If there’s one thing that makes a video game memorable, it’s an unforgettable catchphrase. Sometimes, gamers even apply the morality & principle of a good catchphrase to their daily lives, though some are much harder to use in everyday social situations; it’s rather uncommon for someone to r&omly shout: “It’s high noon!” Catchphrases are terms & phrases that are typically associated with one specific individual, thereby encapsulating their personality or acting as a recognizable trait.
Especially in recent years, catchphrases have been integrated into modern society, often in the form of memes — an element of culture passed from one person to another via imitation. There aren’t many catchphrases, particularly in the gaming industry, that won’t be immediately distinguishable upon hearing or reading them.
9/9 “It’s A-Me, Mario!”
Nintendo mascot Mario‘s iconic catchphrase — “It’s a-me, Mario!” — originated from Super Mario 64, the first-ever Mario game to feature 3D gameplay, where he was voiced by Charles Martinet. Martinet made his official debut as Mario in 1992’s Super Mario Bros. pinball machine, but he was uncredited for the role, & it wasn’t until Super Mario 64 that the world was exposed to Mario’s voice properly.
Martinet also voices Luigi, which makes a lot of sense, but Luigi’s catchphrase — “Let’s-a go!” — isn’t nearly as popular.
8/9 “Finish Him!”
Anyone who’s anyone has played the Mortal Kombat games at least one in their lives, & anyone who’s anyone who’s played the Mortal Kombat games will be familiar with finishing moves known as “Fatalities.” During a fatality, the opponent’s health has reached zero, leaving them vulnerable to an end-of-round attack performed by the player’s chosen character.
When a fatality initiates, a booming voice shouts: “Finish him!” What Mortal Kombat fans may not know is that Steve Ritchie — the best-selling pinball designer in history — provides the voice of the announcer, whose voice has reached millions worldwide.
7/9 “The Cake Is A Lie!”
In 2007’s insanely popular Portal, the catchphrase become famous from an in-game encounter where Doug Rattman leaves behind graffiti that reads: “The cake is a lie!” Rattman does this to warn Chell that GLaDOS —the game’s antagonist — is deceiving them.
It was intended to be a minor reference & inside joke implemented by Valve, the developers, that implied the player would never receive their promised reward — their “cake.” It relates somewhat to the idiom “have one’s cake & eat it.” Portal’s well-known phrase became an instant meme that recently experienced a resurgence after content creators began making hyper-realistic cakes to fool viewers.
6/9 “It’s Dangerous To Go Alone! Take This.”
Perhaps one of the most overused catchphrases of all time, 1986’s The Legend of Zelda was responsible for the fabled quotation, which occurs right at the beginning of the game. When the player-character Link enters a cave, he meets an unnamed old man who bestows upon him a sword to aid in his quest to save Princess Zelda.
Naturally, the moment became a well-established internet meme in pop culture & become synonymous with gaming in the 35 years since the interaction occurred. Eventually, the image template from The Legend of Zelda birthed hundreds of memes that swapped out Link’s sword with variations of kittens, owls, bunnies & more.
5/9 “Do A Barrel Roll!”
The infamous “do a barrel roll!” quote came straight from the hare’s mouth. In the tutorial portion of 1997’s Star Fox 64, Peppy Hare, the retired sole member of the current generation’s Fox team, instructs Fox McCloud to do a barrel roll. What appears to be such an innocent moment became a universal response to a situation in which there is no solution.
Hare insists that Fox perform the somersault move to avoid lasers & other such projectiles. The urgency of the dem& is what inspired the internet meme; other definitions describe the quote as a phrase “some gamers say when they are at a loss for words or don’t know what else to say.”
4/9 “Endure And Survive.”
Not nearly as old-school as some others, but The Last of Us has a short, sweet & simple catchphrase — spoken by Ellie herself. The critically-acclaimed action-adventure comes from Naughty Dog, developers of the Uncharted series, & takes on quite an unconventional approach in allowing players to control 14-year-old Ellie in the fight against the Infected.
In one particular scene, after Joel kills the hunters in the bookstore, Ellie says “To the edge of the universe & back, endure & survive,” then elaborates in saying that the quote originated from a comic book she’s reading called Savage Starlight. During that tender moment in The Last of Us, Ellie claims it’s “what the hero says after a Enormous battle,” but it also acts as a mantra of hers throughout the game.
3/9 “Waka Waka Waka!”
Originally called Puck Man (which doesn’t have such a nice ring to it), the Japanese arcade game Pac-Man released in 1980 & remains one of the best-selling & highest-grossing video games ever made. “Waka waka waka!” (& not the Shakira version) is the sound produced by Pac-Man as he eats pellets & ghosts in a labyrinthian maze.
It isn’t necessarily a catchphrase per se as just pure gibberish, but it’s still one of the most instantly identifiable sounds in the entirety of modern culture — not just gaming. In fact, society has accepted that Pac-Man’s native language is called “Wakanese.”
2/9 “Press ‘F’ To Pay Respects.”
Despite becoming an internet phenomenon, not many users know where the “Press ‘F’ to pay respects” catchphrase originated from. In 2014’s Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, there’s a segment where Private Jack Mitchell attends the funeral of his best friend & comrade in arms, Will Irons, who died fighting in South Korea. Then, the player is given a prompt to “Press ‘F‘ (or on console, press ‘X’) to pay their respects to the fallen soldier.
That Call of Duty moment was panned by critics for being out-of-place, awkward & more importantly, an unnecessary interaction for the funeral service. The meme evolved into “Press ‘F’ in the chat,” but both versions convey solidarity or sympathy — sarcastic or not — to someone in a difficult situation.
It isn’t required to have a bachelor’s degree in Law to underst& the term “Objection!” In court, whenever a lawyer, be it the defense or prosecution, disagrees or ‘objects’ to a statement, they st& & yell, “Objection!” In the Ace Attorney video game series, the “Objection!” speech bubble has been used frequently, usually accompanied by the finger-pointing gesture.
Fans of the series & meme-makers alike began attaching the image of Phoenix Wright to various threads or arguments online where they perceived an invalid or disagreeable statement to have been made. In the months & years following, Ace Attorney skyrocketed in popularity just based on the image of Phoenix pointing & the common “Objection!” phrase.
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