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My Generations Timeless Classics: Burgertime

posted by B on 6/16/01

There's a thing we've all grown up with called "Nintendo Logic." The most well-known of these Nintendo Logic problems involve simple mathematic equations to help you last through even the most extensive of playing periods. Even children born with severe mental stress know that the best way to handle a difficult moment during gameplay is to kick your leg up in the air and fire a Roger Clemens fastball (the controller) into the television. If the television breaks, your dad drags you into your bedroom by the hair and beats your ass. If the television is fine, you learn a new curse word and resume play.

The real life Nintendo Logic problems exist in direct correlation to the Nintendo Logic of gameplay. Where did we learn that if you jump really high while under a platform, you'll magically phase right through it and then land on top? Nintendo. Nintendo taught an entire generation of neglected young people that a world exists where gold coins float in the air. The only catch is that everything else in the world will try to kill you. Again, a direct relationship between real life and the video game console: you've got a much better chance of staying alive if you aren't greedy.

March 1st -

WILKINSBURG, Pa. (AP) -- A gunman walked into a McDonald's restaurant this morning and shot four people before going to a nearby Burger King and shooting a person there, KDKA-TV reported. The conditions of the victims were not immediately known.

Police said they believed they had the shooter confined in an office building near the McDonald's.

According to the broadcast report, a man armed with a handgun went into the McDonald's restaurant about nine miles east of Pittsburgh and shot someone at the drive-through window. He then shot two other people inside the restaurant before going outside, where a fourth person was shot in the parking lot, the report said.

One person shot in head

Police told KDKA-TV that a fifth person was shot at a nearby Burger King restaurant. "All we can tell you is we've had a shooting incident in Wilkinsburg. We're still trying to figure out what's going on," said Henry Hoffman, operations manager for the Wilkinsburg police.

What's going on? It was a specific case of a man's rage against the fast food industry. Does anybody REALLY think human beings could exist in a world where the only thing to satisfy our GROWN UP TASTES is the Arch Deluxe sandwich? It's just a fucking quarter pounder with some salad dressing on it. Besides, is that even around anymore? Are grown-ups forced to eat chicken fingers at Arby's of all places, to satisfy the grown-up tastes?

Perhaps I'm making a hasty generalization. Maybe it wasn't in reaction to the Arch Deluxe sandwich. I've had it before, and sure, it makes me gag until vomit runs out of my tear ducts, but it doesn't want to make me shoot up the McDonald's. So what was it? Did the man feel pressured in any way, due to sexism, racism, or prejudice? Was it the cross promotion they did with Britney and *N Sync? No. NAY I say. And I only say NAY in the most extreme cases.

It was Nintendo logic.

It's just another case of video games warping the minds of today's young people, causing them to do things they would never have dreamed of if not for the pixels creating devil messages on the screen. Note that the man did not uppercut the drive-thru guy and make his head fly off (like Mortal Kombat suggests) nor trick the restaurants patrons into walking over strategically placed land mines (as the game NARC would've suggested he do). To find the true culprit we must return to our roots...more specifically, the autumn of 1982. I was only two years old then, but even I knew what was going on.

The man was driven into a frenzied rage by the game Burgertime, created in November of 1982 by Bally Midway and later brought to the Nintendo Entertainment System.

In Burgertime, you're Peter Pepper, who takes a break from picking pecks of pickled peppers to make hamburgers by putting together the already cooked parts. These include a top and bottom bun, lettuce, and the burgers. I'm sure when the ad wizards at Data East were planning a game about cooking they were all struck to the ground suddenly and blinded by Heaven's great light. A voice from the clouds rang forth, saying: "Data East, why persecutest me?" The fanboys cowered in fear, asking who was speaking to them and what they must do. It was Jesus. Jesus told Data East to rise up and go to Bally Midway, where they would be told what to do.

Ananias, who was a disciple, worked at Bally Midway. God spoke to Ananias and told him what happened to the men from Data East. God told Ananias that He had chosen Data East to do a great work for Him. God instructed Ananias to go and find them and to restore their sight. Ananias did as God had told him and came to Data East. When Ananias laid his hands on the men they received their sight back and also received the Holy Spirit. Data East was baptized then because they understood how Jesus had come to save everyone who would believe in Jesus.

They would make Donkey Kong be about food.

Any normal man could climb ladders to reach various kinds of food, and then use marginal brain power to put the food together. Unfortunately, these foods are all about twice poor Peter's size. Evidently, God wants to cruelly manipulate this poor man (created by the God-fearing folks at Bally Midway...I keep typing that... Bally Midway...Bally Midway...tee hee!) to make some big fucking sandwiches for Jesus and his old frat buddies to eat while they "listen to Queen" in Jesus's bedroom. God knows that they aren't really listening to Queen in there (since he's omnipotent), but being a loving creator he gives his hippie son the benefit of the doubt.

Anyway, Peter seems to have everything under control, since all the burgers and toppings set up all over Donkey Kong construction site. All he has to do is walk over the delicious looking items to make them fall down to the next floor, and that food knocks down anything it lands on. Evidently, whoever is going to actually EAT these mammon machine burgers doesn't mind that people have laid them up on some construction site, or that fat midget chefs have walked all over them.

