SEGA in the Media: The Circle asks “Mario or Sonic?”

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Welcome to another SEGA in the Media! Its always fun spotting references to SEGA and its games in movies and television, but for me it is doubly fun when they screw it up somehow. Like when Suburban Commando tried to act like After Burner was some outer space alien game or when Jackie Chan gave a kid in a wheelchair a Game Gear with no games. Today we’re featuring the upcoming movie The Circle. I’ll admit, I’m late on this one. The trailer released back in December, and by the time I thought to make an article I had figured the movie was already out. But nope, they’re still advertising this and it is still not out! Do we really need five months of advertising for this stupid movie?

SEGA in the Media: Pablo Escobar plays Streets of Rage on Narcos

Netflix launched the second season to their highly rated series Narcos, which follows the life of Colombian drug king pin Pablo Escobar. In the second season, second episode titled ‘Cambalache’ (slang for ‘junkshop’) it shows Pablo Escabar playing Streets of Rage with his son which is why the show being featured on our SEGA in the Media segment.

Netflix seems to always have a reason to show product tie-ins in their shows and isn’t just there to promote a product but to advance the story. This has been shown with the types of video games they showed in House of Cards episodes and it seems to be a continuing trend with Narcos. While most other TV shows just show characters frantically hitting controller buttons, Narcos really shows that the characters are playing the game with the dialogue back and forth. Its minor details that really make a scene seem genuine. Pablo is talking about hitting phone booths, grabbing pipes and questioning the game when he is confronted to fight a woman. His son even tells him that the Streets of Rage female baddie is called Nora, which is actually correct. Seems that Netflix did this cameo just in time, considering Streets of Rage just turned 25 years old a month or so ago.

Its also ironic that Pablo Escabar, who is basically a real life version of Mr. X, is playing a game where he is helping take down a evil organization since that is the main plot of the show Narcos. Only in real life he is the one everyone is trying to take down. It is also funny watching him question the game giving him a female opponent considering one of the big rivals pulling strings this season is a female.

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SEGA in the Media: Seinfeld’s “The Comeback” has a great selection of Genesis games at Champagne Video

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Spotting video games on TV’s greatest sitcom Seinfeld is nothing new. Longtime fans of series know all about the Frogger episode as well as Jerry’s video shelf which features NES and SNES games sat next to cinematic classics like “Child’s Play 2”. When it comes to SEGA on Seinfeld, however, you’re going to have to look a bit harder. In the eighth season episode “The Comeback”, which aired January 30th, 1997, one of the plots involved Elaine becoming infatuated with a mysterious video store employee Vincent. Meanwhile, Kramer was more interested in the Gene picks. Champagne Video, a recurring location in the series, was the go-to spot for Jerry, George, Kramer and Elaine when they needed to rent some VHS tapes. Throughout the series, the store evolved to feature what were at the time current videos, and in the episode “The Comeback” the set decorator took things one step further by littering the store with classic SEGA Genesis games.

On this installment of SEGA in the Media, we’re going to see how many SEGA Genesis games we can spot! Start browsing the shelves after the break.

SEGA in the Media: No Continue Kid shows SEGA lots of virtua love

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The arcades were a big part of Japan’s youth group up in the 80’s and 90’s, so its no surprise that a Japanese drama show based around these time periods would be created. No Continue Kid: Our Game History (ノーコン・キッド ~ぼくらのゲーム史~) is a TV show revolving around Reiji Watanabe, who in 1983 isn’t very interested in arcade games. The only reason he has to put up with them is because his father owns a game center. Reiji sees a girl he likes come in daily named Fumiyoshi Takano, she usually plays Xevious and leaves. Reiji decides to give this Xevious game a try to impress her and gets the best local player, Akinobu Kido (who goes by ‘Kid’, his high score handle) to teach him.

The show focuses on the friendships of these characters along with a new ‘Game Center’ trends throughout the decades (this show spans from 1983 to 2013 in 12 episodes) and even some console gaming love. Today we will be looking at some of the SEGA centric episodes including one for Columns, Fantasy Zone and two whole episodes based around the Virtua Fighter 2 fighting phenomenon. Let’s take a dramatized trip to the arcade scene in Japan from the 80’s through the 90’s, SEGA style!

SEGA in the Media: The Price is Right for a Sega-Vision in 1977!

Way back in 2011, we featured an article on the Sega-Vision, a big screen projection TV sold to consumers in 1977. While a post I made at SEGA Memories detailed patent drawings from 1976, and our post in 2011 featured the commercial, today we have another bit from the Sega-Vision’s past! Courtesy of a reader named Matthew, I was linked to a YouTube upload of a full episode of The Price is Right taped on June 29, 1977, and guess what item appears? If you guessed the Sega-Vision, you’d be right – or is that the “Seega-Vision”? Unfortunately for our lucky contestant, she wasn’t so right. In fact, she was wrong and lost the item when it came to guessing the retail price. Thankfully, as SEGA fans we finally get to know the retail price of a Sega-Vision in 1977: $1,895.

