal with the Old ones and had him banished into a hell dimension

  • Sidenote: Ever notice how the dads in 1980s game adverts always wore the same red sweater/white shirt combo? What’s that all about?
    I still do to this day.

  • At the risk of not playing along with the joke, I’m pretty sure it’s just an early Photoshop fail.

    By which I mean that it’s not uncommon with printed material to simply overprint the image underneath with an extra image on top, relying on the thickness of the ink to obscure what is under it.

    This can become weird if the overprinted ink doesn’t end up being as thick as it should have been, or the ink under has enough definition for the outlines to show through, or (as seems likely to be the case here) the overprinted ink simply fades over time.

    • or long exposeure shots where the family are in place and imprint longer on the film, where the boy is jumping and lasts much shorter as exposure to the film.. you can do this yourself – take a photo of you bending over, then take 2 steps back and take a photo of you kicking.. the result is you kicking your own butt!

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