Tuesday, February 12, 2013

"Cybernator", SNES, 1992.

This ad stars two popular characters not licensed by the publisher and not appearing in this game.

Introducing Cybernator, the 21st Century's biggest hero and the baddest cyborg ever to blast onto your Super NES. Standing five stories tall and loaded with stunning graphics and firepower, this mechanized marine overshadows and outguns all other 16-bit metal heads. From the Cybernator's command cockpit you'll control five tons of tail-kicking, Axis-annihilating battle armor and the Enemy Eliminator with 360° firing range. You'll also power a hyper-space propulsion pack that launches Cybernator through seven levels of digitized devastation. So if nuts and bolts busting action is your game, check out Cybernator. The future of 16-bitwarfare today!

Though I don't have good grounds on which to believe it, I always fancied that the art in this ad was done by the same thankless hack who cranked out the Ultra ad in my last post. Of course, Ultra isn't Konami, which this is, only really they were. (Got it?) I really dig the frontier-style way the ad briefly borrows The Terminator and Robocop (not just name-checking them, but actually depicting them) -- there was lots of mud-slinging and baseless direct comparison in the early days of game advertising, but this is awfully late for that sort of thing to be going on. I do see, barely, that their trademarks are acknowledged in the small print; the legal department very likely dictated just how close to the line the ad could toe and still clear a lawsuit. (No full frontal depictions, only their backs!) (Hopefully the only time I will ever use the phrase "full frontal" in this blog, Bowser willing.)

I don't have much to say about the ad beyond that, and have no experience with the game (hm, apparently part of a series, and lacking anime dialogue portraits in the North American localization. Thank you, Mobygames!) Much is made of the hero's stature, though it appears quite standard in the screenshots -- perhaps the scale is suggested on-screen by tangles with monuments and natural landmarks. It's worrying when the ad writer mixes up qualities the protagonist boasts and features of the game -- is Cybernator the hero really loaded with stunning graphics? Also, the phrase "metal head" was in wide credence at the time, virtually all of it totally out of any context. The enemy empire is really named the Axis? Pro tip: name yourself after winners, not losers. That's... OK, that's all here for today. Keep on keepin' on!


  1. "Cybernator" also sounds like it could be slightly suggestive.

    1. Cybernator? I hardly know 'er!

      There was a time, once, when the most immediate suggestion invoked by the "cyber" prefix wasn't cybersex. "Teledildonics" is an abomination of a word, but it's very direct and unambiguous, and you have to admire that.