SEGA in the Media: Tony Soprano wants you to turn off the SEGA Dreamcast

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This is a SEGA in the Media I’ve been sitting on for a while, mainly because it was difficult for me to obtain decent screens from HBO shows. Thankfully, starting today Amazon Prime members have access to HBO content, including the excellent The Sopranos! As a Dreamcast enthusiast, I always keep my eyes open when watching TV and movies from the late 90’s and early 2000’s in hopes that I’ll catch a glimpse of SEGA’s final console. While I usually end up disappointed, as I was during The Sopranos first season in which Tony Soprano’s son Anthony Junior owned a Nintendo 64, season 2 delivered!

SEGA in the Media: Saints Row IV’s homage to Streets of Rage

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This just might be a first for SEGA in the Media, a SEGA inspired video game within another video game! Released last year, Saints Row IV was a tongue-in-cheek action-adventure game from Illinois based developer Volition. Given the self-referential nature of the series, it only makes sense that they’d eventually reference crazy action games of the past, and what game is more fitting to pay tribute to than SEGA’s Streets of Rage? Dubbed “Saints of Rage”, this 2D beat ’em up appears at around 75-80% of the way into Saints Row IV. In-game, “Saints of Rage” is an enemy created nightmare simulation. Kicking off with a “Winners Don’t Use Drugs” message, the player is taken to a title screen which is a direct reference to the original Streets of Rage title screen.

SEGA in the Media: Parks and Rec peeks inside Andy and April’s toolbox

SEGA in the Media is back! Did you know that a certain SEGA Genesis classic made an appearance in the 2011 Halloween episode of NBC’s Parks and Recreation? You probably did, given this clip is almost two years old. In the episode, characters Andy and April throw a Halloween party, and Ron Swanson occupies himself by fixing up their house. Upon requesting their toolbox, Ron is handed a plastic bag filled with various items including… well, why don’t you watch it?

SEGA in the Media: “MANOS – The Hands of Fate” fan game pays homage to Alex Kidd

Fans of MST3K, bad movies and early 80’s film to game adaptations should really check out the iOS game MANOS – The Hands of Fate. Based on a movie that many consider to be the worst ever made, ranked #4 on the IMDb bottom 100, Manos is an 80’s inspired platformer with numerous homages to both classic games and bad b-movies. SEGA fans should recognize the death animation, in which the player turns into a transparent ghost and flies upwards. This, according to the game’s developer, was an homage to the Master System’s Alex Kidd in Miracle World. Nice to see the Master System getting some homages, the Master is pleased.

SEGA in the Media: Tosh.0 reveals how Sonic died

I’m starting to think comedian Daniel Tosh is a Sonic fan. Back in 2010 his Comedy Central show Tosh.0 did a segment on real life speed runs, based off of a Sonic 2 speed run video. On the March 13th episode of this year, Sonic got another mention in a segment on a failed parkour video. After showing a woman smashing her face into a concrete wall, Tosh quipped “of course the greatest parkourer of all time was Sonic the Hedgehog – who died turboing through a triple corkscrew. He got greedy.” You can see the full segment at the Tosh.0 show page, tell them SEGAbits sent you.

SEGA in the Media: Breaking Bad plays a Broken, Bad Sonic Game

The AMC series Breaking Bad has depicted some pretty detestable things, including producing and selling meth, but perhaps the show’s biggest offense was the depiction of characters enjoying Sonic ’06. In the eleventh episode of season four, titled “Crawl Space”, the character Jesse plays a two player match of Sonic vs. Shadow in Wave Ocean with his girlfriend’s son. Warning: the following clip features some very bad pretend video game playing.

SEGA in the Media: Space Ghost Emerald Coast to Coast

My favorite tv show of the 90’s featuring my favorite game of the 90’s, it’s a match made… in space! On the November 11th, 1994 episode of Cartoon Network’s Space Ghost Coast to Coast, upon returning from commercials Space Ghost is caught up in a game of Sonic and Knuckles. It must have been a long commercial break, as Space Ghost has reached Hidden Palace Zone. Before cutting to Space Ghost, Zorak dances to the Sonic and Knuckles title screen theme. Just as Space Ghost is about to defeat Knuckles, he is interrupted by the guest and continues with the show.

SEGA in the Media: “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” doesn’t have SEGA

With the Jurassic Park trilogy releasing on blu-ray this week, I thought it would be a fitting time to highlight a nod to SEGA in the second film “The Lost World: Jurassic Park”. An actual SEGA console does not appear, but our beloved gaming company does get a mention in the dialogue. While preparing to leave for another island filled with dinosaurs, Ian Malcolm is trying to persuade his daughter to go and stay with a friend of his. Unfortunately, she doesn’t want to go for a number of reasons, but the main one is that the woman “doesn’t have SEGA”. To quote Muldoon from the first film: “Clever girl.” Interestingly, I did not find this line of dialogue in the film’s script, so it looks like it was something added on the day of shooting. Perhaps Spielberg wanted to infuse a real world issue a kid would have, and staying with somebody who doesn’t have a SEGA is a great reason to not want to go. Perhaps they should get the girl a Game Gear or a Nomad?

Hear the audio of the scene here, or listen below in the embedded player:

She Doesn’t Have Sega. She’s Such a Troglodyte

Speaking of SEGA and Jurassic Park, head on over to our forums to discuss the many Jurassic Park games found on SEGA consoles.