By Jared Newman | Monday, September 7, 2009 at 11:04 am
If you happened to use Google on September 5, you might’ve seen a UFO sucking up the second “O” in the company’s name.
When Google changes its logo, it’s usually to denote a holiday, or the birthday of a famous scientist or thinker. But this “Google Doodle,” as they’re called, had the ‘net puzzled. The answer started coming together when the company Tweeted a cryptic message that linked to a picture of the logo.
Translating the Tweet, “1.12.12 188.8.131.52 15 1.18.5 184.108.40.206.14.7 20.15 21.19,” into letters of the alphabet yields the following message: “All Your O Are Belong to Us.” From there, all it takes is a some encyclopedic video game knowledge (or in my case, cheating by reading this Telegraph story) to know Google was celebrating the 20th anniversary of Zero Wing.
This is the Japanese space shooting game turned European Sega Mega Drive release, whose butchered English translation resulted in “All Your Base Are Belong to Us.” The phrase turned into a viral phenomenon thanks to a video from the Something Awful forums.
Mashing up a bizarre techno track with supposedly real-world appearances of the game’s dialog, the video is nothing short of brilliant. I can’t say that All Your Base was the first viral video, but it was the first one that really caught my attention for the way it spread so thoroughly into pop culture, despite its obscure origins.
So, kudos to Google for acknowledging it.