And, as Little Mac, YOU!!!1

What's even worse about this is that there are EVIL living foods wandering around, trying to keep the chef from creating the food. Why, I'm not sure, perhaps they're striking some chord for global carnivore peace or something. It's like the stupid chicks that come into Olive Garden and order the chicken instead of the veal, because "they don't want to kill a baby cow." The cow's already dead, brainiac, and it's sitting back there in a big freezer between a half eaten Chocolate Lasagna and some carrots. The only thing you're doing is making that baby cow die for no reason. But back to what I was trying to say before rage interrupted me, the evil food tries to attack Peter Pepper. Peter isn't trained in the Wudan martial arts, and without the Green Destiny sword cannot thwart the oncoming culinary assault. If they touch him, he dies. And he can only be reincarnated (by Jesus, I guess, cause he wants his sandwiches...thanks Nintendo Logic) four times! His only weapon is pepper.

Somehow (and some way) the pepper reminds the living food that they are mortal, and the shock of self-realization renders them motionless for (only) a matter of seconds. Peter is then allowed to continue his mission without fear of a nightmarish (and ironic) devouring. Here's the sick part I was getting to...the only way that Peter can defeat the unholy food is to maneuver them beneath one of the food items, so that when the chef walks on top of them they fall and crush the creatures beneath them.

If these eggs are walking around on their own power they've got to be more than just eggs, right? And the wieners? They must have little wiener digestive systems, little wiener respiratory systems, little wiener reproductive systems (*rimshot*), the whole nine yards. What cruel master commanded poor Peter Pepper to put his life on the line to create catastrophic culinary creations? Hopefully somebody who doesn't mind having half dead crushed wiener reproductive systems in his hamburgers.

Once you get all four burgers put together, you proceed to the next level. Then you must do it again. Faster. With more burgers. Until you die.

And die you will, over, and over, and over, and over.

Burgertime did become really successful. The game, after the arcade, traveled to the Intellivision, Colecovision, Atari 2600, and NES (among others). It even spawned a sequel, Diner, which caused our very own owner Dave to become wistful and introspective. Another sequel, Pizzatime, was planned but never released. Another sequel, called "Black Girls Sticking Corn Dogs in Their Butts," was never released, mostly because it is a game in my imagination.

The graphics are actually not bad (for a 14-year-old game), except for the 2600 version which are terrible.

I made this game for Becca, dur hur

The graphics for the new X-Box game are FANTASTIC, though.

Don't use your teeth, you'll make me Grimace.

The music isn't too bad and never gets annoying, as long as you don't listen to it for more than a few seconds.

So what of the man who shot up a McDonalds, and then sauntered over to the Burger King and made some rodeo cheeseburgers with the blood of the innocents? I think it was the collective terror of an array of devious things:

1) The difficulty of the game. It's not so bad at first, but after a few seconds of playing you'll start scratching foot deep tears in your floor trying to escape the giant eggs. I'm sorry I killed you, baby chicken, please don't haunt my nightmares.

2) The cosmic question of "why." My only guess is the whole "Blasphemous association of God and Jesus to Burgertime and subsequently Queen" theory. Maybe it had something to do with ancient prophecy, or the teachings of Elder Monks in the Tibetan Mountains. Or maybe it involves heavy drug use and a bunch of people who don't know how to make good video games.

3) The fact that you must KILL and avoid BEING KILLED to make food. Maybe the guy was just really impressionable, and thought the G in the sun visor behind the counter was going to try to touch him. I know *I* don't want to be reincarnated as some idiot without the common sense not to unload a round ammunition on some poor kid while I'm ordering a BK Broiler. Especially not four times.

4) Maybe he was scared that the soy McDonalds used to make the burgers were ALIVE before they were cooked, and that he'd be eating little soy hearts and lungs.

5) The Burgertime Commercial.

Right click and "save as" to download an original Burgertime commercial. Notice the creepy mascots trying to kill him, and the sassy kids not giving a damn. Corrupting our country, INDEED.

So whatever you do, try to keep the Nintendo logic of the real world separate from the Nintendo logic of the Nintendo world. If you see a candle hanging on the wall, don't flip into the air and hit it with your sword, you aren't going to get any power-ups. Your friends can't survive if you shoot them with fireballs, nor will they turn into trampolines if you give them tangerine jellybeans.

They WILL, however, die if you shoot them. They will be mildly displeased if you throw pepper into their eyes, and they will probably be confused and want to beat your ass (like your father should've) if you drop giant hamburger ingredients on them.

And if you must and cannot avoid the desire to shoot someone repeatedly until they die or become severely discouraged, please, take it out on people who deserve it. Like the people who made the Burgertime commercial, or one of Jesus's friends, the one who created Creed as an in-joke to piss Jesus off.

I can't think of anything else to say about Burgertime. Play it, live it, but don't emulate it.


AIM NotAGoonie
Favorite Hamburger Ingredient: blood of the innocents
Material: Unofficial Burgertime Homepage